I fell out of the world more than a month ago. Went on vacation with a rather antique Dell Inspiron laptop (oh, and my partner Rock as well!) and wasn’t able to log in using any of the various Second Life viewers at all. Then, wouldn’t you know it, all our favorite shows started up again, and some new ones started, and I was catching up on stuff via TiVo that I missed when I was inworld struggling with textures or animations or whatnot. I’ve been taking a long, long break from the kind of stress that had me up until 4am working on STEAM hunt gifts.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading my friends’ blogs, or keeping abreast of current events like yesterday’s #adaywithoutProk.
Woops, yesterday was my 4th rezday, too. Oh, well.
I’ve even following along, lamely, with the viewer issues (Crap Mariner’s still firing up Phoenix, but also giving the beta V3.2 a whirl on his older laptop). Well, my laptop has an nVidia GeForce 5500 whatzit thingwhammy, and it was my only way of accessing Second Life my first 2 years inworld. So I was kind of watching the technical issues get ironed out (without actually bothering to dip a toe in the drama pond).
Last night, on a whim, I uninstalled all the various viewers from the laptop, plus some other cruft that didn’t need to be on it anymore, and installed the Dev V3.2 viewer just to see if it would run (nothing newer than the “old” main Viewer 1 worked).
Well, huh. It ran, pretty well, and the framerate was MUCH better than the last version of V2 that was on there. I got the “your laptop is completely inadequate, your video card is unsupported, and you should curl up in a ball in the corner and cry” warning. And the graphics setting was on the lowest level. I didn’t mess with it too much (no tinkering with basic shaders) and I was using a touchpad instead of a mouse, so I couldn’t swing the camera around in the way that usually gar-ron-tees a crash.
But: I didn’t crash, I could move quite well and smoothly, and once the textures loaded, everything looked pretty good.
I don’t see if they have a Firestorm or Imprudence-style onboard AO, but I have a decent non-free one that I use for my 2 main alts, and a very nice free one I stumbled onto for my scamp/inworld tomboy AV, Bug.
In a word, it works, well enough that my next vacation or weekend away won’t necessarily mean a Second Lifeless condition.
And then today I ran across this at The Virtual World Technologist:
More on the dev versions of SL’s Viewer.
A side note, I’m not going to refer to Viewer 2 or Viewer 3. It’s the SL Viewer. V2 was used to note the difference between their old – and now obsolete – V1, but it’s easier to say SL Viewer and SL V1.
The viewer team have done a lot to make this a better viewer than its predecessor. But it still has some bugs. Scrolling is an issue now. It can be very frustrating because pretty much everywhere you would use scroll, you can’t. It’s painful, and Firestorm inherited it in their latest non-public version.
Another digression – you don’t want to use the non-public versions because it means clearing settings and cache on every install. And I install every single day.
The good thing I’m hearing is that LL is going to focus their energies more on existing problems and less on upgrades and improvement. Let’s hope they make good on that.
This is acceptable. There’s positive improvement, there’s movement in the right direction, and I’m feeling the itch again to get back inworld and see some friends. On the other hand, I have to decide whether to chuck my very modest building and SL Marketplace efforts and just embrace my true nature: I’m a casual, and a non-creative.
There, I said it. I’m a casual, and I’m just not that creative. My GIMP “skills” suck, I’m not a scripter, and I don’t have the time or inclination to devote to virtual mastercrafting.
But I’m a really good dancer. And a fun chatter. And I take decent photos if I take the time to really make them nice in GIMP.
Meh, we’ll see, but I hope to hang out inworld in the days and weeks to come. Even if it’s via the laptop from the comfort of the couch.