Thursday, August 28, 2014

Safari goes Metro

          Uncertainty in the metaverse - think that's gonna stop us? No Way! Nara Malone and Zetamex's Timothy Rogers have very kindly made us a temporary home in Metropolis while the OSGrid Raid problems continue.
But there is no reason to be fainthearted... I even found a replacement top hat for Mal Burns, when he joins us next. How long will it take to get OSGrid back? Nara pointed out that when Metropolis had some technical unpleasantness some time ago, they were offline for a month. OSGrid is well into its second week, but it will be back. And Han Held reminded us, in the safari after party, that one should always make a backup.
Han Held: You should make an IAR of your region.
Fuschia Nightfire: What's that?
         For a long time, when I heard that phrase I thought it was the paradox rule -Ignore All Rules- but it seemed better to shut up and let Han give a proper answer.
Han Held: It's your Inventory Archive. I downloaded mine before I butted heads with the admins of OSGrid.
          Han is smart. Sadly, much like a parachute, the backup only works if you get yours organized before the grid goes into free fall. And since my disk drive and even my precious external hard drive have both begun giving me gip, it probably wouldn't have helped me that much.
Fuschia Nightfire: I have used Second Inventory to move my stuff to other grids.
Thirza Ember: The problem with that is you have to be the Creator of each item.
Fuschia Nightfire: It made me realize how much third party stuff I use. Scripts, sculptmaps, textures.
          It's true; open sim is a fantastic engine to get you creating your own content from scratch, whether it's getting into Blender, making textures for clothes and buildings, or learning scripting. And there are so many people out there willing to help - there are Blender classes on Craft, Metropolis, and Littlefield Grid, the latter in English with Aaack Aardvark.
          But let's start at the beginning.
If you have a non OSGrid avatar (for example, an avie based in Craft, Kitely, etc,) you can simply jump to Metropolis and find us on Outlands sim, a gorgeous foresty jungly region that Nara has made available to us for the duration. (that is ) Obviously OSGrid avies will not work, so c'mon! make a second open sim avie on another grid, - yes, it is work, you're right, speaking as a person who has made 17 thirzas on 17 different grids, I feel your pain, but it's another form of backup, and we are working on putting together a good list of LMs for stores which will be in HG Safari Group Notices and also available on the sim in a couple of days.
          This week we were invited to Pillars of Mist by Andress Renault. Staff member Vitazu Pegaird was there to welcome us. There was plenty to sit on here, I think Vitazu thought we had lost our marbles; luckily Lucy Afarensis showed some decorum, and ... OMG I just got her name!
          How brilliantly safarian!
          This is a mystery grid, but the usual Safari Mystery "Where the heck is your hair?"  was mysteriously not a problem. Even PatriciaAnne still had hair, and Wizzy kept her clothes on! (That almost never happens.)
          We visited a Varregion called Willow, and checked out the mines. More sitting, but with tunnels.
          Then on to the shops, where we found two different kinds of skates up for grabs.
          I love the way Art Blue pretended to look at menswear while really camming the lingerie on a nearby display. There was a nice police station too, and a bar.
          Guess who found the booze first. (Lemme give you a hint: there was a lot of pink in there, and it wasn't gin.) Wizardoz Chrome would like it to be known she stuck to water and possibly a little cola. Protesting too much? You decide.
          Before leaving Pillars of Mist, we melted a few alcoholicaolories with some dancing on the ruins. So now you have photographic evidence of what they mean by the expression 'dance your butt off'.
           Then it was back to Metropolis, and Virunga on what I like to call the Outworldz, in the 10000 part of the grid, where Ferd Fredrix has set up his Yo Frankie game. You collect acorns, and a ram called Rambo kills you with surprising frequency. Me and Fuschia found our way to the lighthouse, but  with only about 20 acorns each, we didn't have the oaken wherewithal to actually complete the Yo Frankie task - so Fuschia lit it up with her cybercollar. Job done.
          Our last jump was to be to Wunderland. This was going to be the 'easy' jump of the night, since it is also right here in Metropolis, and I had been there moments before safari began, and had spoken to the lovely Brenda Geissen the artist and creator of a string of fantastic regions. But despite all preparations and care, the sims were unreachable when we'd finished Yo Frankying. There's one more mystery for the Pillars of Mist people.          
          We will keep it for our next adventure.      

