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Guest daveg4otu

Interesting/Strange new FS "advice" service: FSGS

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Hey all,A new company has been formed that has an interesting or strange idea (depends on how you view it): to sell "chat" service calls to the FS user base when it comes to optimizing your FS install for performance, graphics "clarity" (?) and hardware tweaks. AVSIM currently has a press release from the new company on their front page.I'm intrigued and must admit somewhat baffled by this new service. What they seem to offer/sell could indeed be useful for FS users, but I'm not sure I understand how it differs from the free one-on-one or group advice given in these groups. Here's a quick rundown of their services and charges:--1. Self help with guidance: Free General Forum questions and answers which do not involve making any physical Flight Sim or machine changes. 2. Interactive level I: $35 Any service that requires changes interactively to any game or program.Level I is an interactive service carried on through live chat designed for the mid-level user who needs help with software issues unrelated to their hardware. An example of this could be changes in your Flight Simulation configuration files and driver recommendation and basic installation. 3. Interactive level II: $60 Any service that requires changes to both the Simulator and your machine. This service is conducted through live chat and involves a detailed investigation of the hardware and software environment of the users machine. (clip) 4. Corporate: Variable rate Services which go beyond single individuals. The corporate service is tailored for multiple machines and includes Interactive level II. 5. Corporate Screenshots (contact through corporate link): Variable rate Service providing screenshots to designers and developers. (clip) 6. Graphics Editing Software help: Free Forum service tailored to helping customers better understand Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop. (clip) --Their levels 1 (free), 2 (pay) and 6 (free) seem to be exactly whats provided here at AVSIM and other sites throughout the net. Question is: the paid levels 2-5. I could see this being a very valuable service to some FS users, but it would all depend on what actual advice they dispense. Is this just tweaking .ini files in FS (such as for mip levels, etc), tweaking driver settings, BIOS settings, etc. or is this something completely new and previously unexplored?Anyone have any experience with this new service or the people that run it? Has anyone purchased a "session" with them to see if what they provide is unique and valuable? If so, this could indeed be a great new service for less hardware focused FS fans. I'm a bit dubious on its value, however, depending upon the advice they give and where that advice is culled from.Again, a direct one-on-one service could be an excellent "new" idea for the FS community. But it *could* also be something else. Any ideas you have about them or experience you have with them I'd be more than interested in hearing.Heres the link to their site:http://www.fs-gs.comThanks,Elrond

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I'm in favour of anything that keeps `best drivers for my video card?` repetitive queries from infesting forums, but I can't see how this service has value, excepting their knowledge is kept from everyone who does NOT utilise this company's services. And that is rather sinister for a hobby which is founded on the sharing of information dont you think?A notion that one company should monopolise knowledge and impart it to the sim community only on payment of the appropriate fee seems to be a non-starter! There are several private e-mail groups (on one of which I'm a member) who already do this thing for the benefit of all, but by the passing of knowledge out through selected channels to ensure that it is fed to all, and not simply collected and kept within the hands of a few. I wonder what the developers at MS or ATi or NVidia think about this?Everything they impart must be common knowledge in forums such as this or in other groups for video card users, developers or whatever the only possible use might be for non-broadband dial-up pay-as-you-go users who don't have the time to surf the net as the cost is prohibitive. Anyone actually recognise the `names` in this project?Could someone point to unique developments, findings or contributions these people have made to the hobby that would justify us putting our trust in their fee paying services and excluding our fellow simmers from help and advice? Allcott

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I don't see how they "monopolize" knowledge. The company spends many hours trying to optimize and find the best settings to set your computer for Flight Sim.Is this information available on the net? Sure, but it is in the same 'space' as a lot of "garbage" advice as well. This individual can analyze your system and provide you with hardware and software tips to maximize your flight experience. Does not Computer Pilot have similar articles? and we pay for that.... The service this individual charges for is for "personal" service. To provide tips and suggestions based soley on the customer's needs and desires.Everyone of us uses this Sim for different reasons, and this service seems to offer tailor made suggestions, simply and easily in one shot. Thus saving the customer endless hours "asking" help on the forums, and either getting half answers, wrong answers, or no answers. I equate this service to the same type of process I went through when buying Ultimate Traffic. There is not ONE thing in Ultimate Traffic (beside the UI) that I can't get in freeware. The traffic tools, AFCAD's and Planes and Liveries are all available free here and other FS sites.The hours it would have taken me to compile all the traffic, create the flight plans, research the airlines, download the planes and liveries, would have numbered into the hundreds.Yet, for $29.00 I saved my self the inconvenience, and got it all in a single download or so.Yes, this guy is not selling "anything", but he IS selling service. And we see examples of selling "service" everywhere. From Full Service Gasoline stations, to "personal assistants". Like everything else in a free market economy, if the service he provides is useful, he will be successful, if it is not, he will not. But let's not down the guy, especially if we have not tried it.This guy charges roughly the same cost as a tech call into Microsoft, and believe me, I am sure that you will get much more detailed information on optimizing your system for flight sim from this guy, than from Microsoft.Let's not rush to judgement.I

