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ryanbatcund

A Flight Sim Evening.

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What I do..A typical perfect FSX flight:1. Turn on PC (New Vista Quadcore computer that works most of the time, but usually have to mess with USB stuff to get it to work)2. Visit FSEconomy and select a flight/rent plane and figure out flight plan using AOPA Real Time Flight Planner.3. Check flight sim hardware (game controllers) to make sure Vista is playing nicely with Saitek Pro Yoke and head set and rudder pedals are recognized. Then check "Speech" in Control Panel to make sure mic. is working.4. Goto VoxATC X settings and make sure everything is set up correctly. Change aircraft registration to match that of FSEconomy.5. Place TrackIR hat on head and turn on TrackIR. Recenter if needed.6. Start up FSX and create flight plan.7. (options) I could use VATSIM, but that is several more programs to load up and setup.8. Start flight and and use the Saitek control panel to start the plane.9. While setting all the switches, I will start up VoxATC and have it initialize and load my flight plan.10. Start FSEconomy plugin and hit "Start Flight".11. Fly flight plan using real weather and VoxATC.12. Shut down plane, set parking brake and check FSEcon. to make sure flight was logged and I was paid.13. Lean back and enjoy just how realistic this can be realizing that I used all the proper checklists, procedures and real world things that pilots do. (I am a real world pilot, so I try to use each FSX flight as a learning experience).What really happens:1. Turn on PC and see that none of my USB controllers work anymore. Unplug and replug in several, watch Vista reload the drivers and tell me they are ready to be used. Confirm that they work in the Game Controllers applet.2. Visit FSEconomy and pick a flight, forgetting my user name and password. Eventually get it and pick a flight. :)3. Make sure headset/mic are working and realize that they are not. I then spend the next 10-20 minuets trying to get them to work. Eventually, I do, but have to check in several places to make sure volume is set and Text To Speech comes though the headset and not the speakers. Then, adjust mic. levels.4. Forget about setting up aircraft registration on VoxATC because I forgot to write down the registration in FSEconomy.5. Start up TrackIR but forget to center.6. FSX, create flight plan.7. Start flight and realize that I forgot to check the Saitek Control Panel and that all of those switches (Lights, mags, gear etc) and not recognized in FSX. But, in the interest of time, just go back to using the mouse and keyboard commands.8. Start up VoxATC and it doesn't initialize correctly and/or mic. is no longer working. Close Vox and turn on default FSX ATC.9. Take off and start flying my flight plan realizing that I forgot to turn on FSEconomy. Turn it on and hope that it will still work.10. Fly flight plan with real weather and get irritated that it doesn't "feel" right compared to real flying and that suddenly my weather changes abruptly.11. Land and shut down plane, not remembering what the keyboard command for "Park Brake" is, open controls and look it up. Set park brake and let FSEcon log my flight.12. Exit out of flight irritated that my Vox didn't work nor did my Saitek Control panel. Then, spend the next 30 minutes trying to figure out why. I don't want to sound like I am complaining. I'm really not. In my flight simulation enthusiasm, I have just added too many things to FSX. I need to just "fly" it with default stuff. I think my PC has USB issues. I don't know if it is a Vista 64 thing or a hardware issue. Most of my USB stuff is USB 1.1 with the exception of my Saitek Pro Flight Yoke. Anyway, that is a typical flight sim session for me.Anyone else have stories like this?:)

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Yep-got in the plane for some great (poor) local weather last night. Spent 15 minutes programing all the gps's for a complicated route-got everything set-and then found the Vista joystick not recognized (problem).It sure used to be a lot easier years ago.GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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What you describe under "A typical perfect FSX flight:" already does not sound like flying to me.And the "What really happens:" is the reason I keep my number of add-ons low - except aircraft, scenery of course.But anyway - my wife stopped counting how often she heard me yelling "I just wanted to do some flying"...... and ended up fixing that bloody windoze.Yep. I feel with you. :)Alex

