Second Life Cats

One of the most popular pastimes in Second Life is caring for, feeding and breeding virtual animals. Over the years these animals have improved and developed and a whole community of Second Life breeders and traders has emerged.

KittyCatS! ™ are highly interactive cats that can be petted and cuddled. They will follow you and play with you. There are lots of breeds and sizes, including teacup, toy, petite, normal and MegaPuss. There are also special collection cats that will breed one unique baby. It is compelling and addictive and fascinating. http://kittycats.biz.

What is fascinating is the way in which these cats become real. When they are born an imprinting occurs and this sets the scene for reality to step in.

They become attached. They follow you and talk in local chat. They need feeding or they get sick, they sleep a lot. You give them affection, breed them and end up with baby cats. Their lineage is recorded. They develop a personality.

Great fun you should try it!

The SLurl for the shop is :

Visit the Main store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ScratchN%20Post%20Too/22/68/22

New Stall at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Just%20Too%20Adorable/149/170/22

The Book is at : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFRFR7G/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_E9xbtb119JPH8

Technology

taskmanager
The above graphic is the new Windows 8 Task Manager showing resources being used.  The increased activity is when I started Second Life.  Of note is the workings of the CPU which runs higher than its base clock speed of 3.4 GHz. This is the turbo facility.

My old computer broke, there was a fault on the RAM sockets and / or a fault on the power supply. It was 5 years old and I deemed it unfixable. It took a month of testing to find this out. I bought a tablet (ASUS) to keep me going while I got a new passport for financial ID purposes this took nearly two months. Then I ordered a new PC which took a week to arrive. It cost about the same as the computer I bought 5 years ago. However it was a third again faster in processor speed 3.4 GHz with a turbo boost to 3.9 GHz compared to 2.44 GHz on my old system. RAM increased from 4 gigs to 32 gigs. I als have a 256 gig SSD (Solid State Drive) and a 3TB hard disk drive. I also bought a new keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is solid, metal with rubber keys, very responsive. The mouse has four buttons and a tilt wheel all of which I haven’t worked out how to use yet. lol.  For more details go to Irish Secure .com

Technology booms.  I have a Windows smart phone  and an android tablet. And all this helps me to interact with the digital world I inhabit. I just installed Cortana on my Windows phone, a digital assistant, an attempt at AI. Does it very well too. Some years back I attempted to train Windows to accept voice commands. I then went on to assist a paraplegic who was 100% physically disabled to use voice. The training was beyond him. Windows phone however is remarkably accurate without training. There are no lengthy paragraphs to read in. However when i say “beta” I get a list of “pizza” restaurants.  Cortana isn’t available in the UK yet I changed the location of the phone to US.  The phone a Nokia Lumia 925 has a great camera. One feature I like very much is the ability to take panoramic shots like the one below:

bridgehouse Click on it to see full screen.

Below is a video of my work station taken with the phone:

 
All in all I am very 2014 and should stay a bit ahead of the crowd for some time to come . Hehehe 🙂
 

 

 

3 in 1

Having a hard time

I just spent all my savings on upgrading my computer, primarily so i could be up to date with Second Life. I upgraded to a 64 bit system with 8 gigs of RAM which is probably pretty standard now. Everything works fine EXCEPT SL. The system freezes after a few minutes. So I tried

1. Using recommended graphics drivers as per wiki : no difference. Tried different drivers …no good.
2. Spent hours testing RAM with no difference. Firestorm works with 4 gigs of RAM which makes having 64 bits pointless.
3. Reinstalled Windows and just installed FS, no difference.
4. Posted a jira to FS site no one has answered. This could take months.

Yesterday I spent hours researching, reading forums and posting to them. One thread decided it was my power supply that needed upgrading. Not doing that would mean dismantling the PC. This is very frustrating.

I am able to go into SL providing I have my graphics set to low. I managed to do my shift.

crashdude

I was crashing so much Siani created a body double for me. But this is not funny when it come down to it. My SL experience with low graphics is not good. All I can do is wait for the Jira response. It is very frustrating especially as everything is supposed to be better. Everything else on my computer works fine its just SL.

Not a happy bunny anyone got any ideas?

 

Update: The computer freezes on YouTube now. It must be the ram sockets on the motherboard.  I need a new PC.

Bite The Bullet

Yes I have to give up. I’ve tried everything to make 8 gigs of RAM work on my computer without success. People at Firestorm they have Jira where you can post your problems but I didn’t really get anywhere. I tried everything. I’m running 64 bit windows with 4 gigs of RAM and it works, for now. But I have lost confidence in it. My current system is over 5 years old, so it’s ready for replacement. So I’m going to buy a new PC.

