Hugsies Blog!

October 31, 2013

Another Firestorm release, another set of frantic users having problems

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 12:23 pm

CLEAN INSTALL FIRESTORM 4.5.1

Like clock work, the moment there’s a new version of firestorm posted, people come into Firestorm Support English (FSE) group and complain about weird happenings and other odd behaviors in the viewer. 90% of all of this craziness is due to NOT doing a proper clean install  of the viewer. There have been HUGE HUGE changes from 4.4.2, to the public beta release of 4.5.1.  User settings, texture cache, and inventory cache will not be compatible, with the newer viewer so you must clear this out. This is why we always recommend a “CLEAN install” when updating to a new viewer that has changed this much.

What is a clean install exactly? It is NOT just running the uninstaller app first, and then running the new installer. You need to dig into your system files and delete where the user data, and cache files are located to be a proper “Clean” install. You may need to un-hide system folders to do so (notably the \appdata folder in windows). This link http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/fs_clean_reinstall explains how to do a proper clean install of Firestorm viewer.

Please note the new ALPHA x64 viewer doesn’t need a clean install since it installs on a separate path, as well as unique system folders for settings and cache. So assuming you’ve never ran it before, it will already be a clean install. Which probably explains why most ppl using the alpha x64 build are seeing a vast performace increase vs the last version.

BEFORE YOU DO A CLEAN INSTALL.. BACKUP!

Make a backup of settings from Preferences – Backup if you’re still running 4.4.2. Create a backup of your settings, and user login/passwords (they are encrypted alts included) and save it. Make a new folder on your desktop so you can find it easier when it’s time to restore after you’ve done your clean install.

November 5, 2012

Phoenix Viewer 1.6.1 with Windows 8

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 5:29 am

I’m sure a lot of users have switched up to windows 8 over the past week.  I my self have been using the consumer preview since last spring on a secondary desktop PC. Phoenix doesn’t run properly in Windows 8. While it installs fine and launches fine, it will fail during login. It will either just hang there not progressing with the login or crash with an odd error message I’ve never seen before.

I’ve told the Phoenix Team about this months ago when Win8 was still in “preview” and they don’t seem to care. It’s hard to do any support on an unofficial operating system that can change drastically from beta form to official releases. At that time I didn’t really care since I wasn’t using Windows 8 on a PC I used full time, and it was a “Preview” version of windows and would likely had been a bug that would probably work it self out once the retail version of windows 8 is released.

So Windows 8 is released. I used the Windows Update Assistant app that scans your system looking for hardware AND software incompatibilities. It did not see Phoenix viewer as being incompatible nor much of anything i had as incompatible  Most of the things listed as incompatible was ironically microsoft software.

So I did a clean install of Windows 8, zapped my boot HDD clean by deleting partitions and installed Windows 8 from a DVD image i burned (which upgrade assistant creates for you). Installed it, updated it, installed drivers, bla bla bla.  installed Firestorm and it works.  Installed Phoenix and it crashes on login.

Quick answer to fox this?  Set compatibility mode for the Phoenix Viewer shortcut to Windows 7.

Right click the icon for Phoenix, compatibility tab, and Checkmark compatibly mode so it’s enabled, and choose windows 7. Selecting Windows XP SP3 will not work. Keep in mind this is compatibility mode, not any sort of virtualization mode. So you don’t need a copy of windows 7 laying around or installed to use this.

Oddly enough if you turn off the compatibility mode after you have successfully logged in, Phoenix will still work. It only seems to fail when logging in with the viewer for the first time after a clean install. So it’s best if you leave compatibility mode on if you have alts and want to log them on, or it will fail.

One last thing about Window 8, or any fresh instal of Windows.  Windows does NOT come with OpenGL since it’s open source and Microsoft is not allowed to distribute it with a comercial product like Windows. Second Life does not use DirectX. This is why Second Life is cross platform since it dosen’t rely on Microsoft. Be sure to download and install the proper drivers for your Video GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and will come with OpenGL. Taken from the Phoenix/Firestorm Wiki…

Nvidia Video Drivers

  • Latest driver Last checked Oct 17– Windows: 306.97 (Oct 10) – Linux: 304.51 (Sep 24)

AMD (ATI) Video Drivers

  • Latest driver Last checked Oct 22– Windows and Linux: 12.10 (Oct 22) – Beta 12.11 (oct 22)

Intel Video Drivers

  • Intel driver download page Intel does not have a universal driver set. Please go to Intel’s site and select the appropriate download.

