• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Mentor Wanted, I'll do the homework :)

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Hi,

I have some projects I would like to do for FSX and P3D. I know I can seek for some things to be developed, but I would like to learn how to do it myself. I was a "dinosaur" from Y2K fame as a COBOL/DB2/CICS programmer. Ah, the days of having to type out punch cards and wait six hours for the printout that showed the program crashed and the memory dump (anyone remember those?). Eventually, I migrated to the green-on-black monochrome terminal, but I digress. LOL As you can tell, I am no youngster. This is a serious request for some guidance. In fact, the "code" in "codetrucker" comes from my programming background.

I have tried to look at the various tools like XMLTools, Simconnect, etc., but all my searches reveal only articles and manuals. Can someone point me to the downloads, if any? For all I know, they might be hiding on my laptop somewhere, but I haven't found any yet.

WARNING! Well, maybe not so much a warning as a heads-up. The fact is I have a gimpy noodle. My short-term memory may cause me to ask the same question more than once. Aye, I try to keep a log of what transpires to prevent any inconvenience to my mates, but this doesn't always work. Another issue is my health will crater from time to time. As a result, there may be times when I won't be too productive, but so far, I have been bouncing back pretty quick. I wanted any potential mentors to know the real deal. I'll be happy to push the cart if I can find someone who wants to steer. ;)

So, any takers? Feel free to PM if you have any questions. I want to learn this flightsim programming, gauge creation, etc. I am not looking for a handout or a quick fix. I am looking for someone who wants to invest in a willing student. Lastly, I can't make any promises, but some of my ideas are marketable. Whoever helps me get there will be remembered in "tangible" currency. I never forget to be grateful to those who give me a boost. :)

Thanks,
CT
 

F747fly

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Hi CT,
I am sure someone will be willing to take you under their virtual wings. I'd offer it but I'm only capable of teaching some elementary stuff regarding 3D modelling. The guys who do more gauge programming will probably be better at helping you. I am sure that if uou you keep up the motivation the people here will be delighted to have you.
 

Heretic

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Getting a mentor is aksing a bit much, since 99+% of people on here have their hands full at any time.
So teaching yourself is the best course of action, using what resources are available on FSDev and the flightsim parts of the web plus a lot of trial and error. Learning how to dig for, and finding, said info is one of the most crucial skills for a developer.
Digging through the gauges subforum can be a good start. And consulting the SDK documentation.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526948.aspx
 

Heretic

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Hence the "gauges" subforum. I seem to remember that Ronald posted an extensive set of useful links not too long ago.
 

n4gix

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It does help to have someone who can direct you in your digging though....Especially in the early stages.
Amen to that! Were it not for the patience of many of the "old hands" I wouldn't have even known what questions to ask...

On the other tentacle however, I did spend hours and hours reading the posts fifteen or so years ago in the Free Flight Design, AVSIM and FlightSim forums... :coffee:
 
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Makes me want to shout out to Justin Tyme, where-ever he may be. He served this role for me in the early days of terrain modeling. Hope you are doin ok Justin.
 
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73
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Getting a mentor is asking a bit much since 99+% of people on here have their hands full at any time.
So teaching yourself is the best course of action, using what resources are available on FSDev and the flightsim parts of the web plus a lot of trial and error. Learning how to dig for, and finding, said info is one of the most crucial skills for a developer.
Digging through the gauges subforum can be a good start. And consulting the SDK documentation.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526948.aspx
Hi Bjoern,

I fully agree! Unfortunately, my efforts I have tried for multiple years only netted a small windshield HUD fuel data display gauge. The fact is my noodle has become a bit gimpy at my present age of 59. Sometimes I can argue quantum physics and others I can't remember what I was saying. It does me no good to look at a bunch of threads because my brain gets overloaded and I lock up and just stare at the screen. It's almost like epilepsy but isn't.

