There may be a delay in the schedule for the new website due to a site move. Might still make it on time, but if not, you know why.
There will be no further additions to the website in its current form. I have found a format that I like for the redesign (with a few edits necessary, but its close enough) and will concentrate on getting that up and running. I'm a bit out of practise with the old HTML, so it may take a short while, but it will be up by the new year - might even change it on New Years Day.
I'll continue to upload videos to my YouTube channel, though.
Now that people have seen what can be done with the kneeboard, a lot more relevant utilities are being released and i think it may be time to stop releasing up dates for the KIF utility. I'll leave the files on Dropbox in the usual place and publicly accessable, and if I do make any more pages for myself, they will be uploaded, too - such as for the forthcoming DCS Spitfire - but it won't be a priority. I am looking at doing some similar work for FSX and P3D. Just simple checklists for the kneeboard, but vital if you fly several aircraft, or the more complicated or extensive checklists. We'll see how that goes - I've spent nowhere near enough time in my civvy sims lately, and I want to put that right.
Between now and the end of the year, I'm expecting some accessories to turn up, that will enhance my VR experience (this week, actually) and next week the Oculus Touch controllers should arrive. Whilst these are not yet fully implemented in flight sims, I hope they will be very soon. More exciting times for simmers. I also want to look deeper into the truck simulators and possibly train simulator, which I've had for over 2 years, but never really did much with. ArmA 3 desperately needs more attention, and I really wish I had more time for it - ArmA 2 was so much fun and I feel I haven't even finished with that, yet. Not to mention Rise of Flight - which I recently reinstalled and started configuring - and the huge collection of campaigns I have downloaded for Strike Fighters 2. I'm hoping to try Rise of Flight and Strike Fighters 2 in 3D using TriDef and the Rift.
So much to do, so little time.
If I don't post again beforehand, a merry Christmas to my visitors - please come back next year for a much better website, dedicated to more than 'just' flight simming!
I was fairly excited on hearing from Just Flight some time ago, that they were planning to release a Hawker Siddeley 748. It has just been released and I have to say, from the promotional picturesand video, that I am very disappointed. This looks even worse than the Viscount - at least that looked very reasonable, externally. This is an old fave of mine in real life, and I've had the privilige and pleasure of having a "jolly" in the 'sister version, an Andover C.1 that was doing engine failure training at RAF Wildenrath in the '80's. Rick Piper's FS9 version is absolutely outstanding - especially for a freeware model. It received an FSX update a few years ago, by a 3rd party, but I can't say I was too keen on that - I just kept 'flying' the original FS9, with the necessary hacks to get it working in FSX. I also recently tested it for FlyInside in the Oculus Rift, using P3Dv3, and though it has many 2D gauges, it was still well worth the effort and I look forward to continue to fly it in that sim. There is no way that I will pay £24.99 for the JF model - though I may pick it up if it ever goes on sale, depending on how much it gets reduced. Very disappointed.
The Mirage 2000C kneeboard files can be downloaded HERE
The latest complete KIF utility can be downloaded HERE
My new CH Pro throttle has arrived and it seems really great. Just got to get those assignment profiles sorted. Oh - and I'll be buying the Fighter Stick to make up the CH Pro HOTAS as soon as I can.
It will be another day or two before the Mirage 2000C KIF update will be ready. I've been too busy flying the missions to test them. This evening I have been testing in VR and as I was just discussing with the mission designer, the Mirage 2000 is really incredible in VR. In the Rift, it just looks so much better than any of the other modules - more realistic, really as if you are sat in a real Mirage cockpit. VR is a huge step for simulators and it will only get better.
