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Ben McClintock

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About Ben McClintock

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  • Birthday 06/12/1996

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  1. Hi Rob, That post was just before we started on the project. It's only a few weeks away from release.
  2. Hi Nadine, For the Orbx Libraries (where our AutogenDescriptions are shipped), we will be using add-on.xml's autogen type. This means we won't need to overwrite the core simulator autogen files anymore - and we'll be playing nicer with others. Unfortunately we will still need to modify this. However, all of that will be handled by Central. Hi Kai, This is exactly what is achieved with add-on packages. The textures that we supply in the Global Base add-on package take priority over the files shipped with Prepar3D. Hi Rick, Based on the description of your setup, yes, you should be fine with this. At this stage, yes, they can be deleted. But it wouldn't hurt to keep those files around until Central is launched (just in case). Hi FireRx, Storing your card is completely optional. It's worth noting that the company that processes your card details during a purchase (Stripe) is the same one that will be storing your card. For more information on the security practices Stripe employs, you can read more in their documentation (particularly the section on "encryption of sensitive data and communication").
  3. Hi Kevin, As Nick mentioned, it's optional. You can either set a maximum size here, or you can un-check the "automatically backup product install files" button.
  4. Hi Nadine, Add-on packages are something that Lockheed Martin introduced in Prepar3D v3. In an add-on package, there is an add-on.xml file which contains a list of all the scenery, effects, sound, textures that a particular add-on contains. This means an add-on can be completely self-contained, without needing to edit various configuration files nor placing files throughout the Prepar3D root directory. The main advantages of this, are that you can do a complete Prepar3D re-install, without needing to re-install Global Base (or any of your other Orbx scenery - as none of them are in the main Prepar3D directory anymore). Additionally, using the in-sim "add-ons" menu, you can disable all your Orbx add-ons and get a completely fresh, untouched, simulator. That's correct! In Central, our scenery is installed into a "library". All of the files required for each of those sceneries is located in those folders. All of the effects, etc, are defined in the add-on.xml: I have a library (created via Central) at D:\Orbx Library. Central will automatically add D:\Orbx Library\p3dv4 as a "add-on discovery path" - Prepar3D will automatically detect the add-ons when you next start the simulator. A full list of "discovered" add-on packages can be found at %programdata%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\add-ons.cfg: I hope this helps, feel free to ask for more clarification. Hi Paddler, It's difficult to answer this without knowing exactly how your symbolic links are setup and which simulator this is for. The symbolic links should be transparent to Central - it will copy the files out of those directories, then run the normal "uninstall" script for each add-on you choose to migrate (which will most likely delete the symbolic links). This will change. With the new backup system, Central will add any files to your designated backup directory if they do not already exist there. So, if you install a product v1.0, update it to v1.1, then re-install, Central will re-install v1.1 without requiring any downloads. The original backup files won't be updated at this stage, I'm afraid. We've made some major breakthroughs in the way we distribute files to clients. This had the unfortunate side-effect of dropping backward-compatibility with the existing backups that people have made. However, the new backup system is much more powerful, and doesn't require any user input to use (which is a major win for everyone).
  5. We have plans for this in the upcoming version of Central We will probably post about it in the preview forum when it's ready to be shown off
  6. Hi Carlos, Thank you for your suggestions! This is how it works right now. Regardless of how many simulators you have installed, it will show you the simulator you currently have selected. You can also see the other simulators that are installed, and switch between them without closing Central. I hope this answers your question. We'll definitely keep purchasing on orbxdirect.com indefinitely. Feel free to email me your ideas: ben@orbxsystems.com Spanish would be great. Ideally, we'd like to have all of the major languages represented inside Central. Hi John, In your scenario, I'd recommend using the "migrate to library" feature inside Central. This will move the product files out of your root simulator into a location you specify. Then, when you uninstall your simulator, those files will remain intact in the external location. When the simulator is installed again, Central will intelligently link them back into your simulator - with no work on your end required. We may need to make a tool for converting FTXC3 backups into Central's format, but we'll have to see if there's enough demand for this.
