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Fly! and 970

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It's been very quiet around here lately; in fact, it's been a long time since my last post.As most of you know, Mac Fly! II has always lagged behind the Wintel version. Even top-end Macs with the best available video cards couldn't come close to PC performance, in part because of slower hardware subsystems on the Mac side. In my case, Fly!'s borderline performance under OS X has kept me from using it much. (I know that I could do far better with OS 9, but something in my OS 9 installation has caused Fly! to become very unstable on my Mac, and I literally never boot into OS 9 anymore.)I'm convinced that's about to change tomorrow, when Apple announces 970-based PowerMacs. If Fly! manages to run on these machines - and that's a big if - we may see frame rates that we couldn't dream of before.Tomorrow should be very interesting indeed.-Franklin

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Heh, I was just thinking the same thing... "I wonder what kind of performance boost we will see on the G5's?"---John R. SippyChicago, IL, USAPowerMacG4 -Dual 5001024MB RAMnVidiaGF2 - 32MB

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>Heh, I was just thinking the same thing... "I wonder what>kind of performance boost we will see on the G5's?">>>--->John R. Sippy>Chicago, IL, USA>PowerMacG4 -Dual 500>1024MB RAM>nVidiaGF2 - 32MBHi, John.I was about to place an order for the dual G5 last week, but I've decided to wait until they've been out for awhile. I bought my blue G3 the day they were announced three-and-a-half years ago. Although it was a good machine - and still serves as the family computer with its G4/500 card - it had some limitations compared to the rev B model.Right now, my dilemma is what to do about PowerBooks. My old Lombard simply can't run my Keynote slide shows, so I'm in the market for a 12" or 15". Like many others, though, I want to see what Apple does in the next couple of months.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Hey Franklin,Sorry about the long delay in writing back... Work has kept me away from my hobby a lot lately.I know what you mean about the PowerBook just not measuring up anymore. I have a FireWire PowerBookG3 (Pismo?) that I rely heavily on for recording and mixing audio on the road. It works great, but really gets bogged down if I have a lot going on.I'd like to upgrade to a G4 powerbook, but buying the 15 inch book would be silly compared to the feature set of the 17", but the 17" is just too big, and then there's always the worries of rev "a" bugs and stuff.I think I will just have to deal with the G3 a little longerCheers---John R. SippyChicago, IL, USAPowerMacG4 -Dual 5001024MB RAMnVidiaGF2 - 32MB

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Hi guys!I'm jacked about the G5. My first priority is to get the stock beige G3/333 at work upgraded. I'll have to start work on another book in about 8 months, and the Beige has grown too long in the tooth to be compatible with the graphic designer's MDD running Jag.I remember rich saying that the real limitation of the Mac with FlyII was bus speed. At the time he wrote it, the fastest Mac FSB was 133mHz. The G5 changes all that!

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Hi, guys.I'm jazzed about the G5, too, but I suspect that we're approaching the end of the line as far as running Fly! II is concerned. Even now I can't get it to do everything it's supposed to do on my G4 - I can't imagine that a G5 running Panther will be any more compatible, no matter what the speed. When the time comes that my main Mac can't run Fly! any longer, I may take one of my Macs and set it up as a dedicated Fly! computer under OS 9.As for PowerBooks, I and a few thousand others are eagerly awaiting Apple's next move. :)-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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I've been spending time upgrading and not Fly!ing, so I apologize for being scarce here.I managed to get one of my Fly! II installations to run in X. Performace wasn't too bad, but I still find I get the best experience by booting into OS9.I realize, like Franklin, that the chances of continuing to do this are slim. If new machines won't boot into 9, I suspect that means we're toast. All I can do with the equip I have is to spring for the expensive G4/1GB Sonnet upgrade. A couple of my fellow dwellers on the Apple Beige G3 forum have done so and report it to be a smooth upgrade. The only video trump card I have left is to get a PC Radeon that's had its ROM flashed. That way I can get to 64MB RAM, but I know the real choke points are processor and bus speeds.When I upgraded from a 300 to 500mHz G3, Fly! 2K responded nicely but I saw only an incremental change in Fly II--hardly worth noting. Maybe the G4 would help. However, I suspect that I am close to springing for a g5 and let the beloved Beige stay at its already enhanced state. I can't do much more to it. I can overclock the FSB from 66 to 83mHz but this is seldaom a stable config. About the fastest OC with stability would be to set the FSB to 70mHz--hardly worth the effort.As the Beige switches nicely from Jag to 9, I will still Fly, but it's pretty much reached its limits on my box.Now that the upgrade path is as complete as it's going to be without getting into money that could be better spent on a G5, I'm feeling the performance pinch. That said, the Beige is doing nicely with Jag, a USB 1.1/2.0 card, and USB mouse and joystick. Other than FlyII, everything runs like I bought a new computer.I can confirm that the TBM700 won't run under X; the dll for the inertial separator does show up in the Task Manager. It does under OS9. No word from ROTW on what's happening with the dll.

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Hi, Allan.You've certainly done an amazing job extending the useful life of your G3. But, as you know, eventually you run up against the wall imposed by those parts of the computer that you can't upgrade.It sounds like you'll beat me to the punch with the G5. I can't get one until M$ changes Virtual PC to run on the new hardware. Hopefully, that'll coincide with the next G5 revision. :)I'm also holding out for a new PB. There's some speculation that the next rev will sport a G5 around 1.2 GHz, although I'm skeptical.-Franklin

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I am sure that you have all noticed the new PB line up, especially the new 15" model starting at $1999, not a bad price, but to get the features that I really want the price would be more like $3000.I am not sure how long it will be before we see a G5 powerbook, but I suspect it will be a while.I did find something of interest while I was waiting for Apple to release the new books... If you happen to own a PowerBook G3 "Pismo" (the one with the built-in firewire ports) You can have its processor upgraded to a G4 - 500 starting at $240!Check out http://www.fastmac.com for detailsFrom what I can tell from what I have read at the xlr8yourmac.com reviews and forums, the upgrade is very stable, and unlike other processor upgrades, it will not change your PowerBooks internal serial number, nor do you have to send them your whole PowerBook.As soon as I save up the extra cash, I think I will purchase this upgrade and run a "Black" PowerBook G4 until the G5's come out---John R. SippyChicago, IL, USAPowerMacG4 -Dual 5001024MB RAMnVidiaGF2 - 32MB

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Hi, John.A G4 upgrade is not a bad way to squeeze more useful life from a G3-based PowerBook. However, the fact that you can't upgrade the graphics processor is a limiting factor. For example, I use Keynote for my presentations. My department's Pismo will barely run slide shows, even at 800 x 600 and 1000's of colors, and my Lombard won't display slide shows at all.CPU upgrades are a better solution for older desktop Macs because you can upgrade the video card, too. Last year I bought a 500 MHz G4 for my old blue & white G3, and I'd previously upgraded the video card to a Radeon. That computer, bought in January 1999, is our main "family" Mac, and I expect it to keep on going for at least another year or two.I agree that it'll be awhile until a G5 PowerBook appears - maybe around this time next year. Meanwhile, I've got a new 15" PB on the way.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Franklin et al,Subject: Beating a no-so-dead horseHere's what's happened to the Beige G3 minitower since I acquired it:Bought in June 1999 from the Apple Store as a refurb. Came with a 300mHz G3 processor, 64MB RAM, 6MB VRAM running through an ATI Rage 64-bit chip on the logic board, and one 8GB HDD, and OS 8.5. I put an external dial-up modem on it, and plugged in an Apple 15" MS monitor I already had.Now it's a G3/500, has 640 MB RAM, two 7200 rpm HDDs (60 and 20MB) and OS9.1, 9.22 and X. I added an ATI Rage 128 Orion 16MB card about three years back, and replaced it with an original Radeon last March. Added a USB1.1/2.0 card and now have a USB joystick and multi-button USB optical mouse (they'll have to pry my 12 year-old M3501 ABD keyboard from my cold, dead fingers). And I have 1200Mbs cable internet. Oh, did I mention the 19" flat-screen CRT from NEC? Don't ask me to add it up!Most of this crazy upgrade activity (frenzy) was because I owned Fly! No complaints--I've had a ball doing the work myself, learned a bunch about Macs, met a lot of great new friends...and had Rich Harvey touch my heart. Life is truly good.

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Allan,Macs often have longer useful lives than PCs, despite the fact that the latter generally have more upgrade options.So how much life is left in the old beige beauty?-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Hey Allan and Franklin,Glad to see you guys around here. I should have checked the forum more often.I upgraded my B&W 300 with the Sonnet G4 500. It runs smoothly and just fine under OS X 10.2.6. OS X is faster and more stable than under OS 9.2.2. My only problem is that another joystick died. I'm wondering why I keep having them die after 9 months of sporatic use. Time to buy another one.Speaking of processors, I took the big jump today and ordered the G5 2 GHz dual processor. It may be here by Friday. I'll use my Blue & White 17" monitor with it. I'll let everyone know how Fly II works out after I transfer files, etc. I bought my son the iMac 800 and qualified for the free upgrade to Jaguar. I'm waiting to install it on a partition on the G5. I guess I'll be beta testing that as well with Fly 2 on the G5.The G5 is a huge buy, but thinking of what it costs to keep the B&W running is almost as expensive. I've had to buy the drive controller card because mine is Rev 1 and won't take second hard drives. Bought the Radeon 7000, which runs Fly 2 great. Then, the G4 card. It adds up. I'm thinking that the G5 is fast enough to last a few years without needing anything. It ships with a good video card. Has USB 1 & 2, Firewire 400 & 800. DVD burner. I'm hoping the initial purchase will be enough for a long time this go around.I'm going to be plenty upset if Fly 2 isn't compatible. If not, maybe it will scream under Classic Mode if I can figure a way to force it to launch under it.Barry Williamsp.s. I bought the G5 at Infinity-Micro. I got a $300 break on the price compared to the other mail order places by using COD. The 3 year Apple Care was discounted too. They are about $120 cheaper using a credit card.

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Hi, Barry.Congrats on the G5. Please let us know how Fly! runs on it (assuming it does run). I've never been able to get Fly! to run under Classic.My current Macs - a dual 800 at home and a dual 1 GHz at work - are adequate for most of what I do, but I may get a G5 at the next revision. -Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Hi Franklin,Do you think OS X would default to Classic if it doesn't run? Is there any setting I could change with ResEdit if it doesn't run under 10.2.7 or Jaguar? I'm hoping it runs, but I'm still without a joystick for now. I may get another Microswindle Sidewinder 2 so that I have the spare parts from this dead one.I was thinking of waiting too, but the G5s are lower than the G4s when they came out. Also, the prices probably won't drop for a year. I didn't want to wait that long. Unreal 2003 barely crawls with the G4 500 upgrade on the B&W. I thought that a sign of the times for gaming.A dual 1 GHz isn't bad. Not bad at all. Those are pretty fast Macs.Barry

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Barry,I'm pretty sure that I tried running Fly! 2k and II under Classic at one point. I think I was able to get them to launch, but not much more, possibly because some of the required OS 9 extensions would not function under Classic. I can give it another try, though.AppleInsider (www.appleinsider.com) just posted a rumor about a G5 update in January (dual 2.5 GHz). I don't know if that's accurate, but I would expect some sort of update by March. It might be a good idea to wait at this point, as the current G5's have a few teething problems.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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The G5 dual processor arrived yesterday and I spent most of my time partitioning the drives for Panther and Jaguar, and networking files from the G3 to the G5. I'll install Panther later today. Fly II works fantastic on the G5 and OS 10.2.7 (G5)!!!!!!! Awesome. Amazing. Incredible. And, the dead Sidewinder II mysteriously works again. It doesn't get any better than this.First, you just about can't slow Fly II down on the G5. I bumped up scenery to max radius on everything and it is perfectly fluid and smooth. Basically, there are no frame rates. It looks too real to think in terms of frames per second. It did start to show a little frame rate slowing when I added 3-5 aircraft, but I set that back to zero after testing it. The max radius settings are a bit too much anyway in my opinion, but it doesn't slow down Fly II at all. Everything is super smooth and super fast. It is more like the real thing than we have ever seen in Fly II. It is a true experience. After all the time we spent testing Fly II and flying the release versions this is something new and awesome. There really isn't a way to accurately describe how good Fly II is on the G5.Flying is a new experience altogether. I found that I was making the most beautiful landings ever. The smallest tweaks on the joystick made me feel like I was really flying again. It is like a whole new simulator on the G5. You can really appreciate the quality programming and physics as everything is so realistic that it is spooky if you have flown real planes. This is a time where I really would like to thank Rich again. The speed of the G5 DP and the incredibly realistic physics of Fly II work well together. I was noticing the smallest things that I never saw before. One wheel touchdowns behave differently. You can honestly feel the plane now. Touching down the nose wheel does new things. There is so much that I misssed with the slower processors.I changed over to the Bell and was instantly flying, hovering, and doing some of the things I used to do in real Bell OH-58s. Until yesterday I had thought I was just rusty after not flying for about 10 years. Not true at all! The inherent frame rate lag was what was making it tough, even though this was mostly invisible to me with the G4 upgrade to my B&W G3. The Bell flys flawlessly on the G5. I was back to flying around without any problems. Hovering, landing, taking off, etc was a snap. Intuitive flying is totally realistic.I think the big thing about the G5 DP and Fly II is that there is so much quality in Fly II, hidden in there waiting for faster Macs. I saw where Fly II will always be a fantastic simulator. I can't imagine it getting any better than this.I'll test Fly II on Panther after I do all of the installing and updating. I'll post to the forum tonight or tomorrow if all goes well. Sorry to gush so much over the G5 and Fly II, but I am amazed at how good it is. Fly II won't be gathering dust around here.Barry WilliamsG5 2 GHz dual processor with 512 mb RAMRadeon 9600p.s. I am using the B&W Studio Monitor for now, so that probably helps frame rates some over the flat panel displays. Also, there are tests that show the G5 speeds up a lot with 1 gig of RAM.

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I installed Panther today and Fly II works fine. I did notice that it was not as smooth as 10.2.7, but I'll have to compare the OS's more. My general feeling was that Panther didn't do as well as Jaguar.One thing about both on the G5 DP is that boot times are down to about 30 seconds for Fly II. No problems noted except that sound sometimes becomes 'stuck' when using the maps windows. Hitting the views key or instant replay resets the sound for the most part.Thought I would let the forum know.Barry Williams

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That's EXCELLENT news, Barry! There's hope. Maybe what Rich H said about the low bus speeds on the pre-G5 Macs being the sticking point was on the mark.Good hearing from you, old friend. How's the family?Regards,

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Allan,Good to hear from you again. The family is doing a little better. My wife had some hospital time in Sep-Oct but she is on the mend now. I'll be glad when we don't know so many doctors!I did a lot more Fly II'ing under Panther 10.3.1 and it is ultra smooth too. I guess 10.2.7 and Panther are about the same now. I'm having a great time with it and the high frame rates. My sound problem is the alarm when around 200' for landing. That sound puts it into a loop that only instant replay fixes. I can't remember how the sounds are done, so I need to poke around some.Rich was right, or so it seems. The G5 DP has massive bus rates. This is all under 32 bit and single processor, so when the 64 bit OS comes out it should really scream...if if Fly II works.By the way, are people using TerraScene files now? I missed out on how that works. Can you let me know what to do, what to get, etc? I'm really behind the times.I downloaded a neat new flight sim called Flight Gear today. It isn't compiled and you have to run it under Terminal. The screen shots and video clip on the website look very good. I don't have the website but do a search for Flight Gear and you should find it. I couldn't get it to run this morning. Barry

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Hi, Barry.Thanks for the posts. This is much better news than I expected, and it's another reason for me to get a G5. :) With the flurry of rumors about faster G5s, I'm going to wait until at least the first quarter of 2004. I'm pretty sure that we'll be seeing dual 3 GHz machines with 1.5 GHz FSB's by this time next year. Eventually, we'll get to a point where a faster computer doesn't make a difference.Take care,Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Franklin,Interesting points about the 3 GHz and FSB upgrades for next year.However, the more I read the more I'm glad I bought mine now. I was beginning to feel like you do. First, there is a remarkable lack of problems with the G5 DP. It is pretty much all new with the bus, controllers, etc and still no problems ala the B&W G3 rev 1 drive controller, wind tunnel G4s, etc. So, I'm pretty lucky in that regard. The G5 just works like a champ without anything going wrong. Also, I watched how G4 prices didn't seem to drop as faster models came out. I kept waiting for a price drop and never really saw enough to buy one. I don't know, maybe this model of DP G5 will be reduced significantly in the future, but maybe not. I'm still glad I didn't wait and I've only had it a week now. I can now see how everything on the B&W G3 was just too slow and outdated. Right now, nothing slows this computer down. I downloaded the demo Unreal Tournament 2003 demo and it blazes with all graphics options maxed out. It had a frame rate of about 1 frame every 4 seconds on the G3 with options set to absolute minimum. All of this is a real joy to see. Unreal 2003 smokes on the G5. I talked to a programmer at MacSoft before buying the G5 and he thought the iMac 800 15" would bog down too much. I should have asked him about the G5s just to see what he had to say but I didn't think about it.I think you are in better shape with older computers right now than I was. I can see how you are more in a position to wait a little longer. The only thing I would think about is that the new line of faster DPs could have those problems like my B&W rev 1 drive controller, etc. All new computer designs are subject to these kinds of problems, which means waiting even longer or taking chances on the first models. The only thing that I wish for is the ability to see how VPC 6 would run on this G5. I can live without it though. (g) Still, I wonder how fast it would run Windoze apps.Right now, there doesn't seem to be any reason to want more power. I know this will change one day. Barry

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Barry,Coming from a B&W G3 as you were, I don't blame you for upgrading now. I bought a B&W in Jan. 1999 when they were released. ALthough it still serves as a family computer, I'd find it a bit pokey for daily work, even with a G4/500 card.To be honest, it's not often that my DP 800 slows me down, which is why I'm planning to wait. The other reason is VPC. There are a couple of Windows apps that I use, and I'm hoping that MS releases a G5-compatible version by the time I get one.Enjoy your G5!-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Franklin ,I've done a lot more testing and comparing with other things besides Fly II and the G5 DP. Everything is better on the G5, which was surprising to me.I had called MacSoft some time back when I considered buying Unreal Tournament 2003 for my B&W and my sons iMac 800 15". I got a very good programmer on the line and he said that my B&W would barely run it. We talked about frame rates some,etc. I downloaded the demo with 2 levels. The B&W (Sonnet G4 ZIF 500) was getting 1 frame per 3-4 seconds. Major bummer. Also, I dusted off the original Unreal Tournament and discovered that there were hardly any players online (under OS X 10.2.6). Major bummer. Nobody left playing the old version and I can't run the new version with all graphics turned to absolute minimum. Then, I rebooted under OS 9.2.2 and suddenly there were thousands of players again. Something about OS X and the B&W would not let me see the players and servers. Strange.Now, same thing with the G5 and OS X 10.2.7 G5 with remarkably different results. Everything works for the old Unreal Tournament. UT 2003 is blazing fast with maxed out everything including screen resolution. It is absolutely wicked! It is the most amazing game I've ever seen on any computer. Totally fluid graphics. I ordered a copy direct from MacSoft for $19.99 vs MacMall, etc prices of $49.99. Should be here on Friday. Right now, this is THE killer app for G5s, imho. You have to see it to believe it. I forgot to mention that this is all running with a new 17" Apple Display set to 1280x1024. That should have slowed something down but it hasn't so far. The G5 is overkill for game graphics.Another major improvement with the G5 DP is that I can burn CDs under OS X. There is something from Apple about the B&Ws having problems under OS X. I was dead in the water there. Of course, the drive in the G5 is major league faster. I did a 699 mb disk last night in 5 minutes. I'm glad I don't have to burn under OS 8.6 any more. OS 9.2.2 was quirky and just made coasters too many times. I never figured out why after countless hours trying to track down the problem that occurred about twice a year.All of this makes me glad that I bought mine when I did. I'm seeing every day where things are much better. I heard an audio file of the power supply chirp that some people are getting. I think I've gotten it for a few seconds once or twice, but that is all. It never was a big deal. The only software that has not run on the G5 is Lotus 123. Yup, it was out for the Mac about 10 years ago and I bought it used from a buddy. I always liked it for nostalgic reasons and used it often. Believe it or not, the original Hypercard runs fine. (g) I like tinkering with stacks too....nostalgia striking again. I have 3 huge programmer books on Hypercard. The really old stuff all works. I don't remember anything not running under Panther either. It all worked. I mostly stick with Jaguar for now. Some things that had problems with OS 9.2.2 runs perfectly under OS X and Classic. I can't remember all of the major programs right now, but I had a few. Alias Sketch was the biggest worry under OS 9.I know that this off the Fly II topic some, but I hope everyone finds this interesting. I was able to afford the G5 DP because I'm taking courses under the GI Bill and the extra money is there for a while. My wife said I should do it and I was on the phone ordering things a minute or two later. (g) Barry Williams

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Barry,Thanks for the post.The G5 sounds great. Everyone I know who has one is happy with it.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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