Friday, August 23, 2013

Of all the bloody gall...

Okay, so someone was posting in a Phoenix Self Help group chat asking a question, and I responded with a comment that, while not very popular in some circles, is nevertheless absolutely true.
[2013/08/22 15:53]  Gulid Resident: Is there someone that can help me? My avi's body still looks grey even though I am on the v4.4.2 viewer, i did a clean update and everything and yet my avi si grey so idk what to do at this point :/
[2013/08/22 15:53]  Gulid Resident: i mean clean install
[2013/08/22 15:54]  Sophie Katsu: Guild you mean you're on Firestorm?
[2013/08/22 15:54]  Archangel Mortenwold: Might want to check the Firestorm Viewer support group, though I'll tell you right now their only response is likely to go out and buy a new computer.
[2013/08/22 15:54]  Mister Acacia: Guild, this is the Phoenix viewer group. You want the Firestorm group > secondlife:///app/group/3a1be8d4-01f3-bc1a-2703-442f0cc8f2dd/about
[2013/08/22 15:55]  Mister Acacia: Archangel, don't be an idiot.
[2013/08/22 15:55]  Gulid Resident: but mine says phoenix firestorm
[2013/08/22 15:55]  Gulid Resident: i dont know the difference
[2013/08/22 15:56]  Archangel Mortenwold: Who's being an idiot?  That's their response to most issues raised by users.
[2013/08/22 15:56]  Masdison Resident: You don't need a new pc other viewers work
[2013/08/22 15:56]  Mister Acacia: Guild, Phoenix viewer is a V1-based viewer that is now obsolete. Firestorm is made by the same people, it's V2/3 based and is current.
[2013/08/22 15:56]  XLR8RRICK Hudson: Guild I will IM you and help
[2013/08/22 15:57]  Archangel Mortenwold: There's Singularity and there's Cool VL Viewer, which both work well.  As for Phoenix being obsolete, that's true only so long as no one picks up the code and updates it.
[2013/08/22 15:57]  Mister Acacia: That's bullshit Archangel.
[2013/08/22 15:57]  Archangel Mortenwold: Isn't there anyone willing and able to that task?
[2013/08/22 15:57]  Sophie Katsu: why is it bullshit?
[2013/08/22 15:58]  StarlightShining Resident: really Arch - you told such troll rubbish
[2013/08/22 15:58]  Sophie Katsu: Jessica said anyone can have at it if they want to update it
[2013/08/22 15:58]  StarlightShining Resident: sure - go ahead - several have tried
[2013/08/22 15:58]  Mister Acacia: Because the support team does not automatically tell everyone to buy a new pc.
[2013/08/22 15:58]  Masdison Resident: Another thing the ssb has nothing to do with your avatar being gray, your av should look good its all the other av's that are gray
[2013/08/22 15:58]  Archangel Mortenwold: What's this "rubbish" to which you refer?
[2013/08/22 15:58]  Sophie Katsu: has that changed?
[2013/08/22 15:59]  StarlightShining Resident: sophie - go ahead and pick up Phx - many that actually know how to deal woith a viewer have tried and given up
[2013/08/22 15:59]  Sophie Katsu: oh ok i thought you were talking about his other comment
[2013/08/22 15:59]  Sophie Katsu: why are you telling me that?   i'm not a coder
[2013/08/22 16:00]  Sophie Katsu: i just repeated what Jessica said in one of the interviews that i saw on video
[2013/08/22 16:00]  StarlightShining Resident: as you said sophie - anyone can pick it up and take it forward
[2013/08/22 16:02]  Masdison Resident: I still use phoenix at time and its working fine in most sims but if you go to a sim that has the ssb all the av's look totally gray but your av looks good
[2013/08/22 16:03]  Mister Acacia: SSA (was ssb) is on all regions now.
At that point, the moderator blocked my ability to post in group chat.  Here's the screen cap so you can see for yourself.

Now, just to show you how true it is that the typical response to any and all issues with Firestorm really is to go out and buy a brand new computer, here's a screencap lifted right from the Firestorm blog itself.

Wow.  That looks like someone being told to go out and get a new computer, with the ass clown making the reply not even bothering to ask if the person to whom he is replying is even on a PC that uses Windows XP.  My computer runs Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit edition, with the following specs:

CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 260 Processor (3214.35 MHz)
Memory: 8192 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Graphics Card Vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6600 Series
Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1077
OpenGL Version: 4.1.10750 Compatibility Profile Context

And guess what?  Firestorm won't run for you-know-what.  If it doesn't crash on start-up, it does very soon thereafter, and in the interim all I get is blackness with nothing fixing it.  My PC was designed to allow me to run graphics-intensive programs on high settings without breaking a circuit.  Yet the typical response to any and all issues with the badly-programmed Firestorm is "go out and buy a new computer, come into the modern age", as though that and not the crappy programming by the developers is the only thing to blame.  And when this is pointed out, it's met with name-calling, profanity, and censorship.  This is what the Firestorm developers and their merry band of suckups are like, dear readers.  You don't usually see this kind of behavior, this sneering contempt for one's own user base, in a lot of other places.

