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Everything posted by NGXfanatic

  1. My Asus Z87 sabertooth motherboard died last year, so I know the struggle. It's one thing to know for certain which hardware component failed (like memory, monitor, etc...) but the guesswork and troubleshooting can be painful. At the time it happened I was hoping it was simply a DVI cable gone bad, as the monitor was just showing no signal and the computer itself was still humming along. Upon closer inspection I noticed that only 2 chassis fans were spinning, so the pc was apparently in some kind of half sleep mode or something, but I could not easily diagnose as I did not have access to an extra monitor or any other components to test. After shutting down the pc, I noticed the computer would power on but would not POST. I was in flightsim hiatus at the time, and since I mostly used my Ipad to browse the internet and had barely used my pc, and was not in the mood for a drawn out pc troubleshooting project, I avoided the situation I was in, for almost 2 months! I was ultimately motivated to get back to figuring out what was wrong, as part of me was worried that I may have suffered a power surge issue that destroyed a component(s) or worse, irreplaceable data, so I wanted to know for sure what happened to get some closure. Long story short, one of the error indicator lights was showing a serious hardware fault, and after SOME extensive research I made an educated guess that the mobo just died. I bit the bullet, found a used Z97 sabertooth board online and low and behold, I got my beloved pc back! I had my head in the sand for the better part of 2 months partly because I lost interest in simming for a few years prior to the incident, but mostly because I was afraid to confront the fear of seeing data I may not have backed up potentially lost and I didn't want to shell out the money to get a replacement part. If tablets/ipads/smartphones did not exist the sense of urgency would have been much greater.
  2. I am heartened to see they are adding Powerpack functionality.
  3. Hi Bryan, I am a long time user and fan of many of the FS2crew products, and they have all given me a trouble free experience. Unfortunately, I have started having this issue as well. First Officer will carry upon the required tasks, but I get no aural feedback from him. Sometimes the sound will kick in during some tasks, but 90% of the time the FO is silent. I have tried numerous workarounds, including the suggestions listed in this and other threads, and I have uninstalled and clean reinstalled twice so far, to no avail. This issue is a real head scratcher for me. Could it have been a windows update?
  4. IIRC, go to the cameras.cfg file and change CycleHidden=No to Yes for this camera
  5. I'm so happy to see this topic, as I am in the same boat myself. After being on the fence for a while about switching over to SSD drives for the OS and P3D, I decided to take advantage of the recent Black Friday sale on Amazon to buy 2 500 gb Evos as the price was finally right for me! I was considering getting just one 1tb drive (for about $250 vs $260 for the 2 separate 500 gb SSDs) but I was concerned about having both P3D and the OS on the same drive. I figured that the main reason everyone had said the two should be on separate drives is a result of the older mechanical platter drives and fragmentation, but I was curious to know if its ok to install the OS and p3d on the same SSD drive. I don't regret my decision to get 2 separate drives (just incase of drive failure, though the odds are probably very low for that to occur), I guess I am just curious at this point.
  6. I have just recently returned to the hobby after a rather lengthy hiatus (from November 2013), and it is P3d v3 that pulled me back in. I also attribute my return to Facebook, which I only joined early last year. It is there where I have met some folks who helped me rekindle my interest, including a new buddy who I frequently hang out with IRL. I'm very happy with what I see in p3d, as I feel it is what I feel FSX should have been with the proper support and service packs/hotfixes. To me, it feels like a new sim! I'm sorry to hear of your frustrations, as I know where you are coming from. When I first quit there were a few factors that led me down that path, but it was mainly a feeling of burnout. From 2008-2012 I was very addicted to the sim, which even included a period during 2008-2009 where I split my time between FS9, for the PMDG 737, and FSX for the PMDG 747 and LevelD 767. I spent lots of times fiddling with FSX to get it working right and encountered the insanely frustrating constant crashes and other headaches, but at that time I enjoyed the "work", as I learned a lot about computing concepts and best practices. Yes, that constant tweaking and troubleshooting gets old after a while, but I felt I had learned my way around any and all issues FSX would throw my way and I would take them in stride, so I learned to accept them. I even felt a sense of satisfaction when I solved these issues, like it was a hobby unto itself. However, from 2012 and onward what was once a daily addiction became less of an obsession, and I eventually would go a month or