PostHeaderIcon Second Life: Got Lag? Fix It Now.

James (Hamlet) Au in his blog (New World Notes) plopped up a bit about Second Life viewers and one created by Kirstenlee Cinquetti, a.k.a. "Kirstenlee Viewer".

I've already written about how I have a far better Second Life experience on my MacBook Pro - far superior than anything I've had on Microsoft Windows as far as graphics for sure. Unfortunately, because I am a multimedia professional in real life and Apple's OS-X is a superior platform for all things multimedia (20-Years experience on both platforms - not 'slamming' Windows here... okay, hell yes I am) I rely on my Macintosh for actual work.

So, while my 'real' computer (wink-wink) is in use making my real life living, my toy computer, is on Microsoft Windows. It's a pretty kick-ass machine, billed as a "gaming" machine - high-end dual-core AMD processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM (duh, Windows can only see 3 GB RAM) and lots of hard disk with a high-end nVidia graphics adapter.

My Second Life experience still improved three-fold when I finally decided to dump Windows Vista, which this machine came with and was factory-optimized for, and return to Windows XP. That the machine was factory optimized for Vista and the massive improvement I got when I dumped it for XP goes to show me that the problems with Vista are real.

So I came along Hamlet's blog post about Kirstenlee's viewer. I like the Nicholaz viewer and I haven't really tried any of the others. I'm a traditionalist and I figured it's easier to just roll along with the so-called 'official' Linden Lab viewers. I made this decision during the implementation of WindLight as it was the Linden Lab viewers that had it and the third-party viewers didn't. In laziness, I just rolled with the LL versions from then-on.

Then, I read the ridiculous claims made by Kirstenlee Cinquetti as quoted in Hamlet's blog (emphasis is mine):
Is Kirstenlee's Latest SL Viewer The Best Evar?: "Of all the people tinkering with Second Life's source code to create a new unofficial version of the SL viewer, Kirstenlee Cinquetti is among the most admired; her 'Shadowdraft' client, for example, came with dynamic lighting, a feature the Lindens have yet to implement (if they ever will.)

"So when she describes her latest version of the Second Life viewer as superior on several fronts, it's a claim to take seriously."

I remember the 'Shadowdraft" viewer and I did give it a try for about 30-minutes. I'm one of those people who simply insist on keeping my graphic settings at maximum, including a 512-meter draw distance.

Kirstenlee's Shadowdraft Viewer
{Kirstenlee Cinquetti's viewer}

The Shadowdraft view painted gorgeous about 10-frames per second. I knew from the outset this wasn't Kirstenlee's fault. It's the Linden Lab code and the huge, intense computing cycles on my machine required to draw such gorgeousness brought even my "screamin' demon" to a crawl.

But the statement still grabbed me.

It intrigued me.

As though it were some kind of challenge.

As though Kirstenlee was saying "I dare you to try it!"

The claims are pretty simple, and I'm paraphrasing here:
  • Lightning fast rezzing speed.
  • Never crashes (and I was suddenly getting 'click-crash' issues over the last couple weeks with the LL viewer.)
  • Easier to read fonts in the interface.
  • Better color scheme - easier on the eyes.
  • All new 'asset-viewer' showing thumbnails of inventory textures.
  • Lightening fast on all fronts.
  • Superior to all others.
...and a few other things.

So I decided what the hell. I always reinstall my windows machine from scratch every couple of months (it is Microsoft Windows, after all and seriously needs this maintenance step to keep operating properly.) It won't hurt and it will get wiped-out when I do my next windows rebuild.

So I took the plunge and gave it a go.

After a full day of zipping around the Second Life grid through Kirstenlee's viewer, I felt compelled to post a reply to Hamlet's article, which I'll repeat here:

Two words: HOLY F...

Okay, one word: WOW.



I cannot possibly express how impressed I am with this viewer. Everything Kirstenlee had proclaimed is... uh, true. Obviously the claims are all relative and your mileage will vary, but I am stunned with the performance increases and stability I get with this viewer.

I passed word on to several people I know, one of whom has been wanting to buy a new computer system because their Second Life experience is mediocre at best.

The impression I got is they also are stunned. She did some grid-hopping to known horrific-lag-cesspools. She reports these locations actually fully rezzed-in and she's seen things she has rarely seen before, all within moments compared to the usual wait. Also reported is another place that 'never, ever rezzes' because it is such a cluster-fu*k of poorly optimized textures and loaded with agents, had actually rezzed, in respectable and surprising time.

I am so impressed, I placed a sign at the teleport point in my own sim that reads "Got Lag? Try the Kirstenlee Viewer" - upon clicking will take you to Kirstenlee's web page. So if anyone ever whines about 'lag' in my sim, I'll just point them there.

Even if Second Life is beautiful and rarely ever plagued with lag for you, take a look and give it a spin. I am convinced that whatever your Second Life experience — bad to awesome — it will certainly improve exponentially.

Kirstenlee Cinquetti's Web Page (Blog)

via New World Notes
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