Thursday, April 30, 2015

Safari has a Ball

        Well, two balls this week, really.
        We got the answers to some important questions like - is 'Ball' the 51st state? How important are jars to education in virtual worlds? Is guinguette a made up word? Does Pathfinder own any shoes? What is VIBE? and... How many avatars does it take to crash a sim on Ignis Fatuus Grid?
         First stop this week, a long overdue chat with Professor Stephen Gasior, who showed us around REDgrid, the OpenSim home of Ball State University
Jessica.Pixel: right clicking my head made it show up, so we're good
Wizard Gynoid: We are now in Indiana
Lucy Afarensis: oh my
LuAnn.Phillips: sounds like Alice in wonderland dialogue
Wizard Gynoid: why is it calleld Ball State?
Stephen Xootfly: It's named after the Ball Family who gave a lot of $ - ever heard of Ball Glass? 
Jessica.Pixel: wait, the Ball family that gave a lot of money is the jar family?  cause that's awesome, i love those jars.
Selby.Evans: My family canned with Ball jars. And made preserves.
         REDgrid is small, sturdy and has several very different sims, featuring some beautiful and accurate reconstructions of the campus buildings, and we started out by the pixel version of Shafer Tower
Stephen Xootfly: The grid and the original builds here are run by the IDIA lab. IDIA's work has been used for History Channel shows but, also they tend to partner with students and faculty for intersecting projects.
Serene.Jewell: It's really great that you opened up to the hypergrid. So many educational builds are hidden away where we can't see them.
          When it comes to Educational grids and regions in OpenSim, it can get a bit confusing, between the all the names of the various institutions and projects. Stephen is busy here with REDgrid, which is part of IDIA, but he's also very much a part of VIBE So how did he get started with teaching and virtual worlds?

Stephen Xootfly: I got my start teaching in Second Life at U of New Orleans. They used to have a big SL presence and many classes, and I'm a technophile. HG safari has visited my VIBE projects in the past, that's a collaborative working group with Clowey Greenwood, Max Chatnoir, and several others. I happened to come work for Ball State and got involved with IDIA Lab.  REDgrid predates my being at BSU. IDIA lab is well equipped with lots of good computers. So they just set up one to be a dedicated Opensim server. Working with BSU IT to get it setup for hypergrid was difficult, but we have an outside line now. I've recently started a community here at BSU for using REDgrid. Very recent, but we've already had a class use it for a gender identity project, and I have a build I"m going to make this summer

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Safari hops for the best

Meet Tosha Tyran, builder, benefactor and all round bella donna. How did a nice girl like her end up in a place like this?

Tosha Tyran: I got kind of frustrated with all the commercial stuff in SL and I was sick and tired of having to pay for every upload and wanted to advance building then some Italian friends told me about OpenSim and now I think it is really great - I wouldn't want it different I came - and hell it was frustrating too - more crashes then anything but with time and patient it changed :) I started later with Tao and Licu and Lumiere in Craft and - well - now I am here in Sanctuary which is one of the best cared for grids I think it is just great and the owner very friendly and helpful :) and I can build all I want I am present in Craft as well, but my favourite place is Sanctuary.
Her latest build, a Hopi Indian village, is on a sky platform above her sim Fire, on Sanctuary grid. URIs as usual at the end of the post.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Talking Trash

Knickers. I love them. They are fun to make, because they are difficult to get right. When making underwear, a fraction of a pixel on the upper thigh can result in unsightly bleeding edges, and a single pair of panties may require half a dozen re-uploads before the desired look is achieved.

One of the first things that we all fall in love with in OpenSim is the free upload feature. Sweet - you can just keep trying over and over till you have the correct knickerosity. It's wonderful.
You have a similar story of multiple uploads to tell, for sure. But have you ever stopped to think about what your crazy uploading does to the Asset Server of your grid? 
Yeah. Billions of copies of those unsuccessful undies.
"But wait!  I regularly go through my Inventory and trash all the things that don't work or I don't need!" I hear you say. 
Of course you do. But then what happens? Ever noticed that your trash seems to just come back, like a sort of bin boomerang?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Divine Safari

          Just two destinations on this 48th consecutive Safari, but this was a week when less is more.  That's what we told ourselves, as we all kept losing our hair. What is up with that? For months, hair loss has been a rare event when grid jumping, and now it's back. What we need to do is sit down with a dev and.... well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Safari Lessons

          Yay it's nice to be meeting on OSGrid at the ole homeplace again. 

          But no time to feel homesick for Francogrid, because our first stop this week was on that very grid. Sim Avatar crashed - had to be an omen - but a second top secret alternative destination was immediately made available. Slightly ironically, getting there made even more of us crash.  Word of advice: Any sim address that begins with https:// is bad news. If you copy that into chat, it shows up as a link. People click on the link, and that opens their CPU hungry web browser and... it all goes pear shaped. 
          I blame people who use Firestorm. All of them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Safari goes extramural

         This week Littlefield Grid celebrates two years of existence, and Walter Balazic and friends are celebrating with a gigantic fair on Littlefield Anniversary sim. In honor of the event they have put up a VAR region, and all kinds of residents have contributed stalls stands and exhibits showing the talent and wide range of interests of Littlefield folk.
Walter welcomes hypergridders
Walter Balazic: it's a fairly large VAR, so there's a lot to see. I've been looking at it for 2 weeks now, so it looks small to me now! The users here love to build.  Mudpuddle put an interesting Yellow Submarine display up. The Germans put a village up, I put a little display up, I really never build, but it's the one behind you. People do things that are geared toward what they know, mine is all prim and minor scripting, cause that's all I know. Some people are really good at mesh and focus on mesh things.