Friday, September 30, 2011

Burn2: Gifts

Burn2, the virtual extension of Burning Man into Second Life, opens October 1st at Noon (SLT) and there are tons of freebies to compliment the fantastic art and fun activities. I've spent the last few weeks finding them, but there may be some I've missed. Most freebies can be found at the Schwag Building at

Some of these goodies are duplicated at various parcels, but not all. Here's a (reasonably) comprehensive list in no particular order. You may need to look about each parcel as things move:

First Responder Manual

Whole avies and official clothes

Antientropic (this is a rather fun sculpture)

Mesh Textures/Templates

Skelly Suit (Think Mexico's Day of the Dead)

Lamp Lighter Freebies

Monkey Avie

Fun & Strange

Mystical Tree

The Line (various places at …)

Rites of Passage Museum

Transitory Thresholds

Are you a Camper and I missed your gift? Feel free to post it in Comments! Some updates are on the LKC blog here.

Burn2: The Storm Approacheth

Honour McMillan and Me
The day before Burn2 opens to the public seems like a quiet day, but as I sit next to my friend Honour, there is a tension as folks scramble to get everything ready. Unsurprisingly, not all the builds are done so campers are here. The Rangers are checking every little detail. The Greeters are rehearsing (which involves throwing around fireballs and generally being insane). The Lamplighters had a little parade last night -- more fireballs but with drums this time. Plus, lots and lots of folks are stocking ready-to-heat-and-eat foods in Real Life so they can have meals on the go. It sounds like they are laying in for a siege, but if I understand right, Burning Man is really like that, too, for the staff -- lots of staying awake, fast meals, and few showers.

And blog coverage has already started. Honour's post about the temple is wonderful (Web). The ubiquitous Daniel Voyager has had a few posts lately (Web). Kara Trapdoor has a great post (Web) from yesterday while Quan Lavender's post from today (Web) features lots of pictures from the some of the featured artists.

Today's big event? Rangers from Real Life's Burning Man grab some SL accounts and come visit our playa. That should be interesting. After today if you don't see many posts from me, that just means I'm very busy at Burn2 and you should come visit (SLurl).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Burn2: Get Ready, Get Set ...

A composite map I made for Burn2. Deep Hole is where you'll enter the event. The "burning man" is in Silverseed. The Temple is a not-to-be-missed site in Black Rock. And, yes, I misspelled the Hualapai sim name, but it has some cool builds.
Press Day at Burn 2 was held today so tons of bloggers and other journalists zipped about to see the various builds and to meet with the artists/campers/builders/staff. When you arrive in Deep Hole (SLurl) anytime after Noon (SLT) on October 1st, head up the dirt road toward the entrance where some wonderful Greeters will welcome you Home and help those who have never been to a Burning Man event, virtual or not, get started.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Burn2: Ranger Pup

Every Ranger at Burn2 is encouraged to adopt a unique look so they stand out, are memorable, and promote the idea that "everyone is invited to play," an important part of the Ten Principles of Burning Man philosophy. I tried a number of looks including a baby T-Rex dinosaur, various furries, and numerous iterations of my human form, including a rainbow tutu (for Tutu Tuesday, of course). I wanted to look like I was out in the desert and to keep the Ranger hat (it's one of our not-so-secret devices) but I just wasn't satisfied with any of my looks, particularly the human ones. I kept gravitating to anything that showed my cleavage and lots of khaki.

Then I looked through the Linden avatars when I was trying to reduce my Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) and remembered the Damian Fate-designed doggie. The hat looked good on her and the belt fit reasonably well and the ARC was down to 900. That is way low which means I wouldn't contribute much to lag at all. After modifying the Ranger belt so it fit better and had bits that I liked,  my ARC was even lower. I'm now at 830! By the way, I swapped in green eyes from another critter avie so I look extra kyoot.

I might not be able to photograph all the Rangers, but I'll do my best to post as many pix of them here as well as focus on the Greeters and other staff members of Burn2. The coming days will see lots of posts about the exhibits and exhibitors, but I hope to help you learn more about the people of Burn2.

