Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Virtual Railway Consortium

There are signs along the route showing stations and vehicle traffic.

The Virtual Railway Consortium (VRC) is headquartered at Tuliptree  I suggest you stop there first to read the Information Wall and pick up the landmark folders.

The VRC (Formerly known as the Second Life Railroad) manages the rail lines that circle the Heterocera Atoll and coordinates traffic along the route. The lines cross eighty sims, and there are over sixty landmarks along the way.

To me, this circle of track and multiple stations represent the best of what can be done when Residents and Linden Lab cooperate.

I has been hard to select just a few of the landmarks to show as examples, since each station and site is unique.  Some stations were made by residents and some by the moles of Linden Lab. Right now the SLRR is not running regular trains on the line, but you will find Yavanna's pods and also vehicles from the Second Life Geography Institute on some of the route. Someone suggested that you can "Bring Your Own Engine" so that if you've always wanted to be an engineer you can pick up a free locomotive and run it around the loop. (Don't go too fast, because Second Life may not be able to catch up.)

Here is my short list of landmarks along the loop.

Calleta Station

Calleta Station

It's a bit run down, but then it matches the theme of the area. . While you are in Calleta be sure to visit the areas of Aley Asylum freebies, Hobo Junction, and Wheedles.

Jubata Station

The Station looks pretty ordinary, until you go inside. 


Train hanging over Sword of Damocles Diner

If you look down the track to the right, you can see the installation made by Reger Difference hanging over his Sword of Damocles Diner. You can also see a bit of the Great Wall up the hill, which is worth a visit.

Lapara Station and Old Lapara Town 

Interesting things all over town. Here are some 'jelly deer'.

Lapara Station is haunted, but I assure you the ghosts are friendly.  When you visit,  be sure to take the trolley tour.

Tenera Station

There were several station-building contests. This one was a winner.

Some of the earlier station-designing contests limited prim use, but later contests allowed more. You have to step back quite a ways to see that this station is sheltered by a giant robot. The nearby Crumbi station shows how you can build on a triangular plot.  If you look down the hill behind the robot, you can see the Second Life Volunteer Center.

Lappet Station and Brightside Station 

View from Brightside Tower towards Lappet Station

If you get off at Lappet Station you can walk across the tracks and catch a monorail to Brightside Station. In addition to a nice display of rail equipment and an interesting station, Brightside also has a small train line of its own.

Bhaga End Station

About all that remains of the great steamworks
 that used to be in the area are some signs and
 this green pissoir. (Don't disturb the occupant.)

Nearby is an operating ferry dock.


The safe is open and empty. What's the story here?
Melanthia Station is apparently a distribution center for local dairy products.


Radioactive Plusia 

 Look by the back fence for LDPW Fan Club stuff.  There is also a train turntable behind it.


A nice watercolor from the time that VCR was SLRR
Check the nearby market area for a Monty Python reference, and visit the public pier and beach.

Pavonia End Station 

An old traction engine behind the old building, and an old
LDPW beam engine inside the building. 

Go past the building and the traction engine and you will come to a part of SL Route 6, The High Mountain Road.

Run your own train:

Here I'm racing down the tracks in my free Hobo Train. (I felt the flying 
monkey avatar was appropriate.)
At several places along the route you can pick up different free trains. If you rezz them near the tracks they will automatically find their way, and driving is simple.

Have fun!

Monday, July 25, 2016

How Not to Buy Real Estate in Second Life

An English teacher once told me "Write what you know about" so I figure I'm probably an expert on "How not to buy land"

I started out renting on part of a large island estate, and then rented a lot in a themed community. I bought my first Mainland in Green, and didn't realize at the time that being able to dig a hole down to the water line wasn't something you could do everywhere in Second Life.

Later I tried to make money in virtual real estate by buying small parcels, fixing them up, and reselling them for a profit. Along the way I made every mistake in the book. I eventually realized that I wasn't going to get rich that way, but  I had a lot of fun and did eventually learn to avoid some mistakes.

