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About mtrainer

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  • About Me
    Flight Sims since the C64 to PDMG and everything inbetween. RC Aircraft Flyer. Flown a KC-10 Singer-Lync simulator twice at Barksdale AFB in Bossier City, Louisiana. B.S. in Computer Science in 1988 - Software Engineer for Fortune 100 firms ever since. Flown a Cessna a few times briefly.

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  1. Gottta agree with Noel here - you see what you're really doing is "future-proofing" your system. So go big as your budget allows. Ten years ago I spent a little extra to get a top of the line CPU (runs at 3 GHZ which was as good as it gets at the time) and 6 GB of memory, and a top of the line NVIDIA card (for it's time - forgot what it was) that has been replaced twice since with newer NVIDIA cards. The conventional thinking 10 years ago was, "6 GB! You're wasting your money. No game needs that." Well, to that I say, who gets 10 years out of a system anymore? And I'm a Software Engineer that used to build a new system for gaming every 18 I say go BIG so that you don't find yourself shorted in a few years and have to buy an all new system anyhow. I thought 6 GB was overkill but there are now FS games that recommend 8 GB out of the box....some even more.... Folks, don't buy new hardware that meets today's expectations if you plan to use the box for the next 5 years, buy it for what the software will demand in 5 years. Agreed, perhaps Prepar3D might not be able to leverage all the features TODAY, but you want something that can handle what they will be offering in Prepar3D V4.5, whenever that day comes. Or even V5. Crazy how people bash folks for buying "to much of a system" when it actually pays to "future-proof" your rig for the next 5 years. Mark Trainer
  2. Although my current system is not as "beefy" as yours, I do notice that Orbx Northern California Region does come with a frame rate hit. But it is beautiful....Until I build my "Mother Of All Computers" next spring, I'll be running, sadly, with somewhat reduced slider settings because frame rate stutters, and low frame rates (anything less than 10 is sheer pain), are a real immersion killer for me. Now and then I boot into FS9, and I can land like a greased monkey in that sim every time because the frame rates are a rock solid 60+ FPS (Frames Per Second). For those of you who haven't landed at 60 FPS- give it a go even if it means turning everything off - your control fidelity goes way up and you'll be landing like a boss every time. After all, when landing at an airport, what else besides the instruments and the runway are you are monitoring? Until I build my new system I am going to mostly stick with the stock Preapr3D airports. And although South America seems to be a low priority for LM, I will say this about their default airports - they are simple but the frame rates make up for it when pulling off that landing, many of which are slightly short fields for the PDMG 737. Why am I in South America? I'm taking this PDMG 737-800 from Everret Washington all the way to the South Pole, the Northernmost base. Just for the heck of it, one leg at a time...I haven't been south of the Equator to many times so I might as well go big or go home. I have no idea what I'll find when I get there. Every flight is detailed in an Excel Spreadsheet with one tab per flight hop, each with embedded airport diagrams, approach charts, and in-flight pictures. The livery I'm using for this deep southern journey into the Antarctic - Caribbean Airlines! Mark Trainer General "Buck" Turgidson: "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks."
  3. I've never seen an OOM so the jump to 64 bits, for me, is seen as simply "future-proofing" my system for when that day inevitably arrives. Buying add-on scenery is something I had never done in my flight simulator career (started with SubLogic Flight Simulator II in 1983) until the spring of last year when I acquired Prepar3DV3 and then I found I couldn't stop! I'm definitely upgrading to V4 but probably not right away. No compelling reason really at this point in time. And the plan is to take next year's tax refund and build the MOAC (Mother Of All Computers). I know we can count on NVIDIA to keep pushing the rock uphill between now and then, but I worry that Intel will still be in the same old sad place they've been in for years. The biggest thing I'm looking forward to in V4 is finding a sweet spot where I can get a better frame rate, even if I have to turn some sliders down. Stutters and slow frame rates are a total immersion killer for me. Mark Trainer "If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!"
  4. Well, in the spirit of killing time until it comes out and we get to read the release notes, here's my hopes: 1. 64 bit so we can continue to move into the future in add-on heaven (although I've never had a OOM - lucky I guess) 2. Frame rate improvement - don't care how it's done just optimize the CPU / GPU balance and get all of those cores working evenly, eliminate long frames, aka stutters 3. I don't expect ATC to improve much, it's such a huge area it practically requires a life / development team all of its own 4. Better camera system, I shouldn't need to buy 3rd party camera tools, it should come with the sim 5. AI traffic w. more realistic roll-outs, takes off, etc. It shouldn't require a 3rd part product for better AI traffic but realistically I'm not expecting this to change either. 6. Better selection of default airplanes for Pete's sake. The airplanes included with the product....anyone really use these? 7. NAVDATA updated so I can use real-life airport approaches and charts 8. Direct X 12 9. Higher resolution mesh (also shouldn't require 3rd party mesh but I do understand a detailed mesh for the world would make for a MEGA HUGE download....but hey give us the option. 10. A landing model that provides something in-between "ok, this was a bounce" vs. "sim stops and essentially says you're dead and resets". I know after 9-11 all the sims got touchy-feely on this one but how about letting us snap off a wheel, situations where real fire is involved, firetrucks to the scene too...guess we'll need to leave that to 3rd parties also - I'm looking for that package titled "crash physics" 11. Better auto-logging of hours spent in each plane, by tail number. 12. Of course real-time downloaded and dynamic weather, but I guess the add-ons got that covered nice though if all this add-on stuff was just part of the original sim. It's tough to get 5-7 major pieces of software to play nice. Best to have it all under one roof. 13. High Fidelity in the controls....I'd like to tone my joystick down even farther but the slider is already at the limit. They will know they have nailed it when I can pull up close enough to another aircraft as if I was setting up for a refueling situation. Nearly impossible with this sim. Well I think I'm forgetting a few things, but my hope is someday we won't need to many add-ons to round out the simulation. Thanks, Mark Trainer
  5. Yeah - this was cool - added it to favorites. It's a bit like though, and not as full-featured. Mark Trainer
  6. Agree with an earlier post on this thread; with enough effort, of course a complete port to X-Plane is indeed possible- but could require a LOT of code development outside the X-Plane code base, but obviously the legwork into what would be required to do so has been done here (analysis, cost-benefit ratio) and at the current time it simply doesn't make business sense to re-develop some of the complex simulations PDMG have put together. This is all it boils down to. Don't over analyze it. Most folks complaining don't understand the complexities of software engineering. It's not a simple re-write. Mark Trainer, Software Engineer since 1988
  7. I am looking forward to the DC-6 in a major way. I feel as if my navigation and flights to destinations using this aircraft will have more meaning; as opposed to punching in a Flight Plan and sitting back and watching the scenery ooze by. I also love all the round radial analog gauges, they rock! I will also purchase the -8, I love the way that plane looks, although I must admit I'm still mastering the latest reincarnation of the 747-400. It's an easy plane to hand fly but I do admit to being a little off-put that the VOR NAV radios are imbedded in the FMC vs. being stand alone. Old fashioned I know...but so much faster to just get in the air and do VOR to VOR station navigation vs. entering in all the waypoints from some other piece of software. Someone should develop an add-on that allows customizing the interior of the 747-8 into a tricked out BBJ.....and allow the perusing and exploring of such an interior. Sweetness indeed. Mark Trainer
  8. I feel that some of the success of failure of DTS will rely on the quality of their SDK they offer. A bad or non-existent Source Development Kit can make entry into a new sim a bear of a challenge. I suppose, with so many FSX based sims out there now, why we need yet another one (FSX boxed / FSX Steam, Prepar3D / ESP / and now DTS). While I'm no X-Plane Fan (and yes, purchased it several times over the years and even downloaded the free trial version of 11), I'd love to see some company out there with experience or interest in modeling a complete "Earth-Simulator", with the ability to fly an incredibly modeled airliner through this perfection of a mathematical simulation. It all begins with a simulation of the Earth, and the company that pulls that off will have the best Flight Simulator, hands down. But, it's a darn tall order. Mark Trainer
  9. As a long time computer user (my first PC was a Commodore 64 in 1983, also have a B.S. in CS), I have to say that ironically, the virus Detection Software that exists today actually exhibits many traits of the very software they try to eliminate - they are free until they detect a virus and then usually demand you pay money to buy the full version to extract the virus, they slow down your system by getting in front of every operation that occurs between the software you use and your disk drive, and also your software you use and the Internet, and are generally whiney pieces of software that always demand attention, money, and, just like a real virus, usually prevent you from running the perfectly valid software on your system. In the long term we need to hold Microsoft accountable for putting together a robust operating system that doesn't need 3rd party software on day one to keep it safe from infection. To expect to have to do this it plain ridiculous. Mark Trainer
  10. Our firm (Fortune 10 company) is looking into what we call a "continuous deployment model". This should take some of the risk out of what we call the "big bang releases". It's a bit daunting though because we're all ingrained in the old Waterfall development model, trying to go Agile, and for our department I'm the dude on the hook for figuring out this whole "continuous deployment" process. A high-level description, as told to me, is that the developer / QA team should be able to "hit the big red button" and the change will float right up to the production servers with no downtime or outages required. Our goal is 100% uptime. I have my work cut out for me! Good luck RR getting there is the hard part, but once established I'm sure we'll all be the better for it. Mark Trainer
  11. There is indeed a difference between a "simulation" and a "game". A game bends reality in ways to make the experience more enjoyable, and usually offers a structured path that rewards one for achieving goals, with the ultimate goal of "winning". A simulation, and the beauty of PDMG products is that it doesn't warp physics to make anything easier or more enjoyable, and doesn't even begin to list any clear objectives. In fact, it's up to you to set up the challenge you feel like tackling that day, be it low-level scenery watching, or a difficult approach into San Fran with poor visibility and borderline weather conditions. All the parameters from the simulation are taken from real-life, for better or worse. Simulations are ultimately more rewarding to me because you get to experiment with conditions and get answers to real-world "what-if" questions. A game won't do that- you're simply enjoying a construction of a reality defined by someone who setup the rules of the game. Well I've beat this dead horse enough, on to the original post: Mr. RR, keep up the good work. I love your products and as someone who grew up on Air Force bases looking at airplanes I have developed a deep love for all aircraft. And although I am a skilled C/C++ developer who would love to work at a firm such as yours, my skill set as of lately has taken me down the large firm banking route... In my opinion, DTG is going to be an asterisk in the long-term history of Flight Simulation. They will come in for a quick money grab and quickly fall off the radar of any serious simmer. The future looks bright, because of the incredible power of today and tomorrow's computers (my first professional sim I was allowed to fly was a Singer-Link KC-10 system at Barksdale AFB and the computer systems comprised the entire basement of the complex). Thanks, Mark Trainer
  12. Oh Boy, I had this problem same problem yesterday and it took up 5.5 hours of my Saturday researching it and trying various things. I'm a software developer why we don't have better error handling in these products is beyond me. It turns out, way to many things cause the application to simply fold up and go home, or disappear. How much effort to have try/catch blocks and simply throw up a dialog that says, "Hey I'm in [module name here] and his is what I was trying to do....". So I had to keep killing Prepar3D using the task manager before trying something new each time. I ran a virus scan, no luck, updated NVidia drivers, no luck, uninstalled EZDOK because the virus program called it a virus, no luck there, preformed a "repair" option on the AcedemicClient.msi file in remove/install programs, then re-installed the AcedemicClient.msi file using a slightly newer one from Loockheed's web site, no help there. My real breakthrough though was to go into the event logger right after the initial splash screen would disappear. There was a message in there at the time of the splash screen disappearing (you gotta dig, MS didn't make this easy) related to an "incompatible simconnect" file (or something to that effect) finally a darn I go to add/remove programs and uninstalled all of those buggers thinking that really there only should have been one and that they were somehow stepping all over themselves, removing them one at a time and trying over and over again, didn't help and finally removed ALL of them- and after than I could get then sim to load up but all the gauges were black and most of the add-ons were broken. At least now I knew I was on to something, so I went back to Dr. Google and started reading about simconnect issues. So, long story short you do indeed need several versions of those ######s. So do this: go to control panel and remove every darn thing that has simconnect in its name. Then you may want to reboot for good measure. Toss some salt over your shoulder. Mutter a prayer and cross your fingers. Then in your Prepar3D folder find a subfolder in there called redist\Interface, for me it is here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\redist\Interface In this folder you want to run the .msi files by right clicking each one and select "install", do it for just these listed here and in this order: C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\redist\Interface\ESPv1 C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\redist\Interface\FSX-RTM\retail\lib C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\redist\Interface\FSX-SP1\retail\lib C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\redist\Interface\FSX-SP2-XPACK\retail\lib This worked for me and I had the same symptoms you do. After doing some generic googling on simconnect I have come to learn it may be a very useful piece of software but after what I went though yesterday I'm less than impressed. It has driven some folks who didn't understand their issue to reformat their hard drive, reload the OS, reload Prepar3D, all the add-ons.....if I had to do that I'd be busy for days getting everything put back so for me I actually had a happy ending but getting there was no fun. Having a significant investment in both hardware and software just to have your sim curl up its toes and go bye-bye without so much as an error message is depressing beyond belief. I hope this is your issue to and this works for you, I'd like to think those 5 hours might help someone else out too. If this doesn't help, at least poke around the event logger for a clue, it's your only hope Obe-Won. Good luck, Mark Trainer
  13. Oh My....all those analog gauges....I love it! I'd be proud to master this aircraft, and hope to do so one day. So much more to do here than watching the FMC count down to the next waypoint. Mark Trainer
  14. Just get the monthly subscription for version 3 for now, and then when 4 comes out (hopefully soon) you can pay for the full version of Prepar3D 4.0. Mark Trainer
  15. Hello Fellow Simmers, I now have a throttle that splits the thrust between engines on the NGX 737, but even with the pin removed (It's a ThrustMaster Warthog) to allow separate application of throttle for each engine I can't seem to make it work...both engines spool this even possible given the limitations of the Preard3D base as inherited from Flight Simulator? Advancing one thrust level causes both engines to spool up. It's certainly not a deal breaker and the conditions upon which one needs asymmetrical thrust are rare; but if it is simple a setup issue I'd love to sort it out. (On an unrelated note- flying across South America has made me realize there is a large opportunity here for someone to render this huge region properly - it's the next big untapped area to be utilized). Thanks, Mark Trainer (Exploring South America but residing in Chicago....go figure)