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Hi Allcott,While I tend to share the exact views you expressed above (down to the last detail in fact), I could also see value in providing an "I'll hold your hand while you do this" service. If what they are dispensing is the same freely available general hardware advice, FS tweaks, driver settings, etc that are available in FAQs all over the net and indeed in interactive one-on-one forums like AVSIM, but are simply adding a "personal touch" to the process, I think that could be a valuable service for some.But it seems to be a very fine line. If they provide all advice they dispense freely to their customers in written form and only charge for the hand holding bit, sounds good. If they are actually charging for non-shared advice available freely all over the place and not just the hand holding service, I'd think its on very shaky ground.Take care,Elrond

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Doesn't interest me, and I surely hope they have a "Money back" guarantee if their ideas don't work. With the vast variations of computers in operation in this ol' world it would be impossible for such a service to work 100% of the time.Just MHO.Darrell

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Indeed, Will. There's absolutely nothing wrong with providing and charging for support services, even when its based on something that can be had for free... Free Software companies do exactly this all the time for the betterment of the community and their own enrichment.What is really at question here, however, is how *this* company might or might not be gathering and sharing the advice they are giving. Is this the same advice thats available all over the place (including here), but being charged for? Or is it the hand holding one-on-one service that helps customers to *implement* that free advice that is being charged for? In other words, do they provide a free repository of all the information they may have freely gathered that they dispense? That makes quite a big difference.I don't think anyone is rushing to judgement here, just trying to sort out what this new company is actually selling/offering.Take care,Elrond

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I think there's a basic problem with their business model. Any really good tips they provide will end up in this and other forums in nothing flat. I would also very much doubt that they are going to know anything that isn't available to those who are willing to do a little digging and testing......TonyDigital-Flight

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Well, I have to give them an "A" for effort or rather an "E" for enterprising. IMHO, it would be a complete waste of $$ BUT, that said, I am sure there are those out there who get so frustrated that they would pay for the service. Not to rehash an old sore but, how does this differ from the oerson who supplies a "service" when they compile a CD of freeware products and sell it??A company like this one will HAVE to call on all the FREE data available in the various forums to provide their service. With the problems had with FS9 and various hardware/software combinations - I think they are asking for trouble - too many variables - I also hope they have a money back guarrantee.Considering the number of people who screamed about paying Pete Dowson for FSUIPC ( and that is a product that is NEEDED ) I doubt many will want to pay for advice that is freely available.Just MHO,Vic

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I agree with Tony ,but, there is perhaps the possiblity that relative newcomers to FS,unsure what they are doing and maybe a little scared of altering things such as .cfg files etc. might appreciate a "walkthrough" of such procedures for the first time.In my experience, being the computer "fixit" man for a large number of friends,neighbours and family, a large percentage PC users are really quite apprehensive of doing anything that goes beyond the "top layer"(or WYSIWYG) of the software.The fear of "breaking" something is often there and telling people that the worst possible case is only a Format C and reload doesn't cut much ice with most of them. It may be very comforting for someone to be available to talk you thru something more complex than clicking the "start" button.As regards the "knowledge base" ,well I think that probably (As far as FS is concerned)most of the "expert" knowledge available stems from the experimenting etc. of subscribers to this and similar forums( fora??). As such - it very soon becomes "public" anyway.Anyway,let's not knock the new service till we know more about it- it could be very good for some.Dave

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If I have trouble trying to get my new (fill in the blank) addon to work with my new (fill in the blank) video card, I can usually count on finding somebody here, that has the same combo. However, with so many different addon's requiring many different tweeks to work with so many different hardware combo's, it seems that they are going to be shooting in the dark a lot, as it is unlikely they are going to purchase everthing that comes down the road. Of course, they could scan the forums everyday looking for similar problems as their client and then repost the answer. Hmmmm! Think I'll politely pass. John Fitzpatrick

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Hey Tom A., we're all curious and a little short of money. How about considering an AVSIM review of this new "help" service so we can get an unbiased impression and an honest evaluation of the vaule of the new service. I'm sure we would all be very interested. Just a suggestion, I know that AVSIM doesn't possess an inexhaustible amount of money to do these things, but you never know, they might give you guys a free one if they really think they'll get a good review.

