An Open Letter the Second Life Viewer Writers!

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As one of the growing number of Linux and OpenBSD users of Second Life I am getting very annoyed both at Linden Labs and Third Party Second Life Viewer Writers not putting in as much work on their Linux versions of their viewers as the Windows and Mac versions of the same viewers.

Contrary to those less enlightened with Second Life who still live under the illusion that Linux and FreeBSD users are a small minority with Second Life from personal experience, that is actually talking to people there, the amount of people using Linux and FreeBSD is much larger than most people think.

All we are asking, as Apple users, is that you test your software better than you do which Linden Labs have no excuse in not doing considering they use Linux to run the machines which generate the Second Life grid itself.

This in itself is not asking much and we Linux and FreeBSD users would greatly appreciate it as there is nothing more annoying than when your favourite viewer, Singularity in my case, is upgraded to find it has a real fatal bug or problem with it because it was not tested properly on all platforms!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

Second Life: Questioning Viewer Performances!

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For those out there who are going to be upset by what I am about to say as a long suffering Second Life resident I really do not care any more as I am little fed up with being short changed and fighting both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewers over the years especially when I converted to Linux!

After I loaded the now unofficial third party Second Life Viewer, Cool VL Viewer, and tested it out on one of my Linux Computers using one of alternative Second Life Avatars within Second Life it came very apparent to me there seams to be some major performance issues with current batch of both official and third-party second Life Viewers.

For those of you out there who have never used the Cool Viewer it was exclusive Second Life Viewer based upon the 1.23 versions of Second Life Viewers which have been modified to allow for all new features of Second Life including mesh.

Strangely some of the major Third Party Second Life Viewer creators could not do, with the exception of Singularity, who based their viewers on the 2.0+ and 3.0+ Official Second Life Viewers rather than the older and more stable 1.23 viewers which were far more stable than the current batch of viewers.

But I am digressing so I’ll get to the point what became very apparent with the newer Second Life Viewers both Official and Third Party which was really highlighted on Linux Machine are some major performance issue with these viewers.

The major one being due to slplugin process which is spawning a large number of I suspect unnecessary processes which is very clear under Linux which is causing excessive usage of RAM which can be a major problem for older computers both Linux and Windows who do not have excessive memory of newer computers especially Windows 8 machines.

Add to this a very poor support both by Official and Third Party Second Life of Linux and FreeBSD Operating Systems which frankly considering there are a larger number of Second Life residents which use Linux and FreeBSD. We feel greatly aggrieved by the fact we are being ignored or treated as second class citizens or as afterthoughts by both the Official and Third Party viewer writers especially due to the fact we are legitimate computer users much like Windows users.

All in all both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewer writers should stop wasting everyone’s time by working on pointless features which claim to improve the look of their viewers and actually do some long overdue work on the back ends of their viewers to improve their performance especially on older and Linux/FreeBSD computers as things cannot be left as they are.

After all if I was such a viewer writer and an unofficial Second Life Viewer writer using an older version of a Second Life viewer with same features which performs better than their viewers especially on older computers!

As a final note to both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewer writers there are more than just Windows 8.1 computers out there and by focusing on them you really are shooting both yourselves and Second Life in the foot so wake up and smell the coffee as there is a real Open Source revolution going out there lead by the android tablets!


Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Second Life: 10 Years of Viewer Hell!

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As Second Life reaches it’s 10th Birthday some things have remained constant over this time the major one being the stability of the Second Life Viewers both Generic and Third Party. This has been the constant bugbear of a large majority of Second Life Residents.

All this not helped by Linen Labs constant introduction of new, largely useless, features within Second Life itself without making sure the grid is stable from the last lot of modifications and the viewer can cope with them. This has always resulted in unstable Second Life Viewers as both Linden Labs and Third Party groups constantly play catch up with these modifications.

Linden Labs have always been lucky that once people have tasted the virtual life within Second Life they will forgive even bend over backwards to keep their viewers and the computers the viewers are run on going. Though I cannot help but think that if Linden Labs by not putting enough effort to finally get a stable viewer which worked across ALL platforms have last a large number of potential Second Life residents.

Personally my biggest gripe with both Linden Labs and Third Party Creators of Second Life Viewers is the woeful Linux support which over the years caused me no ends of trouble which frankly not exactly smartest idea on both parties part considering that Second Life Residents can be most computer savi people and they are more likely to use Linux than most so called users.

Lets hope someone wakes up to the fact the constant Second Life Viewer stability problems is still causing Second Life problems and still holds it back from it’s full potential as new users are put off by these constant problems!

Scary Places on the Internet!

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What has become very clear from my experience both on True-Friends.org and Second Life that some people are finding them very scary places because they have to actually socially interact with people on both of the said social networks!

This does highlight one major flow in modern man world over with ease of communication now modern man has lost the basic social skills we all once had to a point they are lost when they are faced with a real social situation even on a social web site.

How this situation actually happened is still a mystery to me but it could be due to a large part people spend more time at home in front of the television watching the world rather than interacting with the world itself. Add to this children now spend more time indoors either in front of a television or playing games on computers or games consults rather than actually going out and playing with other children as they did in my day.

I think this has produced a generation which are socially stunted incapable of actually holding a proper conversion with someone and it really shows in the way they talk to someone or more like they now talk at someone rather than listening to each other.

All this further exasperated by a media which encourages a shallow society which is more concerned with trivial matters than real social interaction between people. Even social networks like Facebook encourage such reactions between people nowadays.

So I should not be surprised when modern people when confronted with a real social web site, for example True-Friends.org or Second Life they are totally lost or scared as they really do not have the social skills people like myself were taught when we were younger.

And what do they do? They run away like all modern people from something they do not understand rather than learn something new which could be potentially very useful and rewarding to themselves!

The Magic of Second Life

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Even a lot of current residents of Second Life miss the simple magic of the place in so much people have a chance to show their true selves and express themselves in a way they cannot do in their real lives. All helped by the totally customisable Avatar and the ability to build everything including new bodies.

A lot of residents of Second Life spend time creating unique and memorable Avatars not to hide behind but to stamp a mark on Second Life itself, make a statement and/or express their own personality there. But sadly there are those residents who cannot be bothered to do anything about their Avatar or fall for fashion trends there and sadly they also largely miss the true magic of Second Life.

Then add on top of this the magic of a place where people can socialise, exchange ideas and build in an environment where where they are more on their actions and what they say rather than the way they look or the illness they have. Second Life gives these people a chance to have real social life something our predigest modern lives still denies them.

Finally the magic of Second Life brings people together within a virtual environment where they create new friendships and living communities once again something our modern world discourages by it’s very nature.

Banging the Second Life Drum!

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I’m banging the drum again for Second Life because it is long overdue and someone has to. All this because once again at work when talking to two World of Warcraft Players who once again thought of Second Life as a game not what it has become a Social Web site which frankly more effective at bringing people together and building communities than the major social web sites for example Facebook.

This is a common misconception from those people who have never been into Second Life which is really not helped by Linden Labs who still promote the game side of Second Life rather than the social side as they should. What does not help the situation is having a CEO who is ex-EA Games head who frankly like a lot in Linden Labs have failed to wake up to this single fact yet!

I am still of the opinion that likes of Second Life are the future of social web sites in so much as virtual technology improves it will be more natural for people to interact on line via Avatar in a virtual world than in just plain text and pictures. Because likes of Second Life are far more immediate and more natural to people who are more designed to interacting with things in the shape of people rather than just plain text and pictures.

So to wake people up to this fact I will continue to bang the drums for Second Life until people wake up from their love of the now dying social web sites of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter who frankly long past their sell by date and usefulness as social web sites!

Freebies will be Death of Second Life Creativity!

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I think I have said this before but like a lot of things it needs restating this so people take notice again. This is the problem of freebies within Second Life who do have a place there but is a two edged sword in so much the new users expect Freebies now on entering Second Life which at the expense of the Builders and Item Creators there!

This not helped by the Builders and Item Creators who in an effort to get noticed in a virtual market which is flooded with Builders give away freebies in their stores and the myriads of hunts continually going on within Second Life itself are in their desperation are sowing the seeds of their own destruction!

In doing so they have created a culture among the Noobies of Second Life who expect to get things free rather than older residents who know nothing comes free as the money paid for an item keeps the said Builders and Item Creators in business and creating the wonderful things they make. This singular fact has escaped the Noobies who seam to be more interested in getting something for nothing including Second Life itself in so much they will not put in basic effort to interact with other residents there.

In my personal view it is high time some Second Life Builders and Item Creators woke up to the fact that Freebies even hunts are killing themselves off. Though this has not been lost on a growing number of Builders and Item Creators who now actively boycott the Hunts and restrict the access to any Freebies they give away.

It is time that Builders and Item Creators of Second Life, like so already, need to wake up before it is too late beardless how desperate you are to sell items and get noticed by giving Freebies you are cutting your own throats and destroying your business even before it started.

