MS Flight Simulator 2020: Release day 1 (8/17/2020) download issues

Seems like there’s been plenty of issues on release day 1 getting the new Flight Simulator 2020 downloaded and installed. For me, here’s a summary of some of the issues I ran into:

  • Installer crashing when using KVM to switch keyboard and mouse to second PC. It took me a while to realize the cause of this as it happens a short while after I made the switch. It seems the installer doesn’t like if you disconnect a wireless mouse or keyboard and the installer would crash without any error to the desktop. Restarting it would pick up from where it left off
  • App starting even though download had failed part way through. This happened a couple of times for me related to the above. I could get to the globe and select a start airport and destination airport, but the ‘Fly’ button wouldn’t do anything
  • Downloader/installer showing incorrect total file size download, total download size, and or percentage. This happened related to the above crashes. If the progress bar is not adding up, look in the download dir below and see where you are with the 001 to 031 files to give a rough idea how far along you are
  • Depending on whether you purchased on Steam or the Windows Store, and where you selected to install to, your location may vary but for me the location was C:\Users\my-userid\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages\Official\Steam . To get an idea how far along you are with the download if the progress bar is not making sense, look for files named fs-base-cgl-0.1.21.fspackage.nnn where nnn ranges from 001 through 031 and each of these files is approx 2GB each. Once you get to 031 there’s a handful of much smaller patch files, then the installer starts decompressing each of the 001 through 031 files (which will vary depending on the speed of your CPU and disk – on my Ryzen 5 3600 with Gen 4 m.2 SSD it was taking about 10secs per file)
  • If you get stuck on one of the numbered files and it seems like the download is not progressing at all, posts online suggest to quit the app, delete the last/most recent file in the above dir on which it’s stuck then start the installer again and it will restart with the last file again

Another global Microsoft Azure outage today: how many outages have there been over the past few months?

Microsoft’s Azure cloud service had another major global outage today as a result of DNS issues, that impacted access to Office 365 (maybe it should be more realistically called Office 360-ish, give or take a few days of unexpected outages each year) and other services like Teams and Sharepoint.

There’s been a number of other significant outages over the past few months, which doesn’t give a good impression of Microsoft’s cloud reliability.

There was the multifactor access issue in November 2018 that again left users unable to logon for several hours.

In September 2018 there was the ‘weather related incident‘ related to a lightning strike near one of their datacenters in Texas. Although it only impacted Azure data centers in Texas, for some reason this outage had a cascading impact impacting access to Office 365 and related services across the US, with some users unable to access services for at least a day.

In June 2018 there was the datacenter cooling issue that took down access for most of Europe, another outage that lasted several hours.

What’s interesting in all these cases is that an issue impacting an Azure datacenter in a specific regional area impacted access to service across a much wider geographic area. You would think (or hope) there’s some planned level of cross region failover support for Azure services, but maybe there’s not?

Digital Research – Pacific Grove, California

Gary Kildall and his company Digital Research played a pivotal part in the history of the development of the IBM PC. IBM approached Bill Gates and Paul Allen to provide a number of programming languages for the original IBM PC, and later returned to Microsoft to ask if they could also provide the operating system. Not having anything available at the time, Gates suggested they talk with Gary Kildall at Digital Research, who had developed the CP/M operating system for 8080 based computers at the time.

The history of exactly what happened during the meeting with IBM and Gary’s wife at Digital Research may never be clear, but for whatever reason, Kildall was unavailable to discuss with IBM. When IBM returned to Gates and Allen, they decided to go talk with Rod Brock and Tim Patterson at Seattle Computer Products (SCP) and licensed their QDOS operating system for the 8086 for $10,000 and $15,000 for each company that licensed the product from Microsoft. This became the basis for MS-DOS, The rest, is history.

(If you’re interested, I highly recommend the book Fire in the Valley, a great book which covers the story of the IBM PC in detail, as well as earlier and later history)

The original location of Digital Research is at 801 Lighthouse Ave, in Pacific Grove, California. The building is now a private residence. On a vacation to Pacific Grove earlier this month, I looked up the location where the office was, and as it was only a couple of blocks from where we were staying, so we stopped by:




This IEEE have installed a plaque on the sidewalk outside the building to commemorate the contributions of Gary Kildall, Digital Research and the CP/M operating system: