Sunday, June 27, 2010

SL7B: TeleOctoscope

I'm not entirely sure what this is, really. A TeleOctoscope is what the maker calls it. What I am sure of is that this is one of the coolest builds in all of the Second Life 7th Birthday regions. Go. Go now (SLurl). Grab the freebie. Follow the instructions. Have a great time.

The Destination Guide (Web) has other great places to visit at the party (search for SL7B) and elsewhere in-world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SL7B: Unexpected Childhoods

A "Must See" at the Second Life Birthday celebration is "Unexpected Childhoods" (SLurl) the exhibit from SLebrity Marianne McCann and Pygar Bu. It features the stories of why some of SL's brightest and most creative residents choose to use "kid" avatars in-world. As I builder, I appreciate the quality of the design and it's craftsmanship (craftskidship?), but as someone who actually "lives" in SL, I appreciate more the depth of the experience conveyed through this whimsical ode to being oneself, regardless of the exterior presentation.

Other great exhibits can be found via the Destination Guide (here or via the viewer in-world), just search for SL7B. The official blog (Web) is another good way to keep up with events and places for the celebration.

SL7B: Babel

One of the more creative builds at Second Life's 7th Birthday party is from Babel Translations and Text Creations (SLurl), an SL Solutions Provider. Peter Stindberg didn't use Glow as a weapon, like many of this year's builds, but instead combined it with a fun particle system to make the exhibit light and interesting. Before you know it, you are learning about how his company's translation services are superior to using machine translations. While there, look for the clever "Babel Language Kiosk," a freebie that lets you drop in note cards with translated material to distribute rules, sales info, or the like to customers and visitors. Sure, you still have to get someone to translate the stuff for you in the first place and I'm sure Peter hopes you choose his company.

Several other creative builds are near the Babel exhibit so plan some time to explore. Of course, to learn more about where to go and what to see, check out the official SL7B blog (Web) or check back here for more of my posts.

Monday, June 21, 2010

SL7B: The Isle of Lesbos

The Isle of Lesbos is at the Second Life Birthday celebration for the third year in a row and once again features art, but this time the pieces come from within the Isle sisterhood as part of the event theme of Unexpected Collaborations. Also featured is a nice swing nestled in a fantasy meadow that has a great view of the surrounding builds. If you want to relax, cool off with one of the lagoon's floaty toobs. These are free to copy as is some of the art that is on display.

Of course, the art is the focus and below, in order, are some previews from Temoren Drathman, Airethilien Banach, Angela Seale, and Jenshae Werefox.

Some of my art is on display, too, and I have to put in the disclaimer that I built the exhibit, too. I would have had a much harder time, though, if it weren't for my wonderful wife and Build Assistant, Angela Seale.

The exhibit should be one of the many fine builds listed in the official Destination Guide (Web) but check out official SL7B blog (Web) for information about the whole event.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

SL7B: Time Capsule

Once again, Will Webb has taken time to create a Time Capsule for the Second Life Birthday. Exhibitors are encouraged to donate items that will eventually be examined in generations henceforth ... however long an SL generation is, if anyone knows. Each year a clever build is used for the capsule itself, often something looking like what you might expect a high-tech time capsule to look like. Usually. One year an asteroid was used.

This year, Will was short on time and wanted to honor the event theme, Unexpected Collaborations, so he put out a call for low-prim designs from all the builders. I don't know how many he received, but he showed me a really clever one that was a "time-released cold pill" which spilled out little beads when you clicked it. I thought it was far more clever than the design he eventually chose, but I suppose it used too many prims or wasn't chosen for some other reason. Fortunately for me, I guess, as the one he picked was my design. I liked the "pill" better but I won't complain.

My design was inspired by Star Trek's "Guardian of Forever," the time portal from the original series. Not only was his final choice unexpected, but it turned into an unexpected collaboration, too, because Will asked if he could make some mods, I agreed, and he made it much better. Now the whirly rainbow you see in the picture above fades in and out when touched, for example, and some other changes that helped the over all utility. Unfortunately, if you leap through it there is no affect on your timeline.

Be sure to check out the SL7B Time Capsule exhibit when you visit (SLurl). Previous time capsules are on display and you might even run into Will, one of the original generations of SL Residents. Try "editing" each time capsule there to see the contents and get a flavor of birthday's past. After your visit, use the near by tram station, fly around, or use the Destination Guide (Web) to find other great experiences. More information is available on the official SL7B blog (Web), too.

