Sunday, October 22, 2017

New vLSO release - WIP report

Guys,
I've been working on a new vLSO version for almost a year now. This gonna be a major update with lots of new features, among which the most significant is real interaction with some OLS installed on carriers and ashore. Yes, at last virtual LSO gets his virtual pickle switch!

vLSO will be able to engage waveoff and cut lights on carriers and FCLP trailers created by RFN and Simworks Studios. Moreover, future aircraft carriers and shore OLS built by any developer using Simworks SDK will be compatible with vLSO out of the box.

I hope that the ability to control OLS will bring carrier ops to a whole new level and make them as real as possible. ;-)

Not sure about ETA, but it is safe to assume 1 or 2 months, I guess...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

P3D v4, Unicode and vLSO

Guys,

As I posted earlier, the new Prepar3D version features Unicode support. I modified my FSchecker proggy so it now supports Unicode. You can try it to make sure it works well on your systems with P3D v4 installed.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Prepar3D v4 and vLSO

Guys,

As you know, another version of Prepar3D has been released some days ago. The most significant change is the 64-bit architecture (yes, they finally did it!).

The Prepar3D v4 release brings many exciting changes and enhancements to the platform. This new release completely changes the simulation landscape with a comprehensive baseline update to a 64-bit architecture. Higher resolution visuals, more objects, increased data precision, larger scenarios, and improved performance are now all possible at levels never seen before in the product’s history. The sky’s not the limit!
Additionally, the Prepar3D v4 release brings dynamic lighting, rain/snow particles, global 3D trees, increased autogen draw distances, a fully reworked software development kit (SDK), new default vehicles, and an extensive list of other features and improvements.

A new P3D v4 feature worth mentioning is its Unicode compatibility. FSX and previous P3D versions use ASCII character set, or 1 byte per 1 character. The new P3D version uses Unicode, or 2 bytes per 1 character. As far as I know, all INI/CFG files in P3D v4 are Unicode now. This is a problem for vLSO, because it reads such files as ASCII.

Also, according to the SDK of P3D v4, its SimConnect client uses wide strings for entity/object names. Wide strings are actually Unicode strings, i.e. those 2 bytes per 1 character, and this is another problem for vLSO...

Considering all this, the implementation of v4 support will require additional time and effort. It's challenging. But doable, I believe 😉

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.8

Ok guys,

Another update is ready:

  • Added support for SimObjects folders, placed outside of the main FSX folder (not tested in Prepar3d, though)
  • Corrected conditions for CASE III miles callouts
  • Corrected conditions for CASE I LSO calls

Monday, January 16, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.7

Guys,

Here's a new build of vLSO.

Two RFN aircraft added as supported by default.

Some bugs fixed (incorrect add/remove of logbook records). Thanks to Michel and other guys from RFN for reporting this bug!

And, as always, read the manual 😉

Friday, January 13, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.6

Friday 13...

Time for a new build - 0.9.8.6

Two bugfixes:

  • Correct detection of changed CASE conditions during a flying session
  • Correct altitude detection when flying above water bodies (seas, lakes, ponds etc.)
Thanks to Scott Gray and Matt Thiffault for reporting these bugs!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.5

Guys,

From now on each new vLSO build/release will be distributed as an installer, not as a ZIP file.

No more unzipping, copy and paste... Just run the installer, point it to a folder of your choice and in a few moments a new version will be ready to use. All the necessary files will be right there. You can even install it into an existing folder - all your settings and logbook files will remain intact. Cool, eh?.. 😎

This setup makes no changes to the registry, so to uninstall vLSO just delete its entire folder!

Apart from that, in this version CASE III redundant 'Paddles contact' bug has been fixed.

And don't forget to read the manual...

Happy flying!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.4

Guys,

At last I managed to nail a nasty 'Access violation' bug, reported by many Windows 10 users. I initially thought that somethig very Windows 10 specific caused that bug... Well, long story short, it was FSX Steam Edition. 😕

If installed on a computer along with FSX and/or Prepar3D, this version works just fine. But when deployed on a clean machine (no flightsims ever installed), FSX:SE uses registry keys and certain folders and files, specific to FSX. My program mistakenly tried to open FSX:SE config files at non-existent locations, which caused that 'Access violation' error. I don't have the slightest idea why Dovetail guys decided to do that, but their decision definitely added some grey to my hair (and to many other simmers', according to numerous topics on devs forums).

I am grateful to Michel Raemy and Matt Thiffault for their assistance and help in searching and debugging this error.

Also, in this version the 'Use real WOD calls' switch is now functional.

The next version will feature its own installer. No more manual unzipping and copy/pasting! 😎

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.3

Guys,

Finally I got rid of the CHM help format which brought more pain than gain. Back to good old PDF! :-)
Please bear in mind that the manual is still WIP so feel free to suggest and critisize.

Also, as a minor tweak, an average flight deck outline has been added to the debriefing chart. Average means average, because flight deck heights vary from carrier to carrier.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Update to 0.9.8.2

Guys,

Just one major bugfix - the callsign didn't save upon changing it. Thanks to Robert "Axe" Timberlake!

And a few minor changes here and there...