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Guest jase439

Essay: The FS Investment - A Peculiar Dilemma

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I just finished watching the new movies put out by Wilco Publishing advertising their up and coming Airport 2002 Volume 1. In perfect synchronisity with the sound of my jaw hitting the table, was that of my wallet striking the table as well.The technology we have to work with today in this hobby is truly phenomenal when you consider where we were in the early days of FS95 and 98 with our 8-bit color palettes and dithered clouds. It likewise occurred to me earlier today (as I was responding to a rather ridiculous post) that legendary products like PIC 767 and the 747 from PSS are nearing their 3 year anniversary. As I marvel at Wilco's moving jetways, I realize how even some "first generation" products like SimFlyer's KATL scenery continue to be some of my most prized investments. While these "old-timers" are starting to show their age in contrast to the wild advances being made in this hobby, I find that I enjoy them now as much as I did when they were ground-breaking ventures. Why, just the other day, a fellow simmer introduced me to an old set of night textures that I had used FS2000. I was pleased to find that they work beautifully in FS2002 and really bring the night to life! Where has this treasure been?So as I peer into the graveyard of my closet I see stashed among the hoarde of flight simulation boxes, printed manuals for aircraft long dead, NAT tracks and fuel tables from my days with WestWind, a screen capture of a single engine landing into KMIA, a users guide to GPS98, a 300 sheet stash of notes on creating photorealistic terrains for Fly! In all this I see the footprints of many countless hours of freedom long since expressed in a virtual world of polygons and bitmaps. It occurs to me how much I have invested in this hobby - both in time and in money.In the early days, it was all freeware. You paid for your sim, and everything else you either built yourself or you perused the lost catacombs of the IUP archive for that perfect addition. In those days, panels and aircraft took weeks to construct - not months, or even years. Today, even the quality of the ground we fly over has become a major engineering endeavor. The bar inches higher and higher as the complexity and scale of our flightsim ambitions grow exponentially.Just to setup my flight sim environment is, by itself, a worthy endeavor. A great weeping there will be should my FS2002 installation run amuck and I find myself having to reinstall anew for I will have forfeited at least a week of my life! As FS2002 moves into its second year I am left asking: what is to become of all this time? All this money? Can I even afford all the upgrades to keep these favorite treasures of mine I've collected over the years alive and breathing in FS2004...in 2006? Or will they become relics in my closet like my short-lived Airport 2000 collection, or zip disk of FSTraffic aircraft? Like a lost high school sweetheart, I lament, "Oh sweet cherished treasures! Isn't there some way to get you back?" Maybe I'm not ready for FS2004 just yet! We haven't even come close to pushing the envelope of FS2002! Everyday I start this sim, I feel like I'm just getting started, and technology keeps pushing the limits ever higher. I find myself wondering how long I can sustain this boyish little habit of mine. I am attached to flightsim technology as one might cherish an old sweater or trusty screwdriver. I'm not ready to let go of my toys just yet! What more will I add to me cartful of "must-have" add-ons in the days ahead...which ones will I be forced to discard...which ones will I be required to upgrade? Do I buy Airport 2002, do I sink another $30 into a 727? Must I become addicted to their mandatory presence in my virtual universe only to surrender them to the forces of evaporation because of all the lustful wantings that FS2004 will bring?Like a junkie, my habit has become attrociously expensive to sustain. And the moment I content myself someone - some company - gives me reason to dig deeper into the pocketbook and seek that "higher fix" :) How long before I must surrender to a 12-step recovery programs for flight simmers anonymous? How long before I drive myself out of time, sleep, and money?Who knows when that day may come? As for now, "Will that be MasterCard or VISA?"

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well you only live once might as well do what you enjoy :)i sometimes think im only here to pay bills to get away from it all in the FS world to explore places you will never go to and to risk your life with only 1 gallon of fuel left in a sea crossing where the celing is at 724 feet and gusts of 40 knots to land on a patch of dirt in the middle of the ocean ....where else can you do that... I think were all addicted to the virteul adventure in some way.regards

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Radeon 9700 is my crack - and Best Buy is my pusher!Thankfully, my girlfriend is my narc, preventing me from further falling into the depths of this fantastic hobby of ours.-GregAth XP2100+, 512 DDR, Geforce3

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I was lamenting much the same thing a few days ago, right after I got CFS3. I had justified its $50 price tag by recalling the hours and hours of fun that other FS programs have given me over these last few years. The thing I was trying to put out of my mind was the other $270 I had spent the day before on a new video card to run CFS3. And that Audigy sound card a few weeks before that, and... well, I'm preaching to the choir here. Okay, so it adds up a bit here and there. I don't know anyone with a real hobby problem that hasn't spent a wad of money on it at some point. It's still cheaper than some of my other pursuits. That '61 Jaguar that used to live in the back yard up on blocks was all poised to be a huge money burner, more so than any flightsimmer has ever imagined. Luckily, I came to my senses before plopping down $10k on a new interior and sold it, in boxes, to some other starry-eyed sod. Likewise, that beautiful Triumph in the garage soaked up more than its fair share of cash, only to be put in storage for 8 wretched months out of the year. Whose bright idea was it to have a motorcycle in the Pacific Northwest? I'm sure someone must have talked me into it...So yeah, it's a never ending stream of money out the door. But man, do I ever get a lot of fun from it! I think dollar for dollar, it's one of the better investments in personal satisfaction I've ever made. And I can fly, even when it's cold and raining out!

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>>In the early days, it was all freeware.That must have been a loooong time ago. I remember spending quite a bit on FS3 add-ons from Sub Logic (remember them?), Mallard (ditto) and others. And wasn't I thrilled to see the cities of the UK represented as flat bright yellow polygons. Now I have just been reading about a product that will provide true photographic coverage of England and Wales for a mere

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You bring up another good point: the learning curve itself becomes an investment. I bought PIC 3 years ago, and only now can I really say with any measured confidence that I have achieved mastery over the systems. Even still, I find myself learning something new every day from the wisened souls who actually fly this bird for a living.The only reason I haven't purchased the Airbus from PSS is TIME! I'm not sure I have the time to unlearn all my old Boeing habits and adopt Airbus ones - and then keep them all straight in the sky. As a beta tester for the A320, I can assure you: it is truly a different creature from another planet. But its on my list of things to do ;-)For now, I am buried in the black arts of AI, TrafficTools, and AFCAD. By the time I'm done with this, I'll have alot of fun watching other planes land *lol* Maybe by then, FS2004 will be out and we can begin anew. Maybe then, I'll do some flying ;-)J

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