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GrizzlyBearSims

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About GrizzlyBearSims

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  1. I participate in two different hobbies which in the past have always promoted good will towards mankind. The first is amateur radio (ham radio) which brings likeminded radio/electronics enthusiasts from around the world where we find each other on the airwaves and use our common interests to bridge the issues that divide us. In this hobby, I’ve talked to fellow hams all over the world. From someone a few blocks away all the way to hams in England, Japan, Australia, China, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and Israel. We exchange our thoughts, ideas and our dreams for a peaceful and better world. In my over 10 years of being an FCC licensed amateur radio operator, I’ve never heard anything other than positive vibes regardless who is talking and regardless of where they are talking from. Years ago, the flight simulation hobby was just like this. VATSIM, IVAO and the internet in general has brought many of us from differing cultures together for a common interest and that is aviation and flight simulation. Last week on one of the Facebook groups I belong to, a fellow flight simmer posted a series of screen shots he had taken from his flight simulator to showcase a flight he had recently enjoyed. The pictures showed an aircraft from the Israeli airlines El-Al. The image was simply celebrating the history of Israel. The image, nor the typed message from the original poster didn’t contain any hateful, hurtful or political remarks. Yet, just a few minutes after it was posted….several members began sharing their hateful, spiteful and dangerous comments. Thinking back to the immediate days after September 11, 2001….VATSIM shut down their network to coincide with what was happening in the real world. I was extremely proud that something which is just a hobby, made the decision to also cease operations during the timeframe where no other commercial aircraft was flying around the world. I received messages from fellow flight simmers who also were members of the same virtual airline I was flying for at the time (American virtual Airlines) offering their condolences for the tragic events that took place that day. Some of these fellow members were from the Middle East. They realized this hobby has no place for hate and political BS. We just want to fly our virtual aircraft. Our world and our hobby is not the same as it was on the 10th of September 2001. The internet and social media has unfortunately created a mass of “keyboard warriors” who spew their hate, spew their political agendas and their absolute ignorance. I’m not being naïve about this, I’m simply saying that this hobby doesn’t have room for this behavior. The good news???? The admins of this Facebook group did quickly act, they shut down the post and they banned those who were spewing their hate towards the El-Al photograph. I’m a fan of all airlines and while I mostly fly American Airlines, Southwest and British Airways….I also simulate operations for airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Royal Jordanian, Gulf Air and YES…I also fly El-Al from time to time. I’m not planning to stop and I’m not planning to stop sharing screenshots of these flights. If this happens to become the new norm (and I don’t think it will), I’m not sure I want to remain participating (at least not publicly) in the hobby any longer. For the most part I realize the overwhelming majority who participates in our hobby will agree with what I’m saying. However, there is that old saying which reads, “a few bad apples can spoil the entire barrel”. So I hope you’ll join me in ensuring the bad apples never make it into the basket. If while on social media you see the type of behavior I’ve described, say something…report it. I’m not suggesting you act the same way (two wrongs don’t make a right), but stepping in, reporting it and I’d even go so far as insisting the admins do the right thing and place temporary or permanent bans on the offenders is really the only way this can be stopped. Next week I’m going to discuss the struggle for balance between between performance of the sim versus maximum immersion. The following week I’m going to give an overview and some tips if you are planning to move away from Envtex/Envshade to the new REX Environment Force. Then if nothing happens, the week following I plan to share with you my “Top 10 Payware Aircraft for Prepar3d/FSX”. I hope you’ll take the time to read. Until next time… Be Kind to each other…. Jerry The post Political Division–No Place in our Hobby appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  2. I’ve created a new Facebook Community for like minded flight simulation enthusiasts with a focus of helping others get the most from the hobby. The plan is to support all major flight simulation platforms including FSX, FSX Steam Edition, Prepar3D and X-Plane. Backstory for anyone interested. I’ve been involved in the flight simulation hobby since the early 1980’s. In those early days, support was often only found in a few BBS (bulletin board systems) and on early computer networks like Compuserv, PlayNET and later AOL. It truly was member helping members back then. Today’s Internet has most certainly helped to both grow our hobby and aid in spreading knowledge. However, its also given rise to the amount of “keyboard warriors” who simply prefer to disrupt, agitate and ridicule those who are seeking assistance. I grew up being told there was no such thing as a stupid question and sometimes even a savvy Internet/Google search pro like myself may still have a question or two after spending time trying to find the answer myself. The focus of Flight Sim Helpers is to help those who need it without the attitude found in other support groups. If you’re new to the hobby or a seasoned pro, please consider joining Flight Sim Helpers. I’m looking to add new moderators who can help keep everything with the group running smoothly and smartly. If you’re interested in helping, please message me. Thank you for your time and I hope to see you in the new Facebook Flight Sim Helpers group. Jerry The post Introducing Flight Sim Helpers appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  3. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsA Gamer’s Healthy Life

    I began working on this article to publish on my GrizzlyBearSims gaming blog over two months ago. I also talked about my weight loss and exercise journey on one of my last YouTube Videos before my break. As I had over 90% of the article written, I didn’t want it to go to waste so I’ve completed it and it’s ready to publish. While this won’t be a regular topic on my gaming blog, it is something I’m passionate about and something that many of us truly can benefit from. So perhaps every few months I’ll throw together some health related topics and include them here. But it will certainly be less than 25% of my normal content. If you’re interested in discussing more about this, you can reach me via Discord message. We’ve all seen and heard the typical stereotypes regarding the un-healthy lifestyle of most gamers. Let’s face it, if you consider yourself a gamer…well, you probably enjoy spending many hours sitting while enjoying what ever type of game you enjoy. It’s just the way it goes! Of course, perhaps this article already finds you also living an active lifestyle. If so, congratulations and you can probably stop reading. But if you’re like me and spend 50+ hours a week at a high stress desk job, sometimes arrive before the sun comes up and usually leaves after the sun has set and the amount of exercise you achieve is the quick walk to the vending machine and back. Then perhaps this article might interest you. Go See Your Doctor Now before I get started allow me to just say this. Before starting any diet/exercise program you really should consult with your primary care or family doctor first. In addition, for those of us who have experienced more than a few trips around the sun…this should be done once a year. Some insurance providers even cover these “Wellness Exams” 100% with no co-pay. But the important take-away from this is to consult with your doctor just to be sure you are safe to begin an exercise program. I’m Not a Doctor… …and I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night either. I’m also not a dietician, fitness expert or anything else related to this subject. I’m just a regular guy who once was overweight, out of shape and decided to do something about it. Then a few years passed and I almost let it all go down hill again. The topics I’m going to cover are simply what have worked for me. Will they work for you? Most likely they will…but my method does require some commitment and yes…a lot of hard work. Again, go see your doctor and remember this is just my method. How Weight Loss Works A friend of mine posted the below “How to Lose 10 lbs. in a week” meme on Facebook the other day. Despite what you might see on TV, this meme is 100% accurate. Simply put…you can’t lose 10 lbs. in a week. Once you accept this fact, it makes the true understanding about how weight loss through diet/exercise possible. In simple terms, a normal/healthy human body will lose weight when the amount of calories burned through some form of exercise is greater than the amount of calories consumed. Said in the opposite way, a normal/healthy human body will GAIN weight when you sit on the sofa all day and eat nothing but cheeseburgers and barely move. While the concept of losing weight by burning more calories than you consume is relatively easy to understand, this is where the discipline comes into play. The only way to really make this work is to monitor your exercise and count calories. But fear not…there are some wonderful tools that will make this easy peasy and I’ll tell you about the tools I use in just a moment. But What About Those Fad Diets Oh…you mean the ones you see on TV? Like Jenny Craig, SouthBeach Diet, WeightWatchers etc. Yes, these will work…but have you checked the price of those meals? WOW! These programs work (if you adhere to the program) by simply limiting your calorie intake. But you can achieve the exact same thing by shopping at your local grocery store and preparing your own meals. Plus you’ll save hundreds of dollars in the process. Now I do typically keep a few Healthy Choice (or other brand) frozen meals in my freezer. These are for when I just don’t have the time to cook. The reason I do this is as a safety net. If something is keeping me from cooking, then the typical default plan is to go get fast food. WRONG! So I keep a few frozen meals in my freezer and will eat these instead. While these are not as healthy as fresh cooked food, these are far better than fast food. Plus it’s really easy to know just how many calories I’m consuming and can add that to my daily plan. The Basic Numbers Like most things…the science with weight loss through diet/exercise is a numbers game. As I’ve already pointed out, a normal/healthy human body will lose weight when the amount of calories burned through exercise is greater than the amount of calories consumed. But to really understand how this works, we need to know a few numbers. These numbers may vary depending on the source. The numbers I’m listing below are from a website I’ll talk more about later called MyFitnessPal. Also, these numbers are based on my age, height and gender. For the record, I’m 52 years old, 6’0” and I’m a guy. Based on the info I mentioned above, I would need to eat/consume 2,250 calories just to maintain my weight. Or 1,750 per day to lose one pound per week or 1,500 calories per day to lose up to two pounds per week. Just for comparison, looking at the numbers for a 6’0” tall, 52 year old woman the numbers would be 2,060 calories per day to maintain current weight. Or 1,560 calories per day to lose one pound per week or 1,200 calories to lose up to two pounds per week. As you can tell, the differences between the male and female body as it relates to metabolism are quite different. So yes, in theory….you could simply just consume the above mentioned calories and still stay seated on the couch and either maintain or lose weight. But that’s no fun and it’s not healthy! The Benefits of Exercise When I was a young boy, I absolutely hated calisthenics. That’s what our exercising program in elementary school was called. I just wanted to go out to the playground and run, jump and chase the girls around the playground. The end result would most likely have been the same…but instead we had to line up in the gymnasium and do all sorts of things. But now that I’m older and of course much, much wiser…I fully understand the value of getting my butt up and moving. For me personally, I have elevated cholesterol numbers (used to be very high) and I have above normal blood pressure readings and also suffer from acid reflux. Most likely the recent stress of my job and a few other things that have been going on is contributing to the above normal BP readings. While I’m not in the danger zone, my doctor wants me to reduce the numbers AND SO DO I! Regarding my cholesterol. About 15 years ago it was sky high. My primary care doctor at the time prescribed me one of the popular statin drugs and I popped a pill every day for about 8 years. The statin drug did what it was supposed to do, but I began suffering from the side effects after using it for that many years. I had to do something and thankfully I changed doctors and found one that helped motivate me to exercise more. So in my case, the exercise (and diet of course) eventually allowed me to lower my cholesterol to safe and normal levels naturally. Unfortunately, I got lazy again. But I’m back in gear and working the numbers back down to safe levels. So that my friends, is one of the benefits to exercise. There are many others including actually getting a better nights sleep. I sleep so much better when I’m exercising. As I also mentioned acid reflux. When I was really heavy (several years ago) I took prescription Nexium daily. When I lost all my weight, I was able to quit the Nexium. I should have listened to my body as a few months ago as I allowed my weight to creep above 200 pounds, I began having acid reflux symptoms again and had to go back on Nexium. Lesson learned! Always, listen to your body. My Exercise Program Once again I’m going to encourage you to visit with your doctor before starting any form of exercise. I’m also going to remind you of what I’ve already said regarding these are the things that work for me. With that out of the way, an exercise program can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. For me, I absolutely love walking and walking is what I do and it’s just about the only thing I do for my exercise program. Yes, I do occasionally lift small weights…but generally I just walk. My daily goal is 10,000 steps per day. 10,000 steps per day is roughly (give or take) about 5 miles. As previously stated, I love walking. While I will walk on my treadmill during inclement weather, I much prefer to be outside. I have a park across from my neighborhood which is safe and I can walk and listen to the birds sing. I also have areas around my office building where I can also safely walk and on warm weather days see many others out stretching their legs and taking in the fresh air. But yea…I just simply walk. But…I walk at a fairly fast pace. The courses I typically use will have varying elevation to them. Some flat, some downhill and some uphill. I like the variety as it really gets my heart pumping on the uphill segments, but then allows for a bit of a cooldown on the flat and downhill segments. I can generally cover a mile in just under 16 minutes. Just walking…no jogging. Gadgets Are Cool What can I say? I love gadgets and many times gadgets truly help make our lives better. Of course there are a ton of different gadgets related to fitness. I’m going to share with you what I use and how I use them. As I mentioned earlier, my daily exercise goal is to walk 10,000 steps. While there are many different pedometers available I invested in a Fitbit about 5-6 years ago. I use the Fitbit One model. Unfortunately, the Fitbit One is no longer in production and Amazon sellers are charging an arm and a leg for new ones. But the reason I chose the Fitbit One was I don’t typically wear a watch and I wanted something I could just clip to my belt loop and off I go. I wear it every day, all day. It counts every step I take regardless if I’m intentionally exercising or just walking down the hall. But generally…even if I’m walking down the hall to a meeting, I’m doing that at a fairly brisk pace. Folks in the office used to stare at me. But then they began noticing the weight falling off and I’ve converted many to my lifestyle. The Fitbit One model is fairly basic as it only tracks steps and sleep tracking. Some models will track heartrate and most likely someday I’ll upgrade to a more fancy model. But for now, my Fitbit One is all I want/need. The Fitbit devices will automagically sync up to the Fitbit website via a smartphone app. This website tracks my steps, active minutes, number of floors I’ve climbed and calories burned. Pretty much all the info I need to monitor my daily exercise goals. Counting Calories I know….I know! Counting calories is a pain. But hey…there’s an app for that. When I began my weight loss journey (the first time) over 5 years ago, I not only used the Fitbit I mentioned above….but I also used a website (and app) called MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal or MFP for short is truly a thing of beauty and best of all, the Fitbit website and MFP can be integrated in such a way that your fitness tracking will sync to MFP (and somewhat vice versa) so you easily watch and control all your important numbers. MyFitnessPal also has a sleek smartphone app which makes it super easy to update your food diary when on the go. I personally love the bar code scanner feature of the app when cooking. I can quickly add items to my food diary or even build up complete recipes. The MFP website also contains an extensive database of food items including everything from fast food down to individual ingredients. Super, super easy. Counting calories is just as important as your individual exercise program. In my opinion, if you are putting in the effort to burn calories and you are not taking the time to carefully count your calories, then you will fail. Everything you consume needs to be accounted for. EVERYTHING! Otherwise, you will fail. Moderation is Key The word moderation is your friend especially when it pertains to what you should and shouldn’t eat/drink when on a diet and exercise program. Remember….this is just how I do things. But quite honestly…if you want to eat a Wendy’s Triple burger when on your diet, go for it! Just understand this one triple meat burger weighs in around 1,090 calories, want to add large fries to that order, that’s an additional 530 calories and while we’re at it…let’s finish it off with a small errr I mean large Frosty at 590 calories for a grand total of ……(drum roll please)…..2,210 calories. You better do a whole lot of walking to burn all those calories. But I suppose it can be done. But seriously, eating the foods you love “in moderation” is still doable while on a diet and exercise program. Unless your doctor specifically tells you to watch your sodium intake…you can still enjoy “in moderation” just about everything from time to time. While I love cheeseburgers as much as the next guy, I would much prefer to cook my own, on my own grill than blow my calorie budget on fast food. But that’s just my opinion. Speaking of moderation. I’m partial to bit of Bailey’s a few times a week. A one ounce shot of Bailey’s is 98 calories and if I can work it into my dietary budget, I’ll do it. Speaking of Budgets I just used the word “budget” when I spoke about working that shot of Bailey’s into my dietary plan. In my earlier failed attempts at trying to make a diet/exercise plan work I never thought of it as a budget. I often had “free days” built into my plan and didn’t accurately count calories or track my workouts. These “free days” were days where I didn’t exercise and I ate whatever I wanted. Free days often turned into back to back free days which often turned into free weeks, free months…..I failed each time. It wasn’t until 5-6 years ago when I bought my Fitbit and signed up for MFP that I truly began to look at things as a budget. Just like my wife and I operate our household from a budget, you need to think about your diet/exercise program as a budget. The exercise is the income and the food/drink you consume directly comes from that budget. Nothing is free…there are no free days. I’m not saying you have to workout seven days a week. But I am saying you have to be conscience of what you are consuming and how that will impact all your hard work. If you slip, don’t beat yourself up…rather…pick yourself up, dust yourself off and resume the work. In Summary I realize this is a lot of information and a lot of words to read. I also realize this really has nothing to do with simulation based gaming other than, as gamers, we run the risk of not properly looking after ourselves and I’m sharing this with all of you to be helpful. I firmly believe that if you devote just a few hours a week to getting some exercise, getting some fresh air and eating correctly…you’ll feel so much better and possibly add years to your life. The alternative is to continue to feel poorly and in time lose a possible few years. It’s up to you. Just do it! Until next time… Stay Healthy My Friends! Jerry The post A Gamer’s Healthy Life appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  4. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsProMods coming to ATS

    I’ve been a BIG fan of the ProMods development team for many years. Around the time SCS was releasing American Truck Simulator, there was some discussion in the ProMods forums about the possibility of some ATS development work. But that was over three years ago and I personally hadn’t heard a peep from them regarding their plans. Last week when I published the Washington State – I’m Excited blog post, a PC-SG member alerted me to the news of Promods beginning development work on version 1.x of a British Columbia map. As you can see from the map below, it appears that ProMods will tie into Interstate 5 in NW Washington and most likely again with US 97 to the east. Map courtesy of ProMods While I salute all modders who have been working to provide modded maps for ATS, none that I’ve seen will compare with the quality of ProMods. At the time of this writing, there is no release date. But then again, the ProMods team typically doesn’t commit themselves to a release date. In other words, ProMods Canada will be ready, when it’s ready! If you want to follow along with the progress of ProMods Canada, please follow this forum posting. On a somewhat related note, I also heard from one of my Twitter followers the next US State after Washington might be Utah. Until then… Happy Trucking, Eh! Jerry The post ProMods coming to ATS appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  5. Something very cool has recently made its way onto the flight simulation scene and I’m truly excited to have the opportunity to showcase it here for your review. It’s called A Pilot’s Life. A Pilot’s Life is a payware software application available from SimMarket which was developed by Simbitworld. The cost of the software is $19.49 US (15.05 GBP, 16.75 EUR). The description as stated on SimMarket reads “A Pilot’s Life application has the aim of giving purpose to flight simulation enthusiasts.” In the short time I’ve had access to it, I can certainly say that it lives up to that claim 100%. Before I start this product review. Please allow me to get the fine print out of the way. The product I am reviewing was purchased by me and for my own personal use. I receive absolutely no compensation of any form (cash, credit, discounts, promises) for reviewing this product. I have not contacted, nor have I been contacted by the vendor to provide this product review. The opinions expressed (good or bad) are my own, your mileage may vary. I’ve been involved in flight simulation since the early to mid 1980’s. I’ve talked about how in the early days (before the Internet as we know it) my friends and I would fly our aircraft on our Commodore 64 computers and track our flights on a Big Chief tablet, using a #2 pencil. (Hey it beats slate and chalk) As the Internet age developed, Virtual Airlines (VA’s) roared onto the scene which (at the time) also “gave purpose” to the hobby. Over the years I’ve been involved with many great (and some not so great) VA’s and held just about every staff position from Pilot to CEO. Virtual Airlines are a fantastic way to experience the life of an airline pilot and also meet likeminded individuals who in my case have become dear friends in the process. A Pilot’s Life I’ve thought a lot about how I would attempt to describe A Pilot’s Life. While it’s not a virtual airline in the way you may think and it’s also not an airline simulation type program similar to Air Hauler 2. In very simple terms, it’s a personal virtual aviation career simulation. But I might be placing the cart ahead of the horse…allow me to first talk about the system requirements, purchase, setup and use of A Pilot’s Life. System Requirements Of course you’re going to need a flight simulator. A Pilot’s Life supports FSX, P3D and X-Plane. The only add-on that’s required is FSUIPC (FSX/P3D) or XPUIPC (X-Plane) and the free versions of both will work. Finally, a permanent internet connection is required which is pretty much standard flare when using ACARS type programs. The only current operating system supported is Windows. Purchase As previously mentioned, the A Pilot’s Life application is available from SimMarket. The cost as mentioned in the first paragraph is (in my opinion) fair for what you get and for what it offers. Keep in mind that the price includes both the software and the services behind the scenes that essentially drive the mechanics of the program. Download/Installation/Activation If you’ve purchased add-ons from online retailers before (especially SimMarket) then you already should be familiar with how it all works. Basically you purchase A Pilot’s Life via SimMarket and after the financial transaction is complete you’ll be able to download the application from your SimMarket account. The application download is just under 4 MB in size. Once downloaded, just launch the installer. During the installation process a shortcut icon will be placed on your desktop. Once the installation process is completed (don’t blink, because you’ll miss it), just launch A Pilot’s Life via the desktop shortcut. The application will prompt you to enter the serial key to validate and installation and activation is complete. A Pilot’s Life will proceed to request a few additional pieces of information so an account can be setup. This includes you selecting a username, adding your email address and setting up a password. Remember, A Pilot’s Life is both a software front-end with a supporting web accessed back-end. Support Support is available via their homepage or email address simbitworld@gmail.com. An active Discord Channel is also available which has been setup by the developer. Initial Setup Hats off to the developer for developing an easy and intuitive setup process for the application. Being the typical guy who refuses to stop and ask for directions, when I see a software application that I can setup without having to read a manual, I’m a very happy person. A Pilot’s Life is just such an application. Really the only initial setup which needs to be done is to tell the A Pilot’s Life application which type of aircraft you desire to use with the system. For obvious reasons, only tick the boxes for the aircraft you have in your virtual fleet of aircraft. All the common types of aircraft which are represented in the payware and even some freeware types are available to select. This includes aircraft such as the Boeing 737, 757, 767, 777, 787 and 747 (including all variants). In addition, the popular Airbus aircraft including A318, 319, 320, 321 etc. in all variants are also available to select. Just select the aircraft you desire to fly and that’s about all there is to it. The main settings screen where you can change password and other account variables. Click the “SET” button to access the licensing and certification screen. See next screenshot. The Pilot Licensing and Certification screen is where you select the aircraft you would like to use with the application. For obvious reasons, only select the aircraft you have in your sim and those you desire to fly. After completing the aircraft selection, click Save and really the setup is all complete. It’s time to go get a job! A Pilot’s Life – Your New Career A Pilot’s Life career system assumes you’ve already completed all your flight training and considers you as a junior first officer. So there is no requirement to further grind the hours away in a Cessna as you work to get your PPL. You already have been there, done that and have the t-shirt to prove it. But you are unemployed and most likely need to start paying off those student loan debts. Great News! Employment offers await you. Unlike your typical virtual airline where you move up the ranks based on flight hours alone, A Pilot’s Life is based on XP or Experience Points. XP is earned (or lost) based on flight time, pilot rank and landing rate. The longer the flight the greater the XP earning potential. In addition, the higher the pilot rank you have, the more XP you’ll earn. But keep in mind that landing rates will also influence XP gain per flight negatively. Basically, keep those landing rates under –300 ft/min and your XP modifier will be 100%. Anything greater than –300 and your modifier percentage drops. This is all covered in the user manual. In the screen below, just click View Offers. Now here’s where things became slightly confusing for me. Because I’m the typical guy, I do first and read the manual later. By the way, the user manual can be found by clicking HELP or via this link. Anyway, I wanted to start my career with a US based airline. Ideally that airline would have been American Airlines. American would give me the complete line of aircraft options I enjoy flying and as I’ve been involved with American VA’s in the past, I’m fairly familiar with their route network. However, I failed to remember that I’m a junior first officer and not only that, I’m an un-employed junior first officer. The system considers American Airlines to be a full five star airline and again…I’m just an unemployed junior first officer. So come on Jerry. Let’s work our way up. When you first get started, you’ll always have a few offers available which you can apply for and start your career immediately. I really wanted to start with an airline where I could fly at least the Boeing 737/738. I don’t own any descent regional jet payware aircraft and I didn’t want to spend the money and take the time to learn any just to get things started. So I kept restarting my career (this option is available in Settings) until I had a US based airline which operated the Boeing 737-700 and 737-800. This US based airline is Sun Country. I also found a Sun Country livery for both the 700/800 variants via PMDG’s livery manager. From what I was told on Discord, if you apply for an airline which you haven’t received an existing offer for, these applications are reviewed every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. So the likelihood of a one star pilot being hired by a 4-star or 5-star airline was highly unlikely. Understandably so! After accepting the offer with Sun Country Airlines, I was presented with a contract of employment (see below). While there’s really no “fine print”, one very key point to understand is you can’t apply for, nor will you be offered any additional job offers for a period of 7 days. With a signed employment contract in hand, I was eager to get my first flight underway. As my time is somewhat limited, I selected the option for “short-haul” flights for my schedule. My first schedule was assigned to me and as I’m based in Minneapolis KMSP the first flight is a flight down to Atlanta and back. The SimBitWorld – A Pilot’s Life application is basically an ACARS system and tracks all aspects of your flight via the FSUIPC integration. It works just like any other ACARS system where you’ll need to click a button on the application to start the flight tracking (typically done while at the gate, engines off and parking brake set) and then click a button at the completion of your flight (again typically done once you arrive at the gate, engines have been shut down and parking brake set). As you can see from the image below, I’ve completed my very first flight with Sun Country airlines. I operated this flight in the Boeing 738, had a landing rate of –89 ft/min, earned 2.99 XP. Below is my overall career progress with Sun Country. Pay checks are issued at the first of each month. So I may need to survive on pretzels and water…but I think I’ll make it. As I arrived into Atlanta a bit late, I’ll layover in a hotel and fly the flight tomorrow back to KMSP. Then it looks like I’ll be going to Denver and back, then Dallas/Ft. Worth and back and so on and so on. From what I understand, you can skip next flight only 5 times per month. As I typically always fly from the last point I landed, it’s unlikely I’ll cancel flights returning back to base. However, I might skip flights to airports from time to time where I don’t have any add-on scenery. We’ll see…. As I stated near the top of this writing, A Pilot’s Life is like a virtual aviation career simulation more than it is a virtual airline or complete airline simulation. While I used Air Hauler 2 for a few months, I neglected it and didn’t make any money as I forgot to keep my hired pilots busy. SimBitWorld’s – A Pilot’s Life is just about YOU and your career! As for me and my career? I’m going to spend the next week flying for Sun Country and see what offers I receive. My ultimate goal will be to work hard and get hired at American Airlines. How long this takes is unclear at this time. But I’ll certainly update you as I progress. I suspect I’ll need to just pay my dues and grind it out by either staying at Sun Country (pending I continue to get the type of routes I like) or bounce around based on pay/route opportunities as I continue to progress from JFO, FO and SFO. Remember, it’s all about the immersion. Until next time… Happy Career Building! Jerry The post A Pilot’s Life – Review appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  6. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsWashington State – I’m Excited

    Thanks for that info @Shakey. I hadn't heard this great news. I'm truly glad Promods is the team behind this as they do excellent work in ETS2. It would be nice to see Canada progress eastward as ATS is moving things east in the US.
  7. While I can remember the excitement I felt when the US State of Arizona was released (remember it was delayed on initial release of ATS) and I was also excited about New Mexico. After all, the state of New Mexico is somewhat of a bridge state to both Colorado (where I currently live) and Texas (my birth state). I knew New Mexico had to come before any chance of getting Colorado or Texas. With Oregon, my feelings were somewhat neutral. After all, I had gambled on and lost which US state would appear after New Mexico. My opinion (at the time) was SCS would perhaps drop Utah in or (and this was a long shot) Texas. But I was wrong and SCS decided to continue north with Oregon. And of course now we know the next state DLC to be released will be that of Washington State. I have a little history with Washington State. I’ve been there several times and I’ve also spent some time hiking in the area as well. So while I realize this move north will further delay getting Colorado and Texas released, I think it’s going to be a cool state to drive some trucks in. Actually, to make another comparison to another simulation game I truly enjoy playing (that being Farming Simulator), some of the screenshots I’ve seen from the Washington DLC really reminds me of FS17’s default map, Goldcrest Valley and of course the awesome version Stevie created Pine Cove Farm. Future Maps Which direction will SCS go next? I think it’s pretty safe to say it won’t be north. After all, this is American Truck Simulator and not North American Truck Simulator. So SCS will turn and go one of two directions. Either they’ll proceed directly east and drop Idaho in which could pave the way for Utah to come next. Or we could see them skipping Idaho (for now) and going with Utah or Texas. From my limited knowledge of the type of trucking that goes on in the state of Idaho, I feel Idaho will be very similar to what we already have represented in Oregon and Washington. While Texas will obviously be a big project, once Texas is added it will give us miles and miles of trucking opportunities with I-40 and I-10 stretching all the way from California through Arizona, New Mexico and all the way to the eastern Texas border. But alternatively, SCS should give serious consideration to bring Utah and Colorado into play as soon as possible. Especially if they truly work hard and make I-70 as challenging as it can be in real life as it winds and climbs its way through the Colorado Rocky Mountains. But of course we’ll just have to wait and see…. Until next time… Happy Trucking!!! Jerry The post Washington State – I’m Excited appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  8. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsVATSIM Changes

    Somewhat off the heels of my recent The Basics of VATSIM tutorial, an updated tutorial on updating Prepar3D to version 4.5 and another little ditty on To Update or Not to Update Prepar3D, I’m going to discuss a few things related to VATSIM that has me slightly concerned. Most likely this will end up being more or less an opinion piece. Just remember, we’re all entitled to our own opinions. Your opinion may differ from mine and while I welcome you to comment…just keep your response civil. Thank you! FCOM I was perusing the FSElite site earlier this morning and found an article dated 11 April of this year regarding a new FCOM VATSIM/IVAO Message Forwarding System which has been in testing and is now generally available. In a nutshell, FCOM is designed to forward messages received through either the VATSIM or IVAO clients to a users Discord via private message. In the FSElite article on the subject of FCOM there is a short demo video which demonstrates the system working. Anyone reading this posting or even the original at FSElite might be asking themselves, “What’s the Big Deal?” “This is pretty cool” and “this is just what I’ve been needing”. Sigh… The VATSIM Code of Conduct clearly states, (Section A. 9) “When logging on to the VATSIM.net network, a member is not permitted to leave his or her connection unattended for a period in excess of thirty (30) minutes. If a member is unable to comply with this requirement, then he or she must log off of the VATSIM.net network. A member who is found to be unresponsive for more than thirty (30) minutes is subject to immediate removal from the network. Members who are found to repeatedly leave their connections unattended are subject to the terms of Article VI. of the VATSIM.net Code of Regulations.” In my 18 years of being a member of VATSIM, belonging to and holding various staff positions in many virtual airlines and also running my very own for a few years, I’ve witnessed first hand and heard many accounts of this rule being broken. I’ve even witnessed this rule blatantly being abused by some prominent YouTube/Twitch Flight Simmers. Of course, the punishment can be costly for those who repeatedly abuse this policy as mentioned above and documented in the VATSIM Code of Regulations. Specifically Article VI which discusses suspension and expulsion from the network. As I mentioned in the recent “The Basics of VATSIM tutorial”, VATSIM is serious about ensuring their network doesn’t turn into a wasteland of abusers