Hugsies Blog!

May 19, 2013

Interest List is Sooo complicated.. how?

Have you noticed in the past few months how attachments vanish after you teleport, or objects and structures don’t rez in the area you’ve just teleported too? You have to right click on your attachments or where other objects are missing for them to appear. Many people think this is a bug with the new Firestorm 4.4.0 viewer, but it’s not. This is a SERVER SIDE issue that effects all viewers, including LL’s own viewer. This has been going on for some years now (about 4 years).

The problem lies with in the “Interest List” which is a set of code that is supposed to speed up and prioritize what appears first you you after a teleport. The reason why your attachments seem to vanish is because they actually DO detach the moment you teleport (not sure why, lag reasons?) and then reattach after you arrive, but the “interest list” for whatever reason doesn’t prioritize their appearance to you, and gets lost in the shuffle as to what “should” be rezzed, but they ARE attached.

LL and even the firestorm team claim this is a “complicated” system. But really? How is it that complicated to the point that the way it was BEFORE the “interest list” was implemented was BETTER than having it now?  The basic concept of the “interest list” makes logical sense by drawing objects near you and going outward. But only a committee of coders could fuck up a simple idea like this. HOW is prioritizing objects closest to your avatar to rez that complicated?  Yet every time I teleport I see objects way out in the distance appearing, yet the floor I’m standing on is invisible and my boobs are gone.

All you need to do is:

1) Highest priority to your avatars attachments to rez.

2) Rez objects with in 20m

3) rez object 40m away.. then

4) keep rezzing objects in 20m increments (or 10) until you reach the viewer draw distance.

For fucks sake this “stepping” procedure was used in SCRIPTS by increasing the draw distance over time. This was an old script trick used in EMERALD back in the day. Later it became a built-in function in Phoenix, and it’s STILL present in Firestorm but it’s off by default. You can find it under, Preferences – Firestorm – General – (near the bottom of the list) checkmark “Enable progressive draw distance stepping..” but this won’t fix the bugs with the interest list.

The only thing I can see that makes this complicated is the simulator just sends you object information randomly in a list (probably not a complete list) when you teleport and only rezzes what it sees in this randomized list. Even then it’s distance from you (your avatar) to the object is known, otherwise it won’t know where to draw it in the first place. So what is so damn complicated about prioritizing what should be rezzed first? If it’s too far away, don’t rez it, wait for something else to be downloaded from the simulator that is nearer and rez it if it is. And if all else give avatar attachments PRIORITY!

December 15, 2012

Rest in peace Phoenix Viewer

Filed under: Second Life Shit! — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 4:18 pm

In a recent “Phoenix Office Hour” session with Jessica Lyon, with Lette hosting. Jessica announced the death of Phoenix viewer (play taps) which will be official on December 31st; just before the new year. The viewer will be removed from the main blog site, but you can still download it from the wiki.

In addition Linden Labs will be pulling server-side Independence on viewers (mostly v1 based viewers) that still rely on them. This also includes existing firestorm version released this month. This does not mean that Phoenix Team nor LL will be banning these viewers. They just won’t work properly.

LL plans to roll out a new server-side avatar “baking” system to reduce or eliminate bake fail, so if you’re still using an old viewer that doesn’t support the new bake code, you’ll never see other avatars properly.

On a side note, I found this survey being conducted by the Charles Darwin University. They are doing a study on gamers who play MMOs and their behaviors, feelings, with their avatars. Especially (ahem) if you play the opposite gender than who you are in RL. So have it ago!

 

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.

October 12, 2011

Ubuntu (again) 11.04 with Phoenix

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 6:42 pm

Is a fucking nightmare.  Let me point out first that I am using a rather old PC running Ubuntu 11.04, on an old Athlon XP 3000+ Barton with an nvidia 6200 w/ 256mb.  So no 64bit, and no SSE2. So that leaves out any mesh support, and Firestorm just doesn’t even bother launching. Phoenix runs, but just barely.

So the first problem I ran into was th new “Unity interface” that attempts to do what OS X Lion has done to the Mac, and what Windows 8 will do windows, by creating a touch-tablet friendly internface, and keeping the interface consistent across PCs, phones and tablets within the same brand.

