Sunday, 21 June 2009

Installing and setting up SL/Opensim on Netbooks

UPDATE 14/09/10: As well as the Graphical clients there is the fantastic Radegast client, it's text based with a gui to move around, view maps, listen to music streams on land! also allows you to use a radar and interact with objects nearby all via a gui menu. No graphics but I find it fantastic for logging in for chat/gigs etc as it also allows me to run other software while logged in, highly recommended.

UPDATE 13/11/09: Boy Lane has just released a Netbook build of his Rainbow viewer, optimised for running on Atom based Netbooks. I've installed and tested and it runs VERY well, averaging 10fps wherever I went and no need for all the fiddly bits: Grab it here

Need to get SL/Opensim client up and running at a half decent rate? After playing around with a number of viewers and configs I think i've finally managed to get best out of it that I can (i'm using a EEEPC 901 and 2gb RAM).

What to expect: you won't be doing a lot of building with this but it does run with enough speed to login/communicate and to attend lectures/conferences - this is the main use for me when i'm away from my main pc to keep up to date.

Step 1: Download the neccessary files, first off is the older SL 1.19 viewer that does not have windlight and runs much better on older machines:

Install this and make a note of the install directory (if you can, try and put it in the default install location).

Step 2: Download the latest Boy Lane Windows Cool Viewer release from here:

Install this over the SL 1.19 viewer directory, it will automatically try and pull in the neccessary DLL's and such so no need to mess.

Step 3: Fire up the cool viewer and go to edit -> preferences and make the following changes:

Under the Graphics tab ensure it's set to run in a window at 800x600 (auto detect works well).

Set your draw distance to 64 - as low as it can be configured from here but we'll change that in a mo.

Under the Graphics detail tab set all the sliders to as low as they will go, Avatar rendering to normal, Lighting to sun and moon only and terrain detail to low.

Under the Adv graphics tab set Max Particle count to 0, outfit composite limit to 0.

Optionally: goto the audio and video tab and deselect streaming music and video then mute the master volume - this speeds up the fps a fair bit and is fine if your not using voice.

Step 4: Login to the grid and press CTRL+ALT+D to bring up the debug menu's.

Go to Client->More->Debug Settings and in the window type renderfarclip -> this should be set to 64 but change this to whatever you want, the lower the better. I've set mine to 16. This alters how far ahead of your avatar objects are rendered - in small enclosed spaces this makes no real difference to what you can see.

Nextup change the rendering options: Client->Rendering->Features

Turn off everything in here apart from the UI - this should add 5fps or so to the speed.

Next go to Client->Rendering types and turn off the following:


Also if your attending a lecture etc then once your sat in place turn off character as well, this make a huge difference to FPS, in my case it adds 10 fps.

ok, thats all the settings i've found that needed changing, at the moment i'm walking around at 10-25 fps depending on where I am, it's also worth altering your AV, the less attachments and extra's the better. You can also go though the above steps on any other viewer to speed it up a bit.

Overall it looks OK - your not going to be going around taking in the vistas but in a classroom or conference situation it's perfect for communication and getting points across.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

And so it starts....

.....after living off of other people's land for so long and waiting for handouts and scraps for week long half assed art projects i've finally decided to invest a bit of money and get myself my own corner of the world, or my own 4096. I don't care what anyone says, land in SL is BLOODY EXPENSIVE but i'm fed up of saving up for a year for a piss hole in titsville.

Anyway, with my own land, my own world! my rules! and so here we have epiSTEMS:

A wonka esque land of bright colours, farcical designs and Nature - plants, flowers, tree's, grass, purple hills and roaming toadstalls. I really wanted a basis and name to start pushing the alternatives to SL tree's and the god awful photo on a prim plants that seem to be everywhere and still selling by the thousands.... and so here we have it:

and the twitter account, and the in world group - epiSTEMS.

But here it is and hopefull every week there will be a new plant/tree/flower on sale untill all the linden tree's are gone and the world looks purple!
I must admit I never realised just how much work is involved in setting up a business in SL, land scaping, rentals, the building, making adverts, dealing with customers......but the hardest part i've found is making epiSTEMS "interactive" people keep asking "what's there to do here?" and for the moment it's sit around enjoy the colours..........:)

Oh, and the LM!: