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Monday, June 23, 2008

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csven

I've had issues since Windlight was brought on and haven't been in SL nearly as much as a result. Furthermore, I'm even more hesitant to bring in other people as a result. No necessarily because they can't run it, but because I may not be able to help them get past the first, deadly hour.

As to turning Windlight off, hell, I don't know how to do that (shows how little I've been logging in). I turn everything way down, but that doesn't prevent lock-ups (nasty lock-ups at that). And while my machine is a bit older, I have no issues running Half-Life at very high quality (with bloom, anti-aliasing, aso).

If there's a way to entirely disable Windlight, I'd suggest Linden Lab make that default and let people opt for higher quality visuals.

As to the concurrency, I've also been wondering (as I'm sure have many oldbies).

csven

(correction: Half-Life 2)

Katharine Berry

I'm reasonably sure that the last viewer before WindLight does, in fact, still work - most people didn't notice this because they hadn't updated at all, and the automatic updater (reasonably) pulled down the latest version of the client, ignoring the still usable client that preceded it.

This also ignores the variety of other clients that can still log in (Nicholaz, etc.), although I take the point that these are not offered as standard downloads.

Personally, across a two-generations-old, bottom-of-the-line MacBook, an iMac, a Mac Pro, and a variety of Windows machines of varying capability (with graphics cards varying from the Intel GMA 950 to the nVidia GeForce 8800 GT), I have seen no performance decrease (although there is now increased ugliness on the lower end due to the loss of ripple water).

Ravishal Bentham

For me there has been no significant drop in performance with Windlight. In fact I have seen a performance boost as my video cards can render Windlight properly. On one of my older machines I can tun SL just as well as before even though it does not have shader support.

Forsythe Whitfield

When I turn all the shaders off and use the non-windlight settings my machine is a rocket on SL. I can move without lag and everything works amazingly. With the windlight settings on ( I have to say that I LOVE the new sky) I encounter lag and freezing in busy sims and in environments with tons of water. I frequently turn the the shaders off when I'm performing or building so that I can enjoy the experience and not be cursing my viewer during the event.

Graham Mills

Windlight actually kept my ageing Windows laptop in play -- I wasn't previously able to run fullscreen without overheating. Subsequently I got a low-end gaming-type Windows PC on which it runs beautifully and use a commodity, unenhanced graphics PC at work that gives a different experience but works OK. I'm not convinced that Windlight was the cause of stasis, rather that the demographics that find appealing content within SL are not unbounded. Add to that media storms and the rise of Facebook and you can see that SL is having to seriously compete for attention.

Pavig Lok

Relax Hamlet, it's not windlight. The main reason for the plateau is a current hard limit on grid concurrency.

During the earlier period of growth with concurrencies of aboutabout 25,000 the user limit on the grid was a soft limit based on user experience. Lag would increase as the grid limits were met and people would start logging off at about the same rate as they logged on. In mis Tateru's language login delta tends towards zero as demand and frustration levels balance out. This gave a soft knee to the concurrency graphs, and even if some disaster kicked everyone off the grid, it would rapidly recover to the same concurrency level.

The last few months however there has appeared to be an absolute hard limit. If this is the asset server, or problems with their service provider or what I don't know, but you notice it in the graphs all the time. When logins get to about 65,000 suddenly some disaster kicks about 10,000 people off the grid (often less, sometimes more.) Sometimes this is reliable enough that you can see the same pattern repeated day after day. Other times it represents as a flat top on the days concurrency with minor drops approaching and during the peak period. I'm sure Mis Tateru could show graphs to substantiate that this happens often enough to be seen as a pattern.

Interestingly region crashes have reduced significantly since the rollout of havok4. Region crash limits on concurrency (as they tended to regularly kick small numbers of avs off with high regularity) having reduced, we are now seeing concurrency limited by the grid itself. Theoretically the het-grid project will offload some of these problems and allow greater concurrency at some point soon, but perhaps not soon enough to offset limits in growth.

