Quick Review: X-Plane 11 (Should You Buy It?)

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Cessna 172SP X-plane 11 over Arcata, CA

This post is a quick review of my experience using X-Plane 11.

X-plane 11 is an advanced flight simulator by Laminar Research which utilizes modern 64-bit architecture found in today’s computers along with the latest GPU’s and CPU’s.    I will list the pros and cons I found in using the X-Plane 11 Demo and ultimately purchasing the complete X-plane 11 simulator on Steam.

This quick review represents my experience after running X-plane 11 on an older computer.

My Computer Specs: CPU- AMD Phenom II 945 Quad Core, MEMORY- 8 gb ram, GPU- GTX  750ti OC 4gb memory, HARD DRIVES- Two 500 gb, One 250 gb

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Pros/What I do like

User Interface (UI): 

Pleasing to the eyes.  The UI in X-plane 11 has been given a complete and welcome overhaul from past versions of the sim. Old and new users will find the settings easier to navigate and understand. Whether configuring a joystick, flight yoke or tweaking the sim’s graphics, the simple sliders, added search function and visuals make configuring X-plane 11 to your liking fun and intelligent.  I personally enjoy the new layout and views for displaying aircraft, airports, weather and the visual representations of various flight yokes and joysticks simply wonderful.

Lighting: 

Impressive. The lighting in X-plane 11 is amazing and in my opinion, more realistic than ever.  I have been using X-plane 10 global the past few years and after first running the X-Plane 11 Demo, I immediately noticed a vast daylight improvement over the previous version of the sim.  The sun is more dynamic and bright, with better rendered shadows as one would expect on a bright sunny day.  At night, HDR lighting adds more realistic vibrant lights on cars, buildings, aircraft and runways.  (Need a good graphics card for this at least 4 gb of ram)

Sound:

Good. Aside from ATC audio, general environment and aircraft sounds are quite realistic and pleasing.  Audio for default X-plane 11 aircraft is generally acceptable.  I have found aircraft audio mostly depends on the aircraft you fly and the original quality whether payware or free.  (As expected payware aircraft tend to be more realistic both visually and audio-wise)

Clouds: 

Clouds appear to be softer and whiter in X-plane 11 but my FPS did take at least a 10 point frame rate drop when flying in heavier fog/cloud layers.  Clear skies it is.

Frame-rates (FPS):  

I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in frame-rates in X-plane 11 over X-plane 10.  (Settings for my machine are 4x anti-aliasing, HDR High,  Shadows on,  Scenery Options Medium -Low,  Reflections off. ) My system is quite old but even with my older processor and the GTX 750 ti 4gb I was able to hover around 30fps when flying in my hometown  (KEKA, KACV)*.   At these settings within the Demo Area I was able to get around 22-23 fps, clear day and even better FPS at night. )

Graphics/Autogen: 

Overall the default textures for terrain, buildings, road-networks, airports etc. are fantastic in X-plane 11.  Days (and nights) are more realistic  than ever in X-plane 11 with the new haze (particle system?)  that has been added to the atmosphere.   As mentioned before, HDR lighting makes street lights, runways, and aircraft lighting look real.  Yes I enjoy lights. With a decent graphics card (the more memory the better)  visual settings and lights will look great in your sim.  The trains/traffic have even been updated in X-plane 11 too!

Addons and Tweaking

If you like tweaking,  modding and using addons you will love X-plane 11 because adding custom content is a breeze in X-plane11.

Note for new users:  Some default airports in X-plane 11 will not include buildings but updated airports which include buildings, hangers and terminals are being added to X-plane via updates.  Find out about the airport gateway hereBuild/improve airports with World Editor (WED)


Cons/What I don’t like

 

User Interface (UI): 

While completely enjoy and welcome to new easier to navigate and appealing layout of the UI, I still find myself wishing I could control certain settings.  For example I would like to be able to disable birds, deer and boats. I see no options to disable those.  And if fire and balloons still exist within the game (haven’t seen them yet in X-plane 11) a disable option for those too.  I would also like to be able to control the number of cars on the road separate from the number of buildings.  For me this for cosmetic and a realistic stand-point.  (My town has many roads, but very few cars.)

Sounds: 

ATC in X-plane 11 make work more realistically than in it did in previous versions of X-plane but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried it yet.  I find the synthesized voice that is used completely unbearable to listen to.   Some default aircraft such as the helicopter produces some wonky rotor sounds which sound more mechanical than realistic.  Screeching tires sounds are better but still exist in the default Cessna 172 which I don’t like.

Steering/ Controls: 

It might be just me, but I find the steering/rudder controls of the default Cessna 172 and helicopter erratic and difficult to control on take-off.  New users may have some difficulty at first.

Clouds

While generally clouds and fog in X-plane 11 are good we know they could be improved visually in terms of their shape, definition and overall appearance.  Thunderheads and storm clouds should appear like tall menacing thunderheads (cumulus cloud) rather than layers of stratus.   Contrails in X-plane 11 need fixing (see my comments in graphics section below).

Graphics:

Of course the visuals can always be improved and I know the X-plane developers are working hard on so many awesome aspects and improvements for X-plane 11, including realistic clouds and autogen.  However, aside from unrealistic ATC audio, two areas that really distract my flying is the terrible rendition of airline contrails when viewed at a distance and the deer/birds.  Right now X-plane 11 is showing black/grey contrails which are hardly realistic.  The first time I saw it I thought the plane was on fire.  I will be looking forward to new longer and actual white aircraft contrails (as seen in FSX) which would improve the visuals greatly in X-plane 11.  Being able to disable unrealistic looking deer and birds on the runway would be fantastic.  Thank you Laminar Research.

 


Final Verdict/Should You Buy X-plane 11?

If you love flight sims such as FSX, than yes of course you should buy X-plane 11.  X-plane 11 runs better and the atmospheric visuals are impressive.  In addition, the improved UI  and the realistic lighting is enough to give this simulator an emphatic positive recommendation from me.  However, I also recommend first trying out the Demo for X-plane 11 before you spend the money on the full version (either on Steam or via X-plane.com).   With the demo version you will be able to see how well (or poorly) the sim runs on your particular machine while you experience the new user interface, flight controls, included aircraft and weather and lighting systems this great flight simulator provides.

Final note:  X-plane 11 is always being updated and improved.  Users can opt in or out of beta’s releases of the simulator if that is something that interests you.

 

*KEKA/KACV –  as of this posting these default airports did not feature airport buildings/hangers but I did add custom created content in my game.

 


Disclaimer:  The opinions and information expressed in this review are my own and are based on my own experience only.  These views or opinions are not intended to represent Laminar Research nor any of the developers of X-plane 11 in any way.

 


X-plane 11 Official website

X-plane 11 community

X-plane 11 on Steam

Movies everyone should watch before they die

Get Hope

Find me on Steam


Images are my in-game screenshots from default X-plane 11.05

 

 

 

 

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Review: Sharper Image Virtual Reality Viewer for Smartphones

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Sharper Image Virtual Reality Headset Model no. 1003469

Without a focus ring or any ability to focus, apps and images are blurry when using the Sharper Image VR viewer (Model no. 1003469).

I purchased this particular viewer on sale for $20 (suggested retail $50).  So at this price point a lower quality product is expected.  Lower cost in this case means the product is made of plastic materials and the product is made in China.  This VR viewer features a cushion around lenses and fits all sizes and model of smartphones whether you have an Android or iOS phone.  The biggest trouble is the lack of a focus ring.  Without the ability to focus images, this product in my view, is virtually useless.

For this product I give it 1 STAR (out of 5)


 

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More options removed: Apple Takes Away Option for Touch ID on iPhone X

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Why would Apple take away the option for Touch ID on the iPhone X when Touch ID was working quite well before? In fact, I think it’s a mistake on their part.  It’s great when a company decides to enhance their products by making them better.  But it’s completely unacceptable when a company (Apple in this case) decides to remove proven features from their product in order to promote another idea.  (This practice is common in gaming and it stinks for the consumer.  Think SimCity 2013 or the Sims 3 to Sims 4. )

So why did Apple choose to replace touch ID with face ID? They might have many  excuses including “Face ID is the future of technology” but we know their reasoning really boils down to one main goal:  Control.

Less Options More Control

Apple, like Google and Microsoft want control over us the consumer.  These big mega technology companies want to control our lives and do I dare say, create our lives.  If a company can control our media, content and the devices we use, it’s fair game in their view for how they implement them into our lives.  Doubt this?  Ever noticed how they control the default news sources we see on our devices?  (Yes, left leaning news sources are the norm on Microsoft, Google and Apple.)

Hey Apple, What Happened to Consumer First?

Of course if control weren’t their top priority we would see them keep great ideas from the past intact (no matter their age) but most importantly they would put the consumer first, always give us options and stop cramming their views down our throat.

Apple could have implemented touch ID into their new iPhone X.  But since they want to control and shape how people use their device they removed it completely.  In the case of whether or not Apple decides on bringing back touch ID to their new iPhones, I will be watching to see how consumer friendly they choose to be.

What do you think? Should Touch ID be incorporated along side Face id into the new iPhone X?  Do you think Apple will bring back Touch ID?


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Who is Equisolar, Inc. anyways? Shady Sales Tactics Put Up Giant Red Flag

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The company Equisolar, Inc. sent a salesperson to my door the other day claiming I had made an appointment at 2:00 pm for a consultation…,er sales pitch to install solar panels on my home.  The trouble is, there was no actual appointment made nor was there any discussion about it. In fact I hadn’t even heard of this company before.  My wife told me they had repeatedly left recorded messages on her phone but no appointment had been set by her either.

The friendly salesman gave me a company flyer which also included the company address.  Now Equisolar, Inc. claims to be located in southern CA (specifically Encino).  Okay.  I live in the north part of the state (nearly 1000 miles away).  No big deal you say? except one company rep on the phone told my wife they were local.  Local to who? Southern Cal?  The nice salesman also inexplicably had some of my personal information which according to my wife she had not provided either.  Could Equisolar be another aggressive telemarketing company?

I decided to do a little internet exploration on Equisolar, Inc.  The Better Business Bureau shows the company in good standing. But that isn’t entirely reliable since the BBB is paid by the businesses to appear on their site. Can we all say “conflict of interest”?  But I digress.  More online investigation shows a smattering of positive and negative reviews for Equisolar.  On some sites like the BBB and Facebook—mostly negative.  Now it’s true positive reviews are great for any company and it’s those positive reviews a company would hope to receive in order to positively represent and reflect their business practices.  But as a potential customer I want to be sure I am dealing with a reliable, honest and trustworthy company.  That is why it’s not only positive reviews I’m  interested in. So when I found multiple claims about the company not returning phone calls, treating customers unfairly, or that a salesman arrived to meet for an appointment that was never approved……….I think it’s only natural to become wary.

So let us briefly recap what we’ve learned.  A salesman from Equisolar holding my personal information and address arrives to my home unannounced. He claims to have an appointment with my wife and I for a consultation.  Online company complaints mention poor customer service, phones going unanswered, robo-like calls and incomplete installations with a few highly suspicious positive reviews thrown in the mix.

Now, I will probably never know if Equisolar provides a great service and can be completely trusted or not because as far as I’m concerned their initial sales tactics are not only a huge shady turn-off but they also displayed a giant red flag with the words, “RUN AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY AS FAST AS YOU CAN”.

Have personal experience with Equisolar?  Feel free to comment below.


Movies to watch before you die


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Apple iOS 11.1 battery life drain

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Apple’s iOS 11.1 drains battery faster than you can say dead battery. Okay so a bit of an exaggeration perhaps but as many iPhone users have experienced, iOS 11.1 shortens battery life significantly among other things.

On my iPhone 5s for example even when using low power mode I find a 20% battery drop in just a few hours on standby! In my opinion this is unacceptable especially when previous iOS versions lasted much longer.  Maybe the culprit is iOS 11’s new Wi Fi auto on feature.  Whatever is causing this battery drain it’s annoying and I hope Apple fixes it soon.

 


Have you seen it? Audacity the movie

Hitler and abortion link? Watch this

 

 


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Revisiting Target’s Transgender Policy and this Hot-button Issue

It’s hard to believe it has been nearly a whole year since Target’s transgender policy and boycott beganThat was then.  This is now.

UPDATED 10/19/17

The following story is as disturbing as it is disgusting and definitely not for anyone who would rather ignore the truth.

Now take a look at what happens when people allow the transgenders to pretend to be something other than what God has created them.

