Second Life Inventory & Performance

Over on SLUniverse the question was asked about whether large inventories degrade viewer performance and cause region crossing problems.

Oct 2014 - Testing Alchemy Viewer

Oct 2014 – Testing Alchemy Viewer

Trinity Dejavu give a pretty good explanation of how inventory size affects viewer performance here. I think basic information needed for understanding inventory was skipped over and a couple of points could have been more accurate. So, I added my 3 cents worth and I’ll post it here too.

To understand inventory one needs a basic idea of how assets, the stuff in your inventory and the regions, are handled by the Second Life™ system. I’ll keep it lite.

Everything in SL is a collection of vertices and textures/images. Primitives, cubes, spheres, etc., are just some numbers; type, size, rotation, and position. The lists of vertices for primitives are built into the viewer, so no downloads beyond the parameter values. So too the avatar is built in. All that is ever downloaded for primitives and the avatars is a list of numbers, parameters. For the avatar we call the values collection: Shape. Continue reading

Trying Out Alchemy – Second Life

Alchemy Viewer Logo

Alchemy Viewer Logo

Download size is 42mb that uses 159mb of disk when installed. The install was error free. Recently I get errors with the Linden installs. Some times a retry fixes it. Others times I have to ignore to continue. The Crash Logger seems to be the problem with the install. I am almost always installing just after running the viewer. The Linden Viewers still seem to work OK in spite of the errors. But, it is reassuring to not have errors.

The install places the viewer in C:\Program Files\AlchemyBeta.

The cache installs in C:\Users\[Win_login_ID]\AppData\Local\Alchemy64. You can set that to be any location you want. I usually move it off my C drive for better performance. Windows uses my C drive for its swapping and temp files. Moving it saves the viewer having to compete for hard drive bandwidth.

It seems the cache for the 32 and 64 bit version are different. I’m not sure why they would do that.

The logs are installed in C:\Users\[Win_login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\Alchemy. So, it seems the 32 bit and 64 bit version use the same logs and chat files. There is a setting that will allow you to place the chat logs wherever you want.  Continue reading

Alchemy Viewer Beta 3.7.19 – Second Life

Alchemy Viewer Logo

Alchemy Viewer Logo

The Alchemy Viewer team has released a new beta version of their viewer. I have yet to try it. But Inara has written up a good review. See: Alchemy 3.7.19: mainlining HTTP and enhancing legacy search.

The viewer’s page announcing the release is here: Alchemy Beta 3.7.19.

It appears we get a search feature in this version that has a new User Interface (UI). The change will change how you use search. It sounds much more efficient. Still, it depends on the SL Search Engine, so I doubt the hit accuracy has improved. That will take some work on the Linden server side to improve. But, this new UI should be nice to use.

The Camera Control gets compressed. But, this is just the standard camera control, not photo tools, which is why I often use Firestorm.

The World Map gets a revamp. They make more efficient use of screen space, or read as removing white-space from the controls. The panel looks busier now. I’ll have to try it before I can decide if it is better or just different. Continue reading

Drax Radio Hour Show 42

Drax and Jo have episode 42 of their Radio Hour out. Ciaran has a review of the podcast out. Seems the uninformed media is again voicing ignorant opinions about Second Life™. Only a small part of Ciaran’s discussion is devoted to the journalistic stupidity. The rest is pointing out what’s in the Drax/Jo episode. He provides a good summary of the show, so I’ll skip that task having a busy day ahead of me.

See Ciaran’s: Drax Files Radio Hour Ep 42 – Leaping, Bashing The Beeb & 2007 Oldbies. (Note: at 7:30 AM SLT (PDT) Ciaran’s site was down with DB access error. – I read the article via Feedly.)

See Drax’s Radio Hour 42: show #42: been there, done that!

Drax has included a video in the show’s blog page. (9 min)

You see the problems volksvlijt is having using the Oculus Rift. Also, at about the 4:00 minute mark you can see and hear volksvlijt talk about texture thrashing. I suppose the dual image render for the Oculus is using up video memory faster and causing the thrashing.

From the problems volksvlijt runs into I suspect that the Linden Oculus Rift Viewer still has a ways to go.

There are a number of videos embedded in Show 42’s page.

Second Life News & Bits 2014-44


According to Oz Linden we will see the Benchmark Viewer get promoted to the main default version this week, may be tomorrow, Wednesday. This is the viewer that does away with the GPU Table.

Server Scripting UG 2014-44

Server Scripting UG 2014-44

This viewer is still being tuned to give reliable graphics settings. The one currently in the Alternate viewer page just got some updates. I’m not sure when the ‘just’ is. I suspect last Friday.

On another note about viewers… the Max Bandwidth setting is becoming less important as more of the Second Life™ data moves via pipeline in HTTP. The Max Bandwidth is a setting that controls UDP protocol traffic ONLY. With more and more traffic moving to HTTP the UDP congestion is less and less. See JIRA VWR-29029 for the old problem of setting Max Bandwidth too high.  Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-44


The Deploys of Week post is up. The big news is CDN.

Oops! Don't Panic 2014

Oops! Don’t Panic 2014


The Content Delivery Network upgrade will roll to the main channel, the entire grid, this week. That will be happening Tuesday morning.

RC Channels

All three RC channels will get the same maintenance package. The detailed release notes are not out yet. All the Deploys post says is there are ‘some improvements’. We’ll probably see more information coming out tomorrow (Tuesday).

Snack Channel

The Snack channel is a small pre-test RC channel. It is used when the Lindens want to start out with a very small sample for testing. It was used for the initial testing of CDN. It is no longer needed and the regions in the Snack channel will be rolled back into the channels they were previously in and the Snack channel will disappear until it is next needed.

Continue reading

Blender AvaStar Tutorials for Second Life

Gaia Clary has released a new PREVIEW tutorial on making non-human avatars: Non Human Character Rigging. I tried to embed the video. I couldn’t.

Don't Panic 2014

Don’t Panic 2014

It appears Gaia is moving toward paid for lessons and limiting where the video tutorials can appear. So, you’ll have to watch the video on Gaia’s site. There is more information on Gaia’s web page than is in the video.

Notice at the top of the of the page is a colored section with a link to purchase the full tutorial set for this course (US$25). I’m deciding if I’ll spring for the class.  Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2014-44

Don't Panic 2014

Don’t Panic 2014

Photographer of The Year Award (Second Life)

This is a contest I had not heard about. It seems to be entering its final stage. The latest information is here: Nominated photographers. The original contest information is here: Rules of the competition. The opening for nomination names was October 22. So, voting for your favorite work and enjoying the results is all that is left.

The thyme is interesting: “I will fight till my last dying breath”.

Texture Thrashing

The Firestorm people have updated their Texture Discard page. Texture Discard is an en error message some see when their video card memory is insufficient. As we fill up video memory others of us see texture thrashing, rendered objects completing render to a nice crisp appearance then going blurry and re-rendering in an endless cycle.

I have a video card with 2gb of video ram. I am occasionally running into texture thrashing. The new Firestorm page has suggestions for reducing this problem. One of the steps is to avoid opening inventory and especially to avoid opening two inventory windows.  Continue reading