Thursday, September 29, 2011

New club seeking employees

A long-time friend of mine, Synamon Kinsei, has taken up the job of managing a new club in Second Life, and seeks employees. After the break is the application form for those who might wish to apply.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trying to narrow it down...

So... I have created a JIRA entry. VWR-27041, for the problem I have in which the SL client allocates all available RAM and then crashes. The symptoms have shown up before, vide VWR-2840; for all I know it's the same issue.

I have learned one thing: it doesn't look like it's a 64-bit versus 32-bit issue. I installed 32-bit Linux (Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 2) on a spare computer, and it did the same darn thing--allocate all the RAM in sight and then crash. (It was nice to be able to hear streaming audio, though.)

I hope someone will find a solution; this is getting old.

UPDATE: It's now been assigned to a Linden, and "fix version" is now  "Sprint 29"--we'll have to see how hard it turns out to be to diagnose. I will provide any info I can. I'm hopeful that it will finally get killed, which will just leave the job of pleading with some TPV folks to incorporate the fix.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unhappy Campers

SH-2374, the request to add a facility that will allow mesh clothing to take into account shape parameters other than just the skeleton, has had its status changed from "sprint 28", i.e. to be done in a particular "sprint" (that's an agile programming term; more details here), to "someday/maybe".

People are not happy. That includes me; as people have repeatedly pointed out, not having that capability makes mesh clothing highly impractical. So far, Second Life clothiers have for the most part gotten away with "let's pretend one size fits all" clothing, with the occasional scripted skirt or shoe as exceptions. Unlike painted-on texture clothing, with mesh clothing you have two choices:
  • do things the way they're done in RL; make them in multiple sizes
  • have some facility like that of SH-2374, so that one master template will adapt to your shape when you put it on
Clothiers do not want to have to do the former; customers have put up with the problems of texture and attachment clothing so far, but won't tolerate clothing that their body pokes through. Without something like SH-2374, mesh clothing will not catch on, and that would be a shame.

UPDATE: Thanks to Charlar Linden for posting a comment on SH-2374. Lest I give a wrong interpretation, here it is in its entirety:
waves hands to get everyone's attention
Hi everybody,
First, because we've wrapped the Mesh release 2 project, we're moving items into other backlogs. We don't have any subsequent dedicated mesh project planned so _all_ remaining items, including this one, will end up on our general viewer or the server backlogs.

This does not mean anything as extreme as some residents have assumed. The fact that the backlog is called "someday/maybe" means that it's something we want to do, but can't commit to a timeframe yet.

We did some investigation into the problem that Maxwell's solution attempts to solve. We're doing some more research and prototyping, trying to find a solution that might be faster/easier to implement. We have Top People on it.

As we said in the Usergroup, we'll have the results in about two weeks. At that time we'll update this ticket and also talk about it in the usergroup.

I can't promise anything - we might come back and say 'no', we might say 'yes, but later' and we might say 'here's what we doing'. We might say something i haven't thought of yet.



Monday, September 26, 2011

Beautiful top from Bad Kitty

A while back I put up a photo as part of a review of the vString prim breasts included Bad Kitty's gorgeous "Tied Up" top, but didn't show the top off as it deserves. Here's a photo that shows the top in all its beautiful detail:

I really love this top.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back to normal

Yesterday Whimsy underwent some turmoil. I didn't see the worst of it, but what I saw was scary enough; lots of painstaking work vanished. *shudder*

Thank goodness all has been restored.

It's a good time to urge you, Gentle Reader, to visit the wonders of Whimsy. I'm very grateful that you can do so; thank you, Linden Lab, for rolling the sim back.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Freedom of Choice

OK. We're getting serious here.

If you've read this blog, you know that I use Linux, a free (in both senses--in Spanish I'd call it gratis y libre) operating system that runs on a wide variety of hardware, notably including commodity x86-based computers. There are a number of organizations, most notably the HeliOS Project, who take advantage of this by refurbishing used computers, installing Linux on them, and giving them to people (in the case of HeliOS, central Texas children) who could not otherwise afford computers.

Well, Microsoft has come up with something that will eventually make that impossible.

If you look around at off-the-shelf computers and peripherals, you'll notice that typically either (1) they're made by Apple or (2) they have a little Microsoft stamp of approval saying something like "Designed for Windows [insert version here]". Microsoft is now working on the successor to Windows 7, Windows 8. Windows 8 uses UEFI (son of BIOS). By itself, that's no big deal, save perhaps to anyone wanting to upgrade to Windows 8 without having to buy a new motherboard that has UEFI; Linux has been able to work with it for over a decade now...


