FCOM is a program that forwards IVAO/VATSIM messages to users via Discord PM. You register with a Discord bot, which then gives you a code to plug into a separate program that you run on your simming computer. Walk away, grab a snack, maybe even head outside the house! You’ll receive frequency and private messages over Discord.
(Okay, this was tested on myself in Euroscope, but that’s the general idea.)
This way, you can freely step away from the virtual controls without having to worry about ATC that suddenly comes online, or being subject to the infamous 30-minute supervisor checks on VATSIM while away. Can’t read that multi-line ATIS that IVAO’s new ATC client spits out? No problem! Just read it in Discord.
I had always wanted a programming side project to work on, and having to constantly use Remote Desktop to check vPilot while away presented the perfect unique problem to work on. Couple that with a month-long break between school terms (for the initial concept), some figuring out of how the underlying network protocol works (it’s not publicly available at all), long rants over VATSIM tech, and excessive amounts of coffee, and voilà, FCOM.
Why the name?
Why name it FCOM? Well, there wasn’t a name initially, but after some brainstorming with early testers, we settled with FCOM. Aside from being a play on “Flight Crew Operating Manual” (PMDG forums: “have you read through the entire FCOM?”), it’s also a contraction of “forward communications”, an appropriate description of what it does.
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