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About neilhewitt

  • Rank
    Cockpit builder
  • Birthday 12/11/1970

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  • Gender
  • Location
    London, UK
  • Interests
    Flight simming!

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  • Virtual Airlines

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. There is an option to 'prefer ILS/LOC approaches even without a transition' for your flightplan - ATC will give you an ILS approach and vector you in if there's no suitable transition; but AFAIK it will assign a transition if there is one that works. It does control the AI - sort of. It will hold AI traffic on the ground to avoid collisions with you; and ATC interacts with AI aloft, though I don't think it actually commands the AI to change routing at all.
  2. Ah, I see what you're driving at now. Well, you have a point, but there's a big difference between not speculating on release dates and saying nothing at all. For example, they could talk about the bugs being fixed (or maybe even have a bug-tracker we could see and use) and the new features being added. They do very occasionally make an announcement (like the one saying they were going to build something for MSFS) but then it's back to radio silence again. If you report bugs at the forum (and jump through the hoops that the mods insist on before they'll even consider responding) you have no way of knowing if the dev has accepted the bug or put it on his backlog or if it will literally ever be fixed. For example, importing scenery data generated by MakeRwys 5.x fails to properly import some taxiways at some airports and you don't get taxiway details for your outbound taxi. It requires a fix in Pro-ATC/X to get it working again, because the MakeRwys data is actually correct. I have no idea if the developer even knows about this and has any plan to fix it. It does not appear to have been fixed in the latest update, so I guess that's it until 2022.
  3. I've successfully got AIG up and running, too. I'll be slightly critical and say that the UI looks and feels like it was designed by a programmer, and as a programmer myself I know exactly what I mean when I say that 🙂. But once you get the hang of it, it's fine. Hopefully more and more of the flightplans will migrate to AIGFP from BGL so that I can eventually turn off BGL traffic altogether and get all the AI flying routes. I downloaded all the AIG flightplans that I could via OCI (freeware aircraft only) and that's plenty so far. I might look at the data from other providers later. TBH I don't care about accurate schedules, and I didn't really care about still seeing FlyBe or Thomas Cook in UTLive 1. I did care about not having traffic at newly-opened airports like EDDB. Now I've got some. I just want some other aircraft around on the ground and in the air, and to hear them interact with ATC once in a while. The one wrinkle in my setup is the multi-channel aspect (I have host and client sim machines). I am exporting the AIG traffic from the host to the client via Widetraffic as I did with UTLive. I copied all of the AIG FP and model data from the host to the client so I have everything on both, and I have all BGL traffic turned off on the client machine and AITC is not active. Widetraffic picks up the right models and it all works OK, but I wondered: if I had the exact same FPs and traffic settings etc on both machines, and they were clock-synced to the second via Wideview, and I ran BGL and AIGFP traffic on both machines, would the AI traffic always be in the exact same place at the exact same time on both machines? Or are there any random variables involved? Because that would let me avoid Widetraffic (which would be beneficial for performance and smoothness). But the AI could not be even a tiny bit out of sync between machines, or else it would be very very obvious. It wouldn't work with UTLive because they add random delays to traffic to simulate real-world delays due to weather etc, which is why I use Widetraffic in the first place. Would be interested in your opinion, @Kaiii3. So yeah... Add me to the list of AIG converts!
  4. Hi Kaiii3. Yes, I did select that. I still got prompted to do a manual download of the file 'AITRSP_v1.8.zip'. Once I did that manually, I was OK. I've got the installer running now hands-free. NH
  5. I assume that's sarcasm, because it's actually very very annoying when he does that.
  6. Yeah, I've had PSXSeecon working before with Real Traffic but Lorby Live Traffic as a data provider is new to me. Getting the ATC integration would be the final hurdle holding me back. I will check it out!
  7. AMD64 is the CPU instruction set type. It doesn't, BTW, mean that the CPU is an AMD chip, just that the AMD64 instruction set is in use. If you'll recall, back in the days when 32-bit ruled the land, Intel came out with a 64-bit processor architecture know as Itanium. This was not a superset of the 'classic' x86 architecture and the chips were not directly compatible. AMD, on the other hand, came up with a set of 64-bit extensions to the x86 architecture which let you do 64-bit operations but was a superset of x86 so you could directly run x86 code on them. This instruction set came to be know as AMD64, while Itanium was IA64. Intel adopted the AMD64 instruction architecture for its own 64-bit successors to the x86 range, which is why Intel and AMD 64-bit desktop processors are entirely compatible, and that architecture is still know as AMD64 although these days people usually say x64. So that message just indicates that the problem was on a 64-bit system. It has nothing to do with the type of GPU - that's just a coincidence 🙂
  8. Meanwhile... I'm trying to install flightplans in AIG with OCI but it's not exactly one click really, is it? I keep getting 'cannot download this file automatically' and then I have to go manually download from MediaFire or some other useless download site and manually select the file. I get that AI are putting together lots of resources out there on the internet, but is there a list anywhere of the stuff that will just download and install with one click? Because I'd like to just get those first. Grrr. It's not been a fun day so far!
