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Guest wkzzo

my four or five initial hours with FS2004

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My tin box finally arrived today. The installation was glitchless and soon I was firing up the R22. I'll save most specifics about that aircraft for the helo forum but here are some of my notes... I know that many of these things have been mentioned but this is my specific experience. Note that all I've flown so far are the R22, Bell 206, Mooney, the Wright Flyer, and the DeHav. Comet. (Oh, and a very brief hop in the Cub, just to see the external visual model that was featured on the recent Discovery Wings special.)My system: Athlon 1700XP+, 512Mb RAM, GF3 Ti200 AGP, GF4 MX420 PCI, WinXP ProUps---* I flew two short IFR flights between Salinas and San Jose in the Mooney. Hooray for being able to file in-air, and also being able to fly more than just ILS approaches! This is probably the biggest new feature for me.* On my return trip to RHV I had the viz cranked down to 1 mile and 1500' ceiling. The airport was very hard to pick out, and in fact was pretty much over it and high when I finally picked it out. Just like in real life - very cool! It illustrates very nicely the way the RHV Rwy31 GPS/RNAV approach (and maybe other ones - this is the only one I've done IRL) can be challenging in low viz since it only lets you descend to about 1300' AGL.* The Mooney VC is welcome, although its positioning and artwork make it hard to read (and I have the VC gauge quality set to the max setting). I'm looking forward to trying the Learjet with its new VC and apparently completely new flight model.* In general the R22 is a nice addition, although it has some issues (see below).* The sky, clouds, and water are much improved - I esp. like the way the sun paints a "stripe" on the ocean as it nears the horizon.* The rotating airport beacons (with alternating green and white lights!) are a very nice touch.* new airport signage and more detailed airports in general - I noticed a fuel island in roughly the same place as the real one at RHV. It seems that MS has enhanced their relationship with Jeppesen!Downs-----* I definitely had to fiddle some with settings to get my framerates up to what I'm used to. The 3D clouds seem to be a primary culprit. I need to play with it more to really figure out what I can get out of my particular system, but I am foreseeing an upgrade of some kind in the not-too-distant-future (probably being a faster Athlon chip on my existing mainboard).* MS took a perfectly fine multiple monitor model (in FS2002) and screwed it up royally - why did they have to mess with this? My system did some real weird stuff at times when I was trying to move some instruments down to my PCI-based 2nd monitor and then went to full-screen mode. There are several other issues as already noted in this forum. In my opinion this justifies a patch if nothing else does.* I do not like how the documentation is accessed - unless you know where to look and can view the help content outside of FS2004, the in-sim browser is painful to use because it's not resizeable and it's modal (i.e. you can't do anything else when it's up).* The Garmin GNS500 is just different enough and lacking enough features to be mostly annoying as compared to the FSAvionics FSGarmin 530 and the RealityXP 530XP (not to mention the actual unit). I was hoping that MS had bought the FSAvionics code base and done something with that but now it's clear that they apparently built their version from the ground up... There are some nice things the real unit does that this one won't (e.g. being able to enter a waypoint in your flight plan as the Direct To destination without losing the rest of the flight plan and also the loaded approach if you have one entered). Also the MSG message annunciator drives me nuts... Now don't get me wrong, it's still far superior to the FS2002 so-called "GPS", but I will be loading up my FSAvionics 530 pronto and using that instead.* The Bell206 is actually harder to fly than the previous one! It reminds me of the horrible FS2000 '206. What happened here? Some reviewer (maybe here on Avsim) said that the new one is easier to fly - sorry I disagree completely. Once again it feels top-heavy, just like the '2000 version did.* The R22 will not autorotate correctly at all. I can't believe they released the sim with that not working right. But then, I'm helo-obsessed and thus spend most of my FS time in them, and I know that's not the norm (or normal 8^) .)That's about it. It seems that if I were to approximate my FS2002 settings and options, I'd get about the same framerate in FS2004. It's very tempting to want to see some of the new features (e.g. 3D clouds), but I'm glad that MS didn't release a sim that REQUIRES new hardware as has happened in the past.have fun,Dave Blevins

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a small follow-up: I just got done playing around in the Learjet, doing approaches to SFO with the "heavy thunderstorm" canned wx setting. What a load of fun! I crashed the first two or three times, then managed to get the airplane on the tarmac - but sans front landing gear. The cool thing is, on replay, you can watch the airplane ground loop and then see the resulting *sparks* fly off the wingtips as they grind along the tarmac! I'm not normally much for eye candy like this but it looks pretty dang good. The sparks are a new visual effect in FS9, correct?The other thing I did on this jaunt is turn the 3d/etc. "special" clouds on, just to see what they're all about (I have been keeping them disabled due to the framerate hit). MS has done a stellar job on the 3D clouds and the effect that sunlight has on them. Cloudy skies look *far* more realistic than in FS2002.Dave Blevins

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Blave ,installed it last night and it runs impressively.I run 3 monitors and agree it does some very strange things in multi mode, I did notice if you use the drop down menu to switch between windowed and full screen there are less problems, but ocasionally a window will pop back up on monitor 1 when switching back to full screen ,and I have had a few screen freeze's when switching to full screen. If I "ctrl alt del" without ending any process's then re-open the sim everyting is fine again. Again Fs2002 ran perfect in this mode ,so its disapointing to see fs2004 crippled.One observation is that when you undock and move the sub panels to your second monitor and switch back to full screen ,those window borders are now gone. Another strange anomoly is sometimes the brake and differential brake message shows up on monitor #2.

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