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Persistent Stickies


Steven Perry
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Is there a way to keep sticky notes from one session to another?

 

It would be awesome to write myself notes that could be saved in the session file. E.g. I have several Quick Reference Cards which contain departure headings based on runway and departure gate, missed approach altitudes and headings, runway selection criteria, required routings, and crossing restrictions to comply with the myriad of SOPs and LOAs. A lot of that info I could put into a sticky note on the margin of my sector. I will want different info and in different locations than the next controller, so a sticky would be the ideal place for it rather than the SCT.

 

Full disclosure: I'll admit that I don't memorize all procedures for all the airspace I have. I'm a bad VATSIM controller. I'm not realistic.

Steven Perry

VATSIM Supervisor

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Is there a way to keep sticky notes from one session to another?

 

No, mainly because they are intended for transient information that only pertains to the current session, such as requested MIT for an adjacent sector, etc. They're definitely not intended as a cheat for not having to memorize SOP info.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Thanks for the quick reply.

 

As far as a cheat for not having to memorize SOP info... can you think of it this way for a moment? Excessive memorization may be an impediment to fostering virtual controllers.

 

Real life ATC works their chunk of airspace 40+ hours a week. They memorize SOPs and maps because they have an addiction to food, clothing, and shelter.

 

The average VATSIM controller though does this maybe 10 hours a month? And, if my example can be taken as typical, this controller will work such a wide variety of airspace that memorizing it all (even if my salary did depend on it) would be impractical. I'm certified to control 3 cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B, several cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C airports, some Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] Ds, a TRSA or two, all from tower cab to TRACON. Add on top of that enroute where I'm controlling 7 or so areas comprising ~50 sectors. No real world controller is asked to memorize that much.

 

So what does a cheat sheet hurt? And why not put those cheat sheets in the most convenient place where you are sure to have them when controlling, on the radar screen?

 

Persistent stickies might get a few student controllers over the hump and make regular contributors out of them.

Steven Perry

VATSIM Supervisor

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the quick way i could recommend is create an alias file that will quickly pull up your stickies.

 

for example, make an alias with

 

.s .sticky TEXT

 

save the alias. [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign it in your profile. then everytime you start up, just type ".s" and your stickies will come up without you having to retype them all. just set them all on your alias ahead of time

 

can also just get some post it notes and stick them on your monitor i had my monitor filled with them everytime i learned a new airspace. you will naturally memorize the information on them even when just using the PC for something other then controlling

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Two things you can do:

 

1. A lot of controllers use cheat sheets that have all the information laid out in a logical and quick to reference way.

 

2. If you are handy with a text editor, you can add text to the LABELS section of the sct2 file.

 

Even better would be if the docomeentation guy/(s) made the SOPs more user-friendly. When I did the docs for VATPAC, my number one principle was that it should be able to be used as a quick-reference book while still covering all the information. Interestingly, I got shown the Washington vARTCC docomeents the other day and it looks like they used the same principle.

David Zhong

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Thank you for the further suggestions. I like the alias and the SCT2 labels ideas.

 

As an aside that probably belongs in a different forum, I'm just a simpleton who likes to keep things simple. Perhaps my memory just isn't good enough to be a true VATSIM controller. When I started, the only memory items I needed were the STARs and the runways at the major airports. I stepped it up a notch or two and put myself through the FAA training program, drew the maps from memory, got the t-shirt, and moved on. I was still okay on VATSIM at that point. But things have gotten "more real" since then. I resorted to a condensed one-page cheat sheet a few years ago, but that has since been expanded to a 4 page reference packet by the powers that be.

 

Putting it all on the radar screen was the ideal solution to deal with the procedure bloat in my mind.

 

Anyone know how grease pencils work on LCD screens?

Steven Perry

VATSIM Supervisor

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Maybe get some acetate paper (like this) celeotape the top edge of it landscape across your moniter, and then use a whiteboard pen, or perm infant maker to write on it so it is almost as if it is on your screen, but will not damage it, and if you want to do something else just flip it over the top of the moniter and you have your normal screen back. If you need it bigger then A4 get an A3 one and cut to size. What do you think?

VATSIM UK S2 Rated (Essex RTS)

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grease pencils not a good idea unless you want to replace your screen constantly. you'll scratch it as well as it does not come off cleanly without a harsher solution of chemicals. We had a not so bright help desk person try it as a solution to the various codes and extensions he was required to know/lookup. was a mess

Richard Gerrish

Developer, STM Applications Group

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