Saturday, July 31, 2010

Versailles Revisited




Written 1 July, 2010

Versailles Revisited

When I was young, I was lucky enough to live in France.

As my dad was in the army, we didn't have much money, but we did get about. We made two major tours of Europe and many weekend jaunts around the Loire Valley and to Paris.

I believe this photo was taken at Versailles. The windows certainly look correct.

Sweetie and I have visited Versailles in Second life several times. On Friday night, having had an unsatisfactory experience at a sim I'd been asked to review, Sweetie jumped to Versailles to regain assuage her sensibilities.

There are two sims now, and the second one is a'building. It's quite a place.

I cranked up my draw distance and took these photos from the landing point.





Friday, July 30, 2010

Wrestling With Scripts


Chey, Busy Scripting

Written 30 July, 2010

Wrestling With Scripts

I've been holed up for the past few weeks on a secret project that has involved a LOT of scripting. As usual, I'm in uncharted territory, working out of my depth, trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing.

Rotations give me conniptions, of course, but apparently they give EVERYBODY headaches.

Soo, here's what I've learned in a couple of weeks:

How to do linked messages. Linked messages are a way for scripts to communicate with one another in a linked set of prims. They're more efficient than listens. I knew how before, but I wasn't quite sure about the different ways the commands could be structured. Now I know I can have a script send a message to the prim it's in, to the root prim, to all child prims, or to all prims in the set.

How to calculate altitude. I made a working digital altimeter, good to +/- 9999 meters. I decided not to go with the fifth digit, because who will be going so high, or so low?

I'm working on an analog altimeter now. I just spent HOURS in GIMP and Quark XPress making an altimeter face, and it looks pretty good. Because rotations make me want to tear my hair out, I'm cannibalizing a free clock script that turns the minute and hour hands by linkmessage. I took out the clockworks, leaving in the function that turns the hand, and am working on telling it how far to turn the hands. I was experimenting earlier, and nothing was working. Then I realized that a clock face has twelve positions-- an altimeter has just ten. So probably some of my machinations worked; they just didn't look right on the clock face. Now I have the proper face up and am looking for the correct rotations by trial and error.

I learned how to set permissions on a vehicle-- the hard way. I learned how to use scripts to reset other scripts or set them to running or not running. I learned how to monitor sim crossings. I learned how to determine when one or more avatars are sitting on a linkset. I put into application changes in prim size with llSetPrimitiveParams(). I learned how to divide the face of a single prim into dozens of clickable buttons. And I learned how to teleport a vehicle along with a sitting avatar with warpPos.

My head is spinning, but I now have a craft that is almost ready for its debut.


Chey Pitches a Fit at Code That Won't Compile

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

High Above Whimcentricity


Close Encounter With the Sea Monster

Written 27 July, 2010

High Above Whimcentricity

Whenever I fly, I ask for a window seat. I like to watch when the plane takes off and lands, when it's not too high to make out people and houses and cars.

How easy it is in Second Life to get that same sort of view! One can get great views while flying...


... but all one really needs to do is rotate the camera up with draw distance set reasonably high and camera constraints disabled.

Here's an old photo of Sweetie and I taken from a rare vantage point: directly overhead.


Post-Rescuscitation Babbling

Written 27 July, 2010

Post-Rescuscitation Babbling

When Sweetie came to, she was a bit out of her mind. That's the only way I can explain the following conversation:

Sweetie: Good grief, we slid in those tubes like on ice!

Chey: Very low friction in the water.

Sweetie: You could make these human.... uh that ice game you like... curling. Human curling stones. Bash each other. Shoot for the target. Knock each other off the board. Water curling of death!

Sweetie: Oooh, I wonder if you could script something so if it hits a sim border it bounces back. Like if you hit 256 on any coordinate you bounce back. Then you could make innertube handball. We could have obstacle courses. Innertube slalom. Though that is boooorrring compared to intertube curling!

Chey: Innertube bowling. Or innertube buoyling.

Sweetie: Ooooohhhh! A natural fit! Innertube croquet. Knock your partner through the hoop. in teams of two. It's all the rage. Make them steam-powered innertubes. Caledon goes mad at the beach!

Chey: Giant innertube racing, Damn the snails!

