Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Three-Hour Tour - Last Stop: Where to Find More Information

I started the Tourist Information Office because I was tired of picking up notecards that said things like "Cool Places to Visit" only to find that the information was outdated and/or didn't contain any of the places that were my favorites.

Since then, I've found a number of places that do have more up-to-date information.

Community Cultural Hub on Inspiration Isla

Inside Expedition Central
The Community Cultural Hub on Inspiration Island has landmarks displayed by theme. I confess I did not visit Inspiration Island for a long time because I thought it was going to be one of those "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" places. The description "The Home of Whole Brain Health and the Community of Creative Elders in Second Life" didn't do that much for me, either; however, it turns out that it is a center for "Education for Life-Long Learning" and it has a lot of good content. Their teleport locations are shaped like big lightbulbs to reference the "Aha" moment when you do get inspired. Here is a utube video which will show you a lot more. Learning can be fun.

Another great collection of landmarks is in a large can-shaped structure floating above Chilbo. This is Expedition Central which I believe Cyrus Hush helped set up. He used to lead groups of academics through Second Life on educational tours. There are over 100 destinations pictured on the inside walls - click the picture and get an information notecard. Don't miss the the large box labelled "Gateways to Thinking" which, when touched, will unfold another palette of destinations.

Other ways to find new destinations to explore:

The in-world Second Life Destination Guide is worth trying. I find that the online webpage is easier to navigate, but sometimes it seems as if it is hard to sift through the listings to find places that I enjoy. I also find that some of my favorite places are never mentioned.

If you want to go beyond the destination guide, or perhaps find specific interests: just google* "Second Life _______" (insert the name of the thing you are interested in in the blank space.) You may find that someone else has a blog about that particular interest, and you may want to subscribe. 

There have also been many books written about Second Life. I would suggest seeing if you can get copies from your library before buying them; however, as things change so frequently that their information is often outdated before the ink is even dry. Check the SL and SL Universe forums and archives. There are often lively  discussions about current SL concerns, and I have found the forum members to be very helpful when I have questions.

Before you make a bug report go to the JIRA and see if someone else has already reported it. Second Life also has a Suggestion Box, but you have to look for it. 

If you see something inworld you like, click on it to see the creator profile, and see if the creator has listed his shop on his 'picks'. If you like to shop, joining one of many inworld hunts will let you explore different shops and perhaps get free samples. Search under 'groups' to see if you find one that seems to have your same interests (here, you might also want to check how many of the members listed are online, and if there have been any notices sent. There are many Second Life groups that are inactive now. If you find a group that seems to have your same interests, and seems to be active , you might want to join them. 

Be sure to make a landmark of places you visit, with something in the title to help you find it again. When I make landmarks I also find it a good idea to add the date I visited, for example "6-15-16 Bay City Arboretum of Atypical Veget" (note that this is a temporary exhibit).

Above all, have fun, and don't judge Second Life by just one or two destinations, or one or two encounters with residents.

*or 'browser' it...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Three-Hour Tour - 6th Stop, Pod Tours

PrimPerfect did a delightful interview with Yavanna Llianfair last year. They only explored a small part of what was available. There are at least 14 pod stations and a total of over 35 tours. Some of the tours are short (the one around downtown Zindra) or up to four hours long.

This is just an orientation trip, because if you start riding pods you may never come back to the tour.
Start at Sansar. This was the first pod terminal Yavanna built.
Here is where it all started

Outside map of pod tours.
Pod Tour map
Inside the cabin is a lot more information.
Maps of most of the pod tours are inside the cabin.
Here is a picture of the pod tour location in Calleta. You can see that the platform is not fully rezzed, but it is still safe to stand on.  This one is not too far from my Tourist Information Office.
Pod tour station in Calleta

Here is a list of pod stations that I know about. You will also find pod tours installed by private land owners, and at special Second Life events. Pick up a notecard to use later. - Heterocera H1and others - Routes H1 to H6 - Heterocera and SLRR - Wandaland Harbor - Jeogeot - Corsica C3 - Corsica Route C4 - also some shorter boat tours to nearby islands - Route 8B Satori - Tin Teddy at Satori - Gaeta I - Demented in Gaeta V - The Old Teen Grid - Downtown Bronlen in Zindra

don't have to wait for a pod to arrive- just click/touch the pod cone* to rez a new pod, then click/touch the pod to get the tour to start. You can also click/touch "Ride" on any pod you see passing.

There are caveats to pod tours. You should pay attention to which tours you have already taken. You may also want to keep the Second Life map running on one side so you can see where you are on the map. You can also make landmarks of areas that you want to explore later.

You may find yourself dumped unceremoniously. Sometimes this is because of a tricky sim crossing, or you could be entering an area that is already full of avatars. In this case, your best bet is to fly up and look for the pod, and click to ride it again.