A few days ago, Microsoft announced that to get the Microsoft stamp of approval for Windows 8, computer makers will have to have the UEFI "secure boot" feature enabled. With this, the computer will only boot programs that have a digital "signature" it knows about. This has the potential to preclude installing anything but Windows 8 on such a computer, because the easy way out will be for the computer maker to only put in the signature for Windows 8. (There are also hardware driver issues as well, since those have to be signed to work in that secure mode.)

Will it be possible to turn that mode off? Perhaps, but OTOH, any computer that offers that possibility may well be branded as insecure (perhaps you recall Microsoft's campaign against selling "naked PCs", i.e. computers without an OS (*cough*Windows*cough*) already installed on them... this would be much the same).

So the time may come when the only off-the-shelf computers you can install Linux on are ones so old that nobody would have them. You can get any OS you want... as long as it's Windows.

For more details, see Matthew Garrett's journal here and here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Still in beta...

In the ongoing campaign to organize the inventory, I've been noticing Firestorm Beta 3 crashing when I save the photos of outfits that Ms. Ohmai recommends. Looks like it really is a Firestorm bug; I hope it's corrected soon!

UPDATE: the LL 3.x client doesn't do that, but OTOH, today when I'd put on a flexiprim skirt, it would show in inventory as worn, and would appear on me... for a few seconds, before disappearing! I think I'm better off with Firestorm--especially since the "crash on saving a photo" bug is intermittent.

Mesh boots

Mesh clothing is starting to appear... and while it can't yet pay attention to all one's shape parameters, it certainly helps that it can notice your skeleton.

Slink has mesh boots out in leather as well as silver, gold, and other colors, and they are getting rave reviews. I agree with those raves. Here I am with a demo (at L$700 a pair, one pays to be an early adopter...):

 My choice to make my avatar as leggy as I possibly can makes clothing somewhat difficult: unmodifiable glitchpants that stretch beyond the hems of unmodifiable flexiprim skirts. Mesh items that pay attention to how long your legs or arms are, so that thigh-high boots really are thigh-high, should be a major improvement. (Let's hope that they will be able to pay attention to other things soon: vote for and watch SH-2374. (They made it accessible again; it now has 512 votes.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feedback request

A friend of mine, Imavery Welty, seeks to work in RL on game design, and would very much like feedback on a project that you can see at a blog he's set up. I find this look into game design interesting, but not being a gamer, I certainly can't give an informed opinion. Check it out.

I bet you'd get a really good frame rate...

Via Slashdot: "AMD Breaks 8GHz Overclock with Upcoming FX Processor, Sets World Record".

The return of the wizard prang

I'm seeing some crashes from Firestorm Beta 3 that aren't the usual "grab all available RAM and die" (though that, too, has happened). Sometimes it's just after I save a photo--that's playing havoc with the inventory cleanup! Other times there's no obvious correlation.

I'll be installing 32-bit Linux on a spare computer and trying clients out on it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I was shopping with friends when we noticed a fellow shopper dressed in a beautiful outfit. I asked where she'd gotten it, and it turned out to be from a lady who is relatively new to Second Life clothesmaking--though you couldn't have told it looking at that striking dress.

The new clothier is Sophiekittycat. She doesn't yet have a store, but makes and sells custom work. I will add a photo of the item I bought when I can... but if she's this good starting out, I can't wait to see what she does with more experience.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Thanks, KirstenLee!

Alas, RL issues are forcing KirstenLee Cinquetti to stop work on Kirsten's Viewer, an excellent third-party SL client that has been the client to use for quality graphics. It is still be available for download.

Many, many thanks, KirstenLee, for all that work that went into the client, and all the best to you and yours.

It's going to be a tedious job, but... has its rewards.

I'm going through clothing in my inventory and sorting it out. Initially I am categorizing it in the inventory by how usable it is with prim breasts, but in going through and by golly taking pictures of each outfit, I will have a local catalog that I can use a photo management program to tag appropriately, including multiple tags, which the hierarchical inventory doesn't do well. (Each photo will be named with the name of the outfit being pictured.)

In the process some forgotten gems are turning up. Isn't this so cute you could spit? (Say, that would be a good tag...)

