Tuesday, July 29, 2014

They Sure Knew How to Build 'Em Back in 2003!


I always love it when Sweetie goes through her massive Objects folder. What comes out is always remarkable.

Here we have a throne built in 2003. It consists of nine prims. But it's solid! Not like that cheap stuff they make nowadays!

Okay, I Really Have Been Playing the Cornfield Game Way Too Much!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Most. Visitors. Ever.


For several months we've had a steady stream of visitors at Whimsy-- dozens a day. Many are zero-day-old newbies, so we've been certain they've been pointed toward us from wherever it is new citizens rez these days.

Over the last couple of days, however, the numbers have gone down. Our traffic numbers (General tab on About Land), have gone from 2000-2200 to a little less than 1000. We figure we've rotated off a destination list somewhere.

Last night I jumped home from the Cornfield, where I had been dominating the monsters, and found the People box filled with fifteen names (after you click Read More, click on the image that appears to enlarge it).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tips for the Cornfield


If you play the game at the cornfield, and if you're in the mood for some hints, here we go.

1. When you first arrive, you'll be easy to kill. Expect to die easily. When that happens you will spawn at the cemetery. The barn, where you trade the corn you collect for cornbucks, is diagonally across the sim on the opposite corner.

2. If you see red or gold disks or little golden bottles (actually, they look like hourglasses to me), pick them up. The red disk is worth 10 cornbucks. I'm not certain what the others do, but I'm sure they help.

3. Buy armor before weapons. The chainsaw and the shotgun look cool, but I'm not convinced they kill monsters any better than the plank you have upon arrival. Armor will keep you alive longer.

4. When you do buy a weapon, buy the gray goo grenade. You can't fire it continuously like the shotgun or chainsaw, but it takes out monsters in a circle around you. That means you don't have to use mouselook. It takes about three seconds to rearm, so if you find yourself surrounded by monsters, keep moving until you can use it again.

5. Until you are fully armored and have the good grenade, keep moving. Your best defense against the monsters is to get out of their range. You can run right through them when you come across them in the cornfield without taking damage, so long as you don't slow down. When you stop to back up and pick up corn you have missed, monsters that may be trailing you will catch up-- and hello, cemetery. Run up one row and down another and before long your basket will be full and you can head to the barn to empty it.

6. If you find yourself with 5000 cornbucks and buy the tractor, don't wear it in the cornfield. The tractor makes it more difficult to orient yourself to run over corncobs and disks.

7. The huge monsters don't seem to damage you and give out a pile of red disks when they die. When you hit them they will jump; just run them down and hit them again. After four or five hits they will die. It's easy to chase them outside the fence; usually they will still drop their disks when they die outside the fence or in the barn or cemetery areas. Don't be afraid to go down into the water to retrieve them. The land is steep down there, so ascend by walking diagonally across the sim.

8. Locate the health regenerator. When you approach it, be sure no monsters are around, for if they are they will kill you during the few seconds you are seated. Don't be shy about teleporting directly to the health regenerator by camming to it from the barn and then sitting.

9. If it makes it easier for you, don't be afraid to do the first thing Sweetie did on hitting the sim-- cheat. Temporarily derender some of the corn. It will make it easier to orient yourself and will decrease the chance of monsters sneaking up on you.

10. Look for a tiny key behind a small gravestone in the cemetery. When you have it, go downstairs at the company store and find the door that's closed. Once inside, click everything you see.

11. Look in the chicken coop for a free thing.

The Volcano Pele Throws a Single Boulder


Friday, July 25, 2014

Box Angst

Boxbots. Photo by Sweetie
Sure, it's fun being a boxbot when you're with all your boxbot friends. You can hang out at Grendel's, trick newbies into thinking you can all be opened, pull in your arms and legs and pretend to be a prim-- but in the end, we all exist alone, and perhaps being a box is not the ultimate existence. You dare hope you might become a robot.

And so you take yourself to the Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanatarium.


Once you get through security you can begin the painful process of robotifying yourself.

Please, Unit Bender, Will You Help Me Become a Robot?

Mesh Flowers at Whimsy Entry

Teleport Board at the Whimsy Entry Point
With New Mesh Flowers And Free Whimsy Hard Hat
Click Read More to see the way the entry at Whimsy looked when the sim was first built.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Insane Robot at the Cornfield


I took Sweetie to The Cornfield the other day. She was at first not wanting to get involved with a game that involved shooting and monsters, but once exposed, she warmed quickly to the concept. Before I knew it she had set the sun to midday so she could see better, located the health regeneration machine, and derendered most of the corn so she could more clearly see the monsters and the cobs. Yeah, that's the way Sweetie rolls.

What she was most excited about was finding someone wearing our robot avatar from the Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanatorium. There it was, holding a plank, ready to go whup up on some monsters.


She was suspicious until she decided it was on a day pass to allow it to release its aggressive tendencies.

She summoned me to meet it. "I like your hat," I said.


I can't tell you how gratifying it is to see something you have created while you are exploring the grid. Until now it was only maypoles and torii gates. Now I'm happy to say I have seen an avatar I created gathering corn and kicking monster butt.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Legendary Cornfield, Come to Life


First, see here for the history of the cornfield, which involves telekinesis, a short story by Jerome Bixby, Rod Serling, Bill Mumy, and Second Life griefers.

The cornfield is back in Second Life as a demo of the new (actually, still in Beta) Experience Keys.

In Second Life we must all grant permission every time an object wants to interact with us. For instance, there's a puddle of oil at our Robot Sanatorium. Oil is slippery, right? When an avatar walks across the puddle, she slips and falls-- but only if she clicks yes to the blue menu box that pops up. Now matter how many times it happens, she must respond every time. Sweetie likes the example of a pickpocket on a Victorian sim: "Malefactor Resident would like to pick your pocket. Please type [Y] or [N]."

The Lindens are releasing what they call Experience Keys, which will require only a single granting of permission in certain situations; after that, permission will be granted automatically. That means that every time an avatar walks across the oil puddle at the robot sanatorium, it would slip and fall.

Here's the Linden's announcement about avatar keys, and Torley Linden's video on the subject:

Hair Fair Trauma


Whenever My Attention Wandered, Sweetie Would Hit Me with Her Demo Hair

Could it be time for the Hair Fair already? Has it been a year-- or are there several Hair Fairs?

I'm not impressed with rigid mesh hairdos, so the Hair Fair doesn't excite me, but it's fun to accompany Sweetie as she quests for the perfect hairdo. My job was to give my opinion-- even when I didn't have one.

This year the signage for females was bizarre-- the themes seemed to be junkie models...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Night Sail


A midnight sail. How peaceful...

Until we ran the Straits of Bob, that is!


Blue Whale

This is how Sweetie was has been seeing the mother blue whale on Whimsy Kaboom.


Here's how I see it.


It's strange her video card correctly displays the baby, but not the mama. It's the same whale, just sized differently.

It's still far better than what Sweetie USED to see back in 2006 and 2007. Check this out!

Mahjong... I Can't Quit You!


Monday, July 21, 2014

All Classes of Hobo


The other day Sweetie and I said hello to a zero-day-old resident. We told him he was welcome to explore Whimsy. He seemed like a nice fellow.

After a minute or two, I IMed him. I was just unable to continue to bite my tongue.

"Errr, I need to say this. You're welcome here, but if you spend any time in Second Life your name is likely to cause you trouble. I'm just sayin'."

That's because the first four letters were a dirty word. Let's just say, and I'm not suggesting it really was this, mind you, that he had chosen the name TurdNugget69.

He flew back to the landing and said, "It was just the first thing that popped into my mind."

Sweetie said, "Sorry, your name kind of says 'griefer'."

We told him that while he could use a display name, his name was permanent. We suggested he make another account now, before he spent money on his avatar. He was ready to do it, he said, but couldn't think of a name.

That was the wrong thing to say to Sweetie and myself. For sure.

We started gently.

"HandsomeGenteman113," I suggested.

"SillyButNice," Sweetie said.

I kicked it into high gear. "BanditoGonzales?" I ventured. Then, "This is fun. CactusNirvana?"

CactusNirvana really cracked Sweetie up.

"Frank 44?" I said. Bobogolightly?

"Pixel ALaMode," said Sweetie.

"SalamanderMancho," I said.

"I"m going to be be RichHobo," TurdNugget said.

Wait a minute! Did I just call him TurdNugget? Yes, it seems I did!

Ten minutes later he was back not as RichHobo (maybe that was taken), but FirstClassHobo. All was well and good.

It was the next night that things got strange.

Sweetie had dragged FirstClassHobo over to Whimsy Kaboom to give him a ride in her stunt plane. But then I saw him in his default avatar outfit.

"I thought you were going to give FirstClassHobo a ride in your stunt plane," I said.

"He is in my stunt plane," she said.

