Winter lagging

Brrrr! The weather has taken an abrupt turn to distinctly chilly and, although i’d prefer a crisp, cold Autumn day over a wet and windy one, a bit of warmth now and again wouldn’t go amiss. As winter draws ever nearer our thoughts tend to turn towards preparing for the weeks ahead – at least that’s what should be happening but, if you’re anything like me, the cold weather, dark nights and short days just make me sluggish and unwilling to move around a lot. Oddly enough, that seems to have been happening a lot to me in sl lately too!

Is it my imagination, or is sl getting laggier? i seem to remember always having problems with lag and then, for a few brief, wonderful months, things appeared to improve. i didn’t stride through walls and disappear into the distance for ages; conversations flowed in a rational and logical fashion, and; the days of stumbling around jerkily, completely out of control, on arrival at a new sim all seemed to be things of the past… until recently, when it seems that lag is back with a vengeance!

Lag is quite a technical thing, although it’s usually ridiculously easy to fix – in theory. Client side lag is a simple matter of buying a bigger, better, faster computer, (i said it was easy to fix, not cheap!). Server side lag is more complicated, but mainly boils down to a couple of things – what the sl physics engine can handle, and how much memory the sim is being asked to manage. A big chunk of lag problems can be solved by efficient building practices… keep physical objects to a minimum, use phantom prims where practical, be sparing with megaprims – especially if these are used in a way that needs lots of collision calculations, (megaprims for dancefloors? Bad, bad idea!), and avoid scripted objects if you can. Savvy building will make a whole lot of difference to lag, but it’s only part of the story.

i’m afraid that when it comes to making sl run like a knock-kneed, arthritic centipede on dope, it’s little old you and me that are the prime suspects – we gobble up sim memory like it’s going out of fashion; with our mystitools, fart HUDs, dance chims, re-sizeable shoes, belts and hair, talking jewellery and particle poofers, we’re laden down with scripts like a sherpa about to tackle the north face of Everest and, much as we like our toys, gadgets and gizmos, do we really like them to the extent we’re prepared to tolerate crazy lag and inflict it on everyone else?

Thought not! i like to think of it as personal hygiene – and the less crud we carry around with us, the fewer germs and unwanted nasties we spread to our environment and our neighbours. A clean avatar is a happy avatar! There’ll always be those indispensable HUDs and attachments we can’t do without of course and i’m not suggesting for a moment we do away with those but what about all those ‘single-use’ scripts that we insist on hanging onto? Clothes and hair re-sizers, for example, that we could arguably throw away once everything fits but instead, we keep them, up and running and doing absolutely nothing, other than being tasty fodder for the lag monster.

Yes, i’m as guilty as anyone on that count – i’m paranoid about deleting scripts… what if my head suddenly changes size?; what if i crash and come back to find nothing fits any more?; what if i pile on the pixels and swell to twice my size? – take away my scripts and i panic that everything will go horribly wrong. It’s no good telling me to keep a back-up scripted copy of everything in case of emergency – a) i’ll forget; b) i’ll never know which one to wear, and; c) my inv. is the size of a small city anyway, please don’t force me to make it bigger, or i’ll need satnav to get around it.

Well, my friends, i’ve found the answer! Go immediately to the Marketplace and buy this script! Drop it in to every scripted item you can – not just hair and clothes… everything! – and switch off those scripts – so simple, even i can do it. Yes, i realise there are other ways to switch off scripts but, in my view none of them are as elegant, (or persistent over restarts), as this one – completely brilliant. Whilst i’m at it, i cannot recommend its creator, Silk Aeon, highly enough. She has produced some stunning, extremely low prim, sculpts – some of which include texturing on creation, handled by scripts, so textures fit perfectly – at ridiculously low prices… including complete living rooms and bedrooms at just 1 prim; quite remarkable.

Even if you don’t buy anything else, i absolutely insist you grab a copy of her eco-script and use it wherever you can – then we can all look forward to a lag-free winter!

S x

Would be the tempo of the restless soul
He’s seen what a listless life can bring
Wait, and then he waits until he’s waiting for
The latency of everything
dEUS – Slow

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