Another Dell

Base is an XPS 8700 i7 – 4770 4th Gen 3.7 GHz, which can be overclocked to 3.9 GHz.

This is the current fastest processor around.

Memory 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz – 4 DIMMs can be expanded to 32 gigs

Video Card AMD Radeon HD R9 270 2GB GDDR5 I looked this card up and its pretty good, 2 gigs is good enough memory

(I’m keeping my monitor unless I decide to have two) I have decided to get a 27 inch monitor

Hard Drive 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive + Intel SRT 32GB SSD Cache 2 terabytes is good for these days, the solid state Cache speeds things up. I have 3 TB on my USB drives

It has lots of room for expansion. Cost €1,239 inc taxes and shipping

have to wait for new ID so can’t buy until the end of May

Tablet

My computer won’t run Second Life because there is a fault in the motherboard (RAM sockets). I am buying a new computer but don’t know when, it could be a month or it could be three. So I decided to buy a tablet. I chose from three and picked the one with the most powerful spec :

ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 ME173X …

ASUS MEMOPAD ME173X, MediaTek MT8125 CPU 1.2Ghz Quad-core, 1 Micro USB, 16GB Storage, 7″ HD Display (ME173X-1B018A)

One reason I chose the Asus was because my gf has an Asus laptop. A good name in computing.

It cost €125 and is a nice piece of tech. I bought from Elara in Ireland and got it in 4 days. Here is the first screen:

Screenshot_2014-05-25-06-26-13

The blue upside down triangle on the left is Lumiya, the sl client for tablets. Installation as with all tablet widgets was fast and easy. Once installed you have a settings page with some usual features like changing rendering , draw distance etc. Rendering is a bit slow but not too bad.

Screenshot_2014-05-25-06-46-20You have the option of 3D view like the above. You can also chat as below:

Screenshot_2014-05-25-10-31-10

This is fine but when you want to chat the keyboard takes up a lot of room:

 

Screenshot_2014-05-25-09-20-52

I have decided to get a Bluetooth keyboard..I did and its awesome. Little bigger than the 7 inch with carry case which is a magnetised to hold the keyboard so you can type upside down. It has holes for front and rear cameras. Battery life of 30 hours.The keyboard can be used free of the case. All for £25.

Overall its quite awesome and very usable. With practice it will do the job and I hosted with it for 4 hours. Not bad at all.

 

 

Tails From The Cat Shop

Great new book out from Storm! Must Read! Click on the picture to buy.

Fantasy meets Reality in Cyberspace, in a world where our online and offline experiences, friendships and even, our identities are excitingly entangled. Avatars are extensions of us, leading lives parallel to our own dull everyday existence. There are no limits to our Virtual Lives and we are free to live in any World we choose. Having a Virtual Life sets you free to dream and some dreams do come true.

Storm and Dude are partners. In spite of the fiercely opposing time zones, they meet and fall in love on the dance floor of the Junkyard Blues Club in the Virtual World of Second Life. They begin collecting breedable cats and their Second Life gets very crowded, so together they open Not Another Kitten, a Cat Shop in Cyberspace. Then the Cat Shop meets the University and both Worlds collide with laughter.

Meet the Divine Penny, the Italian-speaking Siamese cat, with the delicate chocolate paws, and find out if Professor Poppett’s poodle recovers from ‘indoor barking syndrome’. Go on an adventure in the alligator infested bayou to hunt for the Golden Kitten and find out why love always wins the day.

tails book

Quite an achievment. Started as a blog and became a book. Well done Storm very proud of you!


Heres the URL again : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFRFR7G

eCollege et al

eCollege.me is nearly ready. I have transferred it from WordPress to my Hostgator hosting account. This means I can set up sub domains and have email accounts. Currently the eCollege site auto directs to the blog. I love the design you can view it here. (my links always open a new window)

I have a problem.

einsteinlaughing

omgg.net  how can I worry with a picture like that on my page? My problem is this: I have too many domains and I need help. I have now registered 45 domains, all of which IMHO are great,  Really Great dot me  and Really Really Great dot com. I can manage them all but it is getting to the point where i have to start teaching others. My message is simple : Everyone should have an Internet address. I can teach HTML and how to set up a domain. I have a disability; I am bipolar, manic depressive in old jargon. There is now a strong movement for people with disabilities to access Internet technology. I can help with this.