Just my two cents.

Peter Stindberg

I won an IBM ThinkPad R61 with fast processor, 2GB of RAM and a good nVidia graphics board. I am geeky enough to be able to run teh Nicholaz BE-v (pre-Windlight) viewer, and it works lke a charm on my laptop - it's the best viewer ever so far! However, when I log into Windlight (Nicholaz EC-f), performance drops radically, more often than not I'm barely able to move, and my harddrive is constantly whirring at top performance. Actually I only ever use Windlight when I do a planned(!) photo session.

Another reason for lower concurrecny might of course be the really annoying increase of grid downtimes, asset server issues etc. that keeps peopl out. They have increased dramatically around March and did not really go lower so far.

qarl

an anecdotal story illustrating the dangers of confusing correlation with causation:

there is a perfect correlation between ice-cream consumption and rape. looking at the yearly graphs, every time people start eating more ice-cream, incidence of rape spikes. whenever ice-cream consumption falls off, so does rape.

reason: warm weather.

Shockwave Yareach

Why is it levelled out? Gee, perhaps the fact that for two solid months the game has been utterly and unplayably broken? That people couldn't Login, and couldn't do anything even if they did get lucky enough to do so? That their single point of failure Asset Server has become so slow that some of us are fondly remembering the days of 1200 baud modems? That many of the Get Rich Quick crowd are cutting their losses and abandoning the ship?

I love my friends and the potential in SL. I love playing and building within it. But visiting SL itself is like trimming your toenails with a weedeater - it may or may not get the job done and it's gonna hurt alot either way.

Mitch Wagner

Hamlet - I've actually found the current RC to be the most usable viewer ever, on my primary computer, which is a 16-month-old iMac.

However, for a couple of months before that, I found SL to be all but unusable, and was seriously considering cashing out and going on my way.

Concurrency, land sales, financial exchange, signups and other stats are all important, but by far the single most important stat for SL's future is the monthly number of active users. That's been flat for almost a year now, and I think it's actually been declining in recent months.

I think the reason is that Second Life doesn't have good marketing, and no easy answer to the question, "What do you do there?" Second Life actually needs separate marketing teams, one for each of the major communities and activities in SL: Music, roleplay, P2P gaming, surfing, theater, business, fashion, etc. To some extent, they should operate independently of each other. For example, the fashion marketing team could focus on RL fashion mags and blogs, etc.

Arminasx Saiman

Yes, I agree that Windlight has something to do with the problem. But I have to agree also that while the grid hasn't been completely down, it is very frequently non-functional one way or the other. You can login, but can't TP or purchase or chat or group chat or voice, etc. It's different all the time and these issues I believe cause some people to simply sign off to do something useful. They come back later, but this causes the numbers to drop.

Additionally, my shop (and those of many others) has been suffering from drop in sales during this period. While sales were consistently climbing during the ramp up of users, they now dropped as much as 35% per month due to "asset server" or other issues. When people are told "not to do transactions", guess what? They don't! They don't buy for days afterwards because they are not sure things are truly working. (Often they aren't.)

We need the grid to be not only "UP", but also "Functional".

Eladrienne Laval

Like Ordinal, my computer works beautifully for everything else, but when I have Windlight/RC going. I think it looks good even if I can't get sparkly water and the truly beautiful skies, but I just had too many problems with it even at low settings and I'm still running an old viewer because I rarely crash with it.

I think it's not just Windlight and viewer issues. I think it's how unstable and unreliable it has been to be inworld for months and it has truly frustrated folks. Those who know how to tweak settings and deal with whatever issues the viewers have, will. Those who don't, will drop off--feeling it's not worth the hassle.

Arcadian Vanalten

Not gonna beat my drum on the hazards of trying to infer causality from a correlation; you've already heard it, and it's been stated in this thread already. A factor that may play in, though, is the message new folks get immediately. Prior to my upgrade and just after the rollout of WL as an integral part of the viewer, I simply got a message that I couldn't use SL w/ my current hardware. Turns out I could, and did, w/ the settings turned down/off until I upgraded, but if folks are trying it for the first time and getting that message, they may not explore any further. They'll accept that message as an indication that SL for them is a no-go, and they'll wander elsewhere.

I DO have to note that my framerate seems to be worse now than it was in 2006 when I first started. I was running an average of 8 FPS back then on low-end equipment. Now post upgrade I briefly was running around 15-20, but am now back in the single digits most of the time w/ graphics on the low setting w/ a few features selectively activated. I rarely bump it up past low (unless I'm taking pictures); what's the value of those beautiful red & gold skies if you're frozen in place and can't DO anything in-world?

Don't make it prettier and prettier. Make it more stable and usable. Pretty is icing. Works better w/ a good, solid cake under it.

meta

Your chart is a bit innacurate and misleading. The June peak concurrency data from Tateru, as noted in your data at the bottom of the article indicates, is 65173. My own data shows the June peak MTD (the fat lady hasn't sung for June yet - we still have one more Sunday to go) is close - 65225.
I'm curious why that appears on your chart as 64k, making the current trend look like an alarming drop - that is not there. :\

court

Perfect Storm scenario happened IMO, the large amounts of bugs rendering the grid nearly unusable by a large percentage of residents, many having left during that time. Admittedly not all bugs noted in SL were SL's fault, but were prominent within SL nonetheless and therefore associated (example, apple/nvidia OpenGL issues).

Summer, yes many on my list disappeared once summer hit. I hope to see some return.

The bailing out of many big business that couldn't figure out how to turn a massive quarterly profit (good riddance) caused teh Techcrunches and Gawker Media types to portray SL as failing. Along with the shakeup of Executive Management, whcih probably didn't help PR much.

Much of LL's promotion trying to make SL seem what it *is not*... All anyone needs to do is watch that episode of CSI:NY. Someone entering SL after watching that show may have expected a lot more action that was improperly conveyed.

This assumptions are based only on my friends who've come and gone, i have no scientific data.

I think this might be a good winter coming up tho.

Ann Otoole

Are you kidding? You have to wonder and ask?

Linden Lab is the cause of the concurrency issues. Technical issues can be overcome if an organization has the skills, knowledge, motivation, and funding. Apparently Linden Lab is lacking in one or more of these primary factors.

The only way SL will move forward in a serious way is for Linden Lab to be run as a real commercial operation instead of some weird attempt at Nirvana.

The answer is sitting squarely in the laps of Rosedale and his new CEO. If they want the job done and done right they are going to have to change the culture to one that is efficient, responsible, and accountable. With project schedules and dismissals for failing to meet standards, requirements, and due dates.

You can talk about seasons or databases or whatever. If the system worked reliably, was scalable, the new resident experience was enjoyable, activities like ad farming and blatant content theft were proactively dealt with by Linden Lab, and SL was marketed (it isn't seriously marketed at all anywhere) then you would see a growing active resident base.

Hamlet Au

"I'm curious why that appears on your chart as 64k, making the current trend look like an alarming drop - that is not there."

Meta Linden, I created the chart-- which I sent last Tuesday to the Lindens asking for commentary-- before getting Tateru's more specific numbers, which are more accurate. However, I think 64K is still fairly accurate as an average of peak concurrency for the month-- peak last week, for example, was just shy of 63K. In any case, why don't you consider an unprecedented dip in concurrency matched to an unprecedented failure to grow in concurrency *not* alarming?

I would like to post more accurate, up to date figures and make corrections as necessary-- when do you plan to update user and service quality metrics from last January?

Lazarus Marat

You know I swear some folks are just waiting for Second Life to close up shop, kind of like people waiting for the Second Coming. When Linden Labs closes it doors all these people will be able to say, see I told you so! Never mind that they've been making this prediction since I started in the fall of 2005. Remember Prokofy Neva's prediction: "I think it will continue to add members but it will churn and not grow that much bigger than what it is now, maybe 40,000 tops, certainly not going toward a million."? That comment was referring to registered users. Now I admit I took that out of context and the reasoning was interesting at the time but far off, we have and have had more than that many users logged in much less registered for quite some time now.

When I started, SL was a real dog it seemed but the events I found to attend and the creative potential kept me in the world. I often wasn't certain whether to stay, especially when I would read the forums and all the nasty, mean stuff people would say about SL. I often thought 'Ok this place is going down, people seem so unhappy here", even though my experiences at the time weren't nearly as bad. But I stuck around, learned more about the world and the client itself and found ways to optimize my experience. I did get pretty discouraged once but told myself to lighten up a bit! :-)

Updates to the client came out and many things smoothed out though you would never ever guess that from the way some people talk about SL. I remember the introduction of real lights and flexi's, oh man that was so great, to me, the old lights were really laggy and the flexi feature eventually changed the look and dynamics of our avatars among other things. The latest with Windlight (and don't forget voice), as others have mentioned here and Hamlet has mentioned himself, is just beautiful. I'm sorry that some who post here don't appreciate it and want to go back to the pre-windlight days. Of course they are probably here for other reasons then the visual 's and would probably be happy with a 2D environment and stick figures. Sorry folks but that's what you sound like to me.

As for why concurrency has seemed to hit a plateau I can only reflect on my own current habits. For months I will be in SL every day for 2 to 6 hours, building, exploring, attending live performances, or just chatting with my friends. Then I take a break, spend less time in SL, maybe only an hour every day or every other day, usually long enough to check on my properties and then hit the road for WOW or Entropia Universe or if it's summer like it is now hit the real road with my motorcyle or go hang out at a BBQ with friends. In my experience, not just my own usage pattern, SL seems to go through these three month cycles, busy and then slow , at least from the way my homes get rented. They are all filled for a while and then they are only about half filled or less then filled up again. I don't know what it is exactly but I plan accordingly.

Does SL have issues, yeah no denying that and frankly, because of the platform, it probably always will. This is one very complicated system and one can't really, if one is being honest with one's self and not just looking for an axe to grind, compare SL to other games or virtual worlds, particulary non-network centric ones. All the content is pushed out to our machines in real time. No other game or virtual world even comes close to the amount of custom stuff that has to be downloaded to our machines and be rendered by the software. At least none I'm aware of. Does SL have more stable times and more rough times? Yes. Are they always related to the client ? No. Linden Labs is very open about what the issues are and they can be wildly varied, from the asset servers, to the network, to the individual grid machines, to attacks (though I'm not aware of any of those recently). Does this happen every single day and every hour of the day? No. I think the perception of just how bad it is here is related to just how much time you actually spend here and what one reads about SL. These people (Linden Labs) work very hard to bring us a very unique world and one that people who come here have varied goals or wishes for what they want to do here. I wish more people would acknowledge that instead of constantly looking at their own interests and nothing else.

And before someone accuses me of being some kind of elite or FIC (sorry Prokofy, just couldn't resist) or only running high end equipment let me give you a quick run down of the machines I run SL on:

My main machine, Dell XPS 410, 2 gig of ram, dual core 2 at a speed of 2.6 running Vista Ultimate with a Nvidia 7900 GS with 256 meg of ram. Ok, not a low end system but not a high end either.

A self built Pentium 4, speed 2.4 gig, 1 gig of ram, an AGP based Nvidia 7600 GS with 256 meg of ram and XP Professional.

A Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop, speed 1 gig, 512 meg of ram, Geforce 2Go video with 32 meg of ram and running XP Professional. (This machine is now over 6 years old)

I also have old machines at work, a Pentium M laptop, low video memory, an older Pentium 4 workstation with 1 gig of memory and an old Nvidia 6800 video card where I run the Linux version. I also run the release canidates on all these machines.

I've also run SL on my Imac G4 dome, speed 1 gig, with only 64 meg of video memory. Here I will grant that SL wasn't very fun to run. SL was very laggy here but frankly Apple doesn't build average machines. They build either low end or high end stuff though I have to also admit that I haven't gotten one of the new iMac's yet, they seem like they might be ok. I have friends in SL who have Mac Book Pro's that say SL screams on them, in a good way!

So I'd say I know what SL is like on old and new equipment and on each of those machines I am more than able to get things done. Granted, for those of you reading this who know something about hardware, none of those machines were low end budget equipment even when they were new but are the Lindens supposed to just let the client stay supporting the lowest common denominator of machines possible? Are those of you who post that SL is so terrible sure it isn't your own machines and the way you use them and have them configured that may be contributing to some of the issues you experience?

Ok I could go on here but I'm going to get off my soap box now and leave some of the other issues people have raised here for another day, maybe next year! I've got riding to do in SL and RL!!

Tateru Nino

Meta - the highest value that was published through the statistical feeds for June was 65,173. You might have different numbers, but if they're not getting published to us, we can't use them.

Connie Sec

Can only speak for myself, but I run a dualcore2, 2gb ram and a 8600 nvidia with XP. As someone said, not bleeding edge but maybe high of the mainstream. I find occasional problems, but on the whole, my experience is the same as it ever was, with the main bugbears being the Database/asset server and issues nothing to do with the rollout of WL.
As far as frame rates go, I find it can vary from sim to sim. Perhaps some builders need lessons in texture use and while prim numbers is an issue, the splines u need to use to make that prim and the scrips used in an area have a large bearing on the quality of my experience.
Ohh, and BTW, WL is not just pretty skies and sunsets. I would advise those with an interest to play with the environmental controls. For me, while sunsets are pretty, (if i see another silhouette in a sunset i will throttle the maker)for residents like myself, with an interest in capturing for flickr, the amount of control over lighting that WL affords me, is a great creative play area. My 2 L's worth. :)

meta

Hi Hamlet & Tateru-
It is true that internally we have more fine-grained data than the feeds we publish externally. Internally we are able to view concurrency on an every-30-seconds basis while externally we update less frequently (every 3 minutes for concurrency, I believe). This does mean we have a *slightly* more accurate picture internally- but as you see, I only counted 52 more concurrent logins than Tateru's number grabbed off the feed. That's a 0.08% variance, not very statistically significant.
Your chart is displaying "peak concurrency during the month" - not "average concurrency", and again the month is not yet over, so averaging June weekly peaks would be wholly inconsistent with the rest of the chart, and of course we do have another week to go.

It's worth pointing out that growth % of Peak Concurrency- using Tateru's numbers to compare, is an *EXTREMELY* volatile figure to try to compare month-to-month, even during heavy growth periods. There simply isn't a discernable seasonal trend yet. Here's a comparison of Tateru's month-over-month growth figures against our published User Hours (taken from Economy stats) during the same time: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pxbDc4B2FH96OO47G-3pGdw

This last week's peak at 63k (I have 62924), was visibly due to a systems failure right before peak time http://status.secondlifegrid.net/2008/06/22/post133/ . Without that problem, we could have likely exceeded the prior peak, but perhaps here I'm illustrating other people's comments. Increasing our stability and availability is indeed our most important initiative.

User/Economy metrics through May are up to date on our economy page at http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy_stats.php - and yes, we just noticed that the recent changes to the secondlifegrid.net page rolled the links to the charts for the Service Quality metrics back to January data. I'll tend to fixing that shortly, thanks.

Tateru Nino

Every five minutes, though the feed is known to stutter and produce longer intervals between samples (ten minutes, sometimes fifteen).

T_S_Kimball

Hamlet, this brings up an interesting question - Are you personally affected by this change, or perhaps afraid that the RC/Dazzle will? Would you be willing to supply your specs and experience with WL and RC? (Probably a separate post :) ).

