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sl running ab*****ely horrible last few days, no idea why


Rumancekk
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it has been getting so bad that i cannot even get on anymore. i can barely move. no one loads for me at all anymore. it's just disjointed parts. chat lags horribly. and now ,i can't even use firefox or discord at the same time. running sl causes discord to disconnect and i can't use firefox either. nothing loads

i know i am sure this is an internet problem but i can't figure out what has happened and why it has gotten progressively worse.

not to mention i will load in a sandbox, wait for my avatar to load and it will load alright, then when i go to another region stuff has unloaded, is in the wrong place, etc.

and now i am DCing every other teleport and losing voice half the time for no reason.

and it's not like that matters because all the voice comes through garbled.

but what i don't understand is my frame rate is perfectly fine. sometimes higher than usual. but nothing else works...

i do not have good internet, admittedly. it is not good but it has worked, albiet poorly. it just lags in some places. it has never been so bad that it completely takes up every ounce of my internet and is still unusable. i need to have my discord connected because i have an sl discord where we post our screenshots to explain things and if discord is unusable then that's a huge problem.

 

i have changed nothing. i have restarted.  i don't know what else to do. i have the highest speed internet i can get here. i cannot upgrade. i'm incredibly disheartened because i've sunk so much money into this ***** and now it's unusable.

 

edit:

i'm using firestorm

i already reset my router. the only thing it did is make it possible for me to run discord at the same time but still no one will load, horrible time walking, impossible to hear voice.

 

edit 2:

 

today i tried on another computer. i installed firestorm on my gf's. when i first got on it loaded weird. i had to log on and off a few times. then i went into the other room and saw someone else living with me had something downloading on their xbox. i stopped it and it got a bit better. i ran around the sandbox i was in looking at people to see if they'd load. they did. went to my house, it loaded. i asked a friend to come in and voice chat with me while it was off and i could hear them a lot better. then i turned the download back on and asked them to talk again. they did get slightly more garbled but not nearly as bad as on my computer.

 

so i feel like it's a combination of this huge file downloading in the other room and MY firestorm installation. I would like to repeat that I haven't changed anything in my settings. My draw distance is set to 64 and always has been. Advanced lighting is off. Graphics set to Medium. I know people will tell me 'just lower your graphics' but I want to know why I should have to. Why after months of playing at medium with almost nil issue, I no longer can. This is what I want to fix.

I don't know if it matters, but I have local chat set to be backed up in case I need like receipts or something.

Is it that the file is too large, maybe? Should I try to reinstall firestorm?

Edited by Rumancekk
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SL on a bad internet can be pretty frustrating, but it seems things have gotten worse for you without your internet getting even worse itself. (Or has it? If you're using wifi, for example, is there any chance something has moved, or some new object is between modem and your machine? Or, wired or not, something new competing for what little bandwidth connects you to the internet? It's always possible that the internet service provider has done something unfortunate, too, but that's a whole different level of frustration.)

Also, it's very hard to be sure one has "changed nothing" when seemingly innocent things can multiply network demand. Have you, for example, changed draw distance? (That's one I often forget; I usually run under 100m draw depth but crank it up for photos, etc., and often forget to restore the setting, making stuff take forever to load.) Even changing to different attachments can dramatically increase or decrease the amount of data that has to be shipped over the wire each time you teleport (or even constantly, if those items stream object updates at you).

Maybe the easiest thing is to try some third party viewer you've always been meaning to try, thus starting with no particular settings, and see if it's more tolerable. And of course remove all attachments as a test, to see if it helps.

(I don't know anything about Discord, but it sounds worrisome that disconnecting it should make much difference to SL performance, so I'll just naively ask: are we sure it isn't Discord that's changed to make it all worse?)

[ETA: Duh. Forgot to suggest trying an alt if you haven't already. They're quick to make if you don't have one, and often handy for testing stuff like this, just to rule-out any account-specific things like inventory, friends list, etc.]

[ETA 2: It's not really surprising the frame rate might increase: if the viewer is starved of stuff to render, it can can be quicker about rendering what little it's got.]

