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Behind the Screen : March 2020

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Behind the Screen : March 2020

 

Are you coping? Do you need help? How are you doing in Self-Isolation? How do you want to get through this? Do you need tips to help you get through this? This is how to get through your day?

 

These are messages that I get every day, I am thankful that people care, I really am...  but. Well a month back in what was then looking like normal life and pretty well for a long time before this virus event unfolded this was my average day.

 

Get up and have a cereal breakfast, go out and buy a newspaper, have a coffee and read the newspaper, come home and have more breakfast, then do six hours with a break on X-Plane in doing the site and reviews. Now today inside the virus event then here is my same day. Get up and have a cereal breakfast, go out and buy a newspaper, get a takeaway coffee, come home and read the newspaper, have more breakfast, then do six hours with a break on X-Plane in doing the site and reviews. You see the major difference, yes I now pick up a takeaway coffee and bring it home than rather drink it at my local coffee shop.... that is it, and yet people are telling me daily that I simply can't cope with all that significant change.

 

Funny enough I have been doing this (now labeled WFH - Work From Home) do dah for over a decade? for myself nothing really has changed basically in my day to day structure and yet here I have loads of people telling me on how to cope and get through all of this event?

 

I am lucky really that I found a medium to translate the way I want to live my life. And yes X-Plane can be seriously isolating, but funny enough it also opened up my world far, far more than it actually closed it down. I am still a 63 year old child that moved with the world, I am thankful (or just smart enough) to change with the world around me through the decades as I have always been right at the front in one form of the other in technological changes, and obviously when the internet and computers collided I used this new technology to live a more easier and less forceful life, although I will admit you do work far more harder from home than you will ever do than on the outside, as there is reality no boundaries and the work is right there waiting 24/7 to be done, but again self discipline can help in you controlling the monster than rather the monster in controlling you. But the overall moniker is simple, when it becomes work then it is time to walk away from it, so the X-Plane experience is fun and exciting with a lot of learning thrown in, and if that aspect can last ten years then being involved in simulation can not be a totally bad thing.

 

That is the point to all these other people who really are struggling in their isolation. Don't tell me on how you are coping, because I am quite fine thank you very much because in reality very much in my life right now is actually that not very different, or even try tell me ways of on how to cope either. I hated the fact when people noted they had to adjust to WFH and are try to understand that, because I have doing this thingy WFH do dah for a decade, so is that a bit condescending their part.

 

People are weird...

 

But the X-Plane community is also a seriously modern and interconnected one, and we all share the same information, the same upward path to simulation nirvana and the same goals in just trying to get that landing as perfect as the next one, Isolation is certain not a word we use or even recognise because we are connected altogether through our computers and our networks (some users that fly together take this aspect even further), but we are singularly all spaced out but still also highly connected together with one focus and aim, and in that there is a lot of friendship as well. That is the incredible aspect of living in the current period of our technologically advanced world, we are all connected together with no boundaries or even walls around us... in our world there is no such words like Self-Isolation, that is unless you don't pay your internet account!

 

Vulkan/Metal API

I really didn't think it would have been three months into the new 2020 decade for Laminar to release the next update in v11.50 with the Vulkan/Metal update. My first guess was about two to three weeks into January, but here we are and it is still taking that long to sort out and refine... I don't doubt for a moment that Laminar Research have not been working very hard on this and for a very good reason, that the new API HAS to be right, HAS to work well straight out of the box. So overall the wait will be been worth it.... but on release of this goodwill message then we still don't have any Vulkan/Metal API's

 

So confine people, promise them that in two weeks or so that the beta release will finally be active and you are asking for trouble, yes if you haven't noticed it is April Fools Day today, so releasing today would be seen as a joke, but many are starting to laugh anyway, and not in a practical joker sort of mad laugh way either, but more of a "this is turning into a big joke" sort of way. The worry is FS2020 and X-Plane needs to retain users faith now more than ever before, but in reality Laminar is caught on that question in that release a buggy beta and it all goes down badly, don't release the beta update and it still all goes down badly, either way Laminar can't win.... but then again how long can you really stretch the elastic before it breaks.

 

But the signs are there as already many plugin updates are already noting to be updated and are 11.50 compliant, so yes it is now very close. On those 11.50 updates then be ready for a lot of them, in fact most plugins and fair amount of aircraft will need updating to be totally Vulkan/Metal compliant. On install you WILL find a lot of areas that won't work although Laminar has reassured us that the Open GL failsafe should cover most of the issues. Personally I don't like that, I would rather let things fail and fix them than sort of cover them over and generally hiding them away in the code that is going to be disconnected soon anyway.

 

There will be a lot of complaining, there will be a lot of anguish...   but like with the 64bit transfer it will all settle down quite quickly, which on situation sounds like a certain virus pandemic we are also having to deal with, which is funny on how X-Plane and life can parallel in the same circumstances. Certainly you can't compare the lives of thousands of innocent people to a simulator, but I think you sort of get the same conditions.

 

The one thing we will be confronted with though will be a lot of updates, loads in fact, so maybe it is time like I wrote in last month's "Behind the Screen - February 2020" in doing a totally reassessment of your simulator, a fresh clean start, a more refined simulator...  if one thing that does come out out of the Coronvirus is the fact that for a few weeks we have created a cleaner and better world around us and have finally given the planet a breather from our dirty habits... we may even finally learn something to make our surrounds actually better and not worse everyday...  so again a mirror to our simulation life is that you can change, be better, throw away bad habits and choose to restart in a more cleaner and more environmental environment, will we learn anything, probably not but it is still a nice thought.

 

See you all out of isolation next month

 

Stephen Dutton

1st April 2020

Copyright©2020 X-Plane Reviews

 

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