Thursday, September 28, 2006


The vast majority of people I've met in SL have been friendly, interesting, and helpful. (That may be skewed by not counting people who have pushed me about while trying to get somewhere as people I've met, but that's OK by me. In any case such people may be victims of serious lag.)

Some stand out as particularly kind and friendly—a friend I've made on SL, Mordecai, very much so. Were it not for SL, I'd never have met him, and would be much the poorer for it. He's started a blog about his SL experiences, and I hope you'll read it.

I must admit that I'm not used to such praise as he bestows on me—as the cliché goes, it's enough to turn a girl's head. I must learn to relax and accept compliments with grace, and even enjoy them.


In RL, it's now my favorite season of the year: fall (or autumn, if you speak English rather than American...). In Iowa, peak foliage viewing time is typically the first week or so of October.

In SL, I went looking for something similar, and found it on Serenity Island. Whoever did the virtual landscaping there is extremely good. Here's a snapshot I took in a bit more springlike area on the island.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Excuse me, I bald, and do I have a skirt on?

I will no doubt start a list of "questions only asked in SL". That is probably one of the first on the list, and it happened in this wise...

This morning I teleported over at the invitation of a dear friend. All seemed well... until suddenly my spiffy prim hair and prim skirt vanished!

I know, now, how the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" felt. Does he know? More pleasant conversation... Is he seeing me as I see myself?

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! —tear up the planks! here, here! —It is the beating of his hideous heart!"

OK, I'm exaggerating, and the hair and skirt did eventually reappear. But I had to ask!

P.S. While we're talking about prim hair... I love my prim hair, but it's always funny to watch it materialize—er, rez. (The influence of Tron continues...) For a second I look tonsured. ("Good morning, Brother Melissa...") Then, thank goodness, the tresses appear. Whew.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Making Clothes

I took the intro to clothes-making class. It goes over how to tweak the parameters on the stock clothing to get something you'd like.

There's more to it than that—the next level up involves building clothes out of prims—so I have much more to learn.

Even from the little I know, though, I think I know what would greatly assist SL tailors: a dress form, or more accurately, a mannequin. (You'd have one for men and one for women.)

The mannequin has to be adjustable in all the ways the body is adjustable in SL, with the same settings giving the same results.

The tailor should be able to work on the mannequin, and have the flat image that is wrapped around the mannequin generated automatically.

I think it would make it easier to produce clothing, and especially make it easier, for a given body shape, to get stripes and such to line up and to avoid discrepancies in cloth patterns where things are stretched to fit around the body.

That doesn't solve the whole problem, because it only works for a given set of parameters. You'd like clothing to adjust as the wearer fiddles with his or her appearance... but automating making the cloth pattern line up sounds like a difficult problem.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Virtual Brushes with Celebrity

From this afternoon's (OK, at 11:00 a.m. SLT) GeekBrief meetup. To my right (your left) is a gentleman with the Mobile Computing Authority podcast (to which I'll subscribe, though it will just mean that much more hardware to lust after); to my left (your right) is the one and only Cali Lewis of GeekBrief.TV. If you don't subscribe to it, do so right away, and for that matter check out episode 34 of Inside the Net, in which Leo Laporte interviews her.

Sigh. I guess I can understand "Cali Lewis" being a more "geeky" name, but "Luria Petrucci" is just beautiful. No way around it.

UPDATE: short-term memory failed me. The gentleman here isn't the one from Mobile Computing Authority. As they say in the programming biz, I suffered from an off-by-one error; he's just off-screen. Sorry about that.

Bummer... is back to an endless loop after you sign on. It's a shame.

I'm glad I set up the blog here...especially with the ability to upload images. (Maybe if LiveJournal renamed itself to SecondLiveJournal...:))

OK, it's late/early enough that everything seems funny. Time to go to bed.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Attack of the Fifty-Foot Melissa

I am learning to fiddle with the point of view control...

...but there's a point to this. When you click on Appearance, you're presented with controls for various aspects of your avatar's appearance. They're in the form of sliders that all go from 0 to 100. Who decides what those values correspond to? The folks at Linden Labs, of course.

There are attempts at workarounds: for example, you can spend some L$ and buy fairly massive fake breasts. Does "fake" mean anything in SL? Yes, it does; you attach them, and your clothes don't "know" they are supposed to go over them, so unless you're going topless, they're not of much use.

I'm sure the limits they choose make programming and the modeling of avatars easier, but there are people who would like to see them increased, if not eliminated (and the avatar model improved so that when you do turn it "up to 11," your features don't develop corners where corners shouldn't be). If you're in SL, please consider casting some votes for Snakekiss Noir's Proposition 125. (Votes? SL, you have ten votes that you can distribute amongst the propositions as you please.)

P.S. Some sliders control colors for skin, hair, etc. What a given number corresponds to for them is not necessarily what you think it is, so experiment to find what you want.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gotta Dance

I found a box of freebie clothing that had an "Irish woman" outfit. I have it on, and my predilection for red hair is serving me very well indeed... but I keep having this urge to step dance. Yes, I know that there are very fancy embroidered dresses that stepdancers often wear, but the stereotypes must be strongly embedded in my American brain.

P.S. In RL, I don't dance. The instructions fall right out of short-term memory, and I trip over myself or someone else. I guess if I took lessons and practiced... in my "copious spare time."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Recursion, n. See "recursion."