She snapped out of it when I showed her the photo of her in the water and asked her if it was okay to publish it.

Sweetie: Since it hides my face, you may use it to publicize my untimely demise. It will free me up for some serious shopping therapy before I emerge again to fight crime. Even spies need a vacation. Especially celebrity fashionista spies!

Shipwrecked!


Written 27 July, 2010

Shipwrecked!

I warned Sweetie about that windsetter!

No longer content with the vagaries of the Second Life wind, Sweetie relies heavily upon the use of a windsetter when sailing her Flying Tako.

Last night she wanted to take a quick spin.

Ha! Quick spin!

Well, at least she didn't beach us like last time.


The problem with Sweetie's use of the windsetter is she doesn't believe in single digits. She sets the speed to 20 or 30 knots and we literally fly over the waters.


Eventually, there was bound to be disaster.


So there we were, far beyond the sim boundaries, with Sweetie's Tako sinking fast.

I pulled out the first reasonable thing I found, which was my adaption of a freebie inner tube by Ben Linden.

So there we were, marooned.

Sweetie peered into the horizon, hoping to spot a passing ship. No luck.


I cammed back, hoping to spot land, but saw only empty ocean. But when I set my draw distance to 512 meters, there was the eastern edge of Whimsy Kaboom! (If you click on the photo to zoom it, you should be able to spot us midpicture, just to the right of the second wave from the bottom).


It was just in time, too, for Sweetie had been drinking seawater, with predictable results.


Fortunately the tube had a motor system, and I was able bump Sweetie and her tube back to Kaboom, where, after changing clothes, I applied artificial respiration.


Monday, July 26, 2010

More Regions Per Sever in Second Life


Written 26 July, 2010

More Regions Per Server in Second Life

This mornig I came across this post by Ferd Frederix pointing out that a survey of Linden Lab's servers shows a decided increase in the number of regions per server-- double, in fact, from four regions/server to eight in almost 10% of the servers.

The eight region servers are almost certainly on the Lab's new, higher power machines, but still-- isn't it about time for the Lindens to acknowledge the increase power of computers over the past what-- six years-- and give us a little more processing ability, at least for full regions. There's no question mark on that sentence because it really isn't a question. It's a declaration. Yes, it's about damn time for an upgrade!

It's past past time for a significant increase in prim limits and the server power to render them.

And huh, shouldn't the Lindens also reflect the decreased price and increased performance of servers by significantly cutting our tier-- by a third, at least. That one isn't a question, either. Yes, they damn well should!

A Visit to InWorldz


Written 26 July, 2010

A Visit to InWorldz

Sweetie and I are forever checking out other grids. Today she selected the OS Grid (i.e. Second Life like) InWorldz, and we created accounts with our same avatar names and logged in.

We were, of course, absolute Ruthed newbies when we arrived. In fact, to be Ruth, we had to wear bald bases in order to stop being Caspered. When I could see myself, I didn't even have eyeballs!

Photo: The reader might assume the unfortunate eyeballless avatar is InWorldz newbie Cheyenne Palisades. But no! that's Chey, in world only 30 minutes or so and already pimped, behind her, looking toward the camera.




There was fortunately a freebie store within sight. We took ourselves there to rid ourselves our noobishness.

If looked like any freebie depot in Second Life, loaded with textures that take their time rezzing and stuff that blings.


However, I was more than happy with the variety and quality of the goods-- not world class, but good enough to make me look halfway decent halfway fast. Within 30 minutes I was working an AO, had installed an avatar radar, and had made myself a facelight. I had a skin that looked not dissimilar to mine in Second Life, jewelry from EarthStones, and shoes with bling. I tried to create a deblinger script (it's quite easy to do in Second Life, just one line will do it), but scripts seemed a bit wonky. I'm sure they have their own scripting languages.

There were some of the sorts of problems I remember from earlier days in Second Life. My legs would shoot out from under me with some regularity, and when I resized my freebie hair, it would snap back to its original size, which was far too small to fit my elongated head (yes, I typed in my shape stats, which are saved on my hard drive. Later, I put on Sweetie's shape in Second Life and read the numbers to her in Skype so she could reclaim her shape in InWorldz.

And how did she look?

Fabulous, of course. How could she not?