like other multiplayer networks we may know about. Again, I’m looking at TruckersMP. Here’s my concern with this. First, this is an already existing problem on the network. Many users will fire up a “Cross the Pond”flight just before going to bed and gamble that ATC won’t contact them or that they’ll hear the “ping” when they are sleeping just to get some hours in the system. You can read the sob stories of these same pilots on the VATSIM forums, Facebook groups etc. where they didn’t hear the ping and they promise never to do it again. So now a third party FCOM solution is introduced which will direct any messages a pilot might receive to their Discord via a private message. I can hear/see the sob stories of “I didn’t get a message”…please unsuspend me. Look, I’m a busy guy. While I’ve been a VATSIM member from the beginning (18 years ago), I’ve racked up a total of 1,950 hours. While I realize this number only averages out to just over 100 hours per year…the vast majority of these hours are what I call “Butt in Seat” hours. Meaning, my rear end was in my chair with my headset on my head and me at the controls of my aircraft. Plus….and this is what I’m most proud of…in 18 years being a VATSIM member and accumulating almost 2000 flight hours on the network…I’ve never been suspended and I’ve never received a warning from a supervisor. Yes, I do other things when I’m flying long flights. I get up to stretch my legs, I get up to go to the bathroom, I get up to go upstairs to get food or drink (as my wife refuses to be my trolley dolly) and yes I even occasionally will do tasks such as clean my office and even do laundry. What? You mean your Boeing 747 doesn’t have a washer and dryer in the back? But the time away from the virtual flight deck is generally no more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Bottom line…if you’re going to enjoy the hobby of flight simulation, then be there for all the fun and adventure. Not somewhere else with your eyes/ears glued to your smartphone and Discord. Voice Unicom My God I can ‘bang on’ about stuff can’t I? OK…so for those who may not know, VATSIM will soon enable voice Unicom. For those who may not be fully aware of how Unicom works, I’ll tell you. When you are logged onto the VATSIM network and you are flying in uncontrolled airspace, we dial up the Unicom VHF frequency of 122.80. This allows the virtual pilot to type text messages which other pilots will see (within a short range of each other) so we can announce our intentions. This is specifically useful when you are either going to depart or land at an uncontrolled airport. Typically the type of messages I’ll send are as follows: Departure “KDFW Traffic, American 1066 push/start from gate C17, taxi to rwy 17R”. Then once I reach the runway, I’ll text “KDFW Traffic, American 1066 departing 17R via the MRSSH2 Departure to the SE”. Finally, “American 1066 clear rwy 17R” Arrival “KDEN Traffic, American 1066 is inbound on the HUDAD2 Arrival, Crossing XXX and leaving FL380, expecting rwy 35L” Once I’m closer to the field I’ll message saying “KDEN Traffic, American 1066 is on 11nm final for rwy 35L” Finally, “KDEN Traffic, American 1066 clr 35L, taxi to A50” While I will agree that texting on Unicom breaks the immersion, so does departing or landing at either DFW or DEN with no ATC. For the past 18 years, the Unicom frequency of 122.80 has been text only. Even with this frequency being “text only” it does get abused from time to time. The purpose of Unicom (as I described above) is merely to announce your intensions so other pilots are aware and to avoid (if possible) any issues. This often is abused with pilots using Unicom as an instant message/chat platform. However, even when it’s being abused…it’s not as annoying as I can imagine it will be on voice. From what I understand, once implemented…the voice Unicom frequency will behave very similar to how it does today with text. The range will be slightly higher when in the air and much less when on the ground. But my main concern is when voice Unicom is abused (and it will be) it’s going to be a royal pain in the backside. While I do enjoy having gate to gate ATC, generally when I’m flying on VATSIM it’s either early in the morning or late at night and I can’t always be guaranteed ATC coverage. I’m a bit strange when it comes to picking my flights as I rarely hop around. I typically resume my flight from the airport I last landed. After all, in the real world our teleport capabilities just aren’t ready for prime time. So having said that, I tend to fly A LOT in uncontrolled airspace. When I’m sitting at the flight deck I might be reading, watching TV or even typing a blog article as I happen to be doing now high above the Gulf of Mexico as I fly my American Airlines PMDG Boeing 737-800 from the Big Easy (KMSY) down to Miami (KMIA) to setup for a trip later down to Princes Juliana International Airport (TNCM) on the beautiful island of St. Maarten. The last thing I want to experience is someone else abusing the frequency with discussions about what they are eating for dinner. If I wanted to hear that, I would fire up my ham radios (which by the way, I do often have them on and listening to a traffic net). Anyway…. My wife tells me I’m turning into a grumpy old man. Well I’ve earned it! LOL Of course, VATSIM has stated that they’ll monitor Unicom and handle any abuse of the frequency with swift action. If it becomes a wasteland of abuse, VATSIM has stated they will switch it off. We’ll see and I’m hopefully optimistic all will function as they hope. After all, yes….I will agree that announcing your intentions or hearing from other pilots is much, much easier than typing. Just don’t wreck my tranquil environment. OK…I’ve gotta go now. I’m less than 50nm from Miami and I need to pay attention to what I’m doing here. Plus I need to announce my intentions on Unicom since there’s no ATC and many other aircraft in the vicinity. Until next time… Happy Flying! Jerry The post VATSIM Changes appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  9. I recently read a few comments on an FS19 Facebook Group. The comments were comparing FS19 with FS17 and basically the original commenter summed up FS19 as “finally being on par with FS17”. Of course, this individual was referring to the fact that in the last several weeks we’ve seen some truly awesome mods get released which have helped to narrow the gap between where we left off with Farming Simulator 17, to what we have now with FS19 and also the long awaited 1.3 patch. But I beg to differ with his opinion…as the delta between FS19 and FS17 is still fairly wide. Wide enough Evil Knievel might think twice before attempting a death defying jump on his trusty John Deere tractor. Now before I wade off too deeply into this blog posting. Just allow me to state for the record that this is an opinion piece and most importantly, it’s MY opinion. As my blog postings do often appear on a few different forums…the opinions expressed here are my very own. With that out of the way, let’s lace up the boots and go wading into these weeds. Vanilla Comparisons I believe if you strip away all the mods from Farming Simulator 17 and also do the same with FS19, and conduct side-by-side comparisons in their vanilla or default states, Farming Simulator 17 would out shine Farming Simulator 19. While FS19 touted many enhanced features including horses, a dog and John Deere…to quote Shania Twain…”That Don’t Impress Me Much”. The horses are meh, the dog doesn’t really do anything (why can’t he ride in the back of my truck?) and I’ve had as much John Deere equipment I’ve ever could have wanted since my first intro to Farming Simulator with 15. Of course, I know those who play on consoles haven’t had that. The one thing which (again…my opinion) narrows the divide between vanilla FS17 and FS19 is Cotton. While we’ve had modded cotton before, GIANTS have done it right (for the most part) and given us cotton and some equipment to work with it. Hopefully they will continue and give us even more. The Patch Many (even including myself) had hopes the 1.3 patch for FS19 was going to solve all the problems with the game and half of the problems in the world. While “the patch” did resolve an issue I had been having with my Logitech G27 controller and I suppose a few other issues, I still believe a vanilla FS19 is still lagging behind that of its predecessor. One of the many factors that drive this position is what my ears tell me. The sounds in FS19 just don’t seem to be on par with that of FS17. I’ve heard the reasons for this are due to a change up with the individuals who were part of GIANTS with FS17 were no longer there when FS19 was being developed. As I don’t have time right now to do a side-by-side comparison, I did find another YouTube whose ears are telling him the same thing mine are and here’s a video he made. Watch this video on YouTube. Light at the end of the Tunnel Farming Simulator 19 was an absolute lemon for me for the first few months after release. As more mods were released including quality maps, Courseplay, Guidance Steering (GPS) and just a few weeks ago FollowMe showed up…it’s becoming once again apparent that it’s our wonderful modding community that will end up saving the day. I suspect by mid-summer (hopefully not any later) we’ll see the Seasons Mod show up which is expected to bring even more goodness to Farming Simulator than we had in FS17. I’m really not sure why GIANTS (and they are not the only one) relies on the modding community to keep their franchise games propped up. As I’ve said before, if it wasn’t for the modding community…Farming Simulator would have already been uninstalled from my PC. While I’m not optimistic GIANTS will do anything about the sound issues I pointed out earlier, I can (and will) look past that once Seasons comes out. The Microsoft Phenomenon Perhaps all this can be likened to what I’m going to call the Microsoft Phenomenon. If we look back a decade or two, the various Operating Systems Microsoft have developed could resemble a rollercoaster with highs and lows along the route. Windows