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When did you discover the "flightsim community"?

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When I began this hobby-obsession-addiction, two years ago it was not til 6 months later that I discovered there was an entire flightsim community out there on the WWW like this site full of forums, downloads, and commercial products. Curious, how long did it take you to discover you were not alone?

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Late 90s and then I found PIC 767 which lead me to Avsim and life was never quite the same ;-)...............Randy J. Smith................A PROUD MEMBER OF THE PMDG BETA TEAM[h4]Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations[/h4]

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Early 90s for me. AOL had a very active flight sim area and a nice file library at the time. That lead me, over the next few years, to Compuserv and Microwings and Flightsim.com and AVSIM.com in pretty much that chronological order. My how times have changed. R-

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I joined the online community pretty late lol. I had absolutely no idea that a non-combat civilian game would have such a thriving community. I remember coming across an FS9 problem and I Googled it hoping some Microsoft help sites would come up - instead the first hits on Google were "Avsim", "FS2004.com" and I was like "What are these sites....holy cow theres loads like me...all simmerrsssssss! And...and...planes...hundreds of planes...f...for..free?!"Yea that discovery time was good :)

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For me, it was after FS98. I used to insist that Flight Unlimited and Pro pilot were the greatest, however I never knew of any forums. Then came FS9, that changed my whole perspective. My entire everyday exsistance revolves around AVSIM. I can't say enough good things about how everyone here has made this hobby so much more than it could have been without the community. I look forward to the next phase of Flight Simulation and AVSIM. Without this community, flight simming would be, well, boring.

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199... 4 or 5 was it... I was still flying FS5.1 for DOS!FSFW95 (aka FS95) was about to be released...My first download was a panel for 737 that was featured in the first issue of Computer Pilot magazine! I can't remember which site that was.Then, FS98 came out... The golden era of freeware.George DorkofikisAthens, Hellashttp://online.vatsimindicators.net/811520/1704.png

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2001 Christmas. I had only had a PC for a short time and when in Houston for Christmas with the family I saw a store display with combat flight simulator 2 and thought "wow, that looks pretty cool, wonder how it plays". I got it and when I got home, played till I had gone thru every mission and campaign still unaware of this community. One day I wanted to find some info on the Pacific Theatre and did a serach and stumbled on Simviation. All of a sudden the while FS world opened up and I found out about CFS1, FS98 and FS2000, it was all downhill after that! LOL Regards, MichaelKDFWhttp://www.calvirair.com/mcpics/mcdcvabanner.jpgCalVirAir International

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Shortly after Flightsim.com first came online (1995 I believe)...

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FS98 for me, I quickly found references to flightsim stuff on AOL and it took me into the real world of flightsim. Great community, free flowing dialog and help with any problem you may be experiencing..what a group! I have FS2002 and 2004 loaded on my computer, but I use FS2002 simply because it runs the best, and a lot of stuff for 2004 works in it. I don't have any plans to upgrade my computer in the near future, and it seems like every new sim has so much more stuff, that you almost have to upgrade. Looks like I will be hanging in with FS2002 for a while yet.When FS10 comes out, if I hear an overwhelming number of rave reviews about how well it runs on 3.0gig processors with a load of addons, I may buy it.Cheers,Bob

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For me it was back in the early to mid eighties. I first found Flight Sim forums on Compuserve where they periodically held flyin's using the then rudimentary Multi Player mode, where unless you kept the poly count down to a certain level every plane appeared as a Cessna. (Way before any type of Broadband Connection, Dial-Up only) An Airport would be selected for the Flyin, You then had to fly from your home airport on your own to just around the approach of that airport around your time slot you were assigned. You would then attempt (And I do mean Attempt) to make a connection with the Controller's system. If connection was made the controller saw either the Cessna, or the an image of the aircraft flown (If poly count was low enough!) Most flew planes with higher poly's so all was seen was the Cessna! A few though like mine, which I used specifically for these events the actual plane was transmitted to the host! The controller would report what he saw on the Compuserve forum chat session. My favorite for these sessions was a F4U Corsair, which if I'm not mistaken was made by Bill Grabowski, which for it's time was pretty detailed and still stayed below the limit, which was actually quite low from today's standards!! Other FS Sights I was a member of included, AOL, Prodigy, and of course AVSIM and Flightsim.com. I have to say AVSIM, by far is the best yet!!

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Yes! I remember discovering the FSForum on Compuserve and thinking "there are other weird people like me that enjoy flight simulator..!!" Ah the good old days of FS4 and 256 colours with EGA screens. :-)The Compuerve forums were fantastic friendly places. None of the trolls you see nowadays - everyone enjoyed the hobby and was keen to help others. Of course this was before payware add-ons were invented!

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I discovered the online flightsim community not long after fs98 was released. I was and still am simply amazed at the effort people have put into making flightsimming more enjoyable, reliable and most of all more realistic. Had I stuck with just the default flightsim I'd have gotten bored and left years ago.Will

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Early 90's on Compuserve. I was using Sublogic ATP and discovered Sun Air Express (VA)...those were the days!

