PSX Aircraft Model
& Equipment List
Here's a typical everyday situation confronting you with a burning problem we all know only too well:
You suddenly feel the urgent need to fly (in PSX, of course) a 744 featuring...
You're almost but not quite entirely undoubtful that such ships exist in your vast PSX fleet (now standing at 333 models at least, and that's just those which came on the DVD!).
Quick: Which one(s) among those, fulfilling the criteria above, can you pick?
Sure, the pros amongst us will know off the top of their heads that only G-LOCH will fit this bill, but not everyone is a pro...
But we can help: PAMELA to the rescue, the PSX Aircraft Model & Equipment List Agency !
PAMELA offers only one function, which is logically trivial (until you start to implement it):
Instructor / Model / Save) for that purpose.
Simple and straightforward, thus.
cfgVar.iniare in the same place.
Note: PAMELA reads (and only reads!) the PSX
*.model files, but it does not require PSX itself to run, in order to do its job!
Start PAMELA by one of these methods:
*.jarextension to the Java Runtime Environment.
java -jar pamela.jar
Tip: This latter method is always recommended in case you encounter problems: If the program aborts, the DOS Box a.k.a. Command Prompt window a.k.a. console) will stay open and thus give you a chance to read any Java error messages (which you won't see when you start the application by the other methods).
On the first run, a dialog will pop up to ask for your PSX model folder*. The location will be remembered, you don't have to enter it every time you start the program (unless it changes).
* This can be any folder, it does not have to be the "real" one under the Aerowinx main folder. You could use a copy of that folder elsewhere. However, as PAMELA accesses model files only for reading, there is no risk of damage in the original folder.
If you think the user interface (GUI) isn't much to write home about, you're right. Read Note 2 to see why this is so.
"Search Fleet" button
This is the main function of PAMELA.
Select the required features in the dropdown lists.
As soon as you have made a change there, the "Search Fleet" button will turn red, as a reminder that the actual search has not yet been carried out.
When you're done selecting features, click on that button.
The models which fit your selection will be listed in the text area at the bottom. Be advised this is a mere output field, so you cannot edit the text there; you can however select text and copy it to other applications.
Tip: Note that the list will give you the file names of the models. It is therefore a very good idea to follow the example of the original PSX model files and always use meaningful
*.model file names.
In particular, the airline name is not among the available feature variables, because it generally is (and ought to be) part of the file name already.
In order to make another search, you can simply change the selections and click "Search Fleet" again.
"Reset Selections" button
If you want to start another search from scratch, use the "Reset Selections" button.
This will return all feature selections to "any" (the wildcard value).
"Update Fleet" button
PAMELA uses a file named
fleet.idx to keep track of your model files and their features. This file is (re-)written every time PAMELA starts, so in principle it is always up to date.
However, if you add or remove model files while PAMELA is already running, this change will not be noticed.
In this case you therefore have to click "Update Fleet" to get
fleet.idx (and thus the program) back in sync with the actual content of your model folder.
If you want to switch to another model folder, different from the one you have used so far (and which PAMELA has memorized), simply delete
fleet.idx. The next time you start the program you will be prompted again for a model folder and can now point PAMELA to the new one.
Finally, testing this type of application is rather tricky: You have to compare the features you require in PAMELA against the tabs (in PSX) of the models which were allegédly found...
Even though the program may run nicely, there is thus still room for errors in the information (PAMELA saying that aircraft G-LOCH has the required feature set when in fact she hasn't, or vice versa). Consider yourself testing PAMELA at be(s)t(a)... Thanks.
PAMELA currently supports twelve variables for feature selection. These are (in the order in which they appear in the GUI):
Obviously, this is only a (small) subset of the features available in PSX, see the Instructor "Model" page, tabs "Airframe" and "Equipment".
The variable selection used in PAMELA is a best guess of "interesting" features, following "common sense" (i.e. subjectively).
Some are obvious choices for inclusion, such as "Aircraft model" (PAX/combi/freighter) or engine make (CF/PW/RB); some were deemed "useful", e.g. presence of stabilizer tank, type of stand-by instrument; and some may be a bit esoteric (for model selection, not for 744 operation), e.g. hydromechanical fuel scavenge.
The GUI is perhaps not quite "state of the art", but there are reasons for that. As a minor one, the goal was to keep it simple and on one page/panel. A proper implementation would have ended up replicating the "Airframe" and "Equipment" (and possibly "Programming") tabs as seen in the elegant GUI of PSX itself.
More importantly, the idea was to allow for processing of features in an efficient manner (read: for-loops), and that requires that the GUI elements for all features be of the same type. Hence the somewhat silly way of having dropdown lists (what Java/Swing calls "comboboxes") also for "yes"/"no" variables (which ought to use radio buttons)
Thanks and credits go to
End of document
12.08.2014: version 1 public release
© Martin Erdelen 2014