Friday, December 31, 2010

Time to hit the JIRA?

Sigh... I was in SL this morning and in a lot of IM conversations. RL came calling, and I am sure that I overlooked people in saying that I had to go.

Is there some way I can send an IM to everyone I'm chatting with at once?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Coming Year

It's the time of year when people haul out their predictions for year (N+1). I won't hazard a guess in that regard; guessing is all it would be, and some of the things that have happened this year, such as the hefty LL layoffs, make my guesses fearful.

That said, I have hopes for 2011. Mesh import actually moved into public beta, and I hope it will become official. I hope that the rendering improvements that have been unsupported--shadows, and more recently depth of field settings--will become supported as well. Above all, I hope that Mr. Humble will lead Linden Lab and Second Life in the right direction.

More specifically, the beloved Mammatus sim went away in 2010; I hope that another place will become the gathering spot for prim breast users that Mammatus was. (Yes, I know I've urged us out into the bigger world, but we still need a place where, as the song goes, everybody knows your name.)

The proliferation of prim breast makers and clothiers who cater to them continues, and I hope 2011 will continue that proliferation. I'm hoping that with mesh clothing, everyone will have the problems that only prim breast users have now, so said problems can no longer be ignored and we'll see a solution that will work for everyone.

2010 brought us BUSTed Magazine and Maggie Bluxome's new blog. May they prosper and be ever more widely read.

2010 also brought us Buxom Life. If you're a prim breast maker, clothier who caters to prim breasts, prim breast user, or just considering or curious about prim breasts, I hope you'll head over, join up, and participate in the discussions.

Best wishes to you all for 2011. Guess we'll see what comes of it, or rather, what we make of it.


There's a feature request that's been sitting around for not quite three and a half years that I really wish would be implemented: VWR-1186. It asks for a way to create and restore preferences with a simple dialog.

The obvious use for this is photography--until we all have infinitely fast graphics cards, you'll want to switch to a high-end but slow setting for still photos, and then return to a less fancy but higher fps setting for other activities. You may even have a bargain basement, fps über alles setting for gaming or racing.

I bring up the issue now because this morning I had switched clients because, for some reason I have yet to figure out, the computer I'm using over the holidays provokes the issue I used to trip over at home with Kirsten's client (though it's not unique to Kirsten's), in which the SL client would quickly consume all available RAM and bring the computer to its knees before crashing. I fiddled some with the graphics settings and was about to turn on deferred rendering when I noticed the frame rate in the low forties even at "ultra" setting, and decided 40 fps has an appeal of its own if I'm not taking pictures.

P.S. Many thanks to Elysia Snook and Val Suisei for a wonderful conversation.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Depth of Field

The "mesh upload" beta of the Second Life client now has depth of field options. The ever-diligent KirstenLee Cinquetti has put that code into the latest version of her SL client. I have yet to learn to control it, but clearly it is there, as you can see in this photo:

(You'll want to look at it full size to see the effect; shrinking a photo hides blur.)

Thanks to KirstenLee Cinquetti, and to the SL staff responsible for this feature; it's yet another option for creative expression in Second Life photography.

P.S. See the Second Life Wiki for details and knobs to twist.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Wishes to You All

It's that time of year, and I can't be sure how much time I'll have free to wander the grid. To you, dear readers, and to my virtual family in SL, I hope you are surrounded by loving family and friends in both lives. You mean a lot to me.

A Plea to Prim Breast Makers

(I seem to be pleading a lot lately.)

I hope that you'll seriously consider registering over at Buxom Life. I'm hoping that among the things that it will become is a way that prim breast users and those who are considering prim breasts can communicate with you, and vice versa. Communication is an issue--see the interview with Emeline Magic in Big Booby Girls in Second Life--and several things conspire to make that communication difficult:
  • IMs get capped
  • new residents may not know how to create and send notecards
  • some prim breast makers don't have web sites; at least one exists but has sat in an unfinished state for months
  • above all, there's no way I know of to spread the word among new SL residents
If prim breast users can see others' comments, they are encouraged to add their own, to agree with someone else's suggestion they'd not have thought of themselves, or to be inspired to come up with a better idea.

Finally, do you want to let people like those at What the Fug? be the ones that define you, your products, and their users? I certainly hope not.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Silent Night... and Day

It's been a while now that I've had 64-bit processors in my home computers. Of course, I moved to 64-bit Linux. I want to be able to get to all my RAM. I want the additional registers and instructions.

What I didn't want was to lose streaming audio in Second Life, but that's what happened. No more background music or lazy afternoons listening to Jaynine Scarborough's glorious alto voice and infectious laugh, or Xaxoqual Mandelbrot's excellent DJing.

Imprudence has a 64-bit version. I will try that again with an eye to testing streaming audio. Live music is a big part of SL, and I'm tired of doing without it.

UPDATE: Just tried out Imprudence 64-bit, and streaming audio works beautifully on it. Now, if only LL and Kirsten would come out with 64-bit versions, or Imprudence fixed some shadow/deferred rendering issues, I'd be a happy camper.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

1000 Avatars

Gracie Kendal was sneaking up on 60% of the way through her 1000 Avatars Project when I went there today to get my picture taken. I first found out about it through NWN's post on the project, and having a bunch of free time this weekend, I went to take a look.

If you go, you'll be surrounded by walls with photos of avatars, with the empty spaces at the bottom. The avatars are all facing away from the camera's POV, providing anonymity of a sort... though on the other hand, one could argue that one's avatar reveals a lot about one.

Ms. Kendal is a wonderful person... and even the brief wait in line was fun; the people gathered to be photographed were very interesting and quite elegantly outfitted.

I urge you to go there, to be photographed if you wish, but if not, to look at the project as it develops and to see the amazing variety of avatars in Second Life.


I must learn to turn off certain functionality that I managed to just invoke while trying to sit down on a bench. *blush* I guess there's nothing like embarrassment to drive a lesson home.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Be Prepared

If you're a prim breast user, people may ask you about your prim breasts. (I mean a serious question, not the silly stuff like "Are those real?" or "Doesn't your back hurt?") To be ready for such occasions, I hope you'll respond appropriately, and I hope that you'll create a notecard based on the text below to hand out to interested residents.

I release the following under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. Clothiers and prim breast makers: I doubt that anyone would charge people more for including this, so feel free to include it with products or put it in a device that hands out notecards.

A Very Quick Introduction to Prim Breasts

Melissa Yeuxdoux

This document is released under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. (See for more information about Creative Commons licensing.)

The Second Life avatar is limited by design. The obvious limitation, where breasts are concerned, is size, but that's not all. For example:
  • The number of polygons devoted to breasts on the female avatar is very limited. If you run your "breast size" slider towards the high end, you look like you stuffed your bra with cardboard boxes: your breasts have corners.
  • Second Life clothing is mostly painted-on textures. That would be perfect... if we were beachballs. We're not. We have concavities, most notably cleavage. Real life clothing jumps across concavities, but painted-on textures are vacuum sealed to your body, distorting T-shirt artwork into unrecognizable junk. Painted-on straps in Second Life clothing look phony and unable to support anything.
So, long ago (In Second Life years, at least) someone invented prim breasts that attach to the chest. Current prim breasts use "sculpted" prims for better, more organic shapes, and when mesh is official in Second Life, I expect they will move to mesh. They have greatly improved user interfaces. They have many more options for matching your avatar's skin.

