Monday, August 26, 2019

A New Computer

By Bixyl Shuftan

Yours truly recently got a new computer, the fourth I've used to get on Second Life. When I first logged on Second Life in December 2006, it was with a PC I'd gotten used a few years earlier. Getting on Second Life and the games I was playing at the time was slow. So I decided to try to add some memory to it, and ended up frying the machine. So like it or not, time to get a new machine. As computers at the time were not being sold with the reliable version of Windows I knew but Vista, which was getting friends and family alike frustrated, it was time to go "back to Mac." So I got an iMac, and that was the computer I would get to know Second Life with, and experience to about November 2013.

As time went on, Second Life would be updated again and again. And my viewer began to slow down and freeze a bit. By Fall 2013, things were getting to the point the viewer would pause in the middle of my typing a sentence. So I began looking for a new computer. As Macs were more expensive and Vista had long been replaced by more reliable versions of Windows, in this case Windows 7, I decided to look for a PC, one with a good graphics card. Windows 8 was coming out, but someone I knew whose machine ran on it was having trouble to the point the computer froze up and couldn't be saved. So when I found one, a Cybertron Power PC, I made sure it had Windows 7 installed. The machine arrived in November, and my Second Life experience was back to normal. I could also start playing more of the games my Second Life friends were playing.

All was mostly well for a while, aside from the computer needing to be taken to the shop a few times, and once my screenshots vanishing (later recovered them). Then late one evening in early August, the computer finally died. There wasn't much of a warning other than the viewer acting slower and crashing more, though it wasn't nearly as slow as the last couple months I was using the Mac. Fortunately, the hard drive was still good (I had backed up my most important files anyway). Also, with Microsoft about to abandon support for Windows 7, I had been giving some thought to getting a new machine soon anyway. But like it or now, I needed to get one now.

What I wanted was another machine that would serve me well for years. I recalled a friend who got a new machine, only to find Second Life actually ran *slower* on it than her computer that was several years old. So I talked to a few friends as well as checking the recommended system requirements on I soon came across a Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop. What got my attention was the NVIDIA GTX graphics card and 8 gigabytes of RAM to cut down on the lag. Plus it was on sale. I ordered it, and after several days it was ready to pickup.

I was soon back in business, and my Firestorm viewer was running much faster than on my old machine. Maxing out my viewing distance at 1064m, I didn't have to wait nearly as long as before to wait for everything to rezz. Highly complex avatars nearby didn't slow me down like they had been recently. I've enabled shadows to appear in my screenshots, at least for now. As for games, they load faster, and I'm able to play at better resolutions. I should note I still crash occasionally, and TP fails seem to be occurring a bit more than usual, though the latter could just be SL being a bit buggier than usual with the latter.

So here's to more years of going about Second Life and occasional gaming. Hopefully I won't need another machine for a very long time.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Second Life Regional Search And Rescue

By Gemma Cleanslate

“Sunday the 18th at 9:00 Am  SLT will be the opening calls for mutual aid and we look forward to a  community of skilled first responders  participating.  “

I often see and have seen many first responders around Second Life, but have never seen such an event in the time I have been here, except for the  9/11 event that was held for many years.

I saw this call for 9:00 for a multi-agency event in Iridium and went over to see what was going on. It was an amazing display . A train had derailed on a bridge over a deep ravine above water. Cars were strewn around in the water on fire and above on the bridge with victims  waiting for help. Some were on the bridge, some in the tunnel, and down below in the water.

Liam Steele (Liam3017 Resident) shouts: Got a young lady here with a pulse, no response.
L.Krause (MarkRenard221 Resident) shouts: OK COMING

The organization was amazing. A fire truck deployed a winch to lower the fire fighters and carry the victims to safety.. A helicopter lowered another first responder to help.I saw three victims rescued and winched up to the helicopter. They were transported to an area set up near the area with medical personnel waiting .  This took place over 4 hours.It was so professional.

At one point one of the responders has an accident himself, Jᴀᴍᴇs L. Qᴜɪɴɴツ (MikeStoker Resident fell off the bridge into the water and was covered in oil and needed to be rescued himself.

A wide variety of mutual aid responders showed up at various times from various rescue groups the the hours passed went on. A marine fire and rescue boat appeared to check the waters and the train cars under water . One entered and swam the cars to check for people. There was a victim trapped in there for a long time with her head above water fortunately .   After all were rescued then everyone took part in knocking down the fire.

I spoke to Tealcie Annibles (Tealcie Resident, ( Founder and Commander of Second Life Regional Search And Rescue - A Mutual Aid Response Organization.  Co-Founder/Owner TLC Land-Co),   who runs these activities and she told me that she tries to do it as often as possible . She has been coordinating them for the past two years.  Next month will be another disaster involving an oil rig and a cruise ship. When they are called to respond the call goes out in real time to anyone who can come as first responders and they arrive in various times as they can and search for victims and disaster relief.

I asked her if there was a practice before hand and she answered, “No we go live with no warning”. She passed a video of a past event that you can see here . .

If you want to see or participate in this activity get in touch with a first responder and find out how to get involved. I found it all amazing as I watched it occur and offered to be a victim some time. There is a group for those who might like to be a survivor. You can find it on my profile. I stayed to watch for over three hours with a few other observers sitting high on a hill and camming in on various parts of the activity . This is a particular sort of roleplay that takes time and patience. It is a slow process that moves along with the pace of discovery of victims and planning. It was a great experience for all .

Gemma Cleanslate