UPDATE: Sigh... when I put this up on flickr I referred to Anya Ohmai's very helpful guide to organizing one's inventory as a "four-step program", which took my thoughts down a path. Have I admitted to being powerless over my inventory?

UPDATE: There is a problem, of course. Once you find that great outfit in the inventory, you realize that you don't have the right jewelry for it, and...

FreeBSD for Linux gamers?

Check out the Phoronix article "FreeBSD: a Faster Platform for Linux Gaming than Linux?" It looks like a number of games run better under FreeBSD with a Linux compatibility layer than they do under straight Linux! Anyone out there try this with a Second Life client?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Plea for a podcast episode

I don't know what made me think of it, but... I have lost track of the episodes of The Goddess and Banana that I downloaded back when I had an iPod. It ended a few years ago, alas, and those of you who didn't get a chance to hear it missed out on a truly wonderful thing. There are about thirty epsiodes that I've found that are on iTunes, but they all appear to be from 2007, just after a particular one I'm interested in, which was their Christmas episode of 2006.

It was a set of Christmas songs prefaced by a short intro from Yxes, but what a set! If memory serves it started out with "Watchstar" by 3 Blind Mice, went by way of the hilarious "Fistful of We Three Kings", and through a beautiful track by Matthew Ebel. And now I can't find it.

UPDATE: It was Gomem Desoto who had "Fistful of We Three Kings" close a holiday show of his. My mistake.

Anyone who knows where it may still live on the web, or who even has the song list, I'd be forever in your debt if you could send a URL or the list to me. Thanks.

UPDATE: The lovely and kind Vognod Maximus pointed me at the ever-useful Internet Wayback Machine. As I type, I'm still not sure I can get to the MP3 file, but the saved page does list the tracks. Thank you, Vognod.

UPDATE: Matthew Ebel's "Walk a Thousand Miles" can be heard on his Myspace page. Give it, and him, a listen; he's really good.

Firestorm Beta 3 is available!

You no longer have to give up mesh or depth of field to have the neat features of Firestorm. Beta 3 is available now, and supports mesh and depth of field.

The linked wiki page that explains the various depth of field settings is not up to date when it comes to how you adjust them. It's a lot easier than that, at least on Firestorm Beta 3: edit preferences, and pick "graphics". There's a tab for depth of field with sliders for the settings.

Note that the initial setting, when you turn it on, will have a rather shallow depth of field. This makes it easy to see the kind of results you can get, but you may wish to adjust it.

Now to go experiment!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Radegast 2.0 Released

Radegast 2.0, which can display graphics--including mesh--is now officially released. Check out the Radegast blog's announcement and Inara Pey's review.

Now, please, Linden Lab, officially point the "class 0" users at Radegast so that the SL experience of two thirds of the population isn't constrained by what obsolete hardware is capable of!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Speaking of 64-meter prims...

...can we hope this will mean that we'll see updated BIGAVS that will allow giant avatars 6.4 times as tall as before?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Now it begins...

I urge you to read the New World Notes post "Second Life Mesh Clothing Raises Real Life Body Issues" and the Vaki Zenovka blog post that it references. 

People have already noticed the deficiencies of mesh for clothing: see Iris Ophelia's post "Ophelia's Gaze: 3 Great SL Fashion Items Which Show Off the Potential -- and Limitations -- of Mesh", and if you haven't already, please vote for and follow JIRA entry SH-2374 (if you can--I just tried to look at it in the SL JIRA, and got a "permission violation" page!). That and the Zenovka post, and its reference in what I would think is among the most-read SL-related blogs, show that people are finally realizing what's happening. Mesh clothing gives them the problem that we prim breast users have always had. 

This is our chance... if we can get avatar shapes that support the figures we want, a solution to the mesh clothing problem will work for us, too, and we can come out of the fashion closet, at least for mesh clothing... and as designers realize the advantages of mesh clothing and learn how to create it, I think it will become the norm. Please express your opinion. I have already, at least here and on NWN in the comments on the first-mentioned post:
Welcome to the world that those of us who have had to resort to attachments to get the figure we want have had to live in for years. I sincerely hope that this will inspire a solution that will work for all of us.
UPDATE: a comment on that NWN post from Paola Tauber says that apparently the JIRA entry has been moved into an "internal LL project" (JIRA?) after getting over 470 votes in a few days, and thus it's not in the publicly visible JIRA any more.