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About neilhewitt

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    Cockpit builder & software developer
  • Birthday 12/11/1970

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    London, UK
  • Interests
    Flight simming!

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About Me

  • About Me
    I'm a software developer by day and a simmer by night. I've build a generic home cockpit setup which continues to grow and might eventually turn into a full simulator if and when I finally put up the shed in my back garden that I've been promising for years!

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  1. 'Gamish' is IMHO things like an achievement system. Visual fidelity is absolutely relevant to a training tool - the better the fidelity, the better the quality of training. But I can see how maybe having cloud-based scenery and servers like MSFS might be seen as a 'game platform' thing. Mass-market stuff. As long as P3D remains a niche product staying in its niche, I don't think MS will care if the scenery comes up to MSFS quality levels. But we can't know what conversations they have in the background and LM will never be explicit about them.
  2. AIG has many routes still in BGL, but a growing proportion in AIGFP (edit: apparently not, you can go all-AIGFP now); from what @Steve Halpern is indicating I imagine the plan would be to add AIGFP capability into FSHud after the initial release, if possible. I'm sure @Kaiii3 will be able to help when the time comes.
  3. If they get this right it could be a game-changer. For big multi-PC setups, having it all virtualised in the cloud would potentially make building a commercial-level sim much easier, and it's really an extension of businesses moving other apps into the cloud. Imagine if they could also give you access to, say, all of Orbx's scenery in the cloud so you wouldn't have to install it. Also, MS now has MSFS running in Xbox Cloud Gaming. Gotta keep up with the competition! I wonder if anyone on here attended the conference? Unlikely. The session looks like it's paywalled, but maybe LM will post a summary.
  4. From what I've seen posted and Steve Halpern's comments on the 'new atc program' thread here ATM, I think UTL2 is properly dead. No indication that they've bought the code. Doesn't mean they might not, but I figure if they were going to they would have by now. Not sure who they would give it to to complete, at any rate... but you could ask Steve directly, I guess.
  5. Absolutely. And when I fly tubeliners, I do exactly that.
  6. It's good that it *can* do that but I would like the option of operating the radios and directing the conversation with ATC myself. It's unrealistic to have a virtual co-pilot for single-pilot ops.
  7. Indeed. I am not familiar with the MSFS SimConnect dialect (nor, to be honest, am I that familiar with the P3D dialect though I have dabbled) but from what I understand, there are variables in MSFS which are still there but don't actually give any data back. I had understood the weather system was one of those. But I'll defer to anyone who has actually developed for MSFS and knows for sure. I know that despite Dave March making Pilot2ATC (somewhat) compatible with MSFS, it cannot read weather data from the sim. So when I spoke to the developer about FSHud some months ago, he said he planned to use cloud-based TTS, and Steve Halpern seems to have confirmed this. I *believe* the plan was to use Azure TTS but I may be wrong about that. Both Azure TTS and Amazon Polly have various regional voices available, but - and this is crucial - quite often not for English. For example, Polly has Chinese voices but they only speak Chinese words correctly. Accented English is a whole other matter. There are US, UK, AUS, NZ, SA and Indian-accented English voices for Polly and I think Azure TTS has similar. Of course, FSHud may be using something different. We can only wait to find out. True global regional accent support needs either a) TTS voices that don't exist now, or b) someone to record LOTS of voices like PF3 or (to a lesser extent) Pro-ATC/X with the add-on voice packs. I don't think it'll ever happen. But we can certainly do better than US-accented voices everywhere. And hopefully regionally-accurate phraseology, or at least ICAO outside the US. To get to true regionality, I think we'd need an open system that could be added to both with voices, phrases, and actual ATC logic. Something open-source-ish, where local contributors could provide their local environment. Again, I don't think we'll ever get that; it's too specialist a project for most techies to be interested in. I'd happily participate as a coder if there were one but what I know about ATC could be thrown away and you won't have lost much!
  8. Specifically... unless there's a way to read the current weather data from MSFS SimConnect (which there is not now) then FSHud won't know what the weather is (unless you fly 'live weather' and FSHud gets the weather from a service like NOAA, which is what Pilot2ATC does now for MSFS, which means you can't fly ATC-controlled flights in historical time). Bit pointless without it, IMHO.
  9. That's the best plan, I think, if it doesn't involve spending money. You don't know what kind of performance you'll get in your particular setup until you try it. Anecdotally, however, I'll say that I've found that any more than two views on a single PC drops the FPS to a point I'm not happy with. I think five may be asking too much of any single PC. The real problem I suspect you'll have is that only four of your five outside views can be on a single GPU, since no consumer GPU can run 5 monitors directly. Moving a high-demand resource like an outside view onto a second GPU will slow things further down as the multi-GPU scheduling takes up more of the main thread's time. Having just simple 2D panels on a second GPU doesn't tank the FPS in my experience, but it depends on how the gauges are built.
  10. They don't. A bunch of us on Simforums tested it out and it has no effect any more. Unless the airport itself supports keeping the lights on all the time (a few do) then you're out of luck.
  11. I used to have that problem with just P3D host + client, for aircraft whose lighting systems were non-standard. And other issues of not syncing systems that had to sync to be functional on the client like custom nose wheel steering (it had a directional taxi light affected by the nose wheel angle). So ultimately I wrote a program that runs alongside Wideview and syncs up changes in LVARs or FSUIPC offsets across multiple clients. It works reasonably well but still needs more work if it's going to be a complete product. And I haven't even tried to test it with an MSFS client yet, but in theory since FSUIPC7 works on MSFS, it *ought* to work.
  12. Thanks so much @virtuali for adding by far my most wished-for feature to GSX. Now I can get rid of the ugly hacks (hiding the bus inside the terminal model) I used to get pax walking from the terminal at EGLC!
  13. Hmm - I could have sworn it was more recent than that, but I will freely admit I didn't check. Nonetheless there are no announced plans to add historical weather to the sim right now and I can't see it on the wish list either. But given how the live weather modelling works, to provide historical 'as-live' weather, MS would need the archive data from MeteoBlue (which does exist, but presumably would cost extra) and the ability to dynamically generate a weather model from that data for anyone who wants to fly at any time other than live. Which might be a server infrastructure issue. The potentially easier fix is to improve the ability to generate an evolving weather model from per-station METAR data, which AIUI is done current with live weather synthesis alongside the MeteoBlue model data. Lots of moaning on the forum about the end result of that, BTW! I believe from what I've read that WeatherForce creates a custom weather theme file and saves it into the weather theme folder (like ActiveSky does in P3D) and the sim picks up changes in that after some interval. So weather changes abruptly when the theme changes. At any rate... it's not possible to do in MSFS what you can do in P3D with an add-on like ActiveSky or FSGRW - have automatic and updating weather that is accurate(ish) to the date and time being flown. Nor can 3rd party ATC programs get weather data for anything other than live weather and that's by pulling it from NOAA, not from the sim. For me, that stops MSFS from being useful to me beyond as-live flying. Which I don't do often.
  14. When asked about it in a Q&A relatively recently, Jorg (the product owner from MS) said 'why would you want that?' It seems they just don't get it. Basically it's the worst of all worlds right now unless you want to fly 'live' or are willing to do lots of manual work. Avoiding manual work is why I buy add-ons!
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