Torley’s tips toned down

If you prefer information in a concise form, I’ve watched Torley Linden’s video “Tip of the week” so you don’t have to. Here in brief are the salient points of the first three weeks (with links to the videos on

  1. Turning off typing animation and sound
    • Ctrl-Alt-D (Opt-Ctrl-D on Mac) to open client menu. Go to Client>Debug settings. Type in “PlayTypingAnim” and set it to “FALSE.”
  2. Moving camera further and better
    • Disable camera constraints is an option under the Client menu (Ctrl-Alt-C). Alt-click and zoom will work at far greater distances from your avatar. This does not yet persist across sessions, but it will in a future release of the client.
    • Limit select distance is another option under the Client menu which will allow you to select objects at a distance.
    • Camera zoom time: Client menu>Debug Settings>ZoomTime will let you change how fast your camera changes position (for instance when you press ESC to bring the camera back to its default position) from a cinematic pan to instantaneous (0 seconds).
  3. Interface tricks
    • You can move minimized windows; the client will remember where they were when you closed them; they will snap to each other. The minimized edit window will show ghosted images of some of the edit buttons if you move it; this is a known bug.
    • Pie menu: If you right-click and hold, you can move over a slice and release to select the option.
    • You can close all windows using an option under the file menu or Ctrl-Shft-W (Cmd-Shft-W on Macs).
    • IM tabs: Alt-left arrow or Alt-right arrow to move across tabs (Option-arrow on Macs), or click and hold to scroll across; if you tab into the contacts tab, you will then be limited to tabbing between groups and friends.

I can’t recommend this book

And I was so excited about it: Designing Your Second Life: Techniques and inspiration for you to design your ideal parallel universe within the online community, Second Life by Rebecca Tapley.

The strengths of this book are exactly as the title suggests: design guidance and inspiration. It is not a how-to book—and Tapley is very clear about that. It does have a few step-by-step elements, but few are sufficient to actually accomplish the task described. The chapters that most directly address design elements are the best: chapter two, Designing Your Avatar; three, Designing Your Look; and eight: Designing Your Empire, although none are free of the flaws found throughout the book.

The biggest problem I have with the book is the errors. The second problem I have is misleading opinions. And thirdly, the editor, if there was one, did a terrible job. A few examples:


p. 15: “512 sq/m [sic] (the smallest possible parcel)” (16 m2 is the smallest possible parcel.)

p. 19: “You can buy mainland property, or part of a private island, or pay Linden Lab to create an entire private island to your specifications. However, you should add in the cost of upgrading your account from Basic to Premium if your Second Life account is currently free.” (No premium account is required to own land on a private sim.)

Opinions with which I take exception

p. 10: “So using the Search feature in-world is tremendously flexible, scalable, and responsive to whatever updates or other changes might happen to SL at large.” (I find it powerful but inelegant, difficult to use, and nothing if not undependable.)

p. 17: “Or you can also earn Lindens quickly and easily by just sitting in a chair, dancing on a disco pad, or filling out a survey.” (I guess it all depends on what you mean by “earn,” “quickly,” and “easily.” Not to mention that you’ll be reviled by most active, long-time residents.)

Bad editing

p. 15: see above (m2 or sq. m. would be correct.)
p. 16: “Second Life is three hundred and sixty degrees different.” (360º is facing back where you started; thus, not different at all.)

And that’s it for chapter one.

Over and over again she uses or introduces terms that have not been defined, or describes scenarios that, I believe, can only be understood if you’re already familiar with Second Life.

Considering the fact that her last chapter, about developing a full sim, takes a Gorean estate as its example, it is indeed bizarre that for nearly two-thirds of the book Tapley keeps referring to things as “naughty.” Finally, on page 122:

By now you’ve probably figured out that “naughtiness” is a synonym for that big elephant in the middle of the virtual living room: sex in Second Life. On the one hand, nobody’s able to really ignore it. Sex and sexual behavior are everywhere in SL. Yet on the other, many residents of SL feel strongly about having naughtiness sprung on them. They don’t want to see it, hear it, or be propositioned with it unless it’s their choice.

If you’re feeling nasty and catty and/or catch me when I’m feeling nasty and catty, I might share with you the rest of the dog-eared pages and marginal notes.

Tartan tools

Last night after the Radio Riel dance at the Rock Factory, the subject of tartans came up. Here are the online resources I’ve found for generating tartans (registered or created new).

Pissing and moaning

If you want to get a bad opinion of your fellow residents in Second Life, check out the impassioned comments on the official blog entry Removal of Ratings in Beta. What Linden Lab has to say is pretty straightforward, it seems to me:

As Second Life has grown, the ratings system has become less and less useful.

All I can say is “Amen” to that. Well, I could also ask “Was it ever useful? What on earth for?”

Go vote for Natalia

I use an RSS aggregator (Bloglines) to track quite a few SL blogs and websites. One of my favorites is Natalia’s Second Life Diary Blog. Natalia combines step-by-step tutorials (mostly female fashion), site-seeing, and delightfully low-key role-playing narrative. I encourage you to check it out.

And if you’re so inclined, vote for her in the Miss Second Life contest:

The Miss Second Life Finals is this Sun Feb 25, from 9:00am-11:00am SL/PST. If you are around a computer, please vote for me! The website is (The voting will be between 09:30am-10:30am SL/PST). Just select Rank 1st under my picture and click the Vote button. That’s it! You dont need to be in Second Life or even have a Second Life account to vote. But the votes *MUST* be cast between 9:30am-10:30am SL/PST to be counted! Thank you so much in advance! 🙂

From: Day 152: Redemption Through Shopping

Reflections in First Look

The First Look viewer, when water ripples are enabled, also creates reflections. Here’s an underwater shot of me, up towards the surface, where you can see my reflection distorted by the ripples in the water. Pretty cool.

First Look viewer

I’m using the First Look viewer, which is a test version of the SL client software that runs on the live grid (in contrast to test viewers that run on the beta grid). And it is great so far. Seems much faster and smoother.