How to Play PC Games on Gear VR 2017… Right…

This is for NVIDIA owners… sorry AMD peeps. It’s a software limitation.

Stream Theater Start Screen – Post Setup

So, you want to see Second Life™ or any OpenGL game on your Gear VR. Well… you are going to have to learn a lot. You’ll also find few are telling you what the result of their tutorials or apps actually provides. Advertising hype is everywhere. If  O N E  PC or OpenGL game will run or even sort of run, then PC and OpenGL compatibility is the headline. Expect disappointment. I’ll explain what worked for me below.

Visual quality is the next point of disappointment. My S8 has a 4k screen. I normally run it at 2k to save battery. In everyday use, 2k is pretty much retina resolution, way sharp and crisp, beautiful. 4k is overkill. If I didn’t tell you which mode the phone was in, you probably couldn’t guess.

The Gear VR turns the phone up to 4k when connected. Most VR headsets are NOT 4k and thus most media is made for 2k and that media is fuzzy on my 4k screen. Looking at my 1k 24” Samsung monitor is way nicer.

Then there is ‘screen door’… This is a term from the VR-world. The headsets magnify the small screens to fill the field of view. In doing so the individual pixels start to be visually apparent. This creates an effect that looks a bit like looking through a window/door screen. With the S8 it is a very fine screen, but a visible screen.  Continue reading

Second Life – How to Lower ACI – A Script

One of the complications in 3D rendering is working out how to blend the objects with transparent parts. Think of windows and SL hair. Designers can reduce the complication by how they use alpha layers and blending. I’m not going to try to explain how to set stuff up because I have yet to get it figured out. But, I came across a handy workaround for things we already have.

I buy hair, dresses, and other things that use blending modes. Most are no-mod. But, the script below can be used to modify them.

In the beginning of the video, I am wearing Magika’s Dreamy as purchased. This is hair that in the Linden viewer has an ACI of 4,699. Using the script reduces the ACI by 702. That is a saving of 15±%. This is my first try, so I have no idea if this is typical, minimal, or a max. You may find that high ACI items benefit more.

There is some degradation in the appearance. When zoomed out, it is barely noticeable. Only when zoomed in can you see the difference. Personally, the 702 ACI saving is not worth the loss of appearance. Continue reading

Second Life News 2017 w24 – New Shiny

Servers

There was no roll to the main grid this week. The channel continues to run #17.05.26.326655.

Blue Steel will get a new package Wednesday, #17.06.01.326763. Includes internal fixes.

Le Tigre will get a new package Wednesday, #17.06.12.327066. Includes internal logging and features and an improvement to region starts.

Magnum also gets a new package, #17.06.12.327060. Shoutcast Player fix included. Other changes are an upgrade of the OS.

Tuesday done less left before WE 😜

Tuesday done less left before WE 😜

Shoutcast is the feature that many use to publish the name of the song playing in a music stream. There was some old time fundamental problem with how those scripts worked. Some fix in the server side created a problem with those scripts, broke them. (BUG-100737) The Lindens were not going to build the bug back in. So, they are providing a fix that works similarly. But, all the Shoutcast scripts will have to change.

The fix is something about the characters in the HTTP request stream. Continue reading

Second Life – State of VR – Gear VR

If you are hoping I am going to tell you we have VR for Second Life™, I’ll disappoint you. However, it apparently is possible. But, it isn’t easy and the whole VR thing is a mess, especially if you want to do it cheaply.

For an instance of a mess, when you place a phone in Gear VR it auto-launches the Oculus app. Doesn’t matter what app you have running, the Oculus app launches and takes over the device. A bunch of people tell you to insert to the headset without connecting the phone to the headset. WAY lame, but doable. However, without the USB connection made the phone can fall out of the unit.

So… you have to get Samsung’s BK Package Disabler (US$1.49) get around this problem. They have a free version if you rooted your phone. If not, you have to hope the retail package will install. If you did root it, no problem just delete all you phones accounts, installed the root-version of BK, and redo all your accounts… lovely. Continue reading

Second Life Server News 2017 w/23

In the area of server updates, there has not been much exciting news. Or even mildly interesting. Changes have been about data collection, which will guide future changes, and infrastructure changes. But, this week there are some interesting changes people are noticing.

Who knew?

Who knew?

A few people were reporting long down times after this week’s update rollouts. Others noticed there were two rollouts Wednesday. Mazidox Linden took the blame for that. Maz rolled the wrong version to the RC channels. So, a second roll was required to get the correct version in place.

So, both Blue Steel and Le Tigre got two restarts. Lucy is certain that if Maz had had a bear it would have told him he was making a mistake… Forgoing the Bear solution the roll procedure is changing to hopefully reduce this mistakes reoccurrence possibility. Continue reading

Second Life – Content Creation UG 2017 w/23

Getting this video out was a problem. Adobe Premiere started crashing and refusing to show video in the Project Editor panel. Plus, the Hippotropolis region was crashing during the meeting. That made for an interesting meeting and made more work putting the video together.

There were lots of audio challenges in this video. I tried to clean up several places. Cathy Foil’s microphone is over driving the system. Vir Linden apparently talks into a fixed position mic. He tends to move toward and away from it when talking. Anyway, I did what I could with it.

Meeting Summary

Vir Linden starts the meeting talking about viewers. The AssetsHTTP viewer is still in QA, but expected to update the RC in week 24.

Work is continuing on animated objects. Vir has the server and a pre-project viewer working so one can see animated objects. Other viewers crash. So, that has to be handled. Continue reading

Second Life News 2017 w23

The main channel got an update today. Simon Linden tells us this is a good one. While we can’t see changes, no new shiny, there is considerable system performance improvement on the back side.

Quoting

We updated the main server channel this morning. The most interesting part of the update is internal – not normally visible. But, we got a big improvement in the caps router … an essential part of keeping regions and viewers happy.

… we made one part of the big system work better.

A caps router directs the regions’ requests for various tasks to the correct servers. I don’t have a lot of information on how all the parts work. I know there are a number of regions in a server host. The server host establishes a connection to the various other computers in the system that handle various tasks. It then provides each region with information needed to connect or receive information from those backend servers.

Places Are Not Evil - People Are

Places Are Not Evil – People Are

Getting a copy of your inventory list, seeing friends online, talking to the asset server… these are all capabilities of the system, caps. Of course, voice and chat are part of the servers provided by backend servers.

You may be aware that when servers are updated on the Tuesday and Wednesday restarts that a number of regions fail to come back online as they should. One noted problem is not being able to log into a region. You may be able to TP into it, but things don’t work well. That region is likely in a host that has failed to connect to the caps, is suffering what is called caps failure. Continue reading