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Guest Autolite

FS2004 Opinions...

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I am new to fltsims and have been messing around with FSX basic with SP1 for the past few weeks now. However, I've never seen FS2004 in operation and I would like to ask for the opinions of FSX users on FS2004.I've come to the realization that 90% of the FS freeware are FS2004 aircraft and that the vast majority of FSX freeware are 'modified' FS2004 files that don't load properly half the time anyway. There are so many fantastic looking aircraft that I'd like to fly but they were all developed for FS2004.I am now thinking of hunting down a copy of MS FS2004 and installing it along side my FSX. I am unable to take advantage of the 'improved' performance of FSX because of the limitations of my hardware anyway. Actually, I spent a bunch of money upgrading my computer just so that it would run FSX at all and I don't see being able to afford any further upgrades in the near future.I'm beginning to think that giving FS2004 a try might not be a bad idea. Do many FSX users keep FS2004 on their computers? What do y'all think???

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To be honest I'm just beginning to rediscover FS2004. I deleted my FS9 installation when FSX was released, and I never thought I'd look at it again. But I've recently upgraded my rig to a Core i7 with dual GTX 280 graphics cards, and while FSX runs pretty well on this machine FS9 looks and feels fantastic. I've got all the sliders all the way to the right and I never knew how much detail was there waiting to be discovered. FS9 has a great future as far as I'm concerned, and it makes me wonder what FSX is going to look like in several years from now when the available hardware has enough power to really max the display settings to the extreme.I'm loving all the FS9 freeware in the library, more of which is being added on a daily basis. Good luck with your search for a copy of FS9!

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I use them both. There is no doubt that FSX is much prettier than FS9 (aka FS2004) and it is more capable too. But FS9 can still compete in a lot of ways, not least because a fairly modest computer can have all the detail sliders on full throttle in FS9, whereas FSX is a real resource hog. This slightly limits FSX's possibilities if you want to have a lot of additional programs running at the same time, such as a custom ATC add-on, Track-IR, a co-pilot add-on etc. FS9 is much the wiser choice for doing that kind of thing.As you noted, there are far more add-ons (both payware and freeware) for FS9, and it is a measure of FS9's usability that companies continue to develop stuff for FS9 even though it is five years old now. It's likely to stay that way for a long time too, because developers know that there are many out there who are happy to stay with FS9 and buy stuff for it. They also know that compatibility with both sims is a big selling point for an FS add-on.For me one of the big plus points of FSX is that it is slightly better at flight modeling if you fly a smaller aircraft. Lots of people will tell you that the flight modeling is the same for both FS9 and FSX, but that's not true, because FSX features thermals and better air mass simulation, which both have a bearing on the way your simulated aircraft flies. This is built into the sim and there is not much FS9 users can do to make FS9 match that capability, but that's not quite the disaster it sounds if you like FS9 though, especially if you prefer bigger aircraft in FS; it's true that air movement can affect big aircraft, but it is usually more noticeable in a smaller aircraft, so that's a plus when flying a glider or a Cessna 172 in FSX, but the heavy metal in FSX doesn't really see a huge advantage over FS9 in this regard.The mission capability in FSX is a major plus point in terms of giving your simulated flights a purpose, but to a large extent there are add-ons for FS9 which can emulate most, if not all which that offers. Multiplayer too is of course much more capable in FSX, but if you fly alone with FS, then that's something of a moot point. The weather simulation is also better in FSX, but again, you can get add-ons for FS9 which make it just as good if not better than FSX in almost every way.Sometimes you find that aircraft which are sold as equally FSX and FS9 compatible, are actually nothing of the sort, and are often better in one sim than they are in the other, so it's an advantage to have both sims installed. For example, although you can get them for both sims, the PMDG MD-11 is better in FSX, whereas the Wilco Citation is better in FS9, the Flight 1 Cessna 441 is better in FSX, the CLS 747 is better in FS9. From just those few examples, you can see that FS9 is not the poor relation; it's about an equal split.What all these differences boil down to for me, is that I use FSX to fly mainly smaller aircraft which would be affected by the air mass much more, but I use FS9 to fly airliners or anything where I want a lot of additional programs running at the same time. This is of course unless I'm reviewing something for Avsim, in which case I use both, to test stuff out. Currently I am using FS9 and FSX, because I'm having a great deal of fun with the new Air Hauler cargo empire building add-on which was released just a few days ago, and that means I'm flying the bigger aircraft. You might have noticed that Air Hauler works in both FSX and FS9, despite only having been released days ago, which again illustrates that developers are not abandoning FS9. On the other hand, I'm currently testing some add-on scenery for FSX in preparation for an Avsim review, but it is worth noting that you can also get that same scenery for FS9, and it is currently in line for an update to put it on par with FSX.I think it will be a long time before FS9 disappears from my hard drive.Al

