Ripples on the water

I paid a visit to Roche today. I did this in part because I’ve been meaning to go since seeing it in Honour McMillan’s brilliant blog (probably the finest photo journal for SL explorations and thought-provoking musing on life, the metaverse and everything that there is), and partly because I’m trying to get to the bottom of a viewer issue plaguing me.


Over the last couple of months I’ve been encountering some issues when taking snapshots which see either the snapshot floater itself refuse to save images to my hard drive and / or which cause a sudden and huge memory bloat with the viewer which eventually brings it to a juddering halt. The issues don’t occur all the time, and appear to only affect my main account.


They mainly make themselves felt when I’m visiting multi-region estates, the mainland or regions with sim extenders, and only occur when I’m operating in deferred mode with shadows active. I’ve tried everything to get around the issue – an example of which is the last image in yesterday’s post, which took no fewer than four attempts for me to capture to disk due to the viewer refusing to save, then suddenly deciding it would after all. I’ve tried with draw distance turned right down, I’ve tried after clearing cache, with and without attachments, and so on and so forth. Nothing seems to make a difference. I’m reduced to picking a few choice words at random then either resorting to a screen capture tool or relogging.

Roche – “Winter is coming”

The problem isn’t down to a single viewer, either. For a time I was blaming Firestorm – and my apologies to the Firestorm team for quite possibly single-handedly raising their crash rates in October. However, Both Zen and the last few releases of the SL Beta viewer (both with and without tcmalloc disabled) have yielded the same results (I’ve not got around to trying with others). The other oddity is that the same problems doesn’t occur when I’m on individual private regions (or those with surrounding regions hidden), and I can still upload snaps to my profile feed long after the floater has given up trying to save to my hard drive.


Nor does it appear to be hardware-related; while I quickly encounter problems with my main account, my Crash Test Alt (CTA) doesn’t encounter the same issues; so much so that I’ve been using it somewhat more frequently of late to get out and about to take snaps rather than facing an inevitable faff around or resorting to using a screen capture tool to grab some images.

All-in-all the problems have me a little puzzled.

Roche, on the other hand, doesn’t have me puzzled – it has me captivated. A Homestead region, it is the personification of beauty through simplicity, offering the lens artist a wonderful series of opportunities for film and stills which are quite unique.


This is a place which invites you co come and play, to fiddle with windlight and other settings to your heart’s content and see what you can produce. It is both backdrop and focal point; canvas and artwork, offering many opportunities for creative expression. It’s also a place deserving of careful exploration, because the attention to detail here is equally wonderful; my favourite part of the region is actually so hidden as to be easily missed – the short stretch of railway line which hugs a part of the shoreline; it simply invites the imagination to create a raft of narratives to go with it.


I love regions like this and Scribbled Hearts on Water Reserve or Blackcloud Oh’s Black Kite, simply because of the way that they do call to the artist within each of us and offer a page on which our imaginations can write a tale or two. This may have been my first visit to Roche – but I seriously doubt it will be my last.


Related Links


Webspace with avatars and inventory – Humble talks dio and Versu

Update, February 19th, 2014: Creatorvers and dio were discontinued by Linden Lab on February 19th, 2014. Links to their websites, etc.,  have therefore been removed from this article.

Details of a kind are starting to slip out about LL’s new product stream. We’re now already very familiar with Patterns and Creatorverse, the latter of which reached the Android platform at the start of the week, coming to it via the Kindle range of tablets.

Creatorverse: iPad, Kindle and Android so far

An article in Techcrunch provides some more insight into the remaining two products of which we’re already aware, Dio and Versu.

The article starts off with a positive comment on Second Life itself:

Linden Lab, the company that created Second Life and grew that online community into one of the most colorful, varied online social networks in the world, is doing some very different things for the first time in many, many years.

Admittedly, this quickly slides into the murkier waters regarding declining user numbers, observing rather interestingly that “passive viewing becoming the dominant interaction method”, before bringing up that beloved subject of many a journo reporting on SL, that of its “sordid past”.

I’m not entirely sure what is meant by “passive viewing”, but I suspect that relates to many of the more populous venues in SL being clubs (of every sort) whereby avatars are dancing but most of the conversation is going on in IM, giving the illusion that everyone is sitting in silence watching avatars gyrate twist and turn individually or in groups, or twirl gracefully around the dance floor like pairs of professional ballroom dancers. While the image is true, I’m not entirely sure how representative of SL it is as a whole.

But I digress.

In the article, Rod Humble confirms the upcoming order of the remaining two initial product releases from the Lab, with Dio coming up next, followed by Versu.

“The next project is a web experience called Dio that’s really hard to explain, which I like. It’s sort of like Second Life without the graphics, or Facebook but trying to be more of a creative space,” Humble is quoted as saying in the Techcrunch article. He goes on, “So it’s a web experience and you create your space, but within the spaces, everyone has their own avatar and avatars carry inventory. The way you navigate from space to space is via doors, and you can make things like a MUSH [multi-user shared hack] or hobby space very easily.”

Dio: “webspace with avatars” (image from an early version of the Dio website, and not necessarily representative of how the finished product will appear)

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