An Odd Solution

odd-solution

So, this bookcase was advertised to be only 9 Land Impact (LI). It took some digging to find out that if one wanted the books shown here on the shelves, the actual LI comes to 15. Who wants an empty bookcase? I bit the bullet and used the higher LI version. Then I tried to use the built-in animations and found another issue. After exchanging IMs with the creator to diagnose things I learned that using the animations requires another (totally undocumented) 10 LI. When I mentioned that needing 25 LI is a load of horsepoop, I was told that the solution is to not use a main feature of the animation system.

Yep.

If you plan on buying a bookcase that looks like this, talk to me first.

By the way? This was a gift from my wife.

Building Still Matters

uccies-standing-desk_001

One my Alts was out checking old landmarks she had when she found a full-perms shop and a nice shelf that could be used as a wall-mounted standing desk. Being a well-trained Alt she bought the item for me as a gift and I got to putting it in my cabin. The L$95 cost was cheap considering what it might cost to upload such a unit.

If I could upload such a unit. I still have near zero skills when it comes to creating mesh so I’ve gone from an avid builder to an avid buy-and-rez consumer. But the old skills are still valuable. This desk is a case in point.

Resizing: This most basic of skills is still beyond some people. In a world where many items are outlandishly large compared to Real Life counterparts, most items need some tweaking. This item needed to fit a specific space.

Linking and Changing Physics: Knowing that a prim’s Physics Shape Type can be changed to affect the Land Impact (LI) of an item and how linking prims together changes this, too, is of great benefit. Linking the computer to the desk reduced overall LI, but I knew that linking in the cookies, cocoa, and stir fry (the latter items partially concealed in the picture above) would increase the LI, so I didn’t link them to the general build. An anti-fatigue mat at the bottom didn’t affect the LI but adding it means that copies of the final build will always rez at the proper height for the embedded animation. This is old-school skill.

Scripting: Over the years I’ve been able to learn enough about scripts that I can do very simple modifications to very simple scripts, but when I wanted to add a pose to the desk so a poseball wasn’t, needed things got a bit tricky. After searching about how to handle rotations to a pose via a script and remembering rather late that such adjustments would be easier if I used basic prim-handling skills, I finally got it right. Knowing enough about scrips and having some search skills were helpful.

In the end, I have a desk that no one else has, fit to my purpose and well-functioning. A buy-and-rez consumer would profit from learning a bit because building still matter.

No, I haven’t blogged

 

Outside The Lab

See it on Flickr to embiggen.

To be honest, I haven’t felt like blogging. Well, there was the one time shortly after I bought this lovely Adore-Nyx skin from Lumae (SLurl). The delivery packaging is impressive. Like many creators, Lumiya Rae set it up as a HUD so no rezzing is needed, but she improves the idea by using the HUD as an instructional tool, listing features and content and showing example pictures, instead of just having the store logo.

That idea passed quickly despite how impressed I was with the experience (and the bargains on Lumae’s whole line of skins, on clearance till the end of the year), so I simply sat around, not blogging. Nor did I blog when I first took this post’s picture. My friend Marianne McCann had made a wonderful photo set which replicated the outside of Linden Lab’s Second Life offices in (so called) Real Life. After posting this picture to the MySL “feed” I had intended to post it here, too, with the original message “Thank you, Linden Lab. With Second Life I can be the way I see myself in my mind’s eye.”

Wait. I guess I just did.

Let’s Fix the Marketplace

Some time has passed – long enough, actually, that I can’t tell without looking – since The Lab surveyed Residents to learn about how the Second Life Marketplace might be changed for the better. Let’s review the results.

None.

It is time now to fix the Marketplace and as The Lab takes a commission on sales, it is certainly worth their while. Errors, usability issues, and general maintenance all need to be examined. Here is a brief list of mine just off the top of my head:

Fix the “Cannot Add” bug. It happens some nine out of ten times I add something to my card and yet the item is actually added. Quite often if you hit the Add button again, everything seems normal. How many of us have bought two of one item because we didn’t thoroughly check our Cart.

The service often lags harder and more often than Bay City during a big event. Amazon and other shopping services operate on a much larger scale and yet have swifter page loads.

The Lab needs to inject some elephant memory DNA into the system so it can remember my preferences. True, there really is only one preference to set – how many items to display on a page – but it is not remembered between sessions and often not when simply loading another page. The DNA upgrade could also make for a far more efficient Favorites list.

Speaking of which … at least something never forgets. Items will remain in your Favorites even if they are no longer for sale. This list needs to be dynamic, reflecting not only the item’s availability, but any price fluctuations or product updates.

A Wish List would be a great addition to the Favorites list. Or call it a Gift Registry. Any list where others could see items that I would like to own but for some reason or another I have not purchased.

Only two items listed per page of Reviews? Don’t be silly. And your place in the sequence will reset if you click on any other tab. Say you are reading a review on page eleven of twenty and you wish to check the Features to investigate something the reviewer wrote. Click Features, read, click Reviews and you are back on page one.

On the topic of the Features tab … it should be the first up when a page is accessed. Let the Details tab be second for folks who need more information.

A larger font, please, or the ability to control fonts. I’m 8 years old in SL and that means my eyesight is failing in my dotage. Oh, and lots of Residents have vision impairments. Sure, there are nice viewers like Safari that allow folks to easily enlarge portions of a page.

Lastly (for now), a true nit-pick: The interface is just so last century. Time for a refresh.

How easy it is to be a Noob? Part I

The Lab’s recent announcement (not on the Official blog, mind you as that would be too easy, but here for one source) of its new CEO, Ebbe Altberg, has many people thinking about what might happen to Our World. Most of the comments I’ve seen in various sources has to do with The Lab’s famous inability to communicate with the Residents – like not making their announcement on the official blog, as noted. One of my first concerns has been about the New Resident Experience. I had both of these in mind when I made a late night purchase from the Second Life Marketplace.

For many of us with our own land its natural to just unpack things at home. Long time Residents might even have build rights on some group land for said purpose. At minimum, experienced users know of at least one sandbox location (I keep two in my Favorites so I can log in to one right away). For the rest the question Where can I rez my purchase Inworld? applies. Thank goodness the Marketplace is there to help us on the post-purchase receipt page (or so they call it, but its not really a receipt). Click the handy link and you are whisked to the Opening Boxes page on the SL Wiki.

Then find a buried link for “this list” of public sandboxes and click …

… then scroll almost to the bottom of the page for a list of links to public sandboxes (or keep scrolling for a list of privately-owned sandboxes). Easy as pie, right?