Friday, June 02, 2006

Second Life Update

Well, I'm quite sure I haven't been writing enough about Second Life lately. So I thought I'd check in and see what was going on. First thing I got was a new release... a major release of sorts I guess, which incorporates bits of the Mozilla browser into its interface. I hope to find out more about that soon. Second Life runs admirably well on my two year old Powerbook and I think the company deserves much more credit in the press than they have gotten for running on just about anything (well, anything with a fancy video card in it anyway). It runs under Apples OS X and Linux as promised long ago that it would.

But it's no speed demon on my Powerbook, and is a good test of the ventilation/cooling system, so I'm not in-world as much as I might be. I'm shopping for a new computer though, which could finally change all that. I went so far as to put a Powermac G5 in my shopping cart at the Apple store (online) along with a second battery for both my Powerbook and iBook in preparation for a road trip. (Yes, I may take two notebooks as I much prefer the iBook as a laptop since it has Linux installed and runs rings around the newer and faster Powerbook running OS X... but the Powerbook has a working WiFi card, and the Apple repair service broke the WiFi capability on the iBook while replacing just about every other component during a product recall.) But finally, I removed the G5 and just purchased the batteries, thinking that for less than a third the price I could have a generic PowerPC desktop with Linux pre-installed. If I were salivating over Intel's latest accomplishments like Apple fanbois seem to be I'd probably get one of the new cheap Compaqs containing dual core goodness, although the bargain deal at Sams Club continues to be a 64-bit AMD laptop by Compaq that looks really nice, almost making the Powerbook look like a toy, and it even has a video card very much SL capable. (And for only $700+ !)

After much self-debate, as usual, I decide to do nothing. I have more computing power than anyone in America has the right to have as it is. NOTHING I do on my computers takes longer than half a second, that is of course, excluding things I do while in SL. For that I can wait... maybe wait for quad core AMD laptops circa late 2007, if the world doesn't end before then.

In the mean time I content myself to check out the SL forums, which used to be a seven times a day happening, now more like once a quarter.

The SL forums are slow. Nothing to do with my computer, just all that bandwidth being sucked into a black hole in that datacenter I suspect. (I wonder if the SL forums are even run in their own datacenter?) Ahhh many changes afoot...

There once was a girl who wanted to form an SL government. Only they had to promise to keep electing her to be in charge of it... or something:

Oh the drama (we are supposed to say drahma I think)...

Oh the suspense...

Oh the comedy...

And in other political news:

New Mayor of Blumfield...
For information:
After a vote (using group proposal) Blumfield has elected its first mayor - Max Case.
In the first 10 minutes of being mayor Max declared martial law, demanded tributes and taxes, then wee'd on the assembled throng.
All in all, a strange start to a new era.

And... In answer to the question: Should Ostracism Be Used in SL?:

I believe what you're proposing is the political formalization of a social system more commonly known as "high school".

In spite of its Athenian, "cradle-of-not-so-democracy" roots, it's just a glorified social skills contest and ought not to be the basis of "governance" or consensus-building in Second Life.

If it comes to it, the first person I'll nominate for ostracization is you.

Earth shattering revelations: "The Bible is a book"

OK, so maybe once a quarter is enough. Nobody ever claimed that SL would attract the next generation of politicos, philosiphers or non-couch potatoes for that matter.

I still think the system has great potential, if still unrealized, in the great tradition of Metaverse novels ("Snowcrash" being my favorite). When I can walk my avatar up to another avatar and hand them a PDF file as a book and say "Take a look at this, you might want to use it in your next class" or something like that, then I'll know it has arrived (oh, and either the hardware or software will have to improve so that my laptop doesn't start blowing dust-bunnies off the shelf it's on when I do this maneuver).

I'm waiting for the Linden Labs IPO, or the buyout by Google, whichever comes first. There's no way Microsoft would ever get it, or if they did they would ruin it.

Besides, they'd have to agree to always elect Ballmer President. I'd never stand for that!


  1. Mac! It's been ages since I saw you inworld. I found your blog (I've been here before, but was recently doing searches) via Feedster.

    I really like my dual-core AMD monitor. Maybe I'm twinning up on too many things; I have two monitors too.

    And I feel the SL Forums crawl at times too--at peak hours, searches are *so* sluggy. Keeps me multitasking, or at least, some semblance of it.

  2. Thanks for the comment (I don't get many!) I'll try and look you up next time I'm in-world.