I'm about to reveal to you, gentle reader, Sweetie's face. Until now it has not been shown on this blog. However since this is a different grid and her shape, skin, and hair are merely placeholders while she gets her InWorldz look together, here she is in all her glory:


I have NO IDEA whose newbie feet are hanging in front of my camera, spoiling the shot!!!

Here's a closeup:


And one of me, looking a bit rough in my freebie skin and won't resize hair, but not bad for a 30-minute old avatar!


By the time we logged off we had a fistful of landmarks, the start of a wardrobe, and tools enough to get by.

I have to say, this is my first out-of-Second-Life experience that made me think I could live someplace else.

It's not that I really want to-- a sim for only $65 USD a month, with no set up cost and 35,000 prims is sorely tempting! InWorldz does not yet measure up to Second Life standards, but it's nice to know that if it ever comes down to it, if some idiotic company acquires Linden Lab so they can grab its servers or the Lab's practices once again become draconian, I can jump to a place very much like Second Life. In many ways it would be like a time warp back to 2007, but it would be survivable. I now have a choice. Until now, I feel, I didn't.

The mentors at the entry area at InWorldz seemed really fond of saying "This isn't Second Life." But you know what? It very nearly is.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A House Not Written About

Written 25 July, 2010

A House Not Written About

Early last week an avatar named bigdoggt32 Mubble asked me if I would do a post about a house he was building.

I said sure I would.

I wasn't sure what kind of house someone named bigdoggt32 would have-- I pictured a purple pleasure palace with lots of bling. I turned out to be a California-style house with some pretty harsh baked textures.

I have been struggling to say something nice about the house, but now I won't have to. I just saw it reviewed here in New World Notes.

I guess Mr. Mubble doesn't understand bloggers don't appreciate having their stories simultaneously given to other people. It's rude. He was rude.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tweaking Callie


Callie the Sea Monster, in Dry Dock While Being Retexturized

Written 24 July, 2010


Tweaking Callie

For the past year Virrrginia Tombola's wonderful sea monster Callie has been faithfully patrolling the environs of Whimcentricity, following a route laid out for her in a notecard.

Callie is ferocioius, but her skin texture was a bit rudimentary and her color was godawful green. Sweetie and I always talk about retexturing her, but have never gotten around to it.

This morning Sweetie and I were working on scripts that rotate prims. I tell you, rotations in Second Life make me want to tear my hour out. Well, not really, but when do get to a point where I need to go take a nap. I work out a lot of problems while sleeping.

Anyway, since Sweetie had called me all bubbly this morning and waken me at the ungodly hour of 10:30 am our time, thinking about rotations fried my brain and I asked that we stop.

I did think I could work on texturing our sea monster, though, so I pulled a copy out. I found a nice skin for her in one of my organizers, Sweetie applied subtle color, and now, as you can see, Callie has a new look.

Above is Callie's after photo. In the photo below, you can see how she used to look.




Side-by-Side Callies

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Cretaceous Lives On at Whimcentricity


Written 23 July, 2010

The Cretaceous Lives On at Whimcentricity

I was on Whimcentricity a while ago just as the big geyser was scheduled to blow. I landed, set midnight, and was watching. I just happened to catch this shot as a pteradon flew across the particle stream.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Did You Know? No. 1


Written 20 July, 2010

Did You Know?

No. 1

Welcome to the first Did You Know?

This feature will tell you something about the Second Life interface or the grid in general that you may or may not know.

Today, server version and the statistics window.

-----

A couple of weeks ago Linden Lab rolled out server 1.40. The grid has been running on 1.38.

1.40 introduced Havok7, a new physics engine. Havok7 replaces Havok4, which replaced an even earlier version of Havok two years ago.

Physics engines enable moving vehicles, animated animals (except the simple circling ones), and things like bullets and rolling rocks. Physics also allows avatars to move.

Physics put a large load on the server, and too many physical objects can kill performance. For this reason it's best to switch physical objects off when they're not in use. So a new physics engine makes for better sim performance and hence a better Second Life experience.

In the five minutes server 1.4 was operational earlier in the month, I noticed a significant performance improvement on both Whimsy and Whimsy Kaboom. Kaboom has a large load due to the many scripts at the robot sanitorium, and has been experiencing a bit of time dilation (not enough to make for a bad experience, but enough to worry me).