Come meet us October 1st at Noon SLT!

Trying a new blog look

I had intended to write a nice post about something, but I've been stuck in Real Life all day, there is nothing much going on at Lesbos, my Haunted House, Burn2, or other places I frequent, so I thought I'd try a new look for my blog. Blogger suggested a Dynamic View option that had a layout I liked, but the reader could change that view. Sorry. No. My blog. Let me choose the look. I can be autocratic. And I wanted a larger font for those of us with eyeglasses. If the width is too much, I can adjust that.

Anyway, I hope you like it. Maybe I'll change the colors come Winter. Or when I get bored. In any case, let me know what you think. I'll be off to some other place on the Web for a bit. That pic inspired me ...

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Linden Halloween

Looks like I'm not the only one to have opened their haunted house early this year. The Official Blog from the Lindens has a post with tons of other Halloween venues listed in Comments. Of course, be sure to come see the Menagerie Isle Haunted House first (SLurl).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Haunted House is OPEN!

The unbiased preview crowd gave the Thumbs Up so the Menagerie Isle Haunted House is now open for your thrills and chills. Well, if you experience problems with flashy lights and hypnotic patterns, might not wanna go, but if you like skeletons, evil clowns, and ghosts, this is the place to be (SLurl).

Burn2: AFK Games

Honour McMillan has been doing a fabulous job as Community lead for Burn2, but that didn't protect her when she went AFK today. I was in a good mood after customizing the Ranger belt for my patrol pup avie so I dipped her in Jell-O. No one is safe. I went AFK the other day and got caged. We have a lot of fun at Burn2 and it hasn't even opened yet. I think there is still time to volunteer. Look here if you are interested in joining the few, the proud, the very silly. Remember, every Tuesday is Tutu Tuesday at Burn2!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Burn2: Press Day

Burn2, an officially recognized regional Burning Man event, opens to the public on October 1st.

The Playa will be open to press and bloggers on September 29  from 8:30 am slt to 8:00pm SLT.

You may view all the fantastic builds, take photos, try out the cars and bikes and hot air balloons and other  interactive pieces.

How do you get to the Playa? Apply for a press pass at 

Scheduled Events
9:00 to 10:00 SLT     Welcome Coffee: Center Camp
                                        Meet BURN2 Core Team Leads, Builders, and Artists
10:00 - 11:00 SLT    Art Tours
                                        Jump on an Art Tour bus!
12:00 - 1:00 SLT       Department of Mutant Vehicles tour  
                                        See DMV’s latest rides along with those of past years.
1:00-4:00  SLT          Roam the Playa  
                                      Many builds to see.
4:00 - 5:00 SLT         Art Tours
                                        Jump on an Art Tour bus!
5:00 - 6:00 SLT         Party  Center Camp, Hosted by the BURN2 Art Department
                                        Meet Artists and BURN2 Builders
6:30 - 7:00 SLT          Lamplighters Procession  
                                        Drum with the LampLighters
Playa closes at 8:00pm SLT

We'd like to encourage you to use the following labels and hashtags when you write about the event: Burn2,  #burn2 . We will promote those tags to make it easier for people to find your content

We hope to see you all on the playa that day and during the festival from October 1-9.

Landing SLURL/LM:
Center Camp SLURL/LM:

Want more information? Check out these resources:
- Website:
- Media Relations:
- Flickr:
- Twitter:!/BURN_two
- Facebook Group: (must have Facebook account)

Contact people:
     Emcee Widget
     Ronon Carver
     Budster Bashley
     Ladyslipper Constantine
     Diana Renoir
     Dmom2k Darwin

More information will be passed through the Burn2 Press Pass group

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Burn2: Freebies

Burn2, the extension of Burning Man into Second Life, starts up soon and one of the things I'm doing while helping to get things going is finding the freebies that will be offered so I can publish a list on the Lucky Kitty Crew blog. This is an outfit from Maya Paris's Skelly Mer installation. You'll be able to see more of this fantastic piece and grab the unique avatar when the sims open to the public October 1st.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thinking about Second Life

Outside the the pharmacy today I was struck that this person advertised that they are from In Real Life. Then I blinked and realized they meant Ireland. Maybe a little too much Second Life on my mind?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why the Fuss about Mesh?

