Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Bedtime Story About Second Life, Viewer Development & Interspecies Communication

Bonifacio  (general)

A group of small children approach an old lady sitting on a bench.

"Auntie Honour?  What are you doing?"
"I'm waiting little one."
"Can we wait with you?"
"Sure, but it might take a long time."
"What are we waiting for?"

The children look at each other and shrug.  The smallest crawls into the woman's lap. "Tell us a story" she pleads.  The old crone looks at them and tries to think of a simple way to describe her concern.  Finally she decides that she can only try and make it brief or these children will never get to sleep.  She nods and then begins to speak.

"Once upon a time there were no computers in the forest.  Hush children, this is my story.  Well then, some brave engineers and mathematicians worked very hard and created these wonderous machines that could perform what seemed like miracles at the time.  As years passed the machines became better and faster and smaller.  The group of people working on them became more and more specialized until an entire new species evolved.  We call them Programmers.

Bonifacio  (general)

Every now and then the Programmers would have to talk to somebody outside their community to get some knowledge they didn't have, like accounting principles, but they tried to limit that type of interspecies communication.  It was difficult and it just complicated things.

One day, after many years had passed, somebody had the bright idea that computers should be used by all species.  A small box was built and passed around and the programmers pointed to a magical genie inside the box that would help even the lower life forms like business people make use of what was now called "technology".  This genie was named DOS (the old lady shudders) and we'll skip his story for the moment.  I will say that "sexy" is in the eye of the beholder and Programmers need glasses.

Over time the whole world of computers got bigger and bigger and a major change took place.  People started to view technology as a tool and, if it was going to be useful, business people felt they should have some input and control over what was done.  The Programmers fought against this new world order but they lost.  In order to make sure the different species could understand each other a new life form was born.  We called them Analysts."

Bonifacio  (general)

"What did Analysts do Auntie Honour?"

"Analysts worked to understand what everybody's needs were and the implications of those needs.  They had to understand the whole picture and translate those needs into a language the Programmers could understand.  You see Programmers lived on code (and sugar and caffeine) but that meant their view of the universe was very narrow.  The rest of the species decided it was not a good idea to let Programmers make decisions about what the technology would do.  It was the Analysts' job to look around and make sure that expectations would be met and that no harm would come from the work that was done."

"What happened to the Analysts?"

"Ah well, you see looking around and understanding required time.  The world was changing quickly and various life forms were seeking for ways to do things faster and cheaper so they decided to "streamline" their methodologies.  The Programmers convinced all the other life forms that Analysts were "overhead" and unnecessary and sent them to navel gaze on a remote island in the Pacific. 

At about the same time that this entire species was sent packing a new form of technology magic suddenly moved into the world.  It had been around for a while in various forms but advances in graphics and interfaces suddenly made "gaming" available to both the technical and non technical species.  Programmers had ownership of this magic and had learned enough from the past that they weren't going to let go of it to anybody.

Then a new version of this magic was created - the virtual world.  The exciting thing for many species was that this world was usable by those who couldn't "code" and didn't speak the Programmers' language.  Everybody was happy in the forest for a while but then things started to go wrong.

Bonifacio  (general)

 The Programmers had found an Agile way of deciding what they wanted to do and actually doing it.  They were in heaven because it meant they got to make many things and do them quickly.  The serpent in this Eden though was that occasionally they still had to get input from users so they came up with a solution that made them very happy.  They would force the other species to communicate with them in the Programmers' own tongue using one of the Programmers' own tools called a JIRA.  

This worked wonders, particularly since only a very small percentage of those users knew it existed and an even smaller percentage could understand it.  This latter group, not surprisingly, were users who were also Programmers.  These "users" would identify bugs and demand new features.  The Programmers would prioritize as they wished and code to their hearts content and pump out fixes and enhancements quickly.  The entire species was very very happy.

