Thursday, November 27, 2014

Winter, Water, and SafarAI

What's it like, going on safari? Well, imagine trying to order off a high-class menu while riding on a train travelling through a hurricane. And your clothes keep falling off. In quicksand.
Four excellent destinations, which produced as usual a sort of 'if it's Tuesday, this must be Brussels' sensation. These are all places worth visiting again (and again!) by yourself or even better, with a friend.
Mattie Mcbride's festive forest, on Paradise Island, Metropolis
First Metropolis, to Mattie Mcbride's Paradise Island, and second to Tangle grid for the Expo. Similar theme, very different scales, from Mattie's exquisite winter market, full of baubles and tinsel, to the three sim extravaganza on Tangle. 
The vast expanse of Tangle Expo
 We had some stunning looking visitors this week at the clubhouse, it seemed like a good idea to take their photo up front before the chaos began. 
Dharma and Mady Galaxy rocking the antlers
When you get to the clubhouse, you can click on the dispenser to get the landmarks. They're in a giant gold prim marked 'Landmarks'. They will look something like this in your Inventory. If you arrive from a different grid, they will appear in the landmarks folder inside My Suitcase. 

You get the landmarks twice, they are both loose inside the folder, and embedded in the Notecard - hit 'Get Items' to remove the LMs from the Notecard. Once you move off the grid, chances are the Notecard will no longer load, especially if you close it. Leaving the LMs open but minimized is also a good idea. Another strategy is to copy/paste the information on the notecard into a program outside your viewer, like Notepad, so you can access the grid or region names and URIs (HG Addresses) of our destinations. If you open a IM with me or Wizard, Fuschia or Wizardoz, we can keep track of you and make sure you don't get lost, too. It is worth taking a moment to do all this before the Safari gets started.
Mattie's Tudor Townhouses
Matti Mcbride's sim is a treasurehouse of free, high quality items, her textures in particular are just beautiful, and she has a lot of imaginative accessories and home items. Metropolis was not, however, cooperating, and many either couldn't get on to Paradise Island, or couldn't see a thing. The grid is getting slower and slower for many of us. My Metro inventory never fully loads any more, and attachments remain stuck on after dozens of efforts to remove them, or else they all fall off when I tp, despite the 'My Suitcase' strategy. And that's if a Teleport Request works, which is a rarer and rarer occurrence these days, even when you're alone. No wonder, after the huge amount of newcomers (including Safari) who have descended on Metropolis' Asset Server. This is the principal reason Safari now officially meets not in Metropolis but on Francogrid, on the appropriately named hgsafari sim, although we still leave landmarks to the various destinations in the dispenser on Metropolis.
Jessica Pixel and Art Blue arrive at the Winterfest on TanGle grid.
With Metro uncooperative, many found themselves on *Startregion* in Metropolis, or back at the Francogrid clubhouse. When a tp fails, you can pretty much guarantee your attachments will go with it. If you have the time and energy, the best way to sort that out is to go to your home grid, One day, soon, Safari will be a lot easier. And then we'll probably stop, because we only do it for the challenge. As many as we were able to contact were encouraged to skip Paradise island and move on to TanGLe.
Fully dressed on Tangle grid. It can't last.

You follow the big flashing arrows to go down to the actual Expo, which is huge, and has multiple Santas, outfits, freebies, and a disco grotto, not to mention the funfair, the skiing, the freebies, and various rides.
Santa visits Tangle
About 15 of us got to TanGLe, some stayed behind and hung out with Mattie on Paradise island, some headed over to our next stop, 3dcolab grid, some fell off OpenSim altogether. It was that kind of a night. Eventually, about 25 of us got over to the Titanic. Those who didn't read the multiple messages about turning off their Basic Shaders in Preferences>Graphics probably didn't see much, but this is the Ballroom on the Titanic. Hey no fair! Pathfinder's hat made it! 

Turns out, my dress was visible only on my viewer. Yes, yes it was in My Suitcase. Verdict: when hypergridding, mesh clothes are more trouble than they are worth. Except for entertainment value, of course. The people over at TanGLe grid are going to expand their Corran Journal to make it an all-OpenSim Tabloid, I can't help wondering how many hilarious/humiliating photos of us on Safari they are going to receive each week. Here instead is a respectable pic by Safari newbie Scottius Polke, who was having a whale of a time with Karima Hoisan and Wizard Gynoid.
Scott's photo. That's quite a mustache, sir.