First, don't ignore free in-world advice.

Resident Lindal Kidd gives lectures on real estate at Oxbridge in Caledon, so check their schedule and take a class. 

Don't confuse 'virtual' with 'real' land. 

With virtual real estate you are buying the right to use a parcel as long as you are willing to pay the monthly fees, and as long as the servers hold out.

Don't buy land without being willing to put in time and effort.  

Are you ready to stay for the long term? If you are not ready to become a Premium member you can rent a variety of properties from estate managers or land managers. Once you've become Premium you may choose a Linden home or you can purchase a parcel on the Mainland (I won't be talking about buying whole islands or sims - By the time you're ready for that you won't need this article - I hope.)

Don't confuse renting with paying tier.

When you rent you are paying an estate manager or property owner who is in turn paying tier to Linden Lab. If you buy a small parcel on Mainland you will pay tier directly to Linden Lab after you have paid the former owner (or the Auction House) for the property.  I won't go into the ongoing debate about "rent or buy" - just know that the land owner may be able to charge you less for rent than you would be paying in tier if you purchased the same-sized property on the Mainland. Big property owners get volume discounts.

Note that the first 512 square meters is "bonus tier" that Premium members will not be charged for. If you click "buy land" you will get a message telling you what your new tier level will be. You can also add "what if's" to the tier chart to get an idea of what your new tier would be in case you might press the "Buy" button by mistake, but be sure to change everything back when you are through, so that the Lindens don't charge you more. Be sure that the circled checked marks your actual tier level. 
Note that there is no sliding scale - you buy one square meter over your level and you are in the next tier level. (This is why you will find little parcel slivers all over Second Life made when someone realized "I'm not using all my prim allowance, so why don't I hack off the back 40 and reduce my tier?") Also note that you are charged for the most land you own at any time during the tier period, so don't think you can buy that humongous piece of property and re-sell it before tier time and not have to pay tier on it. The rates for large "islands" or sims separated from the Mainland are different, and I'm not going into that there. There are also some discounts for land held by groups.

Don't forget that you don't actually 'buy' land from anyone but Linden Lab, what is sometimes listed as a "buying" charge for a rental is actually more of a security deposit.

Don't forget to read all the rules and covenants before you rent.

If you buy land on the Mainland there aren't a lot of rules and that can be a mixed blessing. That means that you can practise building and not worry about some home-owner's association sending you a nasty letter, but it also means your neighbor can build anything he wants to as well.
Rental land usually has more rules or covenants, so read the rules before you rent.

Don't forget to find out more about the person you are paying for the land - is he or she actually listed as the owner, or did he just put a box down on some vacant land?

Don't think "Property values are sure to go up." 

Supply and demand determines the market and unfortunately, there is currently a drop in the demand for the less desirable virtual real estate. This means that if you just want a parcel to place a skybox, you can probably find property for less than 1L per meter. Here are some of my ideas on why that may be: 
  • There just aren't as many residents as there used to be in the boom years when Linden Labs was making new continents like crazy - some former residents have moved on to the next big thing . When Second Life started there were few competitors, but now, according to  Hypergrid Business, there were 277 OpenSim grids alone, and a few of them offer free land or other benefits in order to get customers. (I did rent a parcel in Inworldz for a while - but it just wasn't the same as Second Life).
  • The advent of sculpted prims and mesh means you need less land because you don't need as many prims to build.
  • Many merchants who used to have stores inworld have moved to "Marketplace Only" to save expense and effort.
  • Talk about "Sansar" has left a lot of people uneasy about the future of Second Life.

Good land, in a desirable location, still commands high prices.

Don't be too reluctant to buy a higher-priced property. 

A bargain parcel is no bargain if you end up hating it, but paying a little extra for something you love is certainly worth it.  Property prices change, but the same-sized parcel will affect your tier the same way no matter where it is on the Mainland. That landlocked 1024 surrounded by neighbors with ban line, security orbs, and strange political views is going to cost you the same tier as a 1024 on a protected-view beach with nice neighbors.