But there was a dark cloud forming in the forest.  You see if a new feature was created on the bones of an old one, or if something was changed to make way for the "new", nobody had the job of understanding how the old version had been used.  The Programmers like to focus and focusing on the stories they were given for new code was their job.  Stories about other people who might be impacted were not necessary.  The other species - much like the business people of old - felt that it was impossible to make their voices heard and have their stories taken into consideration. They were hurt and got angry and interspecies relations fell to a new low."

"What happened then Auntie Honour?"

"Nothing yet little one.  I expect the circle to come around again at some point in the future.  Some bright spark will decide that Analysts should be brought back from their exile and facilitate interspecies communication once again.  

You all should go to bed now.  I'm going to sit here on this bench and wait."

Bonifacio  (general)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Techie Trash, Power Games & Missing Husbands in Second Life

Tekkon Tech  (moderate)

Beware - this will be another one of those glimpses into the mysterious meandering thought processes of mine.  I went to visit Ionetorus Habilis' stores and workshop this morning.  While I was enjoying the wonderful, eclectic and intriguing display of her works I noticed a lot of litter and piles of garbage here and there.  Understandable of course - you put an artist or a techie into full blown creative mode and tidying up becomes a very low priority.  It's not like they notice the empty cups or take out containers on the floor.  Discarding pieces that don't fit or weren't just right makes sense and if you have the time occasionally to bag it all up well then you can promise yourself that someday the bags will make it to the recycling plant or landfill.  Civilization won't end if it doesn't get there for a while.

This reminded me in a lot of ways of the days I was in fulltime management consulting. 80 or 90 hour weeks was the norm and what I and my female colleagues did not have time for were the "home chores" that seemed to pile up.  We used to laugh and agree that what we each needed was a stereotypical "wife".  The person who stayed at home and took care of things there. We certainly didn't have the time or inclination.

Tekkon Tech  (moderate)

These thoughts led me to remember something that used to drive me crazy.  I would spend my days meeting with Directors of giant corporations helping solve large, complex and costly problems.  I was in demand and damn good at what I did and they took me very seriously.

However, when I went to conferences, luncheons or social events and was introduced to new people - usually with a reference to my professional status - the very first question which was always asked was "What does your husband do?".

You see people need a way of assigning us to a particular category or station relative to themselves.  In a business context (which to business people it always was) they needed to know if you represented "power" if compared to their own positions.  And, since as a woman, I could only hold power in their eyes as I reflected it from a man they naturally wanted to know my husband's job so they could categorize me.

Tekkon Tech  (moderate)

After the first dozen times I stopped responding with "What husband?"  and just started saying he was a "reactionary poet".  Talk often shifted to the weather at that point. :)

I started thinking about how different Second Life is in that respect.  I don't think people judge you by your "connections" inworld but of course it's not a relatively small homogeneous environment and most of those "power" games are ineffectual.  Certainly not (usually) knowing gender, race or body fat count renders those measuring tools meaningless.

But utopia we are not.  The need to judge and establish (at least in their own minds) their relative superiority is as necessary as breathing to some.  Yardsticks in the metaverse reflect the tools available to people who need a hierarchy so they can place themselves above you.

Tekkon Tech  (moderate)

One of the things people always point to about our world is that you can "create" yourself however you like.  Your appearance is solely dependent on your personal preference (well and your linden balance if you don't want to make things yourself) and the range of choices is endless.  Fashion of course has become an enormous industry and, in some cases, obsession.  Unfortunately it also provides an easy way for those who like to sit in judgement to criticize others for their appearance and feel smug,  Personally I think the concept of "fugly" deserves a place in the Universal Hall of Shame but small minds need their kicks.

We also see people create new categories of bigotry based on shape or species or even height.  They rest easy in their sense of self worth by condemning others for their choice of viewer, or spelling or anything they figure they can compete at with their own rules.

All of this is inevitable because we really do bring "ourselves" inworld when we logon and nobody becomes perfect just by turning on a computer (well except for me of course).  Still, it's depressing and I hope it remains a very small irritant on an otherwise enjoyable grid.

