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Chris Gordan

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Everything posted by Chris Gordan

  1. Hmm...sounds like SOAR Ranch has not been released publicly yet.(?) I hadn't even checked! As to whether the version I have from David is finished or not, I'd guess that no fictional soaring paradise is ever really "finished" Looking at all the static and dynamic scenery that's there now, I'd have to say that there's only one area that looks "under construction"...it's an area of generic buildings of untextured, basic colors, attached to the luxury resort on the lake. They certainly aren't necessary in and of themselves, so I'd guess that they might just be a "place holder for future detail. David?? I also have to say that I've rarely if ever seen so many objects and detail, without framerates getting choppy. Whatever tricks and techniques David uses, results in framerates BETTER than a lot of FSX default scenery.
  2. It's been so long that I needed to recover my login and password. Blame David Morris for my surprise appearance. When I saw what he did with the original SOAR Ranch, I was so amazed that I just had to stop by and see what's been going on. It's wonderful to see old friends, including other "prodigal sons"- MAX!!! You brilliant old tulip growing, wooden-shoed, cheese-headed misanthrope! How the hell are you? I have missed our occasionally hilarious conversations. :-)) CG
  3. I'm drooling at the thought of your display setup, and the fact that you have the horsepower to get it to run like that. I'd bet that with a newer video card, that your kit would do even better. As to FSX in general, I can't really bash what I don't have the hardware to run. With a high end setup, you can bet I'd have it on my machine!!
  4. Wow, I could easily echo most of the comments here. Without the funds for a new machine, FSX is out for me. I'd have to turn everything off, then it might run as well as 2K4 sometimes. As to other sims taking precedance over MSFS at SOAR, I couldn't agree more. The time has come. We've had too many difficulties with FS - each new version requires huge time expenditures just to make things work as well as before. Each time, our developers somehow manage to accomplish this, and then start to create new and innovative things that couldn't be done before. Ah- but then it happens... MS announces a new version that needs a new machine, and we yet again find that we are only given a 'teaser' to try to keep our community struggling with their product. In addition to all that, it's clear to anyone who's been around here that even when we get everything from the gauges to the ancillary apps, slope lift files etc etc working, that you've really got to be fairly "hard core" to go through all this just to fly a neat glider with some reasonably realistic lift. Sure, everybody jumps in to help new members, but the point is that this stuff should NEVER be this difficult again!! We should be way past the days when it takes a bunch of manuals, questions, cfg modifications etc etc etc just to fly gliders the way it is now possible to do so. Many will remember that Don and I tried to stir up some interest in Sailors of the Sky, with limited success (often due to the limitations of the sim itself), but at least some good dedicated soaring sims were coming along. I do not yet have Condor, but one thing is certain - this much success does not come in so short a time unless it really has something to offer well beyond its competitors. I've never seen a swell of interest like this relative to a soaring sim, so I'm betting that Condor will get the most support, see the most development, and could eventually make any other choice for soaring come up short. Time will tell, but I say that it's MORE than time to make MS take a back seat for a change. We want to FLY, not tweak!!