Don't think "I can fix this terrain with a little terraforming" 

The odds are good that you won't be able to terraform very much, if at all.

From the Wiki:  "Most mainland can be raised/lowered by 4 meters (+/-)

Land in Bay City, Boardman, Brown, De Haro, Kama City regions, Nautilus City regions, Nova Albion regions, and Shermerville regions cannot be terraformed at all, nor can land around Linden Homes.

A few very old mainland regions like Da Boom have a terraform range of 40 meters (+/-) but even that has its limits (more on that in another article.)

Estate Owners/Managers on private islands may set terraform ability to a maximum of 100 meters (+/-) but most of them limit what their tenants can do."

All of the above are the reasons that terrain prostheses are so popular. 

Don't think: "Well, the terrain is a little dull, I'll just plant a little grass"....

Trust me, don't choose terrain you can't live with, because you probably can't change it. If you are an estate owner you can choose your terrain textures, but most of us are stuck with what we have.  You may be able to alter things a bit with some minimal terraforming, (see above) but you are limited by terrain. Each region was originally created with four textures, but the heights at which one terrain changes to another vary so that the whole place doesn't look like a layer cake. 

These are my terrain options on a parcel in Chartreuse. Using Firestorm, I went to World, Region / Region Details/ Terrain. Most of the options are blacked out because I'm not an estate owner or manager, but you can see that water height on this parcel is 20 meters. You also see the four default textures for the region and with a short search you should be able to find these same textures in your Library in case you want to do match an object with the terrain (Like make a camouflaged roof for an underground room.)

Terrain chart for land that can be terraformed a bit

Texture on terrain dropdown, and same texture in Library.

If you really want a lawn - there are at least two solutions: there are gadgets that allow you to make sculpties that can be textured to cover your land, or you can just do the "rezz a big prim and texture the top" thing. 

Don't buy a parcel without checking to make sure that the seller hasn't put a small square of land in the middle that he is saving to sell to you later - at a higher price.

Don't buy a parcel just because you've fallen in love with the house and the landscaping. 

This was a wonderfully landscaped little island with a cute
cottage that was for sale. 
I derendered the water, the house, and the landscaping to
see what I would get if I bought it "Objects not included". 
The red lines are property lines - I enhanced them to make
them easier to see. 

If the "About Land" reads "objects not included" then all you are getting is the land.  If you've ever gone real estate shopping in real life you know that sellers 'stage' houses by doing things like picking up clutter, putting an apple pie in the oven, and setting up the furniture so the place looks like it should be in a magazine. When you buy the property in real life you won't get the apple pie or the fancy furniture, but you probably will get the house and the landscaping. In Second Life, if the property is for sale "Objects not included" you just get the land, and you need to try to imagine the property as you will get it. Take advantage of the seller's expertise and take photos and write down the name of the objects and their creators so that you can duplicate what you see. Some of those 'stagers' are geniuses.

Note that if you are considering rental, you need to be clear on what will be included with the rental. Some landlords may offer you a choice of homes and furnishings, others just make everything disappear once they have gotten your payment. Always check with the landlord first, and don't make assumptions.

If you are buying or renting a parcel that says "Objects included" make sure that all objects are set to transfer and are transferred to you before you set up auto return. Check twice, buy once.

Don't buy a parcel with "house included" without checking the house first. 

I may be the only person in Second Life who has ever done this, but I once bought a piece of land that came with a nice house that ended up disappearing.  I wasn't there a lot but when I was I kept seeing an odd text message in one part of the living room. Finally I tracked down the cause - the house had been set down but hadn't been completely rezzed! When I finally completed the rezz I tried to modify the house and parts started to disappear. By that time the name of the seller on my transaction history had timed-off & I was too embarrassed to ask Linden Lab for help.  I guess the next "Don't" would be

Don't forget to write down the name of the person and/or group you are buying the property from.

Oh, and if this is your only property be sure to set "Home"; if this is one of several properties be sure to make a landmark so you can remember where it is...(You can look in your Account Information if you forget). Also, go through the permissions carefully and be sure to set some kind of auto-return time after you are listed as owner of any "Objects included". Check "allow public access" unless you only want access for members of your group - otherwise everyone else will see banlines and new friends may consider you rude if they decide to stop by.

Don't forget to check out the traffic in the neighborhood 

While it is nice to be in a popular area you don't want so much traffic that you can't get in to the sim when it is too crowded.  A lot of traffic may be good if you want to open a store, but in a place where most people teleport the term 'foot traffic' is meaningless. Here is a screen shot of a 'for sale' parcel next to a popular establishment. Search statistics indicate that the place next door has traffic of 15142.  What I find interesting is that the little 512 plot is going for 25,000 when it is landlocked and the only way to get there is through teleporting or by flying.  The land entrance to the popular establishment is also on the other side of the sim and there is no way to get there unless you go around by the road. The odds of someone going to the popular establishment and then seeing the little shop behind it are probably very slim.

Property for sale next to popular establishment.

Don't forget to check the property around the parcel. It is also a good idea to just sit on the parcel for a while until everything nearby has had a chance to rezz. Also, what looks like a vacant lot may turn out to just be land under "Zaza's BoomBoom Skyroom."

If the parcel infromation tab tells you that most of the nearby parcels were recently claimed, then that might be an indication that someone bought a larger piece of land and split it to sell it. I've seen large parcels of oceanfront split into multiple 512 parcels that made me think of a miser cutting cake. 

Buying land near parcels that have been set with "0" auto return can be a problem because griefers and squatters look for parcels set with "0" return. They even have gadgets that tell them how to find "rezz land". Linden Lab has been very good lately about setting empty land to zero, but private property owners sometimes forget.

Land near Metaphysical Bridge that was left with 0 
return. Someone not the property owner has put up a
wall of animated monkeys, and someone who is not
the owner either has tried to cover the animated
monkeys with a sheet of plywood. Yes, I notified the
owner some time ago about this. Perhaps she likes

Land near Infohubs may or may not be good, but if you plan to build on ground level you should be prepared for occasional visits by newbies.  I also tend to steer clear of properties where the neighbor has banlines and/or security orbs. I would like the neighbors to get to know me before they ban me.

Don't forget to check "Advanced", Highlighting and Visibility, and Highlight Transparent to check out the neighborhood. Also, derender water (Under Advanced/Rendering Type/Water - be careful when you do this) is a good tool for seeing underwater terrain (and for finding interesting things the Moles have hidden on the sea bottom). 

Here we see that what looked like clear sailing included an 8000+ parcel of private land with a ten-second security orb.  Checking further, I found that there is a only one small clear channel through which you could sail through several sims until you reached some protected water , but you would have to be a good navigator. I tried following the channel by using the world map, but ran into quite a few ban lines and two 10-second security orbs.
Looks like clear sailing from here!

Here I derendered water to show the property lines -
The property owner on the right has an 8000+ parcel
with a ten-second security orb. 

Here is where you find "Highlight Transparent"

After "Highlight Transparent" (fortunately the spheres are phantom).

Don't buy or rent property from any company that has put a large "sky sign" over the map, or from a company that has large domes hovering so close to the ground that they show up on the map.

In my opinion these are people who have absolutely no aesthetic sense and who don't love Second Life - otherwise they wouldn't ugly up the map with their signs and objects. A lot of them also have ban lines and security orbs around their parcels so that the large graphic has no purpose, because someone who was not already renting from them who tried to teleport there would be promptly booted. I guess it is just their way of marking territory. Also, if you buy land near a large dome that is hovering less than 300 feet from the ground, you may get shadows on the ground, and then of course you have to look at their builds....

How sweet, a giant heart

Underwater view from an abandoned parcel next door to one
of those ugly skysores* - the base is a mishmash - 
what looks like an old piece of privacy screen(we're underwater
here, folks), some giant rocks, and otherwise shoddy construction.
Above water isn't much better - just a big "privacy screen". - some "Heart"

*you find a lot of abandoned parcels near this kind of thing...

