A Flight Sim Xmas, by Diver Dan, 1989

Hey, with USAF last week, F2 and Nations this week, and B-17II and F-18 just around the corner, I feel like a kid just opening gifts at Christmas. So USAF has a few bugs (they all do), it's fun.
That's why we do this over and over. The people who do this flight sim thing (guilty as charged) are fortunate beyond other people's belief. We have found a "fountain of youth" so to speak. No matter what hobbies that your friends or family have, how many of them can get that fuzzy feeling of anticipation right before the release of another sim (good or bad).
Playing games does not make us young, but we have that same feeling that we had as a child, something that 99% of people on the planet lose and never regain and the best part is that if they keep releasing them we get to have Christmas (or Hanukkah or a birthday or whatever) every few months. What is even funnier is how history repeats itself just for us. We got excited when we got our model airplanes and trains and Big Wheels those are the Christmas days that we remember. Then we "matured" and started getting jackets and underwear and socks. I do not remember those days as much because I never had that feeling of anticipation.
Now at 32, I get Flight sims, rudder pedals, and RAM for birthdays, Christmas, and Anniversaries. I FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN !. Not only do I feel like a kid again, you friends and family will notice that you have regained something. They do not know what it is and they may even resent you for it. If they do, give them time and they will come around.
Last year, my 78 year old mother gave me EAW for Christmas, and I noticed her giggling with my wife about their "grown up" kid. How cool! Slip in a CDROM, stretch out your throttle fingers and laugh at all those people getting old out there.
Diver Dan
October 1999

My Nick is AR: Diary of a Hopeless FS Junkie

5:30 AM: Wife wakes up to smell of coffee perking. I wake when I hear all-night download of MiG Alley Demo finish. Head hurts.
5:31 AM: Log onto FS newsgroup to read Falcon 4 patch news. I feel better.
5:32 AM: Log onto CombatSim to check preview of F5. Not there yet. Pissed at Len! Look forward to MiG Alley Demo though. Some sneezing.
5:33 AM: Log onto EB World to see if Mig Alley has come in. Go to Rowan website. Site is gone. Check to see if Mig Alley Demo downloaded successfully. File not there. Tremors and coughing.
5:34 AM: Start European Air War.
Crash Mustang on take-off.
5:34 AM: Change EAW resolution, thinking it may help. Crash Mustang again. Shaking in legs. 200mg Prozac.
5:35 AM: Download DX7.0 for 6th time. Defrag 34GB Drive D in anticipation of fresh installs all around. Have a vodka coffee.
8:55 AM: Decide "it's a brand new day, and you're a brand new man" Reinstall Windows 98.
9:42 AM: "If you're gonna do it, do it" dad always said. Decide to reformat hard drives and start right. Feel good about the way this is going.
12 Noon: Power outage on W98 reinstall. Hard disk trashed beyond repair.
12:01 PM: Call Gateway for tech help. Put on hold.
3:17 PM: Gateway tech answers. I describe problem.
4:27 PM: Gateway tech understands problem. Says he can't help. Puts me through to New Gateway Sales Partnership for the Millenium. Have 2 vodka diet root beers. Twitching in carotid artery starts.
4:32 PM: Slip into no-problem coma.
5:15 PM: Install European Air War and Direct X version 7 on wife's PC.
5:30 PM: Move sound and video cards from my PC to wife's.
9:30 PM: Installation complete. Looking forward to some serious flight time.
9:31 PM: Start EAW on Wifey's PC. Crash Mustang on take-off. Have 3 vodka diet root beers. 200 mg Zoloft.
9:32 PM: Wife shouts that she's starting Nude Michelle Pfeiffer movie rental. "One day at a time" is the right way to think. Tomorrow is a new day. Enough with this flight sim stuff!
9:32 PM: I log onto Flight Sim newsgroup.
9:33 PM: Respond with extremely helpful EAW advice to 2 newbie posters.
9:34 PM: Work briefly for two and a half hours on various incendiary posts for 5 separate go-nowhere flame wars I'm involved in. Heartburn (acid reflux?) kicks in.
11:57PM: Begin "midnight mellow" time with F-15.
11:58PM: Take-off in Medium Realism Mode for 1st time! Tremors stop.
11:59PM: Inadvertantly jettison all fuel.
Little veins in forehead start to swell. 3 vodka ice creams. Eject. Throw embolism.
12:12 PM: Check EB for Sunday deliveries. Start Mig Alley Demo download.
12:15 PM: Begin serious read of difficult avionics section in Flanker 2.0 manual.
12:16PM: Fall asleep. Dream about being the Red Baron.
*Apologies to Victor Duniec.
CEO: Skull & Bonehead Squadron

My Poor Little Pony!