"No he's not," I said. :I'm watching him walk around on Whimsy."

Then I noticed my radar was showing two hobos: FirstClassHobo and SecondClassHobo.

An alt, I wondered. But he was too new to think of that.

Then I saw ThirdClassHobo on the radar.

Yes, not one, not two, but three class-rated hobos on our sim!


It turned out hobos two and three were his friends from real life. Mystery solved.

Flying in the Stunt Plane

Chey, Not Trusting Sweetie's Flying, Has Removed Her Seat Belt and is Preparing to Jump

The other night Sweetie and I were talking to a new citizen about things he could do in Second Life. Before I knew it, Sweetie had whipped out her stunt plane to give him a ride.

He, being, a newbie, had wandered off, so I got to ride in the back seat and take pictures.

Click the image and you can see all the photos at full screen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Pyromaniac Visits Whmsy


When a self-confessed pyromaniac visits Whimsy, the inevitable happens.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Here's a Ridiculously Inexpensive, Full-Perm Mesh Jungle Plant with Materials

I love the way the light plays over this mesh plant Sweetie found on the SL Marketplace.


It's made by Reid Parkin. You get this one and two other for just $L85.  The land impact is only one! One of the two others is a lovely fern with a land impact of two at regular size. The other is a small bamboo, also with a land impact of two, also lovely.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Hang Gliding


I love to hang glide Above Whimsy Kaboom.

Banyan Tree


For a long time now Sweetie has kept a huge banyan tree in her pocket. Over the weekend she put it here, on Whimsy and whittled it down in size a bit (it's huge!).

Views from the train track and the walkway above are much improved.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Improved Views of Japanese House


New trees and materials applied to the waterfall offer improved view of this Japanese house on Whimsy.


The Volcano Pele From Above

Here are some shots of our volcano, taken from directly above.

Pele is Happy (Well, As Happy as an Active Volcano
Inhabited by a Temperamental Goddess is Capable of Being)



As soon as I can get a better video card I plan to film Pele from this angle.

New Avatars Search for a Purpose in their Second Life



What are we supposed to do in this stupid virtual world, anyway?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mystical Cookie's Mystitool: A Review: Part VII. Wrapup

So, is the Mystitool as essential as it once was? No, but it's still darned handy! For reasons I explained in an earlier post, I keep mine on all the time. If you don't want or need to wear it always, it can still be handy to slap on when you wan to do a quick color calculation or rez your sailboat on the Blake Sea or find your lost friend. Adding and detaching takes only an instant.

Mystical Cookie rewrote the Mystitool to reduce its script time, but it's not the least laggy gadget in Second Life. When I rez it on my land it consumes about 0.79 milliseconds. That's ten times as much as Kitto Flora's steam train when it's at rest, but far less than the 0.125 used by my Congreve clock. Considering its utility, I consider it worth the hit on the region.

The Mysti does have a sleep mode which cuts down script time-- and nowadays it arrives with only basic functions activated. Owners can choose which features they wish to install.

The Mystitool includes an object sim and parcel owners can place on their land. It senses Mysitool wearers and asks them to put their HUDs to sleep.I think Mystical Cookie has done her due diligence on a gadget with some 100 functions!

Best of all is the Mystitool's price. It sells for the same $423 Lindens it always has. That's a bargain at Mysti's store or on the Second Life Marketplace. It's best to buy it in world because Mysti is known for not responding to nondelivery notifications on the Marketplace. Here's her store.

Mystical Cookie's Mystitool: A Review: Part VI. More Useful Features

The Mystitool's Flight Particles, Seen at Midnight

The Mystitool has no end of features. Here are a few more.


Land Calculator

Ever wonder how many prims a parcel will support? Just type /1 land 512 and the Mystitool will tell you: 117 prims. How much land do you need to rez that big 400-prim vampire castle? Type /1 prims 400 and you'll see you need a minimum of 1747 square meters.


Color Converter

If you are a scripter, this tool is invaluable. The Mysti can convert between #FFFFFF and [255,255,255] formats, returning LSL format.

/1 color #FFFFFF
/1 color [255, 255, 255]
/1 color white

Will all return [1.0, 1.0,1.0]

Please note: I used brackets instead of left-and right-facing arrows because Blogger reads them as HTML and inserts code.

Mystical Cookie's Mystitool: A Review: Part V. Security Features

If I sit on the non-physical vehicle over my shoulder I will become entirely immune
to pushes of any strength and will be able to walk through walls

The Mystitool features a variety of features for defense and offensive actions:

Offense

Kill Avatar

Trap Drag. This rezzes a trap to hold an avatar in place. The Mysti owner can then drag the avatar from place to place.