XP once service pack 3 dropped was a fairly rock solid OS, then along came Vista. As we made the turn and proceeded up the next hill along came Windows 7, but then we took another drop and fell with Windows 8. While Windows 10 is causing a few gray hairs in my professional life…we seem to be on the uphill once again. So perhaps this is happening with GIANTS. Who knows…and I could go on and on and on…but GIANTS really needs to hit it out of the park with Farming Simulator 21 (if there will be such a thing). Farming Simulator is such a fantastic simulation game and truly has so much potential and I believe there’s no one better to drive this franchise forward than GIANTS. So….just do it already! Until next time… Happy Farming! Jerry The post Farming Simulator 19 – Are We There Yet? appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  10. As the title line reads, Prepar3D – To Update or Not To Update….Yes, Ladies, Gentlemen and Children of all ages…That is the question and the subject of this blog posting. For the record, I recently updated to the latest and greatest version of Prepar3d version 4.5. I’ve also taken the time to prepare an updated “How to update Prepar3D” tutorial document. While there really was nothing wrong with the older document which I published in June 2018 (discussing updating from v4.2 to v4.3), I figured…Oh why not! Anyway… Not all Games are created equal Generally speaking, with many of the other simulation based titles I enjoy playing…there’s usually never hesitation to apply a patch or game update. For the record, and most of my regular readers will know that my gaming collection only consists of a few titles including Farming Simulator 19, American Truck Simulator, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and a few others. My main gaming interest is in simulation based games. All the titles I’ve just mentioned (and everything else for that matter) with exception to Prepar3d are Steam based games. So the update process is automagical. Being an IT Professional, I’m fairly diligent in keeping backups of the various “game specific” folders where things such as mods and profile game saves are stored. While I do hear reports of some folks experiencing a game save malfunction during a patch update, I’ve never personally experienced it. I’ve also successfully moved my original game saves from one machine to another as I did last summer when I built the GBS Beast Mark V. Which by the way is still purring along just fine. (knock on wood) Back on Subject I’ll be honest, while the Prepar3d (P3D) update process isn’t rocket science…I won’t lie to you and say that it doesn’t make me nervous. In and of itself, the process to update P3D from version 4.4 to 4.5 is easy. Actually it’s very easy as I’ve documented. Follow these steps and the process is quick and easy. However, transporting dynamite is also a straightforward process as well. After all, just load it in a truck and drive down the highway. What could possibly go wrong? Exactly!!!! So Many Moving Parts Unlike all the other simulation games I mentioned before, 3rd party add-ons or mods for Prepar3d are as cantankerous as that load of dynamite. Bad things…really, really bad things can go wrong anytime you start messing about with the foundation of the sim. Especially when you are like me and have over 175 different add-ons which are installed to make my P3D experience “As Real As It Gets”. If something goes horribly wrong with the update process, the side effects can mean I’m spending the next many, many, many hours rebuilding my PC and my Sim from scratch. This fact would almost make any sane person steer so far clear of an update or change. But who said we’re sane??? Of course, all these bad things can also occur each time we’re alerted to an upcoming Windows 10 update. As President Ronald Reagan once said, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. Well…not sure how that stacks up against that dreaded message that states “Windows 10 has downloaded updates”. These are the things nightmares are made of. But here I go again….digressing. It’s All Part of the Experience For me, and since I do enjoy helping others…staying on the cutting (and sometimes bleeding) edge is all what it’s about. Prepar3D version 4.5 was released on 9 April 2019, between work, the sudden death of my mom and many other factors…I opted to delay the process by about two weeks. This delay did work to my advantage as it allowed me to spend some time updating many of the add-ons which required updates to even work with 4.5. With all that done, I set aside some time to perform the update just as I described in the updated tutorial and I was back flying in no time. Final Thoughts I’ll begin my final thoughts with a question which perhaps you’ve been pondering. Why do some people have so many terrible things go wrong when they update P3D? If you drop into some of the Flight Sim Facebook groups or forums, you can spend the next (how ever many hours you want) reading sob story after sob story about how everything went sideways with the update and now they are left to having to do a full install again. Why is this? Again, being an IT Guy I have a just a little bit of experience with this question and unfortunately there’s not just one single answer. The answer…most likely could be any number of reasons. But let me further bang on and I’ll let you get back to your day. If even before you make the decision to update P3D and you’re encountering the occasional crash to desktop (CTD), experiencing errors or have a really difficult time with overall performance…then these factors will play a really BIG role in whether or not your upgrade experience will be a positive one. Just as important to the overall health of your current installation of Prepar3D, how’s Windows running? Are you experiencing the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) events? Do you experience issues running other Windows based applications? When is the last time you physically cleaned out your PC? See where I’m going with this? If you’re having issues today, these issues should really be addressed before you pile on even more variables that can further cause problems. My gaming machine is used for one purpose and one purpose only…to play games. I don’t use it for anything else and while I built it just last summer, I’m fully aware that most likely sometime later this year or sometime in early 2020…I’ll need to do a complete rebuild of Windows and everything else just to keep it performing at 100%. This process will have me out of commission for at a minimum of several days and most likely a full week. But it’s a necessary process to having a stable gaming machine. Well…that’s all I really wanted to say at this time. Bottom line, I think the benefits of Prepar3d version 4.5 make it worth the effort and outweigh the risks. Until next time… Good luck with the update. Jerry The post Prepar3D – To Update or To Not Update appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  11. Just less than a year ago, I wrote a similar tutorial when version 4.3 was released. I began that article with the words “There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding how to update Prepar3D”. While ten months may have passed, the confusion hasn’t. So as I stated before, I’m going to do my best to provide you a step-by-step guide for how to update Prepar3D. Or at the very least, how I update my own instance of Prepar3D. About This Guide This step-by-step guide was written specifically for the Prepar3D version 4.4 to 4.5 update and written/published in mid April of 2019. Lockheed Martin released P3D v4.5 on 9 April 2019. If you are referring to this guide anytime after version 4.5 (v4.6, v4.7 etc.) then this method should also work as well. Unfortunately my crystal ball isn’t working for peering into the future, so who knows how the update process will work for P3D v5 (if there is such a thing). What I’m trying to say here, is content on the Internet tends to live forever and you might be stumbling on this writing a year, two or more from the time I wrote it. Just keep that in mind. The Update Process Just a little background for those that may not be aware. I believe, starting with P3D v3.x, Lockheed Martin developed P3D to be somewhat modular in the way one can update and maintain the simulator. This modular setup consists of three main files with the first being the Client, the second being the Content and the third being the Scenery. When Lockheed Martin develops, tests and deploys an updated version to us, we no longer need to completely uninstall the entire P3D application just to take advantages of the updates. In many cases, only the “Client” portion of the update needs to be applied. But you should do your homework to best determine exactly what you need to update to take advantage of all the new bells and whistles available. Prepar3D version 4.5 Change Log To aid you in understanding all the changes included in the P3D v4.5 update, please follow this link. Use this information to determine what you want to update. My Update Process As I do each and every time a new P3D update is released by Lockheed Martin, I study the change log to determine my action plan. As was the case with the version 4.4 update, I personally am not interested in the updates which have been made to the Content and the Scenery. So this update will be super simple for me, as I’ll only be updating the Client portion. If you desire to update either the Content and/or the Scenery…then go ahead and do so. Step One Make note of P3D Settings. Before I perform an update, I typically will start up P3D and take screen captures of all the settings screens. This way, if anything gets changed during the update process…I’ll be able to quickly reset everything back to the way it was before. I like to run P3D with the updated version with the same settings I ran on the previous version first, before tweaking anything. This way I have a better determination on just what improvements were made and how these improvements impact my setup. Step Two Download the update files required. As I previously mentioned, I’m