New Classic Avatars released by Linden Lab

On Friday 6th November Linden Lab announced 16 new classic avatars for Second Life. These new classic avatars look good with mesh and they look much better than the old avatars from the early days of Second Life. 

These new classic avatars are available for both new residents joining Second Life today and for all existing residents through the Me > Choose an Avatar menu.

Hopefully this should improve new user retention rates and improve the experience for newbies getting started in Second Life. Along with the new community gateways that Linden Lab have introduced and I’m so pleased to hear the good news.

Check out the revamped classic avatars below! 🙂

Second Life classic avatars

What do you think of the new classic avatars ? 



Special podcast this friday about the new SL Go app

Tomorrow on Friday 7th March 2014 show #9 will be available of the drax files radio hour and this week it’s a special show covering everything to know about the new launched SL Go by OnLive app.

A deep discussion with two senior OnLive engineers and managers talking about iOS versions coming soon and what the pricing is among other interesting things. Tune in and listen to the new special podcast hosted by Drax with Jo.

Poll: Will you be using SL Go app ?

Pros and Cons of SL Go app 


  • The app has potential in the future
  • Second Life in full 3D on mobile and tablet devices
  • Second Life in high quality on low specs
  • Second Life in the cloud is brilliant
  • Looks beautiful and runs really well
  • Speeds over 50 FPS with a 512-meter draw distance and comes with Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE
  • Great way of connecting with friends, attending events and visiting places


  • Costs too much
  • The free trial period needs to be longer (7 days/30 days) or it should be dropped completely
  • iOS is not supported at the moment
  • Limited to a tiny amount of countries and platforms
  • Other alternatives are already out there at lower cost/free like Lumiya
  • No SL voice supported at the moment
  • No saving snapshots to disk
  • Need a fast broadband connection (3mb+)


  • Make the app free or for a one time fee (low-cost)
  • Make the app compatible with iOS devices and more platforms
  • Continue to develop the app on a regular basis with new improvements and releases
  • Add a grid manager to visit opensim grids

Roundup of SL Go blog coverage

Roundup of SL Go app forum coverage

What are your views about the new SL Go by OnLive app ?

Good /Bad / Suggestions are welcomed! 🙂 

Firestorm blocks old viewers starting this week

Firestorm have started to block old Firestorm versions this week one by one which will continue for the rest of the week until completed by the Firestorm Team. See the latest block updates below and be prepared to upgrade to the latest version of Firestorm.

The Firestorm team have recently been under pressure from Linden Lab to block older versions and its been in the works for many weeks now. The blocking is needed so that the Firestorm Team can continue to develop Firestorm futher so that everyone has a better inworld experience. By the end of November the Firestorm team will only allow the latest three versions of the Firestorm to access Second Life which makes sense.

Blocked Firestorm versions…

  • release – 166 users  (Blocked Nov 18th, 2013)
  • release – 881 users (Blocked Nov 19th, 2013)
  • hotfix release – 571 users  (Blocked Nov 20th, 2013)
  • maintenance release – 606 users (Blocked Nov 20th, 2013)
  • Beta – 4585 users (Blocked Nov 21st, 2013)
  • – 3334 users (Blocked Nov 22nd, 2013)
  • – 60 users (Blocked Nov 22nd, 2013)
  • – 14,120 users (Blocked Nov 23rd 2013)
  • – 40,451 users (Blocked Nov 24th 2013)

Last updated: 25th November 2013 

Stay updated on the latest news on the official Firestorm blog.

New Second Life viewer Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI)

Today Linden Lab announced some exciting news on the official Second Life blog about a new Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) for the Second Life viewer. To use the new CHUI you have to download version 3.5.0 (273444) of the Second Life viewer via Release Notes.

Snapshot of (CHUI)


New features

  • Add participants to a conversation already in progress
  • See all of your conversations and everyone in those conversations, using an inventory-like UI
  • Quickly move your voice connection between conversations and effortlessly adjust individual volume or overall volume in a single click
  • View all of your recent communications in one window (Conversation Log)
  • See what was said in any conversation (Conversation Transcripts)
  • Set Do Not Disturb to focus on other things and get all the communications (and inventory offers!) you missed, after you come back
  • Choose from four levels of notification for each of five different kinds of incoming communication. You can set IMs from friends and IMs from non-friends to different levels of notification
  • Turn sound on and off for four different events, such as inventory offers and teleport offers
  • Access voice morphs more easily
  • Get to chat preferences and privacy preferences directly from the Conversations window.
  • Type your chats into an expanding, multiple-line box
  • Select multiple users across different conversations and start a new conference with them
  • Choose which conversations are in their own windows, and which should be in a tabbed window — you can have both now.
  • Collapse any conversation to a single-line input with popup messages.
  • See users and objects you have blocked in a new tab in the People window.

What is CHUI?

As we’ve previously blogged about, CHUI puts Second Life’s communications tools in a more flexible UI that lets you customize it for the ways you prefer to communicate inworld. You can even turn it all off when you want to build, make movies, or simply be left alone for a while.

