Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chey, 2009

Written 28 March, 2009

Chey, 2009

My avatar hasn't changed much since my fourth day in Second Life, but certainly my photography techniques have improved, and certainly the content (hair, gowns) has improved, and certainly Windlight makes things look far better than the lighting we had when I first came in world.

Here are two shots from late 2008 or early 2009. The top photo was taken on the Forest Feast sim; the botton at a dance club. I'm wearing a dress by Eshi Otawara.

How nice it has been to make a half-dozen posts about just me!

Chey, 2008

Written 28 March, 2009

Chey, 2008

Here are two images from 2008.In the top photo Chey is a flapper. For a short time I had a branch store in a Roaring 20s sim, and I found the outfit there.

In the second photoI'm wearing the Castual Goth makeup for my skin. It was the first time I moved beyond conventional makeups.

Chey, 2007

Written 28 March, 2009

Chey, 2007

January, 2007
I'm wearing the skin I bought in October, 2006 (Olive Basics from The Body Politik) and my first hair, BubblePoni from Mystikal Designs). I wore the Bubbleponi exclusively through mid-2007, and I wear the skin to this day (I have bought additional makeups for it).

June, 2007
 I had made minor tweaks to the shape given to me by Pam Havercamp (I made myself a little shorter, reduced my breast size, and reduced my cheekbones a bit).. I've not changed my shape since about the time this snapshot was taken.

August, 2007.
I'm wearing my second hairdo, Rain from Gurl6. By this time I had bought additional makeups for my skin.

October, 2007
Sweetie and I had discovered Zero Style hair, and I suddenly had more than a dozen hairstyles.

Christmas, 2007
I'm wearing a stylish free Christmas hat, a necklace of my own design, and Mai hair from Zero Style. I love that hair, but it's primmy and sends my ARC through the ceiling. Sweetie's iBook won't render it. She calls it my ferret hair, since in her low-powered viewer it distorts my face.

Chey, 2006

Written 28 March, 2009

Chey, 2006

Here I Am Two Days in World. A Nice Lady Gave Me This Outfit
I Thought I Was the Perfect Avatar
Here I Am Four Days in World. The Tremendous Change Came About Because
Pam and Bill Havercamp (Real-Life Friends) Found Me,
Gave Me a Ton of Lindens, and Took Me Shopping

The Evolution of Cheyenne

Written 28 March, 2009

The Evolution of Cheyenne

Jeska Linden just posted on the Linden blog The Evolution of an Avatar, in which she provides snapshots of the ways her avatar has chanced since she came in world in 2004. She asked for responses. Mine follow.

p.s. A long time ago my friend Peter Stindberg did a similar retrospective of his looks. See here.

p.p.s. Sweetie has changed dramatically since 2006, but because of her assignment in deep cover (or so she says; I think it's more because of the watned posters), I can't show her face here.

Deceptive Sim Names

Written 28 March, 2009

Deceptive Sim Names

What is it with people who name sims with real life regional names and then proceed to make them nothing whatsoever like the real-life places?

Case in Point: South Pacific

No palm trees, no waves, no islands, just flat and boring and brown.

Case in Point: Paris IledeFrance

No Seine, no grand boulevards, no Notre Dame, No uh, island.

Case in Point: West Texas

Since when was West Texas green?

None of these sims looks anything like its namesake (although Paris DID have a prim screen of the Pyrennees and a tourist bureau).

Many other sims look very much like their namesakes.

So what's up with that?

Here's Virtual Montmarte, early in its development. Looks a bit like Paris, doesn't it?

And here's the beautiful and sim Tolkienesque sim Tol Eressea:

Those are more like it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Local Water Disappearing

This used to happen ALL THE TIME!

Now It's Time to Poke Fun

This is the sort of thing Second Life allows you to make:

This is what Second Life Republicans make. Sad, isn't it?

Those Darn Republicans

The Red Fence of Frienship (Click photo see it clearly)

Written 27 March, 2009

Those Darn Republicans

I'm not a Democrat; I don't even like them much. But I despise Republicans and everything they stand for. It's mostly because of their hypocrisy. If there's anything I can't stand it's hypocrisy, and hypocrisy seems to be the biggest plank in the Republican platform. And so I really like to make fun of Republicans. And religious leaders, for the same reason. And other bigots.

