Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Linden Lab Needs a Laptop Client

scavenger hunt

Location: Reviewing Students' Scavenger Hunt Entries

While it thrilled this Macintosh cultist that most of my students (11 of 15) had Macbooks, all was not rosy. The Lindens don't seem to place any priority on coding for laptops, since their system requirements are steep and get steeper with most upgrades. Yet a laptop is the computer of choice for my students.

If Linden Lab wants educators in-world, they face some tough choices and need to spend some money on this issue. They run the risk of running off not only social SLers like my friend Tenchi, whose computers don't run SL well any longer. Linden Lab could also kill what seems to be one of its cash-cows, the education market.

As for my students, all four Windows users, two with brand new machines, got informed that their systems did not meet minimum SL requirements. Luckily, they clicked past that and continued. One of them, with a new Dell tricked out with 4GB of RAM, still had problems because of his graphics card. Using wireless (the connection of choice for on-the-move Millennials) was painful for him and several others. I gave them Ethernet cables.

That is, frankly, ridiculous to me and I once again ask LL to release laptop clients for the three OSes they support. While I'm wishing, how about a VERY stripped-down client to run on netbooks? The students are having a good time and learning the moves of academic writing and research in the Linden metaverse. For now.

If it gets impossible to use laptops for SL, I'll find another world--and quickly--to continue my classwork.

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