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Guest Allan Jones

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I bought X-Plane.The price is supposed to go up soon, so I took the $60 plunge. It arrived Monday so I'm just scratching the surface, getting the settings right, setting up the joystick, etc. Therefore I really can't comment about much, other than to say it runs smoothly on the old Beige Beast. I had to tone down the default graphics setting because it wanted 41MB of my 32MB of VRAM :). There MUST be some way to make this thing show frame rates.So far, FlyII still has XP beat for cockpit and external views. However, the panels are not nearly so "flat" looking as in earlier versions. I have four CDs of compressed scenery files I've yet to install. They cover the entire world.Me bad.

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Hi Allan.Regarding the framerate go to settings (at the top of the screen) and open data output and at the top left hand column tick the first box and the frame rate will appear on the XP screen top left.I also have bought the latest version, and I am now running 7.30 which seems to be stable but I have to say that I still prefer FlyII, but having said that I am enjoying messing about with X-Plane.It is a pity that FlyII and X-Plane could not be merged and use the undoubted talents and enthusiasm of the sole proprietor and programmer Austin Meyer.Paul

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Thanks, Paul!The CD has 7.10; I've yet to find time to grab the newer version. Thank goodness for broadband!A

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Well, guys, I had the weekend to play with X-Plane and I must say the newer version is far beyond what I expected based on older ones. I know this is off-topic, but the comparison to Fly is interesting.-Panels look closer to Fly panels in detail levels--definitely more 3-dimensional than in older versions I tried.-The stock scenery mesh must have a tighter grid than FlyII. There's a steep, narrow canyon at the top of Lewiston Hill that shows up in XP but not in FlyII. I can navigate fairly well around areas of North Idaho based on topography. The "roads and rivers" that disappeared from FlyII is a graphics box option in XP. Nice to have.-rates (thanks for the tip, Paul) are quite nice. Most cockpit views are ~15 on my old box. Some externals go to ~24. I noticed that XP does not change rates so dramatically when I change views.-the odd external perspective is still there, but I may be able to change that in the Graphics Settings box. There is a viewing angle that defaults to 70 degrees; I'll see if changing it to a lower value helps.-There are five or six detail levels. I'm running at "High" (third from the top) to avoid having a/c textures looking pixelated. XP says it's need 41MB VRAM for the settings I'm using, but continues to give good performance.-the irritating external view problem is gone. In older versions, the ext view started inside the hollow, rendered model and moved out. UGLY! Now, the view appears much like in Fly!-I noted a similar joystick issue to that in Fly under X. In Fly, I have to set up the joystick every time I launch. In XP, I have to open the Joystick settings and move the stick about its axes, then close. Easier, but still not "george."-the interface seems more polished. However, Austin has been working on Macs for a long time.I'm finding some interesting add-ons. My fovorite plane is a wheeled version of the DHC-2 "Beaver" complete with a GPS unit and a/p that "looks" like a retrofit to an old panel. I think I see the pop riviets!Allan

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Allan,I think you'll find XPlane to be a worthy investment for your "support the underdog" dollars.Since it became clear that FlyII was probably the end of the Fly franchise, I've been a subscription simmer (one who buys every release of the product) in XPlane. I'm quite impressed with how much code Austin can implement, and at such a great frequency.Although Fly1+TerraScene still stands out as my favorite environment, XPlane has replaced the flightsim directory on my Powerbook (although I must admit I have a copy of FS2K2 and A320Pro on my PC). And now, anytime I think about scenery or aircraft development, it's with XP in mind. I miss Fly, and am disappointed that FlyII-mac wasn't as strong as it's Windows counterpart. But I don't really regret changing allegiance. Especially if it still holds my enthusiasm for simming, simhacking, and aviation.-Pete KeppelMinneapolis, MN

