Jan 312012
 

So there I was swearing about texture offsets, when I decided I’d check out The Ivory Tower Of Prims and see if they had any advice on how to set texture offsets on prims the size of 0.200, 13.600 and 0.200 to make them play nicely. I still don’t know if they do as I couldn’t teleport there. Therefore I decided to sod that for a game of soldiers and go and have a quick peek at The Duran Duran sims (The DDU). This was largely due to Duran Duran having their own Destination Guide section.

 


Duran Duran — The UFO Club

Hidden beneath the seas of the Duran Duran Universe is the super secret UFO Club, an adventurous club and bar where anything can happen. Rumor has it that members of the band have played a spontaneous deejay gig or two here…

Visit in Second Life

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Jan 292012
 

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, but today a note card was passed my way that I want to share with you.
First I want to explain why this note card hit me the way it did. Last night I was reading a chat window of fellow bloggers and one person went on to say how SL has become a pit. That it has lost its shine.  “This place is rapidly turning into a shit hole of a has been.”  His summation of SL, obviously, was not good. I just closed the window as I didn’t want to listen or read the negativity anymore.
So, today a dear friend of mine passed out a note card which follows:

Phoenix McGann
One of the things I loved about performing online in Second Life was the opportunity to touch the lives of people all over the world. SL is a godsend to some…particularly those with disability or disease that confine their world. In SL they could run, dance, and soar through their imagination…doing things the weight of real life would not permit. One of these wonderful, joyful spirits, Phoenix McGann, passed on recently. For several years Phoe battled courageously with late stage Parkinson’s Disease. But nothing could stop her. SL allowed an outlet for her indomitable love of life. She was an amazing, crazy woman. Funny how people you’ve never met can sometimes touch your heart so. She was a Shantu fan from the very beginning…over 5 years ago. She was a wonderful human being. I’ll miss her.

This Thursday, Feb 2 at 7pm SLT I’ll be singing in SL for a tribute for her being put on by people who loved her. I hope all of you will find the time to stop by and celebrate here life. A landmark and further details will follow.

Shantu

So next time you want to “rag” about SL and what it DOESN’T do, remember what it does do too.

Till next time,
Your friend, Jez

Jan 262012
 

I’m a big fan of Linden Lab engaging in a go green campaign to try and encourage people to create and build more efficiently. However these things are often misunderstood, lead to finger pointing and can spoil people’s fun, so can overly complex avatars with lots of attachments but we should be encouraging freedom of expression.

However, it’s always good to have measures to look at, which brings us to the replacement for Avatar Rendering Cost, now it’s Avatar Draw Weight. This will display a score for your avatar, and other avatars around you. I’ve never been a fan of this score displaying the scores of other avatars as it can lead to finger pointing … wait I already covered that! To check your own draw weight, go to preferences, enable the advanced menu and then from the advanced menu, go to performance tools and select “Show Draw Weight For Avatars“.

Avatar Draw Weight Menu

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Jan 242012
 

Lastly, I really do regret I that spoiled ‘Ciaran Laval’ s night away from the pub. The way this election is going he may find me there before long.” – Sir Norman Tebbit, April 19th 2010.

The above quote is relevant in the name stakes because it demonstrates I have a persistent online identity outside Second Life circles, although what I was ever doing on The Torygraph blogs whilst sober still remains a mystery, what Sir Norman was referring to is that I’d stated on another blog post of his that I was stone cold sober and agreeing with him, it was a scary evening.

Which brings us to the latest episode of the nym wars and Google +, which rears its head in the shape of form of Google’s Bradley Horowitz suggesting a new and more inclusive naming policy is being r0lled out. Now before you get too excited you need to tread carefully here, Violet Blue, who was very involved in the nym wars because her name was considered to be fake (it isn’t) has posted over at Zdnet suggesting that pseudonyms still aren’t welcome. However Violet seems to be getting a tad confused, Bradley Horowitz is talking of one name nyms, rather than normal looking nyms and this is where it all gets confusing.

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Jan 232012
 

There are a couple of  items that Linden Lab could do with a little help on and the Adult Community on Zindra are talking of holding a flag competition, although rules on communication make this a little tricky. First of all the Linden Lab help wanted. Linden Lab have now, for a couple of weeks, been seeking feedback on the upcoming direct delivery system for the Second Life Marketplace, details of the direct delivery beta can be found here…. that post really should be a sticky, anyway, Linden Lab need some feedback.

I appreciate that merchants are human too and have time constraints but this is a big change with regards to how people list items on the marketplace and feedback, good and bad, really will help …. ok it should help! There’s a project viewer download and some instructions to read, but if you find the time, try and provide some feedback.

Moving on, both Inara Pey and Tateru Nino, who is poorly and I hope gets well soon, point to a request from Linden Lab regarding a new project viewer that has a simple inventory, the forum post is here….another post that should probably be a sticky. Simple Inventory, as the name suggest, is a simplified inventory, it’s a feature that never quite made it into the basic viewer that was doing the rounds, so if you do get a chance to look at it and post feedback, remember that it was done with new participants in mind.

