Technical issues with Mac OS X

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Problem: Difficulty using SL with Mac computers

Tips for Mac Users:

First off, forget Ctrl-Clicking in Second Life! Cmd-Click (Apple-Click) is how it's done here, and note that the Mac Option key is equal to a PC Alt key. If you have a two button mouse you'll find SL a lot easier! A cheap

To find a Mac user group, click the Find button then the Groups tab. Type in Mac and hit Search. You can join the group from that window. Other Mac users will be happy to help you out, and joining this group will

Based on experience, it seems the lowest Mac configuration that is acceptable for Second Life is a Powerbook G4/iBook G4 1GHZ with 768MB RAM and a 64MB Video card. Under this configuration and similar configurations the following settings are advisable in Preferences:

  • Display Tab > Performance Options: uncheck all settings except Shiny Objects.
  • Avatar Rendering: Select Normal.
  • Terrain Detail: this is variable, but the Some setting is acceptable.
  • Gamma: Don't worry about this, your Mac controls it. Only useful for full-screen mode, which is inadvisable on a Mac.
  • Display Resolution: Check Run in a window. Don't worry about the settings after that.
  • Options Tab > Performance Options: Check AGP if it's not grayed. If it's not able to be checked your Mac's video card does not support AGP, which greatly accelerates video. Obviously you want this checked!
  • Texture Cache Size: This depends on how much total RAM you have. If you have 768MB or more you should use the Large option. Keep in mind that running other applications at the same time as Second Life can reduce the amount of available RAM.
  • Video Card Memory: Max this out! It only goes up to the total amount of VRAM you have.
  • Object Detail: Move the slider to the middle.
  • Tree Detail: Move the slider to the middle.
  • Avatar Detail: Max it out if you can, but anything at the middle or above is good.
  • Avatar Vertex Program: This option can cause some problems on some Macs. If you check it and see weirdness (defined as your avatar staying gray, turning bright white or otherwise improperly rendering) for more than a minute, turn off this setting.
  • Show Avatar in Mouselook: Not necessary, it just shows your avatar's hands etc. when in Mouselook mode.
  • Draw Distance: In general, 64 meters is good for busy locations. If you want to take a picture of a beautiful scene you can up it much higher. For low traffic areas, 96 is good.
  • Fog Distance: This feature fades out things that are on the threshold of your draw distance. 1.5 to 2.5 is good for this option. if you have your draw distance down at 64 meters set the fog to 1.3.
  • Drop Draw Distance if FPS: In the event that your FPS (frames per second, or how fast SL can draw the screen) drops below this number, your draw distance will drop dramatically. Setting this to 0 disables the feature, 3-5 is a good option.
  • Bumpiness Draw Distance: With enabling Shiny Objects comes Bump Mapping, or making objects and/or avatars appear to have raised and recessed areas. Setting this to 5 - 10 is good.
  • Max Particle Count: Depending on you Mac you can increase or decrease this. 2048 is a good option.
  • Outfit Composite Limit: This has to do with texture complexity for an avatar's clothing. 4 is a good option.