I could say a lot about how well the nVidia 7800 and 7900 series cards have held up to SL; It's mostly because they have a memory bandwith that didn't show up again until the 8800 came out. They're dead cheap too, if you can find one (my 7800 may be up for sale soon).

At the same time, my old Sager 8890 (which I did my first two hours of SL on - including OI) runs rather well - albeit at the 'low' slider setting, and has always had texture corruption due to aging ATI drivers (which can't be upgraded due to tight integration for the LCD screen). Video card is the ATI 9600 Mobile, 64 meg memory.

The one thing in a notebook that must be avoided when dealing in SL is 'shared video memory.' That's memory which is stolen from the main memory for use by the video card. Unless they've fixed that, the system just bogged with the huge amount of memory-cpu swaps going on. I've not had the gall to try running any client on the 'reference' notebook I have for this test since SOP/SLCC 2005 (HP 'LiveStrong' L2000 series). This was bought with work in mind, not SL or games, and it does that well.

I also have nothing against WL - as I told Qarl last Friday, to me its been the most stable reference version in about a year, and possibly the best in two (discounting the old hardware I was running last year). The RC (Dazzle) has a few major changes to the render engine (something that was NOT well publicized), so I expect issues. However the difference shouldn't be as dramatic as I found them (I've got the test vids and will be posting locations for them soon).

--TSK

Austin Welles

I have been in SL since 12-06 and thoroughly enjoy Windlight and ungraded my computer to take full advantage of it. I find the new RC to be very stable and the UI pleasant. Frame rates are great except for the times I am in a busy sim where you have all kinds of things going on from bling to dancing to poofs to music to voice to beautiful and complex builds to elaborate clothes and attachments.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is a possible connection between Vista and concurrency rates. With my machine upgrade Vista was included and this for me is the unstable component. Vista crashes often with out a known cause, at least for one with limited tech experience. As people upgrade this could be something that has had an impact on concurrency and retention.

From personal experience I have less trouble during the time leading to the peak, I am in US Eastern Time Zone, than I do when I am on in the evening as concurrency is beginning to fall. Maybe someone could explain that to me.

I tend to go with the Perfect Storm scenario and the personal habit theory mentioned above. If you were a new comer in the last couple months the many server problems could have turned you off. Seasons always effect businesses. The Media buz has seemed to die down a bit, except for the resent congressional fear mongering which was fueled by the Stroker copyright lawsuit. New sign-ups are also at a plateau.
I can't say for certain and I am not sure how to put it into words but the new folks that are coming in-world seem a bit different. I do not mean this in any negative or condescending way. Impatient might describe it best. Are they coming in with false expectations of what this "game" is about and what can be done in it. Is the demographic for those coming in now shifting to a younger crowd looking to play inside a video game, but not willing to help build it. Yes perhaps the learning curve is a bit too steep, but in just about everything time has to be taken to learn the in and outs. Funny to note that I am rarely asked if I am "addicted" to SL. In my early days this was one of the frequent and often first things that new friends would talk about. It was really just kind of code for how much your thoroughly enjoyed playing. Maybe there is something there to consider.
I too have those periods of time where I just don't go in world for any length of time. My spending slows. In fact spending is another funny thing; there will be times where i just throw money around trying new clothes, furniture, and gadgets. I am more of a consumer/socializer than a creator here. But lately I have put little Lindens into the pockets of the many wonderful creators and designers here, except for tier payments on my land.
So what does this all mean and what do I think needs to be done to kick start concurrent upward trends again? (I miss going to Tateru's website and watching those numbers climb and seeing "a new record")
1) Take care of the ongoing asset server problem. This will make the long-time residents happy as well as offer a better experience for the new folk.
2) The Linden's need to be more open about what they are doing and what they are planning. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm shown by Philip and M during their opening keynotes. But this could also indicate a time of reorganization/reassessment under the new CEO. With the growth comes the growing legal issues that unfortunately will plague this medium for years to come. But do let residents know the how's and why's and avoid knee jerk solutions only to have to back track and look incompetent. Most residents will understand and sympathize with LL dilemmas if we knew the whole story. From our side, the residents, we need to stop looking for some ulterior motive behind every statement or move. The words of a Linden are parsed as much as Obama's or McCain's.
3) Search needs to improve so that new comers can explore and find things that pique their interest and show the possibilities rather than empty malls and strip clubs. I know this is being worked on, but it must be sooner than later. Even perhaps creating a few places that are a bit less open-ended and more goal oriented. Give people a list of must see builds and sims and so what if it is a small panel that decides this list its only to help the initial experience.
4) Land is still too expensive. Why does it cost me over $60 US to have the land and prims I want (need) too play with? Memory and hard drive space is practically free everywhere else. Nothing makes you want to spend more time and money in world than your own piece of virtual reality; except for maybe the latest sex gadget.
5) Go ahead and make non-Windlight the default viewer. If for anything to stop the whining. I don't know how anyone could give-up all the pretty colors.
6) Copyright issues, bots, and an occasional missing skirt don't keep your average player from sticking around. They need to be worked on but are people flooding LL with complaints of this and expecting quick action only to be wasting the time of LL that could be devoted to creating a more pleasant user experience. New comers want to experience as much as they can in the time that they can be on-line.
7) At some point LL has to stop trying to satisfy everyone who has a puter that is over 4 yrs old. People who enjoy playing games whether pc or console system know that it is a constant struggle to keep your system up to date in order to play the the fastest/bestest looking game. Are you satisfied with Nintendo Duck Hunt or do you want to play WII tennis? This is not a case of have's vs have not's its just the way it is and has been since the consumer technology boom.
Well that was my humble opinion for what its worth. Funny to note also that I am writing on a blog rather then playing in world. Hmmmmm!

