Silver's Simple Site - Weblog - 2011 - December

Open Rails Tips and Tricks

With the release of Open Rails 0.7.0, now seems a good time to document some of the hidden settings and features:

  • LoggingFilename (string setting) Specifies a static or generated name for the log file. Defaults to "OpenRailsLog.txt". This is a standard .NET format string, with the following replacements available: (New in 0.7.0)
    1. "Open Rails".
    2. Version number normally, build stamp if compiling yourself.
    3. Version number.
    4. Build stamp.
    5. Current date/time.
  • LoggingPath (string setting) Specifies an absolute path to save the log file when running the game. The default is your desktop.
  • ScreenshotPath (string setting) Specifies an absolute path to save in-game screenshots (using Print Screen). The default is the "Open Rails" folder in your pictures folder. (New in 0.7.0)
  • ShadowAllShapes (boolean setting) Specifies whether to generate shadows from all objects in the game, instead of only those which the route creator has specifically set. This can often make a route more visually pleasing, at a small performance cost.
  • VerticalSync (boolean setting) Specifies whether to limit the frame-rate to the monitor's refresh rate.
  • ViewingFOV (integer setting) Specifies the field-of-view for the display in degrees, vertically. The default is 45, which is equivalent to 60 horizontally in a 4:3 ratio. Because Open Rails measures this vertically, you'll automatically see more on widescreen resolutions. (New in 0.7.0)
  • Print Screen Takes a screenshot and saves it in the ScreenshotPath above in the PNG format. (New in 0.7.0)
  • Alt Hold down the "Alt" key and click on a switch to throw it (change which path is taken).
  • U Hold down the "U" key and click on a coupling to uncouple part of the player train.
  • Control - E Switches between locomotives in the player train.
  • Shift - Control - F Switches the direction of the player locomotive. This is a temporary substitute for the lack of MSTS Bin reverse cab support.
  • Alt - F1 Dumps the command list with keys to "keyboard.txt" and a high-resolution keyboard image (suitable for printing) to "keyboard.png".
  • Control - Alt - Page Up/Page Down/Home Controls the game speed, increasing, reducing and resetting it respectively.
  • Control - Alt - F11 Toggles the dispatcher/signalling visualisation, which highlights the selected route ahead of the player and AI trains, with labels for switches and signals.

To edit hidden settings

All Open Rails settings are stored in the Registry, under the key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OpenRails\ORTS". The usual disclaimers about editing the registry apply.

  • To edit any setting, open Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate the left side to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\OpenRails\ORTS".
  • Some settings will appear already, some have to be created.
  • To create a setting, either use the menu "Edit" > "New" or right-click the right side and use the menu "New".
    • String settings should be created as "String Value".
    • Integer and boolean settings should be created as "DWORD (32-bit) Value".
  • To edit any setting, double-click its name on the right.
    • Strings can just be edited as-is.
    • Integer settings should be edited with the "Base" option set to "Decimal" in the edit window.
    • Boolean settings should use the value "1" for true and "0" for false.

Permalink | Author: | Tags: Games, Open Rails, Train Simulator | Posted: 06:00PM on Wednesday, 14 December, 2011 | Comments: 0

Windows Live Mesh remote connections and changing monitor configurations

Windows Live Mesh has a remote connections feature, similar to Remote Desktop, which can be accessed from the Windows Live Mesh client and the Windows Live Devices website. I've used it frequently when I needed to access my home machine from work - it connects despite no ports being forwarded in the router and it doesn't mess up my multi-monitor configuration at home (normal Remote Desktop will change the resolutions and such).

That was until I changed my multi-monitor configuration at home.

Old arrangement: 1280x1024 / 1600x1200* / 1280x1024 (* primary)

New arrangement: 1280x1024 / 2560x1440* / 1600x1200 (* primary)

Then, every time Windows started, shortly after the login screen appeared, all the monitors would jumble themselves up in to something very closely resembling the old arrangement: 1280x1024 / 1280x1024 / 1600x1200* (* primary). It seemed clear something was attempting to put the monitors into the old arrangement based on some saved information, but it wasn't obvious what that something was.

To diagnose the issue, I carefully timed when the monitors first started showing signs of rearrangement after boot and consulted the list of processes and their start times (from "wmic process") to see what was starting at or just before the rearrangement.

That's when I spotted "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Mesh\wlcrasvc.exe", the Windows Live Mesh remote connections service, starting just seconds before the rearrangement.

So up came Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and a look through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft until I found HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Live Mesh. Hiding under there, at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Live Mesh\Remote Desktop\DisplayDevices, is a key for each display device on the machine and some monitor arrangement data (x, y, width, height).

I stopped the Windows Live Mesh remote connections service and deleted the entire HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Live Mesh key, since it didn't appear to contain anything except the display devices information. Upon restarting the service, some parts of the key came back but no monitors got rearranged and, upon connecting from another machine, the display devices keys came back, but with my new arrangement. I restarted the service again to be sure, and nothing rearranged itself.


Permalink | Author: | Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Live, Remote Desktop | Posted: 06:00PM on Wednesday, 21 December, 2011 | Comments: 0

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