  9. 2nd at least. To be fair to the guy, my understanding is that his wife has cancer. If that happened to me then my hobby job (and I assume it is a hobby job on top of a day job for him) would absolutely go by the wayside. The point is that a) there ought to be more than one developer for a commercial product, there ought to be a succession plan so someone else can take over, and b) the publisher should keep customers informed. I'm not saying we need intimate details, but a notice saying 'the developer is unavailable for personal reasons and there will be no further development on this product until notified otherwise' would let people make their own decision about how to proceed. But Flight1 doesn't want to lose the customer base for the product, so they say nothing instead, and they expect that we'll get used to this. Well, sod that. Pro-ATC/X is a slightly different case because, AFAIK, PointSoft owns the product and so the publisher is also the creator. The developer had a bad accident of some description requiring extended convalescence. But there's a long-standing policy there of not replying to any requests for information about when or if things will be fixed / added / released. The project manager gets very tetchy when people ask for updates and has in the past put out posts saying 'we will not say anything until we're done, so stop asking'. Months to actual years can go by without any official post or update from the PointSoft team, the forum moderators are as in the dark as the users, and the actual developer never goes on the forum that I can see. Obviously he came back at some point and started work again but no idea how long ago that was, and the usual practice there is to release one point update per year and there is usually total radio silence until this happens. There's a beta test group who I guess know more but they certainly never comment on the forum and I would imagine saying anything would be grounds for excommunication from the group. Everyone else just has to put up with it or go elsewhere. When you charge money for something, you create an expectation (and you have obligations in law). Some flight sim developers fail to live up to the expectations of their customers and by and large they seem to regard that as the customer's problem. In a free market with competition you can vote with your feet. But quite often an add-on is the only game in town, or at least the only one that will work for you, so you're basically a captive audience and quite frankly they know it. They live in this halfway house between 'personal project with no expectations, use it if you like but no promises' (which is fine) and 'fully commercial product with a proper support organisation behind it' (which is also fine, not that most customer service organisations are any good anyway... they're not!), where you're paying money but you're not getting the service you would normally expect when you do. At the end of the day, it would cost Flight1 and PointSoft little to nothing to give meaningful updates on a regular basis about their development progress. Yes, people whining about 'is it done yet' on your forums are annoying. But that's the cost of doing business. Or at least, it should be. Of course, the company we all rely on here, Lockheed Martin, is nearly as bad. No official support is provided with your (potentially very expensive) purchase, so you have precisely zero right to expect any replies / updates / info at the official forums. Now of course LM staff do reply, but only when it really suits them to do so. If the sim vendors are doing it, can we be so surprised when the 3rd party devs do it too? Sigh. Sometimes I hate this hobby. I mean, I don't, but you know what I mean...
  10. Today I flew into EDDB for the first time. Obviously it's only been open in RL for a little while, although the scenery itself (Aerosoft) was available a while back and doesn't seem especially 'modern', but unsurprisingly it's not on the UTLive 1 schedule, and there's no AI traffic there. It might be on the UTLive 2 schedule, but I doubt it, and the v2 beta is buggy as hell anyway so many people have given up on it. There's been literally no communication at all from the developer (or Flight1 the distributors) for six months. We were promised updated beta builds, and we got precisely nothing. This is just a repeat of the situation prior to the v2 beta, when the community had been asking for a schedule for an update for literally years and getting absolutely no response. It's a disgrace that a commercial product can continue to be sold to users on this basis, and I've honestly had enough. So I'm moving to AIG, no matter how much pain that causes me (I looked at it once already and TBH I found it confusing as all hell and I'm a developer in RL and am used to using complicated software). This is such a common tale. The typical deal is that there's one lone developer, perhaps using a distributor like Flight1, and if that one developer has issues or just loses interest, the product dies. Sometimes they do come back, of course - Pro-ATC/X just got a point update after I think nearly four years of radio silence, but that's almost certainly the only update for 2021 and they still haven't fixed the problem with reading taxiway data from MakeRwys 5.x (unless anyone knows different? I got no taxiway info at ORBX EGHI today). I was on the verge of looking into using PF3 for my IFR flying and TBH I still might. Anyone else looking to drop UTLive 2? Any other add-ons that you rely on killed stone dead by the 'absentee developer' syndrome? All my threads tend to be 'have a rant' threads and this one is no different 🙂 Have at it!
