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Windows 10 (and you thought Second Life updates were chaos!)

I just finished upgrading 4 computers to W10, an adventure to say the least. The play-by-play rundown:

HP Laptop– A pretty smooth transition, Microsoft decided that since it is a laptop I didn’t really want to use the Nvidia graphics. Easy to fix once I found the problem.

Main Gaming Computer– Again pretty smooth. The graphics were all wrong initially but a simple restart and all was well.

[This isn’t so bad, what can go wrong?] When will I learn never even to think that!

The little machine that runs 24/7 keeping 3 bots alive in Brocade– Installation went well. The desktop flashed continuously, impossible to interact with anything! Contacted Windows Support, “Help, call me asap!” They got back to me within the hour and after spending over 2 hours poking around on the computer he deleted every file and folder that even suggested Norton or Symantec. Problem resolved. Reinstalled Norton antivirus and everything was still good. Lesson learned: No matter what Micro$oft says, manually uninstall antivirus first!

The older machine I use for general surfing and graphics while I am in SL– Install would not run at all, error code. Back to Windows Support. This time it took a couple of days for a response. Level 1 tech spent 4 hour before giving up and passing it off to a Level 2 – (2 day wait for him to call back). Another 3 hours of watching the cursor do things “by itself”. Stumped. Call back the next day. After an hour or so, we decided to do a clean Windows 7 installation. Another day while I did that and ran updates half the night. Tech back one more time to validate the installation and I was able to upgrade!!!!

[Whew! Finally all set.] I never learn!

When reinstalling apps I discovered that Windows did not recognize the DVD drive — On Any Of My Machines!!!!!! Back to Tech Support. After a couple of hours figuring things out he solved the problem and gave me a snippet of code to fix it on the other machines.

All told Microsoft invested over 12 hours of Windows Tech Support time getting me up and running. Obviously not sustainable, hopefully they are learning and modifying the install to avoid the problems. I have to give the tech guys high praise, they are overwhelmed atm, working 7 days / week, and yet they were polite, helpful, and very persistent.

As to Windows 10 itself; YAWN Once I turned off the various spyware features and got rid of most of the unwanted tiles and apps, it runs virtually the same as W7. Some people say SL runs better for them, for me it was much the same.


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The Spirit of Second Life

Second Life Past:
Do you remember: Telehubs? — Rubberbanding? — When selecting Help in the viewer menu would access an actual Linden, who would then come to you in world and help? — Swarming penis attacks (green with a Santa hat at Christmas time)? — Weekly grid wide shutdowns so they could “bang on things”? — 88,000 users on line? — Your avatar stuck with her head between her legs and hair & shoes in her ass? — A large bump in users right after Christmas as people got their new computers up and running?

Second Life Present:
We’ve come a long way since those early days but there are still problems to solve:
The Avatar, or should I say avatars. With 3 classes of avatar to choose from (Basic, Linden Mesh and resident creator Mesh) I don’t know how newbies cope. It would help if LL finished their mesh avatar so it is fully adjustable, including all head adjustments and with at least as much facial animation as the default avatar.
Mesh Clothing. What can I say, the present situation sucks! Once you find an item you like it usually will not fit YOUR shape, or your avatar class/type. Shoes often require special mesh feet, which then will not blend with your skin. I could go on and on, it is extremely frustrating. In fairness, the clothes look great once you find something that fits.

Second Life Future:
Oz Linden has been doing a good job of overseeing SL development. He knows the problems and maintains good lines of communication with the resident community. My only concern is that there is a tendency to become enamored of the latest toys and ideas. Oculus Rift and it’s ilk are toys for the privileged and adventurous few. I still doubt that experience tools will have much of an impact on most people’s daily second life.