Since Hasbro released Falcon 4 and then did the old good news - bad news routine on the programming staff, I decided to evaluate another Hasbro simulation for the group.
I am not the only sim lover in the family, my 2 and a half year old daughter made an investment in Hasbro's "My Little Pony" simulation.
Wrapper and front end music were not up to the standards of Falcon 4, instead of my pilot name ( Fang, Killer or some other tag) I had to name my pony and select it's colors. This is my first problem with this sim.
In all my checking I could not find any pony which in real life has a blue mane and green hide. This is not realistic and should not be part of a high end simulation.
Flight model:
Let me begin by emphasizing that I do not operate a Pony in my day to day life, Perhaps one of the professional Pony operators can chime in if I make an error. ( Sean, Robey, Hornit...)
After creating my pony I began a mission, er...whatever.
There is a long delay, about the same as waiting for Gilman to get a brief and mounted up in the F-4 clock. I immedialy noticed that my Pony was not very responsive to pitch inputs, will attempt to recalibrate my stick later and report back.
The Pony did not seem to operate in realistic manner, not a true 6 degrees of freedom flight model. I could not get the Pony to climb straight up or spin. I have read that real Ponies can climb if they have the PW 220, Hasbor must have simulated an earlier version.
I think we should all complain till this is fixed.
The stall did not break cleanly and recovered way too easy.
Frame rate and graphics:
My system is mid ranged ( PIII 750, 256 meg Ram, 32 meg Geforce)
: )
With all graphics items maxed out the frame rate dropped to about 3 frames per second when action got busy, ( other ponies, apple treats or attempting to jump gates).
Voodoo is not supported, I will upgrade to the newest untested beta drivers and see if this fixes problem.
Papadoc, can you construct a standard mission so we can compare frame rates from a common point?
The pony artwork is not realistic and I want to ask Eric and his crew at GTT if they could clean this up a bit. A wide angle redraw of the reins and mane would allow more of a sense of immersion.
Not supported, maybe iBeta can do a Hex edit.
Overall impression:
Back to Wal Mart!!!!!
I am going to send a letter to Hasbro and suggest they hire the Falcon 4 programmers to come in and make the expansion pack for this sim since they continue to support it over Falcon 4.
I will post back with a more detailed review in the near future.
Sincerely (not really)
Chris Mixon

Hello, my name is Chipwich and I'm a Gun-a-holic...

I have loaded Mig Alley, and have found Single Player/Hot Shot. My aching hands fall from the sweaty grip of my F22 (Thrustmaster Joystick) at 2:00 AM each night, and I sneak into the bed next to my sound asleep wife. She has accused me of porn surfing, and worse.
Gun kills are my crack, MiG Alley the pusher. Oh, I tried F-18 with it's big smoking missiles coming off the rail. But the kills are somehow hollow after MA.
Pull lead, lead, nose below the horizon just a bit, lead, lead, now a touch of lag. Just then he pulls hard, so you do more 'till you feel your Sabre mush and moan.
Hammer him lead, calls your wingman. Where's he going now? To the deck! Follow him down, this is what the people in Columbus made this bird for. Line him up again, and the shining red goes into a sharp vertical. Wait a second, then pull hard. Keep your nose high, but not quite as high as him. You're running out of air speed, but he is too, only faster. An F-80 followed by 2 MiGs flash across your canopy right to left. He's diving again. I have him...

By the way... how is the Sims?

I haven't flown a single flight sim since getting The Sims. Very annoying, very addicting.
Addicting as you want your little sim to advance and have fun; annoying in that they have a mind of their own, and don't always do what you think they should.
Here is a sample 'game':
Create a single bachelor, gets job with military as recruit (hey, gotta be an astrosim when I grow up! Home is small, but has nice things in it. Can't cook worth crap, so study up on cooking to get cooking points. Work out, too tired, take a nap on the sofa. Didn't get the 'body' point, but that can wait till next day.
'Social' scale is reduced after two the heck am I supposed to build up my 'points', sleep, keep up with baths and toilet breaks, work, eat, play, AND have a social life?
Ok, wait for neighbor. Hmm, she's married, but it doesn't stop you from flirting, hugging, backrubs, kissing....oh, in this game you can marry more than once with no divorces. BEG Bring on the babes!
Go Back to neighborhood, create "Sorority" with lots of nubile coeds that my sim will 'love'.
Back to sim's house, call over the girls. Flirt, backrubs, kisses, gifts...
Missed my ride to work.
Oh well...
Flirt some more, make dinner, made a 'family friend'. Social rating up! Take a shower, crap, sleep, and play on the computer.
As an aside..that's when the real life wife comes in.
What are you doing?
Isn't that with planes?
Not this one.
What's that guy doing?
Playing the computer.
Wife leaves, shaking head. I put myself in her place, seeing her husband playing a game of a guy playing a game..... now I know why she thinks I'm nuts and drive her crazy! That, and watching the "Plane Show" on Discovery or Learning Channel. "Isn't that the same show as last week?" "No, this week it's the F-18, last week was the MiG-29" "But they look the same." "They're not." "Whatever....I don't know how you can watch planes and war all the time....."}
Anywho, Back to the game.
Sorority girls are over, but once I start to flirt with the second girl to get her 'friendship rating' up, the first one gets jealous, and her rating goes down! Oh, so you've gotta play them one at a time...
All 'zones' are in the green, except sleep, so sim goes to sleep. Accelerate time; energy bar rising too slow because bed isn't the best at 'recharging' the sim's energy. Gotta buy a better bed...
Wait a sec; the carpools here.
Sim's still sleeping.
CRAP! Get up you lazy %$$$#^#
This is more like it!
Sim gets up, throws a temper tantrum 'cause he's not rested yet. He's gotta pee, goes to bathroom, toilet breaks down. Water everywhere. Hungry, goes to kitchen, 'cooking points' aren't high enough, sets fire to house. Carpool leaves. Fire department comes and puts out fire.
Phone rings. Missed two days of work in a row; FIRED!
Mailman comes, bills to pay, but no money or job. Gotta fix the toilet, get my energy up, find a job either in the paper or the simnet computer, shower up, and then, when too tired to do anything, gotta get that damn 'social' meter up to the green or I'll be too depressed to find the job, study for 'points', or perform well enough at work to get promoted past 'recruit'.
Delete sim, start over.
Hehehe....but this time I've got the cheat codes....think I'll invent a rich old aunt who passed on and left me a bundle....
So, does this sound like 'fun?