Most importantly, most prim breasts sold now have a "clothing layer" to paint with a texture. It approximates the shape a T-shirt would assume over your breasts if you put it on. ONLY women with prim breasts, therefore, can wear a T-shirt in Second Life and have it look right, at least until people start making mesh clothing.

That layer has given rise to a growing market of clothing for prim breasts. Such clothing includes a texture for the prim breast clothing layer and one or more applicators to apply that texture to certain brands/models of prim breast. Some sell packages with just applicators and textures intended to work with existing outfits or tops from "mainstream" clothiers.

If you are interested in prim breasts, I highly recommend the following as places to start:

Feel free to contact me:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Like an Ad for Sunglasses

Long ago, I read some advice in the context of SL fashion photography, though I believe it's generally applicable: take your photos in high resolution. I don't remember and never linked to the page recommending that, but here are some web pages of people who agree:

Unfortunately, following this good advice will now make you fall afoul of an SL client bug, VWR-7672... and here are the results:

The strange reverse silhouette is expected, an effect of the Windlight setting. The bug is the darkening of the top portion of the image. If the boundary were curved, it would be like a bad commercial for sunglasses, or a commercial for bad sunglasses.

It's not just horizontal:

And it's not just along one axis, or even just once along each axis:

Needless to say, this is highly frustrating, and is not doing at all well by SL photographers. I hope you'll consider voting for

P.S. Especially now that it's been pointed out, you'll see it in photos I've put up in the relatively recent past.

UPDATE: Experimentation seems to show that the culprit is the "global illumination" setting, or more accurately, turning it on provokes the bug.

UPDATE: Even more accurately--the global illumination code seems to be written to work with the size of the SL client window. If you specify a photo larger than that, you see the effect on the photo. To check progress on this issue, take a look at VWR-24178.

Old Man of the Metaverse

Ziki Questi has a nice article on the statue "The Man", the oldest object in Second Life. It's over eight years old, as it was created on June 19, 2002. I had to go take a look, so off I headed to Natoma.

The Man is on a hill overlooking the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives. No commemorative plaque, just the statue itself, with a strange little construction sitting near its base. (No, not me... the strange little construction over at the right.)

I almost feel guilty about using Windlight for the photo; it seems too new for the purpose. But the statue itself is very Art Deco, and shows how art is influenced by the tools available at the time.

A great calligrapher, Oscar Ogg, wrote a book titled The 26 Letters. It's a wonderful history of the alphabet, and the theme throughout is how the letter forms are shaped by the technology of the time. In this blog, you can compare the Varosha Buddha with the "Sliced Lime Buddha"... and I should follow through by finding a sculpted prim Buddha and eventually a mesh Buddha. I don't think prims will go away; artists didn't all say "Hey, we can draw with computers now! Let's ditch this oil painting crap."

UPDATE: The "strange little construction" is a jug of sake, created by Aliasi Stonebender, as he kindly explained in a comment that I got a copy of in email but which for some reason doesn't show up here. Thank you, Aliasi.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

/me slaps her forehead

Teny et al.: I wish I could say that I was thinking of both Big Trouble in Little China and Barton Fink, but I just got it wrong.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Bathycolpian Ambassadress

[This is a revision of, and expansion on, a post in one of the forums in Buxom Life. If you are a prim breast user, or especially if you run a business that hires or caters to prim breast users, I hope you'll visit that site.]

How often do you see other prim breast users? I personally see other prim breast users when I go to places that cater to prim breast users or clubs that feature them, or when I go somewhere with friends who also use prim breasts.

There are several possible explanations:
  1. Those are the places I spend most of my time in when I'm in SL.
  2. SL is really big, and there aren't that many prim breast users.
  3. Other prim breast users don't have the same non-prim breast interests I do.
  4. Other prim breast users spend time in secluded or private places.
It's probably a mixture of them all, but I would like to urge prim breast users (including myself!) to cut down on (1) and (4).

Time for SL is limited, of course, and especially with the increase in clothiers who cater to us, the temptation to shop the night or day away is strong. Places that cater to us or where there are a lot of us are unlikely to be infested with those who are rude to us. (I think the technical term is "jerks".) The "OMG!"s, the comments to others made not caring if we hear--they get old, and they can hurt.

But this is Second Life. Jerks can be muted and abuse reported. There are, alas, some sims that forbid prim breasts. In any other public place, though, if you're dressed appropriately, you have a right to be there. Enjoy the architecture, the landscapes, the live music that everyone else in Second Life enjoys.

When you do that, you are an ambassadress for prim breasts. (Or should I say Primbreastistan, or Bathycolpia?) You're right; it's not fair to expect you to be a "credit to your bustline"... but you may be the only prim breast user the people you meet have seen. You can give the lie to the stereotypes. You can show them what is possible in Second Life. Some of the people you meet may wish to overcome the limitations of the stock female avatar, and not know it's even possible until they see you.

Don't force yourself or information on people, but be ready for honest, sincere questions. (Keep a notecard ready to hand out.) Be ready for the silly questions, too, with the best humor you can muster:

Q: "Are those real?" (Yes, somebody really asked me that.)
A: "You're asking that question in Second Life?"

Q: "Doesn't your back hurt?"
A: "No, I do back exercise animations."
A: "Fortunately, Second Life physics isn't that accurate."

You're as much a resident of Second Life as anyone; you just have larger breasts than most. Each time you go out into the world, you make it easier for your sisters, and for yourself, to do it the next time, and you may even help increase our number. Do us proud, OK?

P.S. "Jerk" really is a technical term, by the way.

P.P.S. I can't take credit for the first answer to "Doesn't your back hurt?" That belongs to someone who commented on an earlier blog entry. I'd credit her by name if only I could find that comment. I'll keep looking...

UPDATE: I was at Glitterati for their pose sale, and wandered past some people. A beautiful woman complimented me on my appearance, and asked me where I got my prim breasts--she'd looked for some, but wasn't happy with what she'd found. I gave her some advice, pointed her at Maggie's blog, and asked her to let me know how things turned out. My mitzvah for the day, and an example of why we should go out into the larger world.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Tikvah Island

Speaking of holidays... we're a bit past the midpoint of Hanukkah for this year. (If you have XM Radio, I hope you're listening to "Radio Hanukkah" on channel 28; the fare varies from the beautiful voices of cantors backed by choirs and orchestras to folk songs to fun mashups of traditional songs and modern styles--right now there's a traditional song as it might have been done by Carlos Santana.)

I went looking for places where Hanukkah might be celebrated in SL, and found Tikvah (hope; you'll recall Israel's anthem, "Hativkah", the hope) Island. I've come nowhere near exploring it all, but I think you'll agree with me that it's beautiful.

Approaching the place where the menorah is lit...

...and then we see it.

May you have a joyous Hanukkah.

