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About jeffryfisher

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    Vancouver, WA
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    RR Tycoon II, Zeus/Poseidon, beer, volleyball, Sci-Fi, anime, trivia, political philosophy

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  1. I find it very interesting that elevated highway and ground highway are two separate networks. I can envision a mod that collapses the two and then appropriates the left-over one to become something completely different (e.g. a canals network). Likewise El-rail and rail. Aw, don' do that. Tha's a non-starter (so to speak). Rather, we would (I think) allocate one "real" network to each RUL set. Interestingly, I think almost all RHW would fall under one RUL set, but a new set might be created for over/under -passes (where automobile freeway nets cross). Likewise rails crossing at separated levels, regardless of type. I'd look at it this way: If I'd give a cell a different capacity, speed or slope rules, then I'd make it a different network. After that, I'd work out the transitions. I may be uninformed, but based on seeing RHW at many different heights relative to grade, I don't think that "elevated" should distinguish one network from another. If I'm even halfway onto something, then there's a radical NAM mod out there for the taking. But, given my track record on these things, I'm probably just ignorant. At least I'll learn something when the experts tell me what's impossible.
  2. You might also see the phrase "grade separation" to describe high-speed rail tracks that are elevated or otherwise isolated from their surroundings so that pedestrians can't walk on them and cars never drive across them (cars pass over or under instead).
  3. In London (south of the Thames), commuter rail lines are built into the bottoms of what were once canals of a former (below-grade) water-freight system. They're level, they're separated from pedestrians, and the bridge spans over them are level with surrounding neighborhoods. That at-grade bridging means they're easy to build and easy to walk across, so neighborhoods aren't as divided as in some other wrong-side-of-the-tracks scenarios (until you factor in soccer rivalries that is).
  4. When water needs to be contained at or above the level of surrounding terrain, one may build either an aqueduct like the Romans did, or one builds up levees (or if you're cheap, you use short levees surmounted by floodwalls). However, above-ground water has its risks (broken levees, by accident or sabotage). See what happened to New Orleans -- its perimeter levees held, but every elevated interior canal suffered a broken floodwall or two, and the entire city was destroyed. Even if you build above ground, you'll face a land-use problem when you enter a densely built city. The only way to void demolition will be to build underground fresh-water pipes (keeping them separated from sewers, which are for effluent). Pipes can deliver water to thirsty citizens and industry, but they would not provide a transit network such as canals can. Your choice will depend on what you aim to accomplish. If simply moving water, then I recommend digging canals below grade until you reach unavoidable urban obstacles. Then transfer the water to an underground fresh water system. However, if you also want a transit network, then your canal should cut into the city. Plan it like you would plan a highway or railway -- avoid what you can, and then demolish what you must. Most structures only have a 50-year useful life (observe how often sims replace them anyway), so don't worry overmuch about demolishing them for infrastructure having more than 50-year utility. This is especially true in industrial zones whose capital replacement cycle is even shorter, usually 10-15 years (in the sort of vibrant economy one expects under enlightened leadership).
  5. Look at the file's modification date and permissions.
  6. Given some folks' penchant for miracle-mods, if there's a strength rating on each tree-type, then I expect there to be some mighty powerful trees out there somewhere. Look for them or beware of them depending on whether you want a quick-fix or a "non-cheat" mod.
  7. "Documents" probably is on your C: drive, but you'd need to be a "power user" to know where it's buried (and the names/paths get changed subtly with each new version of Windoze in order to keep most users powerless).
  8. I don't know if "agreeing" is the word I would choose, but yes, a torrent is a two-way street. There are configuration steps to enable the software and secure it even on a machine that is not otherwise setup as a "server" (hence my mention of port forwarding). However, for a community that mods a game, the learning curve should be all in a day's work (and I expect many here already use bittorrent for something anyway). While it takes some work to start using torrents, they have many advantages, especially for managing large files and collections of files. And, once one has torrents set up, one has a new tool to access other content as well.
  9. Store your zip on a machine of your own that is configured to run a bittorrent program (which probably means port-forwarding a range of 3 port numbers needed by the program). Create a torrent file for zip file and leave your bittorrent program running to seed the file. Register the torrent with a tracker. Finally, upload the (tiny) torrent file to the STEX. I must confess that I haven't created torrents myself, only used them, so I'm unclear on the exact order in which a torrent is created and registered with one or more trackers (and the tracker info embedded within the torrent file). If you're new to it as well, then you'll need to find a tutorial and perhaps a bittorrent forum to query for help.
  10. What I wonder about are the train stations. By default, the arrow usually faces track. I've been manually rotating stations so arrow points at road. I then see automata on both road and track, so does that mean I did it right? If so, then I wonder why the default so often points to track.
  11. I don't know. I'm learning how the game works (including NAM) so that I know what tool to use for what job so I can avoid most problems and understand those that still crop up. But mainly I'm contingency-planning for an unknown future. Imagine I am an engineer for the state working out a 50-year regional transit plan for an urban area that's about to "pop". To set aside land for corridors and interchanges, I'm not looking at immediate needs but worst-case scenarios for 50-100 game years in the future. If the tools existed, I'd merely condemn the land or plop future-freeway (and interchange) shadow (planning) pieces. However, because I have no good way to do that (though I've toyed with the idea of designing freeway- and interchange-shaped ploppable farms), I'm actually building out the system now so it'll take up space and force me to zone development around it (I know I'm not smart enough to do that without something in the way). I know it's not ideal SC4 strategy (and not the way others play the game), but it's one of the primary design concepts for my region. It's what I grew up with: suburban sprawl replacing orchards in "Silicon Valley" during the 1970s and 80s left giant swaths of undeveloped land for future freeways (and after much NIMBY whining by people who had built houses backing onto known freeway corridors, those freeways were eventually built). Those swaths were set aside during the 1950s when the land was all open and almost nobody lived there -- decades before the freeways were needed. A similar process is going on where I live now, as certain roads with wide shoulders morph into "avenues" and expressways according to plans made (and using rights-of-way set aside) at least 20 years ago. I am trying to shape my towns-cum-cities in a similar fashion. If you look back at my posts where I've made mod suggestions or asked how things work, you'll see my urban-planning / regional transit planning concept behind many of them going back to when I picked up the game in 2013.
  12. Lloyd's Tower, London I didn't know about this one until I saw it in person, but since then I've noticed it a couple times in TV and movies set in London (it's hard to miss once you know what it is). "The building is innovative in having its services such as staircases, lifts, electrical power conduits and water pipes on the outside, leaving an uncluttered space inside... however the expressed services here aren’t painted in primary colours but left in their natural state: the shiny metal of the pipes and especially the escape stairs." -- Adrian Welch Whether it's a landmark or an eyesore is a matter of personal taste. YMMV
  13. Aha, good to know. If I have two loaded AVE's, there will be some benefit (if I ever need it) in replacing their intersection with something more advanced. I just need to figure out in advance what that would be so I can leave room for it. Indeed, I think that's the clincher. I begin to see the benefits of those RHW interchanges employing hole-diggers and tunnels in the tutorials. I'm still too lazy to construct a hundred of them on spec, but at least I'll have something to turn to wherever my intersections-in-disguise overheat at their crossing points. I should force myself through the tedium of constructing at least one of them to measure how much more space is required so I'll know how much land around every stock interchange must be dedicated to expendable development (e.g. farms).
  14. I have a new question about NWM intersections: What kind of crossing will handle the most traffic? Is a plain level TLA-5 x TLA-5 as good or better than transitioning to avenue and using their 4x4 traffic circle? Or is there some other widget that can process even more throughput? I've looked for circles that TLAs could plug into, but they looked asymmetrical, like they wouldn't take TLA-5 on all four sides. If I step up to TLA-7 (triple wide, so more capacity), do the relative ratings change? Does its 3x3 intersection carry more than a traffic circle? Do transitions to avenues cause more trouble than any avenue traffic circle could be worth? (And yes, I know not to ever build another Maxis avenue on a diagonal -- I am still ripping those out and replacing them region-wide). If there's an article on the merits (or futility) of using traffic circles with NWM, I'd love to read it (but haven't found it yet).
  15. Actually, I wasn't even thinking about custom content. What floors me is that a full clover-leaf interchange behaves like a level intersection, that the overpasses are just eye-candy. I've been investing in such interchanges (and full-stacks) because, IRL, they're better than diamonds that interrupt cross-traffic with multiple signals. Now I learn that the only effective difference is the real-estate that they occupy. It's that sort of epiphany (discovering where in the game that real-life ceases to be a useful guide to good design) that will change what I choose to build. You might call it confidence: I've wired together my large region with MHW and rail, but I have not yet painted the zones and started the clock, so I don't yet have a sense for how much traffic they'll handle. What I do know is that I've invested considerable time building a network according to one set of (naive) beliefs, and now I discover that my beliefs were wrong, so many of my decisions were wasteful. What I thought was helping my region was just eye-candy taking up extra acreage. Once I've figured out what the real constraints are, I'll probably go back through the 150+ sectors of my region replacing 100+ full-cloverleaf and stack interchanges with more compact crossings that serve just as well. Thank goodness for the moolah cheat that can give me my money back for the huge structures I shouldn't have built in the first place! What's making me fret is that I thought I knew what I was buying with my simoleons and land allocation (and time), and it turns out that I was buying something else. My understanding of the relative merits of interchanges and intersections was based on the real world. While I didn't expect SC4 to be completely "realistic", I thought its relative values (good, better best) would be similar. However, it turns out to violate some principles I thought inviolable. I'm still stunned that such a compromise was made. Maybe it's because I've written a traffic flow model before (air-traffic for the FAA in 1985, not cars for sims in 2002), that I have a what-I-would-have-done expectation. Adding to my irony is that I applied for work at Maxis in the mid-90s. You can bet that if I had made it onto the SC4 team, I would have found an elegant way to solve the crossing-level problem even if I'd had to stay late off-the-clock. Oh well, it no use dreaming of what might have been. Now I need to completely analyze an alien set of interchange purchase options that I had previously thought I understood intuitively (and where avenues / TLAs are involved, I must also compare traffic-circles and intersections). I'm not sure yet what will emerge as my preferred interchange / intersection for each use case, but I expect I'll have a lot of tear-down and replacement when I get there. It's good to know that there are balancing shortcuts to keep the game from freezing, but I'll still be re-evaluating the relative merits of interchanges and probably tossing my cloverleafs for something else. I'll also be less afraid of stop-light intersections of boulevards. Why struggle with FLUPs if they suffer as much as an easily built flat intersection? The tunnels bear more experimentation. Corina's example is promising, but where a road crosses under a street, the capacity is that of the road, yes? So the combined traffic might well cause orange congestion. Sorry if it sounds like I am complaining too much, but I just found out that a lot of my work was misguided and will probably be thrown away (and I have much to learn before I even know what should replace it). It's a lot to digest.