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Hey, Pete.Wow, it's been a long time. Good to hear from you!Like you and Allan, I've jumped into the X-Plane world. I'm also very impressed with how much Austin seems to be able to do, and it's great not to feel at a disadvantage because I'm using a Mac.However, Barry's positive experience with the G5 makes me hopeful that Fly! won't remain out of the picture for long.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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HEY PETE!!!!!Great to hear your keystrokes! It's been WAY too long.With all the upgrading lately, I didn't have much time to fly anything. FlyII still does better for me under OS9 and I hate to swtich back and forth. I still have only one of my two FlyII installations running under X and, in the one that works, the joystick is a big FUBAR. XP gives me the option of flopping down at the computer for a qucik flight.I love the link on Austin's site that is labeled "Secret Weapon!" Speaking of weapons, how do you fire them in XP? I've dug for this command but haven't found it yet.Note below I still have the same old box as during the beta period, but with added goodies. Not good enough for FlyII but great for Fly2K and XP.

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I changed too X-plane a few weeks ago, tough from Fly 2K. Here my first experiences:- The frame-rates are quite good as long as there are not to much clouds chosen. The clouds look nice indeed but seem to slow down the simulation at least with the limited VRAM of the NVIDIA Geforce4 MX (32Mbyte)...- The generic scenery textures of the world-wide scenery are very limited concerning a true lifelike representation - at the terrain of the city of zurich for example I get a mixture of rural area with some houses instead of the urban area expected. This is improved but still not fully satisfactory using custom-sceneries. I'm now playing around with x-planes scenery editor "worldmaker" trying to replace the generic textures with textures from areal or satellite pictures respectively. My first experiments with (for Mt. Cook NewZealand, actual ground resolution appr. 40m) look promising - however it is not very simple to overcome the limitations of x-planes scenery description files (1x1 degree tiles containing 150x200 grid-points).This my first impressions - sorry - it may be off-topic regarding the forum but I thought it fits well into this thread...Andreas LeupinSwitzerlandMy system:PowerMac G4 867Mhz DP (MDD), 768MB RAMNvidia Geforce4 MX with 32 MB VRAM

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Andreas,No need to apologize. I agree with your observations, especially regarding scenery. From my limited experience so far, X-Plane's generic scenery isn't that much better than the original scenery in Fly!. I miss flying over TerraScene landscapes, where I could easily identify real roads and waterways, if not buildings and such. However, I haven't had much chance to try custom scenery in X-Plane yet.My hope is that we'll eventually have close to photorealistic scenery for much larger areas, but that'll probably take a few years.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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Franklin,if you are interested, I could send you my (tough very rough) custom scenery of Mt. Cook (Nzl) which I produced from a satellite picture (dimensions appr. 60x60 km, ground resolution actually 40m) to hear your opinion about it..Otherways I've heard that a photorealistic scenery is actually on the way for the SE parts of Great Britain.Further custom sceneries are available for download at www.x-plane.org.RegardsAndreas---------

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Allan;Don't feel bad. I did the same a few months ago. Am having problems trying to run XP under OSX, so I run it under OS9. XP, since Austin decided to sell 'direct', is a 'work in process'. He must feel that he doesn't have to work out all the 'bugs' before selling the program to the public. He can get your money, and then keep trying to tweek the product. When he sold the simulation through the retail stores, it had to be 98% bug free !My preference is still Fly!2K.Pete450Dual G4 Tower, 758mb ram, 128 ATI Rage, CH Products Yoke with Throttle Quadrant, Rudder Pedals.

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A friend of mine has X-Plane 7.30 and was dying to see how it ran on a G5 2.0 DP. We installed it temporarily on mine and gave it a try for a couple of days.I don't know about X-Plane. There are a few features that I like, but I find myself going back to flying on Fly II all the time after 'playing' on X-Plane. The biggest things that I like about XP is the landing light at night. It is ultra realistic to me. The number one thing is the plane design capability. I bought MS Fly back around 1992 and spent millions of hours designing planes on that primitive sim. It felt like being home again with X-Plane for that.Cockpit perspectives in XP are strange. I can't get used to those. No VFR sections to use for navigation. The one big thing that would make both sims a winner is if XP had an export function for planes that you design....and that would be......export the packages to Fly II. I would buy XP just to design planes!!!!!!!!!! Of course, this will never happen but it sure would be great if it did.Barry

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Barry,How did XP run on the G5?-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerDP 800Fly! for Mac Co-moderator

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