Monday, July 30, 2012

Bay City: Hot Bay City Nights Press Release


CONTACT: Marianne McCann
Bay City Alliance


Event focuses on top Second Life™ vintage automakers. BAY CITY, SL (30th July, 2012) – Celebrating Bay City’s mid-century theme as well as its large network of roads, “Hot Bay City Nights” will showcase vehicle makers who create automobiles from the Bay City “era,” stretching from 1940 to 1965. Hot Bay City Nights in a first of its kind event, borrowing a page or two from the city’s successful “Bay City Fashion Week’ last April.

Established vintage automobile designers will be found in the Bay City Fairgrounds, in the North Channel region, from August 18-25 to present the best in vintage and retro vehicles for all Second Life™ avatars.

Additional events will provide plenty for all to do, including DJ and live music events, a bikini contest, and a charity car wash. The event will raise funds for Child’s Play, a charity that provides toys and games for children in hospitals around the world.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab ™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.

For more information, contact: Marianne McCann


Bay City: Hippo Food Challenge

Pop into the Hairy Hippo Funland (SLurl) for some new fun, the Hippo's Food Challenge!

Click the sign you see in the pic above (not now … when you get to the amusement park in-world, silly) and you'll receive a HUD and a note card:
When you're at Hairy Hippo Fun Land, wear the HUD you got with this notecard.
Find some food at the HHFL and 'wear' it to eat it. Watch your HUD, it will tell you if this is a unique food or not, and how many more you need to win.
If your gluttony catches up with you, find a restroom quickly! There's at least one on each sim.
The LDPW Moles have really stepped up on this one!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Scripting is a Mystery

Sure, I can bang prims together. And I understand the basics of how sculpted prims work well enough that I've been able to make crude ones from scratch. Mesh is mostly a mystery to me, but its not alone. Scripting in Second Life is an original mystery. I can tinker with some existing scripts but creating one from scratch is beyond me.

So I was pleased when somehow I ran across a Second Life script archive at Wizardry and Steamworks (Web). Check it out sometime. I found a script to make bubble gum, a jokey profile generator, a nice DJ song request tool, among other nifty items. Some are very basic and common, like a visitor greeter script and a couple others have been put into prims for you and are available at Kira Komarov's SL Marketplace shop (Web).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Farewell, Lesbos

One last sunset. The Isle has sunk into the sea until her sisters bring her back. This is not good bye.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Second Life & the Mountain Lion

By all accounts, Apple's "Mountain Lion" operating system will be released today (Web), a bargain at only $19.99 for a slew of features (Web). However, RoaringApps reports (Web) that the Second Life viewer is NOT compatible.

Note that they list a slightly out-of-date version of the SL viewer, the current being 3.3.3 released to the wild on June 21st. Whether this assessment is valid or not depends on your exact configuration, of course, as a peek at the SLviewer System Requirements (Web) shows. Based on that information, my 27" iMac shouldn't really be able to access SL even now and yet I do. The only third party viewer I found in the list was Phoenix and that was listed as having questionable compatibility.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Updated Luskwood Cat

Quite some time after several new furies were introduced by Luskwood and other species were updated, a staple of the line, the Domestic Cat, has just received an update, too. Version 3 is out and here is a quick comparison.

The edition I acquired in 2007 is absolutely adorable, but there isn't a sculpty bit to be seen anywhere on it. By most any standard it appears to be crude despite some clever prim manipulations.

The hair pictured here is a basic mod of the standard hair. I made several variations and modified several other hair styles from my closet to fit just this head. Note the multiple overlapping prims around the muzzle, a technique necessary to give the required shape. Unfortunately, the prims have different surface angles to the light makes them look odd.

The hair pictured below on the 2012 cat, Version 3, is also standard, but by using sculpties it looks far smoothers and more natural. Same with the hair tufts behind the cheeks and in the ears. In fact, a liberal use of sculpties everywhere makes the cat face far more realistic.

For this picture I used the slitted eyes option, though round pupils are far cuter. Either way, the pupils can dilate randomly or with the region sun setting. The join at the nose bridge is obvious because the head is not one piece, but I've already starting taking advantage of this by modifying various head pieces to make the face unique. I'll also have to modify some extra body parts that I added to the older version if I want to use them with this one because the skin texture is now "furry" instead of solid white. Same with several sets of clothes because v3 offers digigrade legs as an option.