The SL Republican headquarters came up in search (I was searching for something else entirely, dinosaurs, I think), and I had to go take a look.

Not surprisingly, on arrival I was confronted with the red fence of friendship. I guess their Linden detector showed a low balance in my account.

That of course didn't stop me from snooping around with my camera. Here's the inside of their theater.

You Young Whippersnappers!

Early 2007. An Elegantly-Attired Cheyenne Reaches Her Destination
Only To Find Her Shoes and Hair Up Her Butt
Written 26 March, 2009

You Young Whippersnappers!

You youngsters have no idea what it was like back in the old days of 2005 and 2006. Why, there were no, no, what were there not? No sculpties! That’s right. No sculpties! No Black Swan, no fancy-schmancy shapes. If you couldn’t build it out of cubes and spheres, why, you just didn’t need it. And believe it or not, there were no torii.

No, not the Japanese gates, you young smartass, the other kind, the plural of torus torii.

Not only that, there was no Windlight. Everything was much more… pastel.

We had no voice. No voice. If you wanted to talk, bigod, you downloaded Skype. Not that anyone NEEDED to talk. We were all convinced voice would mean the end of Second Life.

We didn’t have the Havok4 physics engine, either. If you couldn’t build whatever you were building within the 30-meter link limit and below 768 meters, you just didn’t build it.

Nor did we have Mono. We made do with the 64 k script memory limitation , and we made amazing scripts like, like, uh, oh, yeah, those circling birds and fish you used to see everywhere. And smoke. We made lots of smoke, too.

We had no fancy Class V servers back them. Everything ran on Class II and Class III relics. It took five minutes to rez a prim sometimes! And there was only one asset server, and it was based on an eight-bit Commodore 64.

We didn’t even have flexible prims. There were no fancy waving flags, no wavy skirts. Hairdos were like concrete sculptures that sat on your head. Why does hair need to move, anyway? And you know the amount of our weekly stipend? $500L, that’s what!

And what else? Oh, we couldn’t make conference IMs. We couldn’t double-click landmarks to teleport. We couldn’t put HTML on a prim. We didn’t have Homestead or OpenSpace sims. We had no SLURLs. We had no llRegionSay to let our scripts talk to an entire region. We didn’t have a half-dozen Linden blogs, just one. And we didn’t have M. Linden, just good old spiky-haired Phil.

The things we did have didn’t work all that well, either. Local water was always disappearing. Imagine jumping to your home and the river is dry and all your fish are swimming around in mid-air! And you’ve not lived until you’ve teleported to a party and arrived bald-headed with your hair stuck up your bum! And the dreaded black bands of death ran rampant. Ask your grandparents about them.

We had a lot of things you youngsters will never see. Banks, for instance. We had banks! They paid 100,000 percent interest, too, until the Lindens shut them down. And we had gambling! Gambling everywhere, with and without whores. Sorry. Prostitutes. Sorry. Sex workers. We just called them whores back then. There was no age verification. Those of us who were from Europe didn’t have to pay the horrible Value Added Tax. Age-playing sex kids were everywhere. Everywhere! And Copybots! Copybots!

You know when it all began to go downhill? The first time the concurrency rate passed 10,000, that’s when! Before that we all knew everyone, pretty much, because we were always tripping over one another because there were only a few dozen sims. After that—pah!

We had a Friends button on the user interface. Now we just have “contacts.” That’s so shallow twenty-first century! And you know what we didn’t have? Clackety shoes that’s what!

I would give up all this new stuff if I could just go back to a Second Life without clackety shoes!

You young kids! You don’t know how fortunate you are!

p.s. Oh-- and we had only about six sizes of huge prims! Imagine that!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming of Age in Second Life

Written 4 February, 2009

Coming of Age in Second Life

When I came to Second Life I didn’t quite know what to expect or what to do besides chase after freebies. I had a hard time walking and flying, and I made more social gaffes than I care to think about.

Today, two and a half years later, I know the world and have become experienced with its tools. I live in a beautiful place, surrounded by beautiful things. I have a wonderful partner and terrific friends. I have a store and sell enough things to provide me with spending money.

Like most people who have come to Second Life and stayed, I have come of age.

People come of age here in many ways. Some of us become sim owners, some entrepreneurs, some artists, some socialites, some celebrities, We become established as builders, or as courtesans, or as roleplayers, or as scripters, or as writers, or as explorers.