2015 will bring our first glimpses of a new virtual world from LL “in the spirit of Second Life”. Given that SL pushed the boundaries of what was possible back in 2003, I wonder if today’s Lindens still have that same courage. I remember that few people could run SL flat out, it was clunky, we bought new computers and got better Internet connections, it was only gradually that the world became truly comfortable to live in.
My expectation is that without the sword of reverse compatibility hanging over their heads, the present avatar and clothing problems will be a thing of the past. But will they have the courage to bring us something like this? or perhaps some kind of facial sync like Philip is developing at High Fidelity?
One concern I have is regarding land. Will there be someplace like the Mainland, where we can “own” land (without setup fees!), paying our tier in US$ directly to LL vs. L$ to a landlord who could change his mind at any time . While some people put the Mainland down, those of us who live there find it’s haphazard anarchic community more interesting than the carefully controlled uniformity of private islands.

2015 should be another interesting year for Second Life, I look forward to the adventure.

“It’s a bit like The Matrix . We provide the land, and the community builds the actual world, which gives everyone a huge sense of being pioneers in a great experiment.” Philip Rosedale

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Merchandise and the Lab

This is something I have advocated for YEARS.
Hopefully LL is finally listening.
Inara’s point, near the end, is especially important. We may buy SL merchandise for personal gratification but in the end it will start conversations in RL — how can that do anything but benefit SL/LL?

Inara Pey: Living in a Modemworld

Marketing Second Life is something we all have an opinion about, and as such, Linden Lab has often taken a far amount of flak from users on the subject. I’m as guilty as anyone in this; in the past I’ve been particularly verbose on the subject through posts in this blog such as Business, Collaboration and Creative Growth, Tell me a story: marketing Second Life, and Advertising SL: the machinima effect (the latter of which has been somewhat overtaken by the Lab recognising the power of Draxtor Despres’ The Drax Files; World Makers series.

However, there is another potential marketing strategy the Lab is missing, something which was recently brought home by by a segment of The Drax Files Radio Hour.

During a visit to the Lab’s HQ for the show, Drax had a chat with Shaman and Kona Linden, both of whom were holding items of merchandise available to…

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Toward a “Snappier” Second Life

*Don’t blame me, Snappier is Ebbe’s word for it.
There are 2 major improvements coming which will make rezing faster. Not only in world textures but inventory and almost everything else.
1- CDN is a change in the way the sim servers deliver textures and meshes to you. Right now everything comes to you via the simulators. CDN is basicly a method for getting delivery of many things from “the Cloud”. In other words you will get textures, meshes, and several other things from a server geographically nearer you. The provider LL is using is Highwinds.
CDN has been active on a limited number of regions for a couple of weeks. Our home region, Brocade, was one of the first. It has made a significant improvement in load times.
2- HTTP Pipelining is a change in the way the viewer interacts with the servers (DNS and Region). This requires a viewer change, the Official version should go to a release channel in the next week or so. Inara has informative blog posts. See also the Wikipedia article.
The best thing is that these 2 features complement each other. If this lives up to even half of it’s hype it will be a game changer!
Both of these projects have been in the works for some time, not hidden but mostly of interest to those who follow the technological aspects of Second Life. It is time for the general population to stand up and take notice.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln

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TOSing the (word) salad (or why I think the latest Terms of Service update misses the mark)

Inara offers a well thought out opinion on the latest (non-)changes to the TOS.

Inara Pey: Living in a Modemworld

via From the Sidebar

On Wednesday July 16th the Lab issued an update to Section 2.3 of their Terms of Service. I’ve already provided some feedback on the update and how, thanks to the use of parentheses, it appears to be limited to only addressing the issue of the Lab attempting to sell user-generated content for their own profit; something which is also indicated by the official blog post on the matter being focused solely on that issue as well.

However, there was more I wanted to say on the matter, but which, as an expression of personal opinion, I didn’t want to include in what was essentially a “news” article. So please excuse me if I now take the opportunity of doing so.

I’m actually not at all surprised that the Lab has looked no further than addressing the issue of their selling, reselling or sub-licensing user content. Prior…

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Serendipity posts a well reasoned response to Ebbe’s informal announcement that LL is working on a new virtual world.

Serendipidy Haven's Musings

tomorrowlandThe cat is out of the bag! Although, with the amount of uncertainty, supposition and speculation going around, it’s very much a Schrödinger’s cat… neither one thing or another until Linden Lab decide they’re going to tell us exactly what it is they’ve been working on for the past few years.

