The Impossible Dream

i have a dream.

i dream of a day when i can log into sl and that the people i see, irrespective of creed, colour or nationality will appear as their creator intended… not a uniform bland, featureless grey. i have a dream where i can join with my neighbour in an exchange of views, where each is able to have their say… not a disjointed, meaningless flow of sentences with no logical order. i dream of a day when, no matter what one’s status, all will have the dignity of appearing fully clothed in public, all will be afforded the simple right to listen to the music without dropouts or silences… a day when citizen can join with citizen across the virtual world with teleports that never fail. i have a dream of a lag-free society where all can live in harmony and peace, secure in the knowledge that crashes are a thing of the past… i have a dream!

i know it seems i’m always slagging off sl for being rubbish – it’s not intentional, (I do write good things about it, too!) but i am the sort of person who believes in the ‘better out, than in’ principle and, if i’m wound up about something, i’d rather rant and get it out of my system than inwardly seethe and fester. Yesterday i had some of the worst technical experiences en-masse that i have ever had to put up with in sl.

Don’t get me wrong, i accept that sometimes performance will be less than optimal and things like lag are perhaps inevitable in a crowded sim but i’d question whether the same is acceptable in a practically empty sim, with no-one else around.

Yesterday was all too much for me, though and it was one of the few occasions when i almost gave up and decided not to bother. i’ll give you a brief flavour, so you don’t think i’m having a whinge over nothing…

  • i logged on and was a permanent cloud, despite re-baking, editing my appearance and TP’ing to another location;
  • Logged off and tried again, with the same result;
  • Logged off and tried again – this time, i rezzed with no clothes, half my hair, no features and all in a rather unfetching shade of Caramac brown. Re-baked, edited, TP’d and even changed my skin, all to no avail;
  • Logged off and tried again – same thing;
  • Logged off and tried again – at last… i’m me! Then followed the longest teleport ever (i swear it took 2 minutes!) to the Pig and Whistle;
  • Everybody is grey and i have no sound, apart from tumbleweed – better still my audio buttons are greyed out. To add insult to injury, i have the world’s worst chat lag… apologies to anyone i didn’t speak to or appeared to ignore – i was just incapable of making sense of any conversation;
  • Logged off and tried again – Yay! (sort of), everyone’s still grey but i have music. Perfect timing too, as Meri finishes her set and switches to radio! (that’s irony, by the way, in case you didn’t get it!);
  • Things are no better at Penny Lane: this is my view of the world, well over an hour later…

Shades of grey

Good huh?

Now, i know that my system isn’t exactly of HAL9000 calibre (more Grecian 2000, to be honest), but it certainly exceeds the minimum spec necessary for sl. So, wouldn’t you say that i should expect something a little better and a lot less stressful? – it actually took an extra special massage and cup of camomile tea to bring me back onto an even keel!

Before you answer that question, i’d like you to consider that in the last quarter, Linden Lab quotes a Linden dollar availability of around L$26 million (that’s 6 zeros!). We may think it’s our money but let’s not kid ourselves whose bank account it’s in. Surely, LL should be investing some of that wealth into solving some of the technical problems that, quite frankly, put many people off.

Maybe i’m wrong – perhaps i’m expecting too much? Perhaps it’s just me – but, in all honesty, yesterday was disappointing, frustrating and upsetting… that’s not what i want from sl.

S. x

That’s a very nice rendering, Dave. I think you’ve improved a great deal.
HAL9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey)

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