Hyper Couture

Prim breast users aren't all human. Hyper Couture, at Rabbit Valley 144, 30, 22, is a store that caters to the well-endowed furry--but non-furries should check it out as well. They currently only support eCorp prim breasts, but since applicators for eCorp work with Foxbean's Nadine 1.5, I was in luck, and I bought two of the outfits. (UPDATE: Oops... I spoke too soon. The Liquid Metal only does eCorp. The "Pink Butterflies" sweater I bought supports Implant Nation.)

This is the "Liquid Metal" top--the skirt that comes with it is a bit short for my tastes, and would be even more so given my shape choices.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Talk about specialty stores...

I have just seen something delightful I'd never thought of... "Goth Mommy", a store selling maternity clothing for goths. Isn't the free market wonderful?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NOW We Can Start!

I really hate the way that pushing Christmas merchandise has moved so early in the year. Thanksgiving? What's that? Halloween? Who cares; got to deck those halls.

So, among the things I am thankful for is the restraint my landlady and friend, Cheyenne Palisades, takes in delaying the coming of snow and Christmas to Whimsy until a proper time of year. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can really appreciate it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's happening again...

On a different computer for the holidays, and the behavior I thought had gone away is back. The client eats up all available RAM, and then crashes... so my SL time over the holidays is liable to be shorter than I'd like. *pout*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's a bit early, but...

I, and I expect many others, will be in RL on Thanksgiving with family... OK, that's a weird way to put it; one only leaves RL once, unless you believe in reincarnation--or you hope for the Singularity, in which case one leaves RL at most once. You know what I mean, though.

Anyway! I can't say whether I will have any time for SL on that day, so, to all of you who are my virtual family: happy Thanksgiving. I will be thinking of you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

H-Bomb Lounge

The townhouses and EPIC Proportions are not all there is in the area where I explored a bit recently. A bit further on past EPIC Proportions (which, by the way, is now stocked with clothing for sale!) you will find the H-Bomb Lounge.

It's very much "shabby chic", or should I say rusty rococo? It's small and intimate, with friendly folks. Do check it out.

UPDATE: I should take my own advice, or take pictures to aid my memory. The rusted-out, ghost town look is only on the outside. Check out Maggie's great article on the lounge.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nanami Veronique

I've taken off the uber platform heels, for a while at least, and finally tried on another of the Nanami outfits I bought. This one is Veronique. Like Queen of Darkness, it has an adjustable skirt, which is a joy for anyone whose legs aren't exactly the same length as those of the shape the designer used.

The eCorps applier worked beautifully for the Foxbean Laboratories Nadine 1.5 prim breasts, and I wandered around, ending up at Locus Amoenus by a store selling buildings of various ancient style and structure.

Given my, um, settings and the pose, you can't see the corset, but it's there. The dress works well with the building and Windlight settings, I'd say.

The next day I wound up at the Minoan Empire, but I will refrain from posting that photo here.

UPDATE: That has a very "painterly" look, doesn't it? I tried a GIMP "clothify" filter to make it look painted on canvas but didn't have much luck. sigh...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buxom Life

Buxom Life was once the main site for EPIC. Now that EPIC is no more, it has taken on a new purpose. Check it out.

UPDATE: The name "Buxom Life" isn't necessarily the final choice of name.

UPDATE: The link is now updated.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sigh. I've had 3.5 meter hair in Second Life, but SL prim hair, like SL prim breasts, is "non-physical", so it doesn't behave like this:

I'm as envious as I was of Susan Murphy/Ginormica in Monsters vs. Aliens.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ahern Revisited

Home sick again, not to be confused with homesick again. After wandering about a bit, I said the heck with it and headed to Ahern.

I wasn't sure I should; welcome areas now have the reputation of being places for griefers to hang out and do their best to keep Second Life's attrition rate as high as possible by being jerks, but this time at least, it wasn't that way. I met a bunch of neat people, two of whom stood out especially.

If you want a DJ, I know of one who will make an unforgettable impression. Brian Mason, who's been in SL a good bit longer than I have, has many avatars, but I'm just glad my mouth didn't hang open in SL when I first saw him with this amazing avatar:

I also saw someone I hadn't seen for a long time. Ronen Parx is a perfect gentleman, impeccably dressed; somehow we'd lost touch until this afternoon:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Big Shoes to Fill

Nanami's "Queen of Darkness" gown has a scripted skirt, so I seized joyously the pair of Uberplatform heels I bought a while back at Curio Obscura and set to adjusting. Alas, walking kills the illusion; the non-physical strips of skirt go through the shoes... but I still love the feeling.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Laurana Newell for advice on adjusting the skirt. MUch as I love Foxbean's breasts, I can't make the Nadine 1.5 as large as I'd like at this height, so I tried the Implant Nation Multiclothing breasts. Not bad, but they have problems when really pushed, most notably wrinkles probably caused by slight errors in the shape "texture" visible at that scale. I'll stick with Foxbean's work.

UPDATE: A first attempt at using the BIGAVS "blue edition" avatar stretcher in combination with the uber platform heels didn't work out. Perhaps with some work...

From the Ashes

This has been a sad year for prim breast users in some ways. First Mammatus left. More recently Boobytropolis has gone, though I hope that Minka Pearl will return again even more triumphantly than she did before.

Now EPIC is no more. Maggie Bluxome has photos of the wreckage. By the time I arrived there this morning after receiving a message from Laurana Newell, the link to the old EPIC I found was this worn poster in a bus stop:

There are signs of things to come, though. First, what Laurana messaged about: Tenyene has built a lane of one-room townhouses for rent at very low rates. (This photo just shows one side of the street; the other has a similar row of townhouses.)

L$175 per week, and you have an allowance of 100 prims for decorating and furnishing. Were I not a happy resident of Whimsy, I'd give it serious thought. My housing needs are very simple.

The other thing I saw that gives me hope is a building, in the EPIC black and purple style, under construction.

Tenyene makes wonderful clothing, and I look forward to much happy shopping there.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Old Friends and Coming Photos

I had the enormous pleasure of visiting with Pandora Barzane, a dear friend I hadn't been in touch with for way too long. She mentioned having photos taken at Big'Uns, and I suggested she put them up on flickr, so that perhaps others might contribute such photos that they'd taken.

I'll provide a link as soon as I can, and perhaps I can feed the kitty with some old photos of my own. Now to see whether flickr will let one have an apostrophe in a tag...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A quote I had to share

I found this quoted on Minka Pearl's web site, and had to put it here to share it with you. Mr. Bright has a collection of his photos on flickr, and has exhibits in SL; I have started to look at the former, and will be going in search of the latter.
Much too often, very busty women are seen in a bad light. Some feel they are ugly, some make stupid jokes about them, some see them as a sexual attraction. I want to show them in an artistic way, and I hope that this exhibition will help show them with more respect.

—Shanti Bright
UPDATE: I've now seen the exhibit the quote refers to, and I think he succeeds admirably. Check it out at the Shanti Art Centre.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Heart-Shaped Wor^H^H^HFace

Sigh... that photo makes me wonder whether I should change my face a little; it really shows that pointy-chin anime look. (I always thought someone should do an anime parody where at some crucial point the hero gets out of a tight spot by being able to open a can with his pointy chin.) Happening upon Michelle Phan's video about getting the infamous Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" look made me wonder whether I should go that way...

OK, I could do more; the nose should be barely there... but it was fun to do, and didn't require potentially dangerous contact lenses. One of the nice things about Second Life.