What does not help is the fact Linden Labs have not effective method to allow the Builder and Items Creators within Second Life to advertise as because of their own inaction and ineffective actions surrounding the bot problems effectively made the in-world search ineffective and untrustworthy as few residents now take the result seriously. Not helped by a constant suspicion of old Second Life Residents that the searches are still being manipulated by unscrupulous Residents!

Rather than Linden Lab sitting on the fence allowing this situation continue but do something about it as after all a failure to do so will mean a loss of revenue as people leave because the world lacks the Builders and Item Creators who give the world a life in the first place!

A Second Life Evangelist!

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I have always been Second Life Evangelist from the first day I stepped into the virtual world itself. Mainly from the start I loved the idea of a virtual world created by the users and it’s potential.

I have also watched over the last 7 years and so Second Life blossom into a full and lively Social Network which touches beyond the virtual world itself from a concept of being a game by it’s creators Linden Labs. I think this part took Linden Labs by surprise but it should not of as I have said before Second Life as a social media is a fantastic concept in itself!

I still think Linden Labs and a large amount noobies within Second Life itself have missed or failed to understand what they have created or found a vibrant and living virtual world full of colour and real communities.

In Linden Labs case I suspect currently they see Second Life as a money spinner rather than the early days a interesting project. This is very sad in a way as Linden Labs have shown recently a reluctance to solve real problems within the world or take any responsibility for my problems there. It is just lucky for Linden Labs there is a hard core of Second Life Residents who make Second Life what it is!

But regardless of this Second Life for me has always been a wonderful place to socialise and meet new people who a lot of have become my friends both Real and Second Life. It has always been a better place to express myself and socialize than any other social media because of it’s immanence when socialising much as real life.

So now I am Second Life Evangelist who will spread the word about Second Life as a social network cannot be beaten because of it’s virtual and real content. It is the future of social interaction over the internet if a bit early for the technology to make it even better but still it is the future!

Second Life’s Mantra Continues!

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Since Second Life’s viewer is now available on Steam it might be time to remind people that Second Life is not a game per say but as I have pointed out time again and again it is now more of a social web site. It is certainly how the large number of the Second Life Residents use it especially the long term residents like myself.

What does annoys us long term residents of Second Life are those who come into Second Life with the attitude that it is a game as such an attitude does mean the person in question not only gets very little out of Second Life on top of which they will quickly find people will not talk to them because of it!

This is subtle hint to the game players out there who want to venture into Second Life you will not find such things associated with on-line games like quests, weapons and amour even skills. Add this the fact you have to actually socialise and talk to people in an environment which encourages social interaction.

So to get the full out of Second Life you have to go in with open attitude and prepared to actually talk to other people within Second Life itself as the large majority of residents are there to socialize and not play games per say!

As I said the Second Life Mantra continues!

Second Life is not a game but a social web site within a virtual world!

Second Life: The Quiet Revolution Continues!

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While all the big boys of the Social Network world continue to grow believing themselves the only way people can socialise effectively a quiet revolution of how people can socialise and interact with each other continues fuelled by a company called Linden Labs.

As I have said before elsewhere the future of way people socialise is not in the likes of Facebook, Google+ even Twitter but in Virtual Worlds like Social Life because it is far more natural and easier for people to interact with people directly even in Avatar form rather than in text. They need a point of reference or image to talk to when talking to a person as it is how we as species interact everyday.

Even without the hype or great presence on the Internet Second Life still grows and develops as a Social Network spawning new communities, allowing artists to display their work and even musicians an outlet for their music within a living virtual world. There are no other Social Networks which allow their users to express themselves in such a fashion even in real time.

Basically Second Life does something no other Social Networks can even hope to do in so much it builds virtual communities which spill over to so called real world, allow the artistic to express themselves and finally people to actually express themselves more openly which is usually shown in their own Avatar there.

But also Second Life does also allow for those who just want to dip into Social Networks with free accounts so someone can dip in and out of Second Life itself.

I would highly recommend people join the quiet revolution called Second Life especially if you love socialising, being artist or musician it will be for you.

To checkout Second Life itself just follow the link: http://secondlife.com

Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

Rediscovering the Joys of Second Life

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After a year of suffering very poor graphics, low frame rates and very poor response on Second Life all because of a computer and operating system which frankly could not cope with the job full stop last night I enjoyed a wonderful experience of a stable, fast response and wonderful time within Second Life.

It was a joy after the last year and all I have essentially done is change the processor, operating system and viewer which have resulted in a better experience of Second Life. I basically changed from an AMD to an Intel processor, replaced the Microsoft Windows XP 32-bit operating system with Crunchbang Linux 64-bit operating system and the Phoenix with the Singularity Second Life viewer. All these changes have meant my experience within Second Life has improved 10 fold to a point I am now enjoying going into Second Life again.