  7. Thanks all for your comments and suggestions so far! Keep them coming! I answered this question a little earlier - there will be a "migrate to library" button which will move products out of the simulator without re-installing anything: There is no specific code in Central to detect whether the main "Orbx" directory is a symlink. It will work as if you have installed the files into your Prepar3D root directory. We don't have plans for this feature at this stage, but I've added it to the list and it will get done eventually. Unfortunately, backups and full builds created for FTX Central v3 are not compatible with Central. We've made a lot of changes to the way products are packaged with Central, which will ultimately make installation more efficient. Should you move your backup directory, you can adjust the backup path within Central's settings:
  8. We have plans for a grid view similar to FTX Central 3. However, that won't be available until after release.
  9. Hi EEE, I don't fully understand the question here, sorry. Similar to FTX Central 3, if you own the P3D version of a product - it's a separate license to the X-Plane version. You only need to log in once with your OrbxDirect account. Central will choose the appropriate version based on which simulator you select. If you are in X-Plane mode, it will recognise your purchase of Orbx's X-Plane products. Similarly, if you are in P3D (or FSX) mode, it will recognise that you have purchased the FSX/P3D version of those products. I hope this answers your question, please let me know if you'd like me to clarify anything in particular. You can also now switch simulators inside Central without restarting Central, using our built-in simulator switcher
  10. On each product page there'll be a little button to migrate the product to a library: A "migrate all" feature is on our list, but might not make it in before release
  11. Hi all, Orbx and our Melbourne-based development team (Josh, Mitch and I) are very excited to announce the next generation in flight simulator software installation. We are also looking for a group of people to help us test the functionality across Windows, macOS and Linux. If you're interested, please submit an application. Quite a few commonly requested features have made it into Central. We hope you enjoy them! Cross-platform We realise Windows may not be the first choice for many of our customers. For our X-Plane releases, we currently offer the cross-platform zip (available via your account page) for macOS and Linux users. However, for our X-Plane TrueEarth products, that means manually running scripts to convert the files into the format that X-Plane reads. Orbx Central is the first program to allow a product (e.g. KCGX Merrill C. Meigs Field) to be installed into FSX, Prepar3D, X-Plane and Aerofly on Windows, macOS and Linux. We think that’s pretty cool. Orbx Central on Windows and Linux Orbx Central on macOS Modern UI refresh We’ve taken the best parts of FTX Central 3, and improved them in Central. You’ll see large screenshots, clear text, and a responsive interface. The UI will appear the same on Windows, macOS and Linux. If you know how to use Central on one operating system, you know how to use it on all operating systems. When logging into Central, you’ll be presented with a beautiful screenshot. This screenshot will be updated each month thanks to our screenshot competition. The Central log in screen Home When you start Central, you’ll be presented with a beautiful Netflix-style homepage. We’ll use this to let you know what we’re working on, and also for inspiration towards completing your Orbx collection. Category view Finding a specific product in our haystack of products can sometimes be difficult. To make this easier, we’ve added a whole bunch of real-time filtering options. For the power users, you can press Ctrl + F to focus on the filter box (or Ctrl + Shift + F to search products in all categories). Filtering the category list in Central "My Products" view Central’s My Products view is a great way to see all of the Orbx products you own from all regional categories. This makes it easy to immediately start installing your products. Central's library view showing owned and installed products In-app purchasing Products can be easily purchased in Central in just a few clicks. The Orbx store experience is now fully integrated. Your browser does not support the video tag. That’s not all - we’ve taken it a step further. If you save your card in Central, you’ll be presented with a one-click purchase and install button. This takes away all the hassle of multiple menus and confirmation screens you may have experienced in the past when purchasing a product from us. Your card data is saved securely with our payment gateway. For more information, please see this link. Your browser does not support the video tag. Automatic updates If you own a lot of Orbx products, keeping them all up-to-date can be a pain. But now, products automatically update themselves to the latest version when your simulator is not running. If you don’t want automatic updates, you can disable them either per-product, or globally. Central's update settings page Add-on packages Recently, Lockheed Martin introduced the add-on package system into Prepar3D. This has a myriad of improvements over the traditional system of installing into the simulator directory, then hooking up the scenery in the scenery.cfg. We can now distribute immutable add-on packages, which