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What all these differences boil down to for me, is that I use FSX to fly mainly smaller aircraft which would be affected by the air mass much more, but I use FS9 to fly airliners or anything where I want a lot of additional programs running at the same time.
I think it will be a long time before FS9 disappears from my hard drive.
Absolutely agree. My PC can run FS9 maxed out, looks great running AS6, RC4 (both via WideFS), using Big Irons at detailed airports (Cloud 9 Schipol, lots of WOAI, AS6 nicely layered and PMDG MD11 looks fantastic!).FSX, OTOH, runs better than "just OK" on the same machine, but its definitely happier VFR flying. FT's St Marteen looks great - I can run that fairly maxed out, but not fully. Gave up trying to run DX10 though, cannot get the aliasing to run reliably. Shame, as there are supposed to be frame improvements on DX10To throw into the mix - Alacrity does help a bit on FSX, but I've decided really that VFR for FSX, heavies on FS9. Additionally, I think AES handles those extras you'd get in FSX (jetways etc) better in FS9, so another reason to stick with FS9 for that sort of flying.

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I couldn't possibly get rid of my FS9... WAY too much $$ invested ;) Plus, it's smooth as butter.

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I use both. My Eaglesoft Comanche and CJ1 work great in FSX, and it certainly has better visual scenery. But, there are some great aircraft and scenery for FS9. Rick Piper and David Maltby have written some terrific freeware aircraft for FS9. Some of the payware is very reasonably priced compared to FSX models. Radar Contact works quite well with both sims.Dale

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Honestly ? I played FS9 for years and years..I have personally invested over 500 Dollars into addons,scenery mostly,aircrafts,weather addons etc.. Plus! FS2004 just flies perfect,extreme high framerates a bit less graphics on the water and the limitation from to sky to fly high.All in all with all the sliders to the max and smooth framerates and competing aircraft modells that look very nice still in fs9,I do not any stage see a reason to forgett fs9 at all.The only reason why I bought FSX is because my external HDD which I had all payware,freeware stored on my 1TB Drive broke and I have lost over 25GB worth of FS9 data,from ground envirornment over FS Global 2008 and nice aircrafts,all has gone.And that was my backup drive,so much for relability and Seagate could not even recover my data as it would cost me 600dollar to recover it and no guarantuee that it will be all.I was so angry and stopped then simming for 2-3 years now I gave FSX a shoot and have 2 external backup drives and DVD`s for all I buy now and I spend well over 200 now allrdy within 2 months of simming in FSX.Yes and I still love FS9 over anything.Sigh..just reminds of what I`ve lost,grief,not the money but the efforts.

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Thanks everyone for your replies, you've all been most helpful. You've made my mind up for me and I am most certainly going to try and find the MS2004 fltsim.In all honesty I was sincerely amazed with the comments. I purposely posted the initial query on the FSX forum as I wanted to get unbiased opinions. I wanted to hear the 'downside' of getting FS2004 up and running. If I knew then what I know now, (reference file availability, file compatibility and the hardware requirements of FSX), FS2004 would have been my first choice...

