What’s Everyone Got Against the Lindens?

It’s truly amazing how much discontent I hear and see around the Grid and the SL-‘sphere about Linden Lab, much of it aimed toward the loss of operations that strike periodically.

Of course, it’s not surprising people will gripe. If you’re in the middle of a good talk or dance with a sexy fellow Resident, or in the middle of (wink, wink) other things, and you’re suddenly booted out or your region is reset, you’re going to be mad. It’s even worse if you’re doing actual business, like many people use Second Life for. Imagine a presentation going on, and you suddenly go etherware. Not fun! And it has to be admitted that SL does have an amazing number of bugs and crashes at times.

But is that surprising, people? Think of where the technology is — even with the number of MMORPGs in existence already, we’re still in the toddler stage of development at best. And I’ve never seen a time when the Resident counter isn’t sitting around at least 35,000 people logged in. All those people are walking/flying/dancing/having sex/riding horses/streaming music and video/flipping prim hair and skirts…well, I hope you get the idea. All that action puts a heavy burden, not to say a strain, on the sims at the best of times. In a busy region, like Franks Place or a big sale by a couturiere, the sim computer has to do calculations and draw pictures for 40-45 Residents at a shot. Timesharing has its limits at this level of the technology, my friends — although it’s a hell of a lot better than in the early days, of course. But graphics-intensive services such as Second Life means a need for not just megaflops, but maybe teraflops, of computing power. Nobody has that yet — unless the Guvmint in Washington isn’t talking (fnord).

I’ve read Snow Crash (the parallels are what drew me to Second Life), and know how the Metaverse is supposed to operate. But if we’re expecting anything less than a roomful of supercomputers to keep up with all the demands we place on the Lindens’ systems, then (not to put too fine a point on it) we’re terribly spoiled and stuck in instant-gratification mode.

Let’s cut the Lindens at least a little slack, okay? Instead of grouching about how much the Grid is down, think about how much it is usually up, and how well it does then….

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