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Thread: Best Practices For A New MSTS Beginning

  1. #11
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    Well, we just had one.

    The new routes, when combined with existing installations, were replacing the track shapes in the Global with new ones that were calling up DDS textures instead of ACE. And for those which didn't follow the instructions to segregate, guess which other routes sharing that combined Global folder did not have track textures in DDS format in their Textures folder? All of them. That was the problem. Some people solved that problem by restoring their Global folder from a backup or reinstalling the ACE version of Xtracks again, but that only lasts until the next payware route comes out and overwrites them again.

    Since then, the X 61 update came out which supposedly accommodates the instructionally challenged

    Do I have a problem with Trainsimulations attempting to shed the ACE format in all their goodies? Not really. I think it was bold of them to set out anew.

  2. #12

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    Shedding the .ace format is one thing, but couldn't TS have renamed the track shape files from (for example) A1t10mstrt.s to something unique such as TS1t10mstrt.s so that misunderstandings such as this would be less likely?

    (Next step forward from that would be a custom set of tracks with scale rails.....)

  3. #13
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    With Open Rails, if in doubt, install a new route to its own directory. Then point OR to the new source directory. Essentially, it's a mini-route at that point.

    This isn't the first time that overwriting track objects in the Global folder has been a problem. It's happened with ScaleRail in the past -- sometimes it's been easier to keep ScaleRail routes in their own separate folder structures.


    MSTS-Roundhouse

    With Open Rails and ZDSimulator
    Info

  4. #14

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    So, all this sounds to me like it would be wiser for a new engineer starting out to keep OR and MSTS in their own environment (read: folders) instead of pointing OR to MSTS. Am I understanding this recent conversation right?

    Calvin
    ~ Calvin

    "Some say, "There is no such thing as a stupid question." Hmm... maybe so, but you will have to put up with my stupid questions until I learn to ask intelligent ones." ~ C.J.W.

    A word to the wise... I recently lost 10 yrs of data because both my PC and my ext. backup hard drive failed at roughly the same time. I will be mirroring three or more storage drives going forward. It will cost a fraction of the almost $2K for professional clean room recovery.

    [Disclaimer]
    I realize there must be voluminous tomes of information on this and other trainsim websites. I am not being lazy and will do what research I can when able. Short-Term Memory Loss and getting confused presents a difficult challenge. I can follow "checklists" okay, but I get very confused very quickly when trying to amass multi-matrix information like multiple posts in multiple threads on multiple websites. I hope this makes sense? I am very grateful for all guidance.

  5. #15

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    FYI - I have rediscovered I have been here before (sorry for the gimpy noodle). Please hold off on my above requests until I can reread my past threads. The information I am looking for may already have been answered. I totally forgot I was here before. I'll check back.

    Thanks for the help,
    Calvin
    Last edited by cjkawt; 05-29-2019 at 11:07 PM.
    ~ Calvin

    "Some say, "There is no such thing as a stupid question." Hmm... maybe so, but you will have to put up with my stupid questions until I learn to ask intelligent ones." ~ C.J.W.

    A word to the wise... I recently lost 10 yrs of data because both my PC and my ext. backup hard drive failed at roughly the same time. I will be mirroring three or more storage drives going forward. It will cost a fraction of the almost $2K for professional clean room recovery.

    [Disclaimer]
    I realize there must be voluminous tomes of information on this and other trainsim websites. I am not being lazy and will do what research I can when able. Short-Term Memory Loss and getting confused presents a difficult challenge. I can follow "checklists" okay, but I get very confused very quickly when trying to amass multi-matrix information like multiple posts in multiple threads on multiple websites. I hope this makes sense? I am very grateful for all guidance.

  6. #16

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    Update: Working through the Steam4Me "correct" installation procedure. That's a lot of good information.

    Calvin

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjkawt View Post
    So, all this sounds to me like it would be wiser for a new engineer starting out to keep OR and MSTS in their own environment (read: folders) instead of pointing OR to MSTS. Am I understanding this recent conversation right?

    Calvin
    It's actually very easy, because by default, Open Rails installs to a separate directory for just its own operational files and software. It always looks to wherever you point it for MSTS install(s) and routes. They can be in multiple directories, and once you "add" an install to Open Rails, it will remember it and put it in its menu that you can select from.

    So, install MSTS according to the Steam4Me tutorial. Then install routes -- either the old-fashioned way, by installing them into your main MSTS install, or as mini-routes. Your choice, based on your needs and organization.

    In Open Rails, use the "Content" tab to go through the steps for locating your main MSTS install and any other mini-routes. They'll appear in the Open Rails route menu as "Installation Profiles" in a drop-down menu.

    If you're concerned that a payware route might overwrite something in the Global folder, just install it to its own arbitrary folder on your hard drive, then go back to OR's "Content" tab to add an entry for it.

    Each "Installation Profile" can contain multiple routes -- simply because OR reads the ROUTES, TRAINS, and other folders that are present in that install. All you do is point OR to a directory that contains an MSTS install -- the main one, a secondary one, a mini-route -- doesn't matter -- and give it a name that means something to you, since it will become an entry on the menu. Then you can just select the "Installation Profile" by name in OR and any routes inside will appear on another pull-down menu.

    The trick is just to understand that OR is a separate application which just looks inside any MSTS installation for the data files it needs to run a route and trains. As long as routes are organized according to the conventional MSTS format, Open Rails will just make them work.


    MSTS-Roundhouse

    With Open Rails and ZDSimulator
    Info

  8. #18

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    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the explanation. One thing I want a definite answer to is does OR make any changes to MSTS? Yes or No?

    If I understand your post the answer would be - No, OR only reads from MSTS. It never writes anything into MSTS.

    I apologize for my specificity, but my gimpy noodle is at a "See Dick run. See Dick run with the ball" reading level these days.

    Calvin

  9. #19
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    OR does not change MSTS at all. It does not read the MSTS program at all, either. It simply reads content that MSTS also read, with some minor differences, mostly improvements. OR could be run without an MSTS install with no ill effect, though many older routes and rolling stock do use content that came with MSTS

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebnertra000 View Post
    OR does not change MSTS at all. It does not read the MSTS program at all, either. It simply reads content that MSTS also read, with some minor differences, mostly improvements. OR could be run without an MSTS install with no ill effect, though many older routes and rolling stock do use content that came with MSTS
    That was what I needed to know. FYI - I tried to find out this on the Internet, but either I wasn't asking the right question or the information isn't out there. Thank you for the help and your patience.

    Calvin

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