The really good news is that nobody asks me what my husband does.  :)

Tekkon Tech  (moderate)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dark Steampunk Roleplay Encourages Machinima in Second Life

NeoVictoria (adult)

OK so Steampunk is cool and it's certainly one of the favourite "themes" in Second Life.  Steampunk Roleplay  is readily available and "Dark Steampunk Roleplay" isn't unknown, but what makes NeoVictoria different is that the idea of capturing the "stories" with machinima is actively encouraged and is one of the reasons for the two sim build's presence on the grid.

NeoVictoria (adult)

Described as "an experiment in machinima and free form roleplay"  this location uses the Community Combat System developed by Suzanna Soyinka in her City of  Lost Angels - and it's free.  You can visit as an out of character observer but do read the rule notecard and wear the tag.

NeoVictoria (adult)

The rule notecard gives the expectations/guidelines for machinima.  You can use the sim as a backdrop for your video without being involved in the roleplay but you must ask permission first - luckily it stated that I didn't need to contact them before taking photographs. :)

NeoVictoria (adult)

I admit that being the wuss I am I was a little hesitant to go look at any of the videos.  I mean they do spell out how "dark" the roleplay might be and that type of machinima is not my thing.  However, my fears were misplaced and if you go to their website you'll find lots more information and sample videos.  You do have to register to access most of the site pages but it's not a difficult process.

I like the idea of anything that encourages machinima and experimentation and more people doing both.  Giving people a reason to try the art form and a venue for doing it is a great idea.  If you're interested in steampunk, dark roleplay, making videos or just taking pictures I suggest you go visit NeoVictoria.  Here's a sample machinima.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Idle & Erratic Musings in Second Life's Forgotten City

Forgotten City  (general)

I was feeling particularly self indulgent this morning so I went to visit one of my favourite places on the grid - the Forgotten City.  You can spend hours exploring this fabulous build - I just stand in one spot and take dozens of photos - everywhere you look there is something that deserves closer inspection.  Even underwater.

Forgotten City  (general)

I was wandering around yesterday and realized that when a landowner creates a fixed windlight setting on their island we know exactly how they want it to appear.  Of course unless they tell me what that setting is I can't alter east angle for photo purposes and keep the settings.  sigh  Please vote for this JIRA - I know it's not all about photographers and machinimasts but we should count too. :)

Forgotten City  (general)

We're in the midst of preparations for Burn2 - lots of volunteers doing lots of projects that are needed to get the infrastructure in place.  If you're planning to wait until the last moment to get your plot - don't!  The number of sims we have will depend on the number of plots people ask for and we need enough for a full region before we can commit.  Do it now and you have a better chance of getting one.  If you'd like to volunteer we'd love to have you on the team!

Forgotten City  (general)

Today is a day for those threatened by Mother Nature and/or weapons and violence to stay safe.  For those threatened by illness to work on health and their loved ones to focus on the positive.  For the rest of us, I suggest we avoid the drama created by small minds.  I'm going to wander up this back street and see what I can find.

Forgotten City  (general)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Meshing Around in Second Life

The Black Mirror  (general)

Ah yes it's a typical day in the neighbourhood.  You know something is announced and then there's a scramble to see if the announcement applies to everybody.  I refer to the mesh rollout and the 64m prim limit that arrived this week on the grid.

I made my first 64m prim and was actually grinning like the idiot I am - it was cool.  No weirdly phantom-scripted object to achieve a back door result, just a plywood box and it was a thing of beauty.

I'm going to suggest that we refer to large "illegal" prims as megaprims.  The 64m limit is legal now and so let's not confuse things by referring to them as "mega".  I know that sounds pedantic but there are discussions going on in various quarters relevant to the size of builds and prims and this distinction should clarify things.   The only outstanding question now is "Who can make them?".

The answer would appear to be anybody using almost any viewer but 1.23 and Firestorm, although there's some workaround for both of them that I don't understand.  I assume Firestorm will allow it in the near future.