With all the emphasis across the Second Life portion of the blogosphere about the problems with clothes and avatars made from the new Mesh feature, I think people forget that more can be done with the feature. For example, 101 sculpty, Mesh, and standard prims take the place of 443 "regular" prims to make up this tableau of a dragon admiring a mystical girl at Mesh Mellows (SLurl). That is a considerable savings for builders on a prim allowance. Something this complex can actually fit on the typical 16m x 32m "starter" parcel that supports just 117 prims.

So where are the other builders and artists using Mesh? There seems to be very little at Burn2, the Burning Man festival in Second Life, so far. I don't see them on the blogs and very, very little shows up on the SL Marketplace despite detailed searches. Sure, Mesh is new, but the the volume and variety of clothes available tells me that folks have certainly had the time to create something.

No, I haven't used anything with Mesh in my builds yet. Partly because I can't make anything from scratch for now and partly because I still know a considerable number of folks not using a Mesh-capable viewer. The Mesh dolphin avatar I bought yesterday was acclaimed by several but not visible to just as many. Maybe other builders are waiting, like me, until there are more folks who can appreciate their work.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Haunted House

Nestled in the simple farm town of Menagerie Isle is Madame Jane's Fortune Parlor, an eerie building that at seems to be abandoned yet ... something is inside. Dare you see what it might be?

Formerly the Menagerie Isle Haunted Farmhouse, this year's haunted house has a new theme at the last minute. I hope you enjoy this early preview. The house officially opens soon, but I'm eager to get some feedback so feel free to leave comments. If spiders, ghosts, blood, witchcraft, or dinosaurs scare you ... come on down!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Adjustments

After grabbing the really cool free 'mesh' Minotaur avie from Creative Lab (SLurl) I couldn't wait to try it on. Since I'm volunteering at Burn2 I sat at the bar in the center tent ... and found the Animation Override (AO) I had was totally inadequate. Well, it was a freebie male AO, but it was still wrong for the size and limb proportions of the minotaur.

I"ve got a sinking feeling ...
I wonder if someone out there is working on scalable animations ... ones that automatically adjust to the avatar's proportions? One of my pixy alts uses an AO meant for a man, so the sitting anims are totally wrong. She sinks into the ground, for example, and folding her arms looks funny. But I like the "attitude" of the various stands and most of the other anims. If only it would suit her stature.

Since mesh clothes and avies are 'rigged' to the avatar skeleton, I'd think there would be something in the physics that would allow animations to be so fitted.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fanboys tend to be Haters

Thank you, Airborne Gamer blog.
Weariness of fanboys led met to drop my membership in a certain Second Life Third Party Viewer (TPV) in-world group some time ago. The utility of the group for assistance with problems was inversely proportional to the size of the membership. "That viewer sucks so bad it makes me throw up." "I can't believe the sh*t they put out. No wonder Second Life is dying." "My dog can code better than that."

A few days ago I started being as vehemently nasty about a certain TPV after trying to help a frustrated noob that was talked into using it a few really horrible incidents of my own  -- like not being able to detach anything, particularly viewer-required attachments and a documented inventory loss -- just to see how it felt. "They put in so many bloatfeatures trying to show how clever they are that they forgot that non-basment dwellers use SL, too!" "If its about choice, why do I have to let the viewer do (fill-in-the-blank)?" "So many noobs I meet have been told to use this viewer to learn SL that they get confused and leave."


I didn't like it. I can't be that sort of person, a fanboy. To me, fanboys (or fangirls) are usually haters at heart. Curmudgeonly haters.

If you want to use a viewer other than the Official Viewer, fine. But don't unfairly criticize my choice to disagree. Don't spread vitriol based on your preference over verifiable facts. Most of the arguments I hear are from people that are afraid of change or too set in their ways to change. Sorry, but Change Happens. Deal with it. Adapt or leave. Found your own company or your own world or code your own viewer. Stop whining. Stop hating. You aren't being productive.

