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It's a beautiful virtual world....

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Got a new computer the other day (see My PC profile).

After all these years of being in flightsimming and just getting by and on the cheap (funny, now that Im retired, kids are grown and I have absolutely no debt - for which I say a big "Thanks" to the universe every day, it's tougher for me to make myself spend money), I broke down and bought a decent custom-built computer.

I tell you, at a time in my life (Im 62) and after 32 years in the newspaper business,  few things hit me with awe and wonder anymore. At the top of that short list, of course, will always be my beautiful granddaughters and grandson.

And sometimes, the things that do move me leave me kinda feeling embarrassed (that last Christmas episode of Dr. Who where he appears outside Amy Pond's front door always tears me up; don't know why, it just does - and it makes my wife roll her eyes).

But I gotta tell you, P3D and Xplane on my new computer (and my wife will roll her eyes again) and with everything turned up just leaves me in awe and wonder. Yeah, I know with all that's going on in the world, I oughta be embarrassed, but in the small corner of the upstairs bedroom where I live in my virtual world, well, the world is beautiful.

The one thing that really stands out, is the way the shadow moves across the cockpit of P3D as I turn. Beautiful.

So, I guess after all these years, the wait has been worth it.


Fly on!

And so it goes ....

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"And sometimes, the things that do move me leave me kinda feeling embarrassed (that last Christmas episode of Dr. Who where he appears outside Amy Pond's front door always tears me up; don't know why, it just does - and it makes my wife roll her eyes)."


With you on that. (My wife doesn't roll her eyes, though... Dr. Who is one of the most emotional shows I've seen - it's my 14-year old daughter's favorite show, though she's at odds with the apparent lack of cuteness/hipness of the new Doctor... different story.)


I'm 47 myself, and like you, clearly remember the times before computers, and then eventually when the dreams of what home flight simulators could be was far less than where we are now (in some ways... I didn't think too many people would suggest the stutters were still everywhere!). My computer is decent, not great, but even so - with some features turned off - the new versions of XP and now P3D - especially with the sun effects as you note - well, I've never had it better. Been using Flight Simulator since V2.


In P3D, the sunlight and very effective "sunlit" ground, combined with cloud shadows, is unsurpassed. It actually made me say "wow" when I first saw it last night! Lockheed Martin really knows how to do this. The fact that it runs smoother than FSX with all this stuff going on says a lot about their dedication. After experimenting a bit with it last night, I really think that XP has a lot of catching up to do. I do wish P3D had real roads and good night lighting out of the box, though.


As far as eye rolling with the wife and flight simming - well, the wife doesn't do that much as I primarily use simming to back up my real-world training, but when I get all excited about the type of stuff you're pointing out, she does:)




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Hello journalist,


I very much enjoyed reading your post. I'm also retired - have been for 20 yrs - and so can relate to what you're saying. I don't have either of the sims you use - I'm a Chevy guy (FSX) - but as a flight simmer who for years has focused on 'making it look real', I can easily connect to your statement " . . . and with everything turned up just leaves me in awe and wonder". Congratulations for deciding to treat yourself. After devoting our lives to our employers and families - and that order is deliberate - we owe it to ourselves. Making reference to your wife 'rolling her eyes' made me smile because that's another thing I fully understand!


Thank you for taking time to share your joy with us. And as they say in French and not surprisingly, you have 'une bonne plume' (style and quality of writing).


All the best,



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I like you post very much, the board tends to get bogged down with negativity and complaints, so it's nice to see a person with a positive message.


I am like you, very satisfied with my current flight sims (X-plane and P3d as well).



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A great post and thanks for sharing your pleasure with various things in your world. Just turned 62 myself last week and took a step towards retirement by going to a 4-day work week. That day off will be spent simming more on P3D V2.2! I still have FSX installed...but this experience with V2.2 has completely taken over.


Gotta keep loving life and see the amazing beauty it holds...despite the tragedies and desperation that goes on.      

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I have been a flight simmer since 1984 with FSII on a PC Jr and am even enjoying it more now.  My new PC and P3D and FSX are wonderful and have been worth the wait and beta testing many versions of Microsoft's Flight Simulators.

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Good post Im 49 and finally enjoying a sim like never before.

Smooth , and pretty.

Have been simming for more than 10 years, and this is the best moment.


I got so excited, this week I ordered a PFC yoke and a GTX 780 Ti OC, and cant wait for them to arrive and try them.

Flying the A2A 172 with Prepar 3D , ASN, REX 4 and ORBX its just amazing.


Also a pilot with more than 1,000 hrs (own a 182) fly 3 or 4 time per week, still go to Prpear 3D every day to do some flying :)

Practice IFR and also fly around sightseeing, it is a beauty.





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Man that is a gorgeous beauty in the dream to own a plane

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