Monday, April 27, 2020


Fireworks Above the Dance Pavilion High Above Whimsy

So, a couple of months ago, after five years mostly away from Second Life, I became active again.

I was behind on a lot of things, and it's taken me a while to get up to speed. It was, thankfully, like riding a bike. You just climb on again. After some practice, I'm writing scripts without problem these days (well, there's an occasional problem, as there's still a lot about scripting that I don't understand), but mostly things work right off the bat, bar a misplaced semicolon or two. I've gotten my settings in Firestorm mostly worked out, and I added a mesh body and have learned more or less how to use it. I can safely say, at least for now, I'm ba-ack!

Whimsy fared well while I was away. I had to come in world a couple of times to track down and reset Kitto Flora's little train, and again to find and fix the glass robot hand that dispenses tickets to the cinema at the robot sanatorium, but otherwise, everything was still working. It felt good to see complex scripts I wrote seven or eight years ago and running all the while still chugging along.

Most of my script problems had to do with movement. Occasionally, perhaps, Second Life wobbles, or there's a rounding error, or the sim resets mid-movement, and teleport signs and objects that move back and forth get a bit out of position. I solved that problem by setting home twice after each movement. Once was all that was needed theoretically, but not actually.  Before I added the second command the teleport board at the Whimsy entrance would eventually become misaligned, but it's been perfectly aligned for years now.

I picked up a free Genus head when the company was giving them away prior to going out of business, but haven't put it on yet. I'm in no hurry. I rather like the head I have--but there will come a day when I'll put it on and lose a couple of weeks trying to figure it out and get the look I want.

My plan was to document this no-doubt-boring-to-anyone-who-wasn't-me business, but I got behind, and frankly, I'm glad, for I wasn't looking forward to it. So now I'm looking forward rather than backward. That's the plan, at least.

Several unexpected things have happened since my return. One, I'm now an official helper on the Firestorm islands. My job is to greet new residents, assist them, and reduce their confusion so perhaps they'll log back in a second time and maybe even stay in Second Life.

The job requirements weren't much of a stretch, as that's exactly what I've been doing for more than ten years now. I would from time to time make my rounds of the old Welcome areas and help new people. That was especially needed, as most were in fact Unwelcome areas, with groups of older residents gathering to socialize and ignore or belittle or even grief new folks. I couldn't stop the bad behavior, but I could at least reassure new folks and direct them to places like New Citizens, Inc. that WOULD make them welcome. Some of those new folks became friends and remain friends to these days.

I'll be quick to say this isn't altruism on my part. It's entirely selfish. I want as many people as possible to stay in Second Life so it will stay around. I would hate for the grid to just disappear some day, like Habitat, Blue Mars, High Fidelity, and so many other virtual worlds!

At the Sunday Night Dance at My Friend Elysienne's Raven's Mark Club. DJ Annie is Now a Friend

One consequence of hanging out at Firestorm Social Island was I met people. Spending all my time on Whimsy building or scripting isn't a great way to make social connections, but the Firestorm islands turned out to be a great for that. I now have new friends as well as other old-timers like myself, and we gather weekly for dances--how fortuitous in this day of social distancing!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Adventures in Mesh Bodies, Part IX: Conclusion

I Wonder if Ashenford Knows What Happens to Avatars When They Reach VERY High Atltitudes

I won't say I'm completely comfortable with my Maitreya Lara mesh body, but I can say I have more or less figured things out.

I've gone through all of my outfits and fixed the broken shoes and made Bakes on Mesh versions of most of them. With BOM I can wear legacy outfits and use the olive-toned skin I've preferred since 2006. I look just the same, with a few exceptions. On the positive side, my joints are less misshappen, my hands and feet look much better, I have nice nails, and my hands move with Bento. Finally, rings move with my fingers! The hands and feet are a big deal.

On the negative side, the neck junction between the Lara body and my system body presents a few problems. I've not yet managed to get a match between the tones, but that's my laziness. It can be done; I've just not figured it out. On a more serious note, the 0 setting for the neck won't stay put. Every once in a while there's a gap between the two. Resetting to 0 fixes the problem, but it eventually reappears. I plan to ask the Lara help group about that.

The last problem is the nipples. When I'm using BOM, the three-dimensional shape of the nipples show on every outfit. There's a fix for that, but I'm still struggling. The one time I was able to hide the outline of my nipples there was some kind of texture glitch on my breasts. Unacceptable.

Just yesterday I found out from my friend Ashenford that there's another problem. It seems mesh heads don't function quite right at high altitudes. We went to 4000 meters and he showed me slight tremors in his lips and eyes, like incipient early-onset avatar Parkinson Syndrome. He has read up on the issue, which seems to have to do with rendering computations and too few decimal points. Apparently prims don't always line up correctly at high, either. I've built extensively at 4000 meters with no problem, so I can live with that. The tremors? Maybe not so much.

So anyway, I'm pulling the plug on this series about my adventures and misadventures with Lara. Lara has become, if not a trusted friend, at least a friendly acquaintance with a few unfortunate characteristics. At least she doesn't drink too much or invite her deadbeat drummer boyfriend over.