only planning to update the Client for v4.5. You’ll need to login to the downloads section of the Prepar3D website with your license or account credentials. Once there, click to expand the individual component downloads section and download the following file: Install_Client.msi. Once downloaded, I typically place all the files into a new folder I create on the Windows desktop for ease of access. As a side note, if you were interested in updating the Content, you would also need to download the Install_Content.msi along with BOTH the cont1.cab and cont2.cab files. Same would apply for Scenery. You would need to download the Install_Scenery.msi along with all seven of the sceneX.cab files. If you are planning to update Content and/or Scenery, then just place the .cab files in the same location as you’ve downloaded the Install_Content.msi and/or Install_Scenery.msi files. When you go to run the install on the content/scenery the .msi files will automatically access the .cab files during the process. Step Three This is a really important step to focus on. Regardless of your overall plan, you want to uninstall one component at a time. I’ve found this to be the least error prone way of performing an update. On your Windows gaming PC, go to Control Panel > Programs and Features. From here we’re going to uninstall the P3D CLIENT ONLY. When prompted “Would you like to deactivate your P3D installation?”, Click NO! Step Four Next, we’re going to install the updated P3D Client which we downloaded in step two. As previously mentioned, after I download all the appropriate files, I create a folder on my Windows desktop and place all the downloaded files in that folder. Right-click on the Install_Client file and select Install. Pay very special attention during the install to make sure the updated client is being installed in your specified P3D install directory. In my example, everything defaulted in just as it should have. If you are planning to update the Content and/or the Scenery parts of Prepar3d, then return to step three and repeat the process but this time uninstall Content, then install Content and finally uninstall Scenery and then install Scenery. Step Five Pending everything installed successfully, reboot your PC. While the P3D update/install files will not prompt you or even require you to reboot, it is ALWAYS in your best interest to reboot after installing software and we’re wanting a trouble-free upgrade…so just reboot! Trust me, I’m an IT Guy! Step Six Once your Windows gaming PC has successfully restarted, launch P3D. Don’t be alarmed if P3D takes a little longer than normal to launch the first time. P3D is doing a lot of work behind the scenes and in my experience it took perhaps an additional 1-2 minutes than normal. Step Seven Hopefully your update was successful. Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back as you’ve just successfully updated P3D. At this point, I close out of P3D as I still needed to perform a few other updates to software accessories such as ActiveSky, Envtex, FSLabs Airbus etc. Note: If you use Orbx Global Textures, you most likely will need to perform a Force Migration after performing an update. This is a very simple and quick process to complete. Just launch the FTX Central application. Go to Settings then look for Force Migration. The End Result Upon completing the client update for P3D version 4.5, I’m experiencing absolutely nothing but positive results. The P3D load time has slightly improved and I’m not seeing any noticeable performance degradation. From everything that I’ve seen, P3D v4.5 is absolutely fantastic and the enhanced night lighting actually has me wanting to fly more at night which I rarely would do in the past. Benefits to Updating? I’ve recently written and published an article I’ve titled “Prepar3D – To Update or To Not Update” which I discuss the benefits and also some of the concerns to updating P3D. Only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the risks. Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with waiting a few weeks until more of the add-ons have been updated for the newest version. What ever direction you decide to go, best of luck to you. Until next time… Happy Flying!!! Jerry The post How to update Prepar3D–v4.5 appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  12. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsTaking a YouTube Break

    Greg, Thank you and I'll do the very same for your mother and your family. Mike, Thank you so very much.
  13. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsThe Basics of VATSIM

    I would like to dedicate this blog post to the memory of my dear mother who passed away suddenly a few weeks ago. As a young person, she always encouraged me to write and while she really had no clue what I blogged about here (most of the time), she still read my work. I began this article back in March and after returning back from Texas have been somewhat motivated to get it finished. Here you go Mom…this one is for you. The subject of this tutorial has been on my to-do list for many years. I began blogging about the hobby of flight simulation in September 2010 and at that time I created an Excel spreadsheet and noted a few topics I wanted to cover in tutorial style. The Basics of VATSIM was added to the growing list but unfortunately just kept getting bumped down the list. Or I would start the article only to delete it later because I just simply couldn’t convey my thoughts on the subject in a way that met my approval. I’m just funny like this…I guess I could say I’m a perfectionist and everything I’ve ever featured on my blog site has been as accurate and as detailed as I could make it given my experience and knowledge on what ever subject I’m writing about. I was first introduced to the online world of virtual air traffic simulation even before VATSIM was born. Sometime in either 1999 or very early 2000, I signed up for and became a member of SATCO (Simulated Air Traffic Controllers Organization). However, I really didn’t do much online flying. At this particular time in my life I was busy traveling and also I must admit that I was absolutely terrified of the thought of flying online. SATCO eventually collapsed and was succeeded by VATSIM which I signed up for almost immediately. Things were beginning to slow down on the real world travel schedule and I met a few new online friends who helped me get over my fears (mainly mic fright) and BOOM…I was hooked. The Basics of this Tutorial As with most of my tutorial style writings, this is not meant to be the “Be All, End All” or even a absolute complete guide to the subject of VATSIM. I’m going to first encourage you to do some of your own research and reading which I’ll point out in the very next paragraph. Then I’ll share some of my own tips, tricks and perhaps some of my very own experiences. But you really need to read a few things on your own before you decide to login to the VATSIM network for the very first time. Unfortunately, unless you are a real world pilot, VATSIM is not the place to fake your way through. While VATSIM can be a very friendly and helpful environment, it’s also an extremely serious online community. More about this later. Rules of Life There are many rules I follow in life and the one that has worked for me, has helped me become successful in many different ways is as follows: “What you put into life is what you get out of it”. Of course, I’ll also admit (and my wife will vouch for me), I’m stubborn. Yes, a square peg will go into a round hole if you have a big enough hammer and I almost never stop to ask for directions. But I digress… If you are a flight sim enthusiast and you are absolutely new to VATSIM, I would first recommend (almost insist) that you first do a bit of reading before you key up the mic and ask for ATC clearance at your favorite airport. As previously mentioned, VATSIM (for the most part) is an extremely friendly and helpful environment. However, it’s not the place for “on the job training”. Meaning, you should spend some time bringing yourself up to speed on the ways of VATSIM and I’m going to help you do just that. Flight Simulation Experience When I began the outline of this tutorial, I must admit I began writing it with the more experienced flight simulation aviator in mind. Perhaps someone similar to myself who has been flying computer based sims for many years and who truly is capable of controlling his/her aircraft both while on the ground and in the air. It’s difficult for me to explain to you just exactly how much experience you need…but will just say that if you’re not capable of operating your aircraft, familiar with basic flight navigation, don’t understand how to read SIDS/STARS charts, refuse to follow instructions/directions….then YOU are not ready for VATSIM. In other words, if you are absolutely brand new to the hobby of flight simulation and don’t recognize that a computer based flight simulation program such as FSX, Prepar3D and XPlane is MORE than a video game…then YOU are not ready for VATSIM. However, if you have spent a few hundred hours enjoying your favorite flight simulation program, have a good understanding of flight navigation, understand how to operate your favorite aircraft, can listen and follow instruction and want to take your flight simulation hobby to the next level, then please continue reading. Getting Started with VATSIM Your first step should be to visit the “Getting Started” section on the VATSIM website. You’ll find a step-by-step outline for getting started with VATSIM. This one page will point you in the right direction for all things VATSIM including directing you to the Pilot Resource Center and a “must read” on Expectations and Requirements for Pilots. Again, I really can’t stress enough that the very first experience on VATSIM will be equal to exactly what you put into it in the form of self-study/research/preparation. One of the reasons I’m encouraging you to really prepare yourself for the wonderful fun that awaits you on VATSIM, is simply…VATSIM is a really serious place. Unlike other online multiplayer communities