Flap's Flap Returns!
By John J. Thuot II 13 August 2008)
I know that I've been kind of busy here lately, and that I must say I apologize to my old faithful readers of my column. I must say I'm back now in my best format, writing. Writing to keep you informed of what's up in the flight sim world, and with me, and with keeping things on the up and up and how to sometimes get the best results from our user forums here on FlightSim.Com, and no this isn't an attempt to plant myself into the mainstream of the flight sim community. I like flying and writing so why not come back to my articles and do what I do best here at FlightSim.Com.
I'm going to do the best that I can on pumping out these articles on a regular basis now, monthly, and try to have them in at the beginning of each month instead of towards the end like I used to.
Let's see - what's been going on? Well, I had to get a new computer a while ago since my last Dell died on me, and now I have a top notch flight sim machine. I use this computer only for flight simming, and texture work. When I do anything else on it, I got my old computer working again, so I transfer the files to that one and use it as kind of a "server" if you will to store all of those unimportant, desk cluttering menagerie.
First of all, I must say that having the right kind of system is the utmost importance and first of all main goal that any flight simmer must have out there. My new flight sim machine is a 2.8 GHz dual core with 3 gigs of RAM and 768 mb PCI-E PNY Technologies graphic card. This system is a Dell Inspiron 531 and it rocks for Flight Simulator X. I get anywhere from 35-50 fps steadily. The only time it might slow down is using default scenery or Ultimate Terrain when coming in over cities, but you won't notice any stutters or twitches or anything with it. That card was sent to me from PNY for the official card for my show at the time, and I thank them for it for it will be my official card for my new web site coming up.
I'm not one of those guys who takes a domain name, and then abandons it. I keep it going. My old site's in storage in the background should I decide to bring the show back on the air, but this is after some upcoming school that I will be attending, and yes - I'm going to be going into the wonderful field of Computer Technician and Network Installer, so I'll have the knowledge not only to keep everyone else's computer happy - I'll have the knowledge so that I won't panic if something happens at home and I can say "Hey - I fixed that for once!" instead of having to conjure up some tech support who can hardly understand you on the other end of the phone line and be on the phone repeating yourself over and over again.
I've come across a wonderful new utility out there folks - this one is free and one of the best ones to use. It's called Tile Proxy. What is it? Well, next month's article is going to be going into in depth especially with the fall weather approaching, but it's a utility that lets you transform flight simulator into a PHOTO REAL world no matter where you fly! We'll have more time indoors to use our flight sim, and you'll be sure to probably stick with it if you haven't tried it all ready. I'll give you a little hint here though. Swing by this site and you will be able to get a sneak peak at it. Try it if you'd like, but make sure you have read the WHOLE tutorial there on it and follow it to the letter. I've been posting screen shots on it off and on, and one of my all time favorite things I did with this wonderful utility was of course fly over my own house and neighborhood in it. I've flown over my own state and could point out everything that I was familiar with - not using programs like FS Discover either to help out. I was able to spot major highways, and landmarks, and it just helps with visual flights. Oh - and by the way...I found out you CAN use it with jets too! But here's an example of a Tile Proxy shot below over the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI:
Now that I'm sure I piqued your interest, you'll have to wait until next month, for I'll be doing a more in depth coverage on this utility and I'm not saying this to cause trouble here - a utility that transforms your flight simulator like a caterpillar does going to a butterfly.
Until next month my fellow simmers, may we all arrive safely at our virtual destinations, happy flying and remember - keep that blue side up!
John J. Thuot II