My Thrustmaster TWCS throttle didn't turn up yesterday, despite being shown at 01:00 as being due delivery on time from Amazon, but not yet despatched. About 09:00 that changed to "it isn't coming and we don't know when it will". So I looked around the 'net and found that no retailers in the UK have them, yet, so obviously a manufacturer issue. I have instead ordered the CH Pro throttle, which costs twice as much, but I think I will be much happier with, anyway. After years of using top-notch HOTAS I was unsure about the quality of the TM TWCS throttle, but was willing to risk it, as the sliding axis appealed to me. The CH Pro has a sliding throttle axis, too, though it doesn't slide as much. It does have many other input options, though, and that is important to me, now that I am flying in VR most of the time. A total of 174 input assignments on just the throttle, so can't complain about that. I will no doubt buy the CH stick at some stage in the future, too.
I have decided that the new website will include DCS World articles. I fly it more than anything else, so it's pointless trying to leave them out. Yes, from time to time they are going to upset me, but what the hell. If I'm not prepared to give them up altogether, then I shouldn't be leaving them off the site. It won't be a DCS based website by any stretch, though. Right, off to watch the auntumn internationals - Wales v Japan. Come on, you Welshmen!
Well, I've spent the last few days testing the soon to be released Mirage 2000C training missions and I don't think I have ever flown so many missions in such a short time. It's just a final check before signing off sort of thing, and thankfully, there weren't many bugs and mistakes present. Even better, I'm not the one who has to fix them! I've also recently started a small group for enthusiastic virtual pilots to fly together online, without any kind of formal structure or rules. I uploaded a couple of videos of myself and Anthony dipping our toes into multiplayer air to air ops a week or so ago, and we've now been joined by Ed and Karsten. If anyone else is interested in joining the group you can send me a mail via the link on the left. Most of us have most of the modules, so there's someone to share ideas and learn with.
I am undecided about the scale modelling section of the website. I still have a large "stash" of kits, waiting to be built, but the finished products are becoming less and less impressive. It's not because I'm not as keen as previously, in fact, I'm not sure why it's become like that at all. Age, probably. Maybe because I'm not dedicating as much time to it as I once did. So I've been considering removing the model section when I update the website. Maybe I'll just make it an archived section and make it clear that nothing will be added. When it first started, there was a lot more to it, with step-by-step build reports and a techniques and tips section and such like. Now I don't do it often enough to justify having those, and if the models turn out to be not presentable, there is little point in continuing to keep it as an active part of the website.
The Mirage 2000C KIF update is nearly ready. I had pretty much completed it (so I thought...) a few days ago, but I keep finding things to add to it, or different procedures that essentially do the same thing, and trying to form one logical progression through the various tasks. I expect to have it completed and uploaded by the end of the weekend.
My faithful G940 is starting to show its age. The throttle was causing me all kinds of grief whilst testing the M2k lessons. I've ordered the new Thrustmaster TWCS sliding throttle, which should be released and arrive tomorrow. I don't think it will be up to the kind of standard of controller I have become used to, but it looks like it will perform the job well enough. I'm still reeling from the loss of so many switch options the Warthog HOTAS offered - especially in VR. The plan, then, was to use voice commands. Now that I am flying online regularly, though, using voice commands has become more problematic. Especially as we use Discord for voice comms to each other, with has no PTT function (so an open mic at all times). All of this is not an issue when using a monitor - you can build away to your heart's content and have up to a complete cockpits' worth of panels to assign the various commands to. In VR, it's a completely different story. Such are the challenges of our 'technologically advanced' times! Sigh....
I finally got around to editing and uploading the VCol Shorts 360 video in VR. The shortcomings are very obvious and it's a real shame, but I suppose there is always the PAD Shorts models, even if they are also a bit plain in the VC, they are at least free. I really wouldn't recommend buying the VCol Shorts series in their current state - they badly need the gauge glass sorting out. Here's the video, anyway: https://youtu.be/bGyf2yMxy54
DCS have allowed me to gift the modules I had bought to the person I bought them for. This has resolved the issue in that regard, but I'm still very unhappy with the way this has been done, and it's not the first time, as long-term visitors to this website will know - all DCS content has been removed twice before in the past 5 years, with me eventually relenting after a few months in both those cases.
