Trucking Digest

Ordis has been thinking… Who’s Ordis you ask? – Someone you may get to meet in a future post but just like Ordis I too have been thinking. The thinking has been about where this year is going and about what I will be posting on my blog. And, while I’ve been thinking, not a lot has been done. Now it’s time to get back on track. Firstly, Trucking Digest will continue but some weeks it will be replaced by a different post about other games or simulations that I spend my time playing. This was something I was contemplating 12 months ago that never happened. I hope to get back into my transport outings more too – something that has been on hold during the latter half of January due to a swollen joint in my foot 😦 And I also hope to continue my participation in the photography challenges from Cee and Nancy. So that’s the road forward after a period of rag-chewing with myself in the truckstop.

So – Trucking… I think this first serious post of the year should be about what’s coming to Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. SCS Software have been much better over recent months at feeding the community with information about their intentions. There are regular streamed interviews with the developers and the boss in which we are told of their ambitions. Even so, there’s always a bit of reading between the lines to predict some things and they also like to surprise us sometimes!

Definitely coming is release 1.34 – not that there is much info about what will be in that release. I think I can reliably predict that in ATS it will include changes to the roads in northern Oregon in preparation for the release of Washington – already notified by SCS as the next state to be added to the game and probably arriving sooner rather than later. In Euro Truck I guess that we might get another section of Germany updated to the latest mapping standard. In both ATS and ETS2 I also think the range of ownable trailers will increase. Both games desperately need Low-Loader trailers for us to own – My European heavy-haul division Scania R580 is currently employed helping out with normal deliveries until we can get these dedicated trailers……Rather a waste of her horses!

In the longer term I suspect that we will see a European map expansion into northern Spain and Portugal. I’d be surprised if the whole of the Iberian Peninsula were to be released in one go. But, the Baltic states were a huge area so who knows! That is one of the things hinted at by Pavel during a streamed interview though he didn’t specifically mention those nations. Other things floated in the breeze – I sometimes wonder if SCS work on a “let’s run that up the flagpole and see what bites” philosophy – are seasons. You know; winter, spring and autumn – everything is in summer currently. Pedestrians and cyclists – again, this was not specifically stated but the hint was there. SCS recognise the need to bring more real world life to the game. Cyclists and pedestrians do exist, it’s just a case of getting them to interact with the road.

Now I’m going to add one that hasn’t been hinted at – Police stops for traffic violations, etc. Currently if you break the law on the road you get an immediate fine. In the real world the police would have to pull you over to administer the fine. With the introduction last year of escorting vehicles for special cargoes, police vehicles that interacted with you and your truck were introduced. I think that the code required to achieve that change provides the first step to full interactive policing though I suspect it will be a long job to achieve. Much of what has been said by Pavel on the streamed shows tells me that SCS are in it for the ‘long-haul’ and will continue to produce content and upgrades for the community. I think this officer is going to fall asleep at the wheel if I don’t wake him up with a blast of the air-horn…

Finally, and hinted at by both SCS and MAN Trucks UK on Twitter, the license for the Euro6 version of the MAN TGX is likely to be agreed very soon. Like the Volvo VNL that appeared unannounced in ATS last November, the upgraded MAN TGX could appear in release 1.34 but more likely in 1.35 and it will be very welcome especially for us MAN fans 🙂 The next few months promise to bring lots of good things to both Truck Sim’s and I’ll keep you appraised of them in regular Trucking Digest posts. Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down – Happy Trucking 🙂

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The Opacity of Windows

I’m guessing that most of my readers are on Windows 10 by now and have learned to love it, not least because in general it falls in the category of a Billy Preston quote in a Stephen Stills song – “If you can’t be with the one you love honey; love the one you’re with” In general it’s ok but every now and then we hit issues and these are almost always related to updates. I’ve just had a day or so of my time wasted trying to get to the bottom of why my Windows 10 installation was reporting that several important downloads had not happened. This dated back to September last year and an update to v1803. Why it only just started telling me this week is a mystery. Initial investigation showed the error as being a download fail – Error 0x80070015.

There are all manner of potential fixes for this error on the internet, some of them requiring a download of third party software. Before going further, let me warn against that route – you might be paying for something that will fix nothing. Equally, you may be introducing a virus onto your machine and we don’t want that! Sensible ways to try to fix are the ones already built into your Windows. Right click on your windows symbol on the left of the task bar at the bottom the screen and in the menu you’ll find the option to open the Windows Powershell (Admin) tool. From here you can run SFC and DISM checks on your system – which will either fix issues in the files or tell you there are none. I won’t duplicate other sites here – just do a search for SFC or DISM to learn how to use these tools 🙂 Suffice to say that neither found any errors 😦 So back to head scratching.

If you are looking at the Windows Update screen you’ll see an advanced options link below the list of failed updates. This provides you with the ability to refresh your Windows 10 installation – sounds great doesn’t it! But wait a minute – if you choose that option it will uninstall most of your programs which means you’ll have to reinstall them assuming you have the product keys written down somewhere! Not very user friendly 😦

There is however another option. Go looking for the Windows Update Assistant. This online Microsoft tool will bring your machine up to the latest version of Windows 10 without deleting your programs or your files. Now why the hell don’t they just provide a link to that in the Windows Update screen and save us all a lot of heartache when the updates get confused???

For the record, I think an upgrade to version 1809 from 1803 got disturbed and failed to complete. So my version of Windows wound up trying to download v1803 files that were no longer available for download or were not applicable. Running Windows Update Assistant from the web resolved that but it took a couple of hours so be prepared to spend some time hugging your pc.

UPDATE: – Since running Windows Update Assistant I find that it has appeared as an icon on my desktop. It hasn’t done that when I’ve used it in the past so I guess Microsoft have addressed the problem 🙂

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Blue and Yellow

In May 1982, brand new HST power car 43191 stands in Crewe Works after a proving run – hence the flies on the fresh paint 😉 Originally destined for the Eastern Region, it bears set number 254033. But it actually went to the Western Region so the set number had to be changed to 253055 before it actually entered service! Set numbers slowly became obsolete as the realities of changing power cars around for maintenance took effect.

The Blue used on British Railways locomotives was called Rail Blue but was also known as Monastral Blue and used the synthetic pigment Phthalocyanine Blue BN. It was chosen for its light fastness, tinting strength, covering power and resistance to the effects of alkalis and acids – information from Wikipedia.

Blue vs Yellow – Rob Laney and Mark Kirby clash during a recent match between Wingate & Finchley and Haringey Borough…

Catch up with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Here.