Catznip Beta 12.1.1 vs Firestorm 5.1.7

I just noticed a post from a couple of months back on the difference between Catznip Viewer and Firestorm Viewer. Alyona Su provides a good comparison based on her experience. She switched and is now using Catznip as her primary viewer. Not my experience.

Catznip vs Firestorm September 2018 – FS on timer: 00:01:23 @ DD 256m

Those switching to Catznip experience it being faster and less crashy than Firestorm. Remember. Viewers are very sensitive to the computer they run on. What is crashy on one machine may not be on another. Viewer speed in FPS and render time is also sensitive to your hardware and connection. So, Catznip may crash more and be slower on your hardware. But, try it and know. Hopefully the chance is you’ll have good results. If not, well no one will make you use it.

The release of Catznip I last used was Catznip R12 – Dec 31 2017 12:50:12 (64bit) (Catznip Release). Visiting the Catznip website you’ll find R12.0 is still the main release, Catznip R12 – Dec 31 2017 12:50:12 (64bit) (Catznip Release). OR version 12.0.6.180160035. No update since then. Continue reading

Second Life News 2018 w07

Servers

Monday Caleb Linden posted the Deploys notice. The main channel is getting a restart. But will continue to run the same server version, #18.01.17.511913. The restarts are said to have started rolling across the grid at 3AM PT.

Blue Steel may get a new package Wednesday. The Deploys notice says they have not yet decided.

Heart Shaped

Heart Shaped

Le Tigre and Magnum will continue to run #18.01.17.511913, the package they ran last week. I doubt they will get a restart…

Viewers

The main viewer is now 5.1.1.512121. This is the upgrade with fixes to the voice features. The previous version 5.1.0.511732 released in week #2. Continue reading

Second Life News 2018 w06

Servers

There was no Server and Scripting UG meeting today.

There is a Deploys post up for this week. No roll to the main channel or any of the RC channels. So, version #18.01.17.511913 is running on all channels.

Netherwood

Netherwood

Viewers

The main viewer is version 5.1.0.511732. Updated last in week #2.

Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 5.1.1.512226 – Updated! The previous update was version 5.1.1.511871 in week #4.

Continue reading

Second Life News Bits 2018 w06

Saturday was the annual Mole Day. Inara has an article on Mole Day with all the details.

SL Moles are the guys that build all the SL Governor’s public works things. We hear little about them, but they are a key part of Second Life™.

Mysterious girl.

The Machinimatrix Blog got hacked. It is fixed and all is well again. (Ref) The Machinimatrix people did not recommend changing passwords. But, it is probably a good idea.

NiranV the author of the Black Dragon Viewer has an article up on Projector Lights. Part of the information is about setting up Preferences in the BD Viewer. Then Niran gets into setting up the projector lights.

Projector lights are way neat and greatly improve the appearance of a scene. They make night and club scenes much more dramatic.

Catznip Viewer is releasing a beta, they describe it this way:

Catznip R12.1 (beta1) has been posted for patrons (64bit only). We’re testing dramatically faster texture rezzing (new, Catznip unique OpenJpeg). Prejump & landings animations optionally disabled and a slew of crash fixes.

Texture rendering speed was the obstacle to my use of this viewer.

Kitty Barnett, the author of Catznip, is looking for some financial support. So, this beta is only available to those that contribute through Patreon.

This is the 8th anniversary of Myst Online: Uru Live. Get details on the Myst Online website, Anniversary. Events through to February 7th.

Gacha Garden has a new event in progress. There are dozens of free gifts spread around the garden. There is a shopping guide here.

I’m not much of a gacha fan. I tend to only go when there is an exclusive item from a designer I like only available as a gacha. But, Gacha Garden is fun. Join the group. Lots of trading happens there. If you have an item you want to sell, this is a good place to start.

Catznip Viewer R12 – Awesome or Not?

This is the first final release in something like a year… It has great stuff in it. Definitely worth a try. And for anyone playing the inventory maintenance game, this is likely the winner’s choice of viewer.

Catznip R12 Opening Splash Screen

You can download the viewer here: Catznip Viewer Download. If you have the beta links, forget them. They have stopped working.

While 64-bit is the preferred choice, those of you with HD Graphics may have to run the 32-bit version. There is a notice on the download page explaining the problem and what you can do.

Install

The download is about 98MB if that matters these days. Install runs, no problems.

Test Drive

My first login I butter-fingered the password. I mistakenly added a space at the end that didn’t belong, assumed it wouldn’t matter, it did, and then I could not get the viewer to accept the password without the space. The Login button would not wake up. I had to restart the viewer.

This is a quick viewer. In my standard test places, I get 107 FPS on my porch, 122 FPS in my green-screen room at 1500m, and with 12 avatars in my field of view, it drops to 19-33FPS. The first two are faster than any of my other viewers by 20 to 30%. The ‘avatars present’ slowdown is typical.

The viewer uses its own cache. For this viewer, I have an empty cache. So, I was thinking scene render is a bit slow because of that. However, on return to a place, it renders things fast. But, textures are lagging.

After 3 or 4 hours of use, I was unhappy with the speed of Catznip scene renders. I went shopping. That’s when the problem became unbearable. During that time, I switched back and forth between Catznip and Firestorm. I was checking to see if my connection was acting up, memory loading up, the region was just slow, or what. I decided it is just Catznip. However, running the cursor over a thing I wanted to render helped and was quick to fully render whatever. But, it would not stay rendered.

So, both Firestorm and the Linden viewers were rendering the shopping areas in the Region Evocative, the SWEAR stores for men are there, way faster than Catznip and they stayed rendered. So, doing cam-shopping with Catznip and my SpaceNavigator is out.