Thanks to the fantastic response from the virtual pilots who use the Kneeboard Information Files utility, I have decided to leave the last version on Dropbox HERE. It may get updated when I add future content for my own use.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to doing more testing of Prepar3D v3 models in FlyInside and uploading the videos to YouTube. I have one waiting, but it's the second one where I was very disappointed with a particular model and I am unsure whether I should upload it or not. I don't like uploading videos with negative stuff in them, but I suppose I am critical of channels that only ever sing the praises of products, so I should probably rethink and get it on the channel. It's the VCol Shorts S360 (well, pretty much the whole Shorts series) and though the video was recorded in VR, it is just as bad in 2D on a monitor. The VC is okay, but the reflections on the gauge glass are really awful. Regardless of light, angle, etc - the same reflection image, which is so dense, it can be difficult to read the gauges from any distance - even at night! I'll see about uploading it tomorrow...
BTW, I'm also looking at a different layout for the website, seeing as things are changing now.
Eagle Dynamics/DCS have changed their policy regarding the transfer of codes from one account holder to another. Seems this was done on 1st November. The problem is that they didn't bother to make this public knowledge (not in a way any normal customer or account holder is going to notice in any case - a post in an out of the way part of their forum is insufficient). Despite this, the interface for gifting or binding activation codes has been left on the account page, so that it appears as if nothing has changed - it's only when you attempt to give someone else the code that you find out you can't. And even then, no info is given, nor even any kind of statement that it is disabled. I've just wasted a load of money that I can't afford to waste, buying modules for someone that I now cannot give away - I'm stuck with them, even though I already have them.
If this is the case, why, when you click on the module to buy it, are you not informed that you cannot give it away? They tell you that you have bought it already - so they know you will have an extra one that you are stuck with, but let you pay for another one anyway. I feel really conned.
I am extremely angry at the moment, so I will wait until tomorrow, but I am feeling like removing everything to do with these people from the website, and deleting all the stuff I have uploaded to their user files section and to LockOnFiles, and never purchasing anything from them again. I'll keep using what I have - not to would be no skin off their noses, but they don't get another cent from me, nor will I encourage anyone else, in any way, to buy their software. Yet another kick in the bollocks move by this company.
In fact, sod it - it's gone and I won't be posting anything else about DCS World. I know that's where most of the site visitors come from, and my apologies to them, but future articles and any guides on this website will be for other simulations and games. You can thank Eagle Dynamics for their usual Stalinesque approach.
After some small issues and quite a few BSODs (remember them?) I will have to strip and thoroughly clean my PC. I'm looking at succumbing to Win 10 - ugh! I hate even mentioning it! However, it would be for the good of my Oculus Rift. I have found all the info on getting the things I don't want uninstalled or disabled, so hopefully, if I do end up going that way, I won't regret it too much.
So the site may remain without updates for a week or two, as that would mean reinstalling everything from scratch, to avoid issues. If I thought Win 10 was good, I'd be there already, like I was with Vista and the Windows 7 RC. I don't, but don't get me started on that!
I've finished testing and I will now be concentrating on getting the new 'mod' done - putting the guides and checklists onto the kneeboard for all modules (except the two Luftwaffe WWII aircraft, which I don't own and have no interest in). The mod will be called "KIF" - for Kneeboard Information Files.
Having a bad week with health issues, so things are moving slowly here.
The process for loading flights for use with FlyInside and Air Hauler 2 with Prepar3D has become much easier as the flight file is now easier to find. I have updated the guide with the new procedure.
I've uploaded a second video of testing with FlyInside, using the Oculus Rift VR headset and Prepar3D v3, this time flying the Flight1 BN-2 Islander, which is excellent in VR. It is available to view on my YouTube channel, HERE.For some reason, recording doesn't work every time in VR, even though it is still just recording the normal monitor output, allbeit at a strange resolution. The good thing is that I am getting on much better with my new video editor (Movavi Video Suite) than I did with the last one (Arcsoft Showbiz 5).
I have uploaded the first of my test videos from Prepar3D v3 and FlyInside in the Oculus Rift: https://youtu.be/zF93yV-Eqkk