Well, with 1.40, which was rolled on about 9 AM Linden time today, Kaboom's time dilation is almost gone. The simulator is running a solid 44 frames per second.

And so now for the Did You Know?

Did you know you can determine the server version of any sim you're on? Simply drop down the Help menu at the top of the screen and choose About Second Life. You'll see not only the server version, but information about your viewer, your computer (operating system, processor, RAM, and, especially useful for Second Life, video card).

If the server version is 1.4, your sim is running Havok7. If it's V. 1.38, you're still on Havok4. Sims are rolling on today and the upgrade should be finished by tomorrow. If the Lindens don't roll back, we should be permanently on Havok7.

Here's a bonus:

Did you know SHIFT-CTRL-1 (CMD on the Mac) will open your statistics window? Here you can determine:

The statistics window provides performance data for the simulator-- your Second Life region. You can spot simulator lag, but viewer-side lag (caused primarily by particles, textures, and your video card's ability to fender millions of complex polygons), is far more often the culprit in the gender "lag" everyone talks about.

Frame Rate: (how many times Second Life updates per second; higher is better, as you can turn, walk, and fly more smoothly).

Internet Connectivity: A low Ping Time means fast response to your key presses and mouse movements; Packet Loss tells you the percentage of data lost in transmission. Bandwidth tells you how fast data are coming in and going out.

Simulator Performance: Time Dilation is how much molasses effect is going on; in other words, how much time is slowed by load on the sever. In other other words, how much lag you'll experience. SIM FPS is another measure of how much load is on the processor. 45 is optimal, 44 acceptable. Physics FPS is a measure of the amount of physics load on the simulator. 45 is optimal.

Avatar Data: Main Agents tell you how many avatars on on the sim. I have no idea what Child Agents measures. Oh, wait! The Wiki tells me it's the number of avies outside the sim who can see into it.

Objects and Scripts: How many objects are on the sim, how many scripts, and other script data I don't begin to comprehend.

Time: Tells in milliseconds how much processor time is used on objects, avatars, scripts, images, and physics. Total Frame Time should be less than 22.3 ms.

Modifying the AO


Written 20 July, 2010

Modifying the AO

I have a pogo stick a stunt bike, a little Hopa ball I like to bounce around on, and of course my horse that won't work unless I turn off my AO and detach my supplementary sexy walk.

That supplementary walk is necessary, for who wants to do the newbie waddle every time they turn off their animation overrider? Linden Lab would do us all a favor if they would give us a reasonable default walk. Of course, then how could we identify the noobs?

Speaking of noobs, here's an interchange from me and Sweetie. It occurred while we were in a store in Caledon and I chanced upon an AFK zero-day-old avatar.

-----

Chey: Look, hon. Someone has abandoned a perfectly good newbie!

Chey: Can I keep him?

Sweetie: Sad when that happens...

Sweetie: He's practically in mint condition,

Sweetie: If he were only still in the box we could sell him for a fortune ;)

Chey: He would be a collector's item!

Sweetie: We could turn him over and see if his foot still has the bar code on it.

Chey: I guess we should pin a note to him for whoever finds him.

Chey: Lost and without a home. Please adopt me.

Chey: Maybe best we leave him for the authorities.

Sweetie: Welcome to SL, Mikey :) Don't mind our fun role playing with you. In fact, I have to say you did a fabulous job :)

-----

But back to the AO.

Somewhere I found a free hugger (one full perm hug anim and two full perm scripts) and a sexy walk (one full perm script and one full perm animation. I dropped them in my AO and had a handy hugger and a handy supplementary sexy walk while freeing up two attachment points. But when I turned my AO off the supplementary walk peristed, messing up my horse and other wearable vehicles.

So yesterday I pulled my AO to the ground and added a third prim to it. I shaped and rotated it and applied to its face a texture I made in the free photo manipulation program GIMP (a W in a suitable font). I dropped the hugger script and anim in it and also the sexy walk and its script.

Then I opened the walk script. It was a bit complicated, so I made a new script that, upon touch of the prim, turned the walk script on and off, disabling and reenabling the supplementary walk. I added lines to make it change colors (green on, gray off; I found the exact colors in the AO script.

So now I had a third button on my AO that turned my supplentary walk on and off.

