Saitek software, sticking points
The Saitek programming software is EASY. It's not all that powerful and getting it to do more complicated tasks in certain games can be a chore, but it is far and away the easiest software we've used when it comes to programming basics like assigning keys to buttons. For those of you who don't fly in hardcore flight sims, most sim pilots prefer to program their joystick buttons to keyboard strokes, rather than programming the game to recognize joystick buttons. This makes it easier switching between sticks if you should upgrade, and permits macro programming. This way, a player can switch radar modes, arm a bomb and drop it with just a single button press - or perhaps switch crew members, open the bomb bay doors and drop a bomb. It's also possible to program the length of time a button is virtually pressed and how long until the next key press.
Hell Time Hunter
There is no scripting language, however, and experienced users will find themselves increasing limited by the capabilities of the Saitek programming software. On the bright side (if you pardon the pun), it permits the user to lower the intensity of the LED lights on the stick and throttle. It's also easy to calibrate every axis and test all the buttons and hat switches. Saitek's software allows the player to set virtual dead zones, in case the stick or throttle or trim wheels are being unnecessarily twitchy.
The coolest feature of all is the ability to load program profiles on the fly. There's no need to Alt-tab out of a game or anything like that. As long as the profiles are set up beforehand, the player can engage the clutch button (on the lower throttle wheel) and use the lower hat switch on the joystick to switch between program profiles (which are identified by their filename). It's even possible to switch between folders, which can get confusing and is a feature that we suspect most new players could do without. Although modes, which the X52 also has, aren't a new feature, this dynamic profile switching is. It's particularly useful for me personally in World War II Online, where I can load profiles for aircraft, tanks and ships. More complicated simulations, like Falcon 4.0 or perhaps Lock-On: Modern Air Combat, could also benefit from separate profiles for different aircraft as well.