Lab Computer Update – New Viewer

We have finally settled in on a configuration for our labs that we believe will work with the new SL viewer, and resolve many of the issues encountered when trying to run the SL viewer in a networked environment.

As some might remember, our labs were basically rendered inoperable with Second Life when the Windlight update was pushed out. We were already having frame rate and speed issues prior to this, and wrestled continually with update issues. With the release of the new viewer it became painfully obvious that drastic measures were necessary to save these labs.

We’ve created two partitions on these lab computers and will now mulitboot these machines. The first configuration will be the standard lab burn with all the software used in the lab, in addition to the desktop monitoring software that we use to manage these labs. This configuration will have full access to everything necessary for that lab. The second partition will only have bare bones Windows (no Internet browser), Second Life, Quicktime, and any other programs directly related to Second Life use. We’ve had to do some manipulation of network policies to make these partitions invisible to the regular users in the lab using the first partition boot.

So far, in our tests, this configuration will resolve many of the issues we’ve been having trying to run Second Life in these labs with the computers that are there. We should see a significant increase in performance, and hopefully a drop in the number of help desk calls for Second Life support. We will make a more detailed report once we get these labs reburned with the new images, and we get students back using Second Life again.

It’s unfortunate that the SL viewer is so network hostile (especially with required updates). A simple download or MSI file that could be pushed out via group policy would be a welcomed addition to the Second Life download site for updates.

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