2021 SUG meeting week #8 summary

Beneath a sky created by Whirly Fizzle, people gather to say farewell to Oz Linden ahead of his retirement (see below)

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Server Deployments

please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

  • Tuesday, February 23rd: no deployment to the SLS Main channel.
  • Wednesday, February 24th: all RC channels should receive server release 556138 (or a variant thereof). This release was originally deployed to the Apples test RC channel, and contains performance optimisations and internal fixes.
An Omnibus of Oz’s: to mark Oz Linden’s coming departure, several people – including Whirly Fizzle (l) and Alexa Linden (r) and Kyle Linden (pictured) – attended his farewell party as lookalikes. That’s the real Oz in the middle, seated on the Iron Throne.

SL Viewer

  • On Monday, February 22nd, the Simple Cache viewer updated to version (dated February 19th).
  • On  Tuesday, February 23rd, the Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer updated to version, February.

The rest of the current pipelines remain as:

  • Current release viewer: Project Jelly viewer (Jellydoll updates), version and dated February 5th, 2021, promoted February 17th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, January 7th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, October 26th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16th, 2019.
At its peak, the farewell party for Oz Linden saw around 60 people in attendance.

In Brief

There wasn’t really a meeting, and for a special reason: as he announced earlier in February, Oz Linden, the Lab’s Vice President of Engineering, is retiring at the end of the month with Friday, February 26th marking his last day with Linden Lab.

As such, the meeting was given over to a farewell party, with around 60 people in attendance. I  managed to get a few shots of the event, as shown here. For those interested, I wrote something of a look back at Oz’s time at the Lab in Oz Linden announces his forthcoming departure from Linden Lab.

John and Tempest at Raging Graphix

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang

Currently on show at Raging Bellls’ Raging Graphix Gallery is a joint exhibition by Second Life partners, John (Johannes Huntsman) and Tempest Rosca-Huntsman (Tempest Rosca) entitled Yin and Yang.

It’s a title that reflects both the art on display and the artists themselves on a number of levels. At its most literal, the title reflects the fact that whilst opposites on several levels (e.g. male and female, the fact that they originate on opposite sides of the Atlantic, etc.), Tempest and John naturally combine to form a whole. There’s also the fact that all healthy relationships contain within them the ability to grow and change, for both sides to contribute to the whole – and through their art and other endeavours in Second Life this is very true of John and Tempest.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Tempest Rosca

The title might also apply to their respective art: Tempest’s work is primarily Second Life focused, with a strong – if far from exclusive – lean towards avatar photography; John’s palette tends now to be a strong mix of art produced in the physical world that is then brought into SL. Thus, like yin and yang, there is a strong mix of what may appear to be different or even contrary forces (physical vs. virtual), which ultimately comes to form a whole.

This is certainly the case within this exhibition. With images presented exclusively in monochrome – again, something that might be a reflection of the black / white symbol of yin / yang – the pieces displayed here form a contrast that comes together towards the centre, allowing both halves of the exhibition to be seen as individual displays by individual artists, and also as a unified whole presented by a couple.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Tempest Rosca

For her part and along the outer walls of the gallery, Tempest presents a series of images that have been taken in-world. Whilst they can be considered portraits, in difference to my statement above concerning her work, they are not of avatars but of objects – cars,  a lifebuoy, a tram and a Hawker Hurricane.

Inanimate they might be, but thanks to their black-and-white nature, lines stand out clearly, giving each of her subjects a depth of life much as the lines and creases found on a face speak to the life within it and experienced by it.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Johannes Huntsman

Across the hall, John offers a collection of quite marvellous abstract and abstracted pieces, some of which appear drawn / painted and others produced with digital tools. All  are striking in their form, with a sense of the dynamic presented through line and shape, and that sharply contrast with the more familiar subjects found within Tempest’s images.

Also to be found within several of these pieces is an organic element:, form the flow of a liquid substance complete with spheroid droplet, through the creation of a human face within the sweep of line and the patchwork of light and dark, to suggestions of crops and a desert seen from above, the former being brushed by the wind, the latter left as ripples formed by the winds of the past. Thus, these pieces also give a sense of life within them, and in doing so, they create a natural flow before the two halves of the exhibition, unifying them.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Johannes Huntsman

Having opened on February 6th, I believe Yin and Yang has a further week or so to run, and recommend a visit.

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Paddling around a Curiosity Lake in Second Life

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

I’ll start out by saying I’m getting to Curiosity Lake, the homestead region designed by SadyCat Littlepaws somewhat late in the day – or rather days, given it will closing on February 28th. I’m not sure how it slipped through my net of landmarks of places to explore, but it did. So to fix matters, I  suggested to Caitlyn we hop over and take a look this past weekend.

It is a place clearly put together with both a love of, and attention to, detail – which might actually be something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it means there is a lot to see and appreciate and photograph; on the other, it also  means that in some places there is a lot of mesh and texture data the viewer has to grapple with, and this can be reflected in some hiccuping of performance.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

This is a setting evocative of the changing of the seasons. The two islands that make up the region are cast with autumnal colours, with trees heavy in browns and golds and fading greens, while the hills and peaks of the off-sim surround have their peaks crowded with fir trees frosted white with snow that also lies in drifts and patches on the slopes running down to the water’s edge. It’s a combination that suggests that while the island has yet to feel the first bite of winter, it is eyeing them from across the water, just waiting for the opportunity to throw a white blanket over them.

The islands are fairly low-lying and rugged in places. Three houses sit upon them, two on the larger, which includes the landing point, and a cosy lodge on the smaller. All three homes are fully furnished, and it is clear considerable time and effort has gone into their décor to make each one photogenic and home to a wealth of ideas visitors might find useful when decorating their own places.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

Both of the houses on the larger island sit reasonably equidistant from the landing point with its gazebo warmed by a wood fire – one of several outdoor sitting points waiting to be found. which house you visit first is up to you, although I’d be tempted to suggest heading north to the imposing bulk of the large stone-built house with its tall chimneys.

As well as allowing you to take in the house, this route will take you past a couple more places open for visitors to sit outdoors in the form of a blanket-strewn rowing boat and a wooden pergola, it will deliver you to stone steps that will take you up to the islands “highlands”.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

Forming a flat-topped low hill, there are home to a trio of further outdoor spots that are all attractive in their own right, two of them fashioned as little camps set around a couple of old vehicles and the third a tree fort platform. These are all close enough to be within easy walking distance of one another but far enough apart to be nicely separated as individual spots to share times with someone close.

Southwards from the landing point, steps also lead up to a low thrust of land and a wood-and-stone cottage where the garage has imaginatively re-purposed into a lounge, giving far more space for an expansive kitchen in the house proper, and comfortable bedroom at the back, exiting onto the rear deck.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

More steps run down from the eastward brow on which the house sits and point the way to the footbridge that connects to the circular dome of the smaller island and its chalet-style lodge, the verandah of which is set out ready to entertain with a filling meal warmed by the outdoor fireplace.

It is around the houses that we found performance issues came to the fore – as noted, there is a lot of mesh and texture use around them, and this did make itself known during initial loading. However, it’s worth bearing with such niggles if encountered as the region is extraordinarily photogenic and naturally invite exploration.

Curiosity Lake, February 2021

However, if you’re going to do pay a visit, make sure it is in the next few days, because the region is due to close on February 28th, again as noted earlier.

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