Mat Honan of Gizmodo (a site that I feel features fanboys not journalists, actually), put it rather nicely in a post about the backlash against the Windows 8 OS:
If you're not intrigued by Windows 8 and Metro, if you can't recognize that it's a big leap forward, if you're not excited about what it means for you, personally then you don't really care about technology; you care about brands. You care about platforms. You care about politics. You're a fanboy.
Look, we all lean certain ways. I have my own set of preferences. I tend to vote for Democrats and buy Apple products. But that's because they tend to support my priorities, not vice-versa. If the Democrats suddenly turned their backs on science, or Apple began pushing out products with buggy cluttered interfaces, I'd look elsewhere. I don't really get those who treat brands like sports teams, offering blind allegiance over self-interest. That's just zealotry. God bless that file system; my platform, right or wrong.
After considerable problems with Windows machines I tried an Apple and found it works with far fewer problems. Sure, I've blown more hard drives in Apple products than I have Windows machines, but generally, things are better. I haven't had to reinstall the OS once in 5-something years. The only Death Beachballs (the Apple equivalent of the Microsoft Blue Screen of Death) have occurred when I've done something stupid or various Second Life viewers have killed the system. I'm very happy with my iMac (and iPad and iPod Touch). But I don't consider myself a fangirl (Fact Check: I do have Apple t-shirts in Second Life but not in Real Life). I'm just someone who found something that works for her and found someone else to pony up the bucks to buy it (I love my brother!). I don't hate Windows and, by extension, Windows users.

As fond as I am of the Official Viewer for Second Life, I don't hate the other viewers (one in particular comes close, though) nor their users as others seem to hate me and/or my choice. Their hate makes me tired.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Calm in a Storm

Real Life has been rather busy, activity at Burn2 has been picking up, and I've been rushing to finish this year's Haunted House, all while trying to find some time to blog. So today I took a few moments when Second Life wouldn't let me log in my usual avie to spend some time with one of my pixy alts in a favorite spot at Forest Floor (SLurl) and share the view.

So many wonderful places are disappearing from Our World lately (Hamlet Au writing about yet another just today) that I really want to treasure the ones special to me. Some of the few landmarks I keep are for landscapes that celebrate nature and mystical settings and wonderful, lush forests. The people that create these spaces are truly artists, at least as much as those that use their skills for works you'd be more likely to run across in a museum. Do you have a favorite natural environment you like to explore? Feel free to share an SLurl in the Comments.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Burn2: The Builds Are Starting

The Second Life Burn2 builders have started work and some of the parcels are already spectacular. As a Ranger I get to see everything I can get to and I'm mightily impressed so far. One I've kept coming back to is a series of pipes to wander through and contemplate various deep messages and questions. There is no title on the parcel yet (SLurl) so I'm guessing it isn't done yet so I'll keep coming back to see it.

Burn2 Build by Haveit Neox and Lila Artis

Friday, September 9, 2011

Burn2: Par-tayyy!

As builders scramble to get stuff together for Burn2 in Second Life, the Rangers had a ceremony to welcome new members and then a party.

A Mole's-Eye View. I'm in the Pikashoes.

Haunted House 2011 Tease

The buffet is almost ready and the servants are practicing their carving.
The Haunted House will open by October 1st.

Burn2: Land Rush Round 2

This will be held on Saturday September 10th. This land rush will be open to all, without restriction. You may purchase as many plots as you like. The only condition is that we will not be adjusting plot locations to match with your possible existing plots. Think of it as a good way for an off site camp area or another playa presence location.

All plots left will be either 512 sqm or 1024 sqm sized plots. 14000L for 1024 plot .

After the completion of Two Land Rushes, any remaining plots will be sold on a case by case basis by members of the DPW authorized to sell plots and certain members of the Core Team of burn2. Please ask for assistance through the BURNING MAN 2.0 group with these sales.

