AVSIM Library Help and Hints
Last Updated: 04/09/00

You have discovered the world of simulation and the thousands of downloads for the various programs out there! Now what? This help file is intended to assist you in using the AVSIM Library; to provide you some hints, some explanations about what you may encounter, and background on how the file library works. If you are first time user to AVSIM's library, or are completely new to the downloading process, we strongly encourage you to read this entire document carefully. It will save you hours of angst and anguish in doing so! Better yet, print it out and store it away for future use.

File Library Features:

  • Allows hundreds of simultaneous users at one time
  • Provides Resumable Downloads
  • Allows both FTP Client and HTTP connections
  • Segmented, easy to navigate directory system (Via FTP)
  • Easy to use Web Page based file database system
  • Easy search or extended search capability
  • Simple list (New files first) or list by category
  • Updated multiple times a day

File Format

With the exception of text and image files, virtually all files in AVSIM's library are compressed using zip compression. In order to use these files, you must use a zip "decompressor" to extract the file contents to your selected directory. You can find dozens of zip compatible tools here. It is not within the scope of this document to provide you assistance on correctly placing these files in your simulator, however there are numerous tutorials on the subject; AVSIM's Educational Resource Center is one location that provides you with instructions.

404 Errors / File Not Found!

The AVSIM Library system is robust and relatively fast. However, in order to keep that efficiency we limit the number of simultaneous users who can download at any one time. Though that number is in the hundreds, on peak days and at certain times of day, you may encounter "404 errors" or "file not found" messages. This results from the maximum number of users having been reached. All we can suggest is that wait awhile and retry your download, or you try at a different time of day. When popular files or updates are provided, this situation can exist for hours. Keep trying!

The Server and Resuming Downloads:

The AVSIM file server is based upon and uses what is known as an FTP (file transfer protocol) daemon. This is a software function, or process, that runs on our UNIX file server machine. When you connect to it, either via your web browser or through an FTP client, such as CuteFTP or WSFTP, you are invoking the FTP process.

The AVSIM library offers users a resumable download capability. That is, if you have a resumable download utility, such as Go!Zilla or GetRight, AVSIM will provide you the ability to resume downloading a file. If your download is interrupted for whatever reason, the resume facility will allow to pick up where the file was interrupted. With the increasing size of files that are seen in flight simulation today, use of a resumable utility is almost a must! Before downloading any large file, we strongly recommend that you obtain one of these utilities and put it to use. You can get Go!Zilla here, or GetRight here. You can select from dozens of other resumable download utilities here.

Resume Really Works! Really!

We hear frequently from users who have difficulty using resume utils on AVSIM, believing that a resume function does not exist - trust us, it does - but you need to take a few steps to ensure that your downloads succeed using your resume util. Depending upon the utility you use, successful downloads will require that you copy the database link to the download pane of your utility. In Go!Zilla, right click on the database link and then select "copy shortcut". Click on the Go!Zilla main file pane and do a CTRL-V. This will copy the file "jump" URL to the download pane of Go!Zilla. Once this is done, Go!Zilla will present the ftp location(s) of the file. Highlight the AVSIM FTP file address, select your desired download directory, and then click on "download". This will start the download process.

If you are using GetRight, you must right click on the AVSIM file link, copy shortcut, and then go to the FILE tab on the GetRight menu, select "Enter New URL" and you will find that the link URL is there. If not, CTRL-V the URL to the new URL pane. Once you do this, GetRight will ask you for a destination directory. When you have selected the directory to which you want the file to download, GetRight will start the download process.

WARNING! Both Go!Zillla and GetRight place Aureate/Radiate Spyware DLL's on your system that apparently track your system usage - in other words, they "spy" on your web access. This is a marketing tool that allows advertisers to track your net usage and obtain other information without your knowledge or approval. We do not condone or support this type of behavior. However, GoZilla and GetRight are popular and seem to be the most popular of the resume utilities in use. If you wish to remove the Spyware and all registry entries that are inserted by these programs, you can use the OptOut Utility by Steve Gibson.

Speed of Access / Download:

AVSIM's library sits on a burstible 10 Mb/Sec connection to the net. A single user accessing the system would see a file transfer speed that was equivalent to his/her fastest connection speed to the web. The more users on the system, the more that speed is divided up and shared site wide. Your download speed and efficiency of download, will vary with the number of users accessing AVSIM's library, as well as the traffic congestion throughout the route your system takes to get to AVSIM. A user in San Francisco may see slow transfers, while a user in Bangkok could see excellent download speeds. This result from net congestion. You can monitor the net performance, globally, by going to the InterNet Traffic Report to determine whether your connection speed is a function of AVSIM or the Net itself.

To Web or FTP?:

We have constructed two methods of accessing the files in AVSIM's library. Your choice of method is your's and your's alone to make. You can download files directly from our file library database, or you can download via an FTP client. The database gives you the convenience of a searchable database, full file names and descriptions, as well as an image of the plane, scenery or artwork (if the author provides it). There are numerous features that you can put to use in the database to ease your downloading tasks. However, there are users who prefer to access the AVSIM library directly via FTP.

In order to access the AVSIM Library via FTP, you must have an FTP client. There are literally hundreds to choose from. You will find an extensive list of FTP clients here. In order to access the AVSIM Library via this method, you must connect to it with the FTP client at the address of ftp.avsim.com. Via this method, AVSIM allows for anonymous access. In setup of your FTP client for AVSIM FTP access type in the address ftp.avsim.com, select anonymous as your userid, and enter your email address as your password. Click on connect, and you will be in the AVSIM FTP library.

The Online Library Database:

The AVSIM Online Library Database is a powerful and feature rich tool designed to assist you in finding those needed files for your flight simming pleasure. As of this writing, the database is over 3 megs in size, containing details on over 4,500 files currently in the AVSIM Library.

The Library Main page is set in frames so that you can access the major functions via the left hand menu from anywhere while in the library system. The RESET selection takes you back to the main entry page at any time. Here is a list of functions and an accompanying explanation for each of the menu and main page selections (all functions are replicated on the main page as well):

Main Functions:

  • Upload files: Present you with a web browser based method of uploading up to four files. Also provides instructions on uploading, formats, and how to upload via FTP.
  • Library Main: Unlike the reset function, this brings up only the main library database page (it assumes that you still have the left menu in place).
  • New Uploads: Presents you with that last 20 days of uploads.
  • What's Hot: Presents you with the most popular files downloaded from AVSIM - ever. The What's Hot selection criteria is simple. If the file download count is in the top 1% of downloads, it will be listed on this page. This listing gives you some idea of what your fellow flight sim enthusiasts think are important or must have files.
  • Search: There are two search methods in the AVSIM Library. This selection provides you the "simple" search method. Simply enter a key word, like "TWA", and the system will present you every file that has mention of "TWA" in it.
  • List - New First: This selection provides you a simple text list of all the files in the AVSIM Library, starting with the most recent uploads. This is styled on the old "Mike Marando" method of presenting library contents.
  • Power Search: More complex search system that allows you to use Boolean functions to refine your search criteria. It spans the entire database, and is very fast.

If you have comments on this help/hints file, or have suggestions on how we can improve it, please send email to our Library Managers. Contributions of insight and how to's for this page will be appreciated.

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