It’s the middle of the month and that means it’s time to join in with Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge. I promised Clare a surprise and here it is: 2 Desktops😂👍 I bought a new Gaming PC in late May and allocated my existing PC to photographic duties – hence the 2 desktops.

On my Gaming PC this month I have a screenshot from The Hunter – Call of the Wild. I have been getting back up to speed in this game now that I have a pc that doesn’t suffer from periodic stuttering. The shot was taken on one of the base game reserves – Layton Lakes…

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…Layton Lakes is set somewhere in the state of Oregon. You can hunt Blacktail, Whitetail, Moose and Black Bear on the reserve and some other species too. If you look very closely, there is a Moose lying down, right of centre, just beyond the reedbed in the distance. All the while as you roam the reserve you will be seeing some wonderful vistas. With views like this I’m happy even if I don’t happen to shoot anything bigger than a Rabbit😅

On the Photography PC I have a photo taken at Clapham Junction on a very wet morning…

5724 at Clapham Junction

…Whilst the Southern Railway have withdrawn all of their Class 455 units, around half of the South Western Railway’s 455’s are still in active daily service as problems continue with the class 701 units that are their replacement. Here, 5724 enters the station on a Waterloo-Kingston-Richmond-Waterloo loop service. The passengers on the platform add a little intrigue – where are they going and why are they wearing dayglow jackets. I think they were probably on an advertising mission with a trolley full of leaflets to hand out. They seemed a little uncertain whether the train was going to Waterloo, so I guess they don’t travel through Clapham Junction very often 😉 Anyway, I hope to be out and about on a few of these Class 455 units again later this week,👍

Well, it’s the middle of May and that means it’s time to Share my Desktop for Clare 😎

I’m, once more, using a screenshot from a Truck Simulator game but this time it’s American Truck Simulator. The makers of the Truck Simulator Games, SCS Software, have taken many big steps forward over the last couple of years. They have upgraded the sounds and the lighting of the game while going back to older parts of the map system and improving the level of detail. Every change takes both games forward in terms of realism 😎

In some ways this was driven by the original release of American Truck Simulator in 2016. As the new kid on the block, it had to show it was up to what Euro Truck Simulator 2 was offering – it failed… SCS Software released ATS at a smaller map scale than ETS2 – a disappointing option that didn’t go down well with the fans of the original series.

Now it’s time to give credit where credit is due – they went back and resized the maps to the same scale as a free upgrade. I don’t know of many software development companies that would even consider that, let alone, carry it out! We got some beautifully scenic maps with some great details. But, ETS2 was now looking a little tired as a result. Cue an upgrade and remaking of the maps in Europe. These improvements are ongoing – Austria has just been updated and released as a free update last Thursday. Not to mention the free upgrades to the US maps – California is being rebuilt currently too! That has been the story throughout and explains why most of us who play these games take pride in supporting SCS when they are releasing new maps and other DLC’s.

So, back to the lighting. Last year, SCS updated this to show much more realistic sky effects. Now we get some beautiful sunsets and sunrises as a direct result and in general the days and nights look much more true to life. I think my Desktop this month illustrates that pretty well…

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…It’s dawn and the sky is threatening rain as I turn Smoky Bennett’s nose northwards on our way to Boise (ID) with Hay from Riverton (WY). We’ve just passed through the DoT station at Echo and we’re climbing away from the I84/I80 intersection heading towards Ogden. It’s a long grind ahead but we’re up to the job👍 And, yes, I can recognise this location on the real-world map 😀

You can catch Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge here. I know she’d love you to take part 😎👍

This month we’re back into a virtual world for Clare’s Share Your Desktop challenge. On March 28th I took a load from Bourges, in mainland France, to Ajaccio on the Island of Corsica. After a break, on 31st I once more climbed into my truck and collected a load of frozen meat bound for Hamburg in Germany. My desktop is an image from my run down to Porto Vecchio to catch the ferry to Marseille…

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…and shows my truck on the T40 climbing up to the town of Sartène. High above on the hillside is the Couvent Saint Côme et Damien. I love driving through Corsica – lots of challenging corners and climbs / descents😎

The image is from Euro Truck Simulator 2. The truck I’m driving is called Lady Galadriel – she’s a DAF XF and has a 530HP engine. She’s hauling one of my company’s side door refrigerated trailers. Like all maps in ETS2, the view is a representation of the real world with a degree of license applied to give a feel for the landscape through which the player drives while including clearly identifiable landmarks. You probably can’t see the Convent from the T40 in real life because of the trees and the topography, but the mapper’s artistry makes for a compelling ‘might have been’ view😎👍