so without touching FSX. And yes, I felt guilty, considering all the time and money I had invested my rig, in tweaking FSX and windows just right(according to NickN). After a few months away from the sim, around late 2013 I was suddenly reinvigorated by the announcement of a few long awaited addons, namely, PFPX, the PMDG 777, and Active Sky Next. I thought this is it, these addons would finally breathe some new life into FSX. I was so excited I built a new rig (the one I'm on now), following NickN's advice and purchasing almost exactly the same parts. I overclocked this Haswell 4770k to 4.4ghz, and had the rig of my dreams, with the greatest addons for FSX of all time at my disposal. But then, just like that, I fell into a funk, and lost all interest in flight simming. I would still check into AVSIM at times to see what was happening, but I had zero desire to actually startup FSX. Perhaps it was just the winter blues or burnout from the same old same old routine for the past few years. I remember starting up FSX around spring 2014 and noticing it wouldn't initialize. I ran though all the tried and tested methods I had learned over the years to try to get it to work, but nothing took. I have had situations like this before where I ultimately found the culprit preventing FSX from starting up, but this time I could not for the life of me figure out what went wrong. But most importantly, I just didn't care. I was not going to reinstall windows and FSX as I had many times in the past, and waste weeks and weeks putting humpty dumpty back together again, I just didn't have it in me! But again, I still felt guilty and sad, since I had so much invested. I said it to myself, and I will say this to you now: this is a lifelong and very satisfying hobby, and you may very well find that spark to bring you back. It's not a question of if, but when. I always reminded myself of that. I'm not quite back to the level of obsession I once enjoyed, but I'm taking my time to savor each new thing I see in PD3, including the incredible level of innovation in the addons and the P3D platform itself, considering that it is still based on the nightmare 10 year old code that is the half finished FSX. I even got a new 970 GTX vid card to replace the previous 780 GTX. Next on my list will be a Saitek throttle quadrant. And I hope to return to my old passion for taking the PMDG NGX on real life like flights using real routes, and sharing my adventures on the AVSIM screenshots forum as "NGXdiaries" once again!
  7. Hello folks, Mr. "NGXdiaries" here. After an almost 2 year hiatus from simming, I have noticed all the hubbub surrounding P3D v2.5/3.0 and decided to see what all the hype was about There were many reasons why I stopped, I attribute it partly to burnout. But the main reason for my absence was the day I tried to start up FSX and it would refuse to load, despite my best attempts to troubleshoot and fix. Even though I considered myself quite adept at diagnosing and solving the many problems FSX would throw my way for about 5 years, this time was different. No matter what I tried nothing worked, so I just threw my hands in the air and "rage quit". I was just too exhausted by years of endless tweaking and reinstalls....I needed a break. Anyhow, P3D V3.0 is a breath of fresh air, the FSX SP3 we all desperately needed and then some! The magnitude of new innovative features and bug fixes is overwhelming, but in a good way. After receiving some encouragement from some fellow simming friends, I dipped my toes back into the water, and have to say I am now back in love with simming! I'm still getting my P3D install in order, and have yet to feel comfortable enough to do a proper full flight to the degree of accuracy and obsession with detail that I have prided myself on in the past with FSX. I do hope to get back in the swing of things very soon. I remember wanting to do a cross country hop in the PMDG NGX from KSEA to KDCA with the famous "River Visual" approach at the end, something I have witnessed live in person at Gravelly Point Park by KDCA two times this year through my new obsession: planespotting/photography at nearby airports. I also remember a fellow "Avsimmer" asking to see those shots, so if you are around, I promise to deliver sometime soon! Sorry for the wall of text, I wanted to celebrate my return to the world of AVSIM and PMDG, and a new appreciation for Lockheed Martin's P3D V3.0, with this shot of myself in the Southwest 737-800 near KTTN, Trenton Mercer Airport in New Jersey. Hope you enjoy!
  8. that seems to mirror my strategy. I can't bring myself to put my backups on the cloud, but I won't hesitate for photos for some reason....I wish I could explain why.
  9. Thanks for the share. Posted it to my facebook flight sim friends, they will love this! Btw, scored an easy 10/10, as many years of AFCAD tweaking has prepared me for this quiz.
  10. God bless you Tom, your website has contributed to some joyous moments for me in the past few years. I'm shocked to hear of this news, I was sure you had more time. My condolences to your family, I am at a loss for words really. You have been incredibly selfless in your contribution to our niche community, its never going to be the same now.