The other day I happened across SecondLifeMe, a sort of MySpace for your avatar. It looked nice, with lists of favorites, what you've been reading/listening to/watching lately, etc., and I signed up. (I'm vain enough to want to know whether my avatar is "hot or not," and would like to think it's the former.) It provides for a blog, which made me feel silly about starting one up here...

...until a day or so later, when I went to log on to it, and got a complaint from Firefox. Seems the path you follow after signing in has a loop of some sort in it. Firefox detects this and points out the problem. I hope someone is able to let them know that nobody can log in.

UPDATE: If you go there now, you'll see a page saying the site is down for changes, and that they're adding features. I hope it's back up soon.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Back after a fashion

We're back, but the packet loss rate is still high. I think that's the remaining problem that they're working on. Must be a function of traffic, because when I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and got on, the packet loss rate dropped to negligible, probably as most everyone else gave up.

You could try the testing area while the main one was down, which I did last night, but it was an exercise in frustration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I guess we're wired this way...

If we're told we can't have something, it makes us want it. It worked that way for Eve (but let's not get into the Problem of Evil right now, OK?), and it's working that way for me tonight.

SL has been upgraded to 1.12.1 (with a new Linux client--whee!), but there was a glitch that they're working on even as I type, so they have limited logins while they fix things.

Had all gone well, I'd have perhaps signed on for a little bit, and then crashed for the night to get back on early in the morning when lag is less... but as it is, I've been sitting around watching the SL blog for a couple of hours, and wil now have to force myself to get up and go to sleep.

Not much I can do save snicker at my behavior and go crash. Silly me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Suddenly, being hit on seems trivial

Had my first serious griefer experience just now. Some jerk disrupted a lecture on introductory SL behavior/etiquette, first with a text relay to try to make it look like the lecturer was swearing and using racial slurs, then appearing "in person" and using scripts to immobilize people--you could teleport away, but would be held captive again if you teleported back.

The depressing part is that this was probably a "script kiddie," and that there are no doubt more like him out there.

Monday, September 11, 2006

(Second) Life's Been Good to Me So Far

(Apologies to Joe Walsh, wherever he may be.)

Actually, it has. I've met lots of friendly, helpful people from all over.

There have just been two unfortunate incidents. Shortly after I made it through the little training bits that the very new SL participant is put through and came to New Citizen's Plaza, I was accosted by someone who started with what I suppose was the best line he could come up with: "You have big [breasts]."

When I didn't respond to that, he mentioned that he could find me a job. "What sort of job," I asked, guessing the answer (rightly, as it happened): escort or stripper.

I'd totally forgotten how to report someone for abuse--so I settled for turning down his offer, more politely than I should have. Poof! Off he went in search of more vic--er, recipients of his extraordinary, um, wit. That was fine by me.

Another guy followed me into the women's dressing room. This time, I did remember how to report someone for abuse, but I couldn't submit the report. I fear it's a Linux alpha client bug. He went away after not too long, thank goodness.

Aside from that, it's been wonderful. I found some nice prim hair (a "prim" is an SL "primitive" from which one builds things, so a "prim X" is an X built up out of prims) and free clothing, a dangerous combination. Along with some jewelry a friend gave me, the result accompanies this post.

I fear I'll spend a lot of time just fussing with my appearance.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Greetings from Riverwalk

People have gone to a lot of trouble to create scenic areas in SL. It will take a long time to see anywhere near all of them, but so far Riverwalk is among my favorites.

OK...I admit it. this is just an excuse to post this cropped image from a snapshot I took there, for lack of a better place to put it, so I can have it available for my profile. Riverwalk really is gorgeous, though; visit it when you can.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is it Second Life, or is it Linux?

I use Linux, and while one has to give Linden credit for allowing it, it is, like other Linux versions of apps, an afterthought. (The current projected date, which may or may not actually be hit, for an up-to-date—assuming there isn't a Flash 10 by then—Flash player for Linux is "early" 2007, which will be at least half a year after Flash 9 came out for Windows and OS X.) Because of that, when one runs into a problem, one has to wonder as the title (inspired by "Is it live, or is it Memorex?") says.

  • When I try to take a snapshot, the SL client dies instantly. Whose bug?
  • There's a frustrating (and at times embarrassing) lag when taking clothes off or putting them on. (Gee, my inventory says I have the bikini top on...) It seems like clothing changes are being buffered or something; when I take off or put on something else, the prior change often becomes visible. Whose bug?
There's no bug tracking system for the Linux client save a thread in a forum, so it's hard to search for prior bug reports of the problem you're having. I hope they fix that soon, and I hope that next Wednesday there will be a new Linux client that fixes some bugs. I'd like to know when that bikini top is really there, please.

UPDATE: the snapshot crash is solved; the SL client ships with a bogus libjpeg, so symlinking it to the one you already have fixes it. OTOH, you can't save the snapshot to disk; you have to mail it to yourself!


I'm Melissa Yeuxdoux, and I recently—a bit over a week ago—signed up with a free Second Life account.

I seriously doubt that many will read this, but I'd like to set down my experiences, and doing it this way will make it hard to lose! (I'm a really bad pack rat...) Probably assorted non-SL things will end up here as well.

Starting in SL isn't being "born again" in the religious sense, of course, but I do feel (AAARGH! Must not quote John Lennon. Must not... "just like starting over..." NOOOOO!). Even ordinary things seem different when they're virtual.