Father Christmas will shortly give my son and myself a brand new Saitek Cyborg Evo joystick.
I am a flight simulator addict. And my three years old son too. I always wanted to be a pilot. How I became a computer scientist is a complete mystery to me.
When I have nothing to do (or, more precisely, when I really want to have fun), I boot my PC under Windows XP (I feel I have lost all credibility now…) and I load Flight Simulator 2002:
I know it’s old. But it runs perfectly on my (rather limited) GeForce FX5200 graphics card. Being a perfectionist, I only pilot two airplanes: the default Cessna 172SP Skyhawk and an Airbus A320 which I’ve obtained at Flightsim.
What my son and I really like is to fly from an airport, say, Toulouse Blagnac in France, and land at another airport not so far, say, Paris Orly. I like flying the A320 in IFR conditions with real weather and under the control of ATC.
But it does not work with Linux or Mac OS X
Yep. And this is crap as I routinely use an Apple MacBook and a lot of Linux boxes. So I’ve been looking at multiplatform flight simulators recently.
The first one is X-Plane:
According to the blurb, “X-Plane is the most thorough, flexible, and realistic flight simulator available for personal computers, and is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.” I’ve read numerous forums and people seem to agree that X-Plane is vastly superior to Flight Simulator.
Unfortunately, it seems very difficult to buy. It is not available on Amazon for instance. It’s only available at the X-Plane Store and shipping it to Mauritius is prohibitive.
I’ve downloaded the demo and used it a little but I really needs to get the Saitek first to appreciate it.
Another issue is the amount of disk space it requires: at least 4Gb! And, if you buy the complete version, you require 60Gb of hard disk space for the scenery! On my small laptop, I don’t have 60Gb, not even 4Gb free.
Perhaps I should try a previous version which had much more modest requirements…
Another contender is FlightGear which is an open source flight simulator. I tried it once. And I have to try it again.
2008 will be an interesting year. There will be a lot of transitions.
Will my son and I move to X-Plane or FlightGear after years and years of Flight Simulator? Only time will tell.
Patrick Ng says
When you play games on your MacBook, does your CPU fan go nuts ?
StÃ©phane Lee says
You can play FSX or X-Plane online with IVAO or VATSIM which is more fun IMO. I don’t like much to play with the joystick because of the backforce. The trim tab is the best invention. X-Plane is nice since the physics is there. You can draw any airplane and the law of physics will apply. It’s more ‘credible’ than FSX. One you don’t experience is the G-load. You can feel the adrenaline rush and G load when doing a spin or spiral dive.
get sa boug la taaaa.. li astE zuzu pou so garson.. avec lintention ki li pou gagne pou zuE ar sa li osi!!!!
moi si mo ti pou fer sa daprE role.. mo pa kapav blame li!
I boot my PC under Windows XP (I feel I have lost all credibility nowâ€¦)
Hahahaha :p pas fer nou montrE sa foto of avinash using windows la la!
Anywayz, happy flight simulating :p..when you get it… i mean… when father christmas gives it to you :p
Yes. The fans become mad when I launch the demo of X-Plane.
Do you use X-Plane? I’ve been trying to buy it for ages but Amazon does not sell it. A new version (v9) has just been released.
One of these days, I’ll experience first-hand G-load from the cockpit. Count on it :-)
It’s great to have a son with (more or less) the same taste as you. He likes airplanes and eating nice food. Typically me :-)
As for Windows, would you believe me that I have Windows XP at home and I’ve only installed the AVG anti-virus, Firefox and Flight Simulator 2002?
I don’t even have Windows installed at work! My PC hosts Kubuntu 7.10 and FreeBSD 6.
Itâ€™s great to have a son with (more or less) the same taste as you. He likes airplanes and eating nice food. Typically me :-)
Yup you can buy gifts for you and claim its for your son :p nice, you are lucky.
And you can be an eternal kid!
My PC hosts Kubuntu 7.10 and FreeBSD 6.
:p ports rulez :p
StÃ©phane Lee says
I tried the X-Plane v8. The flight simulators are great for instrument training. The online gaming is great for developing ATC communications skills. I’ll have to download the v9 demo. You can fly the new Cirrus jet in v9.
“ayo” – i’ve had too much troubles with drivers for those joysticks that the keyboard seems good enough.
But your new shiny toy is very appealing. I wish your son and you to have loads of fun.
Mr. Avinash, you’re indeed an awesome parent :)
*raise up your hands – how many want him to adopt you?* – just kidding.
