As a part of the SL10B celebrations, the Lab offered a line of limited offer gifts to residents through in-world vending machines: varsity jackets, teddy bears, furnished homes, etc. These were offered on a time limited as well as a limited number basis.
However – if you missed any of them, you can in fact still claim them from any of the vendors scattered around the SL10BCC regions (and possibly elsewhere, if there are any). Simply find a vendor and click on its right side to scroll through all of the available gifts. Any you haven’t already got will be automatically offered to you, which you can accept or reject.
The list of gifts comprises (as far as I can tell – the order from the vendors is random:
All offers end at 23:59 LST on the 30th June (although the SL10BCC regions close before then). Vendors themselves can be found at places like SL10B Pizzazz and SL10B Enchant, and may well be available elsewhere on the grid – I confess, I’ve not looked.
Update July 2nd: version 4.4.2 has been released by the Firestorm team, and Firestorm 4.4.1 has been blocked from accessing Second Life. If you have previously installed Firestorm 4.4.1, you can install 4.4.2 without needing a clean install. If you are updating from Firestorm 4.4.0 or earlier, a clean install is strongly recommended. The downloads can be found on the Firstorm website.
Firestorm 4.4.1(.34164) arrived as a release on Thursday June 27th. This is another major update to SL’s most widely used TPV, and one which all Firestorm users should update to sooner rather than later.
The reason for this latter comment is one which should be familiar to anyone who regularly reads this blog – Server-side Baking / Appearance (SSB/A) is a-coming.
Subject to final confirmation, the Lab plans to start deployment of the server-end of the capability on July 9th, and while it might take a while to encompass the entire grid, it will mean that anyone using a pre-4.4.0 version of Firestorm is going to start seeing increasing numbers of grey avatars around them as they travel the grid and (quite likely) finding themselves being told they are a cloud when seen by others.
Updating sooner rather than later will also greatly assist those volunteers who give up copious amounts of time to help with the in-world Firestorm Support groups. Right now, the Firestorm team estimate more than 77,000 users are still running versions of Firestorm older than 4.4.0, and thus have no SSB/A capabilities. It’s going to be impossible to supply all of these users with support and advice if they all leave updating their viewer until the 9th July or later – so please, if you are reading this review and you are using a version of Firestorm older than 4.4.0, consider updating now.
Doing so means that should you need to contact the Firestorm support team directly, because you are encountering problems and cannot find help through the Firestorm wiki or the troubleshooting index, you’ll be far more likely to receive a timely response to your request for assistance.
Even those who have updated to 4.4.0 should make the move to 4.4.1, as it includes the very latest updates and fixes for the SSB/A code from LL. Outside of SSB/A, release 184.108.40.206164 offers a number of important fixes for 4.4.0, and so it’s again important for 4.4.0 users to step up to 4.4.1 to gain these benefits.
As always, there is a lot to cover in a Firestorm release, so I’m not going to plough through everything here – the official change log provides a breakdown of all updates and fixes. Instead, this review focuses on what I regard as the key updates / changes. As always, credits for the various updates and contributions to Firestorm which are mentioned here can be found in the release change log – again, please check them there.
What is NOT in this Release
I’m actually going to start with what is not in the 4.4.1 release. It does not include the following major updates from the Lab:
The Communications Hub User Interface
The reasons for this are simple. For one thing, the Firestorm team have been largely focused on fixing issues and problems with Firestorm and on getting the viewer ready for the SSB/A release. This left them with little time to get changes resulting from the CHUI release by LL integrated into the viewer, although considerable work has been carried out in refactoring the code.
Similarly, there is no Materials Processing capability included with this release. This is in part because the Lab themselves have only recently moved the materials code to a release status (and it still has a number of very visible bugs associated with it), but mostly because changes made to the viewer as a result of the introduction of CHUI affect files which are also changed by the materials project. It is therefore important that the Firestorm team implement the changes in the same order – changes as a result of CHUI first, then the materials changes.
So those wanting to use materials in Firestorm are, unfortunately, going to have to wait a while longer.
New Features and Improvements from the Lab
Note these also include work by the Firestorm team arising from LL-development viewer updates.
“Missing prims fix” – MAINT-2647 / BUG-2116 / FIRE-8950 – this should hopefully resolve the majority of issues around prims / linksets failing to render in the viewer until an action such as right-clicking on them or toggling atmospheric shaders off / on is taken
Merge up to 3.4.5 codebase plus cherry picked fixes plus server-side appearance support improvements
Major under the hood refactoring in preparation for the CHUI merge
Added RegionHandshakeReply flags for Server-side Appearance – a fix for the SUN-74 issue.
Firestorm 4.1.1 includes an interim fix for the issue of black rectangles appearing in snapshots taken at very high resolutions. Note that this fix is not the recently released additional fixes arising from MAINT-628 made by Linden Lab. These fixes will be included in an upcoming release of Firestorm, and so the current fix should be considered interim.
Radar can now be accessed via its own button / menu option / floater for those who prefer not to access it via the People floater. The new button can be selected from the Toolbar Buttons floater, which will open the new Radar floater. Additionally, Radar can be accessed via World > Radar from the menus.
The Radar retains all functions found when displaying it in the Nearby People floater, including the ability to display the mini-map within it.
The Payment icons on the Radar / Nearby People floaters have also been updated: $ indicates the user has Payment Information on File; $$ indicates Payment Information Used.
For those who use the Friends list (Comm > Friends or CTRL-SHIFT-F), highlighting a person’s name in the list and then tapping ENTER will start an IM conversation with that person (no need to click the IM button).
For those who use Growl, dialogue messages and inventory received from object messages are now displayed with Growl. In addition, all Growl preferences check boxes will only be enabled if Growl is installed on the user’s system.
Firestorm 4.4.1 removes the 2-second delay when using the click-to-teleport functions or teleport chat shortcuts (gtp, etc.) or the Teleport To function in Radar.
A new option allows region grid coordinates to be displayed on the World Map (Preferences > Move & View > Firestorm > Show grid coordinates on the world map), which OpenSim users might perhaps find more beneficial than most SL users.
Also, map beacon ranges now show the distance from the avatar, not the camera.