Which Viewer Do You Use?

When you created your Second Life account, you were prompted to download the SL Viewer. And I’m sure most of you did—which is perfectly fine. That’s what I used myself for a long time before I discovered there are alternatives. Many people have opted to use one of more of these alternative.

I myself use Firestorm, but more on that later.

Why Use the Official SL Viewer?

Most, if not all, tutorials, help files, and FAQs in SL are designed for the official viewer. They assume that’s what you’re using, since it is the de facto viewer. Rather than having to have separate version of their information for every possible viewer—pretty much an impossibility—they have designed everything around that standard. Less confusion, greater efficiency.

And that’s all right: Linden Labs (the brilliant minds behind SL) knows their product better than anyone else, and are therefor the best people to design and maintain their viewer. And most people are perfectly happy with that.

But just as not every user of Microsoft Windows uses MS Word as their word processor, and as not every iPhone owner uses Pages, so too do SL users sometimes use an alternative viewer.

There are many reasons for this, but I’m going to cover the most popular alternative SL viewer.

Firestorm

Firestorm is a creation of The Phoenix Project. The sole purpose of the project is, in its own words,

The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. is a non-profit, incorporated organization whose mandate is to improve the user experience in Second Life and other virtual worlds by providing an advanced open source viewer with greater features, options and interface flexibility than the standard offering by Linden Lab.

It’s the viewer that I have been using almost exclusively since I discovered it, and I’ve been in SL in various guises for over 13 years.

Why Do I Use It?

Simply put, I find it easier and more efficient. Inventory maintenance is a breeze, as is avatar design and customization. And on my laptop, it loads faster.

Worried about support? There are over 40 support groups for Firestorm in SL, including many run by the Phoenix Project. And at last count, there were 15 official Firestorm locations, including the main social gathering area right here.

In Conclusion

So yes, use the official viewer when you first start making your way around SL.

But once you’re comfortable using it, and are looking for another experience, give Firestorm a try.

 

 

 

 

 

(NOTE: Second Life, Linden Labs, Firestorm, The Phoenix Project,
Microsoft, Windows, MS Word, Apple, iPhone, and Pages are
trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.)

Becoming Aisling

When I first joined Second Life (or SL, as we usually call it), this is the avatar I chose:

avatar-1.png

Plain, inoffensive, and boring, as most of the default avatars are. But don’t worry! You can easily change part of or even your complete appearance.

Profile-3.png

This is me as I am today. But I didn’t get to look like this all at once: it took a lot of exploration, searching, and trial and error to arrive at this look. And aren’t you lucky! I’m going to share all I learned with you!

Becoming You

While some of this information is specific to my looks, you can use the general principles involved to become the best version of you that you can possibly be. And what exactly is the best version? It’s what you—after all your experimentation and trial and error—are happy with.

A Word on Viewers

If you’re like everyone else, when you created your SL account, you downloaded the official Second Life Viewer—the software that allows to to log into SL. Personally, I don’t like it: it takes up too many resources (such as memory) on my computer. Instead, I—along with thousands of other SL players—have opted to download the Firestorm Viewer. I would encourage you to download it and see which of the two viewers you prefer. There is far more in-world support for Firestorm than there is for the SL viewer.

Either way, launch your viewer and head on over to New Resident Island. There you’ll find tons of high-quality free items (freebies) to buy (for no money) and use to customize your avatar—including a free body you can modify—to your heart’s delight. Skins, clothes, shoes—you name it, it’s all here.

Sorry, Guys

If you’re a male character,  I’ve got some bad news for you: there just aren’t that many fashion options for you. Oh, they’re there—you’ll just have to look harder than the women will. But isn’t that just like real life? Your best bet for freebies is New Resident Island.

Girltown—A Free Home For Women

Your home in SL is the place you end up when you first log in, and where you return when you tell the viewer to return you home.

Girltown is such a place. For no cost to you, you can join what is SL’s oldest and best support group for women (Girltown, duh!). And once you join, you can set your home to Girltown.

Best of all, male avatars are automatically ejected if they try to get in. Girltown is truly a women-only safe area. Not to mention the freebies that are available there.

The Free Dove

For 12 years, The Free Dove has been SL’s go-to place for the latest fashions. Many of SL’s top designers offer their wares for free here, and they are all of very high quality. Clothes, jewelry, hats, and hair—you’ll find them all here. And yes, there are men’s fashions here as well.

That’s It For Now!

I don’t want to overwhelm you, so I’ll stop right here. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll catch you all later.

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling