Category Archives: Avsim

Laugh in a Cracker’s Face!

The Avsim forums are up and running again, and even seem to be largely intact from before. That’s an astounding effort from all involved. Good job, fellas.

Oh, and take THAT, whichever lowlife scuzzball thought it’d be fun to wipe them out. Now let’s show our team spirit and go make or comment on a forum posting today.

Avsim Hack Makes the News

Occasionally, our little hobby grabs the attention of the mainstream press—usually when things go astray. The BBC posted a news item this morning about the destruction of Avsim by hackers. I whole-heartedly agree with Derek Davis’s quote from the end of the article – Avsim will indeed rise from the ashes. The article also quotes me (albeit unattributed) from a post I made on SimFlight: there is a special place in hell for hackers who pull stunts like this.

It’s almost worth going to hell just to kick those *&^#% in the nuts when I get there.

Avsim Hacked

By now you might have heard the news: some low-life numbnuts bottom-feeding scumbag (or group of scumbags) has decided it would be fun to hack into the Avsim servers and take down the world’s largest FS website and file library. Nice. Rather than me going on with choice expletives all morning, I’ll reprint the press release from Tom Allensworth, Avsim’s head honcho:

“We regret to inform the flight simulation community that on Tuesday, May 12, AVSIM was hacked and effectively destroyed. The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from. Both servers, that is the library / email and web site / forum servers were attacked. AVSIM is totally offline at this time and we expect to be so for some time to come. We are not able to predict when we will be back online, if we can come back at all. We will post more news as we are able to in the coming days and weeks.”

Needless to say, this is terrible news for the hobby. Let’s all put our collective heads together and think/pray/meditate for the speedy recovery of their data, with a side of prosecution for the mindless idiots who would do such a thing.

A temporary forum has been set up for Avsim users here. I encourage you to visit it for updates on the situation, and to express your support to the Avsim team. I imagine they’re in need of it right now.

Con: The Aftermath

Whew, I just got back into Portland after 5 jam-packed days of ‘simming madness, and boy are my arms tired…

It’s true—what an amazing week of meeting my favorite fellow FS designers, developers, and publishers. Being able to rap with the Aces staff was a huge benefit of the DevCon. I think I learned more from a ten-minue discussion with Adrian Woods about modeling than I have from over a year of pondering the SDK. Due to NDA restrictions, I can’t discuss what we talked about, but you can be sure that the benefit will bubble through to my upcoming projects.

Among the famous FS faces that I got to meet up close and personal, several stand out. Finally, at long last, I got to shake hands with Francois Dumas, the venerable Fritz himself. And this after only a few years of working alongside him to build products! Arno Gerretsen was another of my favorite devs who showed up. We had a great time taking in the DevCon, and later Avsim’s FanCon, together. Misho Katulic (of Terrabuilder fame) was on hand, showing his latest effort which transforms the FS world into the lunar surface. Folks, this product has to be seen to be believed. Misho has clearly put heart and soul into its development, and it shows. And he’s a great guy as well!

Allen Kriesmann and Jeff (better known on the forums as “quantumleap”) from Scenery Solutions, makers of the Ultimate Terrain series, flew in, as did John Venema (“koorby”) from Orbx. Together with Nigel Grant and my pals Holger Sandmann and Justin (FSGenesis) Tyme, we all took to the town on Friday night, inundating the Rock Bottom brewery with no doubt more FS scenery designers than they’d seen in one spot in a long time. It’s great to get to meet all these guys in person after knowing them for so long in the virtual world.

I’ve got some ideas for a set of FSX materials tutorials to post on the FSDeveloper Wiki soon, based on the talk I gave earlier today at the Avsim FanCon on that topic. More on that as it develops. In the meantime, here are a few pics to give you the feel for what was there. Pardon the couple of extremely “artistic” shots. I forgot my regular camera the night we all went to the Red Hook brewery, and my silly cell phone camera had to pinch-hit. It’s not very agreeable to low lighting.

Arno Gerretsen Fritz and Bill get blurry Nigel Grant and Justin Tyme Arno and Holger are tired. Virtual head-tracking glasses… hot stuff. Motions sims ruled the exhibition floor. This one particularly caught my eye. Admit it, you want this. James “Crashaz” Smith (left) and his fellow ’simmers enjoying the FSX stations.

The Con is On!

I’m packing up my stuff today, and heading north to Seattle for the Microsoft Aces “DevCon” that starts tomorrow morning. It promises to be a fascinating few days, capped by the Avsim “FanCon” over the weekend. I have the pleasure of closing out the festivities, workshop-wise, with my Sunday mid-day talk on the new Gmax material properties for FSX. Too bad I’m only partway done with the PowerPoint! I guess I’ll have to be the kid doing his homework on the schoolbus this time.

One of the highlights of my talk will be demonstrating some of the new material properties in FSX, using the restaurant from the upcoming Emma Field X as an example. It’ll be the first time this particular model has been shown, and I’m hoping for a good reaction. If you haven’t seen it already, check out Holger’s screenshots of the upcoming Emma X terrain. Outstanding, as usual.

And speaking of all that, I’ve also added a mailing list function to my blog. Look to the right for the Email Newsletter Signup link. If you want to stay in the loop on what I’m working on and receive notifications of upcoming product releases, be sure to sign up.

Okay, I’ll have a lot more to post once the Dev/Fan events are in full swing. Stay tuned… pics on the way!