View after 45 minutes…

I ran into texture thrashing. Thrashing may not be the best word in this case as I think of ‘thrashing’ as a faster thing. But, it is the words we use to describe the problem. When textures did finally render, they would drop back to a blurry render. Then on a somewhat slow cycle, they would render, stay clear for a bit, then go blurry. They might remain blurry indefinitely. I seldom see texture thrashing in ether Firestorm or the Linden viewer.

While writing this I took my avatar home. Most of my textures there did not render while I typed the majority of this article.  I would use the viewer, write some more, use the viewer… never did see most textures fully render. Some did, but they did not stay fully rendered

I tried the trick of removing all the HUD’s, restarting the viewer, leaving chat closed… nothing seems to help.

Profiles come up WAY faster in Catznip than in Firestorm. Is that just me that has slow, way slow, profile renders in FS? I use web profiles, not the legacy. So, that may not be a fair-to-Firestorm comparison. Catznip’s Profile panel is more the legacy type profile.

I’m not a fan of the Profile panel in Catznip. But, I like fast.

Inventory search has an upgrade or two to make finding stuff easier and improves how results are displayed.

The Quick Preferences is awesome. Ctrl-Shift-P to open. Inara explains how to use the panel, so I’ll skip the details. There are other WAY handy features not found in other viewers. So, this could become the shopaholic’s viewer of choice.

Inara is, apparently, a heavy user of Firestorm’s Photo Tools. I am too. What I use most is Firestorm’s change to WL Sky, which in Catznip is the Fixed Sky setting. So, for the majority of my use, the Catznip Quick Pref’s are good enough. And the Windlight presets, while extensive, have been cleaned up.

RLVa is available. It is off by default. You’ll find it in Preferences->Catznip->General. A viewer restart is required when changing the setting.

Summary

Inara is adopting Catznip as her alternate viewer. For her Firestorm remains the preferred Viewer with Catznip in second place. For me, the slow Catznip render during shopping kills it for me. The Linden viewer remains my primary backup. Other viewers, I consider as specialty viewers, best for specific tasks.

Black Dragon for photos when I need to adjust poses. Catznip when I have a lot of inventory maintenance to do. Linden for playing with new features, think animesh. Firestorm is my primary viewer.

I’ll do more testing with Catznip throughout the week. I am hoping it is something transient. The features in Catznip I could get really attached to. I think they are awesome.

Second Life News 2018 w01

Today the No-Change-Window is closing. Developers with a bit of extra time over the holidays have finished up upgrades to the viewers they make. So, we have some new third-party viewers out. The Lab, of course, was closed over the holidays. So, not much news from them.

You can not escape it.

You can not escape it.

Servers

There is no Deploy post today. No rollout was expected for the main channel. Whether we will see one on the RC channels is still iffy.

I am showing the last restart of my main channel home region as 12/26.

Viewers

The main viewer remains 5.0.9.329906. Last updated

Second Life Alex Ivy Viewer version 5.1.0.511248 – Last updated in week #48.

Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 5.0.10.330123 – Last updated in week #51.

Second Life Voice Viewer version 5.0.10.330039 – Last updated in week #50.

Second Life Wolfpack Viewer version 5.0.10.330113 – Last updated in week #51.

Second Life Project 360 Snapshot Viewer version 5.1.0.506743 – no update since week #27.

Second Life Project Animesh Viewer version 5.0.10.330058 – Last updated in week #49.

Second Life Project Render Viewer version 5.1.0.511446 – released week, #50.

Third-Party Viewers

The big news is the Catznip Viewer updated in Beta the 26th and in final version yesterday 1/1. This is a big update. Now version R12.

I’ll be downloading it later and will post after I get to use it for a bit. However, Inara has a good review of the release and changes: CATZNIP R12: INVENTORY, SHOPPING AND MORE. She put some effort into the review. Check it out. You’ll get the keyboard shortcuts to get to the fun stuff.

I’ll download it and post my take later today.

Black Dragon has a New Year release, version 2.9.6. This is a bug fix release.

Second Life News 2017 w/32

Servers

Corrections made 8/9

The main channel was updated with version #17.07.27.327933 this morning, Tuesday. Last week the main channel was running version #17.07.11.327548. Both of these are listed as having “internal changes”. Geek-speak for changing data reporting, debugging, and performance information… usually.

Street at sunset

Street at sunset

Blue Steel, Le Tigre, and Magnum were supposed to update to #17.07.27.327933 tomorrow, Wednesday. But, Simon tells us that isn’t going to happen. There probably won’t be a restart as they restarted with last week’s update. The Lindens try to restart regions once every two-weeks even if there is no planned update.

No big problem, but enough of one the Lindens decided to hold the RC update back. It had to do with regions names not being applied correctly in the restart, so they never appeared to come online.

The Deploys thread is dying. There is very little discussion or information to be gleaned from reading the posts. They are basically a day, time, and link to release notes. So, I suspect fewer people are reading the posts. I expect the posts to go away at some point. Continue reading

Second Life: Catznip Viewer

A new beta release is out, Catznip-R12 (Beta 2) – May 3rd 2017. The download is here. I have yet to try the viewer’s new version. I gather that beyond just catching up to Linden features the inventory features have been extended. More details are available at Catznip Blog and Catznip R12: Three Days of Teasers.

catznip viewer display — too cute, like televisions with cat ears!

I like the inventory features being added. So, I have to decide if having a viewer for photos and machinima (Firestorm), another for latest features (Linden), and another for inventory (Catznip) is worth the effort or frustration. I would like to have all the features I use in one viewer, which just isn’t possible now. I hate being one viewer and needing a feature only in another.