Edited by Qie Niangao
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I rarely advise 'tinkering' but in your situation I would

1 - Backup firestorm settings

2 - Clear firestorm caches

3 - Consider experimenting with cache size.

4 - Play with a reduced Draw Distance ( quick prefs )

ttgt.jpg

I fully accept this may not help at all.

Edited by rasterscan
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10 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

 

my draw distance is set to 64, as it always has been. i have not changed any sl settings since this started happening and tbh, i don't want to.  i mean before i could even run with advanced lighting on sometimes and it didn't even cause that much more lag. now i can barely do anything. but i have added a bit more extra information up at the top after doing some testing

also i don't think discord has changed.   it has always worked. now suddenly it doesn't. even with discord not connected because the minute i open sl it disconnected, i can't use firefox. i can ,but it' so slow it's barely worth it. i used to be able to be on discord, firefox, and sl at the same time. i used to browse marketplace on ff because i hate the in browser one. something else has changed, i just don't know what.

 

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If I understand correctly, we have pretty good confirmation that network bandwidth is a big part of the problem (which you knew all along), inasmuch as Xbox download affects SL game play and voice chat quality. But apparently your installation is not as fast as a fresh installation (on your gf's machine), so that gives some hope of finding what's deteriorated with yours. 

This is pretty much the same theory I was hoping to test with using a fresh install of a different viewer: just see if it's something b0rked in your Firestorm configuration. The test with your gf's PC also varies the machine itself so if these machines are different (specs, other running programs, etc.), we don't know for sure that those differences aren't responsible... but on the plus side, this test used the very same viewer software -- just a different installation of it -- and demonstrated that something there makes a difference. So I guess the exercise now is figuring out what that might be.

Just in passing: That 64m draw distance is fine, as you know. The reason @rasterscan and I suggested looking at draw distance is that it is one of the few viewer settings that really does affect network demand. Most of the rendering quality settings -- including advanced lighting -- make no network difference at all, affecting only what the viewer does with what it's already streaming.

You can indeed trash all the cache files -- really, the whole AppData\Local\Firestorm_x64 directory. It'll make the next login really slow, and that's especially true running with limited network capacity, but there's no sin in trying. You can also rename the AppData\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\<username>\chat.txt file (logs nearby chat history) to start a new one at the next restart. If it gets big enough on a slow enough drive that one can make some difference -- but usually not a lot.

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2 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

If I understand correctly, we have pretty good confirmation that network bandwidth is a big part of the problem (which you knew all along), inasmuch as Xbox download affects SL game play and voice chat quality. But apparently your installation is not as fast as a fresh installation (on your gf's machine), so that gives some hope of finding what's deteriorated with yours. 

This is pretty much the same theory I was hoping to test with using a fresh install of a different viewer: just see if it's something b0rked in your Firestorm configuration. The test with your gf's PC also varies the machine itself so if these machines are different (specs, other running programs, etc.), we don't know for sure that those differences aren't responsible... but on the plus side, this test used the very same viewer software -- just a different installation of it -- and demonstrated that something there makes a difference. So I guess the exercise now is figuring out what that might be.

Just in passing: That 64m draw distance is fine, as you know. The reason @rasterscan and I suggested looking at draw distance is that it is one of the few viewer settings that really does affect network demand. Most of the rendering quality settings -- including advanced lighting -- make no network difference at all, affecting only what the viewer does with what it's already streaming.

You can indeed trash all the cache files -- really, the whole AppData\Local\Firestorm_x64 directory. It'll make the next login really slow, and that's especially true running with limited network capacity, but there's no sin in trying. You can also rename the AppData\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\<username>\chat.txt file (logs nearby chat history) to start a new one at the next restart. If it gets big enough on a slow enough drive that one can make some difference -- but usually not a lot.

her computer is marginally better, but i believe it has the same ram and crap. it's just a newer laptop.

but i would think that if my laptop couldn't handle this before, i would have known in the first place, right? but the change is sudden. sudden and worsening over days. not like it was awful out of the gate. i uninstalled and reinstalled firestorm, cleared the cache, but idk if it made a huge difference. looks like firestorm didn't even get rid of most of the crap during the uninstall. all my text files/settings/etc were still present, and even after clearing cache when i went to where the cache was there was still a bunch of stuff from like, weeks ago which didn't get deleted.

so i guess i'm gonna try to delete the entire firestorm folders, all of them, to make them restart everything.