Toss Avatar

This bangs an avatar around  for sixty seconds-- sometimes off sim!

Please note: use of these features will violate the Terms of Service if your target isn't willing to be killed, dragged, or tossed.


Defense

The Mysti will ban or unban avatars by simple chat, quite handy, especially when you are being griefed.


Non-Physical Vehicle

I've already mentioned movelock, which protects against small and moderate pushes. Even better is the Mystitool's non-physical vehicle. I type /1 np and a little twinkling sphere shows up. When I sit on it I become phantom. I can still fly and walk and run and swim (at least it appears to myself and others that I am), but I'm actually sitting on a prim. I can move through walls and even terrain.


The non-physical vehicle has an interesting feature-- Off Sensors. If you select that before you sit you won't be visible to others. That's because you'll be more than 100 meters above your sit position. I don't remember if that stops you from hearing chat. I think you will disappear from the radar screens of others as well.

Collision Notificaitons

This tells you when you collide with an object or another avatar, or they collide with you.


Handy

Sim Warnings

When turned on, this alerts you if the time dilation and frame-per-second rate of the simulator drop below a threshhold you can set. It will also tell you if you enter a sim or parcel with damage enabled, physics disabled, or collisions disabled.

Break Reminder

This will remind you every x minutes to get up and stretch your legs and get a drink.


Mystical Cookie's Mystitool: A Review: Part IV. Some Convenient Rezzers


The Mystitool has about a hundred functions I've not yet discussed and which would be difficult to find elsewhere. Here are a few:

Dynatable and Automatic Chairs

Whenever I wish to sit I say in chat /1 table and my Mystitool rezzes a dynatable.

When an avatar sits in a chair, another is immediately rezzed. Up to 240 chairs can be rezzed before the script runs out of memory-- that's far more avatars than a sim can support!

The table can be colorized by a menu and resized. Here I've changed the color to violet, selected the largest size, and rezzed a bunch of extra chairs. Can anybody say board meeting?


Monday, July 14, 2014

Building a New Pond


Over the weekend Sweetie transformed an overlooked corner of Whimsy into this beautiful little pond. A motivating factor was finding the proper place for our giant land tortoise.

I reminded her tortoises are land animals. She reminded me they still need to drink.

Mystical Cookie's Mystitool: A Review: Part III. Things Once Essential


Firestorm allows its users to instantly go as high as 214,74,83,648 meters by simply typing gth (x), where x is the desired height. If you go to 1,000,000 meters you'll see what starts to happen to an avatar when it flies so high. Avatars disappear when you teleport much above that height. Back in 2006, when Sweetie and I flew to 15,000,000 meters, our avatars were visible all the way up. They became progressively more distorted, but we could see them.

It took us hours to fly that high with the benefit of the Mystiool's plaid flight speed and a device that pushed our avatars upward at a fast rate. The Lindens limited push some years ago, so it's unlikely we would have the patience to fly above 15,000,000 meters today. At normal flight speed I ascend at about 1500 meters per minute, so today it would take about 167 hours to reach that height at normal speed and maybe 40 hours at flight speed plaid . I'm sure my button-pressing finger would be sore!


In this post I talk about once-essential functions of the Mystitool. Today these functions are supported by Firestorm and perhaps even the official Linden Browser. No one will have to buy a Mystool for the functions that follow, but I still find everything I've mentioned convenient.

Mystical Cookie's Mystitool: A Review: Part II. Scan Functions


My Mystitool HUD sits at the bottom right of the screen, visible as two translucent circles. It's always attached, and I feel naked without it.

That W button here? That's an add-on of my own creation. I made it so I could turn my walk on whenever I switch off my AO. I do that sometimes so sits and other animations will play correctly. When I forget to switch it back on the Walk button stops me from having that lovely newbie waddle.

Just above the HUD is the Mystitool's display of nearby avatars. In this case Exuberance Lafleur is five meters away. That tells me she's within easy chat range and will hear me when I talk-- and even if I whisper.


Now I've walked a ways up the hill. Xubi is visible, but I know she's beyond the twenty meter limit for chat and won't hear me unless I shout. I also know she is sitting and away. Similarly, I would know if she were flying, in the air but not flying (falling, most likely), walking, typing, busy, crouching, in always run mode, or on Auto-Pilot, which I suppose is what happens when have your viewer set to make you walk when you click on the land.

