Thursday, March 8, 2007

Inventory Control

Click the photo and count the number of objects in inventory.
This was taken, of course, AFTER two agonizing hours!
Written 8 March, 2007

Inventory Control

When I was brand new to Second Life, I received a note card that stressed the importance of keeping my inventory organized.

For those who’ve read Robert A. Heinlein’s Glory Road, the inventory in Second Life is like the expandable closet lugged around by Oscar’s girlfriend’s manservant (he wasn’t really named Oscar, and she wasn’t really his girlfriend, and the other guy wasn’t really her manservant, but never you mind. Just grok the idea. No, wait! That’s another Heinlein book. Big oopsie!)

Anyway, you can put stuff in your inventory. And put stuff in it. And put stuff in it.

And I do.

That’s what it’s for, after all!


Make folders, the notecard said. Name them. Make subfolders within them. Name them. Name your objects and place them in the nested structure.

I did that. It took me away from social activities for the better part of two days, but I did it. My inventory has been in perfect order ever since. Anal-Retentive order, even. Cheyenne > Cheyenne’s Bling > Bracelets > Gold. / Cheyenne > Clothing > Costumes > Playboy Bunny. / Free Stuff > Houses > Free Houses from NCI > 27-Prim Beach House with Optional Fireplace. / Free Stuff > Vehicles > Two Wheels > Penis Hoverbike.

No kidding on that last one. Somewhere I have, filed away, a penis-shaped hoverbike Renamon Rexroth gave me.

I couldn’t hurt his feelings by throwing it away, now, could I? And one never knows when one will NEED a penis hoverbike.


Somewhere in my inventory, filed under Notecards, filed under Advice for New Citizens, filed under Help Island, is that notecard about inventory organizing.

Which is precisely the problem.

You see, I never throw ANYTHING away. Anything. I even have a non-transferrable pregnant shape I bought by mistake, thinking it was an outfit. I hate it, but it’s still there.

Just in case I get knocked up, I suppose.

After all, a man asked me just the other day to live with him and have his children.


Day before yesterday, Sweetie—she always teases me about my wardrobe, which she considers extensive (and maybe it is)—idly asked me how many items there were in my inventory.

You can check that?

Sure enough, you can.

“13,753,” I told her in all innocence.


“They tell you not to go over 10k,” she told me.

They do?

“Otherwise, it’s slow to load.”

So THAT’S what the problem is!


I should explain that it’s really easy to add three or four hundred items to your inventory.


I mean, you find a box of free stuff and “buy” it for 1 linden.

That’s only one additional inventory item, after all.

But then you unpack it.

Suddenly that Landscaping freebie makes itself into a folder with 87 items.

And one of the 87 is called “Free Gazebos.”

And you unpack it, and thirty gazebos show up.

And you simply must unpack the free benches.

Before long, that one box has turned into 252 items.

So you see, I am a victim of circumstance.

You must believe this.


Yesterday, having psyched myself into it, I prepared to do battle with my inventory.


Instructions for Inventory Sorting

* Send your spouse and kids to a movie (I have no spouse or kids, so I just turned the phone ringer off so I wouldn’t have to deal with people from India calling about that overdue credit card payment).

* Top off your little pewter purse flask with amaretto.

* Find a quiet place in-world (in this case, the flat, empty land of the Pele Gardens).

* Put on quiet music (in this case, Sky FM).

* Set status to BUSY (in this case, I didn’t, as I was rather hoping to be interrupted before I threw away something important).

* Unscrew the cap of the flask.

* Go to work.


I’ve a lot of stuff in my inventory I’ve never even looked at and will certainly never use.

But throw it away?

I know if I throw away this blender, someone will ask for a pina colada. And it has only 14 prims. I’m keeping it.

And this folder of sex toys. You never know when a dog collar or a cat-of-nine-tails will come in handy. I’m keeping it.

And this folder of free furniture. I mean, there are hot tubs in here! I’m keeping it.

And this...

You get the idea.


I couldn’t bring myself to throw ANYTHING away.

But I could bring myself to repack it.

And so, that’s what I did, turning 150 free-house objects into one “Free Houses” box and putting all my duplicate textures and free furniture in boxes of their own.

I resisted the temptation to put all the packed boxes themselves into a box so I would have only ONE object that contained all of my excess inventory.

There’s a short story, you see (I disremember by whom) about information management. It seems the Interplanetary Confederacy designated a certain planet as its central library. That worked fine until they ran out of space. Then they began to digitize the information and put it into progressively smaller subatomic particles, until they had all of the information from their millions of planets on a single sub-unit of a quark.

They were really proud.

Until they lost the quark.

And didn’t have a backup.


What’s a backup?


It being Let’s-Update-the-Grid Wednesday, I started getting “Sorry About the Inventory Management Problem; We’re Working On It” messages from the Lindens. And darn it, they kept sticking stuff I’d deleted back into my inventory. At one point, I was actually up a thousand items. But eventually, I had turned those 13k items into a little more than 10k.

And I knocked off for the day.

And decided to have a pina colada.

But the blender was all packed away.



Caterin Semyorka said...

A necessary task...I try to spend an hour a month sorting, and that's just for the clothes! Last time I found a fabulous pair of unworn boots I had bought months earlier. C.

talon sidek said...

LOL, Chey. I follow the same inventory practices, except I search land, find a nice spanking new Anshe Chung low prim archipelago, submerge myself in the lagoon and open a bottle of Jose Cuervo. I'm approaching the 10K mark, and remain remarkably organized. Still can't find my Tiki shower, though.

Emilly Orr said...


Come talk to me when you've hit 37,554.

I'd be thrilled to hit 20,000 items again! :)