 

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1 minute ago, Rumancekk said:

so i guess i'm gonna try to delete the entire firestorm folders, all of them, to make them restart everything.

If you delete all the files you'll lose the settings and have to put them back again. There's a way to back them up somewhere to get them back, but maybe it's a good test to try with brand new settings anyway. I'm sure Firestorm must have instructions about how to do a "clean install" or something like that.

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2 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

If you delete all the files you'll lose the settings and have to put them back again. There's a way to back them up somewhere to get them back, but maybe it's a good test to try with brand new settings anyway. I'm sure Firestorm must have instructions about how to do a "clean install" or something like that.

i already backed up the settings file and all my chat files so i can probably just put them back in. either way, i know what my settings were if i lose them anyway so it won't be too hard to redo them all.

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17 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

You can also rename the AppData\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\<username>\chat.txt file (logs nearby chat history) to start a new one at the next restart. If it gets big enough on a slow enough drive that one can make some difference -- but usually not a lot.

I was prompted by this comment to go and look at my chat.txt file; it had been a long time, and I generally open it up once a quarter or so, trim off the old stuff, and save it as an archive file, to keep chat.txt from getting too unwieldy.  I discovered that the viewer (both the Standard viewer and Firestorm) have started treating conversation logs differently.  Now they create a new log file for every entity you talk to, on a monthly basis, instead of endlessly adding to a single file.  e.g. Username1-2019-10.txt, Username1-2019-09.txt, etc.

Chat.txt, the local chat log, has a daily file created.  So, for example, I have chat-2020-03-08.txt, chat-2020-03-07.txt, etc. 

This makes for a lot of small files, but it keeps any one file from getting too big.  A very nice feature!

Edited by Lindal Kidd
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@Lindal Kidd The numerous smaller files helps viewer performance. Yay! The smaller files eat more space on large hard drives... how much depends.

On Win-10 disk space is still 'block' oriented, called clusters, ranging from 0.5KB to 64KB. (Ref)  Text files, say chat logs, tend to be small. Looking at mine I find most are under 20KB. On a terabyte sized drive using 64KB clusters the 20KB file uses 64KB leaving 44KB of the cluster empty but unusable. It is likely that a large number of small files will waste about twice as much space as they use.

None of this is a problem until your disk is filling up. You might then want to go through and compress the files into a single ZIP file. As the zip file is a single file there can only be one chunk of wasted space. All the small text files are compressed and then written contiguously into the single file filling every 64KB cluster used except probably the last one in the zip file uses.

Putting the theoretical aside, my 1 and 2-Terabyte drives show 0.5KB per sector and 4KB per cluster. A 1KB file only wastes 3KB.

Win-10 treats zip files like a folder. You can still browse the files within the zip with Windows Explorer and the system still indexes the files within the zip file. There is no real downside to zipping the files.

Win-10 has a compression utility. You can set a folder to contain compressed files. Win-10 will compress and decompress the files on the fly. You never notice they are compressed. I haven't dug into the details of how that system works. As best I can tell the files remain separate files. The 20KB file may compress to 10KB but it will still use a full cluster (64KB). Only the files larger than 64KB will release disk space when in a compressed folder. Think 65KB file in a 64KB cluster system using two clusters, which would use 128KB of disk space. Compress it to maybe 32KB and it uses only 1 cluster rather than two freeing 64KB.

For those of us that run disk drives near capacity and keep chat logs it pays to compress them into a zip file.

My chat.txt file in Firestorm 6.3.2 with basic default settings for chat logs is dumping all 'local' chat into that single file. Over 2019 that file grew to about 7MB. I archive the file to the ZIP and then clean a copy to have just this year's local chat. (Since I seldom remember to do this in January of a new year.) My IM and group chat files are individual files and rather small.

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