I keep the supplementary walk on so I won't waddle when I turn off the AO, but when I want to wear a vehicle I need only click the walk button to disable it.

I was congratulating myself all over the place until I relogged and found the HUD prims out of alignment.

Grrrr! I hate when that happens.

I realized the script in the AO positioned the prims based on their size, and the reason for the alignment problem was I had halved the sizes of the buttons (I made them partially transparent in the process). I poked around the AO and changed the offset for the prim that was in the wrong location, experimenting until I found the correct axis and then concentrating on getting the offset just right. I moved the prim completely off my screen a couple of times, but finally got it right.

And now I'm congratulating myself all over the place again.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My AO


Chey Loves Her Sits

Written 19 July, 2010

My AO

Animation overriders are highly personal, especially when you pack them with custom poses.

I got by for more than a year with a purchased AO. I tell you, it was hard to find one that didn't make me simper, preen, flirt, act haughty or childish, or in general make me look like a tramp-- which is just what most AOs do. Sorry to have to say it, but most female AOs are entirely I'm a Whore and most male AOs are entirely I'm an Ass.

Which is fine, I suppose, if you're a whore or an ass, but I'm certainly not the former and hopefully not the latter. I wanted a reasonable AO and it was hard to find.

After a year I was weary of the limited moves in my AO and competent enough to stuff my own overrider.

I found a free, full-perm ZHAO-II (the script, written by Ziggy Puff and given to the public domain; people aren't allowed to lock it up, but most AO makers do just that. But I digress.)

I spent some time finding poses for the various animations: walking, sitting, flying up, down, and sideways; swimiming, prejumping, jumping, landing, landing hard, flying up, flying down, falling, and of course, standing.

I pulled my ZHAO II to the ground, opened the script, and dragged a variety of poses to the object. Then I spent a good while assigning animations to each action (and multiple poses to stands, sits, and ground sits), in a notecard, and then testing them.

It required a bit of debugging, as spelling had to be exactly right, but eventually I was able to cycle through all movements without getting a script error message.

Woo hoo!

But when I added even more sits and stands, the script broke: out of memory.

So I saved with mono. That gave me memory enough for dozens and dozens of animation-- not that I need all that many. I just wanted enough sits and stands to animate my avatar as naturally as possible.

I could have made additional notecards for different purposes-- mermaid, wearing tight skirts, for business or romantic settings, but I stopped.

Why is my AO noncopyable? Glad you asked. Some of the anims it contains are no copy, and transfers to the object. So when it's lost, it's gone. That's why I was in a frazzle.

A Trip to the Dreaded Blue Zone


Shock! Horror! Naked Noob in the Blue Zone

Written 19 July, 2010


A Trip to the Dreaded Blue Zone

I hate the blue zone.

Sometimes I wind up high in the air...


Take a look at my location coordinates:


I seem to be only 10 meters above sea level, but 174 meters off Whimsy Kaboom to the east.

Blue-zoning happens sometimes when I sit...


... and simetimes when I cross a sim line in a vehicle...


.. and sometimes just for the hell of it.


The blue zone is a sort of junk yard. I'm always finding stuff, as in this incident long ago at Home Expo.


And now my AO was in the blue zone!

I put on my Whimsy hard hat and made my way to the southeast corner of Kaboom.


Sure enough, there was my AO!!!

I tell you, sometimes three exclamation marks just aren't enough!

I was totally unable to grab it, but using secret techniques I swore to Sweetie I would never reveal, I managed to snag it!

Woo hoo!

Chey Hunts for Her AO


Written 19 July, 2010

Chey Hunts For Her AO

Sooo, I was changing clothes for horse riding and I detached-- I thought-- my animation overrider so it wouldn't interfere with the horse's movement. And it all went wonky.

My AO, of course, can be turned on and off, but I keep a sexy walk script stuffed in it so I won't do the newbie waddle when I turn the AO off. But the walk interferes with the horse.

I fixed that, but for now-- missing no copy AO!

So, SL seemed laggy. I was attaching prims for boots and hats and hair and coat tails, and they weren't attaching.

When Sweetie and I got to Caledon and it became apparent we would be walking, I went to my inventory to reattach my AO. And it wasn't there.

Oh, it probably just got dropped in some random folder. I searched for it, no dice.