SL7B: An Overview

It is Second Life Birthday time again! As of a few days ago I've been on the main grid a full four years and if the Internet Time Acceleration Principle holds, it feels like 10-times longer. Under this premise, our World is now 70! Really, though, it is just seven years old (give or take, depending on when you celebrate the actual inception) and this year's party is ready to rev! Official opening is on the 21st at 10AM SLT but we denizens of the Press are getting a preview right now. I've already posted on the Lucky Kitty Crew blog (Web) about some of the gifts that are available and will follow up here with posts about individual exhibits and activities. There is no way I can be exhaustive ... cripes, just the number of sims is a bit overwhelming ... but start with these resources listed below and check back here throughout the run of the event.
  • The official SL7B blog has the latest news and a great teaser machinima (Web)
  • The SL7B wiki has the nitty gritty details like dates and policies (Web)
  • Bear Island is a great first stop to see a ton of Linden Bears, old and new (detailed post later; Web)
  • A really great set of Flickr pix from Radioactive Rosca (Web)
  • The Destination Guide will be featuring some of the best builds (in-world or Web)
  • Daniel Voyager was spotted early on during the Press Preview so watch his blog (Web)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Inventory Rebirth

Recently, I and two of my alts experienced massive inventory losses: skins, prim attachments such as hair and shoes, eyes, mesh-based clothes, and more. Interestingly, items that survived the loss were ones that I had "linked" to create Saved Outfits in the My Appearance pane in the Second Life v2.0 viewer. Clearing all the saved outfits did nothing. Nor did clearing both individual and group caches. In fact, I performed all the inventory recovery steps that The Lab recommends whenever there is a loss, including waiting 24 hours since a recent grid maintenance had been postponed and even trying the official viewer called Snowglobe. I've been down this expensive road and am still recovering so I put a lot of effort into writing the Tickets. When I filed one for each avatar's loss (two premium accounts and one "free" account) I detailed, including Wiki page URLs, all the steps I tried to bring everything back and included pictures showing what should be in my inventory (see above).

Within moments of filing each Ticket a (probably automated) response was sent back that the Ticket was closed and I should try all the steps that I had already outlined. Moments. Not time enough to read the Ticket let alone look at my account. So I reopened each Ticket, pointing out (politely) the inadequacies of Customer Service at Linden Lab, repeating what I had done to solve the problem myself, and demanding someone actually read the Ticket.

Fast forward a couple days since the initial problem. No responses. With starting a major sim remodeling and my Second Life 7th Birthday build underway I decided to rely on a 3rd party viewer rather than risk losing more stuff. Bam. All my stuff was there! I logged out and tried my alts. Their stuff was back. Then I tried the official viewers again. Gone. Back to a different 3rd party viewer. Back.

Today I started closing the tickets, still not having received a response and posted this in the comments of each:

Fearing the loss of more inventory, I tried a 3rd party viewer and *behold* my lost items were in their proper places. After starting the Official 2.0 viewer again, the lost items were again gone. I recommend adding a step to the "Complete Inventory Recovery article" ... Uninstall the Second Live viewer and delete all traces of it (easy on a Macintosh; hard on Windows) then install a fresh copy of the official viewer to "recover" all lost items. This seems to be a problem with the Link function of the My Appearance feature, Saved Outfits. Items in a folder that are NOT linked to a Saved Outfit become hidden for some reason. I also had to clear the current Snowglobe viewer as it showed the same losses as the 2.0 viewer.

I beg The Lab. Don't ignore tickets. Treat your Premium customers better (I've talked quite a few friends into Premium accounts just so they have a stronger say when problems happen). And, for everyone's sakes, fix the bugs in the v2.o viewer. I'm tired of finding new ones.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Birthday Pouts

Building for the Second Life 7th Birthday celebration started today, but not for me. It looks like my application for this year was denied. Wish I knew why. My theme was going to be based on a collaboration of art from women in the Isle of Lesbos community, a Diversity Within Similarity theme to go along with the over all Birthday theme of Unexpected Collaborations. I had builds in the last two annual events so I guess it is someone else's turn. Maybe I'll work up something to appear on the Isle by itself. Maybe not. I have a big commission, of sorts, coming up where I'll collaborate on a sim rebuild. It's all hush-hush now, but you'll be sure to see something posted about it here.