Setting up Ezdok Camera Addon (EZCA) for FSX under Windows 10

I recently went through the trouble of installing EZCA for Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) on a Windows 10 64bit system. Installing EZCA is notoriously difficult and there are plenty of useful resources online to get you going. What I will do here is simply document for future reference some of the specific steps I had to take.

  • Disable antivirus during the installation. If you don’t, chance are good that it will quarantine or even delete the main EZCA executable at (\Program Files (x86)\EZCA\EZCA.exe)
  • If you installed FSX in a non-standard location (G:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\ in my case which is a dedicated SSD), make sure that the “Authenticated users” group has full control on that entire folder – or at least the user that will be running FSX
  • Since the EZCA installer requires to be run as an Administrator, it ends up creating files under the account used during installation, which is not necessarily the one you’ll be using when you run FSX. You will want to copy c:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\EZCA\ to the \AppData\Roaming\ folder of the FSX user

On a totally unrelated note, once EZCA was installed FSX started crashing after just a few minutes. That seemed related to the famous UIAutomationCore.dll issue faced on recent 64bit Windows installations. Since I was uncomfortable downloading that dll from random places online, an easy way to obtain a clean copy was to open a Windows 7 ISO that was safely stored on my LAN, search for the install.wim file, open it with 7-Zip and get a copy of UIAutomationCore.dll from there.

Back on a monoski!

Thanks to the fine folks at Snowgunz, I’ll soon be back on a monoski (as soon as there’s enough snow around here, that is). Fine, call me a dinosaur but it’s felt like a long 12 years stuck on two spatulas to help the kids get up to speed on the slopes. They’ve made some serious progress and will soon be the ones waiting for their slow dad, so it’s time for another kind of fun…

2015_11_21_0001_5s_SR

Useful utilities for photographers

I’ve been shooting this year’s Christmas pictures with a brand new Nikon D7100 SLR (wonderful, wonderful camera btw but that is discussed in all the right places). Well it so happens that I had set the time incorrectly in the camera’s preferences and only noticed at the point of transferring the files to my computer. All file dates were offset by two months – i.e. they would show October 26 instead of December 26… Since the exif dates drive my entire folder structure via Breeze Systems’ Downloader Pro tags, that was going to be an issue…

I had to deal with the video files (*.mov) manually but there weren’t too many of those. As for the jpeg’s, a couple clever utilities later and all is well:

Step 1

E:\> jhead.exe -da2013:12:26-2013:10:26 *.jpg

Step 2

E:\> dirdate.exe CREATED= MODIFIED= exif *.jpg

‘hope this can help you out when needed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Spreadsheet Design Standards

Now this is interesting. I remember searching a few years back for spreadsheet design patterns. That combination of keywords never led me to the Best Practice Modeling Standards upon which BPM – a company founded in 2002 by ex-Salomon Smith Barney investment bankers – provides its modeling products and services. The base version is apparently maintained by an independent Spreadsheet Standards Review Board:

Spreadsheet Standards Review Board Charter

  1. To promote the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modeling Standards to ensure that the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modeling Standards are recognized, used and accepted as the highest professional spreadsheet modeling standards in the world;
  2. To develop and maintain the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modeling Standards;
  3. To bring together global Spreadsheet modeling skills in order to develop and maintain the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modeling Standards;
  4. To facilitate and manage participation of interested parties and the general public in developing the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modeling Standards; and
  5. To evaluate proposals to add, delete or modify the Best Practice Spreadsheet Modeling Standards.

So you think you know Microsoft Excel?

Think again… I thought I knew my way around a fair share of Excel’s functionality but I’m not so sure anymore, having finally had a chance to play a bit with Microsoft’s new Excel add-ins: Data Explorer and GeoFlow. As a first test, I set out to create a map of some of my Outlook contacts – which took all of 5 minutes:

geoflow_test

This is barely scratching the surface and doesn’t even begin to address to power Excel has gained over the last couple years with the release of PowerPivot , its DAX language and PowerView.

What’s “a fair share of Excel’s functionality” anyway? All I can say is that with Excel as will all things, the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know…