$3|v3n Said: :p ports rulez :p
MS Flight simulator is the greatest piece of software ever written!:-) I have both the 2004 version and the FSX.The FSX is great for the terrific graphics but I by far, prefer the 2004 version. It is rather easy to modify the aircraft specs, change the color, add gauges , modify panels etc, things that are not possible with FSX. I will stay with the FS2004 for ever I think. I have only 1 great regret, I have not enough time to fly to every airport capable of receiving my B747-400 :-( May be when I retire…
By the way, great blog!
I use FS2002 and I find it great. I’ll “upgrade” one of these days… as my current setup works great.
What am I missing from FS2004?
By the way, thanks for the compliment :-)
and hey avinash , can you just help me up as to where can i buy a saitek cyborg evo ? online?……….jeez , not much decent flight joystick available around here!to gagne zis joystick genius…. and does anyone know if MS sidewinder joystick are on sale in MU?mem dans 1 ti simin port louis parla…!
I bought my Saitek in France. I think I saw Sidewinders at Le Cygne in Rose-Hill some time back… but I may be mistaken.
I have some questions regarding to the prohibitive issue of buying stuffs from amazon to Mauritius. So any kind of help from you would be much appreciated.
I read somewhere (or heard this from someone) that Mauritian netizens can’t buy from amazon ? Is this so? or this “was” true once ? Please shed some light into this.
Actually I need some books, which unfortunately, are not only unavailable throughout Mauritius, but people never heard about this too.
If yes we can buy from the latter, please state how and the procedures that are involved. Also, is there some other methods of payment other than credit card to pay amazon? like through western union ?
Actually I never bought any thing from foreign stores but have been keen to do so. I considered you as an appropriate candidate to seek help since I believe you must be buying from online stores Amazon, right ?
I routinely buy books, CDs and DVDs from Amazon.com and Amazon.fr using my credit cards (and I have been doing that for years now) and I’ve never had any problems.
Hi Avi, How glad I was when I saw your reply today! :D
Speaking about credit cards, what are the credit cards that acceptable ? Like I’ve got Maestro for the time being, that won’t do it, right?
I went to apply for higher level card(s) today but I was confused, since I was forward with double options , which one to accept or should I take both (a MCB MasterCard Card and/or a MCB Visa Card) ?
Secondly I want to ask you something pertaining to the freight charges, assume you bought something (lets say a book) worth some $12. So, how much the freight gonna be ? Some $10 to ship within a delay of 2-3 weeks to reach Mauritius ? meaning a total of $22, that’s it ?
Again thanks for clearing me the doubts :) See ya later mate.
Have u ever considered getting into Air combat simulation for eg Falcon4 patched with Openfalcon 4.7 (open source)> great game, very realistic and multiplayer.
AFAIK, you need either a Visa or a Mastercard credit card. As for the shipping rates, have a look at this.
I have Falcon 4 but I find it very complex (or, more precisely, I do not have enough time to learn it…) As a matter of fact, I tend to like civilian sims more. I love flying the A320 or the B737 for instance. More than an F-16 :-)
yeah for complex it is a complex game when u have to learn it on ur own. it took me 4 months to fully understand the game, and then i was flying online in a squadron called freebirds. Its easier to learn the game with some1 who already knows it. and trust me it s a wonderful game, they have fully developed great patches that gives a new insight in the game. U shud get the open falcon patch for falcon4 and then try it again. Im sure ull change ur mind also u should try online multiplayer…the GFX and realism in the game now is nothing compared to what falcon4 was.
It s a shame that in mauritius not a lot of people play flight sim specially Openfalcon. i would have love to have an online Mauritian Squadron.
I’ll give Open Falcon a go!
hehehe yeah u do that ….i can help u if u want if u have any problems …ive been flying that for the past 4 years…u can also check out some openfalcon vid on youtube
But for better realism ill advice to get hold of a hotas cougar and a trackir. Great equipments.
Hiya avi. I’m sorry I was so taken with my hectic schedule that I failed to realise how lost I was to the extent that I didnt had adequate time to drop a simple thank-you here onto your blog. Thanks for being so supportive mate.
Btw, I recently opened an account at SBM and also applied for a MasterCard CC.
About paypal, since I’ll be dealing with U.S.D, I read paypal is going to charge me for the conversion from Rs. to $ when I deal with foreign countries ? What is your view about that and your experience(s) concerning payment with paypal ?
*sighs* I’ve never shopped online, I am a tad skeptic with all these things worrying about security…lol
You can pay PayPal in two ways: (i) using your normal credit card or (ii) by using special credit facilities arranged by PayPal with alternative methods of payment. I’ve always used my normal credit card and I’ve never been charged any conversion fee. Even though I am registered on the PayPal website, when I buy something through them I always make sure I am not logged on so that only (i) works anyway…