UPDATE: I decided I could do better; here's the result:

UPDATE: So, should I round my chin at least a little?

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Second Favorite Hair Store

Second here only means chronologically, I hasten to add.

If you are interested in wonderful updos, hurry over to Calla! I just missed a sale, darn it, but the hair was so lovely I bought it anyway. Just as an example, here's the Calla Lavender, with the optional tintable roses:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Plea for Collaboration

If you've read this blog for very long, you may have read one of my posts in praise of the amazing gowns for sale at The Crystal Queendom. Ornate, exquisitely detailed, and impossibly beautiful. I shudder to think how much you'd pay in real life for a dress with a fraction of the work that goes into a Crystal Queendom gown.

I just came back from looking around the Crystal Queendom store--it's moved a couple of times, and its latest incarnation is as glamorous as the previous ones, while keeping the attention on the dresses where it belongs--and I have a request: please, Ms. Yiyuan, consider collaborating with one of the clothiers who make lovely dresses for those of us who use prim breasts so that we might take full advantage of your exquisite work. If such a clothier (I'd suggest the folks at Nanami) could make and sell textures and appliers that work with Crystal Queendom gowns, I know that I for one would spend way too many L$ at both establishments.

UPDATE: Knowing better than to think Ms. Yiyuan reads my blog, I've sent her a notecard with my request. Time to hope. (Gosh, it's hard to type with fingers crossed...)

UPDATE: There's now an SLURL to follow; if, like me, you don't have that set up, we're talking Tranquil Dreams II (156, 179. 41). I also urge you to look at the results of searching for "Crystal Queendom" on flickr.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Must-read from Cubey Terra

"The Oldbie". Check it out.

UPDATE: Once you've read that, head over to read "Jetpack".

To Write Love on Her Arms

I signed on this morning to an ad from Thirteen. New items, among which was a T-shirt with an unfamiliar phrase on it, to my eyes at least: TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS, with "stop the bleeding" underneath.

It turns out that To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit organization that seeks to help those suffering from depression. (And from reading the Wikipedia article, my not having known that is an indicator that I'm getting old and out of touch.) A worthy cause, and I'm glad to have learned about it. Thank you, Thirteen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meshed Out!

If you would like to read a calm, rational discussion of the consequences of mesh in Second Life, don't miss Gwyneth Llewelyn's latest blog post, Meshed Out! I share her optimism about the results of the change.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

RIP Benoit Mandelbrot

"Mandelbrot's in heaven—at least he will be when he's dead..." --Jonathan Coulton, "Mandelbrot Set"

I hope Mr. Coulton is right. We've lost Benoit Mandelbrot to pancreatic cancer, but his insight into those "pathological monsters" that aren't n-dimensional or (n + 1)-dimensional, but are somewhere in between, will survive at least as long as we do. Thank you, professor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Que Todos Vuelvan

As I type, eight of the miners who've been underground in Chile for months are back on the surface. It doesn't have a darn thing to do with Second Life, but I can't help admiring the courage of the miners and hoping that they all safely come back.

UPDATE: They're back, sooner than expected. Over the next hours, some few who stayed down to the end will come up, but now all the miners are out, and I'll add my small voice to all those worldwide cheering this evening.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Falling Through

I had the strangest experience this morning... I was talking with a friend on the roof of my humble abode when another friend IMed me "Hi". I offered her a TP to come meet my new friend, and she accepted...

...and when she arrived, for some strange reason, the two of us who had been there suddenly found ourselves one floor down, having somehow fallen through the roof!

Ubuntu 10.10 is here!

The new release of Ubuntu Linux, 10.10 aka "Maverick Meerkat", is official. It was released today (10/10/10, be you American or not) at 10:10:10 UTC.

I've had it on my computers (sounds more impressive than "both of them") for a while, and I'm very happy indeed, especially with the Netbook Remix. If you've been thinking about trying Linux, now's a very good time... aside from the rush being underway, so use bittorrent to grab ISO images, please!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Memory leak: it's not just Kirsten's client

Just now tried out Snowstorm, version, and watched it snarf down all available RAM and crash in minutes, just as Kirsten's client has been doing for me. The problem is, therefore, something common to them, or possibly something about my computer and what I'm running (which is now the Release Candidate of Ubuntu 10.10, using nVidia's latest beta Linux driver, 260.19.06).

UPDATE: What's the deal? When you want it to break, it doesn't! Ah, well, I think I now have two logs, one from a crash, one from a normal run. Maybe being able to compare will help.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Oops! The Countdown is Underway

I was wondering why the countdown to the release of Ubuntu 10.10, "Maverick Meerkat", wasn't showing up. Turns out it was my fault; I hadn't kept track of the change in how it's set up. So, we pick up on it near the end--just six days to go!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

T, or is that M, minus two weeks

Mesh open beta starts on October 13th.

When it's official, mesh uploads will cost L$; how much will be a function of its complexity--but Oskar Linden assures all that accounts on the beta grid will have the L$ to be able to try out mesh.

So... fire up your 3D rendering software. (And if you don't have any, there's some that can be had for free.) We'll have to see just what people will be able to do with avatars, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, and seeing just how much mesh will improve the rendering lag situation.

UPDATE: Sand Castle Studios has been very much involved in mesh for SL, and have a status report. About the avatar issue, they say this:

Once rigged to the Second Life avatar skeleton, a worn mesh is able to move along with the movements of an avatar in-world. Rigged mesh objects can be worn as simple attachments such as jewelry, more complex objects such as clothing or hair, and can even replace the entire Second Life avatar if desired.

In its present state, the rigging system does not allow the creation of arbitrary skeletons or bone offsets (moving the joints around). Mesh objects must be bound and rigged to the default Second Life avatar skeleton AS IS. Essentially, this requires artists to build their assets around the skeleton, instead of building their assets and putting the skeleton into position accordingly. However, Linden Lab is presently working on adding these features.

So, right now, we're stuck with the existing avatar skeleton and its limitations, but maybe that will change. I hope so; perhaps the cheesy games that one has to play to create avatars outside the constraints of the stock avatar skeleton (and the accompanying inconsistencies) can be junked once and for all.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Case of the Persistent T-Shrt

About that T-shirt... I decided to change clothes, and I did. Well, sort of.

SL thought I'd changed clothes. My inventory showed me as wearing the outfit I'd changed into. The only problem was that I kept seeing the T-shirt. I took off all clothing; the T-shirt was still there. I cleared cache... several times. It was still there.

Switching from Kirsten's client to Imprudence made the T-shirt go away. Back to Kirsten's... and there the T-shirt was again.

I did eventually get Kirsten's client to see the top I had on instead of the T-shirt. I should have written down all the things I did, in case it could have been of some help in debugging.

Nnow I "just" have the problem of Kirsten's client consuming all available RAM and then crashing, most recently within a few minutes of logging in... and that without doing anything more than panning around a bit and taking a look at editing a skirt to lengthen it. (Why can't you stretch a prim skirt?)

So... I have a choice between Imprudence, which is fast and doesn't leak RAM like a sieve, but which has all the deferred rendering bugs that LL's client has, and Kirsten's client, which looks great... for the few minutes it takes to suck down 3.3 GB of RAM (I "only" have 4 GB) and die. Someone should make a "stamp foot and grimace" animation.

