April 2008

The other day I was visiting a friend who is an artist. She is Tunisian and studies art and aesthetics in France. She uses Second Life as one of her research tools. She is part of an artistic group on a private island. I’m not sure what the mission of the island owner and group is as I didn’t really have time to find out.
She asked for my help making objects that would move along a conveyor from a ship to a dock, about 34 meters. I was explaining to her how this could be done (she is a recalcitrant non-builder, but I do try). The island owner showed up and introductions were made, opportunities for Babbler use were had. Out of the blue he asked if I’d be the builder for his island. I was surprised and flattered. This is another of those things I never thought would happen when I first came to SL.
Of course I had to explain that I was currently busy putting most of my free time for creativity into starting a furniture business. I did say that I would probably be available to help with small tasks from time to time.
Honestly though? there is so much more I feel I would need to learn before I would be comfortable accepting such an offer. Still….. It did feel nice.

The beta grid is a strange place. It is like going back in time. I am adorned there by clothes I haven’t worn in weeks. My friends list is downsized. And although they say you can take things from the main grid to the beta grid, I can’t find most of the tools and/or textures I should have when I’m there.
And there are stores there. What’s up with that? Who goes shopping in the beta grid?

My pockets are stuffed with Monopoly lindens when I go to the beta grid, and I have more every time I return. I’m obviously not going there and doing things, uploading tests often enough.

Maybe I should go beta shopping…. just to make sure I’m doing it right.

I have a couple of Nissan cars I acquired in the Nissan sims. I don’t recall that they ever worked very well. Somebody told me that there was a Pontiac sim, but I can’t find it.
With the Nissans, both the Sentra and the Altima, they seem to lose the ability to accelerate shortly after “takeoff”.
It recently occurred to me that I might be seeing an effect of “energy” as it relates to prims set to physical and the scripts within them. Some script functions use energy to act, physically, upon the prims that contain them. The rate of consumption can depend on the size of the prim. This energy will regenerate at a rate determined by the mass of the prim (I’m not a genius, I read all this somewhere). .
I also read that running low on energy will not cause these script functions to simply fail, but will instead cause the function’s effects to diminish. Like a large prim could not be made to float well in water because the rate of energy consumption trying to make it float exceeds the rate of energy regeneration that prim is capable of. This is a good facsimile of rl physics. I can throw an Oreo a heck of a lot farther than I can throw my ex-brother-in-law
This could explain why it feels as though five or six parking brakes engage after I begin driving down the road.
Hmmm…… turning gets more and more difficult too.

If you travel around, teleporting from place to place in Second Life, sooner or later you’re going to run into someone else’s mischief.
As I have explored, dawdled in sandboxes, or just hopped to a handy SLX terminal, I have come across my fair share (I’m not greedy, I saved some for the rest of you) of traps, objects left lying around for the purpose of causing a hindrance. I’ve been stuck in a multi-layered invisible trap, pounded by 5,000 tons, squished into a little ball of crumpled Ivanova, and other things less spectacular.
Each of these events ran its course in less than a minute and I have gone on, treating it (after reporting it, I am a responsible citizen) as a part of the Second Life landscape, which certainly they are, just as road apples are a part of farm landscape.
These experiences, and my reactions to them, have led me to this conclusion: The existence of residents whose sole purpose is to grief seems rather pointless to me.

I have been doing my first delving into vendor scripting that handles how an object gets paid and subsequently gives inventory to the purchaser. There is a lot of stress on setting up your script actually check how much was paid before proceeding with the inventory giving, rather than merely relying on the script to automatically set the pay amount. Various factors can undermine the intent of those functions that tell a button, for instance, how much to pay when it is clicked.
As with other script learning, I can read through an example vendor script, learn what the various functions do, and understand completely what everything does. Only then I say to myself, time and time again, “Wow, that’s really smart.” The way to write a script is think first what you want it to do. If you have learned all the functions, events and flow control, you can figure out a way to do it. Then, you can find a way to make it more efficient.

Gina Glimmer, my first friend in Second Life, is the second to leave Second Life.

I met Gina at Orientation Station when I was brand new. She was working as a Metaverse Mentor and she was so friendly and personable and so very helpful, sending me hither and yon shopping for my first outfits. She immediately extended an offer of friendship to me. She gave me a very good (and accurate, I believe) first impression of SL.
I don’t think I got to know Gina very well. She was always so busy exploring and taking pictures. But, as with another friend who left, from time to time I find myself hoping that little blue box will pop up, telling me they have come back, even if only for a short visit.
Goodbye Gina. I’ll miss you.

   The landscape of this blog is blank. As in the virtual world of Second Life, in which I am a resident, this landscape will appear around me and my friends as we create it. I will use this blog the write about my building, scripting and learning; all aspects of the creation process.

When I first came to Second Life, I didn’t really know what I would do, where my interests would lie. The image creation and editing of making textures is something I really enjoy and have a lot of experience with. I tried my hand at various types of content creation. I had found clothing creation to be not quite to my taste. Building large objects like houses or vehicles, while interesting, didn’t really appeal to me either. I found myself gravitating toward smaller scale object creation. Also, avatars and how they can be allowed to interact with objects, which is the most dynamic aspect of Second Life, commands my attention. I found myself thinking about furniture; chairs, couches, and tables, all kinds of things that people in the Real World use. It’s fun to try to make an object in Second Life that functions and looks as realistically as possible. I also like thinking creatively about avatar attachments and their various functions both existing and unexplored. The process of new and imaginative creations in SL is far from over.

I am a relative newcomer to Second Life. There are veterans who began learning and building here years before I had even heard of SL, before the time of sculpted prims and before the time of flexible prims. While I sometimes wish I had found Second Life earlier than I had, I consider myself fortunate to have stumbled upon it at a time when there are so many wonderful tools with which to create nearly anything you can imagine. And I believe these tools will continue to improve and to be expanded upon in the future. I’m excited to be a part of it.