I have skimmed The ICT  pdf on disability and inclusiveness for those with disabilities. Bit of my history, two points:

  1. During my first degree (B.Sc. (hons) Psychology) I visited a few large mental hospitals in the UK that were being closed and the patients released into the community. They were terrible places. Care in the community was to be the thing. I spent six months in an acute admissions ward of a psychiatric unit in a general hospital. Often patients were dragged in screaming and kicking and forcibly medicated. Some were given ECT.
  2. Michael was a young schizophrenic 6ft tall and built like a brick shithouse. He was admitted to psychiatric care because of his behaviour. He was released into the community without any support. He returned to our local housing estate and the local crack dealers were using him as muscle. They kept him supplied with crack cocaine. He went on to murder an ordinary person who was visiting the estate for no good reason. He killed him by stomping on the victims face who later died from facial injuries. I had to write a social enquiry report for the central criminal court (Old Bailey). Despite Michael being mentally ill I made sure he did NOT get a three year hospital order. He was too dangerous. He was sentenced to 18 years in a prison hospital. Care in the community did not work.

Being mentally ill is a disability and from my skimming of the report disability is mostly seen as being physical or as a mental defect. My target is the mentally ill, which is a permanent disability. There are several things I can do.

  1. Building our self-esteem is something most of us will have to work on all our lives. Most of us will never reach a stage in life where we feel 100% secure about ourselves. Certain events in our daily lives take a toll on our self-esteem, just like other events can make us feel better about ourselves. The Internet is a great medium for encouraging self esteem. Having an Internet identity can promote self esteem
  2. Skills can be taught like basic HTML and graphics.
  3. Having a blog can be a wonderful form of expression.
  4. I belong to the blues community in the virtual world of Second Life, it is a very caring community. I have blogged about it a lot and it is detailed in my briefing on Cybercommunities here. I believe it would help to overcome feelings of isolation.

This is my goal to target people suffering from a mental illness ( I an a qualified counsellor) . I can guide and teach all of the above. How am I going to do this? I’m not sure. I need advice and I will seek it from the RSA.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I just got my brain pickings Sunday report. Very interesting and I highly recommend you subscribe to it.

The Psychology of Getting Unstuck: How to Overcome the “OK Plateau” of Performance & Personal Growth

by

Statistics

My friend Seren (her blog is here) She has 35k readers,  She blogs about Second Life. I have a few thousand across all my blogs.  She celebrated her three years of blogging and I realised that I had been blogging for four years. There are some 71 million WordPress blogs . You can look at the stats here  All my links open a new page. Over 384 million people view more than 13.3 billion pages each month. This is just WordPress. Tumblr have 101 million with 44 billion blog posts.  The blogosphere is vast and very healthy. There are 62 million comments made each month on WordPress so this is by no means a passive medium. I am amazed at this. Never in the history of humankind has there been such vociferousness.

People blog about everything and anything. It is an easy communications medium; some specialise and some, like this blog, are general. All my main blogs are self hosted and the most popular set up earlier this year is eCollege.me people want to learn, especially online.  The statistics below refer to the USA which only represents a proportion of blogging. Other stats show a much higher proportion of women blogging.

State-of-Blogging-in-2012

Below is a report on Social Media 2012. Clicking on the link will take you to my scribd site, perhaps my most successful contribution to the vast library that is the Internet with over 80k reads. As you can see the link below is not an embed but just a link. This is a serious drawback of a free site rather than a self hosted WordPress site.

The Social Media Report 2012 by Philip Finlay-Bryan

Another site you should be aware of is Hyperconnectivity dot me I love doing research. 🙂 This site has a number of important points and well worth a glance with emphasis on the UK.

The message? You are here reading this blog. If you haven’t got one, get one its free. After you have wet your feet with a free site take the plunge and get a self hosted site it is far more sophisticated while being as easy to use. I will hold your hand if you need it through Personal Domains dot net. You can fill out the form below too.

 

Essential Free Graphics

One of my sites I am developing is called eCollege dot me. I have taken the post from there and duplicated it here as it has a few good points worth mentioning.  I am a wannabe artist. When I was at school many years ago I had a wonderful imagination but couldn’t draw a straight line to save my life. Even my stick men were misshapen. It came as a revelation that computers could draw straight lines for me.  I have said on my RavensKiss dot org  site that my computer is a window on the world where I spend most of my time and this is why I make videos to give others a chance to see what I see. On the eCollege site I will be offering hints and tips like the ones below. i do love playing with graphics I dunno if its art but it is creative. I live on disability so I cannot afford to buy programs but found through my trawling of the Internet that I don’t have to. I now run 46 gTLDS accumulated over the past year and at €10 per year each and my own hosting company………its a great hobby. Not interested in making money but I do like to be of use, I can nearly write whole sentences with my domains so please Useme.biz 🙂