UPDATE: I shouldn't give the wrong impression. Last night, Kirsten's client chugged right along for over half an hour without consuming, as far as I can tell, more than about 900 MB of RAM. (Having started programming on a minicomputer that ran BASIC on four ASR-33 Teletypes and had a whole 16K of memory, I can't believe I typed that without wincing.) So the question is, what's the difference between that and the other RAM-sucking runs?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An Ubuntu T-shirt

Allana Braveheart kindly gave me this Ubuntu T-shirt, which I now proudly wear.

It's ironic, but the only women in Second Life who look right in non-fitted tops are those using prim breasts. If the human body were convex, like a ball or a box, painted-on textures would do just fine for clothing... but it's not. Textures look worst where the human body has concavities, because there, instead of jumping across the concavity, as real clothes would do, painted-on textures are sucked in as if your body were the intake of a really good vacuum cleaner. ("Those jeans look painted on." Well, it's Second Life. They really are painted on!) The most obvious such concavity is cleavage. (The other example brings up the rear, so to speak.) I'm amazed that anyone still makes T-shirts for stock Second Life female avatars featuring artwork or text on the front.

That's yet another thing that I hope will change with mesh's arrival in Second Life. While we wait, learn Blender, Wings3D, or Google Sketchup, and if you don't use Linux, give some thought to trying it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Opposition to Mesh (import)

Mesh will do lots of wonderful things for Second Life, including ameliorating rendering lag. Who could be against it?

Well, lots of people, or perhaps a few people with logorrhea, can, if the comments on this LL blog entry are any indication. Looking over it, the objections, I think, fall into the following categories:


What am I up against, Father?
EEEEEEEEVIL! -- Richard Burton chewing the scenery and spitting it out, Exorcist II: The Heretic

Mesh is EEEEEVIL! People who now comfortably sell cheap trinkets made of prims will be turned out into the virtual street by an evil cabal of people who know how to use horribly complicated software that the rest of us can't be expected to learn...aaargh, opensourcenik technocommunist wikinista FIC... [exit stage right accompanied by people in white uniforms]

So we have a tight little evil cabal... that anybody willing to take the time to, you know, actually learn something can join, just as they had to to wrangle prims.

Protectionism with a Human Face

These folks don't object to meshes; they object to mesh import... but that would require Linden Lab, after massive layoffs, to roll its own mesh creation tools, so operationally what's the difference? As long as SL remains a walled garden for content, they can be a big fish in a small pond and keep potential competition out.


Mesh shouldn't be allowed in SL until there's a way to guarantee stolen meshes can't be imported. (I have to wonder again whether there's any practical difference between that and mesh shouldn't be allowed in SL, period. DRM is a futile effort; vide the recent total cracking of HDCP.)


These folks I actually have some respect for. Yes, in a perfect virtual world there would be in-world mesh creation tools. There's a lot to be said for being present, in a sense, with what you're working on. It gives you a feeling for scale. Other people can be there while you do it and kibitzhelp, even if true collaboration isn't possible.

(Heck, in-world creation can even be art in itself. If you haven't seen Robbie Dingo's magnificent machinima "Watch the World", do it now!)

That said--again, Linden Lab doesn't have that many people, now at least. Existing 3D creation tools have a whole infrastructure of documentation, tutorials, a user community, and a bunch of people concentrating on that tool who've put more effort into it than LL ever could into a home-grown in world mesh creator. Who do you think can produce the better tool?

Say you're Linden Lab. EVERYONE is complaining about lag. Mesh will make Second Life a visually far more interesting place, and will seriously help with lag. What do you do: allow mesh import so people can receive the benefits of mesh, or delay it until, with far less resources than you had before, you can churn out in world mesh creation tools?

I'm an immersionist, heaven knows... but I think Linden Lab is doing the right thing by allowing mesh import.

This just in from The Onion...

New Evidence Suggests God Also Had Incredibly Busty Daughter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ad vitae secundae per aspera

Sigh... Kirsten's is still snarfing all available RAM and then crashing, but sometimes it will last for a while, and I got a nice photo at midnight down in the volcano by the Temple of Pele on Whimsy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Great Slow Sims, Part Two

Qarl Fizz né Linden on the lag issue, in a comment on this NWN post:
...mostly, when gamers complain about lag - they mean the render speed lag (2), usually measured in frames per second (FPS). the single greatest reason for this lag is the inherent geometric inefficiency of prims. the (only) solution is the meshes project.
Here are two examples. They're simple; you don't have to understand NURBS to see how they work. A plain vanilla cube, the standard prim that everyone starts with, isn't the eight vertices and twelve triangles you'd expect, but fifty-six vertices and 108 triangles. A wall of a small cabin: with mesh, twenty-four vertices. With prims, 336 vertices.

Will people suddenly go back and totally redo their builds with mesh? I doubt it--but if these are representative examples, isn't cutting the work of rendering down by an order of magnitude tempting?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One of the pitfalls an organization can fall into is NIH, "Not Invented Here": the unwillingness to use products developed elsewhere. The result: wasted time and effort taken away from one's real goals, and reinventing the wheel badly.

Case in point: LSL. Was it really necessary to invent yet another scripting language and implement it in-house, ignoring all the other work done on development environments, efficient compilation and optimization for languages that already existed? (Not to mention instructional material... "python tutorial" turns up over two million results from Google, and "java tutorial" over twelve million; "lsl tutorial" about 57,000.)

Now that meshes are coming to Second Life, among the various complaints that have arisen is that there's no in-world way to create meshes. Maya, Blender, Wings3D, and so forth? Darn it, they weren't invented here! Never mind that vastly more effort has been put into them than Linden Lab could muster, or even could have mustered before laying off so many people.

Yes, in world development tools are good to have. Nobody seems to gripe about people creating textures outside of SL, but it would be nice if one didn't have to, or better still,. could do what one really wants to, i.e. paint in-world directly on the shoe, shirt, wall, or whatever. But is the immersion really worth having a so-so emulation of real life techniques? (I don't know about you, but I'm so-so at just painting a wall in real life, much less painting in the artistic sense. I doubt I'd be any better at it in SL.)

Now, perhaps there is a way to avoid NIH and still give the appearance of creating meshes in world--map the in-world actions to commands fed to an existing 3D program running on the resident's computer, and keep uploading the result so the resident can see what he or she is doing--but is it really worth it?

If the choice is between having the advantages that meshes provide and either not having them (another argument is that they shouldn't be allowed for fear of driving prim wranglers out of business) or having a mediocre in-world way to create so-so meshes, I know which I'll choose, thanks. (Not to mention that one of the groups you'd think would take to SL like ugly on an ape, architects, are VERY familiar with 3D creation tools and, according to some, are quite put off by the primitive building tools in SL.)

"I am endeavoring, Madam, to construct a mnemonic circuit with stone knives and bear skins." --Spock, "City on the Edge of Forever"

P.S. Prims are only simpler than meshes if you are only interested in simple shapes, like the proverbial child's lollipop "tree". Yes, in theory you can come arbitrarily close to any shape with only boxes, or only spheres... if you're willing to devote an unbounded number of them (and an unbounded amount of effort in positioning them) to the purpose. Sculpted prims are/were a compromise between meshes and the limitations of the original prims, but they have their drawbacks... just ask anyone who works with them.