install in their own directories outside the simulator. This means that if you choose to reinstall Prepar3D v4, you will not need to re-install your Orbx add-ons. After reinstalling Prepar3D v4, the next time you start the sim, your add-ons will be added again automatically. This can cut down the time for a completely fresh install of Prepar3D from hours to minutes. Another advantage of using the add-on package system is that you can enable and disable products that previously did not support that functionality. As an example, in FSX-P3Dv3, Global BASE will overwrite the core simulator’s textures. Whereas now, in Prepar3D v4, it just adds an additional texture directory that the simulator will use for textures instead. This means that you can enable and disable Global BASE with a single click. If you want to see what the sim looks like without any Orbx products, simply disable all of the Orbx “add-ons” from Prepar3D’s add-ons menu. It’s as simple as that! Libraries Now that we have truly massive products exceeding 120 GB, a common request is to install products to a custom location. With Orbx Central, this is now possible. The library settings page We have implemented a library system, similar to Steam’s libraries. When you install a product, you will be prompted to select which library you’d like to install that product to. You could have one library on a large HDD for storing region products, then have a smaller SSD for airports. It’s completely up to you. Central supports libraries for Prepar3D v4, X-Plane 11, and Aerofly FS 2. All other simulators will install into the simulator’s root directory. In Prepar3D v4, libraries make use of the add-on package system mentioned above. In X-Plane 11 and Aerofly FS 2, Central will automatically handle symbolically linking the relevant directories into the simulator. Downloader The download component has been re-engineered. It is now faster and more robust. We have done a lot of optimisation under the hood to ensure that installs don’t take any longer than necessary. As an example, the “scanning” stage for EGCB in FTX Central 3 took 4,080 milliseconds. Whereas in Central, it takes only 24 milliseconds. Although EGCB is a small product, the performance benefits here will be seen with products like Global VECTOR which contain over 60,000 files to scan. Furthermore, JPG to DDS conversions are now done whilst the product is downloading. This cuts down an installation of TrueEarth Great Britain South Demo from 9 minutes (in FTXC3) to less than 3 minutes in Central. More optimisation has also been applied to the various data formats Central uses when communicating with OrbxDirect’s API. This will mean less time between clicking install, and the actual install process starting. The download code is now also multithreaded, whereas previously only one file would be downloaded at a time. We now download multiple parts of the files simultaneously - similar to how a download manager works. Another improvement we’ve made is regarding the download queue. Previously, in FTX Central 3, you could only pause and cancel if the job was in the “download” state. But now, you can pause/cancel at any part of the installation process. Backup and restore In FTX Central 3 you have the ability to save and restore product backups - avoiding downloading them from the internet. However, it’s clunky, hard to use, and not very obvious. In Central, we’ve completely rethought how product backups and restores work. They are now seamless and happen in the background. When you install an Orbx product, we automatically backup the files to a location you designate (a cheap external backup HDD, for example). Then, if you install that product again in the future, we’ll automatically use the files from the backup without user intervention required at all. In addition to specifying the backup location, you can also specify a maximum size. So if you only want to allocate 50 GB for backups, Central will intelligently handle the files it backs up to avoid going over that limit. The backup settings page By automatically handling the backup process, this reduces the time it takes to install a product, amount of data you download (and therefore cost to us) and finally allows us to continue offering lifetime free downloads and a large library of freeware products. Account management You can now perform most account management tasks from within Central, including changing your password, opting in or out of Fastlane, and enabling Multi-Factor Authentication. The account settings page Multi-lingual support Don't speak English? That's okay! At launch, we will be offering the main Central UI in German and French too! Have any other language suggestions? Let us know (even better if you can help translate it with us ). Thank you to Richard Bui for the French translation! The Central UI in French. Once again, if you want to get early access and help us test Central, please submit an application. Expect a release of Central within the coming months! We're happy to answer any questions you may have
  12. Hi Carlos, Products that are already installed will remain installed and in your scenery.cfg. Any products that you install into Prepar3D v4 using Central will be installed via an add-on package. There is a handy button that will migrate a product from your simulator root into a "library" (a custom install location): More detail will follow in an official announcement soon
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