Shadows and reflections

When will i learn? Someday i’ll finally persuade myself to accept that beta releases are more likely, than not, to be buggy, borky and breathtakingly brilliant at driving me bonkers! That moment has yet to arrive and, every time a new release comes out, you’ll find me blithely believing that everything will work perfectly and do exactly what it’s supposed to do, first time, every time – yes, i’m barmy! (But loveable!)

The strange thing is, i never used to be like this – for absolutely ages i hung on to the official  Viewer 1.23; even when i knew there were better and more advanced viewers to choose from, i clung madly to the one i knew… i was perfectly happy with it, i knew how it worked and i felt comfortable with it. If the truth be told, i was probably a little scared even at the thought of trying something different. Then, one day, after lots of encouragement from other people who kept telling me how good Emerald was, i took the plunge and, it’s fair to say, i never looked back!

Imagine my display when Emeraldgate resulted in Emerald falling out of favour just a short time later: i hung on until the very end, literally the last day that Emerald was allowed access to sl, at which point, i switched to the awful Viewer Poo 2. It was not a match made in heaven! Thankfully, help was at hand, when Phoenix arose majestically from the ashes of Emerald – i breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief and got on with my second life… but something odd had happened to me.

The old, timid, not-wanting-to-change-from-the-familiar me had undergone a paradigm shift – every time a new, updated version of Phoenix became available, i had to have it. Out went rational thought and in came a grasping desire, a need even, to posses the latest, most edgy version out there – if it was in beta and still being tested, that was even better… a kind of red haze descended over my mind whenever a new beta came on the scene, completely overwhelming commonsense – (is that a ‘beta blocker’?) – and compelling my mouse hand to insanely click on ‘download’ the very moment the new version came out.

That was the start of it – probably a good thing in a way, because, in between the banging-of-heads against walls, (usually mine.. head and walls, that is), bouts of screaming abuse at the screen and countless hours of repeating the same fruitless actions, time and time again, i think i may have learned a few things. i’ve learned about pretty much every preference there is and the weird ways that combining them can bring equally weird results; i’ve leaned about debug settings, consoles and developer’s tools; i’ve learned what a Jira is and how it’s supposed to work and, on occasion, i’ve even taken a screwdriver to my PC and poked around inside, and everything still seems to work! (Although i’ve somehow gained a BluRay drive that doesn’t exist, but i can live with that – or, more accurately, without it!)

Sadly, the one lesson, i’ve yet to learn is ‘Stick with a Viewer that works well and, for goodness sake, stop playing around with beta releases, for your own sanity!’

Still time, perhaps? Anyway, my change of heart also encompasses a much greater scope than i would ever have considered in the past – gone are the days when i’d have come up with every excuse in the book to avoid changing viewers… these days, although Firestorm is my usual viewer of choice, i’ve been known to dabble with Imprudence, Kirstens, sl Development Viewers, Dolphin and the Mobile Grid Client. My latest spot of messing around has been with the beta release of the latest Exodus Viewer.

Why Exodus? Well, mainly because i’m intrigued by some of the rather interesting and highly customisable graphics settings that it puts at the user’s disposal. Things like high dynamic range rendering, for example – not to everyone’s taste, but executed well, HDR can be stunningly good, although i’m sure i’d particularly want to wander for too long in an exclusively HDR world! i’d also seen some good reports on stability and performance about Exodus, so i gave it a whirl.

Everything was going just great… i chose to overlook the V2 interface! What particularly impressed me was that i could enable shadows and reflections and everything worked perfectly. That’s something i’ve never been able to achieve before – if i try shadows in Firestorm, it crashes immediately – perhaps because i’m using version 3.2.2, which is the one with all the Linden Lab graphics ‘shiny fixes’: but i’m just too lazy to try out 3.2.1 – i’ll wait for the next release!

Gosh… what a happy bunny i was! Right up to the point when, fine tuning my chat preferences, the darn thing crashed and burned, and then refused to behave at all on subsequent logins. Now, what was that lesson about beta releases i’m supposed to be learning?

i think that life is maybe complicated enough, without introducing extra variables – particularly variables that are still under development and haven’t yet been proven… maybe, just maybe on this one i’ll hold fire until a full release comes out, and then, by heck will i give it a proper test run!

Reflecting... But no shadows!

S. x

Empty shadows at night on the floor…
The Action – Shadows And Reflections 

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