[SLED] New Laptop - SL Video Issues - Clearing UpSomeMisconceptions

Trevena, Stan Trevena.S at monet.k12.ca.us
Sun Jun 17 19:49:58 PDT 2007

The bulk of my disdain resides with Microsoft and Vista being released FAR TOO EARLY.  
We are a Microsoft shop and have a lot of dealings with them and the user community through various forums.  Vista was far from ready for prime time when it was prematurely pushed out of the MS womb.  The BETA testers screamed that they were so late in delivering the BETA code, and then MS compressed the BETA timelines.  As was painfully obvious at release, not many hardware manufacturers were ready with new drivers.  So unless you were buying a new Vista ready machine, you were pretty much out of luck.  I have a shrink wrapped copy of Vista Ultimate sitting on the shelf above my computer unopened.  I am really not sure when it will be installed on my home system, but not anytime soon.  Far too many of the drivers are still either not available, or have been released in a handicapped state to get them out, with new versions promised in the near future.  It's pretty sad that Vista was delayed as long as it was, and it was still a fiasco when it was released. I am getting closer and closer to ripping it off my laptop and downgrading to XP.  
Stan Trevena


From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com on behalf of Ruben R.Puentedura
Sent: Sun 6/17/2007 2:49 PM
To: SL Educators
Subject: Re: [SLED] New Laptop - SL Video Issues - Clearing UpSomeMisconceptions


The compatibility issues about Second Life and Vista can be outlined 
very simply: Linden Lab explicitly states that Vista is not currently 
supported (http://secondlife.com/corporate/sysreqs.php). If you do 
decide to go ahead with Vista anyway, you're on your own - many cards 
do not work properly at this time, and you need to check your 
particular configuration (e.g., via online forums) to see what the 
status is.

I think you've misread Philip Rosedale's point: he's talking about 
getting SL to work properly on _every_ system running Vista or 
Leopard in 18 months - not about getting it to run properly on some 
or even most such systems. Interestingly, I think he may be setting 
the bar too high: more than a few mainstream 3D applications have 
problems on some current video card/OS combos - the trick is to limit 
these in severity and frequency. I also suspect he's thinking about 
two major changes coming up for OpenGL in the next few months (the 
Longs Peak and Mt. Evans revisions), which will directly affect the 
SL engine.

Is 18 months too long for a change as complex as that involved in 
dealing with two major OS revisions? Would a mainstream application 
go belly-up if it only ran so-so on a specific platform while the 
developer updated it for that platform? Well, let's see how long it 
took Adobe to bring Photoshop to native Intel Mac status:
Intel Mac Developer Machines available: June 2005
Intel Mac Consumer Machines available: January 2006
Photoshop CS3 Beta: December 2006
Photoshop CS3 Ships: April 2007
And no, I'm not suggesting that the code rewrites are comparable 
(although interestingly, Photoshop interacts with fewer OS/graphic 
card variables than does SL), or that Linden Lab will definitely fare 
as well as Adobe did - but it is possible for a company to take its 
time to do things right in this scenario.

The other problem you outline (SL on locked-down machines) is indeed 
a serious issue at many academic institutions, and needs to be dealt 
with. However, I understand why Linden Lab will not implement a 
solution such as you describe: it would work OK in some settings, but 
not in many others. More universal solutions that can deal with 
various different scenarios (involving, among other things, 
permissions on the directories in which the client and the cache 
reside) are likely to involve a significant rewrite of the client - a 
non-trivial undertaking for Linden Lab. Alternatively, this may be 
dealt with via an open-source effort - but I have absolutely no feel 
for whether the structure of the open source community surrounding SL 
is well-suited to dealing with the problem. Of course, if the client 
were to be updated less frequently, that would also largely take care 
of this problem - but I haven't heard anything to indicate when this 
might become a realistic alternative.

Finally, I agree that boosterism does no-one any good - but I see no 
danger of that in the education (or any other) community surrounding 
SL - gripes seem to be pretty freely voiced everywhere...

All the best,

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