One thing is clear, the pundits may be calling the new kid on the block Second Life 2, but that’s something the Lab are not really going to want to encourage – Ebbe has said that the new virtual venture may be in “in the spirit of Second Life”, (we don’t even know if it’ll be a virtual world in the sense we’re used to yet), but is going to far exceed the capabilities and scope of sl, and possibly our expectations too. Whilst we’ve all been mistakenly watching what Philip Rosedale & co have been cooking up over at…

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Thoughts on Philip Rosedale’s keynote speech at SVVR

Well worth taking the time to read.

Mona Eberhardt

svvr-logo-smallOn Monday, I had the opportunity to go to the LEA Theatre and watch Philip Rosedale’s keynote speech at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality (SVVR) Conference & Expo 2014. If I’m honest, I didn’t expect his speech to differ all that much from the one he gave at this year’s VWBPE. (for a summary, please read Inara Pey’s coverage). If you were unable to come to the LEA Theatre to watch Mr. Rosedale’s speech, you can watch the recording here.

Philip Rosedale, former CEO of Linden Lab, now CEO of High Fidelity, Inc., at the Web 2.0 Summit 2005. Image: Wikipedia; image credit: James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media, Inc.Philip Rosedale, former CEO of Linden Lab, current CEO of High Fidelity, Inc., at the Web 2.0 Summit 2005. Image: Wikipedia; Image credit: James Duncan Davidson/O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Now, I suppose most of this blog’s readers are familiar with who Philip Rosedale is. If you don’t know about his career and background, here’s a very short bio. Back in 1995, he founded an innovative video conferencing…

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Lag at SL10B–What we’re doing and what you can do.


This is a rewrite of a blog entry we feature every year. Some matters of lag have changed substantially in SL, and we have tried to address those but the fundamentals remain the same. There are two kinds of lag: server side and client side. We have done *everything* we can beyond telling people not to build or have scripts to lower lag as much as possible. I personally have spent time on each and every sim with graphics on ultra with shadows and smoothing and experienced no lag with the sims having few avatars. The sims are running well.

One of the biggest concerns with any event is the issue of lag. Lag is like the US Federal deficit—it seems to be getting worse and worse and definitely impinges on our enjoyment.

A lot has been written about lag, and there are a lot of myths and half…

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As Inara points out, and Jessica makes clear, there are rules. If you can’t abide by them please wait a few days for the official release!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modemworld

firestorm-logoThe Firestorm team have announced the re-opening of their Second Life release preview group, for those who are interested in assisting the team with identifying potential issues / bugs with new releases of the Firestorm viewer.

The announcement, entitled “Feeling Brave?” from Jessica Lyon, reads in part:

“The perfect understanding of an event after it has happened, often when you realize too late what you could have done to avoid it.” We had one of those moments shortly after our last Firestorm release when we discovered that quite a few users were experiencing a bug that made their screens pink. This bug had slipped past our Quality Assurance team and went out in the official release. The hindsight is that we could have offered a pre-release to a larger number of users than what we have in our beta group. Chances are they would have discovered the bug, we would…

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This is really important! Once this is implemented mesh clothing should “just fit” if it is made to the proper av. No more changing you body to fit your clothes or alpha underwear!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modemworld

Update: Sometimes working on multiple posts to your blog isn’t a good idea. Between drafting and pushing this one, Qarl updated his code, as Cinders points out. Sorry Qarl! Correct link is here

Slightly later than he’d hoped, but keeping to his promise, Qarl has released version 0.3 of the Mesh deformer, stating:

Quick announcement – I’m releasing version 0.3 of the deformer code. Primary changes: 1) should now apply cleanly to recent linden viewer code, 2) deformation tables are computed in the background on another thread, so no frame stalls.

There appear to be a couple of elements missing from the patch – as spotted by Henri Beauchamp in a comment following Qarl’s post, so developers may want to hold-off grabbing the code for a bit.

I’ll be watching the various Viewer blogs for updates to see when the patch is incorporated. It’s likely to…

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