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akriesman

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Everything posted by akriesman

  1. I think this subject has been stressed in this forum, but, if a group of users could upgrade Sierra Red Baron and now have (to sell or not, whatever) an improved sim, I ask, DID WE GAVE UP TOO SOON trying to do the same with Fly!?Several of us tried and tried to do something similar for Fly! The problem was that approximately 20% of the Fly! code is shared between several other TRI products. Obviously, TRI did does not want to release this code, when it still has considerable value to TRI.Rich had hoped, that he could someday isolate the shared code from Fly!. The only solution he could come up with, was to try and convert the shared code into a linkable library. Unfortunately, this would have been very time consuming for Rich (who obviously did not have much time).I really think the shared code is the real stumbling block to selling or releasing the Fly! source. For this reason, we will pretty much have to rely on the possiblity that TRI can somehow provide us with a Fly III. But with Rich gone, I sadly have a feeling that the motivation has gone with him :(What we need is a billionaire flight sim fan, who hates Microsoft, and will purchase all of TRI for the sake of competing with them.OK...Rant about to begin...BTW...FS2004 is a fine product. However, Microsoft's developer support is non-existent as usual. In fact, the FS2004 SDK's are 3-4 months late already, with no word about their release. The lack of the SDK has really tied the hands of FS2004 developers regarding many things. The FS2004 developers obviously are very prowd of their product (and rightfully so), but the marketing arm of Microsoft could care less about anyone, other than those that have yet to pick up a copy of FS2004.IMHO, Competition for MSFS must happen for the good of the entire FS community.Rant complete...... :)Nice to see he spririt is alive and well here.Allen Kriesman
  2. Hey guys. In an effort to reduce some of my boredom waiting for the SDK, I started writing a BGLC dissassembler for the BGL files. Things have been going real well, but I notice that several of the macros described in the original FS2000 BGLC SDK (also supported by FS2002) do not seem to be built into the BGLC compiler.PLATFORM_HEADER and FLATTEN_POLY are just a few of them. However, I have seen sample code on this site that use the PLATFORM_HEADER macro (Christian has posted this before).The question is....if the macro support is not built into the BGLC compiler, then where are people getting the definitions ? Perhaps there are some header files (includes) floating around that I don't know about ?For future reference purposes, I parsed out the .INC files from the BGLC.EXE SDK. It seems that there are quite a few macros not included with the compiler.I realize that I could write my own macros from the SDK specs, but I don't want to have to do this if someone has already written the macros and posted them somewhere.Please note that I am a 'C' guy, and MASM is not my area of expertise :)Anybody have any comments on this before I start writing my own ?Thanks,Allen
  3. Hi Gerrish,I don't doubt the good intentions of the MS developers. They are in a tough situation.On one hand they have an unrealistically demanding public. On the other hand they have to deal with the mass marketing arm of MS and the typical corporate red tape. Throwing after-the-sale support into the new project budget is always a tough sale.
  4. Christian, I agree with you 100%. The SDK's should have been released with the product.I have no doubt that the MS developers have their hands tied by the typical MS red tape. My anger is more towards MS than the developers.Perhaps a source of my frustration is that I spent a lot of time working as part of Richard Harvey's Fly! beta team. The Fly! team realized the importance of the 3rd party developers. Not only was their SDK intuitively designed, TRI also released the SDK immediately after the product. When there were technical changes between versions (such as a change in object file formats), the users/developers were notified far in advance of the product release date. The loss of the Fly! series is a blow to the entire Flight Sim community. I guess I have been spoiled by my 2 year association with Rich and the others.Now, I know that the user-friendly TRI support was something unique. It would be unrealistic to expect MS to give us the same. But, there is no interaction with the public at all from them. I attribute this to Microsoft's corporate policy, and not their frustrated developers. Then again, as Gerrish pointed out, they do get a tremendous amount of unjustified criticism regarding FS2004 product quality. Perhaps they have a chip on their shoulder from this.I still think that someone at Microsoft underestimates the importance of having a timely release of the SDK. And, I still think that packaging the SDK with the product would require a very small effort, in comparison to what it takes to develop and test the next product release.For the first 6 months of the year I spent over 1000 hours working on a massive project for FS2002 and FS2004. I finally got it working well for FS2002, and expected a quick conversion to FS2004. Without new documentation on the BGL files (AFCAD information specifically), I have been dead in the water for the last 3 months. Rather than flounder around wasting time, or spend the time trying to disassemble the BGL's), I have chosen to wait on the SDK's to clear things up.I love doing flight sim development more than actually flying. Now, for the first time in 7 years, I am actually considering selling all my hardware (Full PFC gear) and giving up a hobby that I truly love.The fellow developers on this board are unbelievably helpful. Some of you guys must contribute a good chunk of your week to helping others. But, 3 months after the release of FS2004, there are still technical issues that cannot yet be answered without the SDK's.If some of you guys have differing opinions, I am all ears and would love to hear them. I have been in the software development business for 18 years, but there is always something new to learn regarding distribution and support.