Have fun!!

July 29, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8

Filed under: Mac Stuff, Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:39 am

It was a bit of a chore to get this to install on my Two year old mac. As a long time PC tech/nerd i wanted to do a clean install rather than just update over it. When I went to Lion it didn’t work very well, compared to a clean install of Lion I did later. The InstallESD.dmg file you extract from the package for some reason won’t fit on a standard single layer DVD even though it’s size is only 4,3gb. Every time it tried to burn it off to a DVD in Disk Utility told me my media was too small. I can burn the file it SELF onto a DVD with out issue but only as a data DVD, not a bootable DVD. Every windows app that claims to support .dmg images claims this image is damaged and won’t do anything with it.

So then I opted for a USB 16gb stick install which also resulted in some crazy settings to partition and format the usb stick since it originally set with a MBR and FAT16. Even when properly formatted in Disk Utility, it still said the USB stick didn’t have enough memory or space when it finished writing out the image. I read online that this is a false error and it’s common. I was still able to boot to the USB drive and install Mountain Lion on my mac with no issues after that. 🙂

So with a clean install of Mountain Lion running on my Mac, I started testing Firestorm. OS X 10.8 comes with a dictation function that’s basically a stripped down version of iPhone’s Siri. It simply does speech to text into any text edit field on screen.  So I tried it with firestorm and it just froze firestorm with the pinwheel cursor, but the rest of OS was fine, so I had to force quit FS. On phoenix it works fine with no issues.

April 20, 2012

How to keep Firestorm running stable

Barring any malware that may be on your computer, I’m going to assume your system is clean, and your drivers are updated. Also this also applies to all OSes (mac, windows, linux) as well as Phoenix viewer.

Open preferences – Graphics tab, and Hardware Settings (see image)

Now un-check the first three settings, and turn Antialiasing to “Disabled”.  Also set “Viewer Texture Memory Buffer” to 384 as shown above in this image.  Yes this WILL lower the level of eye-candy but the more of it the lower performace AND/OR stability your SL experiance will be. So don’t trust the quality level the viewer gives you since it just doesn’t really know.  Especially with some v1 based viewers that still think you’re running on a Pentium III Xeon.

Now continue playing SL on these lower settings. You may want to also lower your draw distance, turn off local lights, enable Avatar Imposters. If you don’t crash as often as you were before, or you’re not crashing at all anymore then feel free to enable some of these functions to increase quality, one item at a time, and then try it out for a good while. Once you find the setting(s) that cause your viewer to be unstable, “undo” the last setting you enabled and keep it like that.

For the most part the OpenGL functions (enable OpenGL Vertex Buffer and Enable VBO Streaming) tend to be the main culprits of viewer instability. Mostly due to laptops with outdated drivers and OGL support.  Because with laptops you have to rely on the OEM (Dell, Gateway, HP, etc) for new dirvers, instead of the chipset makers (nvidia, amd, intel).

As for keeping the texture memory at 384mb and not maxed at 512db (even if your video card has well over 512gb) stems from an issue with all viewers (and as a grifer tool) for overly large textures that render and can cause your viewer to crash. Also if you notice you tend to crash as you’re “camming” around your location, then you should lower this setting to 384mb.

Also related is a protection function built into firestorm for texture lagging, under Prefrences , Firestorm, Protection tab.

With this enable should also help not just from crashing but certain kinds of grifer attacks.

April 11, 2012

Why is Firestorm better than Phoenix?

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 10:07 am
  1. Full mesh support w/o a performance it, and system instability.
  2. Multiple clothing layers for the same clothing type
  3. Customizable Flexible User Interface (FUI)
  4. Doesn’t rely on legacy and LAGGY services to function (profiles, search, etc)
  5. A much better Radar and mini-map
  6. Interpolates overlapping transparent textures PROPERLY (doesn’t clip/hide)
  7. HAS A FUTURE!
Viewers based on v1.x have limited life left.  LL doesn’t plan on “banning” older viewers as rumor suggests. However the services they rely on to operate fully will be shut down in the near future. Support for Phoenix is already dwindling because of this. With Firestorm version 4, the user interface no longer resembles the awkward cumbersome cluster-fuck that LL’s Viewer 2 was. Mesh support works better on this, than the “hacked” in support put into Phoenix, which even then only works if your machine isn’t so old that the viewer sets it to “low” graphics settings, since mesh will be turned off if it is. Assuming it runs at all if your CPU doesn’t have SSE2.
I know people are slow to change but it’s time we upgrade. SL may be a 10 year old technology but that doesn’t mean we have to keep using 10 year old computers.  Besides have you TRIED to use a 10 yearold PC on SL lately? …it sucks!  A single core, non-SSE2, 32bit computer with 2GB ram, 128m video card, and windows XP really sucks playing SL now!  And I was using a system like that 10 years ago.  Get with the times folks… or start using a “text viewer.”