It takes a while for some of us to come of age. My friend Bonneville was in world for a year before he rezzed a prim; now he’s building like mad. My friend Greg began taking photographs after he had been in world for a year; now he’s a celebrated virtual photographer. My friend Stargazer began by making and selling jewelry; now, two plus years into her second life, she’s running a virtual university.

Coming of age, however, isn’t necessarily a function of time in world. My friend Bramblelberry was building before he was a week in world and had a store open in his first month. My friend AngelMarie came into world knowing she wanted to be an exotic dancer; she was dancing within a week. Within a month she was managing a strip club and living in a mansion with a Second Life partner. Both Bram and Angel knew what they wanted from Second Life before they ever logged in, and quickly found stable and fulfilling virtual existences.

When I speak of coming of age, I don’t mean fulfilling a preset goal, or mastering the in-world business tools, or getting into a relationship (although those can be a part of it). We come of age by finding, whether by plan or happenstance, our true second selves and achieving a harmony and stability of existence here on the grid. This stability manifests in many ways: through our creations and good works, through our relationships, through our networks of friends and acquaintances, through learning the customs and mores of Second Life, through learning and becoming comfortable with the user interface, and perhaps by striking a balance between our time in world and our first lives. We become known to others, and we come to know ourselves. We become adults in Second Life. We become comfortable in our second skins. We come of age.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thanks, Marnix!

Witten 26 March, 2009

Thanks, Marnix!

Thanks once again to Marnix Malifozik, who did a great write-up of the robot sanitorium on his blog.
Mooching with Marnix is a great read! Check it out!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Subtle Effects of Local Lights

Written 22 March, 2009

The Subtle Effects of Local Lights

Mr. Tiki at Night, Whimsy Sim
Top of Giant Tiki Man. Notice the Warm Orange-Yellow Glow from the Torches
I Moved the Torches 20 Meters into the Air and Their Glow Can No Longer Be Seen.
But What's That Red Glow? It's Light from Mr. Tiki's Eyes.
Local Lights Shine Right Through the Granite Top of Mr. Tiki's Head

All Local Lights are Off Now

Local Lights on Whimsy

Written 22 March, 2009

Local Lights on Whimsy

Here are some photos of local lights on Whimsy.

Facelight Tutorial

Facelight Tutorial

Solo Mornington was kind enought to leave this URL in a post. It's a great tutorial by Quite Oh.

Chey's Facelight

Mystitool Facelight Off
Mystitool Facelight, Intensity 0.5, Radius 1 meter, Falloff 0.5
Mystitool Facelight, Intensity 1.0, Radius 1 meter, Falloff 0.05
Written 22 March, 2009

Chey's Facelight

The wonderful Mystitool has a built-in facelight. I use it sometimes.

The three photos show me with the light off, with intensity set to 0.5, and with intensity set to 1.0. I keep the radius small, so it will highlight my face and not everything for miles around.

Facelight Foolishness

It's not pretty when a facelight gets out of control!

Written 22 March, 2009

Facelight Foolishness

In Second Life, only eight local lights can be seen at one time (if you have local lights enabled and your graphics card is up to it). The sun and moon count for two, so really only six local lights can be viewed at one time.

Light-emitting prims, properly placed and configured, can make subtle and beautiful effects on avatars and on the land. We use them on Whimsy to highlight features and add ambiance to natural areas.

A subtle facelight can highlight an avatar at night, casting light to attractively highly an avatar's face. It counts as one light source, but sometimes that's a suitable tradeoff.

But what happens when four avatars are standing around, each with a facelight? Or eight? or twelve?

Well, the video card renders the lights sources that are closest, so the light prims in the environment will probably not be visible-- nor the sun and moon. And only the eight avatars closest to you will have visible light on their face.

Considering how few light sources we can see, why in the world would a seller put four or five light prims in their face lights or hairdos?

And here's an even better question-- why do so many sellers make their facelights so bright they wash out everything within a 10-meter radius (including the face of the avatar they're supposed to highlight)?

Above is an example of an out of control facelight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chey Pronounces the Robot Sanitorium Finished!

Written 16 March, 2009

Chey Pronounces the Robot Sanitorium Finished!

