If “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, as Arthur C. Clarke put it, then Sid Bala might just be up to something with his brilliant layman’s overview of the H.264 compression standard.
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.
Now that’s a coincidence. As she searched for her umbrella just a few days ago, my wife suggested it would be great if there were some kind of gizmo that she could attach to objects so her iPhone would help her find stuff. Well it seems the guys at BiKN had the same idea. It’s interesting to note that their product is designed for the iPhone 4/4s, and Apple isn’t exactly making life easy for partners like BiKN as it switches to a larger form factor and a different plug with its iPhone 5… Oh well. I’m getting a Windows 8 phone a few weeks from now anyway.
Austin Meyer, owner and developer of X-Plane, is now involved in the development of real avionics. Imagine a flight simulator installed as a piece of equipment in… a real airplane. Now imaging that, as you fly, the software in that little box “constantly simulates a glide down to every runway, in every direction, at every airport within gliding range of the airplane[…], simulating every possible choice you could make to glide down if the engine quit, and estimating a chance of success for that runway choice”. Well apparently that piece of equipment is real. The VP-400 Seeker can even take control of the autopilot if the airplane’s real pilot is incapacitated for some reason, although the product’s page does carry a disclaimer that “the VP-400 is for use only with experimental and light sport aircraft”. Still, it suggests a fascinating relationship between real and virtual worlds as far as I’m concerned.
After experimenting with several contenders over the last few months, I ended up picking MindManager despite its hefty price tag. It definitely has the largest feature set and the most polished interface. For an overview of what the mind mapping application market has to offer, head over to lifehacker.