One thing that SLers often disagree about, is which viewer to use — the SL official viewer, Firestorm, Singularity — the list goes on. Each person has their favorite, and each person’s system handles one viewer better than another.
For me personally, I was madly in love with Singularity. It did everything I wanted it to, it was user friendly, it had the best features of Firestorm and SL viewer meshed into one… I was a happy girl. However, for some reason the last time I upgraded the viewer, I’ve been having rendering problems, and sadly I’ve had to start trying out other viewers. I saw that Firestorm finally had a 64-bit viewer, so I downloaded it, albeit a bit apprehensively, since both the SL viewer and Firestorm used to make me crash like crazy. I was hoping the 64-bit version, coupled with the graphics card upgrade I made recently, would prevent the crashies like I used to have.
I’ve been using Firestorm for about a week now, and I really like it. I still miss some of the simpler features of Singularity, but the rendering problem was just too much for me to deal with. It was impossible to view SL properly.
One of the nicest things about Firestorm, is that it is the leading third party viewer, and it has amazing in-world support, including free classes that Firestorm staffers teach in-world. Recently, they taped a two-hour session where they discussed some of the issues that Firestorm users have brought up, starting with a discussion about the problems many users have been having with Norton Anti-virus and other anti-virus software. It sometimes interfering with the ability to use Firestorm properly, because the software identifies the Firestorm coding as a trojan horse and often quarantines it before it can be stopped, and the user cannot get it out.
After doing a “flame and shame” post on Twitter, they got an immediate tweet back from Norton apologizing for the problem, and within the hour, a representative from Norton had created an SL account and logged his avatar in world, found the Firestorm sim and came over to help facilitate the problem! This was someone who had never been in SL before in his life, and they felt the problem was serious enough to create an avatar to come help. Firestorm staffers were very impressed.
The video is quite long, but you can listen to it in the background while you do other things but it addresses many of the common issues, besides the anti-virus problem. It is very interesting to get an insider’s view of the viewer creation and update process, and the burnout many support people experience after a new release is issued and the vitriol that comes at them from users who have problems with the updates. It also has many good tips on how to deal with viewer problems, especially ones that seem to crop up overnight and for which they get blamed.
Have a listen; even if you’re not a Firestorm user, it has some very good insights into the workings of the viewers and their interactions with SL.
As always I remain respectfully yours,
~ Suzanne Piers, ZI Social Media Manager