 Truelie Telling sang and played for us, it was great, I've missed her regular concerts at the Maritime Club on OSGrid, but you can find her playing in different parts of the metaverse, including 3rd Rock Grid. She has some great original songs, many inspired by her experiences in Second Life and in gridjumping - one lists the 'interesting' stuff that can happen to you, including your hair ending up on your butt. that would have been an improvement, for me. Karima took a bunch of candid shots which are on the Safari's Facebook page. How is it when Fuschia's attachments go walkabout she still looks elegant?
The sim on 3dcolab that houses the Titanic is called Belfast, because the ship was built in that city, and it's a wonderfully atmospheric build, and they have provided music, dances, even NPC dance partners if you want them, so do go and visit. There were 25 of us. and not a whisper of lag. Go 3dcolab!!
'Alabaster Thirza'. The least embarrassing of a barrage of photos, thanks to all who passed them to me.

Last stop but by no means least was OpenVue. The 'Vue' is University of Edinburgh, and boasts a number of scientific and engineering builds of great interest and quality. 
Arriving at OpenVue
Professor Austin Tate was on hand to meet us. He thoughtfully had put up a tp trail so we could all find out way to see the various parts of the impressive, highly detailed oil rig, (make sure you have sounds on to get the full impact of what it means to be on a RL rig!) complete with underwater equipment, diving suits and mini sub... something surreal about Jessica Pixel's rings of light wearing diving tanks...

  and the space build which recalls famous satellites, like Voyager. But don't overlook the i-room, which explains the work done on this grid. It's right in the Welcome area.

At the Voyager monument, Fuschia admires Professor Tate's authentic NASA spacesuit.
Ai Austin: Hi and welcome to the AiLand grid. Here is a bit of information in case its useful. The arrival region is “OpenVCE” – the Open Virtual Collaboration Environment. It includes a range of facilities for collaboration, teamwork and educational purposes. It includes a large amphitheatre, an expo pavilion, and many project and meeting spaces tucked away here and there. It also houses an “I-Room” – a virtual space for intelligent interaction. This supports collaborative teams in real or training events for example in an operations centre. This relates to my own research in using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for teamwork, collaboration and activity support, especially in emergency response.
Miso Susanowa: ah, I did something with Edinborough in SL awhile ago, couple years?
Ai Austin: What was that Miso?
Miso Susanowa: a study but of what I can't remember :(
Stickladies can breathe underwater
Fuschia Nightfire: i could do with some artificial intelligence
Ai Austin: We have been in SL since about 2006, in Opensim since 2007 More details, an introductory video about I-Room technology, and more information links are available in the blog post at That can be used if you want more info afterwards folk.
Neo.Cortex: btw... graphics back to normal, so we can see all the beauty here
James.AtLLOUD: Oh, good reminder Neo. TY
Ai Austin: This region is available as an OAR licenced LGPL - so very open. It was built for us by Clever Zebra and our team, it is a strater region available on Kitely and New World Grid too. Tippodean also converted it to Collada and so its in Unity too now.
Neo.Cortex: openVCE has been in use all over the hypergrid for quite a while, thank you!

Lucy Afarensis: One of studios is made from one.
Pathfinder.Lester: nice
Ai Austin: Great. Thats what we hoped, it's got lots of collaboration areas. After arriving on OpenVCE, the suggested locations to see something interesting on the grid are:
 * Oil Rig – a complex mesh build used for training oil rig workers by the oil & gas Centre at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen

* Space City – a region with content related to Gerry Anderson’s Fireball XL5 SciFi puppet TV show from the 1960s. It also contains a Voyager Spacecraft memorial (our AI planning technology was used by NASA JPL as a basis for their first SAI planner and for planning the Voyager Neptune flyby) and other spacecraft such as Deep Space One (which was controlled autonomously by an AI planner for a period in its mission).

Wizard Gynoid: oo Fireball XL5!
Miso Susanowa: wow nice
Ai.Austin: Yes... and Stingray and Supercar regions are here too
Art Blue: space city I go: anything can happen in the next xx minutes Troy Tempest said

Pathfinder Lester: heh

James.AtLLOUD: Yeah Fireball.

Yeah Fireball is right. This grid is worth visiting and revisiting, there is no way a Safari visit can give you more than a flavor of the excellence on display here, so we will be going back. If only to get more photos like this one.
Fuschia Swimfire
To visit these destinations: Log on to a hypergrid enabled grid. Copy the address aka URI into the Search box on your Map. Hit Search. When the map finds the location, Teleport there.
Mattie's sim and winter fair:
TanGLe Expo Winterfest:
Titanic build:                
University of Edinburgh grid:


  1. That was a lot of fun! These trips keep getting better and better.

  2. We wer on two grids relates to the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue)...

    Openvue our main collaboration and work project related grid at

    AiLand a new experimental and demonstration region grid at