Please note! Never pay anyone directly! All payments must go through the land terminal on the parcel. If you pay someone directly we will not be held liable for a refund of your land terminal fee ($4L). By participating in the Land Rush you agree to the rules and decisions made by the DPW in the execution of these rushes. You also agree to all Builder Guideline rules and policies and the Burning Man Ten Principles we follow.

Builders may have up to two assistants. The builder who owns the plot is responsible for their assistants'actions at all times, and insuring that all builders are knowledgeable of the Builder Guidelines, Policies of BURN2, Second Life Terms of Service and the Second Life Community Standards policy's.

Questions? Contact Kev Sweetwater or Diana Renoir in Second life.

Burn2 on the Web

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Good Luck, Kirsten and Dawny

Every day I've been checking to see if an update to the fabulous Kirstens Viewer might be available. Sadly, I found this today:

"The Plans for S22 have been shelved and the project has been marked as discontinued."

KirstenLee's RL and SL partner, Dawny Daviau has a serious illness so KL has suspended development of the viewer to spend more time with her and taking care of her. As I always say, Real Life First. Unfortunately, that often means that something in RL has gone seriously pear-shaped, as in this instance.

Read the official announcement here and leave comments there with your best wishes, if you'd like.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The Kabu Bridge by Molly Linden

Some time ago I applied to be a Linden Mole from the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW), the anonymous builders and landscapers that provide much of the Second Life infrastructure, from roads to whole cities. It wasn't until after I saw their builds that I figured out why I was turned down ... I'm not nearly good enough. The Kabu Bridge is the work of one of the best Moles ever, but she used her "real" name on her builds: Molly Linden.

Looking from Kabu to Mikaku, two beautiful Linden Homes regions.
Verdigris Windlight sky and Glassy water pre-set with a water color tweak.

Burn Windlight sky and  Glassy water pre-set, both tweaked a bit.
About 550 prims, this work of art will likely never be used as folks prefer to fly or teleport from place to place. I love to walk along it, though, and take in the views from every angle. Residents who don't live in the Linden Homes may never see it at all, actually, but with these two photos (I couldn't decide which I liked better), I hope that more people will come to appreciate the LDPW and what they do for us. And if some current Linden wants the kudos of the community, they'd earn it by bringing Molly back to us. I'm very glad for the times I've talked to her, especially on her last day with The Lab, to thank her for bringing some beauty to Our World.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Lab's Land Use Strategy

When The Lab introduced gifts and sandboxes for Premium subscribers (Web) it was a no-brainer that a whole region would be set aside for the latter benefit.

The Premium Sandboxes are really nice and some have Premium Gift Kiosks
What surprised me is that there are more sandboxes than the 16 shown in the Destination Guide as extra regions have been added to some of the sandboxes for vehicle testing (see pic above). But it makes sense that the gift kiosks would be located in the sandboxes. I mean, who would waste a whole region just for such a limited use.

The Lab, apparently. Atroth, Nysray, Unttan, and Saminekim are in a four-region cluster and each has some nice landscaping with a gift kiosk each, but nothing else. I haven't checked all of the gift sites listed in the Destination Guide, but seeing these four regions was enough to make me ask "Why?" That seems rather wasteful to me. A whole server (four regions to a server, I understand) for just the gifts?

Premium Zone: Nysray (SLurl)

The idea of empty regions for little purpose is not new to The Lab. It has four regions landscaped in the Elderglen theme (Elderglen Party 1 at SLurl, for example) that were used for one Linden-sponsored party. A few Lindens had planned regular events and even had set out a fine selection of Linden bears for explorers to find. There is no public access at this time, but for some time after those staffers left The Lab anyone could roam freely.

Hover your mouse over the Cornfield Noobs at the fire for a laugh.
The four Cornfields are still accessible (SLurl). There was a time that misbehaving Residents would be banished to the Cornfield with no teleport, script, or build rights until their "sentences" were served. A few years ago the Cornfields were decorated and used for an official Halloween celebration. I seem to recall the fun Lindens behind the Elderglen party were the same ones behind the Halloween fun (you are missed, Mia and Molly!).

