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Bert Pieke

payware vs freeware

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Now, I love FS as im sure all of you do too but I find it hard to empty my wallet to buy all the payware aircraft and scenery. Especially when it costs more than what i paid for FSX. How do you know that what youre buying is a quality product and not something you can easily find freeware? Are there any high quality freeware addons that are worthwhile? I cant even buy a competent joystick. How do you expand on your hobby on a limited budget?

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Yes, there are some nice freeware stuff out there, one only needs to find it.I'm a cheapskate, and for me to open up my wallet to buy third party payware is impossible. Sure i could afford to do it, but I just refuse to do it based on my thoughts that I've bought the game, and any items that are created for the game shouldn't legally be allowed to be charged for it. It goes along with almost every other game that I've owned (and trust me here, I've got over 300 games in my Merax 500 CD case sitting next to me) there is a clause or two that says something to the effect that the software is owned by the publishers/developers (whomever) and that any items created using the software such as maps, new characters, in game items etc can NOT be sold but may be passed around freely.Im sure that must not be the case for FS else they'd not be able to charge for it, unless of course they are using third party software to create the items, in which case it would be hard (impossible?) for MS to enforce the same rule that any items created for the game that they own can not be sold if the party developed it with software that wasn't created by Microsoft or whomever owns FSX.Yeah yeah, I know I don't have a clue what Im talking about here because I havn't read the EULA for FS games so far but I've read a lot of other games EULAs that state what I mentioned above.So it's with this in mind, as well as that when I create maps and campaigns and scenarios or new items for games that I own, I freely give them away, it doesn't matter to me that I spent 42 hours on a scenario for a game, Im still giving it away as I feel it's a good thing to do for the particular games community.I won't go any deeper into this than I am because all that's left for me to say is how I truly feel about people that charge for items for a game IF they were to use software provided by the game to create it, and that really wouldn't be a pretty thing to read.Anyway, I've seen plenty of nice freeware stuff for FSX floating around here and there, though Im sorry I didn't bookmark any of it so I'll have to relook it all up and try to find it all again since Im just now getting back into FS goodness. But I remember downloading huge amounts of planes and what not for FS2004 much of which IMO looked great and actually worked perfectly.And before anybody has a kinipshin about it, yes I realize that some folks like to be paid for the stuff that they create, like in the Sims games where they can't charge for the actual items so they get circumvent that legality by charging access to their website or use a "mandatory" donation to access their sites content which IMO is sneaky and underhanded and yeah I have a friend that has one of those sites and he makes a nice bonus to his regular income by providing it even though he tells on his website that everything earned through donations are returned to paying for the sites bandwidth, hosting etc when he's told me he gets substantially more than it costs him to run the site.Ooops, there I go again off into my own little world. Sorry about that.If I find the links to the freeware good stuff again I'll post them.

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Here's a bird I'm getting a lot of enjoyment out of at the moment. It's the de Havilland Dragon Rapide by Dave Garwood and the CBFS Design team. The zip file is called dh89fsx.zip, and it's in the Avsim library. I've added an HSI popup panel, and one with a full set of radios and AP. It's a taildragger but it's a pleasure to fly, and it just goes to show that you get an amazing variety of historic aircraft from the freeware developers which you just don't get in payware.Mike.

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For those who still own a copy of FS2004: A lot of older scenery titles are on sale right now (say 10 Euros for detailed city sceneries of Rome, Venice etc) because recently "X" versions of these sceneries were published.

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To answer the question, you need to do your research on this and other sites to figure out which is the high quality payware, what it does and whether or not it fits with your type of flying (no point buying the latest Heathrow scenery if you only fly GA). There are some excellent payware products out there and lots of junk as well. Be an informed consumer and don't run out and buy the release on the day it comes out...wait for the reviews and customer feedback first. I personally find that global scenery addons (mesh, landclass, environment, weather) are very worthwhile. Aircraft that you really will use should be next. All of us have payware planes that just sit in our hanger so be careful with these.Mark.