  11. I cant say enough praise for acronis. Pretty easy to figure out, and it works seamlessly. Takes the tedium and chore out of backups. It has saved my butt quite a few times, both the file backups and hard drive disk image backups. run, don't walk, to get it!
  12. Matt, thanks so much for the advice, I thought I had a handle on backup security, yet based on what I read here from you, you can never add enough redundancy. I basically only keep critical data on one backup, an external USB 3.0 drive. This means I use Acronis True Image to make disk images of my "c" drive and the drive that houses FSX/p3d on the external drive, on a weekly basis. And i do a daily backup of "my documents" and important FSX data not kept on the separate internal drives using Acronis's File backup feature on 2 other internal drives, separate from the drives they are backed up from of course. Not into online backups at all, but I do keep my picture folders backed up on some free cloud providers, i.e. dropbox or google drive. Anyhow, i have now added taking those images and placing copy of each on one more additional, unrelated drive, for added assurance as you say.
  13. key man Regardless what you think of his actions, the show is finished. Not an easy decision, but it is what it its. Almost remincicent of the Charlie Sheen debacle on Two and a Half men in 2011.
  14. They aren't too bad, much better than the default airports. But they are rather plain, almost 2 dimensional, no nice photoreal imagery on the grounds or buildings. No AES or jetways. But again, better than nothing, they are pretty affordable, and don't crash your computer from overloading memory. Therefore, because of their simplicity, performance is excellent.
  15. I haven't been paying as much attention to the flightsim world as a few years ago, but I saw this on my facebook feed and was devastated to hear the news. This is the finest community of users in the flightsim world, and dare I say, of any hobby with an online community of avid users. There is no way I would be as knowledgeable about commercial aircraft operations, and PC troubleshooting skills, if not for you and your unconditional love for our niche hobby. We have the best of the best here, and I'm confident that AVSIM will carry on in tribute to all the work you have contributed over the years since you founded this community. Please take the opportunity to enjoy time on your terms, you have much more important priorities to take care of. I pray you can find peace, as your contribution to the enjoyment of simmers the world all over is priceless.
  16. Sad to hear that. It costs money to run these web sites, and it can be hard to justify the costs when they don't get any sort of revenue. I'm not sure when they released their last model, but there seems to be a lot of new entrants into the AI space, so hopefully they can pick up the slack and fill the void. Or TFS may just upload future models/paints to websites like AVSIM without maintaining a costly website. Nonetheless, they were one of the best of the best, along with AI Aardvark, it breaks my heart that they may have closed shop for good.
  17. He's all over the news, even Megyn Kelly gave hima shout out! The first thing I thought about was a 787 test flight, where they flew a pattern athat drew out "787" over the PNW a few years ago on flight aware.
  18. Apparently it is Delta's strategy to minimize capital expense spending, and they will do all they can to keep older planes running as long as they can to squeeze every last cent of worth out of them, especially if they are fully paid for. Also look at how they acquired those ex-AirTran 717s to help replace regional jets. They also fly newer MD-90s, that despite looking like MD-83s/88s, they have glass cockpits and more powerful engines. But I do know that American was getting complaints from passengers about the MDs, I heard it myself when I went on vacation in California 2 months ago. One of my aunts also flew on an AA MD-83 like me, and she joked about the decrepit condition of the maddog she flew. We had a nice laugh over the napkins given out on the flight, touting how AA was introducing a new aircraft every week.
  19. Depending on the level of turbulence, it makes perfect sense to descend, even at the expense of added fuel burn. On my return trip from a vacation to San Jose California a month ago, the captain of the AA MD-83 mentioned to us that we would be flying the entire trip to KDFW at FL270, just to avoid chop. Yes, they burn more fuel, but it beats having to send passengers to the hospital upon landing at the destination or even at an alternate airport.
  20. Why do I love AVSIM? Because no where else can you find the breadth of knowledge you can find here. Bar none, AVSIM is THE strongest "brand" in the flightsim community. Say what you will about politics and such, but if you ignore such pettiness, like I do, and just focus on the substance and the user reach, I cannot find a better alternative. I'll be honest, I have been burned out on simming, as I haven't even opened FSX in months, but I still love to come here for the ambiance and to stay current on trends in aviation and simming. I don't think you can find the level of expertise here on simming, especially troubleshooting, anywhere else.
