To my dismay today, Microsoft decided to release Windows Server 2003 SP1 on Software Update Services and Windows Update. (Not that this is not a good thing for regular 2003 servers)
The problem is, it is a critical update and also will say to SBS2003 servers "Hey... install me... I am good for your server". This is not what I am reading in newsgroups at the moment :)
So... for the moment, hold off letting Windows Update or Software Update Server install Windows 2003 SP1 on SBS2003. We have our very own SP1 for SBS2003 coming pretty soon that will have Windows 2003 SP1 and more...
I have also just noticed that my good friend Susan Bradley has some interesting blog posts on the subject (in more detail of course) ;)
Here and Here
The Magical M&M's have posted an official response from MS on this issue on their forums here
Well, it has been a crazy two days since SB3's release. I have been busy on Squawkbox 3.ca answering posts, and the problems are minimal. There was a pretty big uninstaller bug, which has been fixed. You can download the new version from www.squawkbox.ca or my mirror. (I know those two to be definitely updated).
Make sure to install over the top of the existing install, do NOT run the previous uninstall.
Surprise Surprise – Squawkbox 3 is here!
So, about 60000+ people have been waiting for a very long time for a product to replace Squawkbox 2.x and today – earlier than some of you may have thought – Squawkbox 3 is released. 14:45Z.
This has been a very open development by the talented and very patient Mr Joel DeYoung. I have been lucky enough to work with him on the beta team for SB3 and also designing some of the very low polygon Aircraft models for the SBX model set.
For those of you that know what this is all about… just head on over to here for the download. For those that are saying “What are you talking about Nick”… read on…
Microsoft themselves have a “Microsoft Zone” product that allows pilots to fly online together. However, what is the point in flying, if there are no controllers…. That is where VATSIM (and other online networks) come in.
Squawkbox 3 is the “Pilot” part of the online experience. It plugs into Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 – A Century of Flight and allows the pilot to connect to the network, file a flight plan, and fly – WITH controllers. The system uses built in Voice so that people actually talk across the internet as opposed to type, and…. Well, I could go on and on about this, but I would fill up the blog. Suffice to say, it is VERY realistic, keeping in line with Microsoft’s “As Real as it Gets” philosophy.
Now… there is another interesting point I am trying to make here… Let’s just take a step back here and remember that this is ALL FREE. VATSIM’s networks, the controller client ASRC (Written by Mike Evans), Squawkbox 3, everything… and it is all written without the direct support of Microsoft. This is something that I really want to see change. Something I am trying to change…
Whilst there are specific people in Microsoft, who I know take a massive interest in these add-on products, be it scenery, aircraft, SB3, ASRC, there is no “official” way for add-on developers to work with the Flight Simulator team on future SDK / Interfacing development. I hope to see this change in future versions of the product. With “some interface” between developers and the MSFS team, I am certain that these add-ons will continue the growth of this already extremely popular game.
In the mean time… if you even have a slight interest in Flight Simulator. I strongly suggest going and signing up with www.vatsim.net and downloading Squawkbox 3 for an amazing experience!
If you want to control on the other hand… sign up with VATSIM and download ASRC from www.asrc.info
Below are some images of the beta testers using SB3 on the ground for a recent test in Vancouver. Also a couple of shots from the controllers perspective. (I'm EIN1000), Click for larger versions.
Whilst I do wish that MS would get a move on and add Flight Simulator to the MVP Community solutions product list so that I can write my own articles, I am glad to see more articles on Microsoft's support pages.
Description of the troubleshooting tools that are installed in Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight
Error messages that you may receive when you try to install the Flight Simulator 2004 Update v9.1 update for Flight Simulator 2004 – A Century of Flight
How to view the passenger loading ramps in Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight
Quite possibly the funniest video I have seen in a long time. Be warned online gamers! Drink plenty of Red Bull
It should be noted that there is some bad language in the clip.
See it here
Link is sometimes down.... but come back... it is class!
Tonight, Susan Bradley, myself and John Lennon (Not the singer, but a SBS Consultant in Northern Ireland) had a discussion on this subject.
It seems, though we are not certain, that whilst the USA has NFP / Charity pricing on SBS, Europe does not seem to. This is a major problem for resellers as it actually stops SBS getting into these organisations as it is cheaper to put in Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 NFP licencing.
If this is indeed the case, it must change! We will make it happen.....
Yesterday I uploaded the two gate tutorials I did a while back to avsim.com However, in my rush, I put in no readme (thanks to Hans for pointing this out).
Basically, for those that need to know, these are Shockwave Flash animations. There is a HTML and a SWF file in the ZIP I uploaded. Extract both to a folder and click on the HTML file. This will load the animation in IE for you.
The downloads are available here
I intend on doing more of these when I get time, feel free to suggest more subjects on the comments section on this blog.