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You should look into AVSIM library for freeware. I haven't checked FSX Freeware. For FS9, there are tons of high quality freeware sceneries. You can enjoy FS9 and not get tired of it and without paywares for a long time with just these freewares. For FSX, I think its very limited.For high quality add on Payware, I buy from vendors who have consistently put out quality paywares. Even here..Addon sceneries are limited. some of the good payware vendors have gone AWOL. "Flight scenery" (The best ever) and Fly Tampa are AWOL. And in their absence, there are some poor quality scenery vendors out there putting out few buildings around the airport using default runways and default taxiways and charging for "airport sceneries". I avoid them like the plague.Here are some good addon vendors for sceneries for FSX.1. Aerosoft. They are publishers as well. So not all the scenery stuff is great... But most of them are good. So you need to see the screenshots and try them out.2. Fly Tampa has 1 product so far for FSX. Thats their St.Maarten airport scenery (Princess Juliana airport). 3. Megascenery. Try out their Hawaii for FSX. This is a "MUST HAVE". They have a large scenery for Souther California in addition to DFW, Phoenix and Las Vegas as well.4. UK2000 (For British airports). You can install their demo versions and try them out as well.5. VFR France. This is primarily FS9 sceneries but they provide an FSX upgrade and many of their sceneries look good in FSX. I am waiting for their FSX only sceneries. 6. LLH. This is a little know vendor who produced this amazing Courchevel, France airport that works even better in FSX. This along with the VFR France's Northern Alps is my fav scenery in FSX. 7. FSDreamTeam is an up and coming airport vendor.. You can try out their sceneries and then decide if its worth getting it or not. Their Geneva airport is really good. Also their Bergen Flesland Airport. They used default runway texture for the Bergen airport. This was developed prior to MS came out with some fixes. I hope they would publish a patch for this. Since you can try them out before making a value judgment. Give it a try.As you can see.. for USA, there are hardly any...Apart from Megascenery, there is no one who is good enough out there.Now for aircrafts. This is a slightly difficult one to figure out. First let me put out the truly outstanding ones IMO. These are folks, no matter what they put out, I would buy it.1. PMDG (these are so real in terms of systems if you are a casual simmer, you may find these difficult unless you are willing to spend the time learning to fly these)2. Level D.3. Real airOther Good vendors out there who have some amazing aircrafts (not in any particular order). You would have to check each aircraft out and see if you like them. But as far as vendors go, they are first class vendors.1. Flight 1 (They are primarily publishers and they have a 30 day money back...so you can try them out for yourself)2. Dreemfleet3. Aerosoft4. Eaglesoft (Love their Cirrus and their Piper Comanche Twin). They have a 30 day money back also..I think). Since I never bother returning anything back, I am not 100% sure.Other Addons..You may want to check them out are and see for yourself if they add value for the price you pay for them.1. Radar Contact for ATC.2. VOX for ATC (Voice recognition)3. Hi Fi Active sky (Weather)4. Ultimate terrain (for realisitc coastal lines and water bodies)5. FS Genesis (for mesh)6. Flight Environment X (for their sky and CLOUDS). Also look out for the up coming Real Environment X.7. AI Traffic. There are a few and then there are the freewares as well. And there is also this amazing GA traffic freeware. As far as why they are expensive relative to the cost of the flight sim itself. Its economy of scale. MS can sell so many copies. These addon vendors target audience is small and hence it costs more. But if you count for the amount of time you spend on these as entertainment value and compare it to going to the movies, you may have a better perspective.Hope this helpsManny

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Is there anything out there that will allow you to add cabin announcements. I am using FSX with Radar Contact and would like to add another level of realism.Thanks

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Thanks Manny, FsPassenger is not ready for FSX but I did look at FS crew, does this require payware aircraft or will it also work with stock FSX aircraft as well.hanks

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To answer your question about FS2Crew, there are multiple versions of FS2Crew: some work with the default aircraft in FSX and FS9, others work exclusively with 3rd party aircraft like the PMDG and Level-D aircraft.FS2Crew also recently released a 'gold edition', which contains all the different versions in a single package.Cheers,Bryan

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How about trying the FlightDeck SFX Panel (FDSFX)by your's truly :) Has all sorts of Cabin Announcements you can add either with real world airlines or you can mix and match your own to make generic Voice-sets. I haven't tried it myself in SFX (I created it way back for FS2004) but I hear it works fine in FSX. Oh, and it's a freebie.

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Thank you Mr. Cargo (great show prior to computers) where can I get your feeware, I'd be glad to try it out on fsx and report back.

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After reading this post, I was about to question why I have to purchase Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Visual Studio, and I don't count the others I have! They are all been developped with the Windows API!And don't forget: any of these items running on Windows cost more than the sim, euh, sorry, than Windows...

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>After reading this post, I was about to question why I have>to purchase Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Visual Studio, and>I don't count the others I have! They are all been developped>with the Windows API!>>And don't forget: any of these items running on Windows cost>more than the sim, euh, sorry, than Windows...You don't have to. You use Open Office, Gimp, Gcc or one of the other free open alternatives.Then again we should al be flying FlightGear to keep the money in our pockets ;-)

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Where else... AVSIM (FDSFXPNL.ZIP) or do a search under FDSFX or Marcus Thompson to see all the available add-ons for it.

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The flight sim add on market is pretty shady, so keep that in mind. They tend to over promise and under deliver. Out of all the add on aircraft I have foolishly purchased, there are only a few I actually fly with any regularity, due to thier superb qualiy and fun factor. So if you want to buy just a single aircraft add on, and provided you are into this type of aircraft, I would go for one of these three:The Shockwave P-40 Warhawk (Best FSX Warbird available and the most impressive soundset ever).http://www.shockwaveproductions.com/store/wop2_p40/The RealAir SF-260 and the RealAir Citabria/Scout/Decathlion package (Best GA fun factor and flight models available).http://www.realairsimulations.com/home.php?page=home Once the RealAir Spitfire comes out for FSX it will be my number one favorite, but until then these are the planes I fly.If you want some good freeware scenery get the Bella Coola scenery from the library, as its the best freeware scenery package I have seen.