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Monorail Travels, and The Meeroo Massacre.

Allellia Zebberman: sat on a bunny :-/
Riven Homewood: Did it hop away, Alle?
Allellia Zebberman: no and its not flat
Nara Mistwood: hypergrid bunnies are tough

We were roasting meeroos around an open fire in the heart of Pathlandia, at the end of another hair raising Safari. We were an intimate group of just twenty - yeah, twenty avies on a regular mini grid. Admittedly not the same twenty as set out; some took off early, some showed up late. 
          Hair is still an issue. But when you've already managed to tp a ram on board a moving train earlier in the day, the smaller hardships like a ghostly head of hair following you around the hyperverse is not a big deal.  Plus we had Pathfinder all to ourselves, on lovely Pathlandia, in the firelight. So we asked him questions. 
          Well, some of us did. The others were raiding his collection of copiable freebies.
Pathfinder.Lester: hi Cherry! I'm a big fan of your art! ty for visiting!
Cherry.Manga Aloha Pathlandia and thank you :) coming with Gill and Ssm from Francogrid.
Cherry.Manga (nice panties upgrading Snow, ok That's the last time I speak about them).
SSM and snow. Fashion issues?
        I made those shorts, and snowy wears them out of solidarity more than anything else, so it seemed about time to change the subject before the whole group began mocking my underwear construction capability.
Thirza Ember: I have a question - what will happen to Second Life with all these changes, in your opinion?
Riven Homewood: At the moment, SL seems to be the place where everybody comes for meetings and some activities. I hope it will stay that way, or that some other grid will become that
Pathfinder Lester: I think SL will always be around in some form. I agree with Riven, too. As for Sl 2.0 or whatever they call it, it is far too early to tell how that might turn out. But so far I like what Ebbe is saying.
Wizard Gynoid: which will be better? High Fidelity or Secondlife 2.0?
Riven Homewood: High Fidelity will have all the bells and whistles - SL 2.0 might actually work as a society.
Pathfinder Lester: Wizzy, SL 2.0 sounds like a "spiritual successor" to SL in my opinion. High Fidelity sounds like "we're developing tech that we'll license to folks like LL" in my opinion. Riven, well said. What made SL work was it was built not just as tech, but as a society with community planning at the beginning. It's all about tech + communities evolving into societies, in my opinion. That's always been my focus in virtual worlds. The intersection between those 2.
Riven Homewood: Phillip strikes me as being mainly interested in the cool tech. Engineer's viewpoint.
Wizard Gynoid: i think Phillip knows what's he's doing. He's a smart fella. Anybody want to roast meeroos?
Fuschia Nightfire: I am getting kinda peckish
Riven Homewood: Leg or breast?
Thirza Ember: Pathfinder, another question...on one hand, we've got commercial grids emerging, on the other 'free' or 'amateur' grids. Which i s'better' do you think... which kind is more likely to survive in the long term?
Pathfinder Lester: Thirza, I think free grids can survive as long as whoever is funding them can keep it going. Maybe someone who's independently wealthy? lol
          He's right, it's an expensive hobby. Ask Shaun Emerald of Sanctuary Grid, or Bob Wellman of PMGrid; ask the admins of OSGrid or Metropolis. They do it for the love of the technology. I wonder if that does give them the edge over commercial grids. Their paradigm is different, and while their worlds may end up closing, they can't 'fail' in the same way. I wonder if that's easier.
How does Riven put her hand out of the window, I don't know. The tiger also disappeared.
          This was the last of three jumps for week 13 of Safari, lucky for some, in fact, most of us. Our first jump was within OSGrid. Susannah Avonside has been building in open sim for ages, and has a number of really lovely regions, many themed around her native Wales. 