P.P.S. Re LSL: remember the speedup by over 200 times reported for scripts compiled for the Mono VM? That wasn't around at the very beginning of SL, but many other virtual machines were that could have similar speed advantages over the home-grown VM.

Mesh News

Hamlet Au kindly points at an LL post about the status of mesh for SL. Read, follow the links to the YouTube videos, and rejoice, especially because it will be possible to create meshes for avatars. Do also read the comments; amidst the whining about an alleged "FIC" (that somehow manages both to be a select cabal and something that anyone can join just by learning to create meshes...) and the supposed ruination of existing SL content creators from the usual suspects, you'll find pointers to free software that allows mesh creation.

Houris in Second Life?

I happened to look up "houri" on Wikipedia, and was surprised. From various sources, they are described as
  • eternally young... in SL, your avatar doesn't age
  • whites of the eyes intensely white, pupils intensely black... in SL, you can get just about any eyes you want
  • don't, um, excrete... that's the default in SL
  • marrow of the bones visible... OK, you can't pull that off. SL avatars are hollow (no T.S. Eliot references, please)
  • large, round breasts... check. (And, I hope with mesh import things will be even better in that regard.)
  • sixty cubits tall... with BIGAVS, check.
Pretty close, I think.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wtong Way Around

One reads about ways to make one's avatar look like one's RL self. Someone needs to figure out a way to make one's RL self look like one's avatar.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Kirsten's SL client was very well behaved and only sucking down a gigabyte of RAM... and I had to be bleary-eyed and about to face plant in the keyboard. Soon I'll be on longer, for a little bit at least.

Meerkat Countdown

The beta release of Ubuntu 10.10, aka "Maverick Meerkat", has been out for a while, and if all goes well the official release will take place on October 10th (10/10/10, whether you follow English or American date notation). It shouldn't be long before the countdown graphic shows up.

For those who don't know, Ubuntu is a distribution of the Linux operating system, based on Debian Linux. If you use Windows and have yet to try Linux, it's easy to do without disturbing your current setup. Live CDs make it trivial, or if you are willing to devote some hard drive space to the purpose, Wubi lets you do so without the delays of retrieving programs from the CD and uncompressing them.

So long, Massively

Oh, Massively is still around. It's just that there's no longer a reason to read it, at least for me, because Tateru Nino is no longer writing there, and hence it will be devoid of Second Life-related articles.

I'm not sure how long this has been in the making, but if you take a look you'll see that SL articles had gone down to barely one a month. There were a couple of people whose comments were always basically "what's with all this SL stuff", though they seemed to have gotten tired of that and gone on to what I'd hope is something worthwhile.

So, buh-bye, Massively. If you don't follow Tateru's blog, Dwell on It, you should.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flaming Hair

No, I won't parody the Monty Python sketch. ("Six foot five?! Damn you!"); I returned, as always, to a LBD, and thus thought I'd compensate with something other than the usual auburn hair.

I'd not worn the hair, Calico Creations Ember 2 (Fire), in so long friends asked me if I had new hair. I said no, but in a way it was new to me. The cloud of strands, with the graphics available today, struck me as it would were it new. Thank you, Calico Creations, for such wonderful hair.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Open Web Gaming

Check out the Mozilla Labs Gaming site. If web-based gaming is the future, let it be based on open technology. rather than plugins tied to particular OSs.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Reprieve in Lemondrop's Forest

RL work (fun, but still work) will be consuming my weekends for a while, but I managed to spend a little time in-world last night, revisiting Lemondrop's Forest.

I wonder, was all this civilization there when I was there last? If it was, I must have explored far less than I thought I did. Now you can walk long, curving paths through a row of shops...

...or even go to an airport. Don't worry, though; the wilderness is still there to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blogs at the Next Level

Yow! I'd better improve my game. Maggie Bluxome's first blog is gorgeous, but her current one is downright magnificent. Now Cheyenne Palisades has turned her already-elegant blog into a work of art. (I'm a sucker for Garamond italic.)

Not only that, but they're as functional as they are beautiful. If you don't already read them, now you have less than no excuse. As Joe Bob Briggs would say, check 'em out.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Inspiration and Techniques

I happened across a magazine I had to buy for an artist I know... and found something in it that might be of interest to SL clothiers.

It's ImagineFX's How to Draw and Paint Fantasy Females. Lots of tutorials and hints for illustration, especially eyes, lips, and hair; telling a story with an image... but in particular, three tutorials on clothing. The one that especially caught my eye described how to draw a satin gown. How I'd love to be able to wear that gown in SL! It won't happen really until SL dresses become something more than strips of cloth tied together at the waist, but the texture and the detail at the top will, I hope, inspire someone not to duplicate it, but to do something in satin that is as lovely.


Even if prim breasts are of no interest at all to you, you should pay a visit to Minka Pearl's Boobytropolis sim. It's an amazing place.

Watch this space for photos.

BBGiSL Returns

After a hiatus of several months, Big Booby Girls in Second Life has come back with the first of a series of reviews of prim breasts. Part one is a review of Lolas, and if prim breasts are of interest to you, do not fail to read it. It's an honest review, covering the product (sigh; no double entendre intended, honest!) thoroughly so you can make an informed decision.

I look forward to future installments. Thank you, Cindy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Which Client?

This has become a serious question lately, what with the Emerald splash screen set up to run up bandwidth on a targeted site (are there really enough Emerald users--or even SL users, if all clients did that--for that to constitute a DDoS attack?), and Emerald grabbing a pathname including one's home directory name--though if you're paranoid about that, do you ever post SL client debugging output, or have your client set up to automatically send in debugging information when it crashes?: It's laden with absolute pathnames, too.)

Some claim that quite a few people use--or now, perhaps used--Emerald. (I hope the Emerald developers clean up their act quickly.) Some cite the use of third-party SL clients that preserve the 1.x UI as an indication that many SL residents are voting with their feet against the 2.x client.

So, which SL client to use? KirstenLee Cinquetti's client is very good if you want the graphics bells and whistles enabled, but lately I find it barely usable. After running for a few minutes, it grinds to an unusable crawl. Moving the window to another screen helps, temporarily, but eventually it crashes... and I find it pulling down 2.6 or 3 GB of RAM, which seems an insane amount--there's got to be a memory leak in there.

Imprudence, OTOH, has a 64-bit version, and with graphics cranked up as far as I can (I'm not sure where the "global illumination" knob is for it), goes at a decent pace... but it has a very nasty shadow-related bug, namely that alpha textures flicker in and out of view randomly--notably if you move your camera POV, but sometimes even when you just sit there. (I can see my eyes with shadows enabled, though--yay!)

So, what to do? Necessity seems to be pushing me to Imprudence.

UPDATE: draw distance makes a big difference with Kirsten's client. Cranking it down from 256 to 128 meters cut RAM usage considerably and made it usable for longer before the huge slowdowns occurred. By the time I gave up on the session, it was sucking down 1.3 GB of RAM.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interstate 80 Iowa

You may be familiar with Heywood Banks's song "Interstate 80 Iowa".

