Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finding Value Around us

As some of you know, Benares will be off the map soon. Brinda's account has been locked by Linden Labs. So tonight, I headed back to Benares and teleported to my old parcel. I walked to the back of the lot, Benares 20 (yes every parcel has a number) and I looked at the stone waterfall head. I remember the night brinda rezzed it and created sprays of water under it and made a small stream of water for me. It always fascinated me to watch her build and create. She always knew what she was doing. And had she had the time, I think she would've been a great scripter.

Wanting to know where the waterfall head was from I clicked Edit and clicked to view the profile of the Creator. Her name is Ante Flan. Her store is Toasty Subject. The landmark is below.

Ante Flan's Toasty Subject http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ryder%20Haven/228/29/28

Since she left, I've had a hard time settling my mind about some things. I've finally realized I don't need a home sim. Well I need one to build or escape, but it's not my home unless there's love around me. I only want to be where I feel happy. Now I realize that there's value in every person, whether we like them or not. Even if we hate that person, they're still valuable. We shouldn't judge them if they're unpleasant or spiteful, not that we have to love them either. I was talking to a friend and it suddenly became clear. I feel really empowered whenever I talk to him. I really do feel lucky to be his friend. Thank you, Lucky.

I took these two pictures while I was at Toasty Subect. I think brinda must've gotten a good laugh out of the sign outside.

In case you can't read that the sign says "We are open if you like Free Shit - MGMT." heh heh

This is a bit of the inside view. If you'll notice the floor, you can pick up some cute freebies here like a free inflatable raft. Won't you just float along and see the value in others?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's a Brand New Day

Yesterday, September 24, my dear friend and partner, Lrak, celebrated his first Rez day! I was fortunate to have been able to spend some time with him. He was with me when I celebrated my first Rez day too back in July. He has been so good to me and he means so much to me. I once thought Benares was my home and maybe it still is. But now, I feel like my home is with the friends I love and care about. Home really IS where the heart is. And Lrak is one of those special, close friends.

We partnered on September 2nd, 2011. We would have partnered sooner but circumstances over which we had no control, delayed our plans. I don't regret delaying the partnership. We've kept in touch and now we're finally really a couple in SL.

Wherever I go, wherever my journey leads me to....I know that Lrak will always have a place in my heart. We'll always be close friends. We'll always love each other.

And now, I give you "Brand New Day" by Sting, the song that inspired this post of mine.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Changing Ways

In life, there are things that move us or cause us to move.  It could be something as simple as changing a hairstyle or something major like relocating to a new place. Either way, we all have a journey to proceed by.  It is never easy to take those initial steps away from the comfort and safety of the old way, but it is necessary in order for us to flourish and discover who we really are, to find and reach our potential.

Last week, I made 2 changes in SL. I quit as a sim manager and I quit as a blog manager and writer for Rez magazine. Neither task was easy for me, but it was something I felt like I had to do. Will I return to those positions? I don't know. All I know is that I need a breather from those jobs. I need time to settle my emotions....a tangled web of emotions that is sometimes crippling. I try hard to fight them, but it's not something easily defeated. Those 2 positions were starting to drag me down, just the frustration I felt in the end. So, I'm on an indefinite hiatus.

I'll still be inworld though. I have friends I want to talk to and spend time with and I have some animations to make for a few people. I really enjoy being with friends and animating. I know it'll do me a lot of good.

Also, I intend to start learning Wings 3d and Blender. I've started with Wings first. Wings will help me to learn how to use keyboard shortcuts, tweak sculpts, and get used to working on a 3d plane. Blender is a bit more complex, but I think I can learn it.

Until soon,


It has been ten years

Ten years ago, 9/11 ocurred. It shook me to the core as well as the world. Life has never been the same for any of us. I know my world perspective has changed. I attribute that event to my need to learn more about Politics, World affairs, and being willing to be open to other cultures.

While there is still anger and fear for terrorists and suspicions that anyone around us could be a terrorist, there is also concern about how the United States is acting as a player on the World stage. Are we acting with respect, integrity, and honesty towards other countries? Are we trying to get along with others? How do we want future generations to remember us? These are just a few questions I can think of right now, this morning.

Time goes on, but the mind always remembers. And I do hope that 9/11 has changed all of us for the better. We should all strive to be upright and true to our morals and standards of life.

No matter what, we must not be blinded by hate, paranoia, or pain. It is a wonderful life and we should live safely and happily.

Here's to hoping we'll succed in our endeavors to that effect,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

One year for the Phoenix Viewer Team!

Last Saturday, September 3rd was the anniversary of the Phoenix Viewer Team! I was able to attend the celebration for about an hour. I heard the speeches made by Arrehn Oberlander and Jessica Lyon. The speech was recorded by metamix tv. Go here to hear the speech.

Afterwards there was music and dancing. Over 50 avatars were at the sim while I was there during the first hour. It was a great showing of support for Phoenix.

I remember feeling so excited when I downloaded the first ever version of Phoenix. I loved it! And every time I download the latest from Phoenix, I always feel that excitement, because I know it will be good. Plus, the support team is awesome! They have been very helpful to me and I am so grateful to them. The developers work tirelessly.

Happy belated birthday to the team!

Wishing you well,

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Rezzing to You…Firestorm

A look at Firestorm Beta
Firestorm…the new It viewer in SL! If you haven’t tried Firestorm, you should. It is a new viewer created by the team that brought you the widely successful Phoenix viewer. Firestorm is V2-based, so it is like V2 but with a lot of Phoenix features. To try it out, just go to phoenixviewer.com, navigate to the Downloads page, and click on the link for the Public Beta version,

As of September 6th, there is a Beta version 3 out that is mesh compatible, so you can see mesh. You will be able to upload mesh as soon as coding for that is finished. Keep checking the Phoenix main site for updates.

I have been in SL for over a year, long enough to get a feel for many SL viewers. Viewer 2, Emerald, Imprudence, Emergence, Cool Viewer, Dolphin Viewer, Metabolt (once), Kirsten’s viewer, Phoenix, and now Firestorm. They are all interesting and complex viewers. It’s hard to compare them against each other. Frankly, I do not mean for this article to state which is the best or which one you should use. Personally, I feel most comfortable with Imprudence or Phoenix…though I’m getting better at using Firestorm…having used it and struggled with it when it was in the preview stages. Since Phoenix viewer came out, I was a member of the group and I still am. When I can, I help out in chat. It pleases me to help others, not that I desire to be on the ever-growing support team. I have enough in SL to keep me busy and then some. Man, those devs and group members are awesome!

I want to put Firestorm viewer in perspective. By now, you have probably heard through the grape vine that Linden Labs plans to pull all the V1-based viewers off the grid eventually (no news on when), so we’ll all be forced to use V2-based viewers or Viewer 2. I am sure many if not most of you are grumbling about it…using a Viewer 2 or Viewer 2-like viewer does not sound enjoyable. I understand, having struggled with Viewer 2 and using other viewers that are very similar to Viewer 2. However that being said, it is not a complete tragedy. Firestorm is the latest Viewer 2-based viewer and while it uses Viewer 2 code and the UI (user interface) looks a lot like Viewer 2, it is actually easier to handle. You can change skins like say you don’t want to see the sidebar, use the Firestorm Grey skin, the default skin. That is the skin I use. If you want to see the draw distance slider, use one of the Starlight skins. The Starlight skins come in several colors like teal and silver blue, while the default Firestorm skin only comes in grey. But I am digressing here. My point is that it is not so horrible that Viewer 1 viewers will go extinct. I am sad and I know I will miss those viewers, but everything changes and time only goes forward. We live in a progressive time of life. Nothing stays the same and things are constanly being improved.

That said I truly understand how difficult it is to switch to a Viewer2 based viewer. I have used Viewer 2 before and I had trouble even figuring out how to make a notecard (I forgot what version that was, but I ended up writing on a notecard I had created in a different viewer.). It’s laughable, but it is little things like that that can make changing to new viewers so overwhelming and frustrating. When I get frantic, I try to calmly ask questions in Support chat or in any help groups I’m in; and just framing the question can calm me down, because I know that I need to make sense so that others can try to help me. Those groups are valuable and terrific, so if you feel grateful…please thank them. They work hard to keep people coming back for help and support. And they do all this for free, so don’t take them for granted or be unnecessarily rude. You’re wasting your time and you’re wasting their time. We all get frustrated but that doesn’t justify lashing out.

Often maybe even on a daily basis, I see people in chat complain about how hard it is to use Firestorm and how they want to go back to Phoenix. They storm off (pun intended) or they keep on whining in chat, giving most active users in chat a bit of a headache, to state it lightly. Instead of whining, they could be listening more attentively to what people on the support team or other members are trying to convey to them…that Firestorm is usable and it is still being developed. Public Beta still has some kinks and problems (what viewer doesn’t?), but it has improved and will continue improving. Everyone in group is working hard to make Firestorm the best it can be. So whether you self-compile, manipulate code, file Jiras (at the Support page of the Phoenix website), or help out in Support chat…you are definitely making a difference.

I asked for statements from Jessica Lyon and Ed Merryman, the two leads of the Phoenix/Firestorm team and here is what they said:

Jessica Lyon:

While Firestorm is based from the LL V2 viewer, we have worked very hard in making it as customizable as humanly possible. We have accomplished a great deal in fact, though it isn't obvious at first look. The most common complaints seem to come from people who logged in, saw the side bar and immediately logged back out saying it's just like V2. This is unfortunate because Firestorm can in fact be made to look just like Phoenix and V1 with very little effort.

It's also very important that people understand viewers like Phoenix took years to get to where it is now in the way of features. Most people in SL now were born into SL when most of these features already existed. This makes it hard for people to understand why they aren't already in Firestorm. The reality is Firestorm is still very much in its infancy, yet has already advanced miles ahead by way of features added in time. It is already the fastest growing viewer by way of usage, averaging about 30% increase in usage per week for the last month. This is something never achieved by any viewer, it's practically a phenomenon and we are very proud of it.

The plans we have for Firestorm in the future near and far will be outstanding and more innovative than anything yet seen in a viewer in second life. This is the dawn of a new era in viewer technology and capability we are witnessing together. We are grateful to our early adopters and ask our users to show patience as we progress further and further into making Firestorm the best viewer Second Life has ever seen.

Ed Merryman:

Firestorm is different, it’s not Phoenix, and it’s not V2 either, rather it is a hybrid. That said I suspect that it would be an easier transition from V2 to Firestorm than from Phoenix. The Phoenix team are suggesting that people download Firestorm, install and use it when you are not busy doing something important, in order to learn and get used to the differences. We have a large and growing body of documentation at http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/doku.php?id=firestorm to help you out as well as free classes and our support group where you can ask questions. Frankly the one thing that frustrates me is when people install it, log in, take one look and log out without seeing what you can actually do to make it more usable. This is the most customisable viewer for SL I have seen. Take one look at Jessica's video at http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenixViewerSL#p/a/u/0/3y4PH0rczJQ and you'll get the idea.