A Storm in a Fireplace?

So…finally, and not without some pushing and trepidation I moved to a V2/V3 viewer…aka Firestorm’s first release. And so far I have to say it is awesome! Yes, I had to relearn a few things, but nothing big and the performance is just brilliant. Now, at last, I am beginning to reap the benefits of spending what seemed at the time to be silly money on a top-spec PC and graphics-card set up. I seem to be able to run shadows and still have alphas stay transparent (at least for now).
SecondLife is as much better than it was as it seemed back in the time I migrated from a non-Windlight capable viewer to one that would show Windlight physics. At the time my graphics were barely able to render Windlight effects, but I got a better card in time and more RAM and all seemed well. This time I was determined to do it right from the outset, and so far it seems to be paying off handsomely.
To anyone pondering the move, my advice is make sure you have good hardware and READ THE MANUAL! The advice given by the Firestorm team is not simply for the sake of it…it is important and it works!
I’ll edit more into this post as I go along, who knows, it may all end in tears, but I somehow doubt it!

EDIT 12th December 2011:
Well, 10 days in and I can confidently say that I love Firestorm. OK there are one or two things about its features vs late-model Phoenix that I find it irritating not to have, but Mesh is a bonus I was NOT expecting.
I bought a Mesh Corset-System dress from KaS a few days ago and found to my surprise that, not only does Mesh look even better than I’d hoped, the shape of the garment, since it is intended to be figure shaping, is very good, even allowing for the necessity of alphas. Indeed the open-boobed version allows the use of clothing layer items, while retaining breast-physics, so fans of bouncing and swaying boobies aren’t disappointed!! The best part for me is the short skirt that actually does shape itelf to one’s thighs as one sits. That to me is a BIG PLUS.
Obviously the incorporation of Karl Stiefvater’s “parametric deformer” will allow shaping and editing of Mesh clothing such that alphas may not be needed, at which point I predict an explosion of Mesh clothes onto the SL market. I know Dari Caldwell is hard at work on some items that will not disappoint long-time Dari’s Haus devotees.

At the same time SL is not a happy place. It seems that we have been annoying Linden Lab by pointing out when bug-ridden software is placed on the RC channels, so in a bout of Munchausen-like zeal, Linden Lab apparently plans to hide channel info from us in the New Year. I, for the life of me, cannot understand this move. Yes, some comments about recent releases have verged on the hysterical, and RC channels do seem to be coming in for a lot of criticism – well in the last 3 months we have had two fairly major bugs on LeTigre which have been cleared up by LL, but have destroyed irreplaceable content.

Sadly S*** happens, but you cannot blame folk for being upset. It is not the fiscal value of broken items but the emotional value that is behind the anger, something which LL seem utterly unable and unwilling to comprehend.

I have one serious concern. If we do not know what channel we are on, does it then mean we have to guard against restarts for two days each week instead of one? How will that help Secondlife in these straitened times? Our SL experience will be degraded as will the specificity of information that LL will need in order to tie down the root cause of bugs. It makes no sense at all.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on December 2, 2011.

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