So yeah, I left that group and have no plans to return.  Now that Server Side Baking has gone grid-wide, I'm using Singularity Viewer full time.  Its building features still aren't quite on the same level as Phoenix, but the developers are a lot more receptive to input than the Firestorm elitists are, so who knows?  It just may end up becoming the premiere viewer for builders.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


With a host of bugs and security problems running rampant through their craptastic viewer, forcing many users to roll back to earlier versions, you'd think the lying douchebags who develop Firestorm would be smart enough to do something sane, like, you know, fix the damn bugs instead of denying they are bugs and ordering people to go out and shell out money they don't have for new computers.  But no, now they're seriously considering blocking access to older versions so that the only viewer users can log in on is the last three updates.

Many users can't use the three most recent updates because of insurmountable problems with the viewer code, so they will be effectively blocked from using Firestorm at all should the developers decide to pull this stunt.  Worse is that they are seriously considering blocking access to Phoenix, after a suggestion by one Firestorm user.

According to their own message on the viewer log-in screen on Phoenix, some 28,000 SL users still use Phoenix (I'm one of them).  If Jessica Lyin' and her merry band of assholes do decide to block Phoenix, it would mean further alienating, literally, tens of thousands of people.

This obviously is not sitting well with blog readers:

Honestly, I have never seen this kind of behavior before by any organization or business that wanted to remain open.  Do you think McDonald's got to be the top burger chain by ordering its customers to go out and spend money they don't have just to be able to make use of their product, lying to said customers, and preventing them from gaining access to their restaurants?  Hell no, not when the competition is so fierce.  It would be stupid and suicidal for them as a business.  Firestorm may not be demanding that people pay money for the "privilege" of using their viewer, but just as with any business, they are producing a product — a defective one at that — and if they want people to use that product, they had better grow up and start going to work fixing their many mistakes.

UPDATE: 15 AUGUST, 2013:

Upon logging in this afternoon, I was hit with the following window in Phoenix:

What this means exactly is yet to be known, but I will keep you updated as information comes in.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The End of an Era, and the Beginning of a New One

It's official: after five years, New London Village is leaving TARDIS region for a smaller, less expensive land somewhere.  The realities of Linden Lab's artificially high prices have necessitated scaling back.  So this year's London Village Festival has turned out to be the last at its present location.

Three years ago, when I was driven out of Who Island, the sim I started and initially ran, it was Kat, Laredo, and their core community who gave me a home in SL.  They forgave my monumental fuckup in 2011 and let me stay without banning me from the region, understanding that I'd made a mistake and learned from it.  They've endured relentless attacks from small-minded people who couldn't abide a more successful region than their own, endured through staff changes, kept things interesting and always strived to evolve the sim to see where and how far they could take it.

Now they're moving, and although things will continue, albeit on a smaller scale (New London Systems will continue with its store and lineup of goods), it won't be quite the same as before.  Yet change is a constant factor in real life and Second Life alike, and what really matters at the end of the day is how we deal with it.  I know I'm not alone when I say, "Thank you, Kat, Laredo, and all the others who have put in so much time and energy into New London, through the good times and the bad.  You guys rock AND roll, and I wish you success and happiness in the next phase of your journey through Second Life."

Just to show you how popular New London was and is...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

And the next Doctor is...Peter Capaldi!

It's official: foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker, aka actor Peter Capaldi, is the next Doctor, following the departing Matt Smith.  The fifty-five-year-old Capaldi, who was born in Glasgow, is the same age William hartnell was when he first stepped into the iconic role back in 1963.  Coincidence?  Maybe, but knowing the BBC and Stephen Moffat, maybe not.  At any rate, it'll be interesting to see how he handles the role.  He played a Roman merchant in Series 4's "The Fires of Pompeii" in 2008, and kept it rather clean.  Should be interesting to watch.

On a sadder note, actor Michael Ansara passed away July 31st at the age of ninety-one.  Famous for his presence on television and voice work, Ansara is best remembered in sci-fi circles as the Klingon commander Kang on Star Trek, and as the voice of Mr. Freeze in the animated Batman series.  Rest in peace, Mr. Ansara.