Download & Install
The download is about 33mb. Now that my connection has been repaired, the download is quick, a few seconds.
The install program’s controls are in German. I speak very little German, but I can stumble my way through the install.
Update: JayR Cela pointed out on their blog that the install does not create a desktop icon. Since I already had one from previous installs I did not notice that omission. To make one you need to open the programs install folder: C:\Program Files\Nirans Viewer\. Find the file Nirans Viewer.exe. Right-click drag it to your desktop or Launch Bar. When you release, select Create Shortcut. You can right click the resulting icon and rename it.
The viewer uses separate cache and settings folders by default. The folders are labeled Nirans Viewer. Both the pre-release and 1.00 release use the same folders.
When I did this install and ran the viewer from my desktop icon I found I was in the old version. It took a couple of minutes to figure out what happened. This version installed in a new folder. The previous version installed in Niran Viewer. This one installs in Nirans Viewer. I suppose it makes sense to put the pre-release version and the ‘final’ release in different folders. Still I was scratching my head.
You’ll know you are running the right version if Help->About reports Nirans Viewer 3.2.7 (8) Dec 24 2011 01:22:45 (Nirans Viewer) – Nirans Viewer 1.00. See the image at the top of the article.
To avoid any possible problem since I already had Niran 1.00 installed I did not uninstall Niran Pre-Release. I manually deleted the Niran Viewer folder in Program Files. There is no need to uninstall the previous viewer. You can have both installed and run either.
I have mixed my experience with the viewer throughout this review. Here I’ll add in the things that did not fit in previous paragraphs.
In the previous version I could not click the top menu items. With some trial and error I can click menu items in this version.
There is a bug that often causes attachments to appear to be attached to your butt. You see this at login. It is a bit of a pain to get it corrected. Clicking the misplaced attachment and detaching does not always work. Looking in inventory for the attachment can be confusing because it is not always shown as worn. So, if you’re making copies for your own outfit folders, it can be hard to find the item.
This is not a bug JUST in Nirans Viewer. You can find it in several viewers. In some the problem has been fixed and in others it still remains. Also, whether the problem is from the current viewer or because the attachment was added previously while using another viewer is hard to say.
In Nirans Viewer I couldn’t find the item as worn. I tried wearing the item and it would not attach. Right-clicking on the attachment did let me detach it. Then I could wear it.
I’ve had a couple of crashes with other viewers that just suddenly close while I am writing a review. Nirans did too. There is an interesting array of warnings and errors in the log. There is a string of errors that are about adding buttons to the bottom toolbar. But, those are early in the run. The last warning is about detaching a non-attached object. But, the viewer ran for several minutes after I detached my misplaced hair from my butt. So, I’m clueless to what is up.
About 10 minutes into my second secession the viewer poofed again. This time my last error is again early in the 10 minute secession. The last warnings were about trying to send ImprovedInstantMessage [sic from log].
In my third attempt I used the viewer for right at an hour. Then I go logged out. I was able to do a clean viewer close. So, viewer or region is hard to say. I am assuming it was the region. I ran a test at SpeedTest.net and ping and speed to San Jose is fine.
After this logout my next restart opened the viewer in full screen mode. I seldom run in full screen because I’m switching between the viewer and the word processor. The problem is there is no easy way to get out of full screen because there is no viewer chrome, the border and window buttons. If you know the Windows shortcut (Alt-Space Bar), you can avoid opening preferences, changing the setting, and restarting the viewer. (Microsoft’s Keyboard Shortcuts)
The last use of the viewer for the day lasted a couple of hours. No problems, crashes, or logouts.
The graphics panel in Preferences was changed. The Graphics II panel was removed and an Advanced Graphics panel added. However, all the fun stuff is in the Graphics tab.
The image shows the new panel. The green outline shows the new Open Optimizer button. The yellow arrow shows a visual glitch that is NOT part of the panel. I found it hard to avoid getting those little pop ups.
A new feature in this panel is the Open Optimizer button. (Green) The new button opens a tabs bar that unfolds to reveal settings that look very much like the previous Graphics II tab. Changing these setting allows you to easily tweak your graphics settings and watch the viewer stats.
There are some changes from the …standard… Linden Lab SL Viewer 3 that I like and some I don’t. You’ll form you own opinions, but I think this new graphics panel is better than the previous and has numerous advantages over LL’s viewer. For one thing the tool tips in this panel are very nice.
One of the things I’m not happy with is several numeric settings have been changed to None, Less, Medium, More, Many, and Dozen* (the asterisk is in the drop down). One such is the Max. Particles setting. Fortunately there is a tool tip that relates the text settings to numeric values. So, it’s no big thing. Plus I doubt there are many people that care or even try to set visible particles to 514 or 612 rather than the 512 choice available.
I only tweak my particle setting when I am playing in a combat game using DCS2. I’m still finding the best setting for DCS2. Too low and you can’t easily tell what is going on. Too high and you can’t keep track of your opponent. I’m not sure how others handle their particle settings with DCS2. I suspect some just turn them off.
On graphics High I’m getting 9 to 12 FPS with this version of Nirans Viewer. (Duo Core 2 firstname.lastname@example.org w/GTX560 Vista 32).
The viewer gives a pretty good render. I think the shadows are awesome. But they do produce a Pigpen halo. It is often hidden by the background, but I think it is always there.
With Anti-Aliasing on 2x I think it looks pretty nice. Most of the images in this article were taken with AA 2x. Also, AA does not seem to change when changing between High and Ultra, which is handy.
I suspect this viewer is going to replace Kirstens. I’m sad about that loss. But, I am pleased that Niran is following in Kirsten’s footsteps.
The viewer is nice. I’m looking forward to future releases.