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I am new to fltsims and have been messing around with FSX basic with SP1 for the past few weeks now. However, I've never seen FS2004 in operation and I would like to ask for the opinions of FSX users on FS2004.I've come to the realization that 90% of the FS freeware are FS2004 aircraft and that the vast majority of FSX freeware are 'modified' FS2004 files that don't load properly half the time anyway. There are so many fantastic looking aircraft that I'd like to fly but they were all developed for FS2004.I am now thinking of hunting down a copy of MS FS2004 and installing it along side my FSX. I am unable to take advantage of the 'improved' performance of FSX because of the limitations of my hardware anyway. Actually, I spent a bunch of money upgrading my computer just so that it would run FSX at all and I don't see being able to afford any further upgrades in the near future.I'm beginning to think that giving FS2004 a try might not be a bad idea. Do many FSX users keep FS2004 on their computers? What do y'all think???
---------------As others have noted, FS9 is very stable and, needing far less computer horsepower, there are some interesting things that can be done. I rate multiple views as Add/On #1. The attached screen shot is of FS9 running on a 6 year old 'puter- so reliably that I have no plans to upgrade: either hardware or to FSX.Add Ultimate Terrain & Ground Environment and you bring FS9 to a remarkably high level of scenery realism.Once you have flown with a 145

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One thing I'd add is that you should make sure you track down any FS9.cfg tweaks. I've adjusted a few things to my FS9 install to get rid of/reduce blurry ground textures (a curse of both FS9 and FSX incidentally). As many have said FS9 runs great on any modern computer and these tweaks can make use of that extra horsepower. PS, I love the fact the FS9 will load a flight in a fraction of the time that FSX does.

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I feel opposite of most of the replies. I had FS9 on my last rig, with loads of great addon aircraft, scenery, and had it running really well. Then last April I had the rig built in my sig, installed FSX and never looked back. At first I missed a few of my addons, but most of the ones I used in FS9 were eventually released for FSX or are in the pipeline to be released. If you got the power to run FSX with most of the sliders at levels that make you happy you probably wont like FS9 as much. For me, I am able to run FSX pretty much maxed out, minus bloom and lens flare, but for me it looks and feels so much better than FS9 ever did that I never bothered to reinstall FS9. In my opinion there is no comparison between the looks of stock or aftermarket ground textures compared to FS9, or levels of autogen. Also the comparison I often hear about FSX only being reasonable for GA while FS9 is better for flying airliners will only apply if you don't have the horse power to run FSX reasonably well. I fly heavies all the time into major hubs with AI levels of 70% or higher all the time and suffer no adverse effects, so at this point I figured there is not point in settling for a less appealing looking sim and reinstalling FS9 just for flying heavies. Granted FSX might not deliver 50 fps when flying into major hubs, but in FSX 50 fps aren't needed for a smooth flight. You can be getting fps in the 20's and have a flawless experience.In the end you sould try FS9 for yourself and see. If your rig has less than 3.0 ghz per core FS9 may be a better sim for you. It's probably cheap enough, under $20's that you can try it and even if you dont like it your not out much money.Good luck.

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In my opinion there is no comparison between the looks of stock or aftermarket ground textures compared to FS9, or levels of autogen.
I'll disagree with you on this point. The stock ground textures in FSX are disgraceful. Sure, they are a higher res than those in FS9 but why does everything have to look like a desert? I can't fly FSX in regions that I don't have aftermarket ground textures for because it looks so ridiculous to be flying over terrain that is green and lush in the real world but is an ugly sandy brown according to FSX.