Here's an ugly dome on map view. 
Up close - you can see some of the base pad sticking out -
what this person has done is put up a stack of mega-domes
so that each renter can have "a whole sim". 

If you lived below this ugly thing, this is what you would
have to look at. 

Don't forget to find out whether you are buying land or water.

You may prefer to live on or under water, but you should check anyway. I have this funny thing about wanting to put my virtual feet on the virtual ground. 
From above, this has the same texture as the actual land nearby.

From below you can see it is just a textured mat.

Don't forget to check the shape of the parcel

Sometimes it is hard to see the property lines, so you can go to "World", "Show More" and then "Show Land Owners". Land for sale will show up as a bilious yellow, land that is not for sale will show up as red, parcels you own will show up as bright green, land that is up for auction will show up as purple, and SL Public Land Preserve Land will show up as a sort of blue/green. I have actually travelled around with this setting turned on, but after a while my computer starts showing me some interesting patterns, so I don't recommend doing it for too long. Also note that it takes a while for the landmaps to change color, so you may arrive at what looks like a yellow or purple parcel only to find it has already been sold.

Most land descriptions are accurate -  but if you are planning on sailing from your front dock be wary of lots that seem to be on the water but are described as "Beautiful sunset view". Which leads me to my next topic...

Don't confuse "water land" with "The great nothing".

The Mainland Continents are bordered by varying amounts of sailable water. In some areas (Like the Blake Sea) there are many sailing sims, in other area the land may just be cut off at the edge of what I call "The Great Nothing" (others call it "The Void Ocean"). Both sailable water and The Great Nothing are colored blue on the map, so you need to check to make sure.
It sure looks like water.
With the water derendered

Standing at the edge of The Great Nothing
Don't get confused by "Off-Sim" objects.  A few talented builders have managed to figure out ways to project the image of things like rocks and waves past the edge of the sim, but it takes skill.

Don't be afraid to buy land through the Second Life Auctions.  

Any Premium member can bid on land, and there are usually a few 512 and 1024 parcels up for bid. Also, if you find an abandoned piece of land that you really think you like, you can ask Linden Lab to put it up for auction and you can bid on it when it comes on the list.

Don't go shopping for land when you are hungry or sleep-deprived

Don't ask me what parcel I bought while researching this article. Maybe I can raise mountain goats on it.  

Don't automatically avoid odd-shaped or vertical parcels. 

Building on the side of a mountain or on an odd-shaped lot can be challenging, but there may be advantages. I saw a parcel in Mimas where the owner had a sliver of land on one side that was just wide enough to put a stairway to the nearby road.

Vertical land can also have its advantages. A build on the side of a mountain may give you a nice view. The property shown was only 1168 square meters, so I'm guessing that land in Second Life is determined "as if" the land were flat, just like in real life. Time to be creative!
On the map.

Viewed inworld with "Show Property 
Owners" viewer option. Photoshopped
to show edges more clearly. 
Here is the view from that lot - very nice!
Don't not buy a property because one of the neighbors has rezzed something you don't like. 

"De-render" is your friend. If you can derend it temporarily, you can blacklist it permanently. Now, I wasn't able to de-render that big blue dome thing, but I was able to permanently de-render a political poster on one of my neighbor's builds. (Don't do this too much, or you will be bumping into things.)

Added 7-28-16, thanks to information from a SL forum member:

Don't forget to check the number of avatars allowed on the Region if you are planning on having parties or hosting events.  

Contribution by Aethelwine:

"One additional problem you might want to mention land buyers look out for if they are wanting to have parties are the numbers of avatars allowed on the Region. Homesteads have 20, Estate managers on private estates can set an avatar limit that will often be 100 or reduced to 60. Mainland the avatar limit is generally 40 people, but some sims have the setting reduced to 30 for whatever reason and that can be a nasty surprise you find out after purchase and when you are wondering why your guests can't get in to your party it is a bit too late."

