Faltering steps in Second Life

Time for a Second Life category in my blog.

Like many others in my organisation, I’m beginning to explore Second Life. I’m actually privileged enough to be working in close proximity to (and on the same team as) several of the guys from the eightbar crowd on my current project… it’s a great opportunity, as we’ve got to know each other through internal and external blogs, Flickr, and other social networks, but in most cases this is really the first time I’ve been able to meet them face-to-face.

I downloaded the Second Life client several weeks ago, when the first Linux alpha was released. I created an account, spent a bit of time customising my character, and wandered around the welcome area… but until this weekend I hadn’t explored much further than that. After my broadband woke up again yesterday, I had a chance to try again.

The first thing that happened was that I was prompted to update my client to the latest version ( for Linux). It prompted for an automatic download, but that didn’t work, complaining that my Applications directory didn’t exist – I sense that the Linux version shares code with the Mac client! Once I’d downloaded it manually, and copied over the secondlife/user_settings directory from the old version, I was good to go. The only thing offputting about the Linux client is that it seems to cause my machine to run extremely hot, so I’m getting a bit concerned about processor lifespan.

Anyway, my character is now a bit more customised, I’ve explored some more – I even got to go on a hot-air balloon ride. Can’t wait to try out the water chute that Darren discovered. I also now have some cash. I tried building a couple of simple objects. The next thing to do is to hook up with the eightbar crowd.

my sceond life alter ego

Incidentally, I’ve played with the Windows client too. On my Thinkpad R40 at home, I was warned that I needed a newer ATI driver, but none was available. The R40 has an ATI Radeon Mobility 7500 which is below the minimum spec recommended by LL, but it seems to work fine. On the T40 it warns that the graphics card is PCI and not AGP, but again it seems to work… apart from a lockup which happened after about 10 minutes of time in SL. I’m sure if I’m going to do much more then I simply have to have a T60… πŸ™‚

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