  11. I'm flying to Berlin in the sim right now... I have ASP3D and I was seeing gridding on the clouds, so I checked and remember I had turned the cloud tweaking setting off. I turned it back on and my clouds de-gridded, somewhat, but now I've got the famous 'cloud crawl' while ASP3D is adjusting the volumetricclouds.cfg file in real time and it's happening every couple of minutes as I'm speeding through weather stations. Right now EA is a compromise, and nothing hits the sweet spot. I'm sure HiFi can do more when they have more access to TrueSky's internals via the sim. Bugs need to be fixed, sure, and weather depiction needs to be improved, but giving more access to the atmospherics system to 3rd parties is critical. That's where a certain other sim that we shan't mention falls down, AFAIK there's little to no access to the weather depiction there either. P3D has always been a platform and the atmospherics are a key part of that and need to be properly open (and without paying $$$ for an SDK like SpeedTrees). IMHO.
  12. The only reason I can possibly see for going to 4.5 as a new user (as opposed to sticking with it when you already have it) is that you want to use add-ons that are absolutely not compatible with v5. Thankfully that's now a pretty short list. Or you have a GPU that just can't run DX12 or that has <6GB VRAM. P3Dv5 is certainly capable of overwhelming your hardware no matter what spec you have - it's all a question of settings. But frankly you can say the same about 4.5 and every version before that. About the only true significant difference is the DX12 vs DX11 issue and that primarily hinges on whether you have a card that can do DX12.1 and how much VRAM you have. At lower settings, even 6GB should be fine although 8GB would be better. (I can maybe better understand the desire not to update from an already well-running 4.5 system. But even that is overly-cautious in my view when there are such dramatic performance gains to be made from moving to v5. And you can always run them side-by-side for a while.)
  13. To be honest with you, all TTS voices sound robotic and unrealistic to me. Fluid speech is important and mis-pronunciations take me out of it and are jarring. If VoxATC would provide the ability to use pre-recorded phraseology as well as SAPI voices, that would be huge (I appreciate with SAPI you can in theory make it say anything whereas with pre-recorded samples you have to have all the parts of speech that you need, but both PF3 and Pro-ATC/X do it passably well and VoxATC need not supply pre-recorded voices with the product, just the capability to use it - people could make their own as they have for Pro-ATC/X). Of course I'm sure it would be a big development job and unless their users were crying out for it - and I doubt they are - then there's little reason why they should. No ATC add-on available does everything I want. It's a shame. Every so often I think about writing one myself and then I realise that while I'm a good programmer I am not an air traffic controller 🙂
  14. I've been happy with Pro-ATC/X generally, but it's IFR only and there have been no bug fixes for 3 years as the sole dev had a bad accident. However, they recently resumed development work and a new release that fixes a lot of the problems is expected soon (it's in Beta now). I hope so, because I was on the verge of dropping it. It is very US-centric, though, the phraseology is inaccurate particularly for the UK where I fly most of the time. No allowance for diverting around weather, I just do it and ask for forgiveness later 🙂 I do very little VFR but I have PF3 installed also and I do use it for that - although TBH I've been dropping back to default ATC + EditVoicePack recently because while not particularly realistic, if you just want flight following it's OK as a minimum. I find PF3 overly complex. Its fans really love it but there's no Navigraph import and it doesn't know procedures, you have to add those manually to your flight plan. I've also bought Pilot2ATC and VoxATC but in both cases I tried them and didn't like them much. I like Pro-ATC/X's simple interface that can be controlled using the SimConnect menu. That suits my setup in my home cockpit. I'm superficially attracted to VoxATC's speech recognition but I hate hate hate the SAPI voices, I've never found a good one, IMHO pre-recorded voices are better (provided the recordings are good). Bear in mind that I'm not that bothered about strict procedural accuracy, I just like having to interact with something while I fly, so YMMV.
  15. Sure, and as I said I'd pay for an upgrade. I don't expect free upgrades for life or anything. But they have to update the product for vNext before you have that option. It's those companies that don't update for compatibility with the latest sim version at all (or for years), but don't retire the product and even do new versions for Certain Other Platforms That Shall Not Be Named that get my goat.
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