Some useful terms:

Double prim - On Mainland Bay City and some areas near the Welcome Area have double the prim allotment. These lots are usually more expensive. On private estates managers can also set land up so that renters have more prims than they would on a normal lot of the same size.

Protected - this usually means that you have a road, or a piece of protected land on one or all sides. Being next to a piece of abandoned land is not 'protected' because the land could be put up for

From Prokofy Neva:

"I would add a few other basics:
o Take off "water" on the "Advanced" menu while also checking off "see property owners" and "land borders" under "world". This way you can see what is hidden under water instantly without worrying about "transparent".
 o Don't buy near sim seams. This can cause havoc at times when you rez things that might temporarily may need to go beyond the border of your property. Ditto Linden protected land. While Linden land adds value and helps the view it can also be a problem sometimes.
o Take off "volume" on the "Advanced" menu -- unscrupulous land dealers often put strange builds or boards on the land that might hide the fact that a 16 m or 32 m parcel is still owned by them after the sale of the bulk of the parcel which they may then try to extort a price from you for to "save the view". Have had this happen EVEN WHEN I took off volume so look with "midnight" on to see the parcel borders carefully.
o Check all your neighbours' claim dates. Neighbours with claim dates for years or even just a year are a sign of happiness with that area, whereas if they are all new, you can be in an infestation of land flippers or a place that has some hidden problem like a club in the sky where 40 avatars take up all the slots every night.
o Yes, look in the sky -- go to world/map, type in the number 4096 in the coordinates and then "fall" through the sky to see what is above you -- it might be in the view or be a club or some problem
o Don't buy land with nearby problems that you think you will get a neighbour to "fix". They almost never do, and asking them may inspire them to make it worse."

Thank you to everyone who contributed. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Route 14

The lovely brick road was made by Abnor Mole.

This is one of my favorite roads, although it is relatively short.  There are vehicle rezz spots along the way, but it is easier to stop and read the Map Kiosks if your vehicle is a wearable bike.
SL Route 14.PNG
Map from the Second Life Wiki
Route 14 doesn't connect with other roads, but starts near Sandy Trunks Beach and passes by Seven Chickens Bridge, Dead Mole's Curve, until it reaches the End of the Line Inn.
View of road and map kiosk

Sandy Trunks Beach (1)

Seven Chickens Bridge (2)

Dead Mole's Curve (3)

End Of The Line Inn (4) 

See if you can find where the Innkeeper kept his booze.  There may be hidden treasure there!

There used to be a road extension connecting Route 14 to the 3-N-1 Club, and I've read that the Club used to give out free scooters to their patrons. Alas, the extension and the Club are no more. In fact, while I was trying to find if there were traces of the old road I found ban lines instead.

I've also been told that a long time ago residents had requested that Route 14 be joined to Route 13, not too far away, but it seemed there were reasons that couldn't be done.  One of the pod tours gets from Route 14 to Route 13 by travelling over some abandoned property.

By the way, I just bought a 512 in Grolphook on Route 14.  I'm hoping to make it a center for information about roads in Second Life. There's not much there now, but you are welcome to stop in and look around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Okema, Nakiska & Southern Railway, otherwise known as ONSR

Signpost at Smithers Bluff in Smithers Firth Land

I'm only putting in a few slurls here, because when you land at
you will see the large mapboard (shown above) which will give you a list of all the stops and more information about the Railway.
ONSR started as a private build. Resident Veronica Quackenbush worked to get the right of way, and Kitto Flora scripted cars and switches. Later Linden Lab commissioned Kitto Flora to build the extension of ONSR all the way to Wengen, so now the Railroad crosses 13 sims and serves ten stops or stations.

Some train cars on a siding - you may also
 see other trains and pods travelling part of the route.

