Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tomorrow, I'll be there...will you?

Three days into AirVenture, and already I've missed a lot! On Monday, Cessna announced their entry into the LSA arena with a proof of concept aircraft to test the feasibility of that section of the market. They also surprised the crowd with a flying demonstration of the Next Generation Piston they intend to produce. I'm very impressed with the sleek lines of this new aircraft, as it appears that composite construction will play a key role in its development.

Tuesday, Honda announced their intentions to mass produce the HondaJet. I can't wait to have a look at this plane. I know that they have been testing this aircraft in Greensboro, NC at their Honda Americas R&D facility. Honda has produced a cool video showing it off too.

Who knows what else will be announced at Oshkosh!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

See you at Oshkosh!

It is with great pleasure that I announce my attendance at EAA's Airventure 2006, all courtesy of the fine folks at Microsoft's ACES Studios! You see, I have been "deputized" as a junior FS evangelist by Hal, and will be lending a hand at the FSX booth at Hangar B Thursday through Sunday, July 27th-30th. I have been penciled in to be at the booth each afternoon from 1-5pm.

There will be a handful of other junior FS evangelists there giving the ACES team a hand in spreading the good word at Oshkosh. They range from ACES alumni, ACES team friends, and current 3rd party developers. Let me introduce you to:

Jon Bach - Jon is Corporate Intellect Manager and Senior Test Consultant for Quardev Laboratories, a Seattle test lab specializing in rapid, exploratory testing. In his ten-year career, he has led projects for many corporations, including Microsoft, where he was a test manager on Systems Management Server 2.0 and feature lead on FS 2004.

Roy McMillion - Roy is an ACES alumnus, once on the test team for FS 98 through FS 2004. You can check out his "about" page to learn more about him. Roy works with Jon at Quardev Laboratories and does aviation photography in the Puget Sound area as a semi-professional hobby.

Glenn Norman & Michelle Goodeve - Glenn & Michelle are a colorful couple from Canada who are friends of Hal. Glenn is an astronomer, writer, and pilot, who is rarely seen without his actor/writer/pilot parter Michelle.

Katy Pluta - Katy is a Microsoft FS MVP (and has been for as long as I can remember) and is on the Project Magenta team. Katy is often found in the flightsim usenet newsgroups, giving a helping hand to those in a bind, and is also known to frequent the Simflight forums as well.

Justin Lamb - Justin is a good friend of mine that I've known for several years, thanks to Flight Simulator. Justin has done many repaints, namely for aircraft produced by Kirk Olsson.

Of course the booth will also be manned by official ACES team members, but they were unable to pull a full compliment away from Redmond, hence their calling in the reserves.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Q & A with Hal "FS Evangelist" Bryan

I just ran across this Q & A session with the new "FS Community Evangelist," Hal Bryan. Here's a pretty good snippet:

Shawn: How big is the team working on Flight Simulator X? How long has the game been in development?

Hal: I’d say the average height is around 1.72 metres . . . and, the team ranges in number from about 40 at its core to upwards of 60 for the last several months to year of development, not to mention our thousands of extraordinarily dedicated external Beta testers.
This is just a small dose of the humor that exudes from Hal and his way with words. Those of you who are going to be fortunate enough to attend EAA's Airventure at KOSH next week, be sure to look out for this guy. You might even see this guy. :)

Eaglesoft a hit at FSX press conference!

According to Paul Lange, the mission guy at ACES, the press conference that was held in Redmond for showcasing FSX (see the AVSIM and Simflight reports) went very well. You can read his thoughts in this blog entry, but I've highlighed one section:

Following the missions piece we covered multi-player, then thrid party support and community and ended with open play. In the third party support segment we installed several FS2004 aircraft to show that backward compatibility will be supported and also showed some aircraft from Eaglesoft that are already FSX exclusively updated. It seems some of the press coverage has cited we will be including some third party aircraft in the box, so maybe showing these aircraft installed in the play test lab gave that impression. If we are shipping third party aircraft in FSX it's news to me (I don't know everything though, so maybe I'm in for a surprize tomorrow).
When I first read the reports of MS including 3rd party aircraft within their boxed package, #1, I was suprised by that news, and #2, I had no idea that they were referring to the Eaglesoft aircraft that was shown during the conference. I'm pretty confident in stating that this was a misinterpretation - or Ron has some 'splainin' to do (in my best Ricky Ricardo voice). Anyway, the aircraft must have made an impression upon everyone - excellent!