Generally, the new avatar is very nice. The numerous new features and construction methods make this one of the nicest Furry avatars I've seen. Certainly a welcome and long-overdue upgrade. But The smile on the old version is just sooooo adorable that I'll likely keep using that version for some time to come with the new version.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What's In My Closet: Stuff

Since there is no easy way to export items from your MySL feed at this time, I guess I'll have to do it manually, so here goes ... outfits I created and saved today with the captions I used (in Italics) in my snapshot feed.

My new Adventure Girl ensemble, cobbled together from all over my wardrobe. #Fashion
I shot this at the the Premium Wilderness Area (Web), a reason to get a Premium account if I ever saw one.

Updated my Builder Girl outfit. Mostly the cloth parts, but I adapted my Wynx mole helmet to fit a human size. #Fashion
This pic was taken outside the faux water tower at the Lesbos University building. I had planned to make it part of the 2012 Lesbos Halloween build, but ... Well, if you haven't heard yet, The Isle of Lesbos closes next week.

My tiny kangaroo hippie thanks to a nice freebie from "What's This?"
This little kanga avatar was one of my favorites when I worked at SL9B and I decided I have to go Tiny more often.

A Loco Pocos tiger because I'm thinking of joining the White Tiger Mentors. #Fashion
My friend, Bo Denimore, is a mentor there and I value his recommendation to join the group. It could give me something to do other than just explore now that Lesbos is going away.
The next couple pix aren't saved outfits (Web) but I was having fun with my Inventory when the idea struck that I might be able to go visit the LDPW Moles ...

I was hoping that if I visited the Mole Tunnel at the Bay City Community Center (SLurl) I'd be transported to Mole Land. No such luck. #Bay City #Mole
Needless to say, it didn't work. But do know where the Mole Islands are located (Web).

I've been trying to think what my LDPW Mole name would be. Based on this pic? Maybe Adora Mole #LDPW #Mole
Moving things from the MySL feed might become a regular event on the blog here, at least until someone looks at my JIRA to make an automatic transfer possible (Web). Well, looks at it, approves it, and implements it. No, I don't hold out any hope, really.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cloud Party

Someone, whether it be Google or Facebook or Google and Facebook has started a 3D interactive world called Cloud Party (Web). I don't know the details but I'm sure you can find them at various places around the Interwebs. What I do know is that if you want to do more than poke around, get bored, and leave, you need a Facebook account. That explains my disinterest.

But my brother, CC Columbo in Second Life, does have a Facebook account, so I sat next to him today while he mucked about in the new world. The most exciting part of the visit for me is that my SL friend Claudia222 Jewel has an island in Cloud Party (Web). Here are some pix I made CC take:

Claudia222's island is one of many but the most and best developed of all that we saw today.

And here is why. She brought her art into Cloud Party. I don't know how, really. CC is looking into it. He thinks that mesh is importable, like things made in Google Sketch Up.
Aside from finding Claudia, the experience for me – at least from sitting beside CC while he explored – was dull, but I did note a few things:

  • Building - The process is too complicated and the tools are horrible. Even placing pre-fabs is a chore.
  • Everything in the Library looks very, very generic and little of it is scripted for use. The TV can't be watched but the cannon can be fired. There is no way to sit on the furniture.
  • The camera is horrible. There is no way to include yourself in a picture unless you do a screen cap. Every pic in this post was snapped with Skitch.
  • Avatars are always running. Movement with a Apple computer is difficult at best.
  • You get a free home and free furniture, plus you can build things, but there is no indication as to what limits you have (like SLers have prim limits on land).
  • Your user name is whatever name you use on Facebook, but  you can change your Display Name once.
  • Every region is the same size and is a floating island. If you can see an island in the sky above you, you can visit it. Otherwise there is a directory inside your "phone."
  • That "phone" is basically just a folder with things in it for navigation, taking pictures, looking at your pictures, building, settings, and more. It's isn't really a phone.
  • Outfits and avatar customization is very limited, but Hey! It's beta.
  • Web browser URLs can be bookmarked/saved in your browser to visit locations at a later time.
  • CC had a conversation with a visitor to his house who was familiar with SL and the upshot was "SL is winning because of quality and ease of use" but I suspect that will change rapidly. It took SL 9+ years to get where it is now. Cloud Party is like a 2nd year SL right now.
  • You can't use an iPad or Apple Safari. The Google Chrome browser is probably the best thing to use.

Don't let Claudia's world fool you. Inside CC's home is more typical  of what you find in Cloud Party. The TV behind him is not functional. It took 10-15 minutes just to place this furniture. Chat is nearly illegible in that little window with OCR fonts and pale bubbles that appear over everyone's heads. There is a currency and CC has one unit of it. Eighty more Cloud Coins  cost $4USD, though what the money is used for, I have no idea.

Everyone's free house is identical and share mostly identical islands. CC has a nice corner lot and there is an empty commons mid-island. We didn't find a way to lock the home, close the drapes, or make the dedicated teleport point a private listing. Since the avatars always run, navigating the stair case is rather tricky. No idea why the building is raised as there is no basement under the main floor. A deck out back is oddly-shaped and small. Based on looking at everyone else's houses, the big window right above the stairs is commonly used as a bedroom. This is very 2003 Second Life-ish in most respects.
What does this mean for Second Life? Probably not much. There has been competition for some time. The hard core SL residents won't likely abandon Our World for this new world. But I hope it encourages The Lab to push harder on that Web-based user interface that was tested a little while ago. Remember a couple years ago when I suggested that Google needs to buy Linden Lab (Web)? Now they don't have to that. But maybe this alternative will spur changes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sometimes I wonder ...

A recent move to Bay City, some land swaps in Nangrim, the constant desire to have a higher prim limit, and finding a nice little cottage for public use all coalesced into the thought ... Sometimes I wonder why I own land in Second Life. When I came to the Main Grid I was given 16 square meters of land from my brother and gradually earned more by doing things for a shop he owned at the time. Then I plowed money into my own land and between the two of us we had 3/4 of a whole region to ourselves.

But there were times over the last six years that I was "homeless," not owning land or having an actual structure like a house, instead simply logging in and out only at the Isle of Lesbos. Does an avatar really need shelter? What little fake rain occurs isn't damaging. We carry our wardrobes with us. Sex beds are everywhere. And there are plenty of public structures to use (and private ones, but that's another story). Look at what I found when map-hopping around Bay City ... A gingerbread cottage in Luna Shores (SLurl).

Built by a coalition of LDPW Moles, this little cottage is nestled away where very few people would ever find it. About Land shows traffic at 768 avatars. Not many at all despite being adjacent to a public sandbox.

The interior is adorable. Perfect for a "homeless" squatter to use as their own or for someone that wants to do a rustic-themed role play ... or other RP (look behind those green hospital screens to the right).

There are surprises inside and out. Always look around an LDPW build to see a Mole's sense of humor. 
I really do love my homes. The magic of Second Life means I can make them anything that I want them to be and at any time. But if I went homeless again, more SL magic means that I could actually live almost anywhere and still feel at home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hungry, Bored, & Lazy

Yes, I'm hungry, bored, and lazy at this moment. Hungry because lunch was ramen noodle soup over an hour ago. Bored because there is nothing fun to do at the moment. Lazy because I have lots of important things to do plus fold the laundry. I guess I'm just depressed. Things are changing in Second Life, I'd love to have a Real Life girlfriend (virtual smooches are nice, but not the same), and the Real Life stuff I'm avoiding is, in itself, depressing. Interestingly, the pic below that I took just today is depressing, too.

As seen in my Profile Snapshot Feed. Did you see my JIRA about that?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Super Powers iRL

Often I wish I could do some of the things in Real Life (iRL) that I can in Second Life (iSL). Speaking is the obvious example. Main chat mimics speaking publicly while Instant Messages are like telephone calls. I'm sure that there are more than a few people wheelchair-bound iRL that enjoy the illusion of walking or running iSL. But living in Bay City for a little while now and working to conform to its relatively close adherence to a Real World appearance have made me wonder about running, jumping, and flying iSL.

