Firestorm 5.0.1: mirror sites now available

firestorm-logoFurther to my recent report, the Firestorm mirror download sites are now available, and Firestorm’s primary server has been stabilised.

With the assistance of Linden Lab, through the work of Second Life Technical Director Oz Linden and his team, one of these sites is hosted via Linden Lab, the other is a service established by the Firestorm team. All links are provided below.

Commenting on the Lab’s offer of support with the issue, Jessica Lyon, the Firestorm project lead said, “Ever since Ebbe Linden came into power we have seen huge advancements in not just features, functionality and improvements in Second Life, but also in customer relations and collaboration with their user-base.”

She continued, “Yesterday we found ourselves in a real crunch with this Bento release due to demand, and staff at Linden Lab really stepped up to help us out. They very quickly offered to set-up a mirror host, and provide downloads on their server. Even the Grid Status page was updated to point to the links!

“We thought the demand for this Firestorm update was unprecedented, but Linden jumping to help out a third-party viewer in this big of a way has absolutely been more so. If this doesn’t demonstrate to everyone just how dedicated Linden Lab is to its customers, then perhaps nothing will.

“Thank you Oz, Grumpity, April, Steven, Landon, Derrick, Alexa and all the other Lindens who were involved in this effort. You guys really came through for us and your customers!”

With the provisioning of the mirror sites and with the main Firestorm server now stabilised, hopefully the worst of the crisis is over, and Firestorm users will be able to access the new release through either the main download link, or through the mirror site links, given below. However, Jessica and the team still ask that people not all rush at once and tempt fate!

I’d also like to add my thanks to Oz, Grumpity and the team at the Lab for stepping in and providing this support.

Mirror Download Links

Please ensure you download Firestorm 5.0.1 only from the Firestorm main download page, or via the links given below.  No guarantee of security can be made if using any other download location when obtaining the viewer.

Linden Lab Hosted

Firestorm Mirrors


Firestorm 5.0.1 demand: “please be patient”

firestorm-logoUpdate, 11:23 SLT, Wednesday, December 14th: The mirror sites are now available – the links are available here.

On Tuesday, December 13th, Firestorm released the much-anticipated Bento update, Firestorm 5.0.1 – which you can read about here.

HOWEVER, such has been the demand for the update, the Firestorm servers have been overloaded, a situation which has left Firestorm without the ability to  provide their download and web services.

“This is an unprecedented situation for us,” Jessica Lyon, the Firestorm project lead informed me. “While we have had download problems in the past, we’ve never seen demand on this scale before. It’s repeatedly taken all our servers off-line with the load.”

Because of the demand is preventing people from even accessing the Firestorm web services – the blog, JIRA, etc., – the Firestorm team is asking that people hold-off if they cannot obtain a download or access the Firestorm website, and not to keep repeatedly trying.

Jessica added, “Please, just be patient. Our servers need the breathing space. We are working on adding additional capacity to meet the demand trough mirror sites, but this does take time.  When we have these up and running, we’ll let people know through the in-world Firestorm support groups and social media.”

In the meantime, and in an attempt to alleviate the lack of downloads, some people have placed the Firestorm 5.0.1 installers on cloud servers, dropboxes, and other network file sources. While the effort to help meet the download demand is appreciated, the Firestorm team ask that people do not do this, but to wait until Firestorm’s own mirrors are up and running.

“With the best will in the world, not all networked download sites are secure, and there is a chance that by going to some, users could inadvertently expose themselves to the risk of viruses or Trojans,” Jessica said. “At the end of the day, we can only guarantee our download service and its mirrors are secure, and we’d prefer that people wait a little while, rather than expose themselves to any such risk.

“Again, we will notify people via the in-world support groups as the situation improves, and also via Twitter and any other medium we can use.”

Seanchai and Firestorm announce spoken word venture in Second Life

As well as helping incoming new users get started with the viewer and learn the basics of Second Life, the Firstorm Gateway offers them the opportunity to explore many of the activities available in-world - with storytelling, hosted by Seanchai Library, set to become the latest
As well as helping incoming new users get started with the viewer and learn the basics of Second Life, the Firestorm Gateway offers them the opportunity to explore many of the activities available in-world – with storytelling, hosted by Seanchai Library, set to become the latest

On Monday, July 18th, Seanchai Library and the Firestorm team announced a joint venture which will see Voice-based activities take place on the Firestorm Gateway regions as a further step in helping incoming new users understand the breadth and depth of opportunities and activities within the platform.