  5. It's just ridiculous. 3rd party product developers helped FS become the monster that it is. Yet, it just amazes me that MS continues to bite the hand that feeds. I can understand the SDK's coming out a few weeks after the initial product release. But, having to wait 3,4 or even 6 months for the SDK ? It's not like they are working on a patch, since MS has already said that one is not coming.I would bet that a single developer with technical writing experience could update and release the SDK's within a week.FS9 is a great product. But, Microsoft's handling of the SDK's just infuriates me.Sorry for the rant.Allen Kriesman
  6. One more thing to add....Please ignore this if you know already.To change the flight briefing, available from the kneeboard, just create an *.HTM file that is named the same and located with your saved flights.For example, if we have a flight named "My Test Flight", then in your "My DocumentsFlight Simulator Files" folder you will have the following files:"My Test Flight.FLT" which contains the flight specifications"My Test Flight.WX" contains the weather for the flightif you add"My Test Flight.HTM" then that HTM file will be displayed in the Kneeboard Briefing when the flight is loaded.I like to put links in this HTML file to a page that contains information for the destination airport (especially airport diagrams).Very useful information for me.Cheers,Allen
  7. Hmmmm. Interesting about the load times. I had actually expected much worse based on my use of aerial images in FS2002.Thanks for the info.Allen
  8. >If MS gives us a timely SDK for terrain, we could replace the>bridges as VTP2 lines... but for now it's impossible as the>code is different than the previous SDK. Our only recourse>would be to replace them as objects.Amen Dick. While I think that MS has released a fine product with COF, it amazes me that it takes so long for them to release the SDK's.IMHO, SDK's should be released before the actual product release. They should think about how many sales are being delayed because some folks don't have the 3rd party support in 2004 that they had in 2002.Unbelievable. There is just no logical reason for the SDK delays, other than the fact that they probably don't see 3rd party products as a real benefit to their Flight Sim sales. If this is true, so be it.One of the nice things about the Fly! series, was that their terrific SDK's were also released before or during the actual product release. They also gave developers a whole lot of advanced warning when there were significant changes made.Allen
  9. it has delivered a better base product than its competitors (the Fly series for example). The latter have been reduced to almost 0 by MS.I really like FS2004, but I have to correct you on the comment above :)As one who knows.....The demise of the Fly! series was due to the long-term illness (and eventual death) of Richard Harvey, plus bad business decisions by TRI's publishers. Fly's demise had nothing to do with MS. If anything, Fly! pushed MS to deliver a better product with FS2002.Sorry, but I could not let that comment go without responding.Cheers,Allen
  10. I would like to agree with George and Scott.I use NView with my Ti4200 and love the results. Allen
  11. If one uses a card like the Matrox Parhelia, is it possible to use a three-monitor setup with primary set to straight-ahead cocpit and the other two monitor set to Left-Front and Right-Front views ?I am not a Parhelia user, but I seem to remember that the resolution with this card is 2400x600. Each monitor is running at 800x600 and will in fact show 3 different views (similar to 3 separate monitors running wideview). I do not believe that it just stretches the forward view.I looked at the Parhelia, but was turned off by the price, poor performance, and low screen resolution (800x600).I am using the muli-monitor functionality of my Ti4200. I have a 19" monitor on top for the forward view, and I have a 17" monitor on the bottom showing my 2D panel. It is a really nice setup, even though I would like to also have a left-front and right-front view.I notice very little performance degradation with my multi-monitor setup.Cheers,Allen
  12. I have only messed around with it for a small while, and agree with all the positives that John pointed out.On the slightly negative side, for those that are interested, is that the landclass accuracy has not been improved that I can see. I bet Justin (FSGenesis) is licking his chops :-lol Allen
  13. Provantage is now showing 964 units. They must have just received a new shipment :)
  14. I also saw both Fly! and Fly II at CompUSA here in Dallas. It was in the 9.99 bin.Allen
  15. I am glad you guys figured this out Wayne.I have been out of town with no Internet for the last few weeks. I was told by some folks in my office that MS switched back to the old Terraserver URLs.I was hoping that someone would try the old TSGRAB.EXE while I was out of touch.Later,Allen