LifeFactory Writer

Hi! I hope this post finds everyone well.

I always want to chime in when I come across lots of critical doom and gloom about platform stability.

I know quality of experience varies wildly across the user base, the causes for which are usually some combination of actual SL performance and personal computer specs and individual attitude. I admit my machine is good and that I am fairly tolerant of technical glitches (although am piqued when voice goes out!)

In general, I have to say that my performance has been close to flawless for months and months now. Granted, I may not be pushing the system to the extreme by scripting and flying multi-engine-sim-dimensional- hopping-transformer-hovercrafts, but I am shooting machinima with all graphics cranked up to maximum. For the most part, things are working well.

I understand some people are getting onto SL via their cellphones now using some watered-down version of the client--not much to see, but basic communications functions operable.

My sense is that the system is working very well and consistently on the high end, but there is still a gap to be overcome to consistently reach less powerful machines. I think it is just a question of time, and if this has not happened yet, it is not because LL is failing through incompetence, but rather that new technological fronts are still being broken and magic keys are, quite frankly, hard to find. I am impressed people sit down every day in a continuing quest for this technical holy grail, and I am delighted to be able to ride along on the coattails of their achievements!

I do hope more and more will be able to jump on too, sooner rather than later.

Matthew Perreault

I think Austin Welles has it: Vista.

I've remained on XP for precisely that reason. Many people I know who've tried SL on Vista have had a colossal crashfest, and are less likely to return. I'm not sure whether the blame falls to Linden or Microsoft for that, however. Vista really is a piece of crap that may well drive me to Steve Jobs' door.

T_S_Kimball

Matt, I run a heavily modified (read: nLite'd) XP and sill run across mem leak crashes. And my setup ain't exactly shabby...

Update on my own experiments - The new card (8800 GT /w 1 gig of video mem) did not help any. That's placed the test videos on hold while I now compare this PC with that of the other to determine what's causing my issues. Hamlet, I'll be informing both you and Qarl by email if I actually nail down the cause, since it may become important for many.

--TSK

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Click to visit Nylon Pinkey's many fashion brands in Second Life: Nylon Outfitters, Golden Years, Wrigglesworth Residence, Yummy, and Art Nails
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