Archive for September, 2009

Samsung U70

Nice bit of kit. Now where can I get one in Australia?

At 184mmx124mm, will be an excellent match for the thrustmaster MFDs which are 140mm square with a 108mm cutout.

centre stick

let’s give this a shot in preparation for the G940 (or X65F)
centrestick (63k image)

WSC panel working!

TN Games 3rd Space Vest

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about my recent acquisition of a TN Games 3rd Space Vest. It’s a fantastic, high quality piece of kit. However, it is currently a fantastic, high quality piece of kit that is sitting unused in the corner.

Problem 1: the games that were supposed to be bundled with it (3rd Space Incursion and a special version of Call of Duty 2 which supports the vest) weren’t. They simply were not in the sealed box.

Problem 2: the vest doesn’t work with WoW, nor with Half Life 2 (which I downloaded specially). Nada. Not a sausage. Now clearly it is supposed to work with these 2 games, and I’m sure they have had it working with them in the past. Whether it is something undocumented in the setup, some conflict with some other software or driver on my PCs (and I’ve tried it on 2 different PCs), or simply a dodgy build of the latest game driver, it doesn’t work. I’m not the only person to experience this – some reviewers have noticed that it occasionally just doesn’t work with some games.

Problem 3: Customer support. Or, more accurately, the total absence of customer support. 3 emails have gone unanswered, 3 posts on their Facebook page similarly ignored. Having spent the better part of $250 on this device, I feel completely suckered by this company.

In fact the only reason I haven’t returned it as broken is that I was able to compile the C++ SDK example and run that. So the vest definitely technically works. But I pity anyone without the knowhow to compile C++ as they may have absolutely no way of knowing if their expensive purchase is totally broken or not.

Come on TN Games, this really isn’t good enough.

*edit* In fairness, this weekend was the PAX expo and Labor Day in the US, so it may have been optimistic to expect a response from support until Tuesday US time. As it turns out, I had a good response from support today and they have advised that they’re shipping the software directly and will let me know on the game driver issue. Much more comfortable now.

TN Gaming vest SDK hell

There’s a better than average chance I’ll be getting a TN Gaming 3rdSpace Vest for Fathers’ Day this year. Yep, my family rocks. So, I’m figuring out how to connect it to Black Shark via the SDK that’s published on their site.

Now unfortunately the SDK is supplied as a C/C++ .lib and header, and there is no .dll. With my new-found C/C++ knowledge (keep in mind I have never touched either language before yesterday) I’ve discovered that I can’t call the .lib directly from C# .Net, the language that my PitManager is written in. So, after a ton of late night googling, I discovered a number of sources including this, this and particularly this which have helped me get at least to the point where it seems that the API is returning me an error code.

It really brings it home to me that the syntax, which is often the thing that software language teaching focuses on, is the least of your problems when learning a new language. I’ve got a long background in Java and I’m developing a decent understanding of C# .Net, but the concepts of building a Win32 C/C++ .dll are just completely alien to me, despite the syntax being reasonably comprehensible.

Anyway, rant over. Next steps: completing the exported wrapper API and the Lua interface to DCS, and then awaiting the arrival of my vest, hopefully to a successful test on sunday!

gear supermarket!

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