Starting May with Seanchai Library

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, May 7th 19:00: The Crucible of Time

crucibleGyro Muggins reads the fix-up by John Brunner. First published as two-part story which appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, it’s an ambitious tale of alien intelligence which grew to a series of six linked tales pushed as a single novel in 1983.

Far off in space is an alien race which is so much like us, yet so un-alike. From the birth of their earliest civilisation through to their attainment of star flight as their star system passes through the galaxy, we follow their development through the ages.

Aquatic by nature, this race presents some significant challenges well outside the realms of anything encountered by humanity. But they are also driven by all too familiar hopes, fears, desires, needs, wants, prejudices, impact of religious ideologies, and the quest for knowledge we have experienced in the growth of our own civilisation.

Charting six periods of time, each a thousand years after the previous, the six stories focus on the efforts of a group of individuals in each era as they face one or more challenges, their success in overcoming these challenges inevitably leading them towards a greater understanding of their planet’s plight, and ultimately, the ability to deal with that plight and the survival of their civilisation.

Tuesday, May 8th 19:00: “I went to the Faire…”

Short Stories and Poems with Caledonia Skytower.

Wednesday, May 9th 19:00: TBA

Check the Seanchai Library blog nearer the time for updates.

Thursday, May 10th 19:00: Tails of the Apocalypse

The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey in 14 amazing tales by today’s most talented independent authors. Seven stories set in all-new dystopian landscapes. Seven stories set in the bestselling post-apocalyptic worlds of David Adams’s Symphony of War, Michael Bunker’s Pennsylvania, Nick Cole’s Wasteland Saga, Hank Garner’s Weston Files, E.E. Giorgi’s Mayake Chronicles, Deirdre Gould’s After the Cure, and Edward W. Robertson’s Breakers.

When the world ends, the humans who survive will learn an old lesson anew—that friendship with animals can make the difference between a lonely death among the debris and a life well lived, with hope for the future.

Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/144/129/29).

 

 


Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The current charity is Project Children, growing peace in Northern Ireland one (or two) children at a time..

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2018 viewer release summaries week #18

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, May 5th

This summary is generally published on 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 Current Viewer Releases 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. This page 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.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27th, promoted April 13th – formerly the Media Update RC.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

  • Kokua updated to versions 5.1.3.43237 (RLV) and 5.1.3.43238 (No RLV) on May 6th. This release includes a Linux flavour built using LL’s Alex Ivy code base and Kokua’s Linux libraries – release notes.

V1-style

  • Cool VL viewer stable branch updated to version 1.26.22.4 on May 5th – release notes.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Sighs and Rainbows in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery: Rainbow in the Dark

Now open at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist) are two very disparate exhibitions by Second Life artist / photographers which each have their own very individual nuances – and, if I’m subjectively honest for a moment – niggles.

Suspiria (“Sighs”) is the more recent of the exhibitions being held at the gallery, having opened on Sunday, May 6th, 2018. It is by Sophie and Dorian Gray (Sophie Stuer and dorianderrida), and is located on the mezzanine level. It presents 11 images, framed by a blank verse poem which reads more as a moment captured in time: two people reflecting on the nature of sight – do they each really see the same thing within a moment – and more particularly, the strength of their relationship.

Club LA and Gallery: Suspiria

Each of the pictures captures a scene from (presumably) this relationship; eleven emotive vignettes. Some appear clear in their meaning: a moment of tenderness, a mutual expression of love. Others, however, tend to reflect the questioning raised in the poem / narrative: are these two people really experiencing the same closeness, or are they in fact in different emotional places?

In several, this is perhaps reflected in the physical distance separating them as they sit across a room from one another, or even in separate rooms. In others, it is more subtle: crossed arms in the face of an oncoming kiss, suggestive of seeking self-comfort in the face of sign of affection the recipient is uncertain about (and, of course, there is also the psychological myth of crossed arms being a sign of defensiveness); the attempted hug that is blocked by am arm held across the recipient’s body. Throughout all of the pieces, one can almost hear the accompanying sighs that give the exhibit its title – but whether they are sighs of contentment or regret, I’ll leave to you to decide.

Club LA and Gallery: Suspiria

Rainbow in the Dark, by Cipher (Ciphertazi Wandin) is located on an overhead platform, reached via a ground floor teleport door.