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Compuserve FSForum and the one for ATP (can't recall it's name right now, so long ago). Back in 1994, I got a coupon with some FS4 scenery for ATP (USA West) for some free Compuserve time, and I've been hooked ever since :)Bruce.

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Oddly enough, in an article in Atlantic Monthly by the editor, James Fallows. He wrote about his own interest in the hobby (he later got his ppl and wrote a book about GA, Free Flight) and mentioned that there was an entire community devoted to producing freeware for FS2000. The article used to be available for free online, but now its in the Atlantic online archive and you have to pay to see it.Anyways, there's rarely been a day since that I didn't spend some time here or at flightsim.BlairCYOW

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Let's see...back in the late 80's to '92 I was "flying" all theboxed flight sims I could find. Then I began logging onto theCompuserve forums and heard about this online multi-player WWIIflightsim called "Air Warrior". It had actually been around inprevious versions since 1987 or 88.Well, this sounded really neat, to be able to fight against REALpeople piloting their planes from places, as I found out, all overthe world.Air Warrior ( AW ) was available in a boxed version, AW SVGA,that ran under DOS as well as a MAC version. Both versionsused the GEnie network as the host. I bought the box, got my GEnie account and my life changed immediately. You see, back then,it cost $6/hour to fly online during the evenings and $12/hourduring "prime time" 6AM-6PM. But after the first few evenings inthe air getting aquainted with the sim and the other folks flyingin the arena I was hooked! Many a $700/month credit card bill did I have during those early years!The AW community had a BBS on the GEnie network where we met duringprime time to chat and exchange barbs over the previous eveningsbattles. Totally text based and pretty crude by todays standards, but this was the beginning of something that would spin off into severalother "massively multiplayer" WWII flight sims.As the technology matured, so did Air Warrior. Kesmai, the producer,added Compuserve and CRIS as hosts and the price dropped to $3/hour.I was in heaven at that point. Graphics improved and a new versionrunning under Windows 95 came along. With that came a move onto AOLand the influx of "the 10,000 dweebs" since at that point the pricewent to a fixed rate of $19.95/month "all you could eat"!!The community grew 10-fold as a result.Early on we communicated in the air on "radio channels" whichwere nothing more that "tunable" text buffers but that was sufficientto taunt your adversaries whilst trying to gain that pure "6 shot" kill or keep in touch with your wingman or squad.We ran large multi-frame scenario events...12 days spread overa 4 week period, in which we replayed various WWII battles underconditions as close to the real battles as we could emulate. Eachframe was usually 3 hours in length.I remember when VOX was added to AW, just as we began a scenarioto re-fight the Battle of Britain. I was assigned to a Spitfire Squadron and on that first frame we got airborne and headed toward the channel and the Luftwaffe bombers coming in from France when to my surprise I discover that several of the members of my flightactually are Brits!!To hear those accents and the "tally ho"s come over my speakers wasabout as real as it was going to get :)Late in the 90's one of the early "hot" AW pilots, and also acoding guru, decided to spin off and build his own flight simthat after a few alterations over the years became what is today"Aces High". Also about that time , Electronic Arts bought KesmaiStudios and killed of Air Warrior shortly after! By the time EA killed AW, we had held several conventions in variousparts of the US ( and a couple in Europe ). I'd attended CON'sin Washigton, DC, Orkando, Fl, Houston, Indianapolis and here inSan Francisco. So I got to meet most of the guys and gals I flew with and against. Our community really jelled. We still have our own newsgroup on private server where many of us "old Air Warriors"still meet on a daily basis to discuss just about every topic underthe sum. We have members spread all over the globe and I always checkin with those that live in cities I'm traveling to or through.When AW died many of us moved to the other AW-like sims. Aces Highhas a very large contingent of ex-Air Warriors since most of usknow the owner/chief programmer and several of his staff there.Some went to WWII Online and Fighter Ace. But all of us still lookback on those early days when Air Warrior was the ONLY "game" intown and at $6/hour you HAD to be dedicated :)I started frequenting the MS FS forums a couple three years back( when did FS2004 hit the shelves? ) and now read half a dozendifferent forums on the "usual sites". Most of my "flying" thesedays if of the non-combatant type although I occasionally hopinto a Mig-15 or 17 for a flight through Eastern Europe or mytrusty A-6E to get some carrier traps in.I've not done any online FS2004 flying as I still dedicate myonline flying activities to Aces High, mostly scenarios ( Thismorning I flew 6 sorties in a Boston II, attacking various targetsin Finland north of St. Petersburg as we are re-enacting thatSoviet/Finnish front of WWII )My other interactions in the flightsim community here has beento create some re-paints of some Super Connies I crewed on duringmy Navy days and a L-188 Electra panel.I'm re-activating several Eastern European bases in Poland, theCzech and Slovak Republics and Hungary and "stocking" them withMig 15/17/19, IL-18 AI amongst others. After I return from my summer travels to Europe and Nova Scotia I plan to clean thatpackage up and upload it to share with others that appreaiate thoseclean lines of the 50' and 60's :) Paul "Gypsy Baron" Strogen, AW Tail Number 4580