Someone with more skill than I at machinima should do a parody of this song, inspired by Chris Pirillo's BS characterization of Second Life. "Registration... welcome area... porn, porn, porn, porn, porn..." etc.

Then, fade to black, cue soft laid-back music, with voiceover: "But to know what Second Life is really like, don't listen to the bloviation of pundits who tried Second Life once a few years ago..." and fade into shots with voiceover descriptions of just a few of the amazing places in Second Life that have nothing to do with porn. (And trivially nothing to do with gambling, seeing as how that was banned from Second Life three years ago.) Finally, "Second Life is what you make of it. The only way to know what it's like is to experience it." Show URL, hold, fade to black, roll credits with music.

I haven't had much luck with past machinima requests, but I think this is an important one. Anyone?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Variations on a Theme

Some time back I submitted a bug report; I'm not sure whether it's been dealt with. I was wandering about Apollo, a very popular sim, with a friend, and we'd managed to get separated, so I offered him a teleport. SL refused, because there were too many people on the sim--but someone teleporting from one spot on Apollo to another spot on Apollo leaves the population unchanged!

Just now, I tried to buy a Camera Control HUD which lets you put the default POV closer to your head level; judging by the reviews on the page it's highly regarded, and one certainly can't complain about the price: 0L$. I clicked buy, and was refused: "Sorry", it said, "We can't confirm your L$ balance at the moment"--but the HUD is free!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Perfect Fashion Photo?

"Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song, and he told me it was the perfect country and western song. I wrote him back a letter and told him it was not the perfect country and western song, because he hadn't said anything about Mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk..." --David Allen Coe, "You Never Even Call Me By My Name"
I was wandering about the sims near the Botanical Garden, and took a picture in the dead of night... and it occurred to me that it might be the perfect fashion photograph. because the model is all but invisible, leaving only the outfit to capture the viewer's attention.

I'm even less a fashion photographer than I am a general photographer, but I do wonder whether that's really the idea behind fashion photography.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gwyneth Llewelyn nails it

Read "Self-entertainment and the end of newbies". Basically, there's more of the "tl; dr"/"Here we are now, entertain us" crowd than there are of those who see an open world like SL and take to it. Can LL survive catering to the smaller market? I hope so.

A Brief Visit

I didn't have much time to spend in SL this morning, but I had to go visit the gorgeous Costa Rica Ladies' Botanical Garden--a day late for the ball, but the photo of the site in NWN made me want to explore.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Good news from SLCC

News is emerging from SLCC for those of us who couldn't go (darn it), and some of it is good. From Philip Rosedale's keynote address:
  • "We are going to ship mesh."
  • Group chat and region crossing will be fixed
  • Time required to display content at startup will be reduced by half
Good news... now, as Crap Mariner says, "acta non verba". More at NWN.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In the words of Slade...

"Keep your hands off my power supply."

Seriously, it's an Antec Neopower, and it runs very quietly indeed. I'm very, very happy!

UPDATE: OK, maybe a little less happy now that Newegg is selling it for almost half off this Labor Day weekend, but you can't choose when components fail.

The Great Slow Sims, Part One

So... there's a brouhaha over a video and blog entry by Chris Pirillo and a followup thereto. Pirillo, in response to someone who asked what happened to Second Life, went on at grimacing length about how it had been "overrun by people addicted to porn and gambling." Never mind that it's trivial to check that Linden Lab prohibited gambling in SL over three years ago. Apparently Pirillo tried SL long ago (he's "Wicket Pixie"), didn't see a point to it, and couldn't be bothered to do any research before shooting his mouth off.

A visit to New World Notes would also suffice to disprove the stereotype of Second Life (one we all chafe at; it's been spread by a lot of lazy and/or dishonest journalists). "75 Year Old Navy Vet Recreates His Korean War Vessel in Second Life"; "Chestnut's Choices 8-12/8-18: Attend SL Community Convention Inworld or in Boston, Immersive Pink Floyd-Inspired Art Performance and Much More"; "Keiko Takamura Debuts Her 1st Album Co-Financed with Linden Dollars from Second Life Fans". Admittedly, nobody asked the Navy vet whether he was into gambling or porn.

So... SL residents didn't appreciate gratuitous ignorant bashing (people are funny that way), and said so. Also, Oliver Szondi offered to take Pirillo on a tour. Pirillo agreed, graciously allocating a few minutes to the purpose. The result was another video rant, this one about lag and about sim owners' choice of background music (which one can turn off, but I guess if you are more interested in kvetching...), and wondering why SL users took him to task for pointing out how slow SL is. (They didn't; they took him to task for painting them all as porn and gambling addicts.)

I can sympathize with being frustrated by lag; a lot of SL residents are. (OTOH, over at Parktown Progress, Boyd Doghouse raises an interesting question: did Pirillo set things up to make SL perform badly?) But here again we see Pirillo either omitting information or not bothering to research. He sees SL as being as slow as it was years ago when he tried it and bashes Linden Lab about that, but years ago, if you were on SL you'd watch it groan and regularly crash under a load of 20,000 simultaneous users. These days, the maximum runs around 60,000. Linden Lab hasn't been sitting on its thumbs for years as Pirillo insinuates.

Chris Pirillo has a following, and yes, to the extent that some of them haven't already drunk the "SL is all sex" kool-aid, he may have put them off SL. Did Linden Lab miss an opportunity, as Grace McDunnough asks? No. There's no point in discussion with someone whose mind is already made up.

P.S. Troy McConaghy delightfully punctures some complaints about SL in "The Piano is Dead".

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Here's my photo for the protest of Qarl Linden's layoff. As a prim breast user, LL's laying off the man who was the major force behind sculpted prims, and later played a major role in mesh import, a feature whose fate people now wonder about, is especially significant to me. I hope you'll consider joining the protest.

UPDATE: I am pleased that I refrained from playing on any of the works of Rusty Warren, or Brian Eno's "Baby's on Fire", when making this post.

UPDATE: Qarl Fizz, né Linden, has joined the Emerald Team. I will give very serious consideration to returning to Emerald.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

back as soon as possible

In the middle of a conversation with Susyn Stenvaag, my computer shut down. Power outage? No, everything else is on... Looks like it's the power supply.

So, I'm off the grid until a replacement is here and installed. Sigh.

Friday, August 06, 2010

A Farewell to Qarl

...and possibly to improvements in the appearance of Second Life, too.

Qarl Linden is the main person responsible for sculpted prims, which have revolutionized the appearance of Second Life. More recently, he's been similarly responsible for work to bring meshes to Second Life, which made it to closed beta, but may not make it any further than that, because Linden Lab has laid Qarl off.

This is a guy who helped with visual effects on some movies you just might have seen: 300 and two of the Matrix movies. He is highly enthusiastic about Second Life, as one can tell from his blog: "...i really do love second life. SL is the coolest thing on the planet - the world we’ve all built is literally incredible - beyond belief."

...and LL laid him off.

I fear this means we can kiss meshes goodbye. Incredibly, I've seen an assertion that this is a good thing, that you should be denied the improvements that meshes make possible so that some SL builders can continue to sell their stuff without actually having to like, you know, learn something. Mind-numbingly stupid, as was the decision to lay off Qarl Linden in the first place.