March 1, 2012

The legacy of Emerald

Filed under: Gaming!, Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 12:06 pm

It’s supprising to see the amount of ignorance that spreads in a virtual world, even years after the fact. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is what keeps rumors alive, and feeds the fear-mongers that continue to spread these lies. There’s still many many clueless users in Second Life that belive Phoienix is still like Emerald, created by “hax0rz” to steal passwords, L$, and private information, and all sorts of hysterical bullshit.

Friend of mine recently got “hacked” by a spambot in SL, where all it did was just spam “get 2500L 4 free at,,,,” with a URL from .tk domain. It links to a malicious site that apparently infects your machine with a keylogger; which is how her password was stolen in the first place. Fortunately she didn’t lose anything but she’s convinced that Phoenix is to blame because of it’s legacy, and the FUD that continues to spread from ignorant people since the banning of Emerald about two years ago.

I asked her if she even knew WHY Emerald was banned so many years ago, and her reply was “it’s a hacker program, 300 pepole got thier accounts hacked. bla bla bla” which is basied on pure ignorance, and bullshit from others who blew smoke up her ass about what happend with Emerald.

When Emerald was accussed of DoS attacks, most people got upset (I did) and the rumor machine went total apeshit with more claims about keylogging, hacking accounts, and everything under the sun when it comes to malware.  This is what FUD does; smear the facts and exaggerates everything feeding on your Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt so you’ll buy into the bullshit. The only reason why Emerald was banned was because of a lame attempt at a DoS attack.

What is a DoS attack? Basically getting thousands or millions of different PCs on different IP address to access/request connection to another site all at once.  The result is supposed to overload the host server and “deny” access to anyone else who’s trying to legitimately access that server.

Basically what one of the Dev did was changed the login screen that appears when you launch Emerald viewer, which is just a webpage no code changed on the end user client software it self. The page loaded hidden frames that connected to someone’s blog on the web. Apparently this blog was of another TPV developer, and it was an attempt to jack up the hit count as a prank, and to show how popular Emerald was.  So every time any Emerald user launched Emerald, you were connecting to this blog page with out you knowing it and that blog page useage went up a tick. With Emerald’s huge userbase of Emerald is so HUGE (in the estimated hundreds of thousands) this was SEEN as a DoS attack.  Not that it was intended as a DoS attack, or that it actually took the site offline; since it wasn’t and it didn’t.

Reguardless this is a direct violation of LL’s policies and so LL demanded that two members of the Emerald Dev team would leave Emerald. They refused and so Emerald viewer was banned.  The group reformed WITH OUT those two devs, and formed Phoenix team as we know it today. The actual “DoS” attack amounted to almost nothing other than increased traffic numbers to that site; no denial of service was ever accomplished, even though that was never the goal of this prank.  But pranks often never go as planned.  …shit happens.

These facts doesn’t stop the fear and rumor mongering DRAMA that always comes about anytime something like this occurs (anything LL does always causes over exaggerated drama). Because of this people’s imaginations went wild and made assumptions that Emerald was an app made by hackers, and since all hackers are apparently evil; you’re at risk. <sigh!>

Even YEARS after Emerald has been all but forgotten, and Phoenix has become the dominant viewer next to Viewer 2/3 people STILL belive in the fear-mongering bullshit that was the legacy of Emerald.  Yes sure some of the Devs of Emerald/Pheoenix were known to create copybots clients, known grifers, and all that other crap. But that lead to a LOT of special features in viewers that we all enjoy in OTHER viewers.  Keep in mind folks.  Second Life client software (viewers) are open source.  Everything Phoenix has made is also open source and a lot of other 3rd party viewer dev teams adopt many of their code and vice versa.  If their was EVER anything malicious about their code, it would have been spotted a long time ago. Because it’s open source it’s EXTREMELY important that if you should ALWAYS download Phoenix or firestorm directly from www.phoenixviewer.com since anybody else can re-compile their own viewer with malware, and call it Phoenix.

