User:Rebecca

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Ever the diligent PhD student, Rebecca never wastes time in SecondLife but grabs every opportunity to work on her literature review :-)

Rebecca's SecondLife diary

Machinima

I've been trying out the video function in SecondLife. It seems to work well, though it needs a lot of thought to come up with anything halfway decent. I haven't figured out yet how to keep the interface from being visible.
I went over to the Alt-Zoom movie theatre and picked up their free machinima kit (very generous, to give it away for free. Thanks, guys.) There's YouTube video which shows you how to use it. That makes it look very straightforward, but I only had half an hour to try it ut this afternoon, and although I got the camera out and the waymarkers lined up above the SchomeBase sandpit, I couldn't persuade it to work for me.
Anyway, I've put together a one-minute movie of SchomeBase and the Scho-op. I was going to upload it here, but the wiki doesn't accept QuickTime movies, so I've uploaded it on YouTube. This is my first YouTube video, so that's new as well. It's still loading at the moment, but I think this link should point the way when it finally gets up there.
http://www.youtube.com/v/OLm51L09RnQ
Or possibly this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLm51L09RnQ


w00t! too cool! fantastic stuff Rebecca. I think you need to write a wee doc up for the students on how to do this - I can imagine doing their own machinima movies will be a big hit! --Mgaved 08:44, 14 February 2007 (GMT)
Rebecca, this is completely brilliant! and also we finally made it to YouTube:-) This open up a whole range of fun. A notable first methinks. Yes, I'm sure Schome Islanders will be keen to make their own machinima. -User:Kieron

Extending my building skills

[[Image:Light-table.png 360px]] It was all very well being able to build a café stool, but I still had nowhere to put my coffee. So I found some instructions on building a simple table. Must have copied them down wrong, because the torus tabletop looked very strange until I had altered its dimensions substantially. This table's built out of two prims, but I feel it should be possible to make a very similar one out of one prim if I experimented for a while.

Lining the different prims up is SO difficult. I must be missing a trick because I can't believe all builders spend ages circling their objects to try to get the perspective right. In the end I opted for a bird's eye view, which got two co-ordinates aligned. I then went and stood next to it and moved it down until it sank into the ground, and moved it up again until it had just stopped sinking. That worked, but I can't believe anyone else does it in such a clunky fashion.

Although I make the occasional alignment by eye the vast majority of my builds are done using the co-ordinate system. This way you get 100% accuracy. One reason for this is with slight overlaps you often see graphical glitches which look nasty (a kind of 'flickering' quite often). Perfect alignment stops this happening so is worth the effort. That said it is not always possible, especially when working 'at an angle'. --Dan 08:44, 14 February 2007

Downloaded a SecondLife tutorial on putting together a simple light. I found this rather confusing because occasionally it would move from the editing panel to an entirely different menu without mentioning the fact. I had to supplement the tutorial with information gleaned from a couple of Google searches. Oh, and I found out that there's no point trying to make something light up if you switched the neighbourhood lights off in Preferences a month ago. Took me some time to work that out.
Anyway, I now have a light and a table brought skilfully (!) together in a light-table. My first multi-prim object. I'm very proud. Oh, and I surrounded it with a woodland grove. Because I could.

Life imitates art

Aeriallab.jpg [[Image:labyrinth.jpg 300px]] [[Image:MKlabyrinth.JPG 232px]]

Fox went to visit the SecondLife labyrinth. There's supposed to be a meditative quality to following its twists and turns. Bumping along with a computer mouse's help didn't seem the ideal way to achieve tranquility, so I left the computer behind and went over to Willen to try out Milton Keynes' real-life version. A couple of years ago, I met the woman who did the design for the terraforming of this part of MK. She stood on the hill she had designed and told me about how the labyrinth had come to be. She was up against a deadline, there was a big hole in the grid square, and then she spotted a postcard of a labyrinth on her pinboard. The rest is geography.
How SecondLife is that?

Shadow

Shadow, my pet dragon, blowing smoke rings on my shoulder
Another view of Shadow

Making clothes

T-shirt front
T-shirt back
I accessed Robin Wood's excellent tutorial on T-shirt design. Robin provides a T-shirt template and step-by-step instructions for customising your T-shirt with your own image, text and colour and then uploading it to Second Life and putting it on.

It turned out that this isn't really very complicated once you have the template. Cut and paste a picture, resize it as appropriate, replace Robin's text with your own and change it all to an interesting colour.
On the other hand if, like me, you've always put off learning how to use Photoshop for another day, it's great to have a step-by-step tutorial with pictures showing all the menus and what happens at each stage.
Took me a few goes, because I kept trying to do complicated things which weren't in the tutorial, but Fox now has her very own, customised Schome Park mentor T-shirt. OK, not a brilliant picture, fairly dodgy colour, and the text is too small - but I'm pleased with it as a first attempt.

Fantastic stuff Rebecca. Have you come across male clothing guides? It looks like Robin Wood's guide only has female avatar templates? cheers!--Mgaved 09:00, 3 February 2007 (GMT)

Mark, I think the T-shirt moulds to whatever torso you happen to be wearing. I've transferred a copy of my T-shirt to your inventory so you can check whether this is actually the case. Rebecca


Woop and Fox in the arena. I love their expressions!

Meeting on Schome Park

We met on Schome Park, as covered elsewhere in the wiki/ Good to see everyone together.

I've been working on some simple 'how to' pages on creating objects and scripting. As my creation skills and scripting skills are practically non-existent, these are VERY basic courses. Despite that, they take a lot of time to set up and then do the in-world photos, in the right order, with the correct captions.

We heard from LindenLabs today that they don't want to move all the staff avatars, as they said they would. Instead, they want to move just Schomer. This is very frustrating, I've spent a lot of time loading Fox with freebies to take across. More to the point, I've also spent some money on her. She's got a dragon, some boots and some facial expressions that she can't give to Schomer to carry across for her because they are the sole, non-transferable property of Fox.








Tattoo

New tattoo
Vampire sleep pose

I checked out the Gnubie Store today - a very stylish location to pick up a variety of goodies. I collected a range of Hoverpods, and left one on the brightly coloured game space up in the Schome Base sky. I have checked all the boxes which make it free to others to move and copy, but I'm not convinced that worked, as when Marie tried it out she couldn't get it to move. If it doesn't work like that, I'll have to give everyone Hoverpods, because they're cool - although Fox did accidentally crash hers right into the mountain.

Built a Tudor house and tried out my furniture in it. Hmmm. Can't say that the ornate throne, the side table shaped like a slice of lemon, and the tri-pillar fountain are a very good combination.


Pink fluffy prim

Fox lost her avatar's original tattoos when she changed into a more convincing skin, so today she picked up a couple of tattoos for her back, and then had to change her top to show them off. She decided to go on an SL shopping expedition to get some new boots. This was my first real shopping expedition in SecondLife, I located Fox's dragon while browsing blogs, and other than that I tend to hang out in the Freebie Stores.

'Boots' was an interesting hunt to go on - especially as Fox wanted kinky boots. She's explored a lot of the mature shopping areas of SecondLife today in her hunt for the perfect boot. In the process she found this 'vampire sleep' pose, which she's very tempted to buy. In the end, she tracked down some boots in a vanilla shoestore. As Marie is the one with the credit card, Fox sold her an enormous pink fluffy ball she had made, and got the leather boots in return.


Fox (left), Marie (right)

Second skin

As part of the inventory transfer, Fox gave Marie her avatar components. Fox has the better deal - she's got a proper skin, and she's got a pet dragon (though not in this picture), but they now look pretty similar. They're getting on better as well :-)

Archive

The wiki has been reminding me for some time that this user page is getting too large for some browsers to read easily. I've therefore cut the early stuff off and put it into a separate archive.

I've got a pet dragon

Visited Limbo today to buy a pet dragon to sit on her shoulder. This involved lots of new skills. Fox wanted the dragon, but Marie has the credit card, and the dragon is non-transferable.

First, we located the dragon and found out how much it was. Then Marie bought the requisite amount of Linden dollars (about £1, in case you're wondering). How to get the money to Fox? Well, obviously, Fox would have to build something and sell it to Marie. But not in the shop, as that was no-build territory.

Back to Schomebase (remember, the teleport wasn't working, so this wasn't proving easy). Fox created a pink lump, which people with no sense are welcome to buy for $600L. Marie created a more aesthetically pleasing box covered in pictures of Help Island, and sold it to Fox. Fox went back to Limbo, bought a dragon and came back to Schomebase to take it out of its box and play with it. Phew. Who said shopping was easy?

The dragon's not transferable, so I'm hoping it will move to Schome Park with Fox.

If anyone else is interested in dragons, check out Dragons by Daryth, on the first-floor left on Limbo (123, 195, 71).

Technical problems again

I set the day aside to get my inventory sorted for a move to the TeenGrid. This took for ever, due to technical problems. LindenLabs produced a big upgrade yesterday, and had the grid down for about 12 hours in all. I think everyone must have been downloading it this morning, because none of the three computers I was working on in the Digilab could maintain a connection for long enough to download the upgrade. It took about ten goes on each computer before I had working versions.

The I had to find The Librarian With The Password aka Keren. One of the Digilab computers (the one where you sit with your back to the library) is now set up so that when you click on the hard disk icon, you can install SecondLife into the applications folder in the left-hand menu (NOT the applications folder in the right-hand menu - they're different) without needing the password. However, this doesn't appear to be the case on the other Mac, so the password is still needed.

After I'd spent an hour downloading the software, I had enormous problems getting my avatars up and running. As fast as one computer connected to SecondLife, another crashed out. Again, I think this was probably because too many people were accessing the site, dealing with the upgrade, because things were better by the afternoon.


However, by the afternoon it was apparent that teleporting crashed me out of SecondLife. In the past, the workaround has been to teleport to the mainland and then to teleport away again. This method wasn't working today. The only route from one zone to another was to quit SecondLife, find a slurl for the new region, click on that and re-enter SecondLife that way. As I was toggling my avatars between a couple of locations, this took me another couple of hours to sort out satisfactorily. Grrrr.

Bikers1.png
Bikers2.png

Second Life diary: week six

Gill and I spent some time messing around on Schomebase. We played with the Photobooth, as documented in the bliki. Then we got the BMXs out and took them up to the track. We had a few problems - the bends are too tight, the spiral is too tricky and not all the pieces of track align perfectly. However, we had good fun.

Second Life diary: Week five

Fox Phlox

Phew

Fox spent the day working through Orientation Island and Help Island, taking lots of pics and reflecting on the experience and how it could help us to develop Schomebase. There's a new page in place on the wiki about orientation in Second Life.
Fox also spent a lot of time down the freebies store and now has a huge amount of possessions which she hasn't had time to take out of their bags. Shopaholic, or what? The freebie clothing store seemed to be full of French and Italian avatars.
Shopped out at last, Fox headed home for Schomebase. The teleport goes to the right place now, hoorah! It's all looking well organised and under control, and it's great to see all the projects coming together. I hope schome is funding Dan's holiday - he must be on the verge of collapse with all the building work he has been doing. It looks fabulous, Dan.
I did head up to the Skills Area to try to sort out the later stages. I want to try out my BMX on the track. However, the whole area was fenced off with No Entry signs up, so I'll head back some other time.

Fox Phlox

I've got a new avatar I'm very pleased with. Meet Fox Phlox.

Trying out Peter's skills

Right, a new approach. I took the children's Powerbook into the OU and logged into the guest network. This worked very well until my battery ran out of juice, but it's obviously the way forward. I play on so many computers that I never quite master all the keys. It irritates me that the shortcuts are all written for the PC. For example, in Mouselook, it says on screen 'Press ESC to exit mouselook'. Not if you're using a Mac. Anyway, the Powerbook doesn't have an obvious key to use for flying, so it took me some time to work out that I could get up a fairly minor step by pressing F and then E. Must dig out a set of Apple shortcuts from somewhere.

[Just went off to find a shortcuts list, and they're surprisingly hard to track down. However, I did find some advice that suggested deleting Second Life's cache folder once a month. I checked my cache and it contained 200MB, so I deleted it to try to speed up performance.]

Gill and I went to Schomebase together and tried out Peter's skills test. I've written about that and put some pix up in the Schomebase section of the wiki.

We then went off to create new avatars for Schome Park. We've both got the same surname now, and our new avatars are a complete change from the originals. Unfortunately my battery went dead while I was sorting mine out, but Gill's new alter ego is up and running, and there's a picture of her on the Who's Who page.

Second Life diary: 2007

Crashing again

I really thought I'd sussed this crashing business before Xmas, but today I can't stay in world for more than about 20 seconds without crashing out. Removed my Xmas tree from Ralf's house - as always perspective seems a bit weird in there. It's got some sort of Alice-in-Wonderland quality which appears to shrink and distort my avatar. Oh, and his door doesn't like me any more and won't open. As my landmark is set inside the house, this is a tad annoying.
Teleported to the Three Lions for the OU meeting, but the minute I walked through the door, my movement controls seemed to take on a life of their own. I move a step towards the bar, the whole pub dematerialises to grey, reappears, and I'm on the other side of the room, staring at the wall. Turn round, and suddenly I'm walking in the air about a hundred feet over the island, heading for the coast. I watch my movements with interest for a while. Perhaps I've been possessed? Lose interest and crash out, annoyed. How am I ever going to learn to walk straight when the world keeps reforming around me? No chance of my walking Schomer's line over on Schomebase.
I did have really good intentions about spending the evening making some simple objects to build up my SL skills. However, that's all gone to pot, so I'll go and create a Philosophical Debates page on the wiki instead.
Mark's question 'What do we need money for?' came to mind today, when I took my youngest daughter to the building society. She'd already asked me if we'd be really poor if our house burned down, destroying all our money. I point out that our house did burn down a few years ago and our money survived 'cos it was in the building society. So when she gets to the building society she asks. 'What if the building society burned down? Would we be really poor then?' No, because our money isn't physically in the building. 'Well, where is it?' I begin a description and then, scarily, realise I'm describing something eerily like Gringots Bank in Harry Potter. Have to give up and admit that I've really no idea.

