Friends, as my readers know, I get to spend an hour each week with a group of young people going through addiction recovery. Young people. This also comes with the bittersweet knowledge that these kids still have a fighting chance while several of my friends have already had to bury their own children. In the spirit of transparency … I get it.
As an adult, that now seems silly, but it was my reality at the time. As a teen, forcing down alcohol seemed a whole lot easier than offering myself up for punishment, endless nagging and interrogation, and the potential end of freedom as I knew it. This simple, but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time.
The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow. When he answers, the conversation goes like this:. He has the freedom to protect himself while continuing to grow and learn to navigate his world.
enter The Visual Effects slider adjusts the quality of the visual effects, such as shadows and light reflection and is dependent on the quality of your graphics card. Adjust the Texture Quality slider to fine tune the level of detail in the textures of the cockpit and world objects. Textures are the image-maps that are draped over the terrain and aircraft to make them look realistic.
If it is set too low, the runway and terrain will look blurry and blocky. While this will not look very good, it will use very little video memory VRAM , so a high frame rate will be more easily achievable. The Antialiasing slider is used to smooth the edges of the objects drawn in the simulator.
These jaggies may be somewhat eliminated by turning on anti-aliasing. Both situations tax the video card with virtually no increase in CPU use.
The Number of Objects slider will adjust how many 3D objects are drawn in the world, such as trees, buildings, and static aircraft. If you have a powerful CPU you can set this to high or even maximum without affecting your frame rate too much, and the highest settings will ensure that you see all there is to see around an airport. Check the Draw parked aircraft box if you would like to see static aircraft at airports. Checking the Draw shadows on scenery box will also add detail that older, slower cards may not be able to handle.
We recommend putting the Texture Quality slider on its lowest setting, exiting the sim, restarting it, and noting the frame rate. Keep an eye on the message below the slider that shows how many megabytes of textures are loaded. From there, raise the slider up one level and repeat until the frame rate decreases.
We recommend being very methodical and following these instructions in order, checking the frame rate after each major change until you find settings that give an acceptable frame rate. Ensure the frame rate is visible on screen per the instructions in Displaying the Frame Rate above. Your CPU may be much more powerful relative to your graphics card, or vice versa.
In such a case, you could hypothetically turn the CPU-heavy features up much higher than the GPU-heavy features or vice versa.
This means that they may create incompatibilities or create other problems that would not be experienced in the stable releases. When he answers, the conversation goes like this:. This will automatically load altitudes from the FMS Flight Management System into the autopilot for you in order to follow route altitudes. Anybody know, the A what they are making at this time, comes for X-Plane 11 too? Note that if you return to the Main Menu found under the File menu after starting any flight, the name of some options will have changed slightly.
Likewise, the right half of the Rendering Options is the CPU-heavy features: world objects, reflection detail, and parked aircraft. To find the best compromise between performance and visual quality for your specific machine, start with all sliders at their minimums, and all checkboxes off. From there, turn up the settings in the order detailed below. Enable the parked aircraft, and start turning up the number of world objects and reflection detail.
Having found the number of objects you want to use, start bringing the texture quality slider up. At the bottom of the Graphics section of the Settings screen are the options for configuring the monitor. Use the drop down menu to switch between full screen and windowed mode, or the Instructor Operating Station requires at least two monitors. Increasing the resolution may also cause a drop in frame rate if your graphics card is not powerful enough.
This is especially helpful for those with large, high resolution monitors. Expand the Visuals Settings to set the default view or turn off windshield effects such as cracked glass after a crash. You can adjust the Lateral field of view in the Field of view section. This changes the extent of the observable scenery that is onscreen.
If you are using a multimonitor set up, expand the Visual Offsets section to make adjustments for monitor bezels or wraparound monitors. See the section Configuring a Multi-Monitor Simulator for more details. To configure the sound, move your mouse to the top of the screen and click on the settings icon, then Sound. On the right side, ATC sound and text can be turned off or on. This window will also check the status of speech synthesis software used for ATIS. To change the language used throughout X-Plane, move your mouse to the top of the screen causing the menu to appear and click the Settings icon.
