... replacing my old graphics card from 128mb to 512mb was the only way for me to truly enjoy virtual life in-world. Most of my mates in SL (who were either having the high performance GCs already or have upgraded their machines to the latest hardware) were unanimous in saying that moving up the capability of your graphics card is the best thing for SL-addicts like me to enjoy an amazing Second Life experience.
My practical side tells me to hold on to my 128mb Radeon X300 (hey it was the best during its time yo!), since getting a new machine is not too far away while I anticipate the news when Windows Vista would be stable to run Second Life (no reaction from Mac users please, at least I get an F key to play around with hahaha). Thinking that having 4GB worth of installed memory as well as a properly tuned-up PC is enough would only proved me wrong, upon realising that Linden Labs wouldn't let me in~world for (probably) using an older version of the SL Viewer (theoretically speaking that is). Having been the only one who wasn't able to log-in among other Brit-residents (with the thought that UK users might all be having the same problem like me... vis-a-vis US-based servers) prompted me to investigate the root cause of this madness. It was starting to stress me up to be honest. Questions like:
Have I been booted out of SL?
Has my account been cancelled?
Has my account been hacked into?
... have started to bug me. All these questions and with no immediate answers made the veins on my temple throb like crazy, and it was giving me a headache.
I went to check on my SL web account and found out that it still could be accessed with the same username and password. COOL!
Enough assurance for me that I wasn't booted out of Second Life nor was my account cancelled by Linden Labs. WHEW!
My linden dollars were also intact which could mean my account wasn't hacked into. But unfortunately it was still impossible for me to go in-world! SIGH...
Lizzy had suggested that I upgrade my viewer with the thought that it may have been outdated. And it did make a lot of sense as I was using an earlier version, v 1.19.0 (5). Linden Labs did not MANDATORY REQUIRE us to update to the latest viewer. Something which still baffles me even up to this time.
Why not upgrade viewer to the latest one?
Somehow when I install and use the updated viewer be it the Dazzle Release Candidate or the standard version, I get these pixelised lines streaking out of in-world objects making everything look distorted as well as the lack of lighting making the view seem dark! It seemed more like a step backward for me rather than a jump forward with all the glitches and bugs I was experiencing with the new viewer. It left me no choice but to keep my outdated viewer which was still okay for me to use prior to my logging-in problems...
Or so I thought...
Eventually I got myself one!
The new nVidia GeForce found itself a home and took over the reigns of my tired and haggard ATI-Radeon (which still looks perfectly fine by the way.. hrmmm I think I'm gonna sell it on eBay... over a tenner postage not included hahahaha).
Installing the new driver and upgrading to the latest viewer had made me see Second Life in a different light... make that in WINDLIGHT! It was like experiencing everything for the first time! The waters were almost realistic viewing it from above as well as underwater. The colours are so vivid and the AVs textures amazingly real~like. Making me realise that I should have upgraded to 512mb a lot earlier, I have been missing a lot!
So far so good...
The experience was just so pleasant. It pumped-in new blood like the feeling of having a new lease of life after each dialysis session (not that I have any kidney problems, knock on wood). I've never felt this excited since the time I tried Second Life for the first time (meeting Lizzy-babes and all the things that followed after when I'm with her of course hahaha). Taking pictures was even more exciting with each shot seemed better than the previous one!
OMG! OMG! I'm having an orgasm... yes.. yes.. yessss! The sun reflecting its rays from the water? Crystal clear seas that make you even see the swimming fishes below? Smooth edges of objects and texture details at its best? I must be in Second Life heaven!
Somehow not being able to log-in earlier was sort of a blessing in disguise. Like in Real Life, we get so contented in our comfort zones that we refuse to move on to something better. I guess that's just human nature..
Sometimes we all need a little bit of a nudge for us to move forward. Helping us see clearly what great opportunities may await us outside of our comfort zones. And in my case, it opened a bigger and better Second Life. Was it a good investment putting quite an amount of Sterlings for a minor upgrade? You bet! And I wish I had done it sooner than later. So I guess it will be smooth sailing from now on, and of course tons of snapshots for every new adventures which me and my babes will be doing in~world from now on. Kudoz to all!