hehehe sometimes I feel I am asking the same questions as your daughter (regarding money), maybe I am still aged 5 or whatever! Nothing like academia (or being a child) to get to those really awkward questions! My suspicion is if we gave everything away for free in our TeenSL space, participating teenagers would still bring in some sort of economy or perhaps evolve one... could be fascinating to watch. --Mgaved 11:51, 14 January 2007 (GMT)

SecondLife diary: Week four

Note to self: My sandbox is here.

Xmas party

Turned up late for the strategy game. Everyone seemed to be having fun, and there was a surprising amount of cheating going on!
We stayed to dance - Woop rustled us up a dance floor and disco ball lighting within a few seconds, which was cool. We then showed off our dancemoves. Which was the opposite of cool, whatever that is.
Perhaps more significantly in terms of the project,I tinkered with the Preferences settings on SecondLife. Turned off things like rippling water, adjusted the available memory and, voila, a connection that stays connected for an hour instead of two minutes.

Interesting that the preferences changes makes such a difference Rebecca! maybe we need to note these in a FAQ or in information sheets we give to new users - a very useful insight that these apparently trivial changes can make the difference between a good and poor experience in SL --Mgaved 17:47, 2 January 2007 (GMT)

History and heritage

Liked this aquarium on Arcata

Thought there wasn't a meeting on Monday, so didn't turn up (not that I would have turned up anyway as I was zooming down the wild water rapids in Centerparcs at just that time). Sorry I missed the team sports.

I'm investigating history and heritage in SecondLife at the moment. Might set up a page about that elsewhere as I think it's an interesting subject.
I note that once a month is not enough for the OU SecondLifers and there's a part tomorrow night, though opinion seems divided as to whetehr it's in the Three Lions or on our island.
Spent some time fiddling around with the wiki and with SecondLife to no greta effect. Finally got round to visiting some junk yards, and came away with a freaky plant that makes me laugh. Not sure what Terrence will say next time he goes in his party house, though :-) Removed the Christmas trees which were getting in the way of Cetlment's flying chairs, and replaced them with a fire and some potted plants.
Checked out the hippy bank to try to get some more money, but found that almost all surveys were confined to US residents. Decided that I didn't want to clutter my letterbox with reams of junk mail in return for a small amount of Linden dollars, so I left again.
I'd like to get some trees and plants in on Schomebase, which seems very barren, though excitingly terraformed. Apparently only Peter can plant trees, which seems weird. However, I can plant Japanese maples and cherry trees, as they don't appear to be defined as trees. On the other hand, they look completely bizarre dotted on the edges of a precipitous volcano

I didn't know that I was the only person who could plant trees! I've been resisting doing stuff like that for the time being - wanted to get the overall design/layout of the island sorted and then prettyfy (you know what I mean). PeterT 08:17, 29 December 2006 (GMT)

SecondLife diary: Week three

Watching a film

Another thing I did last week was visit Avalon, which is over near the BBC islands. Avalon is running a film festival and has a series of screens which show QuickTime movies, though you do have to wait a long time for them to come up. However, anyone who's interested in building screens or noticeboards might find them interesting.

Xmas.gif Found a free Christmas tree over on Purple, so I've been making Cetlment look festive.

OK, may have overdone it on the Xmas trees ;-)
Were they meant to go into the chair area? I'm not sure that some of the chairs can take off with them there. -Dan

Anesa, Gill and I were trying out the chairs, so left some Christmas trees there. Just delete them if they're in the way.
I think they can only be moved/deleted by the owner of the item or the owner of the land. It would be nice to have one dead centre in the middle of the chairs to brighten them up, and it wouldn't impede their use :-) -Dan


The wiki has been warning me for some time that this user page is getting too big. I'm therefore splitting the early stuff off into Rebecca's archive