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A good graphics program is essential. Photoshop is used by all professionals and I did a free online course where I learned the essentials. Photoshop CS2 is very old but available free of charge. I use it primarily to make backgrounds transparent. I have a green studio in Second Life (dot) com which makes it easy to make a background transparent. The whole process takes minutes.

hoverboardcs2

hoverboardcs2a

To make a background transparent use the magic wand to highlight the colour range then create a layer. Then go back to the main layer and cut the highlighted background. Save the file as a PNG which preserves the transparency. Once I have the image with the transparency I can add it to any picture I like.

hoverboard2csa

However for everyday work I use Expression Design because it is so much easier to use. You can produce excellent graphics and manipulate images. You can also import Photoshop. PNG files are great and hold transparency information. I use it to create text logos and signs. It is made by Microsoft as part of the Expression Studio. The latest version is free.

hoverboarding

You can get Expression Design here

If you need icons there is a good site here, Click on picture.

20-Flat-Icons-PSD

talk Because I am not very good at Photoshop and Expression Design is so easy to use I import the sheet of icons as a jpgtalk copy then cut out the ones i want. However you may want to get rid of the background so use Photoshop for that. All this takes minutes. It is worth spending time learning both Photoshop and Expression Design. A lot of my learning has taken place through experimentation.

To capture any image on your computer you can use “Print Screen” top right on your keyboard. If you want to be a bit more sophisticated download and install 4 Shared Shot . This enables you to have control over what you capture.

ecollege2

TIP: Be careful when you download and install some free programs. The only way they make money is to install add ons. These can be toolbars or set your search engine to one they get commission on. Always install using the Advanced option and deselect the add ons or search engine choice.

Of course Microsoft Word is a great graphics program too…..more later.

Next post HTML.

If you need a hand with anything do get in touch…..

Gems

I come across gems in second life. I think it is the blues community, nice thinking.My fav blogger is Serendipity Haven (serenhaven.wordpress.com)who writes little stories that are so informative and entertaining. Highly recommended. AND not just for second life users either. I have blogged about her before. Read her latest offering, its very informative.

camera2_001

Take my partner, she has an awesome job that keeps her very busy but she spends much of her spare time with me. In her “spare” time she is a poet and has her own site. JessikaJenvieve.com fabulous poetry. Heres one she wrote for me:

It is Best

You wanted a love song
I don’t have the words
Cordelia – like, I have nothing to say
but it is inside,
deep
somewhere
I just can’t put my finger on.

You want forever and I want you to tell me
the pain in my head won’t kill me.
I want you to make my tea and a cheese sandwich.
I don’t want words, I want silence.
There’s a tangle of lyrics out there
waiting for me to catch my foot in them.
Pick the wrong one and you will fire up again.

Say nothing, it is safe.
It is best.

For PFB

“I’m a mature socialite cougar 60 k living in millionaires paradise” she says on skype……Love her sense of humour. We get on so well and are partners in second life, the online community. We spend a lot of time chatting to a background of the blues. Here you can see us dancing. At the top right are private messages bottom left are local messages.

While hosting (a host manages the dj session greeting people and providing help like joining the group) I met a person who was fun to chat to, who I hadn’t met before. She too has a blog and this is what I found:

We seem to think that big events and weighty, important conversations make the bulk of a relationship. Yet .. it’s chatting of little nothings .. how spring air moves and caresses across the face .. picking dandelions and sending them off to seed other places .. or sharing two blades of grass with a friend and trying to make a blade-of-grass kazoo together.

Lobbing nonesense words and silly verses between us .. twirling and feinting at nothing .. nothing moments are what I miss.

If you are the very best of friends with me, I will fill you with letters of little nothings.

Her site which she hasn’t updated in a while is http://vixenquandry.wordpress.com/

One of the things people love to do is take photos in second life it is very photogenic. So here is a gallery a person I met in a European blues club. Name of Schlock who has a wonderful talking parrot called Clyde with, i would say, artificial intelligence!!!!

Heres the gallery, sorry missed Clyde but i sent Schlock an email coz he should have a blog!!

Then another person with a site http://www.deadmonkeysociety.org/writtenword/index.html the front page looks like this:

deadmonkeys

All this is just a taste of the variety of people that you meet in second life. It is a community of intelligent diverse people. Possibly it is the blues community as this is all i have experience of. I am still exploring and have lots to learn. I will have been in second life for a year. Yes I am addicted.