FWIW - I was something of a "dinosaur" of Y2K fame. Besides being trained in Assembler and PL1, I was on a Y2K Task Force for COBOL and worked with DB2 and CICS (my favorite). I was a PC tech and a Cisco network tech at Raytheon. Once, I was able to support the 2200 node network all by myself because the rest got fired. I couldn't do that anymore. I did teach myself VB4 and been working on Runrev LiveCode and am trying to teach myself Python. So, believe me, if I could teach myself like I used to, I would be happy to do it. I wish I could. It is very frustrating to look at something you used to be quite good at and can't remember. It is like needing training wheels again after being a competitive cyclist. FYI - All the doctors told me was "they don't know?" But, there was a neurologist who told me "the cotton-cloth insulated wires in the walls of your old house are becoming frayed and you are beginning to short circuit." But, life is what it is and no sense crying.

I hope you never have to deal with this malady. FYI - I usually am not in the habit of explaining myself, but I wanted to let you see my need is real. Lastly, if I can learn this stuff I will be able to help others in the future. :)

Take care,
CT

PS - Someone has offered to help, so I no longer need anyone else. Now, if you excuse me I have some homework reading to do. LOL
 

Heretic

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I fully agree! Unfortunately, my efforts I have tried for multiple years only netted a small windshield HUD fuel data display gauge.

If I look back at my first contributions to the add-on world, I seriously wonder why they are still out in the libraries. And they sure as hell weren't as sophisticated as a HUD fuel data display.

The thing is to take one step at a time. Think modular, just like a network.
 

n4gix

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If I look back at my first contributions to the add-on world, I seriously wonder why they are still out in the libraries.
Oh my, looking back at my first contribution to the FS community, I am surprised as well! :laughing:

Original FS9 project at Flightsim.com:
https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/fslib.php?searchid=59516776
Name: tb20gt_1.zip
Size: 10,316,339 Date: 11-24-2002 Downloads: 15,839

The updated FS2004 project at AVSIM:
Filename: tb20_v2.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 27th May 2010, 20:48:02
Downloads: 31540
Author: Fr. Bill Leaming, Factory Aircraft Rebuilders
Size: 9627kb
 
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If I look back at my first contributions to the add-on world, I seriously wonder why they are still out in the libraries. And they sure as hell weren't as sophisticated as a HUD fuel data display.
Unfortunately, I can't recall how I did it and I have lost the file.

The thing is to take one step at a time. Think modular, just like a network.
Good advice! I coded in COBOL/CICS the same way. Lots of neat tricks in CICS. The wow factor of CICS was a network of 30,000 teminals could be handled by one small mainframe according to some CICS pros. If anyone has ever made a purchase at Sears, Montgomery Ward or any other store in the 70s-90s where the items stacked up transactions an a 9" monochrome screen (cash register), then you have seen CICS in action, but that wasn't the magic. The screen elements (fields and variables?) had three attributes: "Dark,' "Dim" and "Bright." While the screen was fairly small one will recall there was lots of dark area or light if the black/white was reversed. The fact is those "Dark" areas were filled with data fields defined as "Dark" which were invisible. When a terminal entry button was entered the process went like this...
  1. Data is queued and sent to mainframe.
  2. Transaction triggers the program.
  3. Program reads the data from what was on the screen, including the "Dark" fields.
  4. CPU processes the data.
  5. The new visible and invisible data is queued.
  6. Program is shutdown.
  7. New data is sent to the cash register screen for display.
Anytime there would have been a change on the screen the above process was performed. Additional transactions would be queued and so, you can see why the single small mainframe with only 4MBs of RAM would be able to do the job. The fun part was creating how to use the screen real estate. There are actually very few variables available in CICS, but the use of the "Dark" attribute on variable fields (which the programmer could define) expanded it greatly. It made for a fun place to code. All of us programmers would have our own pet methodology, but we did share.

I won't bore you with more details, but we were using OOP in COBOL before it was ever given that moniker. Special days!
 
