Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Has it been THAT long?

Just been following up on an invitation to join a British Computer Society meeting to be held in Second Life at Bangor University (UK). I'm horrified to see that it is nearly 3 years since I updated my blog (time flies when you're having fun!) and nearly as long since I was in Second Life.

Well, the BCS meeting is tonight - so it will be interesting to see whether or not the BCS / Bangor Uni are miles behind the technology curve in their uptake of SL, or if the technology has matured enough to be really useful.... or if the technology is SO mature as to be completely decrepit and past it!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

I really do still exist!

Good Grief - over a year since I wrote a blog entry - how time flies when you are having fun! (In my case, this means working in France for 2-3 days/week on an IT project - nett result is that I don't have time to play around in SL anymore)

However - a few developments worth commenting on....

First of all, the SL client now seems to work OK on my company Laptop (an HP Compaq nc6400) Now this could be because I have a newer laptop than previously, OR (more likely) that the software has become a lot more stable. Despite this, I haven't found enough time whilst working away to use hotel internet connections to get into SL (sorry!).

Secondly, the Google "Lively" environment has arrived on the scene. I tried running it last night.... conclusion: well, it works, though in some ways it is not really as intuitive as SL. I haven't tried playing with it "in anger" yet - I really must find a "room" with some people in to chat to.

Meanwhile my chum Aleister Kronos has continued to blog SL at the rate of an entry a day.... he really ought to look into hosting advertising space on his blog - I'm sure he'd make some money on it!

So that's it for now.... you never know, I might get back to post a new entry in the near future!

Team Mascot.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

SLeek - Working again!! :-)

Yay! SLeek is now working again so I can chat to my friends in SL!!! Congratulations and thanks to Delta Czukor (Paul Clement) for updating the code. Thanks must also go to the Best Western hotel Dauphitel (Grenoble, France) who are providing me with internet access tonight!

My observations on the latest incarnation of SLeek are that it works! and that it has managed to let me chat and IM to friends wihtout any hitches! The only down-side (though this may have been recorded in the installation notes..... erm... perhaps I ought to have read them :-* ) is that if I search for anyone, they are shown as being "off-line"..... which is not necessarily true... but pinging them an IM soon shows if they are there or not (Anyone off-line, and the message is queued for later delivery)

However - with nearly 2 months away from SL, I really must start chatting to people again and see what is happening...... I feel REALLY out of touch... but then on a personal side, having spent a couple of months away from SL, I am less inclined to stay up half the night browsing around strange new virtual locations... so my wife is a lot happier that she is seeing me in bed at night and not hunched over a computer screen! It is quite surprising how quickly I have fallen out of touch! (with SL that is!)

Still, with reasonable internet access and a working SLeek, I'll have to see if I can come up with some more interesting blog entries than this drivel!

Tuesday, 17 July 2007


Well, Linden Labs make the SL interface "open" so that anyone could write their own UI. Three Cheers for that.

So we have a 3rd party interface (SLeek to name but one)... Yippeeee I can now access SL from my work laptop when I am stuck in a hotel room away from my shiny turbo nutter ba*&%$d PC with decent graphics card sitting at home un-used. NOT!!

Just as I thought I'd got my SL withdrawal symptoms fixed (a night in a hotel room with my company laptop, SLeek, and a free wifi internet access) I find (not for the first time) that SLeek has been broken by changes to the SL interface. So much for an "open" interface.... it may be open and freely published, but it sort of defeats the object if every new version of SL goes and breaks the interface (or 3rd party clients).

Sorry.... I'm probably suffering from a hefty dose of cynicism and a couple too many beers and glasses of wine!... but it is certainly a pain that I can't get into SL from my non-graphics PC.

What adds insult to injury is that the web interface via Katharine Berry's server doesn't seem to work via the hotel wifi connection either DOH!

Monday, 16 July 2007

More interfaces

Gosh - over a month since my last blog entry..... I really must do something about my (lack of) blogging.

To explain; since the start of April I've been working 3-4 days a week away from home, so have not had the opportunity to go into SL and "play". (for some strange reason my wife does not see exploring SL as a priority activity..... in fact she does not see ANY use of the computer as a priority activity... so when I do get home I don't have time to spend in SL). But enough of my home life.

Whilst working away, depending on the hotel's internet facilities, I am sometimes able to do some web surfing using my laptop. Unfortunately it is not beefy enough in the graphics department to run a full SL client, but it HAS been able to run character interfaces like SLeek (see earlier posts). Unfortunately, SLeek has a nasty habit of breaking every time that the Lindens update the SL protocols. (I understand that the next release of SLeek is likely to be a lot more resilient to interface changes.... we will have to wait and see..... currently it is broken!) However, there is an alternative....

An enterprising young lady (well, I say young lady... it could be an old man for all I know) called katharine berry has developed a web interface to SL. Always liking new toys, I had a play with it earlier this evening.

I'm pleased to report that the interface works! It took me a while to come to this conclusion, as no-one I knew was logged onto SL this evening!! However, once some of my friends came on line, I was able to send them IM's & the system seems to work.

The interface allows you to Chat, IM, view the map and teleport (though to teleport, you really need to know the coordinates of your destination to do the job properly). My only complaint (compared with SLeek) is that the interface does not let you send an IM to someone who is not on-line.

There have been questions raised about the security of entering SL username and password into a third-party web site, but I guess this is one occasion where you just have to trust the site designer (Katherine claims to encrypt username and password, and promises not to store them).

So if, like me, you need to access SL from a machine that does not support the necessary graphics, you might like to give ajaxlife a whirl!

Friday, 22 June 2007


Trying to pick up some momentum in my visits to SL and blog posts, I was back in world last night.... I tried "1900s Paris" but this seemed to be full of french-speaking folk (not surprising really!), very busy and desperately sloooowwww. So instead I took a look at what events were happening and popped along to an opening of an art exhibition at "pumphouse9". This was extremely well attended.... so much so that the lag was horrendous.... either that, or my SL client and PC had given up the ghost! After a few seconds, I found that I could swivel myself around, but no way could I move backwards or forwards, or fly or TP!! I was completely stuck! In the end I just had to crash out of the interface.... goodness knows where I will materialise when I next go in world!

Now, with performance like this, I can see how newbies and sceptics will find SL to be a total waste of time and space. Pity really, as in my experience, such poor performance has been an occasional inconvenience rather than a regular feature... but could that be because I end up visiting deserted SIMs, or has SL just got too busy recently?

Meanwhile here are a copule of photos from the gallery.....

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

I think therefore I am real

Well, after a few weeks away from SL, I finally managed an hour In World last night, & had an interesting time meeting the "thinkers" to discuss matters of Life, The Universe, Everything...... well, actually to discuss what is "reality".

Before I get onto reality, I think it worth looking at the meeting itself. I actually gatecrashed the session (I IM'd an old friend who invited me over to the think tank!). When I arrived, there were about a dozen or so avatars deep in conversation. I actually found this to be quite hard going, as many people were trying to speak at the same time - which made unscrambling the discussion threads a bit of a challenge. Once the numbers dwindled to about half a dozen, we were able to have far more meaningful chats. Which makes me wonder just what is the optimum size for a group discussion in SL?

As for the discussion itself, we ranged from (not) hearing trees falling in a deserted forest, to the idea that we were, in fact, all sharing the same illusion. We even touched on one of my old favourites of What does your avatar do when you are off-line. All quite stimulating stuff.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, and the roll-call was too long to mention!

Perhaps I'll make it to their next thinker's meeting.... if it REALLY takes place that is!