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That is true there is a good freeware/opensource offering as well. Unfortunately, except maybe for Open Office, none of the other offer as much features and capabilities we need for nowadays addons.Sure enough, we use a freeware installer though that in my opinion is excellent and better than many payware installers: inno setup.

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>Here's a bird I'm getting a lot of enjoyment out of at the>moment. It's the de Havilland Dragon Rapide by Dave Garwood>and the CBFS Design team. The zip file is called dh89fsx.zip,>and it's in the Avsim library. I've added an HSI popup panel,>and one with a full set of radios and AP. It's a taildragger>but it's a pleasure to fly, and it just goes to show that you>get an amazing variety of historic aircraft from the freeware>developers which you just don't get in payware.>>Mike.I'm flying that Dragon Rapide from England to India. The old empire route.I'm presently in southern Italy. About to cross the great Tyrrhenean Sea, the largest expanse of open water I will see...RhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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>Im sure that must not be the case for FS else they'd not be>able to charge for it, unless of course they are using third>party software to create the items, in which case it would be>hard (impossible?) for MS to enforce the same rule that any>items created for the game that they own can not be sold if>the party developed it with software that wasn't created by>Microsoft or whomever owns FSX.>MS works with 3rd party (freeware/payware) developers; because they know, that many us expect "specialized" aircraft that take months & months, if not years of dedicated work, to keep some of us happy!I'm happy to pay for these creations, so that the developers can have food, shelter, and shoes for their kids...L.Adamson

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There are a number of very good companies out there. Flight 1 will give you a refund within 30 days if you don't like the product - so they are a good publisher/vendor to deal with. 1. PMDG makes excellent airliner add-ons. High level of fidelity, good flight models, excellent people and good support. They have been making planes since before FS2000 was released - though their early releases were for Fly and FlyII2. The Level D 767 set the bar for airliner add ons in MS back in FS2000 under the name Pilot in Command. It is still an excellent product in FSX again, with a high degree of fidelity and a great team who develop and support it. 3. The Aeroworx King Air is an outstanding turbo prop for FS9 - with amazing gauges, good flight model, and good systems fidelity. Paired with Reality XP gauges, it is still my favorite FS9 airplane. 4. Dreamfleet makes terrific GA aircraft and one mean three holer for FS9 - and it looks like we will see their first FSX offering before xmas. They also partnered with Flight1 on the ATR-500, which is a terrific plane that flies well in both FS9 and FSX. 5. Reality XP makes amazing GPS units for FS9 - perhaps the thing I miss most flying in FSX.Developers on the rise:1. Feel There - the ERJ and Legacy jets are terrific though I like the flight models of the planes above better. 2. CLS - I don't own them but folks are having a lot of fun with their DC10 product which is "lite" product (fewer systems - easier to fly)3. Carenado - GA aircraft modeller - quality of visuals is definitely on the rise, though not at the Dreamfleet level. 4. Eaglesoft - Dedicated to biz jets and high end GA aircraft. They fly well and graphically coming up to the levels of the very best. Their simulation of the avionics in the Cirrus is very good. Be wary:Captain Sim: I own the Hercules and its a pretty good effort - though gauge refresh rates in the VC are abominable. They have been promising the full systems package for their 757 for years, literally - yet to be delivered I think. I don't like the flight models on the 727 or the 707 - they don't go where you point themAriane: just do a forum search here - it will make entertaining reading.These would be good places to start. Most have review links on their websites so you can see how the press liked them. Stick with the AVSIM and the Andrew Herd reviews on flightsim.com for good objectivity.

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That's most kind of you to say about us, and we really appreciate it. But just to clarify: While we are *trying* to get an FSX aircraft out by Christmas (my Piper Dakota), that was just "hope" on our part, I have already decided we will wait a bit on that, and try to get it out by the first of the year, maybe even a bit after that too.I decided that aside from providing a fully compliant FSX model for no extra cost for those who buy the FS9 version (one price for both FS9 / FSX), I decided today that we need to kick the FSX version up a couple of notches, and have challenged the DF team to do just that!Let's see what they come up with, as I already gave them a few ideas that will burn the "midnight oil"! Of course they might also send a "hit man" after me for that suggestion too! :-bang As to Carenado: I met their Fernando Herrera at DevCon last month, and we hung out quite a bit together. What a nice, soft spoken gentleman he is. It was a pleasure to meet him. They certainly do very nice work.Thanks again and Happy Holidays! :)Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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Good list, but RealAir Simulations definitely belongs in the "Top Tier" of add-on developers.Fantastic and great performing planes! Their SF260 is a true "classic".

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