This exhibition utilises lighting projectors, so you must ensure Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) option for your viewer is enabled (Preferences > Graphics). The ground level instructions also state Shadows should be set to Sun/Moon+Projectors. However, this isn’t actually required – SL’s lighting projectors do not require Shadows to be enabled (which can be a massive performance hit) in order to work; so nothing is lost by ignoring this instruction, providing you can use the suggested windlight option (Phototools – No Light, if installed on your system) or set your viewer’s time of day to Midnight.

Club LA and Gallery: Rainbow in the Dark

Rainbow in some ways mirrors Suspiria, in that it presents 11 images, all framed by a poem (found on one wall of the display space). However, the subject matters in these images is much more diverse: encompassing landscapes, avatar studies and object studies, each image having its own story to tell entirely independently of the others.

Nuanced, evocative and exceptionally eye-catching in tone and study, each of the images has a depth to it which is quite breathing – and the use of projectors to superimpose them on their canvases, rather than simply presenting them as mounted / framed images is quite inspired. (Hence why you must have ALM enabled in your viewer – if not, all you’ll see is eleven white panels in a dark room.)

Club LA and Gallery: Rainbow in the Dark

The subjective niggles I have with Suspiria and Rainbow are just that: entirely subjective. With Suspiria, I couldn’t help feel that many of the images have been finished a lot more darkly in tone and colour than necessary; one is often left peering at them, trying to make out what’s there rather than appreciating their narrative. With Rainbow, there is perhaps a risk that specifying a Windlight option only to be found in a specific viewer (unless manually installed), regardless of the popularity of that viewer, might put some off visiting. Better, perhaps, to specify Midnight as the setting, particularly as nothing is really lost in using it.

Nevertheless, both Suspiria and Rainbow in the Dark are more than worth taking the time to see, either individually or together – and when doing so, please also take time to appreciate Land of Confusion, the first public exhibition by Norri (Iron Emerald), which is still open on the ground floor of the gallery. Modestly sized with just a handful of images, it nevertheless reveals an artist whose work deserves to be seen much more widely in Second Life.

Club LA and Gallery: Land of Confusion

SLurl Details

Kokua presents Alex Ivy based 64-bit Linux Viewer

Viewer support has been a subject of frustration among SL users who prefer to use Linux (around 1%-1.5% of the total SL user base) over the lack of official support for the operating system.

As I reported at the time, in 2015 and due to a lack of Linux expertise, Linden Lab pulled back from active Linux viewer development in favour of seeking support from the open-source community in order to maintain a Linux version of the viewer (see here for more). More recently, the Lab has been looking to provide a means to build a Linux flavour of the viewer, based on their Alex Ivy 64-bit code base and libraries, but not distribute or build all the various dependencies required for the viewer, instead leaving this to TPVs to do as part of providing their own support for Linux users (see here for more), although this is taking time to happen.

In the meantime, on May 6th, 2018, the Kokua team released the first third-party viewer for Linux based on Lab Lab’s 64-bit Alex Ivy code base, although built using Kokua’s own Linux libraries.

Kokua release 5.1.3.43237 (RLV) and Kokua release 5.1.3.43238 (no RLV) are  are supplied in Windows, Mac and Linux flavours. In addition, and as is to be expected, both are built using the latest LL release code base (SL 5.1.3) while the RLV version is at parity with RLV release 2.9.23.0.

The viewer is currently available for download on the Kokua website for those who wish to try it – just scroll down to the RLV 64 bit (active development) or the NORLV 64 bit (active development) sections of the download page for the version you’d prefer to use.

If you are a Linux user and opt to download the viewer, please do take the time to report any issues you find with it via the Kokua Issue Tracker at Sourceforge,  as refinement and enhancement of the Linux flavour of the viewer is dependent on the Linux community, perhaps more so than the Mac and Windows flavours (which each have the advantage of larger user bases and more chances of issues being more widely identified and reported).

It should be noted that the Linux flavours of the viewers does come with a warning:

Some areas of the Linux release are still being worked on, however we believe that enough is working and well enough to share this with a wider audience to help us squash any remaining gremlins.

– The Kokua May 6th 5.1.3 release notes

However, the news that there is now an up-to-date 64-bit Linux viewer available for download which is based on the Lab’s current code-base should hopefully come as good news for Linux users.

Additional Links