The new partnership will see the first Voice-based event lead by Seanchai Library take place on August 7th, 2016, when the Firestorm Social Island will be host to the Storyteller’s Sandbox series. Launched during Seanchai Library’s highly successful Crazy Eights season at the Linden Endowment for the Arts, Storyteller’s Sandbox provides a forum for new stories, new storytellers, and new ways to present them.

Caledonia Skytower
Caledonia Skytower

For this inaugural event at Firestorm Social island, veteran Second Life storytellers including Caledonia Skytower, Dubhna Rhiadra and Shandon Loring will be joining forces with voice talents such as Bryn Taleweaver and Hana Hoo, who have only more recently joined the ranks of Second Life storytellers. Together, they will present a mix of original tales and short stories in a showcase of live virtual storytelling.

“We have been brainstorming for a home for this event ever since we closed Crazy Eights,” said Seanchai Lead Caledonia Skytower, announcing the new partnership. “It is a great forum for introducing new voices to the virtual spoken story community. It also provides more experienced voices a chance to explore the incredible possibilities for immersion in a virtual performance experience.  Sets, avatars, effects – there is excellent work being done in all these areas, both from the story-initiated creators, and by visual artists sharing the narratives of their work.”

The new initiative came about as a result of discussions between Caledonia Skytower, another veteran of storytelling in Second Life, R. Crap Mariner – host of the web-based 100 Word Stories Podcast series and Firestorm Project Director Jessica Lyon.

R. Crap Mariner
R. Crap Mariner

“I heard Jessica Lyon in an interview at the 13th Second Life Birthday, and she called for performers and events at Firestorm’s Community Gateway,” Crap explained. “She even invited me to perform there, but my material doesn’t quite fit the G-rating of their regions. I turned to my friend Caledonia Skytower and suggested that we put together a greater Spoken Word Project. We both look forward to bringing workshops and other events that will introduce the new users to spoken word, and introduce spoken word communities to new audiences, members, and participants.”

The Firestorm Community Gateway user base poses a new challenge for the Seanchai storytellers. Most of the audiences they perform before are established Second Life users who are both comfortable with using SL Voice and familiar enough with its foibles to deal with the frustrations it can create. “Firestorm Community Gateway introduces hundreds of new and inexperienced users to Second Life,” Caledonia said. “We’ll find ways to leverage the power of Second Life and the skill of the ever-present and patient Firestorm Support Staff to quickly diagnose and assist these users with Voice so they can enjoy these performances as part of their early Second Life experience.”

The amphitheatre on Firestorm Social Island - one of several venues on the island
The amphitheatre on Firestorm Social Island venue for the Storyteller’s Sandbox series starting on August 7th, 2016

For her part, Jessica Lyon sees the new partnership as a further significant step forward for the Firestorm Gateway project. “We really want to expose new residents to the broad possibilities of all they can be involved with in Second Life: music, role play, art. Of course, spoken word is a part of that,” she said. “Crap and Caledonia complement one another’s skills and are so well-connected in their community. They are the perfect team to be leading this. “I am really excited about what Seanchai Library can bring to our Gateway.”

As well as the Storyteller’s Sandbox series, plans for additional events focused on poetry, writing, and other spoken word and literature opportunities are in development, and I hope to cover all of the activities within this partnership through the pages of this blog.

For those interested in live storytelling can also attend Seanchai Library’s weekly series of events on the Bradley University region and through their website and /or my weekly Seanchai library updates. R. Crap Mariner will continue to produce his daily 100 Word Stories Podcast (link above)and conduct readings in-world at his Clocktree Reading Room.

Firestorm 4.7.1 to be blocked from January 7th

MadPea and Firestorm: working in collaboration to enhance the experience those new to Second life have with the platformFirestorm have announced that as from Thursday, January 7th, Firestorm viewer 4.7.1 is to be blocked from accessing Second Life, and those using 4.7.1 are being encouraged to update to a more recent version (or revert to 4.6.9 for the time being if using Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.6) ahead of the block coming into force.

The move is in keeping with Firestorm’s commitment to Linden Lab to only have 3 versions of their viewer (allowing for specific issues which might otherwise come us, as has been the case for Mac users, who have had to face a series of (apparently) Cocoa related issues impacting their ability to use viewers incorporating these updates) active at any given time.

As noted in the announcement, this means that only Firestorm 4.6.9 will remain available for those still using Windows XP or versions of OS X older than 10.7, and this will be blocked some time after the next release of Firestom, which currently looks to be set for some time in February.

Those needing help in updating their version of Firestorm can find it on the following Firestorm wiki pages: backing up and restoring your settings and Updating Firestorm.