The Black Mirror  (general)

As for mesh, well we knew you'd have to have a viewer not based on 1.23 to see mesh objects as anything other than a distorted something.  Uccie has a photo of a top and what it looks like if you don't have a mesh capable viewer.  Once mesh cities appear it could be very depressing for you.

The Destination Guide has a few mesh locations highlighted.  Unfortunately one of them is for Claudia222 Jewel's build on Mesh Mallow - she was a little surprised because, although she has built mesh objects for that creation, today it's still a sculpty installation.  However, once informed of the presence of this site in the Guide she went off to talk to the landlord about switching some mesh in.  If you decide to visit note that you sit on the fly to teleport to the cave. To assure you that there really is a mesh version I want to point you to ColeMarie Soleil's video of Claudia's sandbox work.

There was bound to be a period of confusion and adjustment, complicated by the number of viewers and development timelines out there.  It'll all work out eventually and while it does I'll just keep my eye out for new stuff appearing inworld.

Claudia gave me this gorgeous mesh dragon, one prim and 5PE's.  This little guy gives me great hope for the wonderful things I'm expecting to see arrive on our grid.  It's a new day, scrambling and glitches not withstanding.  :)

Mesh Dragon by Claudia222 Jewell

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The New Viewer Convinced Me To Clean My Closet in Second Life

Artarra  (moderate)

I've been playing with the 3.something version of the production viewer for the past couple of days and having some performance issues.  This of course led me down the path of  "Gee I must be doing something wrong"  which was followed by doing a clean install and then fussing with settings.  It turns out at least part of my problem would be a combination of expectations and impatience.  :)

I keep expecting the login experience to be similar to previous versions of the viewer - wait a bit and things rez and stabilize and then my fps goes up to a number I expect.  This version however never seemed to stabilize and that was because I never gave it time to do that.  At some point yesterday morning while I was waiting for my fps to climb above 2.7 I opened my inventory and noticed it was still loading - very, very slowly.  Once it had loaded my performance arrived at something close to what I would consider "normal" but it took more than 10 minutes.

I'm sure this will be fixed - I noticed it in the release notes for at least one of the betas but in the meantime I decided this meant I should tackle my inventory - I'm not a fashionista and I don't have 90K of stuff in my closet but my number used to hover around 12,000 and it has crept up to 19,000.  I took the loading issue as a sign from the pixel gods and I've been culling.

After deleting a lot, transferring some to my alt who has nothing and boxing up literally thousands of textures I've cut 5,000 from my inventory total.  I think I'll ship more out but at least the number is coming down. 

I promise I'll do some more serious exploring soon but I did take a break this morning to go visit Artarra - I enjoy landscapes that remind me of impressionist paintings.  This is a pretty place and you should visit. Take your umbrella though, all that lush greenery is watered often by rain.  :)

Artarra  (moderate)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Maybe it's not about the "I" in Second Life

Rossers Landing II  (moderate)

There's a lot of discussion in both the physical and virtual worlds about the concept of identity and what "I" means in the metaverse.  This is a huge and important topic and one which, if we could ever figure out a useful and easy to understand vocabulary, helps ensure dialogue between those of us firmly ensconced in a pixel based life and those who distrust both us and the concept.

My thoughts this morning were with those watching clocks in every world counting down to a major surgical procedure in just one of them.  I also have the news on in the background and various parts of the world are undergoing massive change while my own slice of the planet is dealing with a significant loss.  The common theme in all of stories I'm following (from my perspective) is hope.  I am hoping for the best for everyone involved.

All of this combined in my admittedly odd brain and led to some tangential thoughts.  They are only partially formed but their impact on me is so strong that I'll voice them here just to quiet them long enough for me to contemplate the implications with more reason.  Maybe.

Rossers Landing II  (moderate)

I've noticed that the announcement of the death of a physical alt brings me real sorrow - even if I have had little or no interaction with them - and the knowledge that the typist behind an avatar is going through personal pain and difficulties affects me deeply.  I don't consider myself an overly emotional type of person and my reactions sometimes surprise me.