This hyperbole from the fall of Emerald needs to end. It’s been over two years for Christ’s sake.  I thought it WAS over back then but people still keep clutching to bullshit like this due to fear, ignorance, and hate.  Even if this claim that 300 users were “hacked” for using Emerald (or phoenix) out of the 200,000+ phoenix and firestorm users (guesstimate since LL doesn’t share usage numbers publicly) who use it EVERY DAY seem VERY minor and meaningless if only 300 users were effected.  Unless all those 300 users were specifically targeting content creators, land barrons, and residents who had al ot of L$, then that cause alarm. Likely these 300 people are ignorant noobs clicking ads from spambots promising free L$.

February 25, 2012

New 3rd Party Viewer policies

LL annouced just before the weekend, about some additional requirements for 3rd party viewers. My inital reaction was “oh shit what did they fuck up this time?” but after reading it, it dosen’t seem like that big of a deal. On the other hand these new policies could slow down advancements in viewers if ALL viewer devs as well as LL has to collaborate on changes and advancements. and we know how fast LL is to change and advancement.

The first thing they laid out will basically break viewer ID tags. No big deal for me since I turn this off since it clutters nametags far to much. This also means that the phoenix team won’t have to bother implementing viewer tags into the Radar list which phoenix already has.

My theory on this change makes sense to me. LL made a shitty viewer, and anyone seen using Viewer 2 is often ridiculed and made fun of. They are targets for bullies, and it’s a sign of “noob” when you see users run around using viewer 2.

The other change is about online status. This largely moot since the lag is so bad at times that you can’t really tell if someone is really online or not. How many times have you seen a friend online for hours on end, and you IM them for it to pop up saying they are offline? I mean, so what? online status is flakey as it is so this policy change isn’t a big deal.

July 6, 2011

Firestorm Beta 2.5.2.16922

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , — Hugsie @ 1:20 pm

New beta of Firestorm came out last week, and been trying to deal with how everything seems to be bass-ackwards on where things are located, and how things seem to be missing all together. Here are some bugs and other issues i’ve found.

  • If you’re in a very lagged region it really plays havoc on Firestorm. Nametags will only show group titles, or nothing at all if an avi doesn’t have one activated. Radar shows  nothing but a long list of UUIDs instead of names.  IMs with people will not show the avi’s name in the “tab” but it is shown in side the chat text with each message the send.
  • Every time I relog (usualy after a crash) the button for inventory at the bottom is missing, and I have to change it off and back on again for it to reappear.
  • In profile, Notes & Privacy, also in script editor, the cursor posistion seems to be 2-3 spaces to the right of where the cursor actually is. Highlighting text in the notes is also off by 2-3 characters, and impossible to tell where your cursor really is within text. Note my Font Scaling is set to 1.23, but this doesn’t seem to effect other areas. (notecards, chat text fields, and editing my own profile works fine.)
  • On the Mac, it seems that using Font Scaling has no effect, but actual cursor placement is also off by a few characters regardless.
  • Cannot read notes in my OWN profile. Please use old-style profiles on my OWN profile since i can see other user’s profile in the old-way
  • The pre-rendering images of your avi’s body parts in apperance mode takes FOREVER to appear.
  • Viewing my own profile should automatically be editable with out having to click anything else.
  • On login screen, the list of alts you may have needs to be put back, and there needs to be a way to manage them, especially if you use different grids.
  • When listing too mustic stream, I get TWO prompts asking to allow it. Redundant?
  • I don’t like how the “My Outfits” folder dissapears from my inventory, and can only be seen from a button in the button bar.
  • Radar no longer shows me what viewer avatars are using?
  • Used to be able to click on the images used in profiles to see them in accrual size; no longer there!
  • Missing “checkmark” for seeing muted text in the local chat window.
  • Where’s the “show message when someone takes a screenshot” option?
  • Why is there an annoying “are you sure” message every time I give someone inventory?
  • Also why does it refer to as “sharing” an item when I’m actually GIVING it to them?
  • I keep seeing old notices pop up that are at least 3 days old. This might be due to logging in with two different computers at different times.

I’ve also been reading on the “Migration Guide” that the phonenix team has release to help make Firestorm more like Phoenix. However, if the whole point of Firestorm is to make a Phoenix-like version of Viewer 2, why aren’t these settings already put in by default when it’s installed?  Perhaps it will be once it’s finished up and released?

