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!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

SLeek is fixed! and improved

Well, following my last blog entry bemoaning the fact that SLeek had been broken by the recent changes to SecondLife, I am pleased to say that the latest version has fixed the problems and is better than ever!

You can find details of the update and download here

As I have said before, using SLeek is a bit like being blind - you can "hear" the people around you, and you are aware that they are there - but you have no idea what they look like, or where they are relative to yourself. You also don't know where you are or what your avatar is doing. In my case, when I used SLeek earlier this evening, apparently I'd been "Ruthed", so instead of being an "elder geek" - a man with long white hair and a beard, I looked like this....

(Team is the one with the short hair in the foreground... demonstrating that it is important to make sure your avatar is always wearing clean underwear!)

Thanks to my friend Aleister Kronos for taking the photo (though I think he was just enjoying letting me know how daft I looked!)

Back to SLeek though.....
The interface works... though I made the mistake of forgetting to select "use last location" rather than "use Home location" when I logged in. This meant I materialised in one of the welcome islands rather than in the nice safe place I left my avatar the last time I logged out! However, fortunately the teleport works, & I was able to spirit myself away to meet Aleister and his friends on the Comcast island.

I was also pleased to see that it is now possible to pull down the user profile of the people around you... so at least (when people had put their photo in their profiles) I was able to get a idea of who I was speaking to!

There is also a neat map viewer.... give it the name of a location and it will bring up the thumbnail map. Unfortunately there's a bug in the libsecondlife library, so it always reports that there are no people in every area!

Still, the interface works - chat works; IM works; teleporting works. It also has the option of connecting to the beta and teen grids (though I haven't tried these out).

I can certainly recommend SLeek to anyone who would like a chat/im interface into SL and doesn't quite have the graphics horsepower to run the full interface (in my case, my home PC will run SL with no problem, but my "company laptop" doesn't stand a chance with full-blown SL). Thanks again to to Delta for updating the code.