Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Unintended connotations

Am I alone in seeing the name Utherverse and thinking it's a RPG set in the world of King Arthur?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Maybe not a wizard prang, but...

I'm away from home, and SL 2.0 Beta doesn't work and play well with the computer I have access to for some reason. It crashes in pretty short order with unfortunate regularity. (Apologies to friends I've been talking to and then abruptly leaving--this is why that's happened.)

I hope that LL can find and correct the problem--I do send the dump information in.

UPDATE: I'm back home, and just crashed immediately after IMing a dear friend--I'm so sorry, Susyn! I hope this doesn't become common.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I was unable to access my Google account for a day. Very scary, but I think it's OK now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, shucks!

Two shucks:
  1. The Ubuntu graphic hasn't switched to a countdown yet.
  2. Fiddling with the settings in Gwyneth's article haven't done anything to make my eyes visible.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Graphics-related options on the 2.0 Beta

As an SL resident, you really, really want to read Gwyn's Home, Gwyneth Llewelyn's blog... and if I were smarter, I'd be keeping up with it better, and wouldn't have just discovered her March 5th post, "SL 2.0 Beta still running too slowly on your Mac? No worries!"

I don't have a Mac, but it's still well worth reading. I will be experimenting with the settings just as soon as I can. Thank you, Gwyneth!

Friday, March 19, 2010

So close...

I zoomed out on the map, picked a place at random that had a number of people present, and teleported there. I found myself in a campfire (eek!), but got out and went exploring where I ended up, a sim called Nuba. I forgot all about seeing what all the people were doing—with that many, it was probably a place I wouldn't want to go anyway—when I saw this wonderful scene, and I had to take a picture.

Just for a comparison, I should've turned off shadows and taken another picture, same POV, same time of day, same Windlight setting. I'm sure it would be far less immersive.

OK, so we have a lovely landscape photo. (Hey, if you take enough pictures, some of them have to turn out good, right?) The only problem is... if I put a person in, thanks to VWR-17063, it would turn into an instant horror show, because the subject's eyes wouldn't rez. Unfortunately, shadows (technically "deferred rendering") is officially an experimental feature in the SL 2.0 client—nearly two years after work started on it—and I fear that the JIRA entry will be marked "resolved--wontfix". Take a look at what can be done in SL with shadows (e.g. Dirk Schooner's gorgeous video of a matsuri in Hosoi Ichiba), and if you are so inclined, please vote for the JIRA entry.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Two days to go...

On March 18th, there will be reason to celebrate after St. Patrick's Day, because the beta release of Ubuntu 10.04, "Lucid Lynx", will be available. You'll know when it happens because the Ubuntu graphic in the right-hand column of the blog will change over to a countdown to the official release, scheduled for April 29th.

I've been running Alpha 3 (not, as they say, on a production machine), and it looks nice. If you're tired of brown, you'll be happy. :)

UPDATE (March 19th): the beta was held back a day to get fixes for a couple of nasty bugs in; expect the beta some time today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Immediate Nostalgia

From back in the old days, i.e. about five weeks ago, when I had to do screen captures to get images with shadows turned on, and trees and arches and windows flickered in and out of existence as I moved my POV around, but at least I could see my eyes!

Seriously, even if you aren't interested in clothing, go to caLLie cLine's store in caLLiefornia just to admire the glorious architecture and decor. (You'll be interested in the clothing soon enough.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

About that last photo...

Yes, there were harsh shadows in it--my face was in the shadow of my hat.

That's a bad thing, or it would be if the photo were taken for a reason other than to provide evidence for a JIRA entry. But where SL is concerned, it's a good thing, because it means that SL is a better environment.

Consider the musical analogy.

A sampling-based musical instrument, when you do whatever it takes to play a note on it, plays back a recording, possibly modifying the gain or picking one of several samples based on how hard you strike the key or blow into a breath controller or whatever. The person who has the most control over that note, though, is the nameless person actually played the instrument that got sampled.

There's another kind of instrument, though--it does what is called "physical modeling." It actually solves the differential equations that describe the behavior of the instrument in real time, and it takes the same inputs that the instrument being modeled takes. That means it's possible to play it badly!

Oh, you can play a sampling instrument badly--you can hit the wrong notes at the right time, or the right notes at the wrong time. But the individual notes will be exemplary notes of their kind as played by a good instrumentalist. You can't play a sampling instrument badly in all the ways you can play the real instrument badly--but you have full control over the physical modeling instrument, so you can play it badly.

So my ability to take a bad picture in SL means that SL itself is improving!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The plot thickens...

I would've sworn I saw it the other day, but I was on a wildly gyrating hovering dancing disk. Now I have proof. For some reason, now I can see other people's eyes, but not my own using the 2.0 Beta with shadows enabled. *scratches virtual head*

P.S. This suddenly reminded me of Jonathan Coulton's classic "Re: Your Brains"; is LL more unreasonable than the zombie coworkers of that song? :)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Must-read on women in open source

Do read Amy Vernon's article about groups that are doing something to encourage more women to get involved in open source software.

Friday, March 05, 2010

nvidia users, check your driver version! reports "If you're using an Nvidia graphics card you should check your drivers, as there is a chance the newest drivers could cause your card to overheat during World of Warcraft, the Starcraft II Beta, or even Warcraft III." They link to BlizzPlanet, which in turn refers to threads on the nVidia forums. The (Windows) driver they refer to is 196.75. The latest version available in a PPA for Ubuntu is 195.36; I am very hesitant to try it now.

P.S. How much sooner might this have been found and fixed were the nvidia driver open source!

It's not just me...

Other people have found that the 2.0 beta doesn't render eyes if shadows are turned on.

I hope this is corrected soon. I'm right on the edge of being able to take pictures with shadows enabled, without having to worry about parts of buildings or trees vanishing...

UPDATE: Oh, yes. If you have anything to add that might be of help in diagnosing the problem, please add it to VWR-17063.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Photos with Shadows

Just to show it works: I took this photo with the 2.0 beta client. The shadows are there to hide the problem of the disappearing eyes. The subject, of course, is the beautiful and talented Foxbean Liebknecht.

Now, if I could only see the eyes...