I can also tell from there are only two avatars on Whimsy-- Exuberance and myself.

The Mystitool notifies me in chat when an avatar comes into chat range. I can't tell you how many times that has stopped people from sneaking up on me!

Firestorm's built-in radar will do many of the same things as the Mystitool, and more besides. I use it often to locate and teleport to Sweetie-- but I still rely primarily on the Mystitool. I keep Firestorm's radar chat functions turned off so they won't duplicate the Mystitool's notification.

The Mystitool has a remote avatar scan function which will let its owner know the names of avatars on other sims. This requires the Mystitool owner to either own that region or set the remote to the land's group.

This means I can check my sims no matter wherever I may be on the grid. "Nope, Sweetie's not at home. She must have gone in search of that mesh fern she was talking about. I'll need to IM and ask her for a teleport assist."

A handy bug scanner will show all objects with active scripts within 30 meters (the range can be set to any distance). This is especially handy when I'm working around Whimsy. "That buzzing bee noise is driving me crazy. Which of these many plants did I put that sound script in?"

I'm always finding out new things about my Mystitool-- sometimes because I've not read to the bottom of the notecard, and sometimes because new features have been introductd. Just now, in writing this, I discovered I can turn on a sound that will play whenver an avatar comes within chat distance. How handy that will be when I have the screen minimized!

If I were not so accustomed to my Mystitool I would be happy to rely on Firestorm's notifications-- but I find it reassuring to look at the lower right hand corner of my screen and know who is nearby.

Here's the Mystitool's Privacy notecard in its entirety:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mystical Cookie's Mystitool HUD: An Update: Part I


The Mystitool is a multi-purpose gadget with perhaps 150 functions. I've worn mine continuously since 2006. It was created by Mystical Cookie.

Many of the Mystitool's once unduplicated features have now become available from other sources-- for example, flight assist. Avatars, who were until recently could not fly higher than 110 meters without an assistive device, can now fly past the 4096 build limit. Notifications of the presence and distance of other avatars are now built into the Firestorm viewer. Firestorm now provides a teleport history allows movelock, has an anti-idle setting, and teleport to camera, and will stop runaway animations (and perhaps even the official Second Life viewer does some of these things as well). Nonetheless, I still consider my Mystitool the handiest gadget I own.

Take a look at my review from 2007 (links below). I'll meet you back here tomorrow with Part II of this arc.

The Mystitool, Part I

The Mystitool, Part II

Neptune, Queen of the Sea


Neptune surveys her queendom.

Of course, Neptune doesn't really need a diving suit, but she couldn't pass up this free full permission one by Aley Resident. For a limited time you can get it from Davy Jones' Locker on the sea floor at Whimsy Kaboom.

Neptune herself took this photo. She calls it "Neptune Spies Her Super Ho Girlfriend Undersea."

OMG! I cannot believe I made that typo! Super HOT! Super HOT!


Hands in Pockets


This mesh outfit features a jacket thrown over my shoulders and a pose that keeps my hands in my pockets. If I remove them the outfit is broken.

It feels strange to have my hands in my pockets all the time.

Bye-Bye to Whimsy Big-Ass Binocs


The big-ass binoculars that for so long sat at a landing on the big island on Whimsy's southeastern side are gone. The 24-prim Skidz Partz no perm monstrosity is gone, replaced by a three-land impact full permission sculpt made by Aley Arai.

Here's the old job:


Here is the new one:


Because the scripts are full perm I was able to modify the binoculars to do just what I wanted them to do. What was a continuously circulating slideshow now starts whenever an avatar sits. That allows me to tell a story.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pompom Arguments


Sweetie caught this shot of a couple on our argue poseball. Avatars point at one another, tap one another on the chest, shake one another, and slap one another. It's hilarious-- and in this case the pompoms took it to a whole new level.

One-Day-Old Newbie Exploring Whimsy Kaboom


The Lindens are now sending new citizens to assorted destinations instead of the those most unwelcoming of areas, welcome centers. We are getting dozens a day here on Whimsy. We don't mind as we watch them run or fly aimlessly about and try to figure out how to interact with objects. When we can, we give them assistance.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sweetie, Don't Argue With the Deathbot!


Here's Sweetie at the Mieville sim, facing down a security drone. The drone was made by Aley Arai, so we have a copy. I made it a little smaller and put it in a rezzer at our robot sanatorium. Now visitors will be faced with it when the facility goes into lockdown.