Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Sailing in Mainland

I had never taken a tall ship into mainland waters before. Too risky. The canals are narrow and one has to move around ban lines and security devices.
Yet, all the buzz about the Linden waters around Nautilus and the future plans about the Blake Sea and moving the USS convinced me to try.

I TP'ed around Nautilus City and I spent quite some time looking for a place where I could rezz the Battlestar. If the Lindens plan to support sailing grid-wide they have still a lot of work to do. Almost all the sims were no-rezz and sometimes even more strictly limited than the usual sims in any private estate, so that even wearable technology did not work.
At the end I found a friendly dock on a privately owned plot on the southern shore opposite Nautilus City and there I was able to rezz the Battlestar.

Once the ship was rezzed the experience was great! Nautilus City is surrounded by several sims of Linden water and it was easy to take the ship all around the place, easily circumnavigating all the area.

It is clearly a much better situation that all the other mainland continents. I wish Sansara or the Atoll or Jeogeot were so easily sailable.

After circumnavigating Nautisul City I decided to see how far I coud go, so I turned the bow north and I reached the northeastern corner of the Nautilus continent. It was mostly an easy navigation. Only once I barely avoided a security orb - nastily set to just 10 secs warning. Fortunately I was just at the edge of Linden protected water so I avoided to be kicked home.

As I reached the NE section of Nautilus SL began to misbehave and I crashed. A pity that the channel connecting it to the Corsica continent is on the NW side. It would have been fun to cross into Corsica :). It was late anyway and it had been already a lot of fun.

The Battlestar was very successful. Several people came out to admire her during the navigation and shouted to me tha tis was a nice ship. Chase Speculaas did such a great job: the frigate model is fantastic for sea battle and roleplaying, but even for fun sailing she is a a beauty ! :)

Fair Winds and Happy New Year !


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Introducing the WFS Battlestar

the battlestar

The WFS (Wild Fleet Ship) Battlestar is the Christmas gift I bought to myself :)It is a SPD frigate, the latest creation of that great shipmaker that is Chase Speeculas, and it is probably the biggest sailing ship in SL to date. She carries 18 gus: a truly great firepower.
I have been thinking about her since late September, when I noticed her being tested at Beek Haven, even before the release, and now I got it. Don't you find she has a wonderful line ? :)

the battlestar

Fair Winds

Friday, December 26, 2008


Last year. for Christmas, I mostly gave my SL friends framed pictures of images I took in RL. This year, since I was in full creativity wave, I decided to make something that I could give as a present.

I have had in mind to create the mechanical model of the solar system for some times and so I did, trying to give it a steampunk look. You can see the result in the picture.

Mechanical Solar System

I tried to keep the ration between the distances and between the speeds realistic, even if that forced me to limit to four planets, since Mars it is already far enough from the Sun. I think it is okay. Beside the distances, Jupiter would have been so big that the inner planets would have looked invisible.

I am quite happy with the result. One of the friend I gave it even asked me to purchase a few more items to give in turn to her friends. I was happy she liked it that much ! :)

Danielle and few others tell me that the rotation of the Earth and Mars is too fast. Despite the fact that I maintained the correct ratio between rotation and revolution I quite agree with them and I am working on a more heavily scripted version where the different speeds can be set by the user.

I would also like to add the Moon. After all it is just slightly smaller than Mercury, but it is going to require some work to create the movements of a satellite.

I think it is going to be fun! :)

Happy Holidays


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Wildstar

Merry Christmas from Wildstar

an airship crashed at Star Port

Another proof that travelling in SL may be dangerous :)
This is what I found this morning at Star Port when I logged in

an airship crashed at Star Port

Saturday, December 20, 2008

if only ...

this morning I woke up reading some interesting news in my google reader, concerning the move of the United Sailing Sims to an area east of Nautilus City and their connection to the mainland through a new Linden region called the Blake Sea. You can read about it here and here.

I was very happy at first to see that there is some growth in a period of shrinking and that this move will surely improve the sailing experience. After a while I had some doubts about the lindenization of such an important group of estates, and I see that in the forum the sual flamewars has started about favoritism toward some groups of residents vs. others.