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I once had a short affair with FS9, partly because during its time I was mostly on Jet sims (Falcon 4, LOMAC, etc.) and WWII sims (IL2, Battle of Britain..). If there is one thing I dislike about M$ Sim engine (FS and the Combat FS series), it's the (IMO) ugly terrain out of the box. Although I agree with all the posters about FS9, I personally favour FSX. That is because I am mostly a VFR flyer and I enjoy pretty terrain (I'm talking about aftermarket terrain here bcoz FSX terrain out of the box is simply UGLY IMO). I spend very little time on the heavy metals. To me, better looks is a plus in my idea of realism. Don't get me wrong, FS9 does have a lot of good aftermarket terrain add-ons, but I still prefer the higher resolutions the FSX engine offers. I also agree with the better air mass simulation in FSX that obviosly affects the light GA flight. Most complains ppl make about FSX is the fact that they dont have the right horsepower to run it, and/or probably their rigs aren't properly tuned for FSX. I had a some reservations and dissappointments with FSX when i first got it, but after I upgraded my rig and going through the tweaks, it runs like a dream. I am building another rig soon, surely one with more muscle than my current... and I am looking forward for a yet much better FSX experience ;)I guess bottom line is, get the version you are happier with :) but it's defintely worth trying FSX too. cheers.

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In the end you sould try FS9 for yourself and see. If your rig has less than 3.0 ghz per core FS9 may be a better sim for you. It's probably cheap enough, under $20's that you can try it and even if you dont like it your not out much money.
That's pretty much sums up my situation exactly. My machine has a single core 2.0 Ghz CPU and 1 gig of RAM and I had to upgrade to get it to that point! My MB is now max'd out and any further upgrades means a new machine or MB/CPU combo. I had done very little gaming before I bought my FSX and I had no idea that the hardware requirements for certain games had advanced so far over the past several years. I didn't even check the requirements of FSX until I got it home. I get the impression from reading various threads on various forums that one would need at least a 4Ghz CPU and 4gig of RAM to really take advantage of what FSX has to offer. I really don't intend to upgrade any further unless I can do it on the cheap. That is to say when 4Ghz machines with 4gig of RAM start showing up in thrift stores or at the dump. I figure that might be a while... :(

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That's pretty much sums up my situation exactly. My machine has a single core 2.0 Ghz CPU and 1 gig of RAM and I had to upgrade to get it to that point! My MB is now max'd out and any further upgrades means a new machine or MB/CPU combo. I had done very little gaming before I bought my FSX and I had no idea that the hardware requirements for certain games had advanced so far over the past several years. I didn't even check the requirements of FSX until I got it home. I get the impression from reading various threads on various forums that one would need at least a 4Ghz CPU and 4gig of RAM to really take advantage of what FSX has to offer. I really don't intend to upgrade any further unless I can do it on the cheap. That is to say when 4Ghz machines with 4gig of RAM start showing up in thrift stores or at the dump. I figure that might be a while... :(
You are 100% correct on the requirements... with a 2GHz CPU and 1GB of memory... you are going to be way happier with FS9.

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i happily use both... and will continue to do so for some time yetboth have pro's and con's against each other

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I feel opposite of most of the replies. I had FS9 on my last rig, with loads of great addon aircraft, scenery, and had it running really well. Then last April I had the rig built in my sig, installed FSX and never looked back. At first I missed a few of my addons, but most of the ones I used in FS9 were eventually released for FSX or are in the pipeline to be released. If you got the power to run FSX with most of the sliders at levels that make you happy you probably wont like FS9 as much. For me, I am able to run FSX pretty much maxed out, minus bloom and lens flare, but for me it looks and feels so much better than FS9 ever did that I never bothered to reinstall FS9. In my opinion there is no comparison between the looks of stock or aftermarket ground textures compared to FS9, or levels of autogen. Also the comparison I often hear about FSX only being reasonable for GA while FS9 is better for flying airliners will only apply if you don't have the horse power to run FSX reasonably well. I fly heavies all the time into major hubs with AI levels of 70% or higher all the time and suffer no adverse effects, so at this point I figured there is not point in settling for a less appealing looking sim and reinstalling FS9 just for flying heavies. Granted FSX might not deliver 50 fps when flying into major hubs, but in FSX 50 fps aren't needed for a smooth flight. You can be getting fps in the 20's and have a flawless experience.In the end you sould try FS9 for yourself and see. If your rig has less than 3.0 ghz per core FS9 may be a better sim for you. It's probably cheap enough, under $20's that you can try it and even if you dont like it your not out much money.Good luck.
I pretty much agree with cmpbellsdjc. I ran FS9 maxed for a long time with a ton of $$ invested as well and while it was a great experience, FSX gives me things that I wished for but couldn't have in FS9 as both a simmer and a developer. I tried it a few times after installing FSX, but it just wasn't the same and the whole enchilada went bye bye with no looking back. Even though my rig is sub par for FSX, my expereince has been great so far.

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Even though my rig is sub par for FSX, my expereince has been great so far.
I would like to ask what do you have for hardware? You mentioned that FSX has been a good experience so far and I am curious as to what sort of set up one needs to get satisfactory performance even though you say your equipment is 'sub-par'.I haven't anything bad to say against FSX, it's just that I bought it without knowing how sophisticated the software is or understanding the hardware requirement. I am very much looking forward to the day when I can afford suitable hardware for running FSX properly and when true FSX compatible freeware is more available. I've just come to the realization that it won't likely be for a couple of more years yet anyway. I am sure that the folks who developed FSX did so thinking that the necessary hardware would be more easily affordable by now...

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I would like to ask what do you have for hardware? You mentioned that FSX has been a good experience so far and I am curious as to what sort of set up one needs to get satisfactory performance even though you say your equipment is 'sub-par'.I haven't anything bad to say against FSX, it's just that I bought it without knowing how sophisticated the software is or understanding the hardware requirement. I am very much looking forward to the day when I can afford suitable hardware for running FSX properly and when true FSX compatible freeware is more available. I've just come to the realization that it won't likely be for a couple of more years yet anyway. I am sure that the folks who developed FSX did so thinking that the necessary hardware would be more easily affordable by now...
Your not going to "need" 4.0 ghz, but it helps. If you look at the components in my sig, my E8400 is dual core 3.0 ghz stock. I overclocked it to 3.85 ghz, but even before I did that I could still run the sim pretty much full tilt. I had WinXP and FSX set up by FS-GS, I have done no tinkering or tweaking to the sim or my OS myself as it hasn't been necessary. I had my rig built last April for about $1800. Now with the economy in worse shape and deals to be had, you could probably build a rig with the same stuff for about $1300 or maybe even less.I agree with one of the other posters that for you with a single core at 2.0 ghz it wont get it done for FSX and on that rig FS9 would be a better bet. My last rig that ran FS9 really well was only a P4 2.53 ghz with 2 ghz of ram and a 128mb vid card. I don't know what your financial situation is but you could start buying parts to a new rig a little at a time, then once you have all the pieces have it built or do it yourself.One of the other posters made a remark about the default FSX textures being desert everywhere. The problem was not that there are only desert textures, but that the default landclasses made it appear that the world was mostly desert. This can be fixed just by buying a landclass replacement which is very cheap and then the correct textures for that region will appear.On a last note, before getting FS9 back in 2003 I didn't have much knowledge either about computers, operating systems, components, etc. Getting into flight simming has made me learn alot about all of the above and how they operate together. Not only that but you will come to learn a lot about the worlds geography in general. In real life I have only about 65 hours of PIC time in small aircraft, and most flights I do are not very long in nature maybe 1 to 3 hours max due to the cost. In the sim I have flown around the world so much that sometimes I almost feel as if I have actually been to some of the areas that I frequently fly to. Simming will bring you a lot of knowledge about the worlds geography, aeronautical knowledge, and computers in general.Good luck.

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Autolite, I think it really all depends on what kind of flying you do and your expectations. I have my settings where they "click" and I don't alter them for any addon, the addon has to work with my settings. I mostly fly GA, rotary and vintage warbirds with most settings on high, autogen at normal and locked at 30. I also design scenery, so I tend to have lots of detail at the places I normally fly. The only negative I have is I can't use real weather with updates, kills performance, but I have some good presets that give me good performance with good visuals, so until I upgrade, it works.Specs are: Asus A8N32-Deluxe Athlon-64 X2 4800+ ATI Radeon X850-XTPE 256MB 2048 PC3200 Corsair XMS XP

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Here is my opinion:All flight sims=good.All flight sims do and simulate something different in the flying experience.None duplicate real flight 100%-yet-but they had been getting closer and closer.Let's support them all-as lately there are not many of them left.For the price of a meal for two at a mediocre restaraunt I don't think one can lose purchasing any of them-or any of their add ins-or any of their experiences.

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Well, building a computer myself isn't the problem. My goal is to do it as 'cost effective' as possible. That's the challenge. I built my FSX machine from a combination of new, second hand and scrap components. The problem is that I started with a MB that was way too old to begin with. It was a first time build and I wasn't even sure how well it would run FSX. The current MB is max'd out with the fastest CPU and the most RAM than it can handle, but it just isn't enough for FSX. For the time being I will install and run FS2004 until I can find a MB that will support a 4Ghz CPU and 4gig of RAM (on the cheap). I'm betting that that's going to take some time. Actually, the main reason that I want FS2004 is because I've found so many interesting freeware aircraft that will only load on FS2004.At some point in time I want to learn how to modify FS2004 aircraft files so that they will load and perform properly in FSX. However, the bottom line is that the computer I have now can only barely run FSX anyway. In the mean time I will be keeping an eye out for a newer, better MB and then I will take it from there...

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Your not going to "need" 4.0 ghz, but it helps.
Well, I am trying to imagine what sort of machine I would need if I were to try and run FSX max'd out with all sliders full hard right and achieve smooth operation. I mentioned 4Ghz CPU speed with 4gig of RAM but I suspect that that wouldn't even be sufficient. When I say 'max'd out' I am using that as a goal, just something to aim for on my next computer. I doubt that it is even a realistic goal. Having said that, is there anyone here that actually knows what sort of hardware it would take to achieve that? In any case, I'm guessing that it's going to be several years down the road for something like that to be easily affordable...

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Well, I am trying to imagine what sort of machine I would need if I were to try and run FSX max'd out with all sliders full hard right and achieve smooth operation. I mentioned 4Ghz CPU speed with 4gig of RAM but I suspect that that wouldn't even be sufficient. When I say 'max'd out' I am using that as a goal, just something to aim for on my next computer. I doubt that it is even a realistic goal. Having said that, is there anyone here that actually knows what sort of hardware it would take to achieve that? In any case, I'm guessing that it's going to be several years down the road for something like that to be easily affordable...
Well I have a two year old dual core that runs fsx just fine with most sliders almost to the right so am trying to understand your discomfort. I use the sim to duplicate my real flights and have been very satisfied....

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Well, I am trying to imagine what sort of machine I would need if I were to try and run FSX max'd out with all sliders full hard right and achieve smooth operation. I mentioned 4Ghz CPU speed with 4gig of RAM but I suspect that that wouldn't even be sufficient. When I say 'max'd out' I am using that as a goal, just something to aim for on my next computer. I doubt that it is even a realistic goal. Having said that, is there anyone here that actually knows what sort of hardware it would take to achieve that? In any case, I'm guessing that it's going to be several years down the road for something like that to be easily affordable...
such a pc does not exist yet.. the core I7's will do a good job on the basesim with all sliders to the right but once you add a complex airliner, traffic and weather then things slow down a little in built up areas.. we are getting close but still not quite there yeteveryones definition of 'smooth' differs though

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