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I'd go even before then-I had much less trouble with the original windows 1-and when there was a problem usually caused by me screwing around (remember qemm etc?) I could reformat and restore my drive in 1 hour from a cassette tape-no registry, no reinstalls.GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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"I don't want to sound like I am complaining. I'm really not. In my flight simulation enthusiasm, I have just added too many things to FSX. I need to just "fly" it with default stuff. I think my PC has USB issues. I don't know if it is a Vista 64 thing or a hardware issue. Most of my USB stuff is USB 1.1 with the exception of my Saitek Pro Flight Yoke. Anyway, that is a typical flight sim session for me."LOL, I think your on to something. Every once in a while I catch my self staring at the monitor drawing a blank on what I do next, load these textures, and those textures, and, oh yeah, the weather program, and now from where to where, and do I want to try a different plane tonite, should I add some failures to deal with, are my drivers up to date, yoke or stick, should I run a Performance and Reliability report to make sure the O is p to snuff tonite, reboot to clear memory and the paging file. Screenshot program ready? Okay, everythings set...crap, it's bedtime!That's why I do a lot more: engine running and on the end of the runway, power up, lift off, rubberneck, find nearest airstrip, set it down, taxi around, take off and find another place to land, repeat as required or until bedtime. I do love rainy weekends from fall to spring.Truth is we have an embarrasment of riches with flight simulation, and show me what gives you more bang for your entertainment buck than flight sim software. Round of golf: $50 to $100, 3.5 to 4 hours, no replay unless you pay more. Lift tickets to ski $50.00 to $100.00, good for one day only. A trip to the movies, a theme park for the day, a concert,...$50 to $100 for an addon plane you can fly everyday for, what, years?$50 to $100 for addon textures you can gander at for, what, years.That being said, you can get overwhelmed, there's so much stuuuuuf you can buy. And lets not forget all the freeware offerings.Too many addons, too little time.

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-------"$50 to $100 for an addon plane you can fly everyday for, what, years?$50 to $100 for addon textures you can gander at for, what, years.That being said, you can get overwhelmed, there's so much stuuuuuf you can buy. And lets not forget all the freeware offerings."--------------My simple solution- set a rigid budget of $100 per year for addons- that are no less than 6 months on the market! You get to thoroughly learn what you've paid for, and you avoid the grief of being perpetually on the bleeding edge of technology.(You wouldn't buy a new car in its 1st year of production would you?)Works for me.Alex Reid

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A thread for those of us bit hard by the flight sim bug!Do all of the above, then be a Reviewer. Get a new product every month or so, fly it to enjoy it, and then try every goofball thing you can think of to break it. Let the developers know what you are doing, and see how they react. Then screencapture everything you do. Then write and edit and upload a piece about it. If you've got the chops to fly and then write about it, you can go deeper and farther into this hobby than you can imagine -- it's actually quite an engrossing experience for something so technologically oriented.You may or may not be looking for advice on how to decompress from "too much reality" in FSX (+Vista). My cure is the default Piper Cub and TrackIR. You only really need three controls: stick, rudder, throttle. Use the Cub to practise touch-and-gos, or use it to fly flight proficiency drills, like accurate turns in the wind. Open the doors as you fly and enjoy the scenery. If that's not enough, load the biggest aircraft you can find and play a game of "Will This Beast Fit Under The Bridge Upside Down?". Or for that matter, play some of the FSX Missions, which can be very diverting. I particularly like the glider Missions, myself, I think the gliders are the most improved yet most under-rated aircraft in FSX. Anyway, that's the view from my high chair. There is a lot to do in FSX before you go for add-one number one!Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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>Yep-got in the plane for some great (poor) local weather last>night. Spent 15 minutes programing all the gps's for a>complicated route-got everything set-and then found the Vista>joystick not recognized (problem).>>It sure used to be a lot easier years ago.>Geofa>My blog:>http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/Easier but not better.I still remember freezing Win 95 and bluescreens.The interrupt conflict ####.Loading times of five minutes and more.No autosave.Airliners that crashed in the middle of a flight without a chance to recover/load. No panel status saving....FSX and Windows are still a mess, but things definitely got better.Alex

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I am going way before there to Windows 1 which was quite simple.The big thing for me is the ability to restore easily when something bad happens without losing and having to reinstall all your paid for stuff.I am coasting right now on a badly behaved Vista which 4 MS techs could not even fix without a reformat and loss of everything (which I have already done 2 times and did not fix the problem). Took at least a week to just restore fs and all my add ins, and some of them are not operating correctly.A easily restored system would be the tops on my list-ever since they came out with the registry it had been a lousy deal.My blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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For Geoffa,I know what you mean about "an easily restored system" and being able to "restore my entire computer in less than 1 hour from a tape" in the past.But, you CAN do the same thing today by using Disk Imaging. There is NO REASON anybody should have to re-install an entire Operating System, then update all their drivers, then re-install all their addons, etc, etc. If you have a current Disk Image of your hard drive, all you have to do is put the disk in your DVD/CD drive and re-install the entire Disk Image. If you make regular Disk Images to reflect the most "current" state of your computer (after changing/updating drivers, adding FSX addons, changing/updating hardware, etc), you will always be able to restore the ENTIRE system to it's Disk Image state...Operating System, Registry, all programs...in one step.I still shudder everytime I read a post from someone that says, "I had to reinstall Windows and all my programs! It took a whole week!! That sucked!"With a Disk Image, it would have taken less than 30 minutes in most cases.FalconAF

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In my case the image doesn't really help because the problem I have is with the operating system itself. Something went haywire with Vista-it will simply not update itself among other problems.Therefore, if I do an image, it will image the faulty operating system.I have spent out of a year-3 months of it with tech support with Microsoft. After 3 weeks each tech decides the only answer is to reformat my drive, lose everything, and then restore everything. Before I can get everything restored, Vista trashes itself again and the cycle repeats itself . Many other users have the same documented problem-none of the techs have an answer for why this happens.If I could get the vista patch on it might help, but it will not install.I did image my computer despite this-however since it is a faulty image I only have something faulty to fall back on that may be less faulty that what I have today. In its best image state, several of my fs add ons will not work properly. Then of course if I get a new computer, the image won't help there either.After the 4rth time of this happening to me in April-when MS tech told me my only option was once again to wipe everything out-I told them I really could not do that again did put the image on from December. It did go on painlessly-but my operating system still has the same problem, and I lost several of my add ins I had purchased since then-one of them ftx which I had bought the day before my computer crashed yet again and I hadn't got around to backing up yet.I still don't like the whole system...GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Yeah, but you could (should) still create an image at each step of the re-install. If your first image is done immediately after re-installing Vista (and you say Vista still works at that point), then you should never have to re-install Vista again from scratch. Then just continue making new updated images each time you add something new to the system. When you finally reach the point where everything goes to crap on you, you can re-install the previous working image in one step to get back to the "working" system. That's the beauty of Disk Imaging. You can re-install EVERYTHING that was working before something went wrong using ONE step, instead of having to start from scratch all over again. It's saves a lot of time, and makes installing new stuff a lot less stressfull. You don't have to worry about, "I hope what I am about to install doesn't trash everything and I'll have to start all over again". If it does trash everything, oh well. Just pull out the last Disk Image you made, and get everything back the way it was before it got trashed with the latest "addon".And yes...you may not be able to use the Disk Image from an old computer to put it on a new computer. There will probably (but not always) be hardware differences, driver differences, etc, that may prevent it from working. But with a new computer, I'm just gonna start making Disk Images for that one anyhow as I add new stuff to it. If the original OS install on the new computer is working OK, then I image the new computer right from the start. Then make regular new images of THAT computer as I add stuff to it.RickEDIT: Or were you saying that you couldn't even get the original install of Vista to work correctly? All by itself?

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Yes- Vista never gets to a 100% working state-it tries to update itself during the install process-then corrupts itself..so it is bum from the start.Starts with a black screen with a cursor on it-then after hours of work doing Dos stuff will go to update itself and give and error message that it can't be updated. Then it gradually trashes all the credentials or whatever they are so slowly many of my add ins stop working-and I often get unexpected surprises on boot up.It is again, a documented problem, and MS can't figure out why it does this to certain computers (mine a pk5/e6750). Me-I am left with a bum operating system and a hope it will hang on enough to be able to do most of my simming without having to reformat and reinstall everything from scratch every couple months-which is all the techs after working for 3 weeks at a time can recommend.GeofaMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Ah, OK. Yeah, in that case a disk image won't do you much good. Sounds like even after the original Vista install, something happens over time that keeps making it worse until it crashes on you. Images of an OS that gets progressively worse would be kinda useless.Rick

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