Sim Racing Leagues

In development now... SimRacingLeagues.net is an easy to search database that helps sim racers find the league they have been looking for.

 

Check it out and offer your suggestions:  rob@bertsoftware.com

 

 

 
 
 

Sim File Fetcher (SFF)

Download Installation Server Setup Package Setup Troubleshooting

This simple program is used by sim racing league members to retrieve files from sim racing websites.  It keeps track of all the cars, tracks, setups, and mods a racer has downloaded to their local computer.  League admins make new files available by uploading ZIP files to their server and adding entries to INI files.  This program was designed to work with NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (NR2003), ARCA Sim Racing, and rFactor, but it should work with anything that needs files unzipped to a particular location.

Sim File Fetcher (SFF) v3.0 (340kb)* 11/12/13
Needed by all league members
SFF Server INI File Templates (2kb) 11/12/13
Needed by server admins only
If you like the program and are able to donate, your contribution will go towards hosting and development costs.  Thank you.
* If the self-extracting executable fails to run on your system (nothing happens or you get an error), try the MSI installation file instead.
 

Installation/Setup: 
  1. Run the self-extracting executable and accept the installation defaults.
  2. Server List
    • Name: Put a name for the server
    • URL: Put the URL of the web site and folder where the SFF files have been published by your league admin.
    • User name: ask your league admin
    • Password: ask your league admin
    • Use the 'Get Sims' button to retrieve the sims used on the selected server
    • Click Done.
       
  3. Installed Sims
    • Put a check mark next to each sim you have installed.
    • Use the 'Get Sims' button to retrieve the list of sims used on the selected server
    • Highlight each sim and provide the Installation folder and the Setup folder paths.
      ARCA Example:
      Installation Folder: C:\Program Files\SimFactory\ARCA SIM RACING
      Setup Folder:  C:\Program Files\SimFactory\ARCA SIM RACING\UserData\RobCobb\Settings

      NR2003 Example
      Installation Folder: C:\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season
      Setup Folder:  C:\Papyrus\NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\players\RobCobb\setups
    • Click Done.
       
  4. Fetch Files
    • Select the desired server and click 'Refresh'
    • Select a series
    • Select cars, tracks, etc. that you need
    • You can double-click to download or click the 'download' button
    • If you have files shown in gray that you know are up-to-date, right-click on the item and mark it as current without needing to re-download it

Release Notes: 

Version 3.0.1

  • Forces download of new files (no cached files)

Version 3.0

  • Finds renamed 'My Documents' folders
  • Does not show old series retired by league admins
  • Fix for bug deleting sims that would sometimes overwrite another sim
  • Changed 'Test' and 'Get IDs' buttons to 'Get Sims'
  • Ability for admins to delete files (not just folders)
  • Stops user if no sim folder is specified
  • Modernized look and feel
  • Automatically adds http:// if missing
  • Ability to show post-installation messages
  • Reads sims, servers, and install instructions from sffimport.ini
  • Prompts user to install missing sims when connecting to a server

Version 2.2

  • Remembers last sort option for cars, tracks, setups. and mods
  • Remembers last selected tab for each server
  • Connects to server without using the 'Refresh' button when changing server combo box
  • Warns if executable is not found in the target folder
  • Prompts for admin privileges if running on a Windows system running UAC
  • Ability to define files as a toggle (RFM and Track Config are an example)
  • rFactor2 added as a default sim

Version 2.1

  • Improved download speed for large files.  SFF was slowing down as the file was downloaded. This was most noticeable on files over 50 MB.
  • Progress message changes:
    - Added download speed and time estimate
    - Refreshes every half second and after being overlaid by another window
  • Added launch button:
    - Executable name and parameters configurable from server
    - Default: "+connect %SERVER% +password %PASSWORD% %OPTIONS% +profile %PROFILE%"
    - Optional replacement of RFM and one other file before start of Sim
  • Asks user if they want to run a downloaded file that is an executable
  • Ability to delete multiple folders (separate with commas)
  • Crash protection when server cannot be reached
  • Changed default sort to show most recently updated files at top (was sorting by first column)
  • 'Build Library' button to create the SFF files (INI and ZIP) needed for an SFF library

Version 2.0
The purpose of version 2.0 is to make SFF extend to more ZIP file sharing needs.  Admins now define the name (and ID) of the Sims and Mods that they support on their server.
New features:
- Adds 'Select All' check box
- Shows series name => destination folder
- <Enter> key downloads rather than closing dialog
- Remembers last used server, series, and tab
- Removed 'Save' button from server dialog. Added 'Test' button.
- Strips whitespace after server name
- New Sim dialog that allows custom sims with IDs to be defined by site admins
- Shows message updates and available series on server

Version 1.5.3
Better support for multiple servers.  The local cache and download folder is now a subfolder using the server name.