But after a while my thoughts drifted. The United Sailing Sims are one of the biggest regions in SL, yet, looking at the map shown in the SL blog announcement, I realized how small they are with respect to the mainland landmass. And this made me think what the SL experience could have been (and it still could be) and what a lost opportunity mainland has been so far, if only the Lindens had taken a bit more care of it.

As I have posted before I love to explore, both sailing and walking through the land. And the mainland is a great place for explorations. One can chose an area or a path on the map and spend literally days going around, finding new flaces and meeting new people. Yet the experience is almost always spoiled by ugly landscapes here and there, wastelands (fortunately ad farms are mostly gone), banlines (how much I dislike banlines, especially those covering the waterways !), aggressive security devices, inconsistent settings of rezzing and script rights, even on Linden land.

I value very much the privacy of the people in their plots, yet I cant help but wonder how much better the experience on mainland might have been if some of the issues I listed had been given a consistent set of rules.

The Lindens have shown in the past months that they are somehow getting away from their laissez faire attitude and this move about the USS goes in that direction too. I hope this also mean that in due time a more consistent set of rule of behavior will be created for mainland, that save both the privacy of the residents and the possibility to explore a mainland that has a neverending potential for creativity and beauty.

Have a nice week-end and Happy Holidays


Thursday, December 18, 2008

the steamcopter prototype first flight

Steamcopter prototype first flight

I guess I am in a creative phase :)
After creating my first own outfit, I have started building a few objects. I have built an object which is the core of my Christmas presents, so, for the moment, it must remain undisclosed, and today I made my own steamcopter fly for the very first time. Just a very first flyby around my airbase and over the runway in the sky over Winterfell Ebonshire but it was enough to test the opensource script I am using and my first customizations to it.

Well ... so far so good. I was able to steer, I did not crash and I was able to get back to the starting point, so I am happy and I can move to the next steps. The toy is not yet ready to be distributed, but I hope to have a beta available in a few days to distribute to a couple of beta testers (should I find any volunteers :) )

I started building the steamcopter to be used as a shuttle between Star Port and the airbase but since I found the opensource script and since I like the look, I think it may be used also as a standalone vehicle.

Stay tuned for the updates :)


Steamcopter prototype

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the "little star"

I took my new Flying Fizz to her maiden voyage in the waters around Mishra. It is a gorgeous little boat and the animations are great fun. I still have to study all the details of her working but I am sure it will become a favorite of mine for exploration and fun sailing.

Given her compact dimensions I felt just right to name her Little Star :)

taking the "little star" to her maiden voyage

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sailing Drama

It is a real pity that the Tradewinds Boats Show I mentioned in my previous post and that I was enjoying immensely, went to a sudden end for reason that I do not quite understand, but that I can relate to drama, fights and cross banning between different yacht clubs. Oh well .. I was probably naive to think that the sailing community was a big happy family. That's probably why I am a lonely privateer :)

It was a great show anyway, very well organized and I loved it and learned a lot.

Fair Winds


Thursday, December 11, 2008

the Tradewinds Boats Show

2008 Tradewinds Boat Show

The other event that is capturing my attention these days is the 2008 Tradewinds Boats Show. It is a fair where the state of the art of SL sailing technology is on display.
There are many wonderful boats on display from far more merchants I was aware of. The temptation to buy now boats is very high :D but so far I only bought a little Flying Fizz, which, despite the small dimensions and the very affordable price it is still a wonderful boat.

2008 Tradewinds Boat Show

The true reason I got the Fizz (which I still have to name) is that yesterday I attended a very nice presentation by the Fizz' creator, Mothgirl Dibou, who introduced a new sailing script set, she has designed from scratch and that she will be introducing in January. I have added the link to the transcript of the original talk, so I won't summarize the concepts here, but it is very interesting so I invite you to read it.

There are a number of other boats that cought my attention and make the show very interesting to visit: great realism in the detail in many models, customization packages, wonderful sail sets. A line of boats is called Wild Winds and I find a couple of models very tempting ... hehe

There is also the Sl reproduction of a RL fishing schooner, the Ernestina, that is really wonderfully done.

