Monthly Archives: April 2006

Second Life: Linux, and scripting

I just discovered that there’s a dedicated blog for Second Life on Linux. Between 2 laptops and a workstation, I guess I only spend about a third of my time in SL on Linux, but it is good to know there is somewhere to follow the news.

My emerging interest in scripting in SL has been helped by these useful documents and tools:

Now, I just need to find some time to actually create some objects – preferably something more useful than my existing cube with embedded script that doesn’t work…

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 (1.9.0.21 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… 🙂

Is Flickr ready to leave beta?

Flagrant Disregard (home of Flickr Toys) is asking, is Flickr ready to leave beta?

In my opinion, no. It is nice, but it doesn’t have enough features, or enough uptime.

I don’t see why I should have to vote for one of the feature requests listed on the page – many of them are needed. Flickr is owned by Yahoo! now, but I’m not seeing much innovation… a lot more could be done to improve and add features without ruining the user experience. Rather like the problem with Google’s ownership of Blogger – not enough evidence of development and improvement.

Awaiting my TomTom 910

Well, we ordered the TomTom 910 on Friday, from Expansys… their website is indicating that it should be available within 7 days, so hopefully by the time I get back from my trip to Las Vegas (the week after next) I’ll be all satnav’ed up. Don’t know whether there will be a waiting list, though. Fingers crossed.

I was thinking about this last night, and realised that I’ll now have something to store and play the Radio 4 podcasts on – so even if I’m not driving in the evening, I’ll be able to listen to The Now Show, or In Our Time. Plus, of course, if I carry it everywhere with me, the satnav aspect should enable me to help taxi drivers who don’t know their way to my client sites – for example the guy in Birmingham who wanted me to tell him how to get from my hotel to the office the other day…

Without broadband

Sometime after 1330 today, my ADSL connection went down. I spent about half an hour trying various diagnostics on my router (a Netgear DG834G), before calling Pipex and asking what was going on. I was told that the call queue was 10 minutes long, and it took 20. Finally spoke to someone, who told me that he wasn’t aware of any issues, but on testing my line reckoned there must be an issue at the BT exchange. He took my contact numbers, and said they’d call me back with news. He also gave me a dial-up number for free access… which isn’t much use, since I don’t have a modem attached to my main server any more and the phone socket is in an inconvenient location for use from the living room. Remind me how I managed without broadband and/or wireless.

No news and no change by 1745, so I thought I’d call again. Got through to the technical support queue at 1750 to be told that the call queue should be less than three minutes. Waited, waited… at at 1800, the line went dead. They are only available until 1800 on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays.

I’ve been a loyal, and pretty satisfied, Pipex customer for around 5 years now… but they just annoyed me, big time. Marvellous. So I’m currently writing this over a 3G connection (better than dial-up, at least). I guess the rest of my blog updates will have to wait until the broadband connection comes back. I might get them uploaded if I write them off-line and then post them all in a batch, we’ll see.