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Looks like I'm another old codger! Joined CompuServe back in '95 after hearing about the FS Forum. Very friendly community. One computer running a DOS-based version of FS and no on-line connection! Try telling that to the kids of today and they'd never believe you! :-lol Made friends there that I still have to this day.Cheers,

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In 1990 when I joined CompuServe and discovered the flightsim and ATP forum.They also had (for that time) a very extensive download library. If I recall correctly, FS4 with the 800x600 resolution add-on pack was current.(Could also have been FS3 though...)Geez, those were the days: Running FS in a whopping 800*600 resolution on a Super VGA graphics card :-lol

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Yeah I also first discovered the FSFORUM on compuserve, then soon discovered the IUP listserv run by Mark Strawcutter which is is also where I discovered what was then the motherload of FS add-ons at IUP's FTP folder. Regards.Ernie.

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Well, it was only about a year ago that I started bothering folks with questions. As a matter of fact I felt a bit ashamed as I thought those forums were for kids. Grownups do not play FS, I thought.Boy, was I wrong!!!Robystar

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You're not the only old codger! I too joined CompuServer back in the "dark ages" and we're probably one of a small group that can actually get to a command prompt! I remember getting on line and then trying to find someplace to go. That was obviously before the Browser was invented :) Ah the good ole days of a 2400 Baud modem.

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Oh Boy... this is taking me way way back! Gonna have to clear out the cobwebs.Originally, I was calling long distance to Nels Anderson's BBS (which later morphed to Flightsim.com in the Internet age) and Joe Lincoln's BBS. This was way back in the very early 80's. Then I found that I could make a local call via Compuserve to visit the Gamers forum, where subLogic hung out with online support. This was the precursor to the FSForum on Compuserve. Anyone else here remember that? Hounding poor Holly from subLogic with questions and chat just so we could talk about FS. Then we started to message between ourselves and Compuserve decided it was time to start the FSForum just to get us out of the Gamers area. :-lol As mentioned already, the fly-ins started, and eventually the CPAA conferences in Cornell, NY sponsored by Dr. Jim Maas (last seen at the MicroWings Seattle conference).Great thread! I can't believe I still recall those early days online (dail-up). It's frightening to think that some of the current members of AVSIM weren't even born in those days... YIKES! (-: Bruce

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Oh! Boy! your inquiry takes me waaaayyyy back to somewhere in the eighties where I started to use Compuserve. At that time my purpose was to exchange messages from Europe with our headquarters in Denver. There was no direct connection with Compuserve, we had to go through Telenet. I do not remember exactly which year I discovered the FSFORUM, But in 91 I started saving some messages and downloaded files on diskettes. Being rather conservative, I still have many of them burned on CD. For example, this is the result of a 3DBenchmark with FS4.J.J. JJ StruyfBraine-L'AlleudBelgium80 (386-20): 4.7 (yech!)Video (IBM VGA)**Seymour Greenberg 71241,2071Gateway 486/33Diamond Speedstar +3Dbench = 21.7Northgate 386/20 with a Vram card gives a FPS of 8.4.**MICHAEL VARIO 71620,3324486-25 quadtel bios 3D Bench of 16.9**Ron Harris 72411,1752ZeosSpeedstar video board without the plus3-D bench score is 23.8**Russell Mueller 76662,1623486-33 and Diamond SpeedStar21.7 in 3D-Bench64K cache**Norman Hartendorp 76256,27Touche (AMI Baby Voyager motherboard) 486/33Swan Palette Plus card (Tseng ET4000) 21.7 with a clean disk**chang gyu 70541,23018.9386-33 Mhz 64KB cache Trident 8800 VGA card with 512KB memory,plain dos disk 9.0**Karl M. Beem 72311,3467386/16 - Cardinal v600 5.9 386/33 - same VGA 6.4 with the 64K cache disabledenabled the result is 11.4.**Mark Schey 70701,1411386/20 with a Paradise Plus 16 adapter 6.1**Ed Williams 70606,5077.7 on my Zeos SX-20Diamond Speedstar version 3.01 W/ 512K.**Scott Pendleton 70070,334486/25Mhz, 64k cache, 4meg RAM, Paradise VGA 1024 Card: 14.0 fpsOrchid Prodesigner IIs in default speed mode (SW4 off): 15.8 fpsOrchid Prodesigner IIs in fast speed mode (SW4 on): 17.5 fps**Steve Peterson 70505,372Orchid PD IIS in 486-33 (w/256k cache)using the 'Speed-up' ram bios utility 22.2 f/s**jakes 70703,3074Speedstar Hi-Color just ran you 3dbench at 22.7Speedstar Plus at 22.6Speedstar Standard at 22.4 486-33, 32megs ram**Norman Hartendorp 76256,2721.7 on 486/33 (Touche w/ AMI Baby Voyager)Swan Palette Plus VGA w/ 1MB >>>>>>>>

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