Viewer release summary 2013: week 13

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information as the week progresses
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.  

Updates for the week ending: March 31st, 2013

  • SL Viewer updates:
      • Development viewer rolled to on March 28th
      • Sunshine (server-side baking project) update to on March 29th
  • Niran’s Viewer updated to  2.1.5 on March 30th – core updates: UI updates, including build floater revisions, HTML-type tagging in text for bold, underlined, coloured text, snapshot floater updates – release notes
  • Cool VL updated on March 29th to:
  • Metabolt updated to version (Beta) on March 31st – core updates: numerous radar updates; teleport updates, preferences updates & enhancements; UI updates – release notes
  • Radegast updated to 2.12 on March 31st – core updates – maintenance update for Server-Side Baking / Appearance – release notes

Discontinued Viewers

  • Phoenix – Development and support officially ended December 31st, 2012
  • Zen – Development and support officially ended January 27th, 2013.

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Start April with a one-day offer from the Firestorm team!

It’s the start of April, and for ONE DAY only, the Firestorm team have a very special offer for SL users.

Firestorm Mobile brings the power for Firestorm to any mobile device – even if it doesn’t have graphics!  So don’t delay find out more about this first-of-the-month offer for April in this official Firestorm video!

With thanks to Jessica 🙂

Why I might just might reconsider my “LAQ” of land …

It’s no secret that late last year I quit my last private land holdings in SL and retreated to my Linden Home. While some regard the latter as “lag-laden slums” (and to be honest, some of the Linen Home regions aren’t exactly picturesque), I’m actually happy with my Tahoe home and the region in which it is located, which is neither crowded and benefits from having both a river running through it and from a large expanse of open parkland close to hand.

However, in my wanderings through Second Life, visiting and blogging about regions and activities, I have on occasion, come across a style of house build which has both intrigued and attracted me. These are mesh builds by Winter DiPrima, and sold under the LAQ Decor brand name (LAQ as in the avatar skin brand).

The LAQ Picturesque Cottage (with the optional "snow roof" applied, inset)
The LAQ Decor Picturesque Cottage (with the separately available “snow roof” applied for a suitably wintry look, inset

I first came across these buildings – in the form of the Picturesque Cottage – while exploring Second Norway, and have since seen it in a number of places, including an appearance in Ginger Lorakeet’s Inside Art installation at LEA23. I’ve also found the Quaint Cottage featured at a number of places I’ve visited.

Both cottages are 100% mesh and demonstrate just what can be achieved with mesh and without it having to be hugely expensive in terms of land impact; both total less than 80 prims / LI, and the Picturesque cottage includes a window sofa and a modest kitchen in the count!

The Quaint Cottage and (inset) the interior
The Quaint Cottage and (inset) the interior

Of the two cottages, I confess the Picturesque Cottage is swaying me dangerously back towards taking-up a modest parcel of land, simply so I have an excuse to go purchase the cottage and put it on display. It has a delightfully attractive design which  I find endearing – be it the curve of the roof or the slightly careworn interior walls or the fact that it looks so perfectly natural no matter where in pops-up in-world.

It certainly offers enough in the way of living space, with a large open-plan area downstairs with two rooms, and a galleried bedroom reached by ladder, and which has a lovely little balcony opening off of it, sitting above one of them.

Inside the Picturesque cottage and (inset) the bedroom balcony
Inside the LAQ Decor Picturesque cottage and (inset) the bedroom balcony

For those with modest tastes, the Quaint Cottage offers a single-storey, two-room home which is again charmingly designed and which can offer more than comfortable accommodation – although while it will fit on a 512 sq metre parcel, the prim count / LI of 76 may make it more suitable for at least a 1024 sq m parcel when considering the question of furnishings, etc.

Both cottages include some additional features – window blinds which can be set to CLOSED for visual privacy and a house controller which includes a security system, a radio and options to “light” / “extinguish” the fire.

For those with more expansive tastes, Winter – again via the LAQ Decor brand – also produces mixed mesh / prim houses as well. As the time of writing, these comprise a mansion and a Spanish “castle” villa.

The mesh / prim mansion by LAQ Decor with (inset) the swimming pool
The mesh / prim mansion by LAQ Decor with (inset) the swimming pool

The mansion is the larger of the two, requiring a minimum parcel size of 2240 sq metres. With a prim count / LI of 497, it is also the “heaviest” of the house builds examined here – and also potentially the most unusual, featuring as it does a large swimming pool occupying what might otherwise be considered the grand entrance hall.

The Spanish-style villa offers three floors of accommodation, including a ready-to-be-equipped bathroom off of the main upstairs bedroom and two balconies as well as an outdoor water feature.

The LAQ Decor Spanish "castle" villa.
The LAQ Decor Spanish “castle” villa and, inset, showing the internal lighting

I have to admit the latter two are a little too big for my tastes – but then I’ve been known to live in a tin can :). However, for those seeking a large property, either may well be worth consideration.

Along with the houses, Winter produces a range of furnishings and outdoor items, some of which (walls / fences) can be seen in the photos here. All of them are, when one considers they are COPY, very reasonably priced.

The LAQ Decor furnishings are certainly worth a look at, and again a solid demonstration as to what can be achieved in mesh with a little care. The bedroom, lounge and dining sets all represent very good value considering the low prim count  / LI of each, the colour options, animations, etc. I particularly like the fact that the furniture is all built more to a decent avatar scale than perhaps some other brands tend to be.

LAQ Decore furnishing represent good value for money - low prim count / LI, colour-changing, multiple poses and options. The bed and beside tables (with working lamps / candles) shown in the main picture and the lounge suite inset.
LAQ Decor furnishing represent good value for money – low prim count / LI, colour-changing, multiple poses and options. The bed and beside tables (with working lamps / candles) shown in the main picture and the lounge suite inset

Whether you’re looking for a house or interior furnishings, LAQ Decor is more than worth a visit, be it via the Marketplace or a trip to the in-world store (and I very much recommend the latter).

For my part, I’m so enamoured of the Picturesque Cottage, I’m going to be hard-pressed not to go out and find a suitable parcel on which to locate it. And then, of course, I’ll need the bed, the lounge suite and the bookcases, and the … 🙂

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