  5. Thanks to all for your kind words :embaressed: Yes, SOAR is indeed in good hands. I suspect that it will be for a VERY long time. Whether it's a few years or a dozen - when it's time for the Don and Karen to leave the director's chair, it will once again go to good friends who will do their best. Lenny and Colin started something that will no doubt continue. As to member activity, we always received the most new membership and forum signups after one of a few articles I wrote that were published on Flightsim.com. What many do not know, is that articles are accepted from everywhere. One does not need to be an "insider" to get their words out there - if you have a reasonably well written treatise on anything related to flightsimming, it will be added to the queue of articles and will probably come out 6-8 weeks after it's accepted. I'd LOVE to see more articles from the membership! I know for a fact that quite a few of you have wonderful writing skills...go for it! ...and again, you folks are the best. THANKS! :respect: :respect: :respect:
  6. Dear Friends, It is with both great sadness and a smattering of pride that I must formally announce my resignation as the Director of SOAR. It's been about 5 years or so since I accepted the directorship from SOAR's founder, Len Wagner and his partner, Colin Grahm. We've seen truly remarkable changes- not just evolutions, but veritable revolutions in virtual soaring, and we've gained about 1200 new members during that time, many of whom have contributed directly to this amazing growth in the technology and the sport of virtual soaring. I am indeed proud of the growth and accomplishments that we've achieved together, and it has been a pleasure to get to know so many of you. No, I'm not "leaving"...I'll be around to help when I can, and maybe even fly a race once in a while :-) Don and Karen Hamilton have agreed to take the reigns. As many of you know, they have been handling so much of the SOAR functions already, that it's almost difficult to outline what their additional duties will be (LOL)! All kidding aside, it really has been their hard work and selfless dedication that has made much of what we all enjoy possible. My sincerest thanks go to them. You two are THE BEST!! Let me close by saying that it has been an honor and a privilege to have served as SOAR's Director. Thank you, all! Sincerely, Chris
  7. The demo ran so badly on my P4 2.4, that I don't believe that I'll be in any shape for the full version. Without a much more powerful rig, I'm pretty much outta business. I guess I'll have to leave it up to those who can afford such toys. Oh well.
  8. I knew that our good friend "Amedeus" wouldn't let any grass grow beneath his feet! :AA: :AA:
  9. Friends, I have finally learned most of what is necessary to rebuild the membership roster and signup systems to use dynamic databases. Since most of our members are in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the slowest time of year for virtualsoaring. Real world soaring has most of our attention while Mother Nature is cooperating with great lift. I am therefore going to suspend membership signups for the summer months, and try to get the new system in place for when the V-soaring season kicks into high gear. Those who have sent membership applications and have not received a response yet WILL NOT have to resubmit their information. It will be added to the database with the existing members, and you will receive your SOAR ID# by email when the new system is in place. Lastly, if any contests happen before the new number system is in place, there's no need to worry. Anyone, whether members or not are welcome to fly in our contests. If you don't have a SOAR# , simply email the Race Official for that contest, and you'll be provided with a contest number. Patience please, folks! This stuff will take many, many hours over the coming months.
  10. Friends, I just got a phonecall from Karen. Their Starband modem seems to have fried, and is no longer functioning. It will take a week or so (given their location) for them to get a new one and to be back online. Nothing should have to change for the current race, since any email to the @virtualsoaring address will be retained until Don can again receive it. If any other problems affecting the race arise, it will be posted here. :cheers2:
  11. I noticed that "we do as we can" is also a "correction" to get the idea across in common English. The literal translation would of course be : One does that which one can. Either way, the meaning is of course clear. The auto translators are always funny. They rarely translate plays on words, or "figures of speech"...hence, "one buttock what one tire". That's one of the funniest ones I've seen in a long time! The amazing thing is that most of the time, it is good enough. I rarely see a translation that was so bad that I didn't understand what was meant. Yes, they are always good for a laugh- but the fact that it works is cool! :smoke: Never be emabarassed to use them :sideways:
  12. Which translates to : One buttock what one tire Hmm... ROFLMAO :roflmao:
  13. Great work, Tom! Many thanks from all of us for finnding the glitches :AA: :AA: :AA:
  14. Hmm...I thought it was skins OTHER than the default that were causing problems. I also thought that I had removed the old useless ones from being visible on the board, but obviously that is not the case. I'll try to change your skin back through the admin control panel by editing your member details. That should get it back. Then I'll have to find a way to completely uninstall the old useless skins so others don't have this problem. The skin you originally saw, is the only one that I believe works at present. Let me know if you still have trouble.