We regularly release new updates to the simulator that contain feature enhancements, bug fixes, stability improvements, aircraft and resource updates, flight model improvements, and even new feature additions. This means that if you purchase the Version 11 discs, you will get the Version Of course, you do not have to take advantage of these updates, but it is recommended that you do so.
This means that they may create incompatibilities or create other problems that would not be experienced in the stable releases. The advantage to doing so is that these users get access to the latest enhancements to the software. The downside is that there is a greater risk of encountering problems with third-party models or other general bugs. These features include:. If your computer is not running a firewall, of course, this is of no concern to you. Unlock the pane by clicking the lock in the lower-left corner and enter the administrator username and password. X-Plane can be modified in a number of ways.
You can add aircraft or custom scenery, or you can download plug-ins that can radically alter the functionality of the simulator. The X-Plane Developer site has a wealth of information on creating both scenery and aircraft, and the X-Plane SDK site has documentation on developing plug-ins. The Plane Maker manual will prove especially useful for users creating aircraft files, while those developing scenery should keep the WorldEditor manual handy.
Perhaps the easiest place to find new aircraft is on X-Plane. When downloading a custom aircraft, it will typically be in a compressed folder usually a ZIP file that contains the airplane and all its various paint jobs, airfoils, custom sounds, and instrument panels. Once the compressed folder is downloaded, you should be able to double-click on it to open or expand it on Macintosh, Windows, or Linux computers. From here, the folder can be dragged and dropped into the Aircraft folder. For instance, for a newly downloaded Piper J—3 Cub, the folder path in Windows might look like this:.
When you start a new flight, your aircraft will show up in the aircraft grid of the Flight Configuration screen. Bind them to a button or key according to the instructions in Configuring Flight Controls. Of course, users can also upload their own aircraft to X-Plane. We place no copyright restrictions of any sort on aircraft made by users with Plane Maker, and these custom aircraft may be uploaded and shared or sold at will. Custom scenery packages, too, can be found on the X-Plane. These may be downloaded and installed at will. This file determines the order in which scenery packs load, with files at the top of the list overriding those lower down.
Additionally, the XAddonManager utility may be helpful for managing a large amount of custom scenery or downloaded objects. The Airport Scenery Gateway is a community-driven effort to collect airport data into a global airport database. The latest Gateway scenery will be provided automatically via updates. You may also add scenery from the Airport Scenery Gateway before that happens, but note that if you do so, it will suppress any later Global Airport updates to that same airport.
People write plug-ins to do all sorts of interesting things like hang weights on the dashboard that move around accurately, run little tugs around to push your airplane on the ground, or draw interesting terrain visualization systems, among other things. Once again, X-Plane. X-Plane, of course, is a flight simulator. A typical flight consists of some, if not all, of the following steps:.
In addition, you might take advantage of a number of features of the simulator either before or during a flight. Here you can pick from four options to get flying.
You can also quit from this screen, or adjust your settings. Load Saved Flight will allow you to load one of your saved replay or situation files see the section Creating a Reusable Situation for more details. Click the button to be taken to the Flight Configuration screen. Note that if you return to the Main Menu found under the File menu after starting any flight, the name of some options will have changed slightly.
You can Resume Current Flight or choose Flight Configuration to modify your current flight or create a new one.
Figure 5. It can place your aircraft on a runway or apron, or it can start you in the air on a 3 or 10 nautical mile approach to a runway. This screen is divided into three parts. In the top left is a larger version of the airport selection on the previous screen. Note that if the aircraft is moved to an area that does not have any scenery installed, it will end up on a runway which is hovering above the ocean down below.
You do not have to choose a location for your flight using the list of world airports. You can also choose from a number of special starts in this screen, such as a carrier cat shot, oil rig approach, or the space shuttle landings. The first, and easiest, way to set the weather is using the slider on the Flight Configuration screen. Eight options are available, with the cloud cover getting increasingly heavy as you drag the slider right. Click the Customize button for much finer control over the weather.
It may be easiest to start with the closest type of weather you want with the slider, then go to the Weather Settings screen to tweak the individual settings. The Weather Settings screen allows you to specify the exact weather you want.