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Bert Pieke

No going back to FS2002!

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Well, like many, I waited impatiently for the call from EBGames that my "tin-box" had arrived and hurried home and installed..I'd spent the week before the install deleting old stuff on my g-drive which contains my flightsim programs, I'd downloaded and installed DirectX 9b, got a copy of the no-cd program, defragged the drive, and read the forums on a daily basis for any hints..First impressions: WOW.. this looks really nice and the framerates are still fine (breathe a sigh of relief). Second impression: the menus don't work properly.. I'm getting black screens etc..Check the forums.. yes, others have this too, video driver issue most likely.. OK, so I learn to start up in windowed mode and only switch to full screen for actual flying.. that is allright (for now).I think I like the autogen and the weather.. but why is the scenery so "muddy".. hmmm check the FAQ and find Chris Willis's excellent tips.Add 4xAF and recommended changes to the terrain settings along with my standard 2xAA setting. Bingo! The scenery looks great, better than ever.Load up two of my favorite planes, the RealAir Marchetti and the Dreamfleet Archer.. both work perfectly!Go visit my favorite spots: SFO, TPA, Meigs, Toronto, Honolulu... all are improved over FS2002.. scenery more real, less "cartoony". Also more detail with the Autogen and still 24 fps most places!Then I try a flight from my home base Toronto-Buttonville with downloaded real weather, it is kind of foggy out there..This is what really blew me away.. the start up situation is just like looking out the window: foggy, low hanging clouds, creepy to fly inand flying below minimums as I sneak into Toronto City Airport under the clouds..Do I want to go back to FS2002? No way! It will stay on my hard drive for a while, until the Meridian, Golden Eagle, and 737NG all work in FS2004, but then, it will be be "Good-bye old friend" to my trusty FS2k2 with which I've spent countless enjoyable hours and which has been worth every penny.Do I like FS2004, you bet! The MS team have done a fabulous job, everywhere there are little improvements that add up to a great program and I do not honestly even care about the historical aircraft that were included in the bargain..Add me to the "Happy customer" list!!P4-2.4, 512 Meg, WinXP, Ti4200-128, 44.03 drivers.

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