Its not a problem

hotstuffHere is a picture of my Storm Constantine  (aka Jessika) we have known each other for six months and we decided to partner. This means we have made a commitment to share and cherish each other. It may be likened to a marriage, the “ceremony” was an email and now we appear in each others profile. partner
There is a wonderful thing that happens in second life. You become one with your avatar and truly your avatar becomes an extension of yourself. when you join with another avatar like in a dance something magical happens. You begin to feel with your avatar. Holding your partner becomes as though you are holding a real person and in some ways you are. It feels real. You can get incredibly close to someone. It starts in chat. As in anywhere / place chatting to someone brings you close to that person. We have chat in secondlife. However how do you explain a kiss producing a physical response in real life? Second Life is awesome. I can only suggest you try it for yourself. If you need a decent avatar let Avatar Creations know and we will make you beautiful.

Community

The views expressed here are my own and are not representative of Junkyard Blues Club main site here

Strong relationships are formed in second life, the blues clubs are a sub culture. Music is a powerful aphrodisiac and people fall in love. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Some people cheat and do it with malice aforethought. Just as in “real life” there is cruelty. The following was posted in a friends profile:

As I was sitting in my cozy little shack, looking out over the water, I realized I needed to say something important. Those who know me understand the last few months have been a trial. Having both old and new friends shield me from the worst of the drama with humor and warmth has been awe inspiring. Bonding with other survivors, those who’ve also felt the pain of deceit and betrayal, some who I’m ashamed to say I’ve inadvertently helped to hurt the same way I was hurt, have still held out their hand in friendship and forgiveness. It’s a silver lining I didn’t expect. (13 people are mentioned) to name just a few, were the rocks I clung to, who sheltered me, for all this time. I don’t know how to repay your love and kindness other than to say I’m doing fine now. Your efforts have not been in vain. Thankyou so much for giving me the room and stability to heal.

As you can see those that have been wronged can and do get support because we are a caring community. Up until last week I was out of sorts and a friend asked me if I was ok, another thought I had a black cloud over my head (I did actually) and were concerned. There was no noticeable overt behaviour however people notice. I think the blues helps you to care. The blues is a powerful expression of life’s vagaries, its joys and heartbreaks. And brings solidarity through shared experience.

Sometimes its absolutely spiffing. Proud of our community.

Are you naked or are you wearing mesh?

buddhamedi

It came as a shock to me when I discovered what I was seeing on screen was not what others were seeing. I just don’t mean mesh. Not everyone is running at 1920 x 1080 most are on a laptop it seems. Then in the viewer you have settings from low through mid and high up to ultra with shadows. On top of this we have draw distance which will determine the background. In my circle these days nearly all can see mesh but this was not the case three months ago. It struck me that one of the reasons I made videos (311 on YouTube)  was because I wanted everyone to see what I was seeing in Glorious Wide Screen Technicolor® . Before we look at individual implications let us note something. Soul Mods. Given the vast area of accoutrements and textures available in second life one would be hard pressed to find lino. When I first visited Soul Mods and saw wine bottles on the dance floor I thought they were temporary. I also noticed less than half the available space was being used. It was cramped. BUT mes amies in the real world is not your favourite club a bit down at heels? a bit cramped BUT where you feel at home? If Soul Mods had a makeover that burn in the bar stool that you have picked at when you are feeling a bit down would be gone. BUT its not just familiarity it is Atmosphere. Buy that in Market Place. Capture that on video. Well maybe.

So : What is onscreen is not real, it is highly dependent on your equipment. Environment whether pleasing or not is mitigated by an intangible atmosphere. How then do I find you “pleasing” or them “agreeable”. So far I have been approached by women with the favourite pick up line “I love your profile” or “What an interesting profile” and I admit to doing it myself. However there have been numerous instances where after an hour or even several I have remarked “I must look at your profile”. The killer ap is Social Interaction. It has to be.

“yes darling, undo the hooks at the back. Now feel my soft silk panties around my suspender belt…….” so says the 50 something fat blowsy housewife, in curlers, dressed in housecoat and slippers, fag hanging out of her mouth, frying chips,  giving phone sex.

Reality is what I imagine it to be. On a physical level “Look at that Jade necklace” I am colour blind with shades of green.  If I am in a bad mood a smile is seen as a grimace, a good mood the child that drops ice cream on my trousers “a scallywag” . In second life as in real life we have two personae. One public one private. Then we have Seren my nemesis bete noir and mentor. her public face in second life does not equate with her public face in real life. So I’m fucked. Or am I? Put Madame Haven down in somewhere like a real Soul Mods with her mates and she would act EXACTLY the same.

Behaviour is dependent on the environment which is ultimately dependent on social interaction. AND how I perceive it. I think the perception thingy goes a bit further in second life. You may be a half naked blob but above your head it says “Dude”.

Call me, lets have phone sex (cough cough)