We've all witnessed an outpouring of support for individuals or groups represented by Second Life avatars - whether it's the efforts put forward to help a musician dealing with floods, a country devastated by nature, a large percentage of the population impacted by a fatal disease or one glorious talent threatened by an invasive tumour.  We've felt a personal connection to world events - uprisings, riots, war, elections and more - because we know individuals whose physical lives are impacted and we've felt closer to those events because those individuals are involved.  On occasion we can "witness" that involvement or feel closer to it because of parallel events inworld.  We also learn from each other about cultures and events and we're better for it.

Rossers Landing II  (moderate)

I believe the reason for the connection we feel, the sincerity of emotion, is that our sense of self is not the only thing at work in the metaverse.  Our sense of "You" and "Her" and "Him" is growing stronger all the time.  Individuals we would never encounter in our real lives are no longer faceless.  We know we're dealing with "persons" not cartoon characters and we're dealing with "persons" from around the globe - time zones become the only barrier to reaching out of our narrow corner of the physical and, since many of us apparently need little sleep, that barrier is often broken. 

We encounter positions and points of view based on life experiences we've never even tried to imagine.  Events and philosophies are no longer theoretical when we interact with somebody to whom they are personal.

Rossers Landing II  (moderate)

We get very frustrated with news reports that portray Second Life as an online source of porn and virtual sex and retaliate with stories about RFL and other initiatives to demonstrate the "good" that is done inworld.  It could be that the "good" being done is much subtler and much more important.

As intriguing as it is, the discussion concerning our sense of personal identity as it relates to an avatar may turn out to be secondary.  It just could be that our freedom to develop a sense and understanding of the "other" and the resulting impact on our capacity for empathy and compassion will be the real story of the virtual world.

I can only hope. :)

Rossers Landing II  (moderate)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Forgotten Toys, Tantrums & Killer Marbles in Second Life

Forgotten Toys  (moderate)

I know I don't usually return to the same locations - at least not without a significant period of time between blogging about them but today's a little different.  I returned to Per4mance MetaLES in part because I wanted to see Romy Nayar's follow-up to her amazing PaperMakis and in part to document a Viewer3Beta bug I've been fussing with for a (gulp) JIRA (Note: I subsequently discovered my observation is a known issue plaguing sim owners and it's being worked on).

Forgotten Toys  (moderate)

A young girl, like many young girls, has misplaced a number of her toys.  They're actually under her bed but of course she's not going to look in the obvious places.  Left to their own devices some of the toys are brooding and some have become ..... let's say mischievous - if you can call giant marbles being thrown from a great height simple mischief. :)

Forgotten Toys  (moderate)

The little girl in the top photo is huge.  To give you an idea of the scale of this creation, I'm not a short avatar but I'm shorter than the smallest portion of any of her fingers.  She's having a bit of a tantrum up there so be careful of those flailing legs if you decide to go up and console her.

A "trademark" of Romy's builds is that they're interactive.  So click on things and you might find yourself dancing with a spinning top or clinging to the back of a rocking horse.  Of course you might also trigger an avalanche of those marbles so consider yourself warned.

Forgotten Toys  (moderate)

I think some of the toys have been forgotten for a long time and the more time they remain "lost" the darker they appear to become.  This is a gorgeous build and it's possible that our interaction with the toys might help improve their mood.  It couldn't hurt.  :)

I took these photos with the black background to compensate for that little bug I mentioned.  You don't have to be afraid of the dark - dealing with these toys might be better in the daylight anyway but visit them you should!  :)

Forgotten Toys  (moderate)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Rusty Second Life & A New Toy for Mesh

NN City  (moderate)

I don't know what it is about rusted metal I find so aesthetically appealing but when I find it I have to start messing around with the camera and, apparently, share.  Combine the rust with derelict buildings, broken pavement and old boats and I have little resistance.  The only thing missing in NN City is some litter.  I'm sure some psychologists are salivating now but if it's a psychopathy it seems harmless enough.