Running. I sure as heck can run faster in Real Life than I can in Second Life and with a greater variety of styles. One of my alts, however, has a "dash" attachment (here are a few) that teleports her in such a fashion as to make her appear that she runs with blurring speed, a trail of dust following her. Wouldn't that be cool iRL? And iSL I don't have to put on a heavy-duty bra to keep my center of gravity from going all over the place and slowing me down (or making me ache a lot after a long run ... I hated doing laps in High School gym class).

Jumping. Apparently my avatar can jump, unassisted and with incredible consistency, some eight meters. That's a bit farther than the best Real Life women's long jumpers have done (see here). Pretty impressive. Then when I strap on an Abranimations Jump Enhancer, look out!

Flying. Do I really have to mention flying? If I correctly recall stories I've heard, both flying and teleporting were accidental features in the early days of Second Life, but where would we be without them today? And what would Real Life be like if everyone could fly as they can in Second Life. Even without flight enhancers for speed or altitude, I'd love to be able to fly iRL. Imagine being able to nip off to the corner market or out for a burger without having to get the car out of the garage, drive to the location, park .... you get the idea. If flying were commonplace, then Disney World would have to invent ways to make a human's ability to fly into an amusement ride.

Am I missing any super powers? Camming great distances. Terraforming. An infinitely deep storage closet. Creating plywood out of thin air. Lifting whole buildings with a flick of the wrist. Someone far more clever than me needs to write a novel about this sort of thing, really.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th!

Happy 4th of July from me and the Isle of Lesbos.

New Home: Teaghlaigh in Bay City

With the generous assistance of Marianne McCann and Marx Dudek, my brother (CC Columbo) and I were able to purchase some land in Bay City, that wonderful part of mainland that is more than just a place, but a community, as well. Every parcel we've looked at in the past year has been outrageously priced but fortune and friends smiled on us so we now have Teaghlaigh in Bay City (SLurl), a home and a "coming soon" garden shop.

Teaghlaigh in Bay City is a simple home and an empty garden shop. Well, there is some furniture in the back and a few plants, but right now it's status is "Coming Soon" as a store getting ready to open. Actually, we may not have enough prims left to have an actual shop, but you never know. I'd like to start making plants to sell.

The greenhouse end is very nice with a  great view of a very unkempt lawn. Originally, my brother had a lovely gazebo and garden set here, but Bay City is an urban landscape and as much as we liked what he had done, it just didn't fit. That's when CC got the idea of "opening a business" that would allow us to keep a lot of greenery.

My contribution to the decoration was finding this nice desk for CC to buy (I was broke) and coming up with the backstory: Teaghlaigh is a small remnant of an old family farm with a city growing up around it. The family (CC, me, and my wife, Angela Seale) still live at the farm and are going to use what is left to make a go at a garden shop.
Our land is right on a canal with ferries regularly passing under a drawbridge. The canal wall and a fair chunk of land on the dry side is Linden-owned so technically we can't build on it, but the ground prims we put down are anchored on our side and will likely be overlooked by the authorities. I sure wish I could extend the grass over there.
With this land acquisition, CC is selling his land adjacent to the Memorial Park in Nangrim (SLurl) — two 512m2 lots and a 1024m2 lot. Each is only $L1/m2 and that's cheap. I also have a 384m2 lot that I should put up for sale, too, but I promised some friends that they could set their Home there, though no one has taken  me up on it as far as I know.

The land in Nangrim, my first home in Second Life. The Memorial Park remains, of course, but some 2048m2 of land is up for sale, cheap. Wanna be a neighbor with free run of the Park? Actually, you can just come visit, if you want, either at Bay City or Nangrim. Everyone is always welcome.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A JIRA for My Second Life

These are my in-world snaps featured and you can see the updating stream here.
Above is a screenshot of the snapshot section of the My Second Life microblogging site provided to every Resident of Second Life. I have a few issues with "MySL" but chief among them is the inability to export the in-world snaps to another blogging site such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, etc. or accessing them without having a Second Life account. Since I feel this is such a great service I'd like to see this issue corrected so I created [WEB-4835] Snapshot feeds from should have the ability to populate external blogs on the Second Life Bug Tracker (JIRA). If you have some time, please take a few moments to look it over and comment on it, if you'd like, but please vote for having the issue resolved. If this works, I might file to have other fixes/improvements.