Then there is Space Base Mos Ainsley (SLurl), an example of one of the several Themed private islands you can buy from The Lab (Web). This isn't the one set up as an sample (SLurl) for prospective buyers, but one that is just sitting about and empty except when I or someone I know goes there (Web).

Island Examples from Linden Estate Services (SLurl).
For a laugh, check out the movie posters in the Theater region (SLurl).
I suppose the island examples make economic sense. You want someone to buy an island then you should be prepared to show them one. That's a lot of money ($1,029 USD setup; $295USD/Month) to give up sight unseen. But what about all the other under-utilized land that The Lab has laying about for no purpose? You'd think they could lend it out for large community events such as Burn2.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Burn2: Invited Artists

The Art Committee is pleased to announce their list of Invited Artists to display in this year's Burn2 annual event. These artists were chosen through an intensive selection process which involved a vastly encompassing variety of criteria to determine through concensus those whom we feel best represent a wide sample of creativity, technique, artistic expression, and resourcefulness that best expresses the spirit and values of Burning Man and Burn2.

• Claudia222 Jewell
Claudia222 makes her fantasy sculpties come alive by using rich vibrant organic tectures. Her first SL build entitled "Parallel Worlds" was exhibited on the sim FarStar in January of 2011. She also has shown at Pirats Art Network and has entered her work at the UWA Expositions.

Her Art has been seen at The Nordan om Jordan gallery, and also at the SL8B where she built a honey swamp.

At the moment she is working on a sky level installation "Mesh Mellows."

• Trill Zapatero
Welcome to the Fool's journey to the end of the universe and back., through all the pitfalls and trials of identity and desire, to death and beyond, through the gauntlet of useless rusty grails offered up by relgion and ideology, through a modernist purgatory, and into the heart and soul of the crumbling grail castle reclaimed by nature and love. all steps along the way leading to the ultimate discovery of the true grail. "A fool if he persists in his folly will become wise." William Blake

Bio: me- artist maybe, painter, BFA. in Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba, love to travel, draw, paint, make stuff.Canadian, activist with Four Bridges and amnesty international. Curator and Builder of the War and Peace Exhibit at the Howard Zinn Memorial Centre for Socail Consciousness and the Arts as well as the Afghanistan Virtual Museum in SL. Illustrator and co'Author of It's All Chinese to Me -a culture and ettiquette guide to China' by Gwen Penner and Pierre Ostrowski: friend, lover, sister, daughter, dog lover, coffee drinker, piano player, book reader, pizza eater...

• RAG Randt
RAG is artist Richard A Goldberg. RAG grew up under the influence of Mad Magazine, Warner Brothers cartoons, and the New Yorker Magazine. He creates artwork for publishers, advertisers, and corporations. His style translates concepts into humorous, thought provoking art which enables his client’s messages to be memorable and effective.

• Rebeca Bashly
Serbian artist, almost 4 years in SL. Every single sculpt and texture I use in my work is created by me alone. My most significant work is “SnowCrash” sim on UTSA Artspace, which is a team work with Igor Ballyhoo.

Running thru life we often leave behind precious treasures, and just like that,
We often let them fade away from our memory…
Piles of dusty, old bags keeping all that we once were..

• Starlash Sweetwater
Name of Art : Identity

Artist Statement : “The identity of one changes with how one percieves reality" ~ Vithu Jeyaloganathan
BIO: Starlash Sweetwater was born at the age of 4 to confuse enemy agents. Growing up in the Central Kalahari Desert and later London has left her with a fertile and vivid imagination which fuels her desire to actualise and add a unique perspective to her creations.

To date she has had showings of her 2D work at several galleries and has recently started to bring her stories to life with machinima. Using second life as inspiration she is constantly trying new techniques and mediums to evolve her work.

• Oberon Onmura
Oberon Onmura has been making art in Second Life for over two years. In that time, his unique approach to using opposing forces on physical objects has attracted the attention of blog sites, SL and RL galleries and publications. He has recently become interested in the use of scripted agents (i.e. bots) as artmaking material.