Who knows ... my fleet might grow even more :)

fair winds


SYC 2008 Tradewinds Boats Show

the Human Rights Festival

The Human Rights Festival, part of the celebrations for the 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is under way. Events and Concerts will be going on from the 10th to the 15th on December in over 30 sims, involving artists from all over the world.

Human Rights Festival Concert

There is a HUD available in the information pack of the festival which gives the schedule of the events day by day and allows to TP directly to the event of interest.

Yesterday I spent almost 4 hours at different concert and exhibits and it was a great evening. The sims were packed (I counted up to 58 avies), the music great, the company fantastic and most important of all it was a great cause.

I hope everybody will have the same fun I had


Friday, December 5, 2008

My first outfit

It all started with my recent explorations of Openlife and OSGrid. After a few days hunting for freebie clothes and after realizing that male outfits are even more rare there than in SL I decided to try to make my own outfit, and of course, I thought about a naval uniform :)

I downloaded the available UV maps and I started putting layers down. The Opensim Grids have the advantage the importing textures is still free, so trial and error is not that expensive at the moment. I also made prim epaulettes and a scarf and after a while I was satisfied and I started wearing it. After a couple of days I wondered why not to import the outfit in SL as well, and so I did.

I wore the outfit for a couple of days and nobody started laughing at me. Somebody even told me that it looked good. The original outfit was blue but since I felt comfortable in it I started wondering why not to make a similar one with the Winterfell colors. So, after a a few attempts in matching a brightness that looked good in-world, and after putting the Winterfell symbol on the epaulettes, I had the Winterfell purple outfit as well.

It may be not the best looking outfit in SL - actually it is a pretty simple and naive in many ways - but I am quite satisfied for a first attempt.

So I decided that the uniform might make a nice freebie, if anyone else like it and I put it both in my Bright Star Gallery in Winterfell Laudanum and in the Star Port Authority Office in Winterfell Ebonshire. They are both in a box under the Christmas Tree :)

Happy Holidays :))


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter is Coming

Winter has come

A couple of days ago it started snowing in Winterfell. The land became white and it was a really enchanting view. The view from Star Port was wonderful. The white mountains of the new Morigion and Maldoror gave the place the look of a true Norvegian fjiord.


I decided it was time to take the Christmas decorations out of the box where I had packed them last year and start giving my plots and homes a Holiday look. So I took out lights, Christmas trees, little trains and snowmen and I started placing them in and around my cottage, at Star Port and in my Aurora Town home.

On top of that, yesterday the new wonderful set of Miss Uni Ninetails's trees was released and I got one. Uni did miracles with just two prims. The trees have several seasonal looks so I set many of them to the winter look and replaced the green trees on the plots. But they are going to look even cooler in Spring and Summer.

Little Train

It took a while to find my little train and place it near my cottage like I did last year, but at last I found it in the wrong box and here it is. Also a friend gave me a cool ice fountain and I placed that as well, near the rear door of the cottage.

Christmas Lights at Star Port

I have not been able to find my icicles so far. I have to look harder. An inventory can be such a time waster! :) They would look nice at Star Port. I am going to have a freebie gift placed there and in the Bright Star Gallery as well, in the next days, but I'll tell more about that in the next post.

I have not finished yet. I will take it easy and slowly, giving little touches every day, according to the mood. I have also set the streams to a channel playing Christmas Tunes. I love the spirit of the Holidays :)

Christmas Lights at Star Port

I decorated the Aurora Town Home as well. When I took the picture of the Christmas tree the slide show was showing the picture I took when I was decorating last year in my then brand new Captain Uniform :) Funny.

