Hugsies Blog!

October 31, 2008

SLim is virtually useless

Filed under: Second Life Shit! — Hugsie @ 11:52 am

And that pun in the title WAS intended.

I’ve been a user of MetaBolt for a couple months now.  Metabolt is a simple text only IRC-style chat client that logs you into the SL grid, with no 3D interface. Mostly metabolt is great for camping, which is something I could have used years ago when I was a camper at various casinos.  Since casinos are gone, camping dosen’t pay off anything worth wile anymore.  But if you’re a land owner you can use it to camp your alts to artificially raise your traffic numbers, or set up security avatar bots (running lsl scripts) at your establishment.

These 3rd party stand-alone text only clients have been around for some time, and now Linden Labs is going to release their own thin client called SLim, but it’s not the same thing.  In fact the Lindens didn’t develop it, it was developed by their voice chat service Vivox. Since this client allows you to use voice chat, where as the other text clients don’t, however the other clients (e.g. Metabolt) are acctually useful.

To get this working, first you’re required to download the First-look SLim Viewer which is a normal standard 3D viewer that some how syncs up your friends list with your SLim account (yes they are seperate).   I know this is instantly going to confuse so many users thinking that this new “SLIM” first-look client is a new low-resource hogging client, that still gives you a 3D environment.  Nope, it’s just the same old client from Linden Lab with extra code so it can sync your friends list with SLim which will probably later get rolled into the next official update of the SL viewer.

First you have to set up a SLim account that’s separate from your SL avatar login. The links to sign up is on the dowload page for SLim,  you need to be logged into the Second Life website first to even get the download links (no login requred to DL the regular viewer). This is because it uses your logged-in avatar name to create your SLim account.  Because of this it’s not possible for anyone to “Hijack” your account names.  They do recommend you use a different password but most people won’t since they won’t understand it’s almost completely separate from the SL Grid, since in order to IM and voice chat with your friends in SL, they also must be logged in with SLim.  So apparetly IMs and voice chat dosen’t work across the SL viewer users, and SLim users because they are diffrent services.  Which makes it completely useless.

This means that SLim is no different from using Yahoo, Skype, MSN Live, AIM or any number of IM clients where your friends also have to use the same exact software as you are in order to chat with them.  So do we really need yet another IM client just to talk to our SL friends when it’s completely separated from Second Life it self?  I mean isn’t that the whole FUCKING POINT is to chat with your friends on SL when they are logged in?

I can’t get my friends list to appear on SLim at all, and I’m also logged in to SL using the first look SLIM viewer, which is no diffrent then any of the previous viewers.  But like I said before, people will ASSUME that “First Look SLim viewer” will be a new low-end, low-footprint, low-resource using 3D viewer client that will run on slower/older PCs.  When all it really does is contain some small amount of software to sync your friends list with SLim however that really works.  I supposed this will be rolled into the next version of the offical viewer, but you’d think this can be acomplished in a diffrent way with out having to download and install a diffrent viewer that does nothing else. This viewer dosen’t fix any bugs like the nvidia rendering bug with palletized textures.

This also brings up a potential security risk by having yet another 3rd party with your login information. Sure your passwords can be different from the SL Grid, and the SLim service.  However if someone can get into your SLim account and access your friends list and you can send messages to your friends can be serious problem. I guess the Lindens didn’t learn their last lesson about the Age Verification fiasco that no one is bothering to use because of the potential security risks when using it.

All in all this is a useless aplication.  If you REALLY want to have IM conversations with out having to be logged in to SL, simply set SL to send you e-mails for offline IMs, since you can also respond to them via email and they will see your messages.  It may not be as clean as SLim, but it’s not nearly as cumbersome or as vulnrable.  And you’re better off using a client like METAbolt anyway.


1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for this! I just spent half an hour trying to sign up for SLim and getting error after error… finally I Googled it and came up with your post. I was under the impression it was a smaller client, but you cleared that up for me! And… As far as I know, none of my friends even HAVE the SLim client. Blargh. Thanks for sloughing through all of the baloney and saving me a bunch of head pain. I’ll just login if I want to chat. 😀

    Comment by C. Aluveaux — February 2, 2009 @ 10:23 am

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