Uh-oh. I was starting to get worried.

In the past I've found random things in prims on my land or in prims I'm wearing. So I looked in the root prims of my hair, hat, boots, coat tails, jewelry-- no AO.

I searched my landing point in Caledon-- no AO.

I looked in my inventory at the perms of my previous outfit. None were no copy, which meant they couldn't be housing my AO, which would have changed their perms.

When I got home I looked in every object about. No AO.

Okay, time for the big guns.

I pulled out Thomas Conover's Advanced Object Scanner HUD. It costs $L400 and is damn well worth it.

I first searched a 96 meter radius centered at the place I was dressing. No result.

Then I searched the entire sim. It takes about five minutes, as it works all the way up to 4096, but I wanted that AO. There it was!

I touched the option to rez a laser finder and sat on it so it would transport me to the HUD. Except it didn't. Instead, the HUD said "Object No Longer In Sim." This is what is says when I try to find an object in the results list which I've already deleted or taken But I hadn't deleted or taken the AO, so WTF??

I did a second search, and the HUD again showed in the results list. And sitting on the laser finder again resulted in an object no longer in sim message.

So then I looked at the location of the HUD in the results list.

<0,>

Uh-oh. I knew I was going to have to take a trip to the blue zone.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Second Life Frustrates


Written 18 July, 2010

Second Life Frustrates

Sweetie and I took time off from our secret project today to play.

We planned to go riding in Caledon, so I put on my best equestrian gear and proceed to detach my animation overrider, since it contains a separate sexy walk script.

Just as I was preparing, Second Life got stupid. Prims from inventory wouldn't attach and textures wouldn't rez.

When we arrived in Caledon, Sweetie wanted to walk, so I detached my faithful CheyAppaloosa and attached my AO hud.

No it didn't! And why, you may ask? Because it wasn'st there!

I did a select surround of my landing spot in Caledon to make sure the AO wasn't there. It wasn't. Then, as Sweetie and I explored, I looked systematically in the contents of the root prims of every object I was wearing-- my hair, may hat, my earrings, my jodphurs, my boots, my Mystitool, my AutoEmoter and HUD compass. No AO.

I eventually put the matter aside and Sweetie and I explored Sextan Shepherd's store.

Then, after a short break, we went to Ballet Pixelle to see their new show, Avataria.

I turned off my facelight and put my Mystitool in sleep mode, set my draw distance to 30 meters, and prepared to see the show.

The show went on as scheduled, but I didn't see it. Nor did I hear it.

There were only about 30 avatars present, and the sim seemed to be moving along at a reasonable clip, but I absolutely wasn't able to function. The dancers were ghosted, the music played once a minute or so for five seconds, and the video (backgrounds were done via video) froze me up. I couldn't open my inventory window or an IM window without having to take a break.

So, I left after the second act with absolutely no idea what the show was about. It's a shame, for clearly a lot of people went to a lot of trouble. I'm only now starting to get an idea about the nature of the show by reading the program, which refused to rez in situ.

I'm not sure if anybody was able to actually see the show. Sweetie couldn't, and our friend Serenek couldn't. What a waste of talent!

When we got home Sweetie put out some sculpted grasses she had bought on our rounds. I was unable to see it adequately (maybe because it was set to 90% alpha! She went to bed early in frustration.

After our return home, I pulled out my handy prim finder (Conover's) and searched the entire sim for my AO. No results, but that was because I had forgotten the name. A second search found it, but when I sat on the locator to get a ride to it, Conover's gadget decided the AO wasn't in the sim.

WTF?

StickyMouse!



Written 18 July, 2010

StickyMouse!


Until recently I relied on my first optical mouse, a handsome early Logitech model that lit up when I moved it.

Finally, after many tens or hundreds of thousands of mouse clicks, the left button became erratic. The switch just wore out. As there was no easy way to get to it, and since mice are cheap, I retired it and bought a new cordless Logitch optical mouse.

It's been great, but recently it began to malfunction in the same way as the original. Double left clicks wouldn't open files, and when I selected text it would deselect as if I had let up on the button.

I went so far as to find a replacement at Fry's as was on the verge of ordering, but waited. And I'm glad I did.

I pulled the mouse's dongle from my USB hub and plugged in the cordless mouse from my laptop. And guess what!? I was still getting stickymouse syndrome!

Or maybe unstickymouse syndrome, since the left switch wasn't reading reliably.

And then-- finally-- I realized the problem was limited to Second Life. It didn't happen with any other program.

So, it's a problem with Second Life, and I find myself wondering whether there was actually a problem with my original mouse.

Do you have stickmouse? If so, keep your mouse and dump Second Life!

Sequestered

Written 18 July, 2010

Sequestered

If I've not posted in this blog lately, it's not because I lack interest. I have plenty of interest. The thing is, I've been at work in a secret project and Sweetie doesn't want me to prematurely release details since the enemies of all that is right and good might use the information to the disadvantage of avatars everywhere.

I'll just say I've been building and scripting, and that it involves a vehicle that doesn't use physics.

More later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

15,000,000 Meters


Photo: Note the altitude on this landmark! Sim info is unavailable because Forsaken, which belonged to Ahsche Chung, is no more.


Written 10 July, 2010

15,000,000 Meters

Long ago, in 2006, when we were both new to Second Life and just getting to know one another, Sweetie and I embarked upon an epic adventure.

We determined to fly as high as we could.

Back in those days the ceiling for building was around 750 meters, and no one-- or hardly anyone-- ever went above that altitude. But we knew it was possible, for there were orbiters, and some of them would throw avatars millions of meters into the air.

By way of preparation, we took turns orbiting one another with our Mystitools (oh, for the days of the original Havok!). Then one day we were ready.

We turned our Mysittools on the faster than fast Plaid speed and donned other flight enhancement gadgets-- a then-rival of the Mysti had something called god speed, and ram horns made by our then friend, Aardvaark almost spelled backwards. He got close, with a name something like Kraavkara, but he rather missed his goal. Anyway, he had given me two pairs of ram horns with a flight enhancer. I gave my spare to Sweetie. She, of course, immediately retextured them, making them pretty. I just stuck my ugly horns on my head and turned them on.

We took off above Mordecai Skaggs' land in Caledon, flying high, pacing his humongous chain, which led upwards to nowwhere; then, when we got to 750 meters, we put the hammer down.



The Mystitool then had a push mode which would rapidly shoot you up several tens of thousands of meters. By using that and every other tool we had, we eventually passed one million meters.

We hadn't given any thought to what we should wear for a record-breaking (we hoped!) flight. I was wearing an Italian outfit with a short skirt and Sweetie was wearing a beautifully textured dress made by Angel Stormwind.


Photo: Sweetie flying in god mode. Her Mysitool fly particles couldn't keep up!

As we flew, Sweetie outpaced me, and I kept looking up at her. I realized her skirts were closed at the bottom. It seems Angel had made the dress before the introduction of flexible prims!


Photo: Sweetie looked like a big beautiful Christmas bell! (It was 12/28/06)

We ascended, expecting at any moment to bump into an absolute height limit. But we didn't. 50,000 meters! 100,000! 250,000!

When we reached great heights-- I seem to remember it starting to happen between 750,000 and 1,000,000 meters-- our avatars started to come apart.



Photo: This is me on a later flight, in 2008. Note how weird the horizon looks!

We looked progressively more distorted to one another, and to ourselves. Our limbs and bodies were weirdly twisted. Our eyes disappeared from their sockets and eventually emerged below out chins. Our hair disappeared. Our necks grew longer and longer and soon were flopping about whenever we moved.



We weren't at all sure we weren't permanently wrecking our avies.


Photo: Sweeetie always manages to look glamorous. Here her bell skirt had become detached from the high speed ascent.

We thought we might be doomed to spend our days in an avatar rest home, being waited on by newbies making $3L an hour.


Photo: It got worse as we flew higher.

But when we relogged, we were back to normal.

We flew twice more, going higher each time, until we finally reached 15,00,000 meters.

We took landmarks, of course. But although when we were high in the sky we could teleport avatars to us, the landmarks sent us to 20 meters.

With push killed by Havok4 and presumably by Havok7, there's little chance of going that high again-- so we've turned our attention in the other direction-- straight down.

See here and here for my original blogs about our high flight. And see here for a photo of Aardvaark-spelled-backward's infamous ram horns. And here for Mordecai's chain.