Sunday, December 16, 2012

Inventory Control: Part I

Chey's Prim Storage
Inventory Control

Part I

Written 16 December, 2012

There are a lot of people walking around Second Life with more than 100,000 items in their inventory. I could easily be one of them, but I've worked hard to keep my count under control-- not all that easy when one owns several sims and does a lot of building, both of which tend to make one acquire a lot of inventory.

When inventory count goes high, searching takes longer and it's said (I don't know if it's true, but it's popularly believed) the entire Second Life experience is degraded. Even if it's not true, certainly most of us don't need all that clutter.

If your inventory count is high and you would like to lower it, here are some things you can do:

1. Get rid of all those freebies.

Do you really need those 50 free houses you picked up at New Citizens, Inc. back in 2008? I didn't think so.

Toss all that stuff.

2. Box stuff up.

You can easily pack hundreds of items into a single prim-- and with new viewer features you can place them into separate folders within the prim rather than having to place all those sub-category items into boxes of their own. Why not tuck those 30 non-copyable palm trees from the pack you bought from Lilith Heart back into their original box-- or, if you tossed her box, into a new box named "Lilith Heart-- 30 Palms."  Leave a few trees loose in inventory, perhaps, so you don't have to pull out the box every time you need a palm; the rest of them can be unpacked when and if you ever need them.

If there are some things you use on occasion or think you might one day use, keep them, but repack those 125 tables and chairs into a single prim, name the prim, delete those 125 items from your inventory, and take the prim back into inventory. You'll be surprised how fast your count lowers.

3. If you have land and can spare the prims, store boxes on your land.

For the past four years or so I've had a platform in the sky marked with a grid on which I store items I want to keep. I have them packed into boxes, by category-- Vehicles, Gadgets, Home Furnishings, Freebies...

I could of course keep those items in inventory, but Second Life has an annoying habit of disappearing random things from inventory. They're safe on your land, so long as you pay your tier-- and you can put every copyable item you own into a box so your inventory is backed up on the land in case you lose the items from your inventory. I use 20 or 30 boxes so I don't have to do serial unpacking, but you can keep everything in a single box, if you want.

Here's a texture I made for my prim storage. You can click it to enlarge, then right click and save it to your hard drive and import it into Second Life. My name is priminently displayed, but feel free to Photoshop or GIMP the texture, or just make your own. If you make a prim 10 x 20 x .5 meters and paste the texture on its top, the spaces for the boxes will be about the right size to hold a .5 x .5 meter box.
I  attached a 20 x 20 prim to one side, making a sky platform 20 x 40 meters in size. It gives me plenty of room for sorting inventory and even for building. Here's a photo of my sky platform, which can be found 763 meters above Whimsy (northwest quadrant).

4. Get a good texture organizer.

If you build, take a lot of photos, or publish a magazine, you'll most likely have thousands of textures in your inventory. You can easily offload them into texture organizers. This will work wonders on your inventory count.

There are free organizers, some good and some not so good, and quite a few good models for sale. I swear by my K.R. Engineering organizers, which I bought in early 2007. They're copyable and modifiable, and work perfectly-- and didn''t cost all that much. Alas, they're nowhere to be found at K.R. these days, or anywhere else on the grid.

I didn't try it, but I did go to look at the KinEx organizer, which is copyable, modifiable, displays sculpts as well as textures, and can be rezzed on the ground or worn as a HUD. I'm tempted to buy it even though I love my K.R organizers.

The KinEx, like the K.R organizers, features multiple categories.You can stuff hundreds of items in each category. I have about twenty organizers-- one for photos, two for building, one for Christmas and other holidays, one for signs and textures I've made, and several for textures I use around Whimsy. Another holds the pages of The Whimsical Times. I feel secure, knowing I not only have the published ThincBook book in my inventory, but the original book (which can be modified), and from which I can grab textures whenever I want, but in the organizers in my inventory, and stored in a prim on the land, since I back up my organizers often to a box on my sim.

It's easy to load a single texture or an entire category into your inventory when you need them. When you're finished, you can just delete them.

If you have hundreds (or more likely, thousands of textures and photos, you might want to take a look at a texture organizer.

Get the KinEx organizer in world here or search it on the Second Life marketplace.

5. Get rid of all those unpacking scripts, landmarks, and thank you notes that came with items you purchased.

You can go through your purchases one by one, but creative use of the search capabilities of inventory will help you find the culprits. Set search to notecards only and look for cards with names like unpack, open, about, thanks, and thank you. Zap them. Then look for notecards where they shouldn't be-- in your clothing folder, for example, or your household goods. Do the same for scripts and landmarks.

To set filters to show any category or combination of categories, drop the file menu and choose Show Filters. Select the types you desire; then close, and only those types will show in your next inventory search. Reset Filters will remove your search criteria and you'll once again see all items.

Here's Torley Linden's video on the search filters.

While you're watching the film I'll get to work on Part II.

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