Server Setup: 
  1. Create a folder on your server from which you will make all SFF-related files (config file, ZIP files) available.  It's a good idea to password protect this folder.  Use your web host manger (cPanel is popular) to set the permission on this new folder so that it is password protected.  If you're not sure how to do this, Google "setup htaccess" or contact your web hosting service.
  2. Unzip the SFF INI Templates into the folder created in step #1. 
  3. Edit simfetch.ini.  This is the first file that SFF downloads.  It tells SFF which sims are supported and the names of the racing series.
    • Customize 'Welcome' and 'Message' in the [Server] section.  Changing the date causes clients to see new messages.
    • Define the sims you support (several sims are defined already). 
      For each [Sim ####] entry:
      • Name=Sim Name
      • Executable=Filename of sim executable used for 'Launch...'
      • RFM=Optional name of RFM file that should be overlaid before starting the Sim when using 'Launch...'
      • CopyFile=Optional name of a file that should be overlaid before starting the Sim when using 'Launch...'
    • Change 'Count' under [Series] to the number of racing series you support
    • For each [Series] entry:
      • ID=1  Must be unique
      • Sim=1001   Must match a Sim defined above
      • Name=Racing Series Name
      • File=http://www.yourweb.com/sff/ssnet.ini  Path to league series file
  4. Edit each league series file.
    • Change 'Count' under [Tracks], [Cars], [Setups], and [Mods]
    • For each track, car, setup, mod entry:
    • [Track 1]
      ID=1 Must be unique to the Sim
      Toggle=2  Optional: Toggles the state of track #2
      Name=Atlanta
      Date Year=2009
      Date Month=7
      Date Day=20
      File=http://www.yourweb.com/sff/nr2003/tracks/Atlanta.zip 
      File Type=1  File Types: 0 = copy file, 1 = ZIP, 2 = Launch program
      File Size=34.3  File size in MB
      Prefix Path=  Path to insert between Sim installation location and what is contained within the ZIP file (not required if ZIP contains folders)
      Delete Folder=  Folders to delete comma separated (not required)
      Note= "Optional"

    If you are upgrading from version 1.5x:  SFF 2.0 requires updates to the server-side simfetch.ini file.  The simfetch.ini file can support SFF 1.5x and 2.0 clients at the same time, but it needs the new [Server], [Sims] and [Series] sections in order to support 2.0 clients.  Download the simfetch.ini template here.


Package Setup:  Each time SFF 3 starts, it looks for a file called sffimport.ini. This file is used to add servers and sims to SFF. It can also prompt the user to install a sim. Here is an example:
[Import]
Servers=2
Sims=2
Installs=1

[Server 1]
Name=Test Server 1
URL=http://testsite.net/sff
Username=rcobb
Password=password

[Server 2]
Name=Test Server 2
URL=http://testsite2.net/sff
Username=rcobb2
Password=password2

[Sim 1]
Name=Test Sim 1
ID=100001

[Sim 2]
Name=Test Sim 2
ID=100002

[Install 1]
Name=Test Sim Install 1
Sim=1
Server=1
Mods=1,2

Troubleshooting: 

  1. Errors when trying to connect to an SFF server.
    - Double-check the URL entered on the 'Server List' dialog.  Can you open the URL in your web browser?
    - Local firewall rules may stop SFF from using the network.  Try disabling your firewall to see if that is the problem and then create a rule allowing SFF to pass through the firewall when the firewall is turned back on.
  2. No errors, but files are not being 'fetched' to the location I have specified in 'Installed Sims'.
    -
    The most common issue is a bad path to your Sim specified on the 'Installed Sims' dialog  (ex: 'Program Files' instead of 'Program Files (x86)' on a 64-bit system.) 
    - Another common problem on Windows Vista and Windows 7 is User Account Control (UAC).  UAC has a feature called VirtualStore that quietly writes files intended for the 'Program Files' folder to [user document folder]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore.  Since Sims are often installed to the 'Program Files' folder, this causes problems. 
      a) Run SFF as an administrator:  Right-click on the SFF shortcut.  Select 'Run as Administrator' at the bottom of the 'Compatibility' tab.
    OR
      b) Change permissions on all folders that SFF needs to write to so that you have permission to modify the files/folders.
    OR
      c) Disable the VirtualStore feature of UAC by editing your system policy.
    OR
      d) Disable UAC completely.  I find UAC completely useless, but can't really recommend that you disable it.  If you accept the risk, Google "Disable UAC".