His early work with physical objects, "Grid Floaters," was seen at the "Kiss the Sky" exhibition at the NMC ArtsLab sim, curated by DanCoyote Antonelli.

His "Beacon," a 100-meter tower that constructs and then destroys itself, was selected for inclusion in a national exhibition of virtual and corporeal art - the "@ Exhibition" ( - in association with the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the College Art Association conference in Los Angeles, California (February, 2009).

His recent sim-sized projects, "The Tunguska Event" , "Storm Cells," and "Four Galaxies" were seen at the Project Z Gallery. He recently collaborated with Juria Yoshikawa and Dancoyote Antonelli for a SL/RL event with a jazz club in London, curated by Arahan Claveau. And with Diogenes Wylder (Georgie Roxby-Smith) at the Watermill Center (USA) and Melbourne (AUS). Oberon is currently exploring the creative possibilities of Opensim grids, and is running two simulator servers on his home computer in NYC. His sims, Titania and Elena, are connected to the Craft grid (

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who Said Bots Are Dead?

While checking out the Decorus Premium Sandbox (SLurl), I noticed clusters of avatars in the waters just off the continent so I zipped over to the nearest one in Nekko and found seven bots, most clearly in their Noob avies. A couple were older but still in freebie skins and clothes. As you can see from the pic, they are all in the same group, but in their profiles they don't share a group. All signs of a bot.

Bots at
The near by sea regions of Chikara, Tomodachi, Senpuuki, Satoimo, and Satsumaimo were also bot sanctuaries, all the avies sporting the same Friend tag as those in Nekko. Some have similar Picks and Groups, but no real pattern there.


By the time I found my pillow and blankie last night, it occurred to me that I should have fought a bit harder to use the Official Viewer for my pix from Cerridwen's Cauldron in yesterday's post so I could activate shadows. Sure, that viewer is a friggin' pain in the asterisk when it comes to changing Windlight settings, but the shadows feature of Kirstens still crashes my system. So I went back today after copying over all the Windlight settings files I could find and roughly composed one of the shots again.  Click-Snap!

But now I've run into a problem ... Google tells me that my previously unlimited storage space for Blogger pictures is now full and that to continue I need to buy more space. So I loaded them to Flickr and am looking at my options. But in the meantime ...

The first shot, taken with the Zest Windlight and Glassy water settings, from Kirstens Viewer.
Roughly the same shot, but from the Official Viewer with all the same settings, but shadows turned on.
Two main differences, the water being the most obvious one. The shaders affected by the shadows setting have given the water a far more dramatic look and I'm quite pleased. Secondly, and harder to see, is that the face light I used in is not as effective in the second picture. It is as if Zyx is no longer being lit by the near by torch. Clearly, more tweaking is needed. And for both shots I could have turned on the anti-alaising feature (and rebooting the viewer, as required) for a sharper image.

If The Lab can get their act together and create easier access to the environment settings ... maybe putting them in the Sidebar ... the Official Viewer could turn out to be a great choice for photography.

"It's good to be the King"

Well, I'm not a king and I'm not Mel Brooks from "History of the World, Part I" but I am a premium account member with Second Life. That doesn't get me anywhere with Live Chat or the JIRA or any issues that I have with Our World, but I can get a really nice Linden Home to go with my L$cash stipend and now I have access to Premium Sandboxes and Premium Gifts! Since I logged in my alt first today after getting the email about the new goodies I can't visit the places one would go to see them, but I'll get  around to it, I'm sure.

All G-Rated sandboxes, some with amenities for vehicle testing.

Turns out it is just 8 locations with the same gift (lots of stuff for your living room) at each. In a move of questionable economic feasibility,  several of the locations use an entire region for just the gift giver.

Forty-Seven Prims of goodness (not all shown here) for what is labeled "Exclusive Premium Content, September 2011" so I'm guessing there will be something new every month. The couch seats two and has several poses. I checked only a few pieces, but it looks like they are all from Colleen Desmoulins of The Loft. Cabin not included.

I left a comment on the Official Blog announcement of these bonuses.