Friday, March 26, 2010

What causes you the most trouble with FSX?

In order, the four that bother me the most:

1) System Restore:

This one can kill a flight sim installation quicker than anything will. That's not all, it's a darn good way to lose pictures, videos, and anything else you might want to save on a computer. Then again it's hard to beat, if you develop a severe problem with your operating system.

By default, "Windows" will enable "System Restore" for every partition, on every hard drive. This includes external hard drives.

I would strongly suggest disabling "System Restore" on all partitions, on all hard drives, except the one that "Windows", itself, is installed on. On most computers, this would be the "C:" drive.

2) Automatic Updates:

This sounds like a good idea, but it has probably caused me as much grief as anything else. "Windows" updates, driver updates, software updates, and even "addon" updates have all caused issues. "Adobe Updater" once did me the great favor of installing "Adobe AIR". That killed FSX until I "uninstalled" it. It seemed "Adobe AIR" wouldn't allow FSX to access ".air" files.

Automatic Updates WILL cause more headaches than they will relieve. Turn it off on everthing!

3) Antivirus Programs:

I haven't had one these programs cause any trouble, at all, for about six years! It's not because they are so much better than they used to be. It's because I haven't used one for that long! I also haven't had any worms, Trojans or viruses in that period of time.

This one is strictly up to the user, but I'm much more comfortable without it.

4) Installers:

It's hard to argue against "installers". They are great for installing the proper files, to the proper locations, if the "assembler" didn't make any mistakes. The problem is more with the "uninstall" process that often may remove important files that were "overwritten" during the "install" process.

My biggest problem with "installers" is that they seem so "over used". I always try to avoid installing scenery, or aircraft, directly to the simulator. This requires a bit of time and effort, but is well worth it. If done properly, you can avoid running those "installers" ever again, in most instances.

I am working on several guides to post on my website, that will help resolve many issues related to Flight Simulator X.

Please keep checking back, and leave a comment if you feel like it. I could use some ideas!

See ya, Milt

Monday, March 15, 2010

What is all the fuss about?

It just seems to me that, since FSX's release date of 10-17-06, most us have done nothing but "b*tch and moan" about something or another.

I had my troubles too:

1) My copy was back ordered for a month. Hell, I even preordered! I did finally get it though.

2) I had just built a new system around AMD's 5200+ dual core, and had overclocked it to 3.1GHz, just to be ready for FSX. I didn't expect to get any "FPS" awards, but I sure expected far more than what I ended up with.

But after a couple of service packs, and an upgrade to AMD's 6400+, things started shaping up pretty well. I can now cruise into KORD with a minimum of 15 FPS, using max scenery settings (I don't like lens flare or light bloom though), 10% commercial and GA traffic, 35% road traffic, and all other traffic maxed out. My system isn't, by any means, a powerhouse (especially by today's standards), but it does fly FSX well enough that I won't complain about it.

3) Microsoft closed the "Aces Team" down and that seems to have made half of us disappointed, and the other half bitter.

Hell, I was relieved! I thought, just maybe, it might give the developers, and myself, time to concentrate on the new SDK. I still see a lot of potential in FSX! I never expected a finished product, but I did expect to see a lot of improvements by now.

Instead, especially with aircraft, many of the developers (amateur and commercial) just kept "porting" older aircraft that just barely make the SP2 standard. I own more than a few payware aircraft, and can definitely understand why many of us are upset.

Also, many of us were upset with scenery addons that weren't anywhere near what we expected. I think the key word here is "expected" though. Many of us tried to increase the reality of the landscape by purchasing "photo real" scenery, only to be disappointed by the lack of "autogen". I don't feel many of us realise the complexities of adding "autogen" to "photo real" textures. Nor do I feel we understand, or appreciate, the work involved in making satellite imagery look "real" within FSX.

But why do we have to be so bitter that we can't be reasonable?

Here is an example of such bitterness:

Recently, I became interested in a "thread" praising FSX's default scenery. I feel the "ACES Team" deserves a "pat on the back"! But, to be perfectly honest, the default scenery was pretty bland and "tile like" in North America, and even more so as far as the rest of the world was concerned.

Then a scenery developer joined the "topic" and started talking about improvements he had already made. Well, I had dabbled with scenery, and moving "addon scenery" to different hard drives, at least enough to know that he had some pretty damn good ideas.

And then..., one fine morning, right out of the blue..., this aspiring developer was bitterly attacked! I wondered what the hell...

I decided to pose the question: Why do people grumble about "unfinished" software?
As I expected, it definitely got some interesting responses, but I sure didn't expect it to be assumed that I supported poor software development! I feel this is a good example of why development of improvements for FSX has stagnated!

Well, quite frankly, I can understand all the angst and tension. I have purchased some pretty sh*tty software too, but I still don't see why someone, trying to improve FSX scenery, was jumped for the sole reason of being a developer. I reckon there's a lot beyond me...

Here's the clincher for me, though:
Many of us claim "support" for flight sim addons is slim to none. And, that the developers won't listen to us. I don't doubt that. I've had my problems too! My buddy (now), Gabriele, CEO of VERO, was only trying to get feedback on some "free sample scenery" he wanted us to try. Come on fellers! Give it a shot, and let him know what ya think...

Don't you guys think that, maybe, a "fresh face" asking for our support and feedback, just might deserve some. I certainly do!

I've tried his scenery it's pretty good! It's not finished, but it's still a lot of fun. I'm going to write a review of it, over on my website, when I get it up and going. I'll let ya know...

That's all from This Idiot (for now)

See ya, Milt