Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm starting to feel pretty silly about how impatient I am to get FSX. I have it on order from Amazon, but they've delayed shipment until the 22nd, due to supply problems. Yesterday I made a flurry of phone calls to local stores to see if I they had any copies (all sold out). Fortunately, family commitments prevent me from considering traveling more than 10 miles out of my way, otherwise I might find myself on a wild goose chase.

I have a lot on my plate right now, so why can't I just sit back and wait? What difference does another week make? If I need to get an FS fix, there's still lots of fun stuff to do with FS9 (including the Golden Wings incarnation).

I think the main reason I am so impatient is that I want to know how well it will run on my sytem. I've heard a lot of horror stories, and also a lot of more positive "I've found the sweet spot" kinds of stories, and I want to know where I'm going to find myself. Based on the demos, I am encouraged, but whether my experience will be similar on the full version remains to be seen.

I have a dream of flying the pattern at my local airport in an improved C172 virtual cockpit, heading for the highway and seeing road traffic, and seeing nice ground textures all around. If I can do this with double-digit framerates I'll be more or less content.

I've also been going back and forth on planning hardware upgrades. I learned that I could get a 512 MB graphics card for around $150, which I expect will make a big difference in texture handling (not so many blurries). Then I found that the power supply in my PC could not handle this beefier graphics card. Ga! After some more research, I've concluded that I can upgrade the psu for another $50. But this expense must wait for next month.

The shot above is Dave Eckert's FS9 Stearman imported into FSX. I was attempting to capture the atmosphere in this shot. I think FSX has made great advances in lighting and mood. Framerates in this session were in the low teens, which is just acceptable, and I could feel the computer straining. But I can live with this for now.

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