  15. Friends, To date, SOAR has received (after PayPal's commision) $189.75 The unexpected expenditure for the message board brings us to a current total of $119.80 from which I have not yet deducted the main site upgrade payments. Our current monthly expenses are 24.95 for the main site, $6.95 for the Pilot Shop, totalling $31.90/mo. We do intend to offer some prizes from the pilot shop, but as you can see, we're doing ok with the finances for the expanded site and forums, with 3-4 months expenses available. Many thanks to those who generously donated. Please remember that large donations are never necessary- a dollar a month from 40 people completely pays for our current site setup! A few of you have contributed modest amounts ($5-$10) several times. THANK YOU!! That kind of support will insure our future viability and expansion. My thanks and congratulations to all who've worked hard to keep SOAR going and growing
  16. Friends, No doubt many of you were aware that our forums were down for about a week. Many sent me emails, and I'm sorry that I was only able to respond to some of them. Nonetheless, we're back. The Iboard version wew were using was no longer supported, and it was the membership database that somehow became corrupted. Those who cleared their cookies (or block them) saw that the forums were still there, but attempting to log in caused fatal errors that none of your intrepid admins knew how to correct. None of the MySQL or PHPmyAdmin tools worked to repair the problem. The solution was a bit tough to swallow, but absolutely necessary to preserve the content of the board. I contacted Invision directly, and purchased a yearly license and tech support for $69.95. After a few problems and communication lag, their people completely upgraded our board to the newest version, and repaired the errors for us. My thanks to Invision. You'll notice that some of the smileys are broken...it is because I added them to the board individually a long time ago. Had I uploaded any new skins or other 3rd party mods, they too would have been lost. The important thing of course is that we now have a better board, and have preserved the previous content to the best extent possible. Please don't email me if something like a file link in a post no longer works. If something seems "missing", simply post a request for the specific file(s) and it's guaranteed that one of your friends will have it to send to you. I won't have a lot of time to redo the little custom touches to the board, so please be patient. Thanks to everyone for hanging in there!! Chris
  17. Don pointed out to me a bad elevation problem that he had with the runways and objects at the relocated SOAR Ranch version 2 for FS9. If you experience the same problems, re-download the file: http://www.virtualsoaring.org/flight/glide..._RanchFS9-2.zip I re-uploaded this file to be sure that it had the version that I have currently installed.
  18. Friends, Don and I have been discussing the approaching disk limit with SOAR's current hosting package, the huge amount of space that CCS slope files take up now, and will require in the future. We've determined that even though we do intend to upgrade to twice the space and bandwidth in the not to distant future, it still would not be enough over the long term to support such a large file archive. We'd hate to use up all available space for a raw data repository, when so much in the way of other content can be done with whatever space is available. It is entirely possible at the going rate to have the CCS files total a couple of gigabytes in and of themselves within 6 months to a year. We need a long term solution. Unless or until we are running a dedicated server with a ton of available space, these files will have to be uploaded to one of the major sim sites. I am considering 3- flightsim.com, avsim.com, and simviation.com and may open a poll as to which site our members seem to prefer. I want as few screens as possible between members and the files, even if it requires a seperate login. The challenge will be to come up with an efficient way to label the files and upload them, the point being to make them easy to find. One should be able to simply type "CCS Alps" in a search and find ALL such files in one place. Suggestions/comments ?
  19. They are up there now. If I missed any others, let me know
  20. Friends, Thanks to the work of Bill Bomball, we now have a well organised library of GPS-DAT files available on the SOAR site. Check the SOAR menu in: Downloads>Scenery>GPS Waypoints.
  21. Friends, SOAR Ranch has been moved slightly, in order to take advantage of high res terrain mesh without major conflicts. Unfortunately, this means that Paul-Roger's roads no longer lead up to the Ranch itself. The GPS.dat for the area has been updated as well. Also added to the SOAR Ranch Page are links to CCS scan files for Default terrain, 1x1 high res, and 4x4 high res (15MB).
  22. Folks, If you haven't seen the new flash intro, go to the intro page at http://www.virtualsoaring.org Turn it up- this one ROCKS!!
  23. Update: I had made a donation to another site in which I often participate (non soaring related) using my Discover Card. The statement arrived today, and there were no additional charges whatsoever beyond my $10 donation. This is of course no guarantee that your card company would not treat the transaction otherwise, but it's a simple thing to check. Personally, I would not do business with any company that would surcharge me for a donation by credit card. The decision of course, is up to all of you. Just wanted to let everyone know.
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