Stranded and blue in Tussock. (Avatar & outfit was a freebie from Curious Kitties which was a freebie
to those who entered the quest at the last Fantasy Faire. I like it because it is low lag. )
This was the next to the last stop on the tour. The next stop will show you where to find a lot more information.

*Not all cones will rez a new pod. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Three-Hour Tour - 5th Stop, The Roads of Second Life

Route 12 Map from the Wiki, don't know why it says "Route Z".
Remember when I suggested you pick up a free bicycle at the last stop? If you didn't, it's OK, I just wanted to show you one of the many roads of Second Life.  I like the hobo bicycle because I like to go slow and enjoy the view. You don't have to look for a spot to rezz it, either, because you wear it.

Route 12 doesn't have any fancy landmarks along the way, but you will see a lot of different things that residents have done with their land. This route is in Pouncival in Nautilus and parts I checked were made in 2009.

The dirt road really isnt suitable for large vehicles
There are maps along the route

There are many different roads. Some are nicely paved, others resemble dirt roads, while still others may just be raised wooden walkways. I think they are a good way to get a feel for a neighborhood if you are thinking to buy land.

Here are some more interesting roads: This is in Koleamoku in Sansara and someone has placed a bicycle rezzer right next to the road. Nice!

Another road, Route 7, is on Gaeta V. Apparently it was intended to circle the island, but now there are many gaps along the way. Worth a try.

To see many more vehicle routes (including water routes) check the Second Life Wiki at

You may meet a pod traveling along the road - don't worry about collisions, the vehicles are phantom. I'll talk more about them at the next stop.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Three-Hour Tour - 4th Stop, Up Up and Away to D-Lab

Map of D-Lab on Mainland

The panda is so big you can see him on the map
Walk or fly up the hill and click the green rocket

D-Lab offers the ultimate in kawaii, or terminally cute, objects, that are much prized by collectors. Be sure to check out the little animated figures in the enclosure to the left of the rocket ship.  I always enjoy visiting and seeing what is new, but sometimes it is hard for me to resist buying something! is the ground entrance, the store proper is actually at 4005 feet. Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems as if there is no one in Second Life? Part of the reason is that many people prefer to build in the sky. If D-Lab hadn't thought to add this colorful entrance on the ground, you could go by and never know.

The Three-Hour Tour - 3rd Stop, Under the Sea in Mieville Pond

Map of Mieville Sim Cluster -  Again, it is in the middle of the Void Ocean, so  don't lose the teleport coordinates.
Resting on one of Nemo's domes while a sea serpent swims by
Although much of what appears to be 'ocean' on the map is actually Void, there are still many underwater places you can explore. One of them is in Mieville Pond ( - this is a SLURL, or Second Life Uniform Resource Locator. It works like a URL, but you will have to download a viewer in order to use it.)

As you look around, be aware that most of the structures, vehicles and sea creatures were made by former resident Arcadia Asylum, and you can find many more of her other creations in a building to the south. All of them are free.
Arcadia Asylum Living Library
While you are there, why not pick up a free bicycle from the vendor on the right as you enter?

A free bicycle is just one of many kinds of vehicles.

The Three-Hour Tour - 2nd Stop, Buckingham Palace in Antiquity - Example of A Modern Build

Antiquity is located in a sim cluster away from the Mainland. Surrounded by the Void Ocean*, the only way you can get to it is by teleporting. Antiquity consists of at least a dozen sims, with many activities available for residents and visitors.

View from Far Off

Close-up view

Buckingham Palace
This building is a careful reproduction of Buckingham Palace in the Regency Period. Be sure to pick up a notecard and a map before you enter, or you may become royally lost.

I love this build, and I hope you will, too. 

*Void Ocean is also called "Infinite Ocean." I call it "The Big Nothing."

The Three-Hour Tour - 1st Stop, The Governor's Mansion - Example of An Early Build

The red circle shows its location on the Mainland.
Governor Linden's Mansion

Visting Governor Linden's Mansion might seem boring at first, unless you realize its place in Second Life History. It was built in 2002 before Second Life was even called "Second Life". Back then Second Life was called Linden World, and was still in early Alpha testing. According to legend, a resident named Stellar Sunshine built the Mansion in one all-night session. Later, when Beta testing started the Mansion was given to the Lindens by Stellar to preserve it, and it was moved to Clementina.

To the basement
To get to the basement, which has some (mostly unexplained) historical artifacts, the easiest way is through the hole in the bottom of the swimming pool.

Remember that this was built when all they had was prims, but it was before Second Life switched over to Version 2.1 and the "Prim Allotment Via Land Amount" system replaced the old "tax-based system".

To me the Mansion is a reminder that most of the great (and not so great) builds in Second Life were made by ordinary people, not by a big corporation. A sign at the edge of the property will direct you to the Ivory Tower of Prims, a good place to learn how to build with prims. After visiting the tower you will be ready to go to the nearby public sandbox and bang a few prims together. Welcome to Second Life, where it is truly "Your World, Your Imagination." You may be on your way to becoming a builder!