Before i start – an apology! This is the post that should have appeared yesterday, as a follow-up to the previous day’s post. Somehow, i managed to confuse myself and ended up publishing today’s post yesterday, which means that yesterday’s post appears today, and Monday’s post which promised today’s post, tomorrow (ie. yesterday), should really have appeared yesterday, so that today really could be tomorrow! Anyway…
On Monday, i considered what it meant to be part of a technology that is constantly evolving when, in the main, most of us tend towards being pretty static. It’s not that i intended to come over all technical, in fact i hadn’t even been thinking along those lines… it all started because i was looking for a new pair of boots!
You’re probably wondering how on earth my thought processes managed to make the connection between sl’s greed for resources and a shiny new pair of boots – and there’s the answer; staring you in the face. The sales blurb was careful to point out that, in order to fully appreciate the craftsmanship in my potential purchase, i would have to have ‘shiny’ enabled. That started several thought processes rolling and, before i knew it, they ended up here.
These boots were the sl equivalent of a frozen ready meal – from the picture on the front of the pack, you’d think you were buying a succulent, mouth-watering gastronomic delight; the reality, of course, is very different… small cubes of some sort of ‘meat’, surrounded in a cloying sauce of indeterminate origin, within which strange green, orange and red particles are suspended, (vegetables?). Somehow, no matter how hard you try, once you’ve glooped it out of the plastic container onto your best Wedgwood dinner plate, topping it off with the crispy bits that have become welded to the sides, you can never quite get it to resemble any sort of food, let alone the haute cuisine depicted on the packaging. Either somebody’s swapped your meal with one of vastly inferior quality, or the graphics rendered on the box have rezzed very differently on the plate.
There you have the problem in a nutshell – given perfect conditions, top-notch equipment, perfect lighting and angles and optimal circumstances it is entirely possible to make a sow’s ear look like a silk purse, (not that i’m suggesting for one moment that frozen ready meals would ever have sow’s ears as a major constituent… then again…); conversely, it’s equally possible to make a right pig’s ear of something that should look good, if it happens to have been scraped out of a plastic container after 3 minutes at full power in the microwave.
SL is no different – those boots looked lovely on the marketplace; all shiny and smart, with their little booty voices crying out… ‘Buy me, buy me!’ – but i knew that the moment i parted with my lindens and they appeared on my feet, some of that glossy loveliness would fade and, although they’d be good, they simply wouldn’t be as great as the ones in the picture.
Then i started wondering how they’d appear to others – you see, i have no idea how i look on other people’s screens, only how i look on my own. My graphics’ setup is fairly hardcore, (despite which, i’m still having problems with lights and shadows – but see below, if you think you can help!), and i manage to run on ultra with my draw distance cranked up to around 300 metres, as standard, but i realise that this is far from ‘normal’. To be honest, i don’t even get the full benefits of my settings, because my internet connection is, and always has been, complete pants, (i hope you’re reading this, Mr Branson!). Most sane people run under much less demanding settings and it stands to reason, that what i’m seeing with my equivalent of the Hubble Space Telescope is very different to what other people may be seeing with the equivalent of a pair of short-sight specs they picked up at Poundland. You see where this is going? (Maybe not, if you happen to be wearing the aforementioned specs!).
What may look fabulous to me might look pretty awful to those around me, and the worst thing is, i haven’t a clue about what they might be seeing. i remember back in the days of the Emerald Viewer, when the official sl viewer didn’t permit multiple attachments, you’d often see profiles with the note: ‘Use Emerald to see me properly’… Perhaps i should put something along the same lines in my profile – ‘please boost your graphics up as high as possible, to see me like i do!’, but i think that might be asking a bit much.
It’s bad enough having people with V1 viewers telling me that i’m half invisible, or i have strange balls attached to me whenever i wear something made from mesh; how on earth am i going to cope now that i have the unnerving feeling that my shiny bits have lost their lustre and, for all i know, i look for all the world like something Picasso dreamed up to everybody around me?
Anyway, i need your advice, oh technical wizards that you are…
As i’ve mentioned before, turning on shadows and reflections in any viewer causes me to crash – i’ve now realised that’s not strictly true, in fact they work perfectly well as soon i turn them on. However, the moment i hit ‘apply’ or ‘ok’, guess what? Yep, i crash. Feeling experimental recently, i activated S&R’s and then simply minimised my preferences dialogue. Sure enough, everything worked fine, including the shadows, for a good five minutes before once again crashing. i’m beginning to wonder if i have some sort of conflict, maybe even a problem with something running in the background that’s messing things up – anyone come across anything similar? Any ideas, greatly appreciated!
Cuz’ what you see is what you get
Please remember this is it
Save Ferris – What You See Is What You Get