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In high school I learned Basic, which I still think is a great language. In 1983 I programmed a flight simulator (control panel and map; no scenery for the HP85 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_series_80 )

I was an engineer so I learned Fortran…with punch cards. Then I was a Navy officer at the Naval Postgraduate School, so I learned Ada…which nobody uses anymore.

Now I’m a bonafide FS developer, but, I’m not an aircraft developer…unless you like to fly airplanes that appear to be a cross between a tortoise and a pregnant guppy, then I’m your man.

I do scenery–airfields, buildings, aircraft bunkers, some boats/ships–and missions. All of which have applications. I use gMax (which marks me as an “old timer”), Paintshop Pro & Photoshop, ADE1.70 (sorry Scruffyduck, I just haven’t got around to installing 1.75 yet), SBuilderX, and FSX Mission Editor. I use Ino to make my installers. Then there are all the cats-and-dogs apps that come with the SDK plus a few more like AIBTC (ship traffic)

A long way to say that, other than a bit of Pascal for advanced Ino functions, I stay away from actual coding. Which, unless cockpit building is your passion, you might want to consider. I have nothing but praise and admiration for the airplane and cockpit/gauge folks because, to me, that is some extremely difficult stuff that they do, and do well!

Re mentoring: In a large way, this entire site is a mentor. When I have a question, I first do an exhaustive forum search. Sure it takes a bit of hunting but well worth it as you pick up other tidbits of knowledge along the way. If I do ask a question, I usually include what I have already found in my searches…that way we aren’t asking the same questions over-and-over again.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Oops! Gimpy Noodle Alert...
I woke up this morning remembering my first gauge was not a fuel display, but a VR, V1, V2 and Flaps Position Alert HUD (just red text in the windscreen) based on MTOW, Fuel and Payload weights. I only did it for FS9. I didn't have FSX installed.
It was table-based and did continuous look-up and comparison. Then it displayed the data on the windscreen.
It was lost when I did a "Format C:" and did not have it backed up. I lost some other important data too. Ever seen a grown man cry? :(
Sorry for the confusion.
 
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...
Re mentoring: In a large way, this entire site is a mentor. When I have a question, I first do an exhaustive forum search. Sure it takes a bit of hunting but well worth it as you pick up other tidbits of knowledge along the way. If I do ask a question, I usually include what I have already found in my searches…that way we aren’t asking the same questions over-and-over again.
Nice resume! Hmm... I don't tend to handle searches well (info overload), but on my better days... I'll keep this in mind. I like the way you put that. :)
 

n4gix

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It was lost when I did a "Format C:" and did not have it backed up. I lost some other important data too. Ever seen a grown man cry? :(
Sorry for the confusion.
Yes, I've been that man! You remember what deltree *.* /y will do, right? :rotfl:

Many decades ago while a sophomore at Edison Community College (now part of the University of Florida), I took COBOL, Fortran IV, and RPG during the same semester. All three were taught by the same professor, so he and I got a lot of "face time" during classes as I was the only student who took all three courses simultaneously.

For our final project for the semester (60% of our grade!) he assigned the same essential project for all three classes. Flowchart and then code a comprehensive "Golf Course Management" program.

Being the lazy git I was at the time, I used the same solution for all three classes, having used RPG as the "front end" performing all I/O, then calling a COBOL sub-routine to handle the data base, and Fortran IV for all math. I thought it a quite elegant solution!

He was not terribly amused when I turned them in however, but had to admit that it was indeed ingenious and could not honestly fail me since he never stipulated that he was expecting the same end results using only the "language*" for each class...
...an oversight that he made certain to add to future such instructions! :teacher:

* Okay, RPG isn't actually a legitimate "language" per se, but it certainly can act like one. :wizard:

Several years later while doing graduate work at UofF Gainesville I took several semesters of LISP. While I enjoyed it immensely, I had to quit using LISP since I noticed I had begun typing papers and grading undergrad papers with a lisp... :laughing:
 
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