Archive for January 13th, 2013

Living with Lag

A cool grey world.

A cool grey world.

Last night, while walking around a corner in my lovely SL home, I crashed.

And I don’t mean, like, SL logged me out. I mean, like, my computer turned itself off. And then came back on and said in several languages, basically, ‘I couldn’t deal any longer and panicked.’ Sad face.

Let me say up front that I know the reason my virtual experience is so sad and slow is that I am doing it via a 3+ year old MacBook Pro. When I started SL, my machine was brand new, the viewer was old, and everything was rather peachy. But in the new-fangled world of browser-like viewers and mesh, my poor wee machine is struggling. And while I’d love to rush out and get a shiny new one, it isn’t the right time, and I’m not going to shell out the ducats just for SL (sorry SL).

So I’ve been living with lag for quite a while now. Much of my virtual experience is grey and slow to rez, and everyone’s movements are choppy and stilted. But if I am patient and stand somewhere long enough, my world becomes lovely and vivid, and I’m pleased to be there. As such, I definitely limit my experience to places that are worth the wait, like art installations (and which are much lower lag than shopping events!)

But see, that was my SL, I didn’t know any different. That is, until this last Christmas when I had the chance to login on my dear friend (the Cheeky Pea herself) Isla Gealach’s gorgeous 27″ iMac. Isla has NO LAG. I actually had no idea that when you tp’ed somewhere, it could be instant… and when you cammed around, it could all go in a blur. I was enthralled, then I was in despair. How would my SL ever be acceptable after this?

After a manic episode of almost ordering a Mac mini on the spot (I’ll be a Mac user til I die, so I’m not having that debate here, to each their own), I came to my senses. I’ve been living with lag for a while now, and I would certainly survive it.

But since the new year, it’s been particularly bad… and I was somewhat relieved this week to learn that I wasn’t alone. On Tuesday, when I went to preview Bryn Oh’s wonderful new exhibit ‘Imogen and the Pigeons’, SL was entirely borked for all of us… it’s been a mess since, and then last night, the computer thing. When I restarted, Firestorm wouldn’t start AT ALL. So I said f*ck it and loaded up the SL viewer.

Guess what? I’m sort of ok.

PJ and I went back and finished Bryn’s exhibit (and you HAVE TO GO IT IS AMAZING), and it was FINE. I was even able to navigate some of her trickier paths (because when you are regularly laggy, sharp turns and curving stairs are a bitch!). So now I’m suspicious that the problem is Firestorm for Mac, and this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that.

I’ve had other random issues, such as mesh walls not rezzing until I uncheck basic shaders in my graphics (and then check again and it’s fine). But this wee ramble which is in service of not a lot is basically just to make a plea for content creators: please remember those of us who live with lag?

For example, I am wandering around a major and popular store right now which will not let me fly or tp from A to B in their HUGE store. I get that you want me to walk by all your stuff, but 1) it isn’t rezzing fast enough for me to see, and 2) I just get frustrated when I have to walk back through, downstairs, and around to the next store when I’m even a bit laggy.

Please, remember and be kind to those of us who live with lag.

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The Arrival by Rose Borchovski at LEA 23. Photo by PJ Trenton.

The Arrival by Rose Borchovski at LEA 23. Photo by PJ Trenton.

As a large chunk of the planet is at least grey, if not covered in snow, why not curl up at home with some excellent virtual culture! There is so much wonderful art opening this weekend in SL, and we’ve already highlighted three must-see exhibitions thus far:

Rose Borchovski’s ‘The Arrival’ opened yesterday at LEA 23, in which her Susas return for more misadventure. A multi-layered and multi-media work (sound on!), Rose’s installations just keep getting better and better in my view. And while you are there, many of the other LEA exhibits are open as well, so you can check the LEA blog for details on those.

Bryn Oh's 'Imogen and the Pigeons'. Photo by PJ Trenton

Bryn Oh in her new exhibit ‘Imogen and the Pigeons’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Bryn Oh’s newest Immersiva work ‘Imogen and the Pigeons’ officially opens today, so don’t be surprised if it is a busy sim. It is well worth the effort as Bryn delivers another intricate tale to explore. This is not a quick trip though, so make sure you have at least an hour to spare to fully enjoy this work (I believe it took PJ and I a couple, as we were so engrossed).

Winter Outlined by Fucshia Nightfire. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Winter Outlined by Fucshia Nightfire. Photo by PJ Trenton.

And Saffia gave us a jigsaw peek at Fuschia Nightfire’s new installation ‘Winter Outlined’, where you can pop in for some very unique skating fun!

If that wasn’t enough (and it’s never enough with great art), Stephen Venkman’s show ‘Past Present Future’ opens at the stunning Elephant and Seadryke Gallery at Eliza Wierwight’s Patron, today at 2pm SLT.

Stephen Venkman at Elephant and Seadryke Gallery. Photo by Rowan Derryth.

Stephen Venkman at Elephant and Seadryke Gallery. Photo by Rowan Derryth.

Venk tells us a bit about himself:

A resident of SL for  almost 7 years. I started taking images in SL to chronicle the people I met and the creations I encountered. Once I was introduced to Corel Paint and Photoshop, the realization of pushing the envelope with my images was born. A first life artist in music only,  I stumbled upon Second Life.  I have since been involved with many shows in-world and one real life show in Europe at the Museum of History in Florence Italy.  After being invited to show at Second Life’s 4th Birthday celebration, I was invited to show in the first multi- artist shows at “The Cannery” gallery owned by Rezzable and ran by Vint Falken and Shoshana Epsilon.  I was also asked to join Avatrait Gallery as a featured artist, then to their board of directors, and also gallery curator/manager.  I have since slowed down on my gallery curating to take more time creating . I’ve opened up a shop for male shapes, and continue expanding my line of in-world characters.  Resident photographer for a handful of magazines, I’m never in lack of something to do in SL.  I am very interested in environmental design and making my own textures. Currently residing on my Sim with fellow designers, creators and photographers as neighbor, along with a few virtual pets. 🙂 Life is good!

And with so much wonderful art, Second Life is good indeed!

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