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Friday, October 10, 2008


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Kristian Lacava

Our University is on a three year cycle - and they've only installed SL on 2 year old macs at the moment. I'm anxious to see if my semester is killed when I check the newest upgrade on Monday...

Elysia Snook

This reminds me of something touched on by Alberik Rotaru in last week's post about growth rate vs region capacity/stability. It really irks me that LL seems to be pretty single-mindedly focused on "graphics graphics, omg-- graphics!" even now, when the economy is in such a mess that buying new computers is about the furthest thing from most peoples' minds. Yes, I know that graphics are important, and I love Windlight just as much as anyone else, but really, when you stop to think about it, constantly pushing out mandatory updates that make the client an even bigger and greedier resource-piggy is a huge contributing factor to slow and/or declining growth rates.

I mean, the vast majority of my RL friends who I've encouraged to try SL end up leaving after five minutes because their computers, while just fine for everything else, completely choke on SL. It's funny how M Linden et al love talking about what a great tool SL can be for educators and businesses without taking one little detail into consideration-- that being that businesses and universities generally don't buy maxed-out gaming machines and religiously upgrade them with the latest and most expensive graphics hardware for their employees/students. Heck, I'm a student and use a "business" laptop, and even after upgrading it as much as possible, dialing down all my settings, and even going as far as doing "wifi feng shui" with the furniture in my bedroom to get a slightly stronger signal, SL's performance is barely passable.

It'd be nice if the Lindens would take us ramen-eating, penny-pinching non-gamers into consideration once in a while and give us a break from ever-increasing system requirements. As a matter of fact, I would like to issue a challenge to LL:
Let graphics/system requirements plateau for one quarter and work on server-side issues, security, the UI, etc and see what happens to the number of active users in-world.


Daniel Livingstone

If the client were a little better at setting itself for low powered hardware, some of the problems would disappear. Iggy's article includes a story about manually setting preferences to get SL running where autodetect failed... he shouldn't need to do that.

Im hoping just now that our admins have been able to update the disc image for my class later this week - like Iggy's admin, our admin also try not to change software during semester. Might have to fall back to plan b... Second Life on a USB stick.

Iggy O

Thanks for the comments. I'll add, out of fairness to LL, that we reset the prefs on machines that the client told us were NOT supported (any longer). They managed to run, despite their nonsupported cards, for a few SL demos in our computer lab. Crappy graphics were fine for that venue.

I'm not hurting from it, given my thick hide, but I got a bit beaten up on a edu list for suggesting some of my concerns :) I was told by a few participants that SL is not a tool yet for "mainstream" faculty (which may be true) and that I had not considered the INTERNATIONAL calendar for universities (true) or the inability to effectively screen adult content (also true--my bone-headed bad there).

I was also told (none of that from any Lindens, btw!) that maybe the Lab didn't want thousands and thousands of college classes in-world. I got the sense that my respondents didn't want their playground crowded, but that may just be me...

So if SL is still a bleeding-edge app, then how can it ever meet M Linden's stated goals?

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