Although the sign and the notecard list Smithers Firth Station as #12, I prefer to start at Smithers and head towards Wengen. The Snowlands along the route are lovely, and it is especially beautiful at night when the lights are casting colored shadows on the snow. At Egan you may want to stop at D.J. Station and take the personal-sized ferry across to Qie Niangao's large map of Mainland Railroads.

Okema Gorge

At Wengen, look past the Chalet towards the platform by the Alpine road, where the Moles have made an Aureole viewing area complete with a Hot Moley Spud Oven and a Ginger Beer Dispenser. If you're lucky, you might see the Aurora.

I'm going to need a bigger avatar...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Great Second Life Railway

The Great Second Life Railway was started in the early days of Second Life. The first station was set up in Slate, and the first track went to a sandbox in Olive.  Right now the red cars run relatively frequently between Mocha and Purple, and you will also see some Yavapods on part of the route.

Athos Murphy was the resident who had the idea of copying railroad designs from 1890 to 1930 and who helped design the route and even built some of the stations. You can get a notecard he wrote describing his plans from dispensers near some stations.
Map in Slate Station showing the proposed route.
I propose starting at Mocha Station, near the Mocha Cathedral.

Along the scenic GSLR route.

The next station is in Olive, where the track splits. One loop goes around Jopsy Pendragon's magnificent builds, and I highly recommend taking the detour.  Olive Station is at

The next stop is Slate. This is the first station, and looks quite small compared to most of the newer stations. . Across the tracks from the train station you will find a balloon ride that will take you to multiple destinations. 

Periwinkle Station is next. - the grounds around the station include some older visitor information, gifts, a nice park and  a playground.

Last stop on this continent is the Purple Dock Station and the Purple Ferry Terminal. They are close together so I am just giving you the slurl for the station.

Walk towards the water to take a ferry to Cecropia.

From the dock here you can take the ferry across the ANWR passage to Cecropia. To teleport use the slurl but it is more fun to take the ferry. There have been days when I haven't been able to find a ferry, if that happens, you can just fly across. 
GSLR Ferry

Midway between Purple and Cecropia sims is the ANWR Rig (I understand that is named after the acronym for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.) This is where primoleum is pumped out of the ground and made into prims. The ferry makes a short stop there in both directions.

After Cecropia, I don't think the GSLR continues; however, there is a Pod tour to take you from the Cecropia Station to the Station in Calleta.

If you are wondering about the green pool near the station in Cecropia, it's the Grief Containment Holding Facility.

This is how the route was supposed to continue. 
Next stop, the Virtual Railway Consortium, which has tracks crossing over 80 sims!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Where to Get Freebies in Second Life

Second Life is full of freebies, and you can go nuts trying to collect all of them. This is only a partial list of freebie sources listed with slurls. You can get a notecard with locations listed with Landmarks at the Tourist Information Center in Cecropia. Some places will automatically give you a landmark when you visit, or you can make your own. In either case you can add a note in the description column of the landmark or on the notecard so that you can find the place again.

Freebie Sources - Not in any particular order.

1. In your inventory, at the very bottom, you will find "Library" - look in there, you will find lots of things, including a large pink flamingo....

2. In the Marketplace you can put in the name of what you are looking for and then put "0 to 0" in the price search box and look for freebies there.

3. "Official" Freebie Sites:

Mole Mart: Building supplies - Road signs, pavement textures, other useful things made by the moles.

Nautilus Warehouse:, textures, and other items appropriate for Nautilus.

 Stillman Bazaar : - a small but well-curated selection of items and textures. Here you can also find Old Library Inventory.

Help Island Public:  - are some things here you might not see elsewhere, and also a lot of information for new residents.

NCI at Kuula: - not only a well-organized assortment of freebies, but there is often a volunteer here who will be able to help you if you have any questions. Look over by the info counter for an info notecard that has good advice on finding free or inexpensive clothing.

Bay City Airport: - look on and behind the counter marked "Bay City".

Bay City Community Center: a large room full of assorted freebies.

Port of Kama City in Zindra (note this is an adult location): Go up the stairs and left past the first two columns. The dispenser has mostly large structures.