Watch the NEW VIDEO below about the new (CHUI) by Torley Linden.

What do you think about the new Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) in the Second Life viewer ? 

Phoenix Viewer support ending on 31st December 2012

The big news this weekend announced by Jessica Lyon during a recent Phoenix office hour with the SL community is that the Phoenix Viewer support will be ending on Monday 31st December 2012. Apparently the Phoenix Viewer will then be removed from the SL third-party directory and Phoenix links will be removed from the Phoenix Official Blog. In 2013 Firestorm Viewer will be the default popular third party viewer and more new developments will continue to happen.

The reason for why Phoenix Viewer support will be ending is because Linden Lab will be rolling out server-side avatar baking in 2013 which should be interesting. TPVs have been told about this 2013 avatar baking roll out and hopefully the deployment will go without any major issues.

It seems like the server side baking rollout is at it’s final stages now with a timeline of 8 weeks according to Oz Linden via the Open Source Mailing List recently.

Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence) 

to opensource-dev 

For any of you developing viewers that are not in the TPV Directory and
so didn’t get the notice there….

We have now made available the code for our upcoming server side baking
changes – you will need to update to be compatible with this in order
for users to see avatars correctly once the server side change is rolled
out to the main grid (some time > 8 weeks from now, but no date has been
set yet).

for information on this new code, and watch it for updates.

Tonya Souther blogs about this roll out here

As Oz said in the meeting, the clock is now ticking. We asked for at least two months’ notice, and yesterday we got that. LL would like to roll the code out to the grid in February, but they’ll work with TPV developers to make sure we all have had the code and a good chance to implement it before they actually roll it out.

History of the Phoenix Viewer

  • Transition from Emerald controversy to Phoenix in September 2010
  • Phoenix Viewer added to The Third-Party Viewer Directory list in September 2010
  • Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 in July 2011
  • 40 groups enabled on Phoenix Viewer in January 2011
  • Phoenix Project turned one years old in September 2011
  • Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 with Mesh Support in September 2011
  • Phoenix classes started in 2011
  • New changes to TPV policy & Phoenix TPV policy meeting in late February 2012
  • Phoenix Viewer support ends 31st December 2012

What do you think about this major announcement and will you be switching to Firestorm if not already?

Firestorm Viewer now Number 1 viewer in SL

On Tuesday 4th September 2012 Oz Linden on the behalf of Linden Lab said that Firestorm viewer has taken over the number one spot on the list of Second Life viewers. Firestorm users are spending longer time in the viewer (total user time) and even more than the previous Phoenix viewer. Firestorm is now the most stable viewer and popular viewer in Second Life.

Happy 2nd Anniversary Firestorm!

It’s nice that Linden Lab have noticed this happening and I would like to say congratulations to the Firestorm Viewer team for being the number 1 viewer in Second Life today and for making SL a better place. I hope there will be a list of viewers usage stats somewhere public because that would be interesting. This email below was sent via the opensource-dev mailing list. There are more details on the Official Phoenix Firestorm Blog post by Jessica Lyon.

Snapshot of the email

Email text

On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 7:53 AM, Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence) oz at> wrote:

On behalf of Linden Lab, I’d like to extend congratulations to the Firestorm Viewer team.

Last week, Firestorm took over the #1 spot on the list of Second Life viewers in terms of total user time, surpassing its elder cousin, Phoenix. The Phoenix viewer still has a slight lead in number of sessions, but Firestorm viewer sessions are on average significantly longer – which may in turn be due in part to its substantially better stability.

The Firestorm team has worked long and hard to support users who want both the latest Second Life features being developed by Linden Lab and the additional capabilities you provide, and this achievement is one you can all be proud of. Thank you.

Awesome news and this is a fantastic achievement for the Firestorm team.

New Zen Viewer added to Third Party Viewer list

It seems like the Zen Viewer has been officially been added to the Third Party Viewer Directory this week. I have not heard of this viewer until now and it excites me when new viewers come along for Second Life. You can download this viewer either on Zena Juran download page or via the SL wiki page. Zen Viewer is only for Windows!

The Zen Viewer is a v3 viewer based on the viewer-development Snowstorm. It contains all the latest shines and fixes plus a consolidation of unique features specific to content creation. Includes the original Pie Menu!

Impressive features included in the Zen Viewer…

  • Mesh Upload.
  • Qarl’s Rigged Mesh Deformer – Alpha.
  • The Original Pie Menu.
  • Enhanced Build Tools.
  • Toggle Notifications Top/Bottom Screen.
  • Clientside Animation Overrider (AO).
  • Clientside Particles Editor.
  • Local Sculpt and Texture Browsing.
  • Temp Sculpt and Texture Uploads.
  • Save and Load Scripts Locally.
  • Qarl’s Align Tool.
  • Fetch Inventory at Login.
  • Resized View/Cam Controls Floater.
  • Separate UserData and Cache Folders.
  • Draw Distance Slider in Status Bar.
  • TP Destination Beacon Disable.
  • Copy UUID on Right-click.
  • Texture Refresh.
  • Derender.
  • Pos. & Rot. Spinners for Attachments Enabled.
  • Copy/Paste Object Params.
  • Copy/Paste Texture Params.
  • Zoom Min. Distance Disable.
  • Inventory Hovertips Disable.
  • Area Object Search.
  • Sound Explorer.
  • Move Orphaned System Folders for Deletion.
  • Adjustable Region Restart Timer.
  • UI Skinning.
  • Full Screen Toggle.
  • Invisiprim Support in Deferred Rendering.

Also performance enhancements have been added in the Zen Viewer…

  • Kirsten’s OpenJPEG Library.
  • NickyD’s HACD Mesh Decomposition.
  • Large Address Aware.
  • Graded Shadows Support.

If you have tried this viewer then feel free to share your experiences via comments below. I will be using this viewer during the next few weeks and will be sharing my experience soon.  Thanks! 🙂

Big SL News Stories of 2011

  • Mesh – The rollout and launch of Mesh was the most talked during 2011. Mesh went live across the grid on 23rd August 2011.
  • Meeroos – Meeroos attack from unidentified griefers which caused alot of controversy and anger from the SL community.
  • RedZone – This was big news when RedZone HUD revealed alt accounts, zf Redzone security was breached and the ban of zFire Xue from Second Life.
  • Viewer 3 – Launched on 8th November – this was a major revamp of the user interface. V3 came with customizable toolbars, buttons, no sidebar and merger of Basic and Advanced modes.
  • 42 groups limit This was really good news when the lab officially raised the group limit from 25 to 42 in January 2011.
  • Teen Grid merger – There’s been plenty of mixed views from the SL community about this during Q4 2010 and Q1 2011. Linden Lab merged the grids on 21st January 2011.
  • Bring Back Last Name Options – Linden Lab removed last names and there has been buzz about bringing back last names since July 2011. Linden Lab are still reviewing this JIRA.
  • Google+ & Facebook – During the first half of the year there were reports of SL avatar accounts being suspended and deleted.
  • SLCC 2011 The first conference where Rod Humble attended & again SLCC was full of announcements/updates.
  • SL closures – ElvenMyst, Abbots Aerodrome, AM Radio sims were just some places that announced closure during 2011.
  • 50% Premium membershipIn the last few months Linden Lab announced that residents could save 50% on premium membership when they sign up (limited time offers). In September 2011 Linden Lab introduced new premium benefits to the SL community.
  • Linden Lab communications – At the start of the year office hours were turned into user group meetings but there are fewer now than  the start of the year. Linden Lab used Facebook, Twitter, Plurk and JIRA more frequently this year to communicate with the SL community. Since January there have been monthly posts on the SL blog from the lab.
  • Second Life in the news during 2011 – List of news stories added by Linden Lab during 2011.
It’s amazing to think what has actually happened in 2011 as the year draws to a close. There have been many negatives and positives in Second Life this year and it’s going to be interesting to see what 2012 will bring us all. I hope you like my 2011 list of the most talked about news stories so far. 🙂

What other SL popular news stories of 2011 do you know of ? 

New video showing how to download, install, and setup Second Life

Watch these newly uploaded Second Life videos by  showing how to download, install and setup Second Life for the first time. These new interesting helpful videos will help any new resident in Second Life get started on the grid. Check this out!

Here is the second Second Life video which shows you how to move, go places, friend, and other basic features.

Join Second Life today! 

Linden Lab releases new Viewer 3 user interface

On 18th October 2011 Oz Linden added a new Beta Candidate to the SL wiki Downloading test builds page. Viewer 3.2.0 beta viewer now has a new user interface which looks good. Today I downloaded and installed the new beta version which seems to working fine on my pc. I like the customization and the new features added in this release.

When I logged in I noticed that there was no sidebar and that’s because Linden Lab have replaced it with new customized panels. A big majority of SL users wanted the sidebar to be removed in the early releases-recent releases of Viewer 2 and now most of which have moved to third-party viewers instead.  Many liked Viewer 1 for many reasons and now with this new release perhaps users will start returning to Viewer 3.

New changes

  • New panels have been added left of the viewer and at the bottom
  • New Avatar picker added to left panels
  • Notifications now appear top right of the screen
  • New Received Items in Inventory > when purchasing things from the marketplace
  • Dashboard & Toolbars added to the Me menu
  • New Destinations Guide on the bottom toolbar
  • Shop button added to top toolbar
  • There’s much more!

The new Viewer 3 user interface


Looking at the new Avatars picker 

Dashboard & Toolbars have been added to Me menu 

New How To basics 

New Destinations Guide 

Basic Chat bar 

Here are some mixed reactions from the SL community about the new Viewer 3 user interface.


  • I like it
  • It looks good
  • Looks promising
  • It’s running pretty smoothly
  • Not happy with another change
  • Not so good for performace
  • There are significant bugs
  • Slightly behind firestorm with regards to the toolbar/ sidebar
Try out this new user interface and see what you think of it. Feedback is welcome in comments! 🙂