          Considering the chaos we bring in our wake it seemed wiser not to go to her famed region Party Zone, but to see how many avies we could get on the monorail, in her 9 sim region Transport (the hg address is 1) which boasts a collection of airplanes, a nice tram, and plenty of open spaces. 
woot! Transport regions in OSGrid also have trams!
        It peaked at 21, not including the tiger. The train stops at the station for 20 seconds, which is plenty of time, really, to click on a seat, unless you're also trying to make smart remarks in Local Chat, in which case you may miss the train, or end up riding on the roof.
some people just have to be different.
          From Wales to France, or is it Germany, hard to tell, anyway Metropolis Grid and the Art sims of Art Blue.  But for many of us, Metropolis was not cooperating yesterday. Hypergridding is a bit like snakes and ladders - crashing sends you back to your starting point, and you've got to make the hazardous journey again. And again. And, sigh, again. However, Rift Horizon and is sister sims are worth it.
 These amazing spaces contain some of the finest art on that grid or anywhere, colossal statues, sculptures and concepts jostle for your attention and all but demand return visits. Art, aka Ervare Farroretre, brings energy and affable enthusiasm to Art in open sim and he made us very welcome with a recorded message and music. You'll find him in SL too, as Art Blue. Once he'd cleared up after our visit, he joined us in Pathlandia.
Art Blue in the orange sweater. He does it to confuse his fans.
Art Blue: hello all, I see I must add a BBQ next time... roasting lifeforms is not permitted!
Han Held: WOW lots of ppl here today
Wizardoz Chrome: buonasera :)
Riven Homewood: Hi Art - i could hear your music stream and see you, but I don't think I was really there - Will try again later
Nara Mistwood: I will be back to explore later Art
Art Blue: you all get the gift, I have copies of radar entry of the bravest ones!
          This is a promise that *some* of us have heard before.
Fuschia Nightfire: I don't think meeros count as life forms
Pathfinder Lester: Don't worry Art. It's a TofuMeeroo!
Serene Jewell once again raises her objection to the practice of Meero BBQ
Thirza Ember: Another question for Pathfinder... do you think open sim devs know about all our trials and tribulations in hypergridding, and are these bugs and headaches at the top of their To Do List?
Pathfinder.Lester: Thirza, I think so, yes. I go to the weekly Opensim dev meetings in OSGrid on Wright Plaza, and I'm often hearing things about hypergrid stuff. Especially now with them planning the upcoming opensim community conference! That upcoming conference will drive a lot of new bugfixes around opensim and the hypergrid, methinks.
Han.Held has screamed and yelled about the attachment bug on their jira...
Wizard Gynoid: the attachment bug is fixed thanks to Kitely
Han.Held: Point being, I think that's one place they listen ...their jira.
Fuschia Nightfire: Wizzy i think your meeroo is burning
Wizard Gynoid: i like em crunchy
Miso Susanowa: they are best when they are crunchy
Wizard Gynoid: meeroo are somewhat gamey
Miso Susanowa: you have to singe the fur off first
Pathfinder Lester: I'm so glad so many of you are visiting. Thank you so much. :)
Allellia Zebberman: it's great to be here Pathfinder
PatriciaAnne Daviau: I am so happy I made it here!
Han Held: Glad to catch up with y'all, I thot y'all were done for the week. :|
Miso Susanowa: thanks Path for having us!
Miso Susanowa: Yay! Patty
Pathfinder Lester: Say, did you notice I changed my old HGAC kiosk behind me to be one that points to my blog post about the Safaris? I want to help spread the word.
Serene Jewell averts her eyes from the Meero masacre.
          Pathfinder Lester put away the Meeroo for the sake of Serene, and drew our attention to his collection of flags. The frenchies and one or two others took the opportunity to add theirs to their contribution. Han held mused on the psychological benefits of having a flag for your home grid, and wondered if griefing was a problem. On balance, Path seemed to think the benefits of allowing others to leave mementos and freebies on Pathlandia outweigh the discomfort of the occasional passing moron.
Serene Jewell: I have a question for everyone.... Do you see an increase in the numbers of people coming into OpenSim? Are we growing?
Pathfinder Lester: Serene, it feels like things are growing to me. Especially with people jumping around via the hypergrid.
Riven Homewood: I'm newhere - and I think I'm going to stick around
Nara Mistwood: I think we're growing. Most of my users are new to VW
Mal Burns: According to Maria Korolov - yes Serene. and she collects stats lol!
Pathfinder Lester: SO much easier now, and I run into more folks these days than when I started really exploring OS 4 years ago.
Han Held: Idk, the numbers I see on login screens (osgrid, metro mostly) are lower; iwz is about the same. My view is kinda I keep saying we don't have a really good metric that tells us what the numbers are, and it would be good to have one...ut it would also be against commercial interests to have accurate numbers -so I don't see it happening, either.
Pathfinder Lester: Community is still small, but definitely growing. And you all should check out the Opensim Community Conference when that happens. Lots of folks there last year. This year should be bigger.
snowbody Cortes: maybe also the changes in SL are accelerating this process.
Thirza Ember: even Maria recognizes there's - naturally - no way to truly centralize open sim info, since it's all independent initiatives. It is up to us to try to coordinate what we know, what fun and progress is going on, so others can be a part of it if they want

