OpenSim with 1200 Avatar Regions

That is the goal. Justine has an article up providing details on the latest testing. See: OpenSimulator Load Test 5 Report. The current tests are up to 400 avatars, which I think is pretty awesome.

It seems the new Bullet Physics is much more efficient than ODE. But, it is currently running as a single thread. This means that when they see frames rates dropping it isn’t from CPU overload. The bottleneck is in the Bullet Engine. Changing to multi-threaded would use more of the CPU and help keep frame rates up. But, changing to multi-threaded is a significant task and will be handled somewhere in the future.

They do load testing on Tuesdays. They need more human testers. Testing happens on the Conference Grid.


High Fidelity Update 2014-33

Three new blog posts for High Fidelity popped up this morning.

Paloma’s javascript project is one. It is about a 17 year old intern at HyFy. Using JavaScript she was able to program what basically is sound bars that react to her singing with no perceptible lag.

High Fidelity’s AKA covers “Easy” is a blog post with a video, they say they will tell us more later. I suppose it is kinda neat… blah…

Measuring the speed of sound is a post about HyFy’s obsession with eliminating latency, lag. Right now they are dealing with sound and measuring the speed of sound in various media they list as Skype and cell phones.

Of course that really isn’t measuring ‘sound’. It is measuring how fast these mediums can translate sound to digital form, transmit it, and convert back to analog sound for your ears. The trick for HyFy is to figure out how sound is behaving in the real world and at least duplicate that in their virtual world.

The point is cell phones don’t really need to convey a sense of presence. A half second delay in such a conversation just means people tend to start talking over each other. But, we do that in real life too. So, we don’t consider it a deal or even take much notice of it.

They show Skype is a bit better and there is the video feed to sync up. But, we still don’t take much notice of it here.

With HyFy they want to maximize the sense of presence. So, all the electronic delays have to be minimized to the point they give us the experience we have when we are face to face talking. All the testing is telling them what the system has to do performance-wise to achieve that. It sounds like they can pretty much do it.




Second Life’s Firestorm Viewer 4.6.7 – Soon?

We know that a new release of the Firestorm Viewer is getting close because the team has been talking about it. Today I am seeing the wiki changes that proceed a release. So, we are getting very close. The wiki changes mean they have likely gone to feature-lock. Not much point trying to write about what’s changed while things are still changing.

Firestorm Logo

Firestorm Logo

The current version is 4.6.5 (40833). The new wiki pages are using as the new version number.

All this is in progress and may change, but I suspect it won’t. The wiki pages are being edited and THEY will change. It is hard to tell what is new and what is old in the pages as to some extent they seem to have been copied from a previous update page. There are several “Fix It” notes here and there.

The current editing on the page says the viewer merges to Linden Lab 3.7.5 codebase… the last release was merging up to 3.7.4… I am hoping this is just an editing stage and the 3.7.5 number is a place holder. The current Linden code base is at 3.7.13 with the Linden wiki now showing changes indicating a coming release of version 3.7.14, which may happen today or Monday…. That’s my pure guess, it could be longer.

The updates to Firestorm are mostly fixes. But, there is a healthy dose of new features and feature tweaks currently showing on the preliminary pages. It is not a huge page but there is plenty of good stuff listed and some nice feature improvements, like Radar now showing typing or sitting indicators and the ability to omit blocked avatars from showing on the map.

In all it looks like a version to look forward to.

I am using Firestorm more for photography now than I have over the past year. I also hope to do more machinima and get better at it. The Firestorm Viewer is certainly my choice for those tasks. So, I am looking forward to the coming release.

Second Life News 2014-33 Friday


As previously reported the main channel got the maintenance release with a JSON rollback.

Nachwerk July 2014

Nachwerk July 2014

RC Channels

This week the RC Channels are running the same release as the main channel.

Maestro Linden tells us that next week the servers will get fix for a sim crash. After the fix is in place we MAY learn what it was. But, for now they are not saying.

Other Server

Maestro looked into the BUG-6925/BUG-6908 bug of attachments ending up on invalid attachment points after a teleport. The Lindens are having trouble reproducing the problem. Speculation is the low ping rate within the Lab eliminates the problem.

Whirly Fizzle is reporting that the Mystitool HUD sets the bug off as well as another couple of HUD’s.  Continue reading

Understanding the Render Pipeline

This isn’t a Second Life specific article, but SL is all about getting our world rendered and concepts are similar in all rendered worlds. Arton Rotaru found the blog page and posted a link in the SL Forum. So, if your are curious and wonder how hard can it be to render a world? Then this is something for you.


Lost Eden 2014

Also, if you are a creative type and hopping to optimize your builds to reduce lag, there are concepts you will likely find interesting.

See: Render Hell 1.0 – For discussion see the SL Forum: A lovely explanation of how a Render Pipeline works.

On the blog the top video is just the author’s explanation of what is come and why he made the page.

The rest of the page is an illustrated text. Some illustrations are pictures. Others are short animations or videos.


Second Life – Blender Animation Problem

I need to create some poses and short animations for use with an sofa I am making. I’ve been using Blender 2.71a and AvaStar RC3 to make models. So, of course I thought I would use that setup to make my poses and animation. It didn’t work. So, a couple days later I’ve figured it out.

Planned Pose

Planned Pose

Animations exported from 2.70, 2.71, and 2.71a using any version of AvaStar don’t work… mostly. To explain mostly… I want a pose of an avatar laying on the sofa. In this pose the avatar is reclining and I want the hands on the tummy. Everything worked except the hands. See the image. It shows the hands where I want them.

I rotate the hands about 40-45 degrees in the pose. So, the movement should show up. But, it doesn’t whether I use anim or bvh file types. The hands show in SL with no change from the forearm to hand T-pose positioning. Continue reading

Second Life’s New User Avatars

Designing Worlds has a show up in which they interview people running Japanese new user help regions. I watched the show on SLArtists, the site seemed to be down this morning, at least I could not access it. The video is here: Designing Worlds DW 245 – Japan’s New Residents. The Designing Worlds page that should have the video is here: Designing Worlds visits the Japanese regions to learn how they support new users – now on the web!

Taciturnly - April 2014

Taciturnly – April 2014

About 3:30 minutes in, they talk about the problem the new user avatars are causing. They feel this is a MAJOR obstacle to improving player retention.

The new mesh avatars for new users was thought by some to be a definite problem for new users. The thinking was they would create more problems than they solve and harm player retention more than help. The people doing support in beginner areas are confirming the problems are manifesting. The question they are hearing often is, the promos say we can customize our avatars, so why can’t I change my avatar?   Continue reading

Second Life Money Hack

Iris Ophelia wrote an article appearing on New World Notes: A Second Life Public Service Announcement: Here’s Why Free L$ Cheats Don’t Work. It is a nice clean explanation of one of the ongoing YouTube scams, not by YouTube, but on YouTube.

I see these everyday as I scan my aggregator for news of what is happening in SL. They have titles like SLWorld Hack, SL Hack, Second Life Cheats, Revision 2 – 100% Success, Second Life Money Hack, and on and on.

Ophelia points out why it technically doesn’t work, money can’t be created by users in SL. It can be stolen from other players. But, that leaves a trail and the Lindens can follow it to recover the money.

Of course the real purpose of these scams is to get the SL ID and password of whoever tries the ‘hack’ program, so the scammer can steal from them.

W. C. Fields once wrote, you can’t con and honest man…