  21. Hi folks, I stumbled upon this interesting story on CNN. We hear about the famous aircraft graveyard in Arizona, the "Boneyard", all the time. Here is one airframe that was pulled out of long term storage and flown to replace a fire damaged aircraft. http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/21/us/arizona-b-52-restored/index.html
  22. This is a fascinating topic. I have noticed that while I love to drool over the impressive detail of some of these new fangled airports, especially with the uber realistic inside terminal operations and intricate parking lots, car rental facilities, flying seagulls, etc......there is a fine line between realism and wasting resources. This kind of detail is vital for games like the GTA series or Skyrim, but not so at all for flight sims. Bottom line, I think it's safe to say most of us do not intend to leave the cockpit and wander around inside the terminal to simulate picking up our baggage or taking our shoes off for the TSA. As real as it gets my.... I even wonder what the point is of detailed signage and objects in the roadways outside the terminal. All these things use up precious resources, something we can't afford to spare with an application as old and poorly coded/optimized as FSX. We need every bit of performance we can get, don't waste it on things we are not paying attention to. It would be one thing if FSX was a native 64bit application, or if the developers added the ability to turn off some of this unnecessary eye candy. To be fair, lots of them do give the user the flexibility to turn such objects off to balance visuals with their PC's ability, but there is only so much that they can allow to be user customizable. To summarize, these ultra detailed airports are great to look at in videos or pictures, but I have a much different take when I'm in the cockpit, when I am so immersed in the flight operations that I can barely notice what is happening outside. That is why I record all my flights and enjoy replaying them with FSrecorder, as only then do I get a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery, smell the flowers, and see the airport details as the developers have originally intended. When you are in "replay mode", the computer is not so bogged down in flight and panel data calculations, or displaying the complex cockpit geometry so prevalent with high end addons like PMDG, that the frame rate is so much faster because I focus exclusively on wing or outside spot views. That's just my take.
  23. Lol, aluminum salad. I was surprised to see the -200 still in the fleet, considering AA retired theirs some years back. I remember seeing one pass over near my house some months back on departure from KPHL, and the low rumble of the engines stood out to me because I rarely see wide bodies pass over my house since International and the KPHL - KCLT flights never fly over me. I remember running to my pc to see what it was, and was excited to see it was the KCLT bound -200 on weird vectors to avoid traffic. Thanks for sharing.
  24. I'm late to the party, but I wanted to comment on how nice these pictures are. I'm on FSX burnout, and need a new hobby, so I think shooting pics of the real birds as opposed to the virtual kind is right up my alley. I've been an avid spotter all my life, it makes sense to capture these moments on film, err, digital film. I was on vacation a few weeks ago over in San Francisco/San Jose, and saw plenty of A380 action from KSFO, and also watched a ANA 787 depart from SJC. Say what you will about the aesthetics of the Jumbo Airbus, but it sure is a quiet bird. I had the time of my life, lazing around at Fisherman's Wharf, smartphone in hand with the Flightradar24 app, watching the diverse jumbo traffic pass over in a sharp right hand turn over the Golden Gate Bridge to head east over SF bay. On the return trip back to KPHL, I had a stopover at KDFW and saw the Qantas A380 at the Intl terminal. I often see Fedex MD-11s pass over my house on the PHILBO STAR to KEWR, and occasionally UPS MD-11Fs to KPHL, my homebase. Shame to see KLM retired the last commercial flights, but it looks like the type has a long life still with the cargo carriers, especially Fedex/UPS.
  25. Anyone remember the icing concerns with the ATR decades ago? IIRC, the planes were banned from flying in the United States until the manufacturer fitted new inflatable rubber "balloons" on the leading edges to remedy the design defect. And since this accident involved not just any ATR-72, but the brand new -600 series, this is undoubtedly bad PR for ATR. But the focus may turn out to be on the airline itself as opposed to ATR, as this is the second fatal accident involving their ATRs in less than a year. It's amazing how ubiquitous cameras are today, thank goodness for dash cams, because even though everyone has a camera handy due to smartphones one can never be ready in time for these incidents when they appear out of the blue. These videos remind me of the National cargo 747-400BCD that stalled and crashed in Iraq almost 2 years ago that was captured in detail by a dash cam. The authorities are incredibly fortunate to have access to this resource from the public to help them with their investigations.
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