Lately I’ve been gaining on Sweetie. I’ve rebuilt everything she’s torn out and finished a half dozen little projects of my own. In my spare time I prepared a guidebook with a number of subcards. I made a tipbot and an infobot and got the staff development (renamed Bioform Resources) area in shape. I smarted up some of the scripts and—you know what?

I’m declaring the robot sanitorium complete and ready for business!

Teleport to Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanitorium

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Brooklyn Is Watching!

What's up with this milk-squirting line of breasts?

Written 7 March, 2009

Brooklyn Is Watching!

The Linden blogs talk about an article in New York Times Magazine in which Sara Corbett talks about the art scene in Second Life. Nice piece.

The article talks about a place in Second Life called Brooklyn Is Watching, in which avatars can leave their artwork to be criticized by patrons of the real life Jack the Pelican Presents, members of the Brooklyn art establishment who gather every Thursday evening to view and critique the builds that are left.

I figured what the heck, and went to Brooklyn is Watching and left a copy of my Kaboom bird and apparatus.

View from Admissions Office at the Robot Sanitorium

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Production Line

Written 1 March, 2009

Production Line

I just completed a tricky build, and I'm wanting to pat myself on the back-- and what better place to do it than this blog?

I took it upon myelf, you see, to build a production line in the robot sanitorium. That meant, of course, conveyor belts, pulley systems, observation rooms, and copterbots. Copterbots!

Building a conveyor wasn't easy, but it was straightforward. I made the belts and rollers and an appratus to support them. Then I added an on/off button and indicator light and put scripts in the rollers and belts to animate their textures when the switch was turned on. Then I duplicated the first conveyor (minus the switch) and set it so it descended to one end of the first belt.

I then made a prim cube (the production line, I decided, would carry prototype robots [cubes]) and, using non-physical movement, set it to riding down the conveyor belt. With some adjusting, I got the speed right so it would stay stationary with respect to the moving belt.

When the cube reached the end of the first belt I scripted it to drop to the first and then ride in the other direction along the bottom conveyor. At the end, I scripted it to drop into a tray.

It took a lot of tweaking to get the drops just right, but at the end of it all I had a cube that would drop onto the top conveyor from a pipe and travel all the way to a cube at the end of a conveyor system, then, after 30 seconds, return to its start position.

Next, I made a little copter and scripted it to travel to the spot where the cube had come to rest, pick it up, carry it to a chute, and drop it (with a great clunking sound) into a chute.

I don't think it's possible (or at least it's not easy) to script an object to attach a prim to itself, so in actually I put a cube on the copter and scripted it to become visible with the conveyor-cube was picked up and to disappear when the cube was dropped into the chute.

All of this was intricate and complex, but reasonably straightforward. But then came the tricky part. I had to make a row of cubes travel down the conveyor and cooperate with the copter.

I took a copy of the conveyor cube into memory and added a die script to the original so at the end of its journey it would call the copter bot, wait a few seconds, then kill itself. I took it into memory and placed it in a prim with a script that would rez the cube upon voice command.

Then came the tricky part-- making the rezzed cube face in exactly the right direction so it wouldn't march off into space.

Second Life uses a complex system of rotation based, for some reason I can't comprehend, on quaternions, of which I had never heard. Apparently they're based on radians, a unit of measure I learned about in geometry but always considered archaic. Just to make things difficult, LSL adds a fourth vector.which I absolutely can't figure out.

I finally figured out that a quaterion is (I think) 90 degrees-- but putting PI/4 didn't change the orientation by 90 degrees. PI/3 did-- but not exactly. The cube would move in pretty much the proper direction down the conveyor, but would eventually drift off the belt.

For no particular reason I changed PI/3 to PI/2.9. The cube moved off track a little faster. PI/3.1, however, kept the cube on belt, at least close enough to center for government work.

I've no idea why that worked.

I timed the transit of the copter bot-- about seventeen seconds-- and set the rezzer to rez (but only when the conveyor was on) a cube every twenty-two seconds.

Then I pressed the on button and hoped for the best.

And it worked!

When the system is turned on, it takes a few minutes for the first cube to travel to the copterbot, but after that the copter is kept busy moving cubes to the chute. The progress of the cubes is inexorable.

I keep expecting the copterbot to get behind, like Lucy on the pie assembly line, but it never does. It never breaks down, just fetches and carries the cubes.

Damn, I'm good!

And lest I forget, modest!

Above all, modest!

See the conveyor system at the Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanitorium.