The ORBX Southern Alaska scenery for FSX and P3D is now available. The title is a bit of a misnomer as the product includes the southern Yukon and a chunk of northwest British Columbia as well. Click here for details and download link. Enjoy!
Folks, more screenshots for Southern Alaska (SAK) are available, and more will be, on the ORBX Preview forum. Drop by often.
And for more info on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, drop by Boerries Burkhardt’s excellent fan site.
Here are some shots from the areas I contributed to for this project. These are still beta and not final.
I’ve been making contributions to the new ORBX Southern Alaska project and before too long should be able to post screenshots. My bits have included the Skagway-Carcross corridor, including:
• Skagway cruiseship terminal
• Skagway floatplane base. (7K2)
• Temsco helicopter terminal
• Skagway airport (PAGY)
• White Pass & Yukon train model
• Glacier Station
• Fraser Station
• Bennett Station
• Carcross airport (CFA4)
• Carcross floatplane base (CEB7)
• Carcross town centre including custom buildings and bridges and seasonal objects
• Venus mine site (this one you have to find!)
Got lots of help from Chris Clack, Neil Hill, Alex Goff, Tim Harris and of course Holger Sandmann.
Release date has not been announced, but watch the ORBX site for details.
Took a while, but they figured this out: read here.
For my poetry, which I create at random, I’ve created a new blog. Drop by if you like.
I’ve been using Shaw for internet and cable TV for years. And I’ve been leery of the quality of the Telus Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), especially when the last bit of the feed into my condo is over twisted pair wires originally intended for voice-only telephone. But I noted the picture quality at my son’s (detached) house was quite good with Telus. Further the Telus internet upload rate was claimed to be double that of Shaw’s for the same price.
But my main incentive to explore Telus was my desire to see all the games of the Montreal Canadiens, which would require the French sports network, RDS, which Shaw only offers in Standard Definition (SD). Telus offers the HD feed.
So to make a long story a little shorter, I switched to Telus, despite the dire warnings from Shaw that I wouldn’t get the internet speeds promised, I found that I did get the promised 1Mb/s upload, and 14.5Mb/s download consistently. And I found the following:
- Music channel audio quality (which I use a lot) is much better with Telus, although they do not show the title of the current song playing like Shaw.
- The Telus user interface is more responsive and much easier to use, for example I can filter the program guide to only the channels I am subscribed to, or further to just my favourite channels
- Telus can record 3 HD programs simultaneously as opposed to 2 for Shaw. (Telus does not promise you can get 3 HD, but the software tests the line quality and if it’s good enough, allows this. Otherwise it degrades the capability to SD signals, only promising one or two HD recordings, the balancing being SD).
- The Telus HD PVR hard drive was much quieter.
- It was cool (but useless) to have the caller ID display on my TV screen when the phone rang.
- The Telus PVR doesn’t auto-prompt to extend time on live recordings like Shaw, but does allow a max of 3 hours extra as opposed to 2.
- The Telus PVR storage is vastly larger: 200 HD hours vs. 20 on my four-year-old Shaw PVR. Not an issue for me as I don’t watch much TV.
- Telus offered a free Samsung Galaxy Tablet on a 3-year contract.
- …and finally the picture quality: Telus was much more pixelated and blurry than Shaw on movement in HD scenes (terrible for sports) and the SD quality was appallingly bad, even on static images.
So the Telus technician came back and worked hard on improving the quality, to no avail.
So it’s back to Shaw for TV, but I’ll stick with Telus internet. And hope that Shaw offers RDS HD before the hockey season starts. Bad news is that the quote I got for the package I wanted from Shaw was incorrect, it’s actually $3/month more. Good news is that Shaw is giving me a six-month discount for switching back.
EDIT: So I just had Optik TV disconnected, and I have to say that the Telus customer experience was much better than that with Shaw:
- Telus gave discounts, both on my initial order (took $5/month off on the long-term bundled rate) and even after I cancelled the TV they kept the discount for my remaining Internet service, which I had ordered at the same time and kept. They considered that I had my home phone with them for years as well, and had met my end of the bargain in trying to use all three services, so I got the full bundled pricing. They also let me keep the Samsung tablet.
- Shaw stuck to listed prices and had no wiggle room. One Shaw rep misquoted me and the next rep did not honour that pricing and so I’m paying more for the TV.
- Telus reps were friendlier, more understanding.
- The Telus tech worked his butt off to try and make it work, including giving me his mobile number, and talking to me on his day off
So I’d definitely recommend Telus over Shaw from this point of view. Dang twisted pair!