I would also point out here the hardware basically has not been changed just the operating system!

Personally I would recommend that people do the same or at least ditch the Microsoft Windows operating system as what has come out of this whole thing is the fact that Windows as an operating system uses the hardware within a computer very poorly to a point it ruins whole experience of Second Life via whatever viewer used!

Now I actually feel like and can explore the wonders of Second Life something I have not been able to do in over year!

Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

The Phoenix is Dead!

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Last night in Second Life I had to finally abandon using the wonderful Third Party Viewer Phoenix because the recent changes on the Grid performed by Linden Labs has make the old viewer very unstable on a number of Sims. This is something I have been putting off to the last possible moment as I’ve never got on well with newer classes of Second Life Viewers because of the new interfaces I never been able to get on with.

But in the end it has been well worth waiting to the last minute to change my viewer as in the meanwhile the team which originally created Phoenix have done more development on it’s replacement Firestorm making it now one of the more usable new generation of Second Life Viewers.

So now once again I have the fun of learning to use a new viewer but at least it’s pedigree is a good one so I am hopeful I get the same experience of Second Life as I got with the Phoenix Viewer.

Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

A Question of Taste!

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While sitting in The Blarney Stone Bar in Dublin within Second Life generally enjoying a quiet time watch people within Second Life something struck me as tad distasteful and most definitely distasteful.

A number of the Avatars who walked into the Bar were sporting group tags which were blatant adverts for builders products!

I have never had problems with clubs or DJs having tags as it has always been part of Second Life and most people are sensible to change their tags when they are in other clubs or out and about. I have no problem with people using group tags as personal affiliations to groups within Second Life but it is the thin end of the wedge when builders use tags to advertise their wares.

We are assaulted with constant advertising real life of companies selling their wares if we like it or not and I personally object and don’t like builders doing the same within Second Life where I would like to escape this for a short while!

Add the fact these people are providing these builders free advertising so more fool these Residents who do this within Second Life as they are being subtly used by the builders in question!


Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

Scamming Comes to Second Life!

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Scamming is not a new thing to Second Life but in recent years it has become more to the forefront as Second Life has grown and become more well known. Myself it only became to my attention when a Scammer appeared in the virtual club I was in recently and tried a sob story on me in the hope to get some money for nothing.

From what I gather they are becoming the real pains of Second Life appearing everywhere annoying everyone where they appear by bombarding everyone with IM’s begging for money for various reasons which include their mother is ill in real life. Then they proceed to bagger everyone who they think will give them money until they either give up, told less than politely to go away or banned from the sim in question.

Basically they make themselves very annoying but sadly there are those people who fall for the scam or pay to get rid of the person which propagates the problem and keeps them coming back.

Easiest way to spot one of these Scammers is they always use an Avatar which looks like a noobie, no profile information and no payment used as it is always a throw away Alternative Avatar. They appear wonder around first then start to bombard everyone with IM’s asking for money for various things always accompanied by a sob story.

Easiest way to deal with the Scammer is to ignore them and report them both to sim/club/shop owner and Linden Labs themselves but under no circumstances give them money even to get rid of them as it will mean they will come back again.

Finally the scammers always use an army of Alternative Avatars just in case an avatar gets banned but it is still good thing to keep reporting them until they get the hint they are not welcome in second Life any more.


Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

Second Life: Freebie Heaven or Builders Hell?

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I think I have touched this subject before but I feel it has be said again before we lose some of the best Builders/Designers within Second Life. This is the increase of Freebies within Second Life which is both very useful for new residents but they are becoming a real bane to the Builders/Designers within Second Life. Then add to this the large number of the newer Second Life residents who rather than spend any money in Second Life rather find and use Freebies regardless of the fact that Freebies do not look the best!

Myself from personal experience have always found Freebies not to be the best builds within Second Life which is to be expected so I tend to buy anything I need from Builders/Designers as the quality and looks are far more superior!

In addition when you use Freebies it more likely your Avatar is going to be less unique hence less noticeable as the range of Freebies tend to be far more restrictive and more repetitive. On top of this a number of Freebies may actually be poor copies or even rip off’s of legitimate Second Life Builders/Designers work so it can help to support the criminal elements within Second Life itself.

So in conclusion it is better to support the Builders/Designers of Second Life if you can by actually buying things from them or in the end they will leave Second Life taking a lot heart, creativity and uniqueness of Second Life with them.

In the end someone who excessively uses Freebies is the loser as when they want something unique there will not be Second Life Builders/Designers there to create what they want.

Freebies my be useful but is their use within Second Life really worth it in the end?


Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

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