365 days of SL, day 115:
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Our quest to find trains using the Second Life Railway (SLRR; I'm not sure what the extra R is for) continued yesterday. We decided to leave the station in Dubia behind and go straight to the end (or start, depending on your POV) of the line, at Tuliptree station; it was bigger and had more stuff, but short of a 1:1 scale display model (seen in the background on the left), there were no trains in sight.
So where were they?
The map that's sort of visible on the right showed a bunch of active vehicles, indicated by the glowing markers (updated continously, too, if not quite in real time!); eventually one of the YavaScript pods that you can also find on Jeogeot appeared, in the shape of a small carriage, hit the bumper at the end of the track, transformed itself into the familiar egg-shaped pod, and flew away. Intriguing, but not quite what I was hoping for, perhaps. :)
A little later, a rainbow-colored... thing appeared and started wriggling back and forth at a rapid pace. What for? I have no idea.
Eventually it occurred to me that you could – perhaps had to – provide your own train; there were free ones to be had, so I grabbed one of those, rezzed it, and lo and behold, it put itself on the tracks and allowed us to finally start ridin' them rails.
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Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there. Sim crossing with the train were surprisingly smooth (entirely unlike with e.g. a pony-drawn cart), but SL never manages to keep up with pumping data to you as you travel; I'm used to textures not loading in time (or at all, depending on how fast you go), but soon objects ceased to appear at all, and after a while, even the land's geometry wasn't appearing anymore.
I'm always rather miffed by that. I've got my maximum bandwidth that SL is permitted to use set to 10 Mbps (the maximum, which is still less than the downstream bandwidth I get from my ISP); yet most of the time, it's somewhere in the three-digit range, usually around 500 or so. Things obviously COULD load a lot faster, but they just don't.
Relatedly, I'm also rather miffed by the high sim ping times we get here on this side of the Atlantic; SL's supposed to be global, but as far as I can tell, all the servers are in the USA (as are all the developers, presumably, so they won't even see why this is a problem). Fast-paced activities do exist on SL, but they're pretty much impossible to engage in for users like me that aren't geographically close to the servers.
Anyhow, getting back to last night, it didn't take long for my viewer to crash after we got started, too; perhaps not the fault of SL itself given that I use a third-party viewer, but nevertheless, combined with all the above, it means that actually riding trains is quite literally impossible. And we weren't even going at full speed — the train's speed was set to a mere 25%. Meh.
At least looking at the train stations is fun, too.
Location: Tuliptree (141, 154, 29) (SLRR Tuliptree Station)