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Wednesday
Apr222009

FSBreak 13: Orbiter Space Simulator, X-Plane Impressions, FSDreamTeam McCarran, and More!

Hosted by Eric McClintock, Richard, Mark, and Adam.

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FSDreamTeam's Las Vegas McCarran

Features:

  • Fully customized ground and runways in high resolution, both in FSX and FS9
  • Animated custom ground vehicles.
  • Full 3d taxiways lighting.
  • Improved Night Effects
  • High resolution building textures.
  • NEW ParkMe™ feature: working SafeGate docking systems with automatic airplane recognition, and parking accuracy evaluation ( FSX only )
  • NEW YouControl™ feature: custom airport actions with easy on-screen menu to trigger animations, events,etc ( FSX only )

You can try a free timed trial for free, and the full version can be unlocked for 22.90 EUR, or ~$30.00 USD. Upon purchasing, you get a serial code that works for both the FS9 and FSX version. [Link]

Carenado Releases PA28RT 201 Arrow IV for FS9

As covered in Episode 10, Carenado has reworked the aircraft to support FS9. It is available separate from the FSX version at a stand alone cost of $27.95 USD. [Link]

Heli Traffic 2009 Also Updated for FS9...

Heli Traffic 2009 is the first Flight Simulator add-on that adds realistic AI helicopters that take off and land vertically, fly like helicopters and use helipads and not runways. This innovative product brings it's own AI engine that fully controls AI helicopters, instead of relying on FS to fly them. This allows a much greater degree of control, which translates into a realistic helicopter flight behavior...

Heli Traffic 2009 also allows you to create your own helicopter flight plans, and now has been updated to support FS9...

Price: $24.95 [Link]

Adaptive Lighting in FSX?

It sounds incredible, but it really works (NVidia card needed, newer models only 9xxx and later, probably 8xxx as well - couldn’t test it on ATI, you’ll have to try yourself): This little .dll adds HDR to FSX in DX9 - without noticeable impact on framerates (at least on newer cards). It’s the same effect you see in Half Life, for example, and it mimics the eye’s adaption to bright light and darkness. All you have to do is to open the archive, copy the DLL and the ini-file into your FSX directory and start up FSX to see the effect. What happens is that colors become more vivid, the image is less flat and it now makes a difference if you look into the direction of the sun or away from it. Even during the night, it adds more realism. The effect works windowed or in full screen. Be careful, you might become addicted to it.

If you have the “affinity mask” setting in your fsx.cfg, you should take it out in order to keep high frame rates. To see the dll in action, have a look at this clip on youtube:

You can find more info via SimFlight [Link] or YouTube [Link].

More X-Plane Links & First Discussions

www.XPJets.com - Excellent X-Plane 777

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

www.freeworld-airways.com - X-Plane Virtual Airways.

X-Plane Flight Planner, Now in 4th Edition, www.xpgoodway.com

The OpenSceneryX project is a free to use library of scenery objects for X-Plane v8.50 and above. It is a collaborative effort by members of the X-Plane.org community and the aim is to provide a good range of high quality scenery components for authors to use in their scenery packages - www.opensceneryx.com

www.xsquawkbox.net - Directory for Plugins, SDK's, and online resources for X-Plane.

www.petersaircraft.com - Great PayWare A330 Model, ~$19.00 USD.

Orbiter - A Free Space Simulator

Orbiter is a closed source freeware space flight simulator for the Windows operating system. The first version was released on November 27, 2000 and is an ongoing project with the latest version 060929 released on September 29, 2006. Orbiter was created by Martin Schweiger, Ph.D, a Senior Research Fellow at University College London. [Link] Great Resources:

  • Full Orbiter Links Page [Link]
  • Be sure to download OrbiterSound 3.5, and the DeltaGliderIV [Link]

Mark also recommends "Go Play in Space" by Bruce Irving for easy to understand usage instructions. Download the E-Book here. [Link]

Screenshots:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Picks

Eric: Fraps video capture. [Link] Mark: GameBooster - Cut the crap and speed up your games. [Link] Adam: Flight Deck Sound Effects [Link] Richard: Flight Terrain [Link]

Emails

CPU Cache Lesson from Jason

Cache memory is used by the CPU to store the more frequently accessed memory blocks closer to the CPU to reduce memory access latency. The reason this is necessary is that although CPU speed have increased over the years, memory access speed has not kept up to CPU speeds. Without the CPU cache memory, the CPU would be continuously waiting for memory making the system very slow even with a very fast CPU. As the speed of the CPU increases, the cache memory should be increased as well. In addition to speed increases, as more cores are added, the cache memory should be increased as well. In the case of the Intel processors, the cache memory is shared amongst the cores (although I'm not certain about how the new core i7 CPUs are architected - it may be different in these chips). On the AMD chips, the cache memory is independent. I suspect that the reason why Intel CPUs seem to perform better than AMD CPUs in certain tests might be directly related to how the cache is architected. Because of the shared architecture on Intel, if one core fetches a memory block and caches it, another core may request the same block and fetch it from cache memory instead of Main memory, making the request much faster. In the case of AMD, where the caches are independent, if one core fetches a memory block and caches it, the other core cannot simply access the cache memory from the other core and must make a direct memory access. All of this might have changed with the i7 as I understand much of the memory architecture on the i7 is actually closer in design to how AMD and Sun SPARC processors are designed with each core having a memory management unit instead of a shared memory bus which was the case in the older Intel processor design.

 

Jason is looking for a good 7XX Series Plane

Do any of you have any recommendations for a good Boeing 7 series payware airliner? I've have the Captain Sim 757 which is nice visually but eats a lot of frames there are also a few nasty bugs (crashing FSX - known problem) with the product that keep it parked in the hanger for the time being. I'm using FSX and I've heard good things about the 747 but that plane is probably too much plane for me right now. A good 737/757 would be ideal. If PMDG had ported their 737 to FSX, I'd be buying that but they still have not ported it over. I've also played around with the Project Open Sky planes. These are freeware planes which are very nice - the 777 is probably one of the best I've seen. The only downside that I can see with these planes is that lack of a FMC.

Adam and Mark both recommend the Wilco Pilot-In-Command 737. [Link]

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