Pathfinder Lester: Well, at the end of the day, I am so happy that opensim exists. Open Source. Not controlled by any one company. Focused on interconnectivity. If *anything* has a chance of being around in the long term, those factors put opensim really ahead in the race.

          Odd how some of us had hair (even too much hair), some of us had none, and Fuschia managed to be all hair and no body, until she reloaded. It was an odd night.
Thirza Ember: recent threads in FB have revealed once again how woefully little most people in SL know about prices, and the way open sim works. Do you think there's anyting more we could be doing to inform folks?
Han Held: get stuff to do in opensim; tell people you're doing things in opensim, they'll want to come out here to do things too.  "Do" is the most important part, ppl come out, get bored, go back to SL.
Riven Homewood: "do" means friends and people. Riding a monorail is fun for a while, but way more fun with a group of friends. And it really helps to have somebody here to bail me out when I get into trouble.
Wizard Gynoid: this *does* take a lot of time and effort
Mal Burns: for you more so
Miso Susanowa: You also have to give in to the craziness, but it helps in a group cause you see others having the same problems.
Mal Burns: yes. Without good hypergrid search we need things like this, and ppl to suggest destinations.
Art Blue: i write stories and reports all over, like the last issue of rez magazine I wrote "The End" (part 1) page 25.
Wizard Gynoid: i think Mal Burns and his group are providing an invaluable service in keeping us informed. so i say thanks to you sir, Mal.
Serene.Jewell: Mal, the InWorld Review show is a service to humanity! Thanks for doing it! There are such great places in OpenSim. I want to help get more people inworld to enjoy and populate them. :-)  It's just a matter of building a critical mass of people in OpenSim so that there are people around to play with when you want to play.

What fun. Next week, Alpha Auer and the Pillars of Mist. Don't miss it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Safari Park

Alizarine Goldflake: what does it take to get a sim here?
Wizard Gynoid: a very big ship

We still do not know what Mal Burns was doing in that garden, and perhaps it's just as well. I'm certainly not going to be the one to ask him, he is a TV personality and we all know what they are like...
Mal Burns
           It was a tough night for safarying; we lost Pathfinder Lester before we'd even begun. But Ferd Fredrix showed up in this amazing avatar, apparently an Autocad freebie, which we all loved. And thanks to Mercalia Beck, we have a new Clubhouse friend, a chatty crocodile, who you are welcome to go and feed. He's on the patio.
Ferd with a heavy book of Lore on his back
          Our first destination, the Jurrasic Park of Sarah Kline and Ada Massenberg, should have been a walk in the park since it's right here on OSGrid and is on a Var region, which theoretically should have been able to take the strain of a mere 20 avatars, and they were expecting our visit. Strangely, the lag was palpable, the brilliant and funny builds failed to load, people were frozen or found themselves at 1,1,1 coordinates. Tp'ing to other parts of the region helped a bit, but for many it was just too eye-watering.
          Some struggled even to jump at all.
Cherry Manga: trying trying
Cherry Manga: ok doesn't work
Cherry Manga: don't lose time with me and enjoy the safari
Thirza Ember: this is not wasted time. This is the point of the safari. to help people make hypergridding work for them
          She went to LBSA Plaza. Landmarks are great, sure, but your Map is your bestest friend. Everyone wants to make hypergridding better with a script, or a HUD, or a gate, but in the end it's about you and your map, being aware of your surroundings, and figuring out strategies to get from A to B, like jumping to the Default region of a grid when the all else fails.
Thirza Ember: put this in your map so you can see the region in your map: "Ada and Sarahs Jurrasic Park" then hit Search - it helps sometimes
Cherry Manga: I'm there after a crash, landed on a brontausaurus
          Hypergridding is voodoo. Your juju is your perseverence, and maybe helping someone else stick with it is the best fun of all. People go quiet and we can't always tell if they are struggling, or just busy having fun. Not everyone experienced Jurassic Lag. Look at Fuschia, who found King Kong and is guaranteed a week of charmed life.
It's like the Via Francigena.
          After the collapse of the Roman Empire, much of Europe was engulfed in a hungry, muddy, fighty period called the Dark Ages. They weren't cavemen or anything, there was still life and intellectual thought going on in Europe, and people who had the traveling bug still went exploring. The pilgrimage was your best excuse for leaving home and seeing the world, but getting to Rome was a tough proposition; the old Roman roads and cities were worn out or gone. Pilgrims got lost in marshes, on freezing mountain passes, killed or enslaved by brigands, or completely lost in the long journey South from places like Denmark and Cumbria, and back again. But gradually, the random trackways consolidated into a much more reliable route, and hospitality and security (even ancient credit cards!) trade and communication eased the traveler's lot, as documented by Sigeric the Serious in the 900s and in this pretty cool blog  in 2011.
         Medieval meanderings seem an appropriate metaphor for Safari. We sally out hopeful into the semi-unknown. Not all of us make it back. Anyone who wants help has only to ask. We have Sara fari back at the clubhouse always ready to get you back in touch with the group, so there's no reason to miss out even at a later stage in the event.
            There are so many opportunities in Open Sim, and the period of being a hypergridding noob is really quite short, if you give it a chance. This platform is growing larger, more stable, with more lovely free content every day. Can you really afford to be an SL stay-at-home?
          Speaking of opportunities, our last official destination of the trip was TanGLe grid, that rare thing, a commercial grid with its own currency but open to hypergridding, where Isambard Kingdom Brunel (no relation) organizes excellent Expos on - you've guessed it - Expo Island. Look for him in InWorldz and SL and OSGrid as Peter Veliz, if you would like to get involved with a show. About half the original group was still with us at this point, and probably 80% had crashed and had to re-make the trip from OSGrid back to TanGLe, but nobody seemed to mind too much, it's all experience. We were there for the last night of the Fashion Expo, (next up is Air and Space!) and everyone took the opportunity to admire the underwear.
Although some of us might not need it.
              Next door they have a fun fair, what Italians call a Luna Park.
Tangle Grid funfair 
            Walking was not an option, for some reason, but the Haunted House was excellent, and the rides were fast and furious especially the little planes where I nearly up-chucked all over Alizarine Goldflake (too much popcorn!)
Some of us were not wearing undies. Nuff said.
... and the shooting gallery where I discovered Serene is a very good shot, so better keep all my bark-related quips to myself.
Fun? I should say so.
Serene Jewell, armed and dangerous