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The difference is that the freeware author has copyright of all his material. The "compiler" rarely gets permission to reproduce the freeware item, and almost never for a fee.In the case of Computer Pilot. Everything on their CD is given permission.Another thing is you can't "copyright" ideas. Now if this said company went in to forums such as AVSIM and cut and pasted posts from other posters, verbatim. Then a copyright infringment could be possible.But if the person rewords such "information" in words other than the authors original words, there is no such protection.Like when Jacko went to jail. Who ever broke that story first, could not prevent other news agencies from reporting, simply because they had the information first.In the case of freeware, you are transferring a file, a work, that someone else has copyright over.In the case of this, unless he copies peoples suggestions "word for word", it would be very hard to copyright a registry tip, or .cfg setting.

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>I don't think anyone is rushing to judgement here, just trying>to sort out what this new company is actually>selling/offering.>>Take care,>>ElrondExactly, not judgement. Just a quizzically raised eyebrow. :-hmmmFrom within the group of which I am a member there is much muttering and mumbling about sim-specific tips that have been derived and developed by the community for the benefit of all being used by this `service` provider. I must admit I see little difference between the ostracised FSP..... nicking freeware off of other sites and passing it through a member service (and his ISP poaching the stuff onto CD and selling it), and this service which charges to pass on information both freely given, and given with the intention of it being free. But I also do see the benefit of a one-stop shop for those who have neither the time nor the bandwidth to pursue their own answers. Like Elrond says, a very fine line. Allcott

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I suspect that few users of these forums will be using this service, because we've all figured out how to find this information.But . . .I equate it to baking a cake. There are many who would take the time to bake a cake from scratch. Others will use a mix. Many others will simply visit a bakery or a supermarket and buy the cake. Not because it's a big secret how to bake a cake, but because we wish to save time and effort.There are lots of people who would just as soon pay someone else to install software, memory, graphics cards, download drivers etc. instead of you or me who know how and are comfortable opening our 'puters or building them from scratch. And if you've ever spent hours or days working on some computer problem when you knew that just some bit twidling in the registry by the right person could have saved you hours of time, you might be tempted yourself to shell out $29.Having said that, it still seems to be a tough business model. The hard part will be finding people who don't use forums and search engines to find answers, but who will use chat to do so.Just my $.02.-- Steve Cullen

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I think that it is possible that there will always be someone willing to pay - no matter what(No matter how stale the shop bought cake).I recently came across a person who had willingly paid someone else nearly

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After taking a second look at their site, I think what initially raised a red flag for me was the "System Unification" page. They really try to make it sound like they have a valuable new approach and actual new information outside of anything else available that they can sell a person.Maybe its just me: maybe I'm being more cautious or feeling more wary of their business plan than I should be. I'm not sure. What would help is if anyone actually knows any of these people involved with this service. Since they're dispensing FS specific advice, they must be known or even come from within the community (I'd think).Take care,Elrond

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Sounds to me like these guys are back in the days of Merlin when folks were going around pulling swords out of rocks. There is nothing, repeat, nothing they can provide at a cost that is not freely available here and elsewhere on the web. I suppose there are always a few people who, either through ignorance or laziness, will take them up on the service(s) offered, but I'll bet it's very few. Here's the deal I'm going to make them: I pay $10 for every single frame increase they can me get above my current average in their pick of the default FS9 flights and my pick of "clarity". But, (there's always one of those) if they can't get me an increase of at least 10% I pay nothing. Sound fair?Doug