NN City  (moderate)

Labelled a "grunge" industrial City, this destination has shops and at least one club but I spent my time, as usual, admiring the build.  Oddly though, for most of my visit the ocean was floating about 30m in the air.  When I have glitches they're at least interesting. :)

NN City  (moderate)

My desk and monitor are starting to disappear again under little yellow stickies with the names of sites I need to go visit.  I'll try and catch up in the days ahead but, in the meantime, if you want a cool industrial site to explore then I recommend NN City.  Maybe you could drop some trash here and there just to add to the air of authenticity. :)

NN City  (moderate)

Uccie, being the bleeding edge well informed individual that she is, pointed me the way to a new toy.  I haven't played with it yet but it looks interesting.  I don't know if it could be used to at least partially create mesh objects for the grid (and you'd really have to be careful about IP rights although I think trees and plants would be cool) but you do wind up with an .obj file so conversion would seem possible.  It might also be useful for machinima but I'll let you technical and artistic types figure it out.  Photofly: 3D Rendering Software is free though and that's a huge positive.  Check out their videos and maybe you'll come up with something really cool.

NN City  (moderate)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mesh, Smesh & a Soundtrack for Second Life

Smesh  (general)

I am really looking forward to mesh arriving officially on the grid.  I want them to wait until all the kinks are worked out and I recognize there will be hassles and a lack of satisfaction with prim equivalents, blah blah blah.  From my perspective though one huge advantage to those of us exploring will be the difference in rezzing mesh objects and sculpties.  Sculpties download as textures and so there's all this distortion and weirdness while you wait for things to appear properly.  It is one of my pet peeves - particularly at builds full of them - they usually look great once the image is stable but until then I try not to look.

Smesh  Noren Rang

I've been using the mesh beta to go visit the sandboxes where creators are experimenting and so far I'm very pleased.  Mesh objects either load instantly fully formed or "appear"  in front of me after a couple of seconds, again complete and intact.  I don't understand enough about it to know why some rez faster than others but it is a much better experience - at least for me.

Update:  I don't want to mislead you - these photos are not of mesh objects.  But the designers are, I know, preparing for the introduction of mesh and I liked the build.  To access the mesh sandboxes you must have the latest Beta version of the browser and you must join the group.  After that just type mesh into the map and you'll find all the sandboxes.  What you see on them will depend on who is working and what they have out.

The downside of the advent of mesh is that it is making me feel old.  It seems like a whole new "generation" of designers and builders is emerging - and apart from the instant aging imposed on me it's a good thing.  It will, however, make me much less inclined to build or display anything unless I think it's really really good.  :)

Smesh  (general)

This brings me to Smesh - an exciting build by two very talented designers, Noren Rang and Renn Yifu (who yes, made some of the new set of avatars available when you first register).  They sell mech avatars among other things and their store is actually a giant moving robot.  (see the map view of the homestead to understand the scale of this thing)

The textures and details on this build are superb and Noren assured me this morning they will be using as much mesh as possible once that functionality goes live.  Mesh will also be part of their products and, since I'm a big fan of their current work,  I'm really looking forward to the new pieces.

Smesh  (general)

All of which brings me to a bit of music.  I love this piece and it reminds me of Second Life in a lot of ways.  The image in the video makes me think of post apocalyptic landscapes, the sound and speed remind me of the changes and excitement of all the new creators and existing creators using new tools (a recent comment I saw said that Gabriela plays the guitar like she's invented a new instrument).  Mostly, though, I just like it.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Second Life has a Solemn Beauty in Ravens Mist

When Birds Fall  Katz Jupiter

Two sims full of art on a fantasy landscape, I couldn't resist. Ravens Mist is Katz Jupiter's gift to those who love to poke around and find great art in a completely unnatural setting - well it's unnatural if you think art has to be in a walled gallery or organized in nice neat display areas.  We on the grid know better and this is a wonderful place to explore.

The name of the group Katz has created will give you a hint of what's to be found.  Slightly Twisted is well named.  The plan is to change the exhibits regularly so, assuming you actually manage to see everything and feel like you're done, there will be a reason to return often.

The Hope Beyond the Door  Nessuno Myoo

Katz' own works are on display as well as many pieces by others.  This is a very large display area and will take time to explore and digest, each of the pieces I saw deserve attention and focus.

The art is solemn.  It's not depressing but the art I managed to have time to consider was serious and definitely not frivolous.  The pieces are beautiful but the subject matter is not light.   I did find hope only partially buried on a hill top - so I took that as a positive sign. :)  I recommend you go visit Ravens Mist - it's a very cool place to spend some quality time inworld.

Burning Monk Tribute  Luke Enoch

Now allow me to share something I learned about Viewer2 this weekend that you have probably already figured out. I admit I'm slow.  If you want to follow a slurl from a website, drag it down to the Second Life tab at the bottom of your screen - when the viewer opens drop the link onto the screen.  The map sidebar opens to that location and you can teleport.  Dragging and dropping slurl's is much easier than the alternative.  Try it with the Ravens Mist link and see what happens.  It makes me wonder how many other little things I've not discovered. 

The next shot isn't great but I thought at least one photo of a larger area should be included. :)

Ravens Mist  (moderate)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Attending SLCC 2011 Virtually in Second Life

SLCC Central Landing Point (general)

It's that time of year again.  The desperate search for matching socks and suitcases that actually close and "Will I really need my kazoo?" is being played out in a variety of geographical locations as physical world alts make their way to the annual Second Life Community Convention (official United States Convention mind you).

SLCC 2011 is taking place in San Francisco (well it's actually Oakland - I'm close though) but most of us won't be there.  Sure we'll miss the joy of meeting our friends and eating whatever they find at 2:00 in the morning to try and prevent the inevitable hangovers.  We won't be able to share the inside jokes or blackmail Zero with the photo of his new tattoo.  But - we won't have our luggage fall open in the hotel lobby showing everybody our selection of underwear (and providing great hints about the activities we've really planned for those off schedule hours), we won't have indigestion and we'll get some sleep (always high on my priority list).

The Hatch  Keynotes & General Sessions

The really good news is that we can attend the conference virtually.  Sessions will be streamed inworld for those who use Viewer 2.  Let me repeat that - you must use Viewer 2 to see the inworld streams.  I know people will still show up and wonder in chat why they can't see anything but at least I tried.  For you crazy rebels using that viewer Arnold built in his basement you can watch the sessions on the web.  I'm thinking that, since apparently nobody uses Viewer 2, us nobodies won't have to worry about lag. :)

Museum of Modern Art   Artistic & Creative Expression and Social Experience & Communities

There are a lot of sessions planned for the conference and 5 main venues inworld (there are also inworld "mixers").  The Hatch will hold the keynotes and general sessions - and, yes, Rodvik is scheduled for 1:00 pm slt on Saturday.  Multiple categories of breakout sessions give you lots of choice and, with any luck, will include discussions on topics dear to your heart.

Bradbury Building  Public Service & Education

I did a quick tour of the inworld sims hosting SLCC and you'll have no trouble finding things.  There are schedules and teleporters all over the place - there will be greeters to help you navigate if need be.

I plan to attend as many sessions as possible (and, no, not just because I hope to see hungover individuals in the physical audience).  I might learn something and in years past I've met some really cool people in the virtual audience.

Fanueil Hall  Commerce & Marketing

If you're feeling sorry for yourself because you won't experience the comradery of the real world venue do not despair.  You could plan to attend next year's event and in the meantime come join the rest of us inworld.  I'll tell you a little secret - something those in Oakland won't know.  The virtual attendees will wind up with as many inside jokes, shared knowledge and new friends as those we're envying and we get to eat our own food, sleep in our own beds and have a much faster trip home.  

So go study the schedule, decide what you want to see and plan your weekend.  I'm going to take care of any errands I might have to do now just so my time is free to join you.

Fox Theater  Developers & Open Source