Other spots:

The collected works of Arcadia Asylum and her alts (including Aley Arai, Lora Lemon, and Aley Resident) are also available on the Marketplace at AleyMart, but you can see them in person at the two spots below.)

Calleta:  A nice collection of
Arcadia Asylum's Slum City objects in two old buildings and around the area. Be sure to go upstairs to see the reproductions of old video games. !

Mieville Pond - Arcadia Asylum Library: around the water and under the water. There are buildings with vendors, but many of the items have been rezzed so you can see what they look like, rather than just seeing their picture on a dispenser. There's even a circus tent!

New Resident Services: Lots of helpful advice and free items - This area is supported by a private group.

Freebie Galaxy: fourteen floors of freebies. Be advised that I have seen things for sale here that were free elsewhere, but it is certainly worth visiting at least once. Look out for griefers.

Sky High Freebies: this one is new to me - just a big square of small shops, but what I liked about it is the fact that many of the small items are rezzed so that you can see what they look like.

Newbie World: - boxes and boxes of things, and some rezzed examples. Also an amusement park, dance club, and "Newbie University".

NCI at Hanson: (quieter than Kuula, and in snow country)Hanson was an infohub area which was turned into parkland. Go over the bridge to find an old Gingerbread Cottage, a sled ride, and the amazing disappearing moles!

Simple's Zoo of All Things: In the Mountain Retreat area you can find boxes and boxes each containing multiple items, but you should climb up to the top and explore the other areas There's even a place where you can go hang-gliding!.

Virtual Railway Consortium Headquarters in Tuliptree: Everything you need to build your own railway system - lots of good information here, and a free locomotive!

.Chilbo: One of many communities which have a focus on education: - Start at Town Hall and do the tour - you will find freebies almost everywhere, mostly geared towards educators.

Freebies from Hunts: Hunts are a popular activity in Second Life. Merchants like them, because they get customers into their stores, and hunters like them because they get the fun of a hunt, and free or inexpensive items. You get a landmark for the start of the hunt and look for the hunt object - when you've found it, it gives you a prize and the landmark to the next store or location. Hunts vary tremendously, my favorite is the Silk Road Hunt, which in 2016 had 66 merchants participating and introduced me to many new places to spend money....

SL Hunts: Actually this location mainly has a directory to their website:, but it is good to know they have an in-world location as well.

Fashion freebies: I have to admit that I'm not a clothes shopper, but an NCI volunteer has put together an excellent notecard on how to get free and inexpensive fashion. Pick up her notecard by the information desk at NCI Kuula and some other locations, and look on the schedule for her classes.

Scripts: My current viewer has a "Script library" button under the "Content" tab which directs you to a website, but there are other online sources for free scripts - you just have to look. If you want to make your own scripts, the Second Life College of Scripting, Music, and Science has inworld free tutorials, although you can buy the lessons as a collection.
Some Notes: Just because something is free doesn't mean it is without value. Many generous residents like to share their talent. Other times new businesses may want new customers to try out their products.

A sad fact is that some merchants will re-sell freebies, especially on the Marketplace. It is good to know what is available for free before you pay for something that someone meant to be free (I've done that). Remember the pink flamingo in your Library? Gee, there is an identical one for sale on the Marketplace for 5 lindens.

Sometimes, though, what looks like a copy of a freebie may be an old item that has been re-made with sculpties or with mesh, so always check carefully before jumping to conclusions. If you feel you have found someone selling a 'free' item it is courtesy to notify the original creator so that, if they are interested, they can notify the Marketplace cops.

Sometimes older items are free because they have a high prim count. It is always a good idea to open freebie boxes in a sandbox. Even if an item has more prims than your budget can afford, you may be able to take it apart to see how it is made, or there may be some parts you can salvage.

Even if you never collect one freebie, I suggest you visit a few freebie sites to get an idea of what is available.

By the way, once you've started collecting freebies, you should know that both Builder's Brewery and Happy Hippo offer free classes on "Managing Your Inventory".