  16. Based on what I have read, I do not think that they are going to change the Terraserver URL again when the new servers are brought online. If they do, I will patch TM again.Initially, I wish that I would have put the URL in the SOFTLANG.INI file used by TM. I really did not expect Micro$oft to change it within the lifespan of Terramodels.Allen
  17. Steve,First of all, by all means feel free to release your texture set. I was hoping that we would eventually see enhanced textures for TM.The CityScape option allowed me to quickly create cities, using a default set of criteria. You could quickly create cities, similar to planting trees in the current Terramodels. You would switch the "paintbrush" to a different building type (i.e. commercial, residential, hirise, etc) and plant the buildings using the mouse. The building details would be randomized. I wanted to be able to create downtown areas for smaller towns, without actually taking the time to accurately size and place each building. The results were very similar to what you see in the FS2002 Autogen, only a bit more accurate.The tests worked out OK, but I did not have the desire to further the enhancement at that time.Now, as far as the future of TM goes......Over the last year I have been working on a very large project for FS2002/FS2004. The project builds on the Terramodels philosophy, but will not be released as a scenery editor per se. I am keeping a low profile right now regarding the actual product release, but have spent just about every bit of my free time on it for the last 6 or 9 months. Right now, I have kind of taken a break from the Fly series. When Rich became seriously ill, I think it kind of took a lot out of the beta team and the Fly! community as well. On the other hand, I am amazed to see the work that is still going on for Fly!. Hopefully, Brendon (TRI) will find a way to allow work to continue on the Fly! series. From a developers standpoint, the platform is really something special. I look forward to returning to it in the future (with a whole lot of new ideas).In the meantime, I will continue to check into the forum. If small changes are needed to TM, I will do what I can to support them.Cheers,Allen Kriesman
  18. Guys,Here is the Terramodels patch for the Terraserver change.www.avsim.com/terramodels/tsgrab.exeJust replace your current TSGRAB.EXE with the one above, and you shoud be ready to go.It seems to work just fine. However, the Terraserver performance might be reduced until Microsoft switches to their new data center.If the new patch works, I will upload it to the Avsim library later on. Since there are really only a handful of Terramodels users, I am not too worried about bandwidth issues for Avsim :)Thanks,Allen
  19. Guys,Please see my thread on the main forum.Allen
  20. http://www.terraserver-usa.com/about/AboutMoving.htm
  21. Jim,please see:http://forums.avsim.com/dcboard.php?az=sho...9&mesg_id=17909 allen
  22. To those using Terramodels (especially Wayne Roberts).....Microsoft has changed the URL for the Terraservice site (to obtain the USGS images). Ideally, this link should probably have been put in a local INI file, instead of hardcoded into the app :)Unfortunately, Terramodels will no longer be able to obtain the USGS images without a patch.At this time, I do not have Fly II installed on my system (more on this later). Therefore, I will probably need to rely on some of the heavy users to test the EXE for me when I make the change. Wayne, since you seem to be the main developer for airport sceneries, I will get you a copy ASAP if you will leave me your email addressI will get back on this issue as soon as I can. For me, this matter extends beyond Terrmodels.Thanks,Allen Kriesman
  23. Eric,You won't be able to do this with Terramodels. Initially, I was going to include tree borders, in addition to the different fence types. I never could get it to look quite right, so I dumped it.You could create your own tree borders, and place the custom objects in Terramodels. But, you cannot replace the fence textures and have TM generate them for you . It would not look right, because the fence patterns are repeated every 10 meters or so. You could probably do brick walls and other repeating patterns, but not trees.Allen
  24. I won't bash either tool, because both of them are awesome. I just want to point out that the previous advantages that GMax had over FSDS were pretty much eliminated with the release of FSDS V2.Most notably, FSDS v2 uses the floating point operations, just like GMAX. So, any performance gains that GMax had over FSDS were eliminated with the release FSDS V2.Cheers,Allen
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