BY EDITOR SHAUNA SKYE
Ok, before I begin, let me point out that our Chief Staff Writer, Paypabak Writer, has given the SL Beta Viewer a positive review in her article Guide to SL Viewer 2.0 Beta Information & Reactions. Posts here are generally based on the opinions, personal preferences, and tastes of the person posting it, rather than reflecting all as a whole, and I’m actually rather glad Pay gave it a good review, because that balances out what I’m about to say.
At first I thought it might be because I’ve been on Second Life for three years, and I’m so used to the old viewer. However, Paypabak Writer has been on Second Life since 2007 as well, and she doesn’t have the aversion to it that I do.
When I first logged in with the new beta viewer, I felt a bit like a lost noob. The buttons were in all the wrong spots, things popped up on my screen, and I couldn’t tell whether they were IMs or main chat; and I apparently automatically accepted some inventory as well. Not to mention having to click a little x to remove text in the main chat so I could fiddle with my AO Hud. (I’ve since had to move it.)
While this was happening, a woman was asking if I wanted to buy land. I was actually very interested in the land, but was so overwhelmed by everything on the viewer being in a different spot that my response was a little slower than usual (emphasis on a little). I apologized and told her I was getting used to the new viewer, but just as I was about to ask her more about the land, she teleported away. “If you’re interested in buying come to this location,” she said, and gave me a landmark which the new viewer accepted automatically. Then poof. Well, I didn’t follow the landmark. I never buy from unfriendly people, so in this instance the SL Beta Viewer saved me from padding the pockets of someone I didn’t care for. I looked elsewhere and bought a place within fifteen minutes of this . . . after logging back in using Emerald.
I waited a couple of days before trying the new SL viewer again. I’ve been trying to ease myself into it in small doses. I don’t want to be left behind, and I’m not against improvements or trying new things. On the positive side, the graphics look more clear. On the negative side, it’s hard to enjoy the nice graphics when I find everything else irritating.
My friend Magdalena Bing and I were both using the viewer last night. We spent about an hour complaining to each other about how much we hated it. Every other minute one of us would jump into the air, having forgotten to click the chat window before typing. When you forget to click that window, your avatar does a little jump. Mags was thrilled when she saw me jumping too, because she said seeing that I had the same problem, she didn’t feel so stupid. After a while we just laughed every time one of us jumped by mistake.
The media buttons . . . where are they? Staff writer Jellie Arrowmint, another one who doesn’t seem violently opposed to this new viewer, told me the other day that the media buttons were at the top right. That was helpful to know since both my radio and video were playing at the same time, and it was like being in a mental institution. Yes, I managed to get the sound down on the radio while watching the video, but it took some messing about with levels. Why did they do this? The buttons were so easy when they were right there at the bottom. One click on, one off.
Anyway, Magdalena wanted to see these beds I’d been raving about, so I followed the owner of the beds picks to his main store. It took me ages to figure out how to teleport Mags there with me, and when I did get her there, rather than looking at the beds we mostly just complained about the new beta viewer some more . . . in between jumping up into the air when we’d forget to put the cursor in the chat window.
Back at home I wanted to check the objects on my land, but wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t find the specific names of who has how many prims on my land. This is important for me to know since I run a “flophouse” and allocate a certain amount of prims to each person. All other viewers let me see this crucial information, but this beta viewer showed me just that there were prims put out by “others” and how many, but it did not give specific names.
Do you ever check the classifieds in people’s profiles? I often do so I can find out more about the person and see if they have specific stores. I am sure there’s a way to do it with this viewer, but I couldn’t figure out how. All I could see was “picks.”
I don’t like the menu on the right of my screen either. It’s kind of like being at the theatre and sitting behind (and slightly to the left of) a woman wearing a big red feathered hat. Distracting. I generally can’t stand wearing HUDS for the same reason, with the exception of Mystitool, and my AO which I put as far to the bottom as I can. This new menu is like a giant HUD.
Another thing is the IMs, which are not immediately clear to me as being IMs from a person or group. The old IMs looked different from the main chat, very easy to distinguish. On this new viewer it is only slightly different.
I’ll try to use this new viewer sometimes, for the sake of keeping up to date with Second Life. However, for now, Emerald is the viewer I like best. Emerald has added features and neat little things, without changing what was good about the old viewer. If Emerald can get the clear graphics of this new SL viewer it would be just about perfect. So far, Emerald is still my choice for being the best SL viewer.