As I’ve shared multiple times on this blog, my full-time day job is in IT. While I work for a very BIG company, my day-to-day job role is within an organization of about 500 employees spread out all over the world. I have about 120 located in the same office I’m in and I do a lot of “hands on” work with these employees and their systems.
Over the years, I’ve grown to really despise Internet Browser toolbars. You know the kind that automatically get installed when you install something. At one time these auto-installs were pretty much only happening with Instant Message applications. But today….everything wants to install a toolbar on your browser. In some cases these toolbars change the behavior of the browser. They are a challenge for anyone in the IT support field. My philosphy at work is the employees I support do not need external IM clients to do their job and certainly don’t need toolbars. I generally remove both before diving into the problem to further troubleshoot.
I heard about a toolbar dedicated to flight simulation. At first glance I dismissed it. My natural instinct regarding a web browser toolbar is bad. I actually closed the website and went on about my business. Within 30 minutes or so I was back on the website looking at the information again. I decided I could be wrong in thinking that all web browser toolbars are created equal. I downloaded, installed and after 5 minutes I was glad I did.
The Flight Sim Toolbar is pretty cool. It has helped me tremendously catch up with all the various web URLs and such to sites I may have visited 5 years ago or sites that have come online within that period of time. It’s all right here and just a click or two away. The toolbar features direct links to sites like Avsim, Flightsim and VATSIM. There is a button dedicated to Virtual Airlines and includes links to over 300 different VA’s. You’ll also find links to assist in your flight planning with everything from charts, fuel calcs and routes. Weather info? Yep, the Flight Sim Toolbar has all your WX needs covered. There’s also an extensive list of flight sim product links. It’s all right there and incorporated into your browser. The Flight Sim Toolbar works with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.
I installed the Flight Sim Toolbar on my main flight sim PC and on a laptop which sits close by. On this laptop I run FSCommander and also use it to look at various charts and such along the route. You can visit the Flight Sim Toolbar directly on their website located athttp://flightsimtoolbar.com or visit their Facebook fan site. They guys behind this project are actively taking suggestions and making updates on a regular basis. Perhaps they will develop an iPad App next?? That would be cool.
Speaking of iPad apps. I will very soon blog about my experiences with an iPad app designed to help take some of the clutter out of your home cockpit. I know it has helped me and I’m confident it will help you as well.
Until next time,