Photos Taken on the OS Grid. For Some Reason
My Eyes Keep Disappearing, And So Does My Hair
Written 6 November, 2008
The OS Grid (http://osgrid.org/, Blogger is being dorky again) is an alternative virtual world based on viewer technology Linden Lab has opensourced. It looks almost exactly like Second Life. So, too, do any number of other grids.
OS Grid is predicated open OpenSim, a platform which, running Second-Life like server code, allows anyone to download free software and turn a spare computer in a server with their own Second-Life like regions. They can then connect these regions to OpenSim and theoretically, people are working hard to implemenet this) move their avatars between their own grids and the grids of others.
The OS Grid is new and buggy, with, as yet, no economy. Many features, including physical objects, are as yet unimplemented or poor implemented—but land is cheap and membership is free. It’s easy to register and log on, and an investment of less than a thousand dollars (that counts buying a server if you don’t already have a computer that can serve as one; if you already have a spare computer, the price will be minimal) will set you up with a mini-grid of your own.
This weekend I made an account on OS Grid and journeyed there. When I logged in, I found myself at a welcome area, one of a throng of newbies. I spotted someone who had been around for a couple of weeks, made friends with her, and got a landmark to her freebie store. There I picked up some skins, clothes, prim hair and shoes, and she gave me an animation overrider. I spent 15 minutes changing my shape to my Second Life specs, and then was off exploring.
OS Grid looks a lot like Second Life did in 2004. It’s raw and unpolished and buggy. I crashed frequently, and I tended to lose my hair at sim crossings. The Notes tab in Profiles wasn’t working, and I couldn’t see my body parts in the little windows in Appearance. But the experience was quite SL-like, and every one of my Second Life skills transported perfectly.
OS Grid and its brethren are still new and rough—they’re still in the alpha phase of development— but I have every expectation that in six months or a year they’ll be running smoothly and without many of the build-in limitations of Second Life. A lot of people will be migrating there from SL.
I may well be one of them.