Archive for the 'Second Life Viewer' Category

Playing with Windlight, Finally

February 06th, 2008 | Category: Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer, Windlight

Finally got the Windlight client to work for me, if you are having trouble with the client, in my case everything was washed out looking, except for the cool reflections, then you should first download the latest drivers for your video card, new ATI drivers were released last month I believe, and the drivers for my NVIDIA GeForce were released in December. Combined with the latest release of the Windlight client and my pictures are already looking better.

Here are a couple new shots of Primula Rasa.

Primula Rasa Entrance

Primula Rasa Entrance 2

We were able to solve a lot of the ATI shader problems that existed, but in order to really take advantage of these fixes, we implore you to get the latest Catalyst drivers for your card.

In other news, this release includes most of the changes from the new 1.19.0 Release Candidate, including old-school login auth. With most of the login issues resolved, we should be able to get much better crash and performance stats with this new First Look. We’re getting very close to merging into RC, and are hoping to use better crash statistics to drive the crash rate far below where it currently stands.
Source: New WindLight Viewer (79185) + ATI talk

Here are some shots of the OLD sim I mentioned here.

Darkwood

Darkwood 2
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Popularity: 6%

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Apple Patches Quicktime Exploit

December 14th, 2007 | Category: Second Life Viewer, Security

Apple has patched the QuickTime bug that could allow someone to take your lindens in Second Life. The patch was released yesterday and is available here, there are several different versions available which is why I linked to the main downloads page instead of the individual updates.

Impact: Viewing a maliciously crafted RTSP movie may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

Description: A buffer overflow exists in QuickTime’s handling of Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) headers. By enticing a user to view a maliciously crafted RTSP movie, an attacker may cause an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by ensuring that the destination buffer is sized to contain the data. Source: Apple

Linden Labs has stated they will release a mandatory viewer update to make sure everyone is up to date and not running the old QuickTime code while in Second Life.

Next steps: When Apple issues a corrected version of QuickTime closing this vulnerability, we will push a new mandatory viewer update that will verify you have an updated copy of QuickTime on your system before enabling the QT subsystem for use in Second Life. Those who choose not to enable video streaming will not need to update QT to continue to use Second Life. Comment from Joe Linden.

Popularity: 3%

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Windlight First Look Viewer Updated

November 15th, 2007 | Category: Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer, Windlight

The day after the new release candidate with the new search is released, Linden Labs has released a new version of the Windlight First Look viewer, version 1.18.5.73655, and this version contains the new search, so I guess one time will be the number of times I log into yesterdays release candidate. Anyway, this is my time trying the Windlight client and it looks pretty good, I really like some of the effects you can use, I have become attached to the Sheer Surreality preset, but, that’s probably just the mood I am in.

They list five major new enhancements to the Windlight viewer,

1) Windlight itself brings back Classic Clouds, the moon, fallback (aka non-shader) WindLight is now much faster and of higher quality, which ensures those with older hardware still get fast, beautiful new skies, UI improvements to the Sky Editor dialog and a new Basic Environment Editor dialog.

2) Photorealistic water for those with powerful-enough graphics cards they now offer an amazing, much more physically-accurate water model, check this pic!

Second Life Windlight examples

3) All objects can now have a glow attribute assigned to them.

4) Avatar imposters - This should be a huge help to those hitting the popular spots as it can give you up to 40% fps increase in crowded scenes. It doesn’t go into detail about how they do it, but I assume it uses some kind of generic avatar to get the sim loaded quickly, just guessing.

5) Improved graphics preferences tab, which has been simplified and re-organized.

There is more exciting work planned for WindLight, including estate controls for custom skies/water and making skies/water available as trade able inventory items. Stay tuned for more info.

Also, there are several known issues we’re working on. You can find a complete list in the Release Notes. Some of the notable ones are:

  • Behavior in Leopard on Macs can be overly slow, and textures may be misplaced.

  • Shiny doesn’t look the same as before. We’re working to get it very close, if not better.
  • NVIDIA beta drivers 169.04 currently do not support shaders.
  • Some of your colors and textures might appear overexposed or washed out with the new lighting framework.

Source: WindLight First Look is back

Not sure how Torley and some of those guys have gotten those great effects on some of their pics, like this one, click for a bigger view:

improved second life graphics

But, here are a few pics I took tonight using it, I guess I just need better subject matter at a different time of the day, I guess, and probably a video card driver update and some good old fashioned tweaking to make it better.

Clouds

Here’s a new shot from The Wall.

Sunset
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Popularity: 7%

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New Release Candidate, New Search and How to Use It

November 14th, 2007 | Category: Search, Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer

In a blaze of posts over on the Second Life blog, Linden Labs has announced a new release candidate, 1.18.5, which includes a new search, the topics covered in the next two blog posts. They have talked about the new search previously, they are going to use some Google appliances for the search, so, right there it should tell you it will be better than it was before, I guess how much better will depend on how it is setup. In addition to the new search, the release candidate includes these bug fixes:

Bug fixes include:

VWR-2959: Windows (Visual Studio) solution file refers to a non-existing project “build_all”
Korean text display broken on Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5)
VWR-2030: Avatar only turns half-way in Appearance Mode
VWR-2803: Lag Meter network ping metric doesn’t account for residents outside the USA
VWR-2834: Builds fail on 1.18.4.0 with no mozlib Source: New Viewer: 1.18.5 Release Candidate Available Today!

The new search certainly looks different, looks like they are featuring eight spots when you first click on search, not sure if they are paid spots or not.

Search initial box

The second article they posted tonight about the new release is about the new search and contains all kinds of good information on it, the posting of a new search FAQ, some clips from an upcoming podcast about it, here and here and it talks about how it also uses the new wiki in the search, which, btw, when you click the search results in the wiki, it loads the webpage inside the SL viewer instead of an external web browser like before.

The points below highlight the key things you should know about the new Search:

The new search is additive to the current search
The new search returns information about land, profiles, groups, wiki documents, events, classifieds, and some individual objects
You have the ability to choose what you want to include in search
Classifieds are returned both within and next to the search results
Using the New Search
There is a new “All” tab in the Search window, but the rest of the tabs, including the All (old) tab with the current All search functionality, are still included and functional. Using the new All tab, it’ll be easier to find relevant results when you’re searching for land parcels, Resident profiles, groups, classifieds, events, and individual objects marked for inclusion that are present on public parcels. In order to try out the new search, you will need to download the latest Release Candidate. Once you have installed this new version, you will notice that there is an additional tab added to Search that looks different than the current version. This is the new Search All tab! Source: New Search with Today’s Release Candidate

Torley has posted his latest tip as well and guess what, it’s about the new search as well.

One of the aspects I love most about working at Linden Lab is creating friendly guides to new features, especially those which you may’ve waited a long time for. Search is both special and expected in this regard, so this Tip of the Week is about how to use the new Search. It includes:

How to get started with the Search bar
How to find people, places, objects on parcels, etc.
Using special Google operators (not all of these apply) to do advanced searches (at long last!)
A couple neat interface improvements: resizable Search window and easier teleporting Source: Tip of the Week #10: How to use the new Search

He’s even included a video how to.

The search is definitely improved, in the old search you could get extra traffic by entering hot search terms, such as when the CSI:NY show was out, lots and lots of search items had those terms included to get some extra traffic. Looks like the initial release of the new search has already helped a lot of that, check out the search results for CSI:NY now.

CSI:NY Search Results

They have also included classifieds beside the new search results, hopefully users will get more bang for their buck now with those. As you can see, the second page results are not near as good, but that could just be because of a lack of enough objects.

Second page results

Here is a shot of the old results.
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Popularity: 5%

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CSI: NY and the OnRez Second Life Viewer

October 12th, 2007 | Category: RL Meets SL, Second Life Viewer, TV

Browsing the web while in the OnRez viewer
There has been lots of talk about the upcoming episode of CSI: NY that involves Gary Senise’s character going inworld into Second Life to track down a killer, the video below was released by CBS and it shows an avatar falling to the ground, all bloodied up and dead looking.

This certainly looks a lot better than the recent episode of Law & Order SVU, called Avatar, which featured a virtual world that wasn’t real. Come on, you know it’s funny. Their virtual world was referred to as AY, I heard them call it Alternate Youniverse and Another Youniverse, or at least I think I did, and it was very similar to Second Life, but they did not show very much of it. CSI sounds like it is going to be a very involved episode, where they are trying to pull in people to Second Life by having them help track down the killer.

Viewers will download Second Life with the new viewer created by The Electric Sheep Company, the OnRez viewer, the process will go like this, viewers register on CBS.com for the CSI: NY Virtual Experience and pick their
avatar, they then download Second Life with the customized OnRez viewer and a toolbar to follow the killer from the show through some virtual experiences in Second Life. The killer will not be found in this episode though, to give users a chance to explore some more stuff in Second Life

A lot more involved than the Law & Order episode, and a lot easier on users who can become overwhelmed by the initial Second Life experience. The Electric Sheep Company has made their viewer look like a web browser, with a back button, which I can’t wait to try out ;), the familiar looking home button, hidden some of the stuff new users don’t need to use yet, and made it a lot easier to get started on your own.

“The custom viewer is an important part of our cross-platform initiative around CSI: New York,” said Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY. “We wanted to make the transition between the show, the Web and Second Life as seamless as possible. The new viewer makes navigating the virtual world more intuitive and accessible to all of the show’s fans.”

“The OnRez viewer is a great example of the ecosystem of content and software that is being built on top of the Second Life Grid platform,” said Ginsu Yoon, VP of Business Affairs from Linden Lab. “We are supportive of our entire developer community, and The Electric Sheep Company\’s technology is no exception — we hope this viewer will be a great option for new and existing Second Life users.” Source: The Electric Sheep Company Unveils New Viewer for Second Life

Some of the improvements of the OnRez browser:

  • Redesigned interface to improve the user’s experience

  • Built-in search, shopping, and virtual currency purchasing services from the OnRez software suite
  • Improved location navigation allowing users to easily ‘jump back and forth’ among Second Life sites, just as they do on the Web
  • Improved integration and browsing of the Web from inside the virtual world

They give some more information on their blog,

Our goal is to simplify the user experience for a more mainstream audience, and we are launching this new viewer as part of the upcoming CSI:NY project with CBS. We have changed the overall look and menu structures, and moved closer to a Web browser-like model with things like teleport history and a “Back” button. We’ve also made Web browsing much more seamless within the Viewer, and with that comes easier access to OnRez services like Shop and Search (launching with later this month with the CSI project).

While this Viewer is commercially licensed from Linden Lab, we plan on working with the open source community and contributing to the community where it makes sense. I think some existing Second Life users will quite take to the new Viewer, while some heavier SL users might be thrown by the changes and need a little more time to adjust. I should note explicitly that 1. this launch is a first step and we are excited for all the new capabilities we plan for the viewer; and 2. that our target audience is focused on new users rather than Second Life power users. Source: ESC Unveils New Viewer for Second Life

If many viewers start using Second Life because of this show, then this will certainly put the Electric Sheep Company on the map, to have thousands of users using your client and buying stuff from your website will certainly add a nice, new income stream, and the more your name is heard associated with stuff, the more of an expert you become on the subject. This is one company that has the possibility of a big explosion and growth, and they will continue to add to and update the OnRez viewer, saying “The Electric Sheep Company plans a steady stream of enhancements to the viewer, both in terms of usability and value-added services”.

Set your DVR for 10pm Eastern time on October 24th, I normally don’t watch the CSI shows, but I’m sure going to check this one out, and follow along and see how much easier of a start it will be compared to the Linden Labs Second Life Client and Orientation Island.

Note: Visit http://viewer.onrez.com/ to get notified when the OnRez Viewers launches.

Spoiler: On the CSI: NY TV show, the killer will not be caught until the February 6th episode.

Gary Sinise standing in front of his Second Life avatar

Popularity: 5%

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A Better Search for Second Life?

August 18th, 2007 | Category: Search, Second Life Viewer

The folks behind the SL Browser HUD think they have a better search than Second Life, how could they not, indexing 1.4 million products, but are currently only getting about 2000 searches per day. Second Life Insider has this to say about it,

But this isn’t about numbers … I’m excited about several features that surpass the searching capabilities available in the SL client. For one - you can search based on keywords and in your results you get the location and relevant object/keyword image (instead of the picture of a storefront). This helps narrow your search at-a-glance, without wasting time teleporting to tens of sites to find something close to what you have in mind. It even sports an “impulse buying” option through the “Public” search feature. If you have that box checked, your HUD will react to searches other people make using the browser. If you like what you’re hearing, go get your own here.