 

My original post continues below


Yes, Target was my favorite store until management decided to advocate for men entering the women’s bathroom.   Many believe a boycott is ineffective and I believe it might be in terms of  deeply “hurting” the merchant’s bottom line.  However as a matter of conviction, for me not shopping at Target has been a public statement proclaiming a disagreement in an anti God store policy.   Target’s bathroom policy of course puts kids in danger of perverted men masquerading as women but most importantly it is a sin against God.    Yes, a surgery or surgeries to the human body and manipulating hormones does not change what God has already ordained from birth.  We all know this to be true but as the CEO’s of Target are proving, many will try to pretend it isn’t so and that God is not in charge.

I first posted about the Target boycott here.  Now consider another post of mine.

I suggest a better way of reaching Target and anyone is to start by watching a movie called Audacity.   If you haven’t watched it already check it out here.

Someone in top management of Target made the decision to allow men to use the woman’s bathroom and vice versa.  Many people agree with this and because it’s sin (see the Good Person Test) against God what needs to happen is a change of heart.   Do boycotts change hearts?  No.   Who changes hearts?  God.

Headed for Hell

People at Target or not are all headed on a path to hell because of crimes against a holy God.   Yes, (there’s a long list) and we’re all doomed unless there’s a way of escape.     See the good person test.     There is hope however and it’s not man-made. God through Jesus Christ is the only escape and Savior from hell and judgment to come.   Are you ready?

Let’s get the word out about this movie.   If you work at Target or anywhere share it with your co workers, family and friends.    And top CEO’s at Target, have you watched Audacity yet?

 

 


Related

My Previous Post about Target Boycott

Target’s boycott began

Boycott impact on Target sales

fullyfreefilms.com

 


 

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Dodger Magic Continues: 2017 Continues to Be Great Year to be a Dodger Fan

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UPDATED 10/19/17

Dodgers win the National League Pennant

The Los Angeles Dodgers have just won the 2017 National League Pennant by beating the Chicago Cubs 11-1.  The rout was highlighted by three home runs, one of which was a grand slam, from Enrique Hernandez.  Get full details here.


 

 9/10/17

As this post proves, human beings do not know the future.  The Dodgers have now lost the last 15 out of 16 games and 10 in a row.  I remember when we asked, will the winning ever end?  Now we ask, will the losing ever end?

 


Dodgers Sweep the Giants with magic walk-off win in the 11th inning.  The walk-off win wasn’t your average amazing walk-off either.  The Dodgers debuted a rookie by the name of Kyle Farmer who doubles in the bottom of the 11th inning with two men on, to seal the win and sweep.

In the past I have been critical of the Dodgers management for not fixing the pitching staff (specifically the bullpen).

 


Well, it might be an understatement now but 2017 is shaping up to be a great year to be a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  With the Dodgers who currently possess the best record in Major League Baseball, while they continue to break records within the organization for wins and team leaders, it might also be an understatement to mention the Dodgers are playing really well in 2017.

And for Dodgers fans everywhere, it gets better.  To be a fan of the Dodgers in 2017 is to watch their arch-rival SF Giants cling to dead last in the National League west division standings.  For us Dodger’s fans, it is a beautiful thing to watch as the Giants flounder day in a day out while the Dodgers win and break records.

And why are the Dodgers winning?  The Dodgers have an abundance of All-star players, Rookies and raw talent.  Take Rookie sensation Cody Bellinger and players Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Alex Wood, Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, Kenley Jansen, Rich Hill, Logan Forsythe, Yasmani Grandal, Joc Peterson, Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes,and Chase Utley for example.  What a year they all are having!  Okay, let’s take the entire team and watch as each game means a different hero to take center stage.   Recently, we’ve seen Justin Turner claim top spot for batting average while Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger (among others) provide that much needed hit when it counts in the bottom of the ninth.

So ask me if it’s exciting to be a Dodgers fan in 2017?  That would be an understatement

 

Go Dodgers!


Dodgers Win Pennant

From MLB: How the 2017 Dodgers stack up against other MLB teams

From the LATimes – Kyle Farmer’s Walk-off Win

Dodgers Win 8th Straight with Rookie Farmer’s walk-off to sweep Giants

Walk-off Wonders

Dodgers Baseball

Dodgers keep rolling

Win Streak at 11

FullyFreeFilms


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iOS 11.1 showing strange bright border on iPhone 5s

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I haven’t seen it before updating to iOS 11.1 but it’s now showing up–a whitish bright border appearing in apps with white backgrounds such as Notes or Calendar.  In addition to a bright border on my iPhone, the phone’s battery life as seen a significant drop since updating to iOS 11.1.  I hope Apple fixes these issues, after all the year is 2017.

