Snowstorm? Nope… just chilling!

You already know that i like to keep abreast of developments in the world of sl, which is why i spent some time today giving the latest development version of Snowstorm a test drive. It’s a rare thing indeed for me to gravitate in the direction of the Linden Lab official viewer in any form, let alone enjoy the experience, and yet that’s precisely what happened today, up to a point.

Snowstorm Dev. V3-2-3-244722

Here’s something you thought you’d never hear me say about a V2 compliant viewer, (or should that be V3? Come on Linden Lab, when are you going to call V3 by its proper name?), i was suitably impressed! i had no trouble at all going straight from Firestorm (in Phoenix interface mode), to the new Snowstorm – no fiddling about trying to find controls, no stood stock still as i tried to work out how things were supposed to work – everything worked seamlessly! i’d heard rumours about improvements and how the look and feel was more like Firestorm and it appears they were right. Speaking of which, here’s something i never thought i’d see:

Various Lindens (myself included) enjoy using third-party viewers. Some popular TPV features over time have made it into the LL Viewer. If there are specific V1 UI features you miss in V3 (confusing we still label it as a “Viewer 2” download, I know!) please say so.  

Lindens using TPVs eh? i’m shocked!

Anyway, the accursed side bar has gone and the UI seems a whole lot more intuitive and rational – at last – one other thing that does seem to have improved is the graphics quality. Much as i love Firestorm graphics, i’d have to say that Snowstorm seemed to have the edge in quality – really crisp and sharp – in fact, i’d say on a par with Kirsten’s Viewer, however that’s when disappointment started to loom…

Textures seemed to take an age to load and sculpties stubbornly refused to resolve themselves into proper shapes until after, what i consider, to be an unacceptably long time. Very disappointing really.

The bigger disappointment came when i started to fiddle under the bonnet – initially a pleasurable and intuitive experience. Switching graphics to ultra caused me to crash horribly – a problem that’s plagued me with all the official viewers since V2 came on the scene. It shouldn’t be a problem: My graphics card woes are now a thing of the past, fixed with a dirt cheap 650W power supply, and i’ve been set to ultra in Firestorm for the past three weeks with no problems at all, so i’m laying the blame firmly at the feet of Snowstorm!

That’s where my test ended – i refuse to use a viewer that crashes frequently for no reason: i have enough problems with a fluctuating ADSL connection to want to contend with software glitches too. i would have brought you a few screen shots but now Snowstorm is crashing on login so, i’m afraid, Snowstorm will be put on ice for the time being and it’s back to Firestorm for me.

Hang it all… All this techie stuff is enough to give you a headache – sl is supposed to be fun. Well, i’m pleased to say that it still is, more so now because i’ve fixed my scooter! The pesky thing just wouldn’t do what it was supposed to, so with a bit of trial and error, a bit of logical thinking and a lot of luck, i finally managed to fix the darned thing! That’s the easy part – the more difficult part is learning to ride the contraption in a manner that isn’t threatening to life, limb and property – methinks that could take some time!

Until then, i think i’m better off taking a more relaxed form of transport, and what could be more relaxed than sitting back whilst somebody else does all the hard work? Cue an opportunity for my new rickshaw to be pressed into service… now, i wouldn’t want to be accused of slave labour but in these days of eco-friendliness and austerity, i thought it was only right to get my money’s worth. The notecard said that it could handle two passengers on the seat – no mention of the roof though. Poor old Rick – he did complain a little – but i’m proud of him coping with a crew of five and i’m even prouder that i managed to steer him all the way through town without a single casualty, (hence the lack of pictures – my hands were otherwise occupied!); i even managed to steer us past the pond without falling in!

After that thrilling ride, i can tell you folks we were all ready to relax and recover and, you know what? There’s nothing like sitting in sl, with a few friends just taking it easy and chilling – even the mermaid from the pond joined us! Happy days!

S. x

Do you want to ride
see yourself going by
The other side of the sky
Hawkwind – Silver Machine

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