[EDIT]According to Paul's last comment, Eaglesoft was the only 3rd party developer who was able to produce FSX compatible aircraft for the press conference!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006


I was browsing one of my favorite news sites today, and found an interesting article regarding a new DNS provider called OpenDNS. Looks pretty interesting to me, and it appears to be catching on according to their stats page, and it's only be publicly "live" today! I'm the worlds worst when it comes to typing in wrong url addresses, being sent to screwy look-alike sites that are laden with pop-ups. These guys actually catch such typos, and fix them before sending you to the wrong site. That is what I call service - oh, and by the way, it's 100% free.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Blowing the dust off...

Man - I'm getting about as bad at keeping up with this blog as some *other* people I know, but I won't go naming any names. I'm sure their reasons are as good or better than mine. Speaking of, what exactly have I been up to lately? Well, a lot actually. Read on...

The week of June 12th thru the 15th, Christy, Christy Lake, and I enjoyed a getaway vacation at Myrtle Beach and also visited my folks in nearby Florence. Christy Lake loved the beach! It appears that this will have to become an annual trip for us - at least to some beach destination. It had been several years since I had been to Myrtle Beach, and a lot of the area had changed dramatically. For once, it didn't appear as though MB had become Ohio - meaning, I saw a lot less of Ohio tags on vehicles than I did when I was back in high school and college. I guess the high price of gasoline has really changed where people vacation. Still yet, there were many out-of-staters there - MB has been a tourist destination for many for a long time, and will be for many years to come. It still amazes me that so many would find it to be such a sought after destination, being only 1 hour's drive from where I grew up (Florence).

Boy it was very hot and humid - we had Alberto to thank for that. Alberto moved thru the area on Tuesday, and dumped its fair share of precipitation upon us. At least it was nice and sunny a day or two while we were beach-side. The visit to Florence later in the week was nice, as my brother had vacation that week as well. We all got to spend some quality time together, including watching my nephew Cameron play his last t-ball game of the season.

The rest of June was business as usual for me - I have been very busy with real work and work associated with Eaglesoft. There has been some really interesting developments with regards to Eaglesoft over the last few weeks as well, most notably being the partnership with Mindstar Aviation for an authentic representation of the GARMIN G1000 avionics package. It will certainly be the pinacle of GA aircraft avionics for the foreseeable future.

News surrounding FSX has been a bit on the dry side lately, but I have a feeling that this spell will soon be replenished with more tid-bits of goodness to wet the palate of the most eager anticipator of ACES studios' latest production. Some have been dissapointed with the lack of new info to come out of exhibits such as the Canadian Aviation Expo and IFC Denver. Speaking of IFC Denver, a great review of it can be viewed over at SimHQ. Many say that MS just hasn't come out with any other good news or let users experience anything other than a few missions at these recent events - very similar to the user experience at E3 back in May. Well, these recent avation and sim related events happened to occur in the particular "window" of development for FSX. I expect to see much more at EAA Oshkosh (more on this later).

This weekend, we are hosting what is known on my wife's mother's side of the family as "Thanksgiving in July." It's essentially where everyone gets together and enjoys a nice meal and conversation, but without the Turkey and dressing. Usually it's hamburgers and hot dogs - but I think this year everyone is being asked to bring a "salad" of some sort, because according to Mary Lake "'s too damn hot to cook." Works for me, as I would be that "cook" if we were doing hamburgers and hotdogs, so salads it will be! It appears that the weather is going to be great with lower humidity levels - guess I need to get the grass cut between now and then, ugh!

Well, that's just about all I can muster for right now. I'll do my best to post more often than I have lately. I also will post images of Christy Lake as soon as I get them uploaded too - I've had several people give me a hard time for not doing this - I'm sorry!

Until next time...