A Cool Shed Office Conversion

After bringing your attention to Shedworking, a blog for living and working in small places, I had to post this link to an article I stumbled upon over at LifeHacker.  One of their readers, Brian DeHamer, solved his lack of office space in his house by constructing a toolshed behind his garage and converting it to a state of the art office!  The office is fully insulated and complete with multiple monitors, carpet, track lighting, and plenty of storage space. Check it out.

This is very inspiring for my own shed living project.  My plan was to have one of three shed units be a combined sleeping, office space.  One thing I really like about the design above is the ability to isolate yourself from the rest of the living space.  In my current living arrangements, my office and sleeping space is combined, which can make it difficult to work while the wife is trying to sleep.  It might be time to rethink the office/sleeping unit.

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Project Opensky Releases FSX 737 Model Updates

Update 12.1.2010 – Project Opensky has closed, but files and support are being maintained by the Free Sky Project.   See my post on its closure.

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Project Opensky has recently released model updates for their Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 models.  These models have a sweet looking Virtual cockpit that looks stunning. Unfortunately, their download server is busy, so I will share more information when I get a chance to load it in FSX and put it through its paces!

In the meantime, you can check out the announcement > here < . (see FreeSky Project link above)

Update 6/27/08 – Servers are still busy, but I managed to download the 737-700 model.  After loading it in FSX, all I have to say is that it rocks.  The FSX engine and enhancements only compliment this model.  My one concern is that the frame rates take a hit with this model.  One thing I really like is the wing shadow on the fuselage.

I still have not had chance to load the virtual cockpit model.  From the screenshots in POSKY’s forum, it is certainly something to look forward to.

One other note, when installing the FS2004 version in FSX, make sure you change the alias in both the sound.cfg and panel.cfg to the 737_800 defualt.  Otherwise, the model will not show in FSX.

The United Express Brasilia, Brilliant for FS9!

Living on the central coast, I often find myself using Santa Maria or Santa Barbara airports as an alternative to LAX or BUR when I travel. With that said, I have spent many hours as a passenger on the Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop airliner. There is something exciting about watching the engines start, feeling the vibration of props, and the close quarters of the seating arrangements. Yes, riding in a “puddle-jumper” is not for everyone.

For many years, the flightsim community survived without a decent model of the Brasilia. There was Project ERJ for FS2002, but that model lacked something. Then came the now defunct Online Simulations Solutions (OSS) that planned on releasing a basic freeware model and a more inclusive package for FS9, designed by the wonderful Erick Cantu of Vistaliners. While the outstanding freeware model was released, there were very few liveries available due to OSS’s strict repaint policy. But then OSS went under and Erick released his model as freeware as part of the Vistaliner’s collection of flightsim models. To this day, Erick’s Brasilia is still one of the most brilliant models available for FS9.

With the model out, I anxiously awaited painters to fulfill my dream of virtually flying the SkyWest liveries from destinations on the central coast to LAX. Slowly they came and I was satisfied, but then United debuted a new livery in 2004 and I have been patiently awaiting since for the United Express NC Brasilia to come available. I can remember the day I drove by SBA and saw one of these on the tarmac… I was so impressed with how this livery complemented the classic lines of the Brasilia. I really, really wanted to fly it in flightsim, but a quality paint was not availble.

That is until now, thanks to the superb work of Jeffrey Bryner. Available to the flightsim community is N293SW, a Skywest Brasilia wearing the new colors of United Express (pic above). The quality is very high, with superb window representations, excellent detail placement, and those wonderful metal texture engine nacelles. So far, I flew this bird from LAX to SBA and back and am just can’t tell you all how giddy I am to have such a great repaint in my sim. After a good night’s sleep tonight, I will be flying the Santa Maria – LAX route and San Jose – Santa Barbara route. Thanks Jeffrey!

Author: Jeffrey S. Bryner
Filename: skw_n293sw_emb120.zip (avsim)
Size: 2.5MB
Model by: Vistaliners (Erick Cantu)

Shedworking: A Great New Small Living Blog

For those of you who have been following the painfully slow development of my tool-shed living slash dog-trot paper model, you would know that I am fascinated by living efficiently in small spaces and have set a goal to own 200 acres, but live in a sub 1,000 square foot structure.   One day, I did a google search on small living, or something similar and stumbled upon Shedworking, A lifestyle guide for shedworkers.  While focused on those that work in sheds in the UK, the author offers a fascinating collection of “sheds” and the community that surrounds them.

I for one am inspired by the variety of designs and will use some of the ideas as inspiration as I develop my own “shed” design… something more along the lines a dog trot shed (or is its sheds, plural?).  I hope everyone else finds inspiration as well…

Happy Reading!