Thomas Molitor's blog

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

FSMap v1.2 RC 1 released

The RC adds support for some of the new Windows 7 taskbar features (e.g. jump lists). The final version should be out on Monday 07.12.2009.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FSMap v1.2 Beta 1 released

I have just released Beta 1 of v1.2, which mainly solves problems with the new Windows 7.

Change Log

  • Added support for Windows 7 (mainly solves performance problems)
  • Added option to inverse the mouse wheel zoom direction
  • The load map for position feature now cycles through the available maps instead of using the only the first map found
  • Added FS2002 flight plan saving
  • Fixed aircraft panel configuration detection in the gauge manager
  • Fixed moving map focus handling when switching applications
The final version should be out within the next two weeks.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

First implementation of Direct2D added to FSMap

After some fight with the new API I finally implemented a first version of my new graphics engine that supports D2D in FSMap. Currently only the moving map drawing uses D2D under Win7, but this already increased the overall performance by nearly 50%. Working now on the rest of the gauge, so it fully uses D2D.

Monday, June 08, 2009

FSMap and Windows 7

As some of you might have noticed FSMap performance under Win7 Beta/RC is currently very slow compared to XP or Vista. The problem is that some GDI+ functions (which FSMap uses) appear to be much slower under Win7 than with XP/Vista. The good news is that there is a good "workaround" that even supports hardware acceleration: The new Microsoft Direct2D (D2D) API. Using this API the moving map performance has been increased by a factor of ten. I am currently adding support for D2D to my libraries, so all my products will benefit from it. I hope to have a first public Beta ready before Win7 goes RTM. More to follow soon.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FSMap v1.1 published

I have just released v1.1, which mainly adds some user requests and fixes some known issues.

Change Log

  • Added airport, navaid and city overlays to the moving map and the gauge
  • Added basic VFR flight plan editor
  • Added heading and distance measuring tool
  • Added right click context menu to moving map with some additional tools
  • Added an option to change the aircraft symbol on the moving map
  • Most colors of the moving map can now be changed and saved in themes
  • Font size for messages and TCAS altitude captions can be changed
  • Font size for map item labels can be changed
  • Informational text overlay now automatically refreshes in flight
  • Fixed several issues with the navigation database creation process
  • Fixed airport details page on the informational overlay did not stay selected and the gauge reverted to the first text page while in flight
  • Fixed possible crash if a runway has been defined for an airport with a length and/or width of zero feet
  • Fixed several minor GUI problems in the gauge manager
  • Fixed Helicopter traffic not displayed under FSX
  • Fixed VATSIM data feed status URL

Monday, January 26, 2009

Microsoft closes ACES Studio

Yes it's true Microsoft is closing ACES Studio the developers of Flight Simulator. My feelings go to those which have been layoff. Hope they will find a new job asap. Only six members of the original team are left to archive the code and shutdown ACES.

So what does this mean at all? In short terms I don't expect any big changes in the scene. Third party developers still have some new exciting products in the pipe line and I think FSX now has a chance to become the number one flight simulator as hardware gets better and also developers will get the last things out of it. But if speaking in long terms, I really cannot predict anything. Microsoft could decide to continue the development of FS, but it could also happen that simulators like X Plane get more popular and developers switch over.

The one thing that makes me really upset is the way Microsoft has closed ACES and treated his own employees.

Personally I will of course continue to create products for FS. Next will be the minor update for FSMap and I am also starting to work on another new project.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Windows 7, Gadgets and UAC

If you are a beta tester of Windows 7 (like me) and you have turned off UAC, then you might have noticed that your gadgets are not longer working. Today I found a nice tip on how to fix this problem:
  1. Open Registry Editor
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings
  3. Create a new dword Value called AllowElevatedProcess
  4. Set the value to 1
  5. Close the registry editor
Voila they are back again.


I am back

After a long absence I am trying again to keep this blog active. A lot of good things happened during the last two years. I now have two daughters: Emily Sofie (born in October 2006) and Aurelia Luisa (born in last September). I will publish some new pictures soon and you will see why everything has been delayed so much in the last two years.

As some of you might have noticed FSFK v3.0.1 has been released and I am very happy with this release. I wanted two make the development a bit more public, but it turned out that due to the lack of time I was not able to do it the way I wanted it. Anyway I think that v3 really rocks and provides a lot of new tools for analyzing your flights. Check it out!

I am currently also working on FSMap v1.1, which will add some user requests and fix some minor bugs. It will hopefully ready within the next two months.

The year 2009 will also bring something new to my FS development: Team work. In the last six years in my FS career I was always developing everything on my own. Now I am starting to work on a new product with a very very talented group of coders and designers. I currently cannot give you more information, but it will rock!

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