Christmas Lights at Home

Aurora Town is having a tree hunt these days. There are 30 trees around the town with a fair number of freebies in them. Yesterday I spent some time there, but I found just 10 or so. I have never been a champion at hunts :)

A suggestion for those who know where my home is there : the tree between my home and Danielle's is full of Christmas decorations. (I hope Lilliana does not read this :) )

Happy Holidays to all


Monday, December 1, 2008

My mix'n match assignment: Alts in Second Life - necessary evil, fun diversion or an easy way to be dishonest

As I have mentioned in some previous posts, a few weeks ago I joined the mix'n match event, where SL bloggers were mixing subjects, writers and hosting blogs. The event was great and a big success across the SL blogosphere, and I was able to read many interesting entries by a lot of skilled people. Unfortunately I had little luck and my own entry was never published by the intended blog. The owner was taking a break in those days so I guess she overlooked it (I hope that the reason was not that my contribution was judged too bad :) )
So, since a coupe of weeks have passed by now and since I think it is a pity to forget the entry and the subject, I am publishing it here, in a slightly reviewed form and with a more recent picture than the one originally intended.

The subject of my post was suggested by
Joonie Jatho, whose blog unfortunately I can no longer point out because it appears to have been disabled

I hope you can enjoy reading it as I did writing it.

Alts in Second Life - necessary evil, fun diversion or an easy way to be dishonest ?

… or an easy way to inflate the number of active users ? :)

Think about it. How many among your friends or contacts do not have at least one alt ? And how often do they bring them online ? Alts are one of the options we have to explore different sides of ourself while we experience the different settings virtual world has to offer, and people are largely making use of this option. Sometimes an avie born as an alt is so successful in his/her/its experiences that develops as the principal identity, leaving the original one mostly neglected in some asset server. There is an army of alts out there and they surely inflate the official statistics. The numbers of unique users is probably much smaller than the published numbers.
But enough about official numbers.

The first time I met someone who identified himself as an alt he dropped from the sky outside my cottage. I had heard about alts but, until that moment, I had not given the concept much thought. I chatted with the guy for some minutes and then he gave it away. “It is because I have a girlfriend” he said. I have wondered many times what that sentence really meant: was he using an alternative identity in order to cheat on his girl ? Or was he just in need of time for himself ? That would make perfectly sense. I know that from time to time I am in the mood to get away from my main identity using an anonymous account without friends and contacts, so that I can explore and take picture without anybody interrupting me.

Despite the obvious easy opportunities for alts to be dishonest, they can't be considered evil. And they are not necessarily just fun. They are another option to enhance our experience and as such they can be used in many ways, including many legitimate ones. I am sure many SLebrities can't live and enjoy the world they have contributes to create without alts. How many times have you have checked the profile of some land owner or content creator and read “drop me a notecard. IMs are capped”. I often wonder how these people can enjoy their SL and work and create under the inevitable constant stream of incoming messages. An alt surely offers them the anonymity necessary to escape and enjoy to the beauties the world like any regular residents.

Alts can be and are used for testing features, like permissions of created content, or simply they can come handy when more than one avie is necessary and no friend is available.
Alts can be simply used to explore different sides of one's self: like having a steampunk life as the pilot of an airship and a fantasy one as a drum player in elfland. A friend of mine created a child avie because her therapist suggested it to get in touch to her inner child. Another with health problems comes online in her neko identity when she is in pain, because cats, she tells me, better tolerate pain.
And then, of course, there are the more questionable uses. I guess we all know stories of people with two different SL families (and maybe a RL family too), people asking for friends' help in one sim and investing money as someone else in another sim and people just having fun but playing with someone else's feelings. And that is the source of high drama that exceeds the borders of today's discussion.


Do I have alts? I do. They try to be nice guys and I try to make them behave :) I use them for exploration, photo-safaris and to extend the number of groups I can subscribe to. Sometimes I call them to man my ships or as extras for photo shots (as in the image above). They are usually shy and stay away from people and interact minimally with others, even if they try to be friendly when addressed.
I even created a female alt. She is a kind of Barbie doll. I created her one day I was frustrated by the lack of contents for male, so I had fun to have her go freebie hunting. (Second)Life is so much easier for a female avie!. I am rather proud of the look I have been able to give her, but playing a different gender is not for me. I was always scared like hell that somebody could talk to her and I was not able to behave as a female would. The feeling has always been of complete detachment. It is like pulling the string of a puppet, with very little identification. No, definitely not for me :)