Sunday morning: second mug of coffee at hand, SomaFM’s Drone Zone streaming in Winamp, thunder in the distance… time for the weekly blog.
A couple of days ago, I added the second Linden* to the list of people I follow on Twitter: “A small yoz-type object,” as his profile says. The decision resulted from someone else I follow retweeting this:
Haters gonna hate. Players gonna play. Resis gonna rez.
That’s what we do. And we keep on doing it, regardless of how any of us might feel from one minute to the next about the conditions in Second Life, or the way a particular aspect of it is being handled, or which viewer we choose, or who’s pissed off at whom for whatever reason… Or even — to get all meta/Transworld/Avatarian about it — which world we’re rezzing into. The point is (paraphrasing my friend Ahuva): There’s a certain type of person who gets Virtuality, and cannot resist its call. Resis gonna rez.
While we’re on the topic of “Resi”, a.k.a. “Resident”: I’ve never objected, semantically or otherwise, to that term. From my inner POV, I reside as much in Second Life and InWorldz as I do in the immediate suburbs of Indianapolis. OK, sure — many of us are also paying customers, and it sometimes can be a damn shame that some parts of The Lab need to be reminded of that… but (again, from my own viewpoint) I’m not a customer of Linden Lab in the same sort of way I’m a customer of, say, the local grocery. In the latter case: I go there, get what I want, pay for it, and leave; I don’t keep a personalized space in the store to hang out in when I’m not actively buying.
On the other hand, I’m a resident of my apartment complex, and the town it’s in. I pay rent and taxes in exchange for the privilege, and for services provided — which also makes me a “customer”, if you insist — but framing my psychological relationship with the place I live by using a word that only describes the monetary transaction rather misses the point.
I’ve finally succumbed to the use of Display Names in SL, because the constant repetition of “Resident” as a name was setting my teeth on edge. Say what you will about the 1.x naming method… we who came into SL under that protocol are now quietly lamenting its demise. Some of us even pay enough attention to recognize the relative age of an avatar by their last name, and when it was available [Example – I saw an Ingersoll the other day, first one I’d seen besides Ingrid, and sure enough, she’d joined in early 2004].
But, in the same way that we older Resis have literally “made a name for ourselves”, it’s only fair to allow the newer Residents the courtesy of seeing their tags they way they’ve chosen to display them. So I’m doing that.
Speaking of succumbing… count me also among the hundreds (thousands?) who are trying out the early TPV2s — specifically, Firestorm Beta, because Kokua hasn’t released anything beyond their rudimentary first iteration yet. The simple fact is: no matter how many of us drag our heels, 1.x viewers will eventually no longer function properly, if at all, and it’s time to quit resisting and evolve — that is, evolve within the constraints of the environment which, as with other organisms, are beyond our ability to control.
Inara Pey (recently become one of my favorite bloggers, for the even-handedness of her approach to issues) blogged yesterday on what would be her “Ideal Viewer”. I agree, right across the board (or, the screen). The one aspect she didn’t cover, surprisingly, was building… and I am pleased to report that both Kokua Preview and Firestorm 2.5.whatever include one of my favorite “extra” build tools: Align. It’s the builders’ dream answer to the problem of texture flicker due to overlapping prims. Kokua also brings (from Imprudence, natch) the feature with which one can copy/paste coordinates from one prim to another, but I suspect Firestorm will include that eventually (wasn’t it originally an Emerald thing?).
I have two frustrations about Firestorm, for now:
 Teleports are surprisingly unstable. More often than not, it freezes while the new region loads, and the screen goes black momentarily at least once, but usually twice, until I can resume activity. Occasionally, the region hand-off doesn’t complete, and I still get the parcel name and stream from where I just was… as if SL can’t quite figure out where I am and is trying to satisfy both system calls at once.
 I can’t go to InWorldz with Firestorm yet. My Ideal Viewer will be the only one I use, no matter where, rather than having to switch from one UI to another (not to omit having to switch between V1 and V2 capabilities). I don’t know whether it’s because Firestorm doesn’t have permission to work in InWorldz, or they just haven’t gotten around to arranging for it. They need to.
And Kokua needs to quickly catch up to the level of Firestorm’s beta (but I think they know that).
* The first was BK Linden… who, I guess, is too busy counting beans to Tweet much, though in his favor I must say that he filled in admirably during the time SL was without a functioning CEO. I’ve tried a few times to follow Rodvik, but the request doesn’t complete — I don’t want to conclude that I’ve been blocked, because I haven’t said anything to deserve it. But, as I’ve said before, I’d rather he read this blog, anyway, especially the SLHistory entries.