It should be noted, this strange border has not appeared on my iPad updated with iOS 11.1.

Do you have the bright border appearing on your iPhone or iPad?

Let me know in the comments below.


 

Strange behavior of iOS 11

Audacity Movie


image source is my own

Harvey Weinstein is the Face of Hollywood (and the left)

 

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If the name were Donald Trump instead of Harvey Weinstein we’d see a left-wing media and Hollywood frenzy of glee.  And why? Simply because they are hateful of God and love their immorality.  Hollywood elites have made a god to suit themselves which allows for such immorality.

However, this story isn’t about Donald Trump but rather Harvey Weinstein.

So what does Hollywood do in a case like this? Cover-up and cover-up some more. And even when the truth is revealed after years of cover-up, they attempt to cover-up their cover-up because their worldview dictates it.  Will Hollywood and the Democrat party ever come clean?

So who is Mr. Weinstein?  Publicly, he is a Hollywood big-wig mogul, Democrat party donor and producer.  And now we know Mr. Weinstein is none other than a sexual predator who used his power to manipulate and control people.  He is nothing less than a bully on a grand scale.  Unfortunately, because of who he is, much of his inappropriate acts of sexual abuse and harassment was ignored and probably landed on deaf ears.

Of course these are things many of us on the outside already know about the worldview of Hollywood and of the Left.  We know about their blatant defense of a religion that believes in honor killings, abuse and mistreatment of women.  We know about their hatred and antagonistic views toward Christians and Jews (namely due to their hatred of the God of the Bible). We know about the atrocious acts of murder seen in abortion which Hollywood defends publicly and in who they vote for.  And let us not neglect to tell about the content they endorse.  We see it everywhere–the sexual innuendo against women, vulgarities and immorality that permeates their TV shows, movies and games.   Yes, Hollywood and many on the left may want (and try) to deny this ugly reality but sooner or later the truth has a way of catching up.  When you least expect it, the Harvey Weinsteins of the world show up and expose the truth.

And yet, there is still time for us all to repent.

“These times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

 

 

 

 

 


There is hope

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Tammy Bruce: The smug bigotry of Trump-haters

Weinstein and Democrat ties

Dean Cain on Harvey Weinstein

Hillary Clinton and Harvey Weinstein

Stories of Harvey Weinstein

Five women accuse journalist and ‘Game Change’ co-author Mark Halperin of sexual harassment

 


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Twitter Attempts to Hide the Ugly Truth About Abortion

 

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In a not surprising move by Twitter, the social media giant tries to suppress the truth about abortion. While most everyone already knows abortion is nothing less than cold-blooded murder of billions of babies, not everyone would like you to know.  The latest case by Twitter to hide this gruesome reality was seen when Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn posted a campaign video about Planned Parenthood’s practice of abortion. In her campaign ad, she boldly states, “I’m 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts — thank God.”

The details were clear about the disgusting reality that abortion is and Twitter blocked her video.  In a statement made by Twitter they said, “the sale of baby parts” was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”

And of course it should evoke a strong negative reaction. Abortion is the gruesome practice of murdering babies.  What could be more ugly and offensive than the murder of the innocent?

The question is why would Twitter block the truth? Is it that Twitter along with other large media outlets, actually believe murder is okay? After all, they have gone to great lengths to defend Planned Parenthood in the past.

Now if the Twitter CEO’s had a strong moral compass, I would expect a strong statement speaking out against the ugly practices of Planned Parenthood with abortion, along with any murder of innocents. God hates murder. Remember, the command “You shall not kill.”  Maybe that is also why so many people today hope God’s commands and His messengers would disappear.

” If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NASB)


Twitter blocks campaign ad revealing ugliness of abortion

Twitter and Planned Parenthood

Thinking of having an abortion? Watch this before you decide!

Hope

Watch it! See what hope looks like!

Audacity Movie – See what hope looks like before it’s too late

Support the making of Police 10-13


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