So, one of the suggestions in this Migration Guide was to set the skin to “Starlight” instead of the default “Firestorm” skin so that it looks more like Phoenix, but I find this to be completely WRONG.   It’s beter to use the “Firestorm” skin because the build window appears normal, Appearance mode is a bit more like old-style,  the profiles appear in the classic format, vs the “viewer 2” style that the “starlight” skin does. Unfortunately your own profile still appears in that viewer 2 style, but being able to see other’s profiles in “classic” style is much easier to handle, than the clusterfuck way viewer 2 does it.

Also while using the defualt “Firestorm” skin, the useless navigation address bar is gone, and you’re left with the normal text showing the parcel and region you’re in. Click it brings up “About Land” instantly vs when using “Starlight” skin you get “Places Profile” which doesn’t give you any useful information, so you have to click “About Land” button at the bottom of it.

May 29, 2011

I think Phoenix needs…

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 10:56 pm
  • Radar needs to list names and/or display names according to what I have selected in preferences (Show names) or at least have a toggle between login names and display names.
  • Quicker way to get to my Titles list, so I can change titles quickly. With out having to go though communication window. preferably from the Pie menu off my avatar or nametag.
  • Two separate mute lists for residents and objects.
  • An easier way to mute objects attached to residents.  Currently I have to cut and paste the name of the object to mute it manually. It obviously knows the name of the object I want to mute so it should be more automatic, with out muting the resident.
  • Some objects (attached or rezed) don’t have names, making it impossible to mute, can that be resolved in some way?
  • Wildcard function for object mutes so I can mute all objects with similar names but have diffrent version numbers or model monikers (e.g. *xcite* will mute all objects with the name “xcite” in it)
  • Some sort of on-screen indicator letting me know if I’m in phantom mode or not. That way I won’t assume I’m lagged when I can’t walk. Perhaps some easily noticeable change with the nametag when in phantom mode and this appears on other avis who are in phantom mode.
  • The ability to suppress those annoying “The region you have entered is running a different simulator version.” popup message. I don’t need to know, nor care about that, and the popup just gets in my way since I often place my communicator floater at the bottom right.
  • When renaming an item in inventory that has links elsewhere, the link should be renamed with it.
  • When creating a “new outfit” while in appearance mode, the viewer should realize if an item being included into the “new outfit folder” is copyable, and NOT create a link for the item. It should instead make an actual copy of the item and placed in this folder. Otherwise create a link if it’s not copyable.
  • Fix the mini-map so that Avatars who are over 900m in the sky, don’t appear BELOW you (with the down arrow).
  • The ability to disable avatar physics on a selected individuals instead of disabling avatar physics entirely.
  • Fix IM auto-response dialog so it will ONLY respond to muted residents. What it does instead is auto-respond to EVERYONE (muted or not) to every new IM I get.
  • A new feature that auto-blocks group join prompts, LM givers, notecards, and other such scripted spam right after teleporting to a new location for about 30-60 seconds.  I’m so sick and tired getting bombarded with this bullshit after teleporting to some place.
  • Is there ANY way to fix the issue of being kicked offline when a teleport fails? Why can’t it just place me back where I was when the TP fails, instead of acting like my internet connection timed out?
  • Canceling a TP often doesn’t work, and you end up frozen in place, like I have phantom mode on.
Bridge Attachment
Why does it always need to rez a new prim for the bridge attachment every time I login? Why can’t it just use the same one that’s already attached? If it needs to update the script, it should be able to do this while the object is attached; it doesn’t need to rez a new object and do it all over again.  This way it can attach and update the bridge attachment with out me having to be in land I can rez and build.
Also is there a way to manually invoke the bridge creation and attachment function when I do enter an area I can rez on my own? This way if i happen to login in an area I can’t rez, i can move to a rez-able area and then i can tell it to create the bridge and attach it.

February 21, 2011

Phoenix Bugs

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , — Hugsie @ 8:34 am

With the new version (1.5.2.908) I’m having this reoccurring bug where older attachments will be attached when I log into world.  Most people know me as a nudist, but I do wear clothes on occasion. If I log out nude, and come back on, some items of my previous outfit I wore days ago is reattached.  I think the system sees them as secondary attachments onto the same spot on my avatar so perhaps it’s not handled the same when it’s saving my avatar’s state when I log out. Regardless, if I wasn’t wearing it when I logged out, I shouldn’t be wearing it when I log back on.

Another bug I’ve found is with the mute list. When someone has on an annoying spamming scripted object, I’ll try to mute object by name by cutting and pasting the name of the object.  However if the name of the object has preceding spaces at the beginning of the name, they get truncated (after relog) so the mute no longer works.

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