Jessica Lyon, the project manager for the Firestorm Viewer, posted that they will begin blocking older versions of their viewers. Jessica is anticipating the drama this will bring on. By her writing you can tell she is expecting a chorus for complaints one might hear from a 10-year old trying to manipulate their parents. I suspect she is right.
Jessica points out they have little choice. It is either the Firestorm team blocking or the Lab will take over blocking. I’m not sure that is completely accurate. But, I can see how some will see things that way. In general the Lab does not block viewers. But, if you use the newer viewers you really don’t have a choice about updating your viewer. It automatically updates by default. But, that can be turned off.
There are mandatory updates that the Lab requires from time to time. I expect as some of the current changes being made allow better overall SL performance, which are viewer dependent, more updates are going to be mandatory. So, whether there is a misconception about what is and is not going to be blocked and by who, you are going to be updating your viewer or find yourself unable to login. Otherwise you will be degrading other people’s performance.
Jessica points out that some people are using viewers that can’t render mesh or avatars (they get gray avatars). Failing to update is degrading what people can see. I don’t quite understand why people using old viewers with highly degraded render quality are staying in SL and yet failing to update.
By about the end of November the Firestorm team will only allow the three latest versions of the Firestorm Viewer to run on Second Life.
Computers made in the last 6 years can run Firestorm. Some video cards are too weak to run SL. But, today I see an nVidia GTX260 for sale on eBay for US$60.
For those with computer issues and a text viewer may get them by until they can figure out what hardware needs to change so they can run a modern viewer.
Firestorm runs on very low end computers. If you are having a problem running a newer Firestorm Viewer contact Firestorm Support to figure out what needs to change.