If you’re a business owner and wish to update your object description, simply change the object description and the Browser will automatically update in a week’s time. Felix is also working on creating tags for those who wish to have their objects stay un-indexed by his gadget. For the techies reading this, continue on to hear about how the browser works, pitfalls, etc. Source: SL Browser - In the Run for Being Second Life’s Google

Heck, if we just post about everything in Second Life on the web, making sure we had the appropriate Second Life URL’s, we can have Google index it, there are already some big websites selling the products, like SL Exchange, so lots of the stuff is already out there, but these guys are starting from the beginning, so it may be awhile before we have a search function that is really good.

Second Life URL

If you don’t want the robots crawling your land, ban these avatars:

Computer Allen
Collaboration Yoshikawa
Cyberr Kidd
Savvy Lisle
Studious Jacobus
Web Debevec
Hack Swindlehurst
Innova Despres
IP Benelli
Smark Slade

Popularity: 3%

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Sleek, Small Footprint SL Client

July 20th, 2007 | Category: Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer

I posted earlier about a student writing an Ajax client for Second Life, Your Second Life Inside the Browser, here is another you can try out, Sleek.

SLeek is an open-source (BSD-style license), relatively lightweight client for Linden Lab’s Second Life virtual world. It allows you to perform basic in-world tasks such as chatting, IM, viewing Inventory, viewing Profiles, and more. It can be useful especially for lower-power computers, or if you only need the basic functionality of SL at the moment.

From the last release:

Updated to latest libsecondlife. Should be more compatible with 1.18. Also, logging into non-LL grids should work now.
Added basic Friends functionality.
Added new settings/preferences system. Not too many options yet, but it works.
Added support for multiple instances. Selecting “SLeek–>New Window” will open a new instance of SLeek.
Several behind-the-scenes changes to accommodate the above.
Snapshots as well as textures can now be previewed in Inventory.
IM timestamps can now be turned on or off.
Interface style can be changed between System style and Office 2003 style.
Possibly other things I forgot (as usual).
Known issues:

People count in region search still always shows zero.
Some things in Inventory have become broken. Namely, the creation of folders/items and some clipboard functionality (cut/copy/paste).
Notecard and script viewing are working. However, they will not save properly. It will *appear* to work, but it actually doesn’t.

Popularity: 5%

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New Second Life Viewer Released

July 06th, 2007 | Category: Second Life Viewer

Version 1.17.3 of the Second Life Viewer is now available, as I am sure most of you are already aware. Two key fixes were addressed:

VWR-1418: Progressive memory consumption (leak) since 1.17.1

VWR-1203: Avatars eyes are constantly crossing in 1.17

Here is the complete list of fixes:
Changes:

  • Added muting for permissions requests

  • Added viewer channel info to Help > About Second Life…

Bug fixes:

  • SVC-21: Request for making identification of llOwnerSay messages possible

  • VWR-1418: Progressive memory consumption (leak) since 1.17.1
  • VWR-1410: Quirk in net.cpp
  • VWR-1351: Violation against the conding standard in llfloaterchat.cpp
  • VWR-1203: Avatars eyes are constantly crossing in 1.17
  • VWR-1184: [Linux VWR] Signal 7 (SIGBUS) Error (caused by libtcmalloc)
  • VWR-1147: A patch set is provided to add an optional ‘Confirm Exit’ pop-up window for most user client exit methods. Prevents the ‘Accidental Quit’.
  • VWR-605: Include the SL date & day with the time
  • VWR-561: Blurry arrows in camera control and other graphics issues
  • VWR-53: Inconsistency in order of AV texture layer between the upper and lower body
  • Fixed Top Scripts window not refreshing when button is pressed while Top Colliders list is still open
  • Fixed odd text overlay on About Land > General tab
  • Fixed format of llOwnerSay chat text

This combined with the rolling restart yesterday will hopefully fix some of the lag we’ve been experiencing.

Popularity: 2%

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