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Here is my take on this, I think it is a good idea especially if they have something new, but even if they are imparting knowledge that is freely available here and at other sites it is a good and valuable service. I have found that many of us who frequent these forums are extremely knowledgable about computers and we are a minority. Most people only know the basics and do not care to learn any more than that. For example I am one of those that fixes computers for friends family and neighbors (I once was a systems administrator too) but one of my "clients" can not do anything other than play card games and use AOL. If one of his windows in AOL gets resized by accident he calls me immediately, I have shown him time and again how to do various things but he still calls me. I have also shown him how to find help via the Windows Help system and he will not use that, period. He would rather pay me a minimum of $20.00 per visit and sometimes I am over there 4 or 5 times a week. More often than not I am only there for 5 minutes or less and I just made $20.00. Yes this guy is an extreme case but I find that there are many just like him out there and if they can pay to get something done to their computer they will rather than do it themselves or spend the time trying to learn what to do themselves. I have to try and remember sometimes that I am in the minority of computer users, a knowledgable one. I have not had to use any kind of tech support in perhaps six years because I find that by the time I can get through to them I already have the problem figured out but how many people honestly have that level of knowledge? Only a few, so for the other very large percentage of the users this is a service that will be very beneficial as long as they can deliver what they promise. Philip

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I think you just hit on the entire basis for the field of consulting. As life and all its trappings grow more and more complex, the vast majority of people IMHO have become somewhat overwhelmed by it all. Computers provide an extreme example of this. I've worked in a corporate environment before (and this was a high-tech company mind you, with a disproportionate amount of PhDs) and I was shocked at how few of them understood their computer well enough to do much more than basic word processing. It's just a fact of life; you can't know everything. Maybe you could get close in decades past, but just hang up even trying now. So I can see a niche market for some enterprising souls who provide a calm and reassuring voice, help you through a problem and send you a bill once things are working well again. As for the argument that we all can find this stuff online for free, isn't that a bit like saying "why should I pay some bugger who's written a book when I can find every word he put down in the dictionary for free?" Sometimes it's not having the information available that's valuable, it's knowing how to put it together into something meaningful.

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Sure, if they want to give a go, I'll post the results.

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Can't say that I have confidence in their business model, but then it's theirs and not mine.I agree with the perspective that some folks simply don't want to (or can't) do their own tweaking, so maybe this service will be of value to them. I do my own, this (and other) sims run just peachy, so I'll pass.I do wish them luck.

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Different persepctive here. Sort of agree with Will. Not rating this new offering "yeah / ney" - just endorsing Will's comment that "personal service" ...may... make a difference.Yes, I've also relied on AVSIM for 99.9 % of questions and info., for many years now. But as an avid simmer, but a much less avid computer jockey, I specifically look for opportunities where I can learn "one-on-one" from more experienced users. What often happens in forums is if the user is somewhat "less experienced or less knowledgable" in specific procedures, tweaks, code revisions, whatever - AND - the question has been asked before - considered redundant - one can easily get ignored, or worse, trashed for asking a routine question. Understand both sides of that equation. No right answer, no fault inferred. But a "service" that holds (reportedly) specific (current) FS knowledge, combined with current NVIDIA/ATIRadeon graphics skills - and - offers one-on-one assistance - may be very marketable !Fortunately, I've been able to keep up relatively well. System working well (within my acceptance range), and I have had superior help from my system hardware builder - guiding me through the more complicated system issues. Friends via AVSIM and this forum have helped tremendously - I really appreciate the informative posts ! Not sure I'll (personally) be using this new service.However, just another opinion - I think there "may" be a legitimate market for this "private & personalized" service - if - it's real. Instead of risking asking "old" questions in the forum - and getting the associated "reminders" - this service may well be an alternative for "getting up to speed" - with direct private help. Price seems right for that alternative one-on-one help.Lastly, I trust that if this isn't a well founded, "real" help source, we will hear about the service's shortcomings very quickly. If that turns out to be the case - in this community - their "service life" will be very short. We all know that, at least with involvemnt with FS. They do, however, offer similar services to comparative user groups........ which we can't speak to......Will be interesting to follow.Ron

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First let me introduce myself. My name is Michael Greenblatt (also known as ramsa329) and I am the lead technician for Fs-Gs.I wish I could have responded sooner to each of your posts and I apologize for not addressing each individually and hope that this response will shed some light on how and why Fs-Gs came into being.Fs-Gs intends to be a service for flightsim users and graphics artists who use process intensive applications and are tired or worn out from every attempt that they have made to rectify problems that they are having with their systems. It is not designed to address issues regarding .cfg files or how to install a plane or scenery or even

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