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The Windows versions of MAK products are built using the Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC++) compiler. Because application and library compatibility is usually broken between different versions of the compiler, applications that interoperate must be built using compatible compilers. To help customers choose the correct version of an application to install, each MAK application installer includes the compiler version it was built with in the installer filename. Additionally, the About box for each application includes the compiler used to build it.

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We are proud of our customer support. We believe that if our customers aren’t happy, then we won’t succeed. To that end, we do support a bit differently than most companies. In this blog, I plan to take a little bit of time and explain how our support works. I will also offer a few pointers on how to get the most from it.

The primary way we try to make our technical support great is by not having a technical support team. Our engineers "“ every one of them "“ are responsible for our customer support. Specifically, this means each of our product team engineers often dedicates a significant portion of their day to helping customers directly. 

This is an unusual position for a company of our size to take; the more typical approach is to have a first line support team who answers the majority of questions and then allow for escalations to the engineering team. Even then, there is probably a single, usually junior, member of the engineering team that deals with most of the escalated questions. This typical approach is taken because the majority of customer support questions are perceived (incorrectly) to be a waste of time for more talented engineers who are busy on "important" features. MÄK completely disagrees.

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Can’t seem to figure out why the play/pause/rewind buttons in VR-Forces are disabled? Wondering why you can’t create/load new scenarios in VR-Forces? I originally posted this question/answer in our forum “ since it’s a common problem, we wanted to point it out here as well.

Usually this means the front-end and the back-end are not talking to each other. This could be the result of a number of things, ranging from your own network to a firewall problem.

If you’ve eliminated all possibilities of your computer interfering with itself, it is likely that you have two network cards on your computer. When this is the case, you need to specify a device address in the VR-Forces launcher dialog box. It conveniently has a drop down box of IP addresses you can select from. Usually the first non-127.0.0.1 address is sufficient. Select this and launch VR-Forces from here. If the buttons are still disabled, we encourage you to let us know, either here or on the original forum post.

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Each HLA object must have an object name that is unique throughout the federation execution. When an object is registered, the federate can provide a name or let the RTI supply an object name. In the HLA 1.3 specification, when the federate supplies the name, it is up to the federate to make sure that the name is unique. If it isn’t, the RTI throws an exception. The HLA 1516 specification lets you reserve names to ensure that they are unique.

By default, the VR-Link publishers perform name reservation and object reservation at the same time - when the publisher is created. The name reservation process requires a round trip handshake between the local RTI component (LRC) and the rtiexec. Therefore, performing it just before an object is registered can delay the object registration process. If the federate is simulating a limited number of objects that are created at start up, this overhead is negligible. However, if the federate is creating many 100s of objects or if an object is being created in a time critical fashion (say a missile fly out), the delay caused by name reservation can become significant. One way to avoid the name reservation delay is to perform the name reservations ahead of time before the objects are registered. VR-Link can do this. (continued...)

To reserve names in advance, your VR-Link application needs to make name reservation calls. If the calls are performed through the exercise connection, the results are cached. When an object publisher is created, it first checks to see if the name is already reserved. If so, the name reservation call is skipped. We have a code snippet that shows how to do this, but it is a bit too long for this blog. We have put it on the MÄK Community Forum in the Link-Interoperate section. If you want to see the code and a somewhat more detailed explanation of this issue, click here!

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When selling toolkits, we run into the same kind of problems that people selling hammers have. Most people won’t believe that the tool can build a house unless I show them a house built with the tool. With our software toolkits, many customers want to see the possibilities that the API is capable of. Because of this, many of the demos that we create have a touch of customization to them, some more than others. However, we always do it in a way that a customer can replicate when they are working with our APIs and we do it through the magic of plugins. Demos including dynamic terrain and video streaming are all implemented as plugins. (continued...)

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