Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Second Life Geography - An Overview

Pull the map slider all the way to the left, and you will get a satellite view of Second Life.

World Map 07-28-2019

What you are seeing is sometimes called "The Grid", which is a spatial representation of all the land, water, and void ocean in Second Life.

Some definitions:

Region - an area 256 by 256 meters.
Agni - another word for The Grid. The testing grid is called Aditi*.
Void Ocean - the 'big nothing' between places. You cannot move through it - you will have to teleport over it.
Land - a place with a physical surface.
Water - a physical surface, but covered with water.
Sky - the accessible area over land or water. A lot of people build and live there in what are called "skyboxes".
Continent - usually refers to a mass of 30 or more regions connected to each other in such a way that you can move between the regions without teleporting.
Subcontinent - is part of a larger continent that has its own name. An example are Nautilus and                       Satori. You can get from Nautilus to Satori now without teleporting, but in the past they were separated by Void Ocean. As more and more continents become connected (Thank you, Moles) subcontinents will probably become more common.
'Microcontinents', 'sim clusters', and 'sim groups' are just smaller groups of regions - but I'm not going into counting the regions of each one. 
'Isolated' or 'unassociated sims' are regions that cannot be grouped into other structures.

Question: This is boring, and why should I care?
Answer:  I'm guessing that when you go on vacation, you don't just sit in the airport after you get to your destination. In my opinion, too many new residents just hang around the first place they land in after they have finished minimal basic training, and then complain that there is nothing to do.  If you want to explore, you need to know where you can go and what you can do there. Most continents are public access, but a lot of the smaller structures are not.
(more later).

*You can't see it here, because it is in another dimension.

Friday, July 26, 2019

New Resident Information - 'Choose an Avatar' - Part Three - Vampires and Other Monsters

Although this section of 'Choose Your Avatar' is labelled 'Vampires' it is actually a dozen different monsters. I noticed that many of the avatars have 'invisible body' alphas, so that they can disappear entirely.

Curtis the Vampire

You can remove his jacket, pants, and shoes (with their alphas). If he wears his 'invisible' alpha you could attach the pet bat from Illiana and make it look like he's turned into a bat. When he is visible, though, his face is always going to be showing those open fangs.

Curtis, invisible, wearing Iliana's bat

Sunday, July 21, 2019

New Resident Information - 'Choose an Avatar' - Part Two - Fantasy Avatars

Most of the fantasy avatars have clothing and accessories that can come off without too much trouble, as long as you remember to take off the corresponding 'alphas' and 'foot shapers'. Most of the 'toppers' (halos, horns, cute hats, etc...) are attached to the hair so when you take them off you may end up with an avatar with just a hair 'tattoo'.

Anna is an angel. You can remove her wings, and her halberd, but you can't take off her halo without taking off her hair.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

New Resident Information - 'Choose an Avatar' - Part One - The "New" Avatars

When you first become a resident of Second Life you may choose a new avatar, or you may be randomly assigned one. I know that the last time I rolled up a new alt, I ended up as a 'Bitsy', as did the avatar in front of me, and the one behind. After you finish orientation you have a choice of at least fifty "Off the Rack" avatars - you can find them under the 'Avatar' tab where it says "Choose an Avatar." There are also an assortment of older avatars in your "Library" folder in Inventory.

One of the reasons I am adding these pages is that I could not find good full view pictures of the available avatars. On my selection bar it only shows the avatars from the waist up, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I did not realize that two of the fantasy avatars came with horses.

Some of them are also wearing items of clothing or animations you can scavenge to mix and match later. As you try on each avatar, I suggest you click on the t-shirt icon. Look for the tab that says "Wearing" and save the entire outfit, avatar and all.

There are four categories of avatar under the 'Choose an Avatar" tab -- "New", "Fantasy", "Vampire", and "Classic". I am going to discuss each category in a separate entry.

All of the female avatars come with a female avatar animation over rider (AO), and the males come with a male AO. Basically this means that when you are walking, you won't "Walk like a duck". (more on this later).

All of them are wearing alphas to cover parts of their body, so that if you take off some of their clothing you will just see blank spots. The alphas are there to cover body parts that might show through the clothing.

These avatars came out in January, 2019.  See Inara Pey's blog. 

Bitsy: This avatar comes with a tablet in one hand and a bag with a Chihuahua in the other. You can detach the bag, the tablet, and the jacket, but if you take off the hat you will also take off her hair.

New Resident Information: Opening Boxes, Changing Clothes

Disclaimer: I am the last person to be trying to explain about fashion, since my preferred avatar is a little cat who does not wear clothes, but after I wrote an article on "Freebies for New Residents" I realized some new residents might need a little information about getting dressed in Second Life.

The first thing to remember is that a box icon in your inventory can either represent a container, or an individual unboxed item. It is very easy to click a box and select 'wear' and end up wearing the box.
(More information about boxes in another article.)

Common error - 'wearing the box'.
This is how I (usually) avoid doing this. I am trying to show the easiest way. You can learn keyboard commands that make things faster.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

New Resident Information: Teleporting and Map Reading in Second Life

If you are outside of Second Life you can teleport to an inworld location by clicking on a 'slurl' (Second Life URL).

Example of a slurl:

Read this as 'Ukanipo' is the Region, and 78/77/28 are the coordinates in the Region.

In Second Life, teleport locations can also be shown as landmarks.

Examples of landmarks 
Showing this teleport location on a map:

Reading the above map. I have marked the Region of Ukanipo with a white line. Notice that the Region name, Ukanipo, is in the lower left corner. The legends on the upper right of the map show what some of the symbols on the map mean. The coordinates show exactly where I was when I made the screen shots. If you clicked on the "Unofficial Tourist Information" landmark shown above you would land at the location shown. Notice that the location coordinates are not just for longitude and latitude, but also for altitude. You can see rivers and water features, roads and rivers, and....yes...a volcano. If I had clicked the 'show land for sale' the sale parcels would show as yellow patches.

The map does not show Second Life in real time. That is why we can never find the Giant Squid.