Viewer 2 – Second Impressions, Part 1

Remember when Viewer 2 first came out? Remember all the hype? I figured I should see what all the fuss was about, and… well, my first experience with Viewer 2 didn’t go very well.

At the time, I was very happily using Emerald, but all the talk about the new clothing layers (Alpha layers are a godsend for me – no more invisiprims for digi-legs!) and the new UI made me curious. So, I downloaded the viewer, installed it, booted it up…

At first sight – the login screen – the UI was very nice. So was the logging-in screen. However, once I got to the actual in-world UI, I got completely lost. The streaming media was blaring, the map and minimap buttons were gone, amongst other annoyances. It wasn’t long before I abandoned the viewer, uninstalling it shortly after my first login. If only I’d waited a little while longer, I would have avoided one of the biggest rage moments I’ve had in my history with Second Life.

I do keep chat and IM logs, and they’re something I like to keep safe. I enjoy reading them from time to time, reflecting on times past, searching for links and sim names, so on so forth. At the time I’d tried the new viewer, I’d been on Main Grid for around three months or so, and I hadn’t backed up my chat logs yet. One of the worst glitches with Viewer 2 at the time was, upon uninstalling the viewer, it would wipe all data from the viewer, including chat logs.

To be short, I was pissed. I went back to Emerald and never looked back. That is, until recently.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, Emerald’s no longer allowed to log in to any Second Life grid. After it was announced that the viewer was to be banned, with much reluctance I began searching for a new viewer. At first, I used Imprudence – a very big switch from Emerald, but in my eyes, it was the best choice. It wasn’t long before the viewer – which, a few days after I started using it, I learned was the beta version – began to annoy me. The lack of some features I’d grown very used to was a bit too much. A friend pointed me to Phoenix viewer, and very soon after I switched to that.

Phoenix, I had heard, was quite unstable. However, it had most all of Emerald’s features, so I disregarded any warnings about its instability and used it up until a few days ago. The viewer’s instability surfaced quickly and quite insanely – six viewer crashes within forty-five minutes. I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary aside from visiting two new islands. I voiced my frustrations over Twitter, and a friend of mine recommended that I try Viewer 2 again. Reluctantly, I gave in and downloaded the 2.2 beta.

This time, I approached the viewer with a lot more patience and a more open mind. My first order of business was to quiet the streaming music / media. Of course, as I suspected, the button was out in the open – the upper right corner, as opposed to the lower right corner. Now that that was out of the way, it was time to get acquainted with the new UI, the major complaint I had with the viewer before.

The first thing I decided to do was set up my preferences – both with the Preferences window and the debug settings. The preferences menu was where I noticed one of my new complaints – several tabs and options have been removed (or hidden – I’m still getting acquainted with this viewer, mind; if you can help me find these, please do!), one of which that’s quite important when running the viewer on my laptop being the screen resolution / proportion dropdown on the Graphics menu.  Of course, I do miss the TPV-specific features listed in Preferences, but I can do without those for now, especially after peeking in the debug settings menu. As my friend had mentioned, a lot of the TPV features had been imported into Viewer 2, most of which I had used before. This perked me up quite a bit. Once these settings were taken care of, my next focus was the sidebar.

To be continued…


About Skye the Ferret

Known as Blau Rascon on Second Life, Skye's a somewhat cynical furry with a blog. View all posts by Skye the Ferret

2 responses to “Viewer 2 – Second Impressions, Part 1

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