So... I will be doing a few things:
You'll recall that Miriel Enfield closed her store and stopped making things in Second Life. In her words, "...I quit because I was frustrated with a lot of things, especially SL's artistic limitations, my own inability to work around those to my satisfaction, and my belief that LL is not going to ever give me the features I want." How long will it be until the really good content creators similarly give up on SL? Having features like mesh dangled before them and then snatched away is only going to hasten the flight.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yet another wish list

It's been a while since I sat down and priced a computer for running Second Life. It's kind of fun, save for the part where I don't get to spend the money to actually put it together. :)

Case: I like not needing a huge heavy case, so it's Micro ATX for me. The Apevia Q-Pack 2 has been my choice for some time, but the package includes a power supply that isn't what one would really like: it's not modular, so you have to deal with all those extra cables, and these days graphics cards want more extra power connectors than it comes with. So, this time I pick a somewhat larger Micro ATX case that doesn't come with a power supply: the Compucase HEC 6T Series 6T18BB, $45 at newegg. (Yesterday it was a "shell shocker" and going for $25.) The Antec Neopower 650 is modular and not outrageously expensive, at $80.

Motherboard: the GIGABYTE GA-785GMT-USB3 is a step up from the motherboard I currently use, and supports USB 3. $95.

CPU: One of the Phenom six cores is awfully tempting at $200, but SL doesn't take very much advantage of multiple cores, at least not yet. The Phenom II X4 945 is just $140... or it may be better overall to get one of the dual or triple core CPUs, or a Propus quad core if you are willing to forsake the L3 cache, for about $100 and spend about $100 on an SSD to put the operating system and Second Life and its data on.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4 GB (2 x 2GB) is of a speed the motherboard supports and is about $100 at newegg. Watching the RAM usage when I fire up Kirsten's client makes me wonder whether 4 GB is enough, but maybe that's a memory leak.

The nVidia 460 is getting rave reviews for price/performance. The GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 1 GB is going for $230.

We'll get a hard drive that's "just" 750 GB: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS, $80.

DVD/CD burners are pretty much commodity items these days: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS SATA DVD/CD goes for $24.

Not counting shipping, if you pick the six-core it comes to $854. We didn't go for cheap this time around.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Faster! Faster and Louder!

OK, not louder, but... someone named Niran has written a guide to installation and settings for KirstenLee's SL client. I will sit down soon and take its advice (mentally mapping Windows flavored paths to the appropriate ones for Linux). If you use Kirsten's client, I'd suggest you check the guide out. If you don't use Kirsten's client, I suggest you try it out... which may well be best done with the guide at hand or screen. Many thanks to Niran for posting this guide, which is clearly the result of a lot of experimentation to determine how to use Kirsten's client to best advantage.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bearded Lady with an Attitude

Since I had on a Victorian dress to visit the wonderful Posture is Everything store and check out animation overrides, I decided to put on the beard and explore a bit. I had to take a picture; I didn't quite have it adjusted right on the first one I took. Here's the result, taken in the lovely Caledon Moors sim:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Joy of Blogging

The best thing about writing this blog is meeting or getting an IM or email from someone who reads the blog and likes it. I'm doubly happy if the reader found out about prim breasts in SL from the blog and joined SL because of it.

I've had that pleasure a few times, and it keeps me going. Thank you, Gentle Readers.

P.S. That doesn't include comment spammers like the one whose comment I just wiped.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Last night Janey Vansant asked me if I'd like a preview of a new outfit... I said something to the effect of "Yes, I'd love to see it"... and suddenly SL asked me, would I like to accept an item into my inventory? Um, yes... I wasn't expecting that! I thanked Janey, and asked if I could put up a photo. Yes, came the reply, as long as I make clear that it's not yet for sale. I agreed... so, here is something to look forward to when it becomes generally available from Ms. Vansant:

The skirt will be a bit more modest for those of you who don't share my predilection for legs as long as SL permits.

P.S. Those are bird of paradise flowers, and the photo was taken in Whimsy. (If you've not been to Whimsy, why not? It's gorgeous, and the hummingbirds aren't that dangerous...)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The next thing to drool over

The nVidia 460 graphics card. $200 for the version with 768 MB RAM, $230 for the version with 1GB of RAM. It's not a 480, but for less than half the money pretty darned respectable, and by the time I can kinda sorta justify getting one, it will be even less expensive.

UPDATE: Reviews say that there's more difference than just the amount of RAM. and that one should spring the extra $30 for the 1 GB version.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We can hope...

FuturePundit cites a report that suggests that fish oil lowers the risk of breast cancer. A study that will give us a better idea about whether this really works has been recruiting subjects since January. (They want both men and women; the study is looking at various illnesses.)

I hope it's true. The occasional fishy belch from a fish oil capsule strikes me as a small price to pay.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

After-market modification kits

I've mentioned, here or in Pectoral Virtual Fashion or both, that there are people who offer the service of creating textures that adapt existing outfits or tops to prim breasts. That approach needn't be custom; there are those who mass produce packages that let you apply a clothing texture to prim breasts to let them work with an outfit or top.

So... I finally got around to purchasing such a package. This one is one of several from EPIC Proportions that let one use certain sets of prim breasts in conjunction with various colors of the Bugshit Gloss bustier. (No, that's really the name of the store. Honest.)

I got the purple one. The applicator for eCorps prim breasts works well with Foxbean Liebknecht's Nadine 1.5 breasts; the photo shows the results exactly as applied, with no followup tweaking as I've had to do with some other outfits. I'm quite pleased with Tenyene's work, and with the bustier proper, save that I'm too modest to wear the extremely short skirt that comes with the bustier; the skirt in the photo is from another outfit. (I also wish that the bustier came with a skirt that covers all the way up to the edge of the bustier; as it is from the back it resembles the horrid practice of having underwear visible above one's skirt or pants.)

Beautifully done, Tenyene; thank you.

UPDATE: Epic Proportions now has formal outfits. Pictures ASAP!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Rings on the Runway

As of last night, this is what remains of Mammatus.

UPDATE: These elegant glowing rings are the work of Elysia Snook. Thank you, Elysia!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cutting loose

I decided to take a break from my usual mode of dress, starting with the hair. Off with Goldie Locks' elegant Aphrodite, on with a wonderfully outrageous mohawk from Digit Darkes, and so on. I couldn't resist half the Nanami outfit. (OTOH, my resistance for tops cropped way too short is very high indeed, so I went with a turtleneck and lace.)

I feel guilty about this photo on a couple of counts: first, it seems less than nice to take a picture in a store one hasn't bought anything from--but it was a great backdrop, and if you search for "city" or "urban", you'd be amazed at how full the results are of "dark urban roleplay", which I want to avoid, thanks... Second, I'd have sworn that I'd asked for high resolution. Are we back to those settings not being remembered? I hope not.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Suitably Large Tribute

I visited the Mammatus sim again this morning. (That is in itself sad; I've been there far more frequently now that it is going away than I have for some time prior.) Very little remains, but now there is a far more appropriate tribute than the humble rose I left behind (since returned to my inventory).