Many articles today describing the demise of MS Flight development and the Kinect kids game, Project Columbia. Here’s Engadget’s spin. Apparently impacts Vancouver staff, although the Flight team was in Redmond.
Hard to say what this announcement means for the embattled Vancouver terminal, but it looks like a possible competitive service to Harbour Air on the Vancouver-Victoria floatplane route.
Now if that isn’t a gibberish title, what is? But die-hard simmers will understand fully.
Umberto at fsdreamteam (FSDT) has made it clear that their upcoming FSX version of Vancouver International Airport (CYVR) will be fully compatible with Vancouver+ V3 and ORBX FTX PNW. Timeframes are a mystery but I (and many others!) look forward to the release of this long-sought component of Pacific Northwest scenery.
The Vancouver+ support forum has been quite quiet, prompting thoughts that perhaps new sales weren’t that great. But April numbers (no, we don’t divulge them) were better than expected, so that’s gratifying. Obviously people with questions are taking the time to read the stickies and existing posts first. Thanks for your support, and tell your friends!
It looks like this may take years to resolve: Float-plane terminal still up in the air.
You can now purchase V3 or, if you purchased V2 there, upgrade at simMarket.
Vancouver+ V3 is ready for purchase (free for V2 users) at the Silvercloud Publishing store. No foolin’! Enjoy!
Only a few weeks after releasing Microsoft Flight, the company announced today that it is developing the next generation of flight software. Here’s an excerpt from marketing VP Bög Uslãmé’s description of the new product.
“Microsoft has shown a keen understanding of the user experience when it comes to flying airplanes and stuff like that on computers. There’s a certain magic which we have learned to capture, interrogate, channel and evaporate. After developing progressively more intricate software for this market through many versions culminating in Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Microsoft Flight showed that we could simplify the paradigm, reduce the functional and geographic scope, convince ourselves we were broadening our appeal, minimize the UI, and still generate a significant return on investment. All while ensuring that the user thinks they are having fun. So now we’ll take this passionate approach one step further with the realization of a focused vision in our new product, Mi Fli. The name says it all: shorter, ambiguous and stimulating. We anticipate that arguments over pronunciation of the name will provoke flame wars at AVSIM, raising consumer awareness with optimal marketing involvement, ie none. And we’re honored that this will be first product of many from Microsoft using the new ‘Mi’ brand identity.
“The new user-centric feature scope and accessible two-key UI will allow us to minimize customer feedback and the need for infrastructure and support, maximizing the long-term viability of the product. This also eliminates the potential for distracting third-party development enhancements.
“Of course we’ll make optimal use of user attention bandwidth, with a five-minute splash screen and subsequent contorted Windows Live Games sort-of-XBox-but-not-really online validation and ad-push process. At every opportunity our valued customers will be presented with a slideshow to encourage purchase of expansion packs they already have, and others they don’t want. If they do attempt a purchase, lucky users will randomly trigger a hidden gem: ‘Can’t retrieve information from LIVE. Please try again later. Error code 8007271D.’ All part of our playful engagement with our valued customers, further augmented by our proactive Google … I mean, Bing-ranking of searches for that code with irrelevant and misleading KB articles on Zune.
“As always, we won’t specify availability date or features until well after the product is released, but we will publish periodic screenshots and low-res stuttery teasers without explanation that will encourage rampant and inaccurate speculation. But, off the record, based on a reduction in the development team to one half-time employee and the one paragraph feature list, it’s likely the product will be released no later than Thursday. Meanwhile, we’ll give customers attempting to harvest meaningful information from our website the opportunity to ingest content-free team member interviews.
“You might expect the usual discussion, ‘Is it a game? Or is it a simulator?’ to be bypassed through our innovative approach of offering the features of neither. But we know our true die-hard Microsoft … I mean, Mi … fans will still endlessly debate this question.
“From a personal marketing point of view, I’ve found it refreshing to work with half of a malleable gender-free ethnic-neutral location-nonspecific engineering team member who can design to specification without the need for dialog, discussion or any kind of human interaction.
“We’re excited about this cutting-edge next-generation user experience enhancement package. I look forward to Mi Fli being open for business. The future is bright. Join us on our journey.”
Proponents of X-Plane immediately decried the new product, stating, “X-Plane has a much more realistic flight model. And it almost has believable scenery.”
Beta testing is now complete, thanks to a great team of testers. There are a few more hoops to jump through before the product is available. Visit FSAddon for official release news.
For FTX PNW compatibility, patching to SP5 or higher will be a prerequisite.