where users seem to disobey the rules (I’m looking at you TruckersMP), the world of VATSIM is really for serious individuals who truly want to simulate the world of aviation. While I won’t lie to you and tell you that you’ll never encounter fools doing some really crazy stuff on VATSIM, they will be dealt with quickly and sharply. In my almost 20 years of enjoying VATSIM and accumulating almost 2000 hours on the network, I’ve only encountered a small handful of idiots and as I stated before, they were dealt with quickly. Additional Tips, Tricks and Advice Please don’t let some of what I said discourage you from giving VATSIM a try. It really is an “As Real As It Gets” experience. As you gain in experience, some of the large events which VATSIM hosts on the network will have you seeing and experiencing the crowded airspace and airports all over the world. I’m going to wrap things up here in just a few minutes, but before I do…allow me to share some additional information which might come in handy. YouTube Yea…if you need to know how to do something, and you can’t find it on YouTube…then you know you shouldn’t be doing it. But on YouTube you’ll find all sorts of flight simulation help (including VATSIM information). Facebook Yes, Facebook is more than just sharing pictures of cats. There’s actually a very active Flight Sim following across Facebook with various groups setup to help on all aspects of the hobby. There is a VATSIM For Beginners Facebook Group which is also a very good resource. But once again, I encourage you to educate yourself by reading as much as you can from the VATSIM links I provided above. Login, Listen and Observe One of the things I did when I first started out was to park my aircraft at a gate (never spawn directly onto a runway or taxiway) and then connect to the VATSIM network. I would locate an airport which had at least one controller and a few active aircraft and listen. This allowed me to listen to how other pilots requested clearance. There are several online resources which allow you to visually see what airports are staffed with ATC and which have active aircraft. But generally most of the larger airports will have activity throughout the day. One such site which I sometimes use is called VATTASTIC. Although my favorite is an application called VAT-Spy. It’s an application I have installed on one of my gaming machines so I can keep an eye on where ATC is staffed. Check it out! VATSIM CRAFT Procedure Don’t you just love acronyms? Especially when they can really help you. When requesting your departure clearance, keep the word CRAFT in your mind. Or better yet, write it down on a piece of paper. By the way…always keep a notepad and pen/pencil handy when flying online. You’ll thank me later!. The acronym CRAFT will help you in writing down all the jibberish the controller is going to tell you (which by the way you’ll need to read back). CRAFT stands for Clearance, Route, Altitude, Frequency and Transponder. Typically when I am flying IFR (jetliner type aircraft), I’ll call up and request clearance like this. “Denver Clearance Delivery, this is American 1066 requesting IFR clearance to Dallas/Ft. Worth as filed. I have information Bravo”. The readback I receive from ATC will fall into the CRAFT format and may sound something like this: American 1066, you are cleared to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport (Clearance) via the STAKR4 Departure PYPER Transition (Route), Climb and Maintain 10 Thousand…expect Flight Level 350 10 minutes after departure (Altitude). Departure Frequency 128.45 (Frequency) , Squawk 2145 (Transponder). Aviate, Navigate and Communicate Things can get pretty hectic when flying online. Remember, in the real world…airliners are flown by TWO pilots who share the work load. On VATSIM, all the same amount of work is handled by just ONE pilot, YOU! Regardless of how busy and hectic things become (and it does get easier with practice) always remember this tip. Aviate, Navigate and finally Communicate. Aviate – Always maintain control of your aircraft. This is first and foremost. Navigate – Know where you are, understand the terrain and obstacles around and below you. Communicate – Finally…communicate. As you gain more and more experience, you’ll be able to multitask like a pro. But until that time comes, always make sure you begin executing all ATC instructions before you communicate with ATC. Help is Here VATSIM First Wings Event I realize a few paragraphs ago I said VATSIM isn’t the place for “on the job” training and I encouraged you to read all you can and familiarize yourself as best you can before you show up and try to muddle your way through the procedures. While I absolutely encourage you to follow this sound advice, VATSIM does conduct various events around the world to help brand new virtual pilots. These events are called “VATSIM First Wings” and they are absolutely geared to help the beginner online pilot. While I would still encourage you to read everything you can and also be fully capable of flying your aircraft (this event isn’t geared to teach you how to fly). Then show up at the appropriate time, location and be ready to learn. The next VATSIM First Wings Event is quickly approaching and will take place on 27 April 2300 – 0200z at these featured airports KRST (Rochester), KRFD (Rockford), KCID (Eastern Iowa) and KDLH (Duluth Intl). You can learn more about this upcoming VATSIM First Wings event here. Other Online Options Yes, there are other online multiplayer options available. I chose to write about VATSIM as that is my preference and the one I have the most experience and longest history with. Just last year I wrote about all the various online multiplayer options available for flight simulation. The information in this article is still current today. Final Thoughts If you’ve reached this point and you’re thinking to yourself, “VATSIM sounds like the last place I want to be” that was not the intention. However, I can’t stress enough that VATSIM is a serious online community of likeminded individuals who all share a passion for aviation and we’re all after one thing….”An As Real As It Gets” Experience of interacting with Air Traffic Control and other Aviators. It’s really that simple. There’s a WHOLE lot more information that I would love to share and will do so in the future. Flying on VATSIM is not something I do each and every time I fly. However, I do very much enjoy the enhanced immersion it provides. For me, I’m really not interested in the HUGE events such as Cross the Pond. I tend to favor smaller events where the balance between ATC and pilots better mirror real world operations. Regardless whether you enjoy flying small GA aircraft, small to medium sized tubeliners or the giants of the sky hauling passengers or freight from one side of the world to the other, VATSIM really does something for everyone. I hope you’ll check it out and I hope this tutorial has helped motivate you to do so. Until next time… Happy Flying!!! JT The post The Basics of VATSIM appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  14. GrizzlyBearSims

    GrizzlyBearSimsTaking a YouTube Break

    Some of you are aware that two weeks ago my Mother passed away. She was 72 years old and died suddenly of a massive heart attack. I got the call from my Dad letting me know she was in the hospital, but she passed before I could get there. To be honest with both my viewers and more importantly with myself, the past few months have been a struggle with keeping content on the channel going. I absolutely love gaming and I’m not stopping. But unfortunately, the process of creating content does change how I enjoy the games and more importantly how the games help me to destress from a long day. Most of the more mature gamers I know all play games for much the same reason. First before we were older gamers, we were younger gamers…so it’s just been a natural progression over the years. Second, we enjoy the disconnect from life’s stressful moments, if only for an hour or two at a time. The passing of my mom has somewhat awoken me to what matters most in this life we live. I’m not going to get all “philosophical” on you, but will just say that I have an insight on a few things now that I didn’t have a few weeks ago. In one of my last YouTube Farm Sim videos I talked about my health and what I had been doing to get in better shape. Both of my parents suffer/suffered from many of the health conditions I’ve been trying to address through diet and exercise. The sudden passing of my Mother has motivated me to do everything in my power to not follow the same path. As most content creators will know, producing content for YouTube takes time. For now, I’m going to continue to play and enjoy all the wonderful simulation based games I own including Farming Simulator 19, American and Euro Truck Simulator, Car Mechanic Simulator and Flight Simulator. I’m not making any hard decisions regarding the future of the GrizzlyBearSims YouTube channel other than to say that I’m taking a YouTube break for now. However, I’ve always enjoyed writing and I have many additional topics I want to share on my blog site. Actually I just finished a “Basics of VATSIM” flight sim tutorial which I’ve been working off and on since early March. This will release either tomorrow or Wednesday. So if you are interested in getting started with the flight sim multiplayer environment known as VATSIM, then hopefully that tutorial will help you. So for now, I’ll do my best to stay in touch via Discord and over at PC-SG. I’ll re-evaluate things with YouTube in a few weeks or perhaps a few months. Thank you for understanding. Jerry The post Taking a YouTube Break appeared first on PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES - And Farming Too!. View the original article...........
  15. GrizzlyBearSims

    FS19 What do you think

    Found out my issue with the Kuhn baler/wrapper was a dodgy JD 568 round baler I had installed. It was part of a mod pack from Expendables Modding. When deactivated the Kuhn works fine.
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