While unity runs well on this old PC and it reminds me of Snow Leopard, but it introduces glitches into the UI because Phoenix Viewer is making assumptions about cursor placement. One is that if you run phoenix in fullscreen mode, Unity removes the top header border you see at the top, and leave a blank gap at the bottom of the screen. This offsets the cursor and Phoenix thinks your mouse pointer is hovering over areas about a half-inch above where your cursor actually is. Disabling Unity and using Gnome fixed this issue.

Any time i move, or minimize Phoenix and restore, the viewer basically locks up… ALMOST. If’s as if the framerate drops to one frame every minute. Just barely enough to keep my avatar logged in, but trying to do anything is utterly useless which forces a relog.  Switching back to Gnome ui didn’t fix this.

So the viewer runs just fine in Ubuntu with gnome, with “okay” frame rates.  No noticeable difference in performance when with windows on this same machine. But not as glitchy, just as long as i don’t minimize or do anything else on this computer, or Phoenix goes into limbo.

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.

December 20, 2010

Messing with Viewers

Filed under: Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , — Hugsie @ 3:44 pm

I’ve been playing with the Kristens Viewer today. Despite it being based on Viewer 2, you still may like it even if you really hate the viewer 2 interface. While it still has the annoying sidebar, the default behavior for things you often do won’t use the side bar.

Right clicking and editing an object brings up the normal edit floater, instead of the irritating side bar.  Clicking the inventory button at the bottom brings up the usual inventory floating window we are all accustomed too. However may of us use keyboard shortcuts to do things, so pressing CTRL-I for inventory in Kristens brings up your inventory on the side bar. (sigh!) Fortunately pressing CTRL-(1,2,3,4) for the edit floater appears as a floater. (yay!) Viewing profiles appears on the sidebar (sigh!) and there’s no [X] button to close it!  You have to click on the “sidebar” button at the bottom and then choose the X to close it.  LAME!

What this viewer really lacks, and what has spoiled me since the Emerald days, are things like Phantom mode, double clicking objects to wear them, the built-in AO, and the radar. Also little things like the ability to adjust  “RenderVolumeLODFactor” w/o having to fuss with debug mode among the other advanced settings (particle count, Draw Distance, Avatar count, etc) are right on the UI in Phoenix (lower right button).  Only draw distance is there on Kristens at the top of the screen.  For a viewer that sells it self to users who are into film making and photos, you’d think something like the LOD Factor setting would be more accessible.

Rendering/rezing for me is often really fast for me on almost any viewer. So it’s hard for me to say if Kristens is any faster given it’s tweaked up rendering pipeline vs Linden Lab’s interpretation of that, or even of Phoenix for that matter which I believe still relies on the old school ways of rendering textures from the asset server/simulator as did the older 1.23. though I’m probably wrong about that.

What I do like, which is already present in Viewer 2, is the Favorites bar at the top that lets you drop LMs of common places you go to, like a bookmark bar in your web browser, and you can quickly TP around with out digging though your inventory.

I can do with out the URL-ish address bar at the top of the screen.  I really don’t need my viewer to resemble a web browser. Though that does clean up the clutter at the top of the screen that other viewers still have, but toggling on “Mini-Location bar” really clutters things up. Still, I have no intention of typing in some sort of address to teleport around SL like people do a web site.  Unless LL changes the format for SLURLs to something user friendly form like map://morken.hugsalotsharlots.zindra, or the “mapto” command in Phoenix, then there is no need for this address bar.

One annoying problem I’m having right now, though this might be partly blame for sim lag, is editing attached objects.  On the right click-menu the “edit” is grayed out on occasion, and I can’t select it. I have to press CTRL-3 and click the attachment in order to do a simple edit adjustment.

I’m using the windows version of Kristens and I may try the Mac version out later.

Oh and I’m not getting that odd stuttering framerate on Kristens.. at least not yet.

Also why does the icon on Kristens Viewer remind me of the Imperial logo from Star Wars? 🙂

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