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Jan 212012
 

Back on December 14th I pointed out that Local Payments were coming to an end. Local Payments, were a billing method for people outside the USA, which allowed people to pay tier and fees in a local currency. The information in the email advised people to update their payment information.

However there was a missing step, which seems to have caused confusion, it did for me anyway. The issue was that when I went to update my information, the information was already there on my account. I left it there, I didn’t see the point in adding it again when it already existed. D-Day passed, billing went fine and then came the second email, with a title of Final Reminder (which is always worrying):

Dear Ciaran  

This email contains important information that affects your Second Life account and requires action in order to continue any payment transactions with Second Life.

Due to the conclusion of the Second Life local payments beta program, it is required that you add a new credit card or PayPal account by going to your billing information page on Secondlife.com:

Although our local payments beta program ended  for a small group, we have extended the deadline to update payments information to another date.

If your payment information has not been updated, your next automatic payment will fail, and you will receive automatic delinquent account messages notifying you of this failure. You may update your payment information at any point, but to prevent this failure, you must do so by a certain date.

If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our Knowledge Base.

Best Wishes,

Linden Lab and the Second Life Team

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Jan 212012
 

The fallout from the postponed SOPA legislation has at times got ugly, at times is has shown the bad and there has been a very little bit of good. There are also other external factors that show current legislation has teeth, uncomfortable teeth I should add. Yahoo News Reporting that Megaupload has been shutdown is a little disturbing, although really it’s for the courts to decide exactly what they’re guilty of, a Dutch citizen being arrested in New Zealand and a Hong Kong based website being shutdown suggest there’s not much need for SOPA. Those who had legitimate content on Megaupload are out of luck too, which is one of the problems when actions like these occur.

Then there’s the very disturbing case of British student Richard O’Dwyer as reported by The Daily Mail , who is fighting extradition to the USA to face charges related to running a website that posted links to downloads of copyrighted content. The website was allegedly managed from the UK and hosted in The Netherlands, so quite why he’s fighting extradition to the USA is baffling, if his activities are illegal or a case for the courts, any trial should be happening in the UK.

These issues are happening now, without the need for SOPA or PIPA. Yet Hollywood wants more, the MPAA Twitter account links to articles supporting their stance on SOPA, do they support the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer?

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Jan 202012
 

This is going to be a very basic tutorial, I am not going to cover super efficiency, texturing, UV Mapping or anything like that, although if you want your steps to be bloody useful, you’ll want to learn those aspects. Nor will I deal with reducing vertices, removing doubles and other tricks, although they’re useful, I’m not a teacher, I work in education but I’m not a teacher! Really what I want to do here is show how useful Mesh can be by demonstrating how to create a basic set of steps that will come in at One prim. Ideally Torley would be doing this with friendly greetings, however I’m not Torley and I’m not friendly!

I should also point out here that if you don’t know how to login to the beta grid, you should learn to do so! The beta grid is great for playing with Mesh as you don’t pay for uploads there, so perfect your Mesh on the beta grid. Details on how to login to the beta grid are here, but please note, you’ll need to pass the Mesh quiz for the beta grid too, even if you’ve passed it for the main grid!

Ok so to start with we need to open Blender, then press the N key so we get the properties up, which will show this menu:

Blender Props

The x, y, z dimensions work just like they do in Second Life, you have to do something to make them ideal, but it’s just like setting them in Second Life. For my steps I’m going to use settings of 0.750, 3.000 and 0.500 for my x,y,z settings, which is a nice size for step, choose whichever settings you think work best but remember this is for just one step.

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Jan 162012
 

I’m going to talk here about a relatively new scripting function, llSetMemoryLimit, this may not work the way one thinks it does, but it basically sets the upper memory limit your script can use. I’m far from being a scripting expert but this looks like a function that people should get used to using where they can, even if it might not actually save memory for a sim the way we may think it should, I’m not sure how the server handles the space.

Anyway, when you create a new script, if Mono is ticked, it has an upper memory limit of 64kb, if you don’t compile the script as Mono, it compiles as LSO, and that has an upper memory limit of 16kb, with LSO it’s a hard rule, all LSO scripts have an upper limit of 16kb, llSetMemoryLimit won’t work with LSO, with Mono however you can set a lower limit. In this post I’ll show how this works with a very basic script, a notecard giver.

I’ll start by visiting LSL Wiki and going to the llGiveInventory section. LSL Wiki isn’t as up to date as the LSL portal but I often find the discussions and examples on LSL Wiki more helpful. So all I want is a notecard giver, I rez a prim, go to the contents tab, click new script, get the default hello world script, delete everything and replace it with this (with apologies for the horrid coding style):

default
{
state_entry()
{
}
touch_start(integer total_number)
{
llGiveInventory(llDetectedKey(0),llGetInventoryName(INVENTORY_NOTECARD, 0));
}

Then I make sure there’s a notecard in the contents of the prim and when I touch it, I’ll get a Notecard. However this is a Mono script so it defaults to an upper memory limit of 64kb:

Default Mono Script Limit

So let’s look at how we can reduce that using llSetMemoryLimit()

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