The Down and Dirty Truth on Lag and How You Can Improve Your Viewer’s Performance.

Been awhile since we covered this on the ZI Blog – So here goes for an UPDATE!

Much original credit to original posting:

The Second Life Wiki has a plethora of information for SL Residents — from answering frequently asked questions, to how to manage private regions, to improving viewer performance.

For those of you using the SL viewer, I thought I would share some good information that can be found in the Wiki regarding how to get the most out of your SL experience by a few tweaks of the viewer. The full article can be found by clicking here: How To Improve Viewer Performance.

Linden Lab suggests always maintaining your computer to run at it’s optimal performance. This can be achieved by following these simple steps:

• Routinely removing unwanted files and programs from the system.
• Defragmenting your disk drive regularly.
• Using anti-Malware software to remove spyware, virues, and other malware.

Follow the recommendations here to improve overall performance of Second Life and to address many common lag problems.

Another Important Maintenance Tip: CLEAN THE DUST FROM YOUR PC TOWER OR LAPTOP REGULARLY!

THE BASICS
• Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. (Click here: SL’s Minimum System Requirements). It’s best to exceed them to prevent bottlenecks, since they are the bare minimum required to run Second Life. A slower processor, older video card, or low memory can contribute to slow framerates.

• Make sure you have working drivers for your video card. Search the SL Forum for posts on your video card. The latest driver is not always the best.

• Make sure your firewalls are properly set up. Click on the following link for firewall information: Using Second Life with a firewall.

• Check to see if your hard drive light is showing a lot of activity. If it is, your system may be running low on memory and using hard drive swap space instead, which is significantly slower.

Based on statistics collected by Linden Lab:
• Make sure you are the latest Windows Release – do regular updates!

• If you are using Mac OSX, upgrade to 10.9 or better, always use the latest releases.

• Use a 64-bit version of Windows if you can.

Second Life Third Party Viewer Directory – we recommend Firestorm.

Important: Second Life allows but does not support wireless connections. Always use a hardwired connection if possible.

OPTIMIZE YOUR DISPLAY PREFERENCES
Optimize your preferences to help Second Life run more efficiently. Try the following:
• Choose Me > Preferences
• Click on the Graphics tab.
• Move the Quality and speed slider to Low.
• Click the Advanced button
• Move the settings on the Mesh detail sliders to “Mid” or “Low.”

In general to improve performance set the Draw Distance to 128m. Depending on the region you are in the SL environment may be overloading the render process. This is the number one cause of poor performance on high-end gaming rigs in SL.

Set the Avatar Complexity Information to 350k or lower. This setting will render 90+% of all SL avatars and engage the video crasher protection. Avatars over the maximum avatar complexity will appear in various colors “Jelly dolls” resembling giant gummy avatars, (NO this is not a joke)

Set your Max Bandwidth to 80% of your download speed or 1500, whichever is less. The tells the server how much ‘update’ data to throw at you. This controls ONLY the UDP protocol, which has no error correction. Lost packers are lost damaging performance.

Set avatar impostors at 12 or 14. This setting stops the viewer from fully rendering avatars further away from your avatar. It reduces the render load with little if any visible change in your scene.

If you are on a laptop, make sure your system is using the video chip. The chip pulls power and a laptop in power saving mode will turn off the chip and render everything by CPU.

Check the Speed for your CPU – SL Viewer performance is very sensitive to processor speed. Core speed is more important than the number of cores. CPU and memory speed can kill viewer performance.

Autoplaying your music and media can be very demanding on some PC equipment. Use manual play instead:
• Choose Me > Preferences > Sound & Media
• Deselect Allow Media to auto-play.

Review the rest of your preference settings disable any unused features:
• Choose Me > Preferences or press Ctrl-P).
• Try disabling settings such as Play typing animation, Name tags, and Arrow keys always move me.
• Even minor items can add up to significant improvements in performance.

The skin on your viewer can also cause lag – pink or red skins will be more visually demanding – always choose a simple skin.

For more information, click here: Setting your preferences.

DON’T DISPLAY EXTRANEOUS THINGS
Make sure your Viewer is not displaying unnecessary information that may reduce performance:
• Choose World > Show> Advanced Menu.
• Choose Advanced > Highlighting and Visibility.
• Select Hide Particles.

Also to improve performance by gettngn rid of visual noise:
• Choose World > Show
• Disable Property Lines and Land Owners.

 

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
If you followed the advice above and are still experiencing performance problems, try the following.
• Exit and restart Second Life. This often is enough to fix the problem.
• Clear the cache. The cache is where the Second Life Viewer stores data on your hard drive for later retrieval.
To clear the cache:
1)  Choose Me > Preferences.
2) Click the Advanced tab.
3) Click Clear Cache.
4) After you’re prompted, restart the Viewer.

FIRESTORM VIEWER EXPERTS RECOMMEND THAT USERS DO NOT CLEAR CACHE EXCEPT IN SPECIFIC SITUATIONS

Check the Lag Meter:
• Choose Advanced > Performance Tools > Lag Meter. The lag meter breaks lag down into Client, Network, and Server lag, with corresponding indicators for each lag type.
• Click >> to reveal descriptions and advice for solving any lag problems you are having.
• Try teleporting to a quieter area or one with fewer objects, to see if the situation improves.
• Disable antialising.

Check your Ping Sim and Packet Loss values:
• Choose Advanced > Performance Tools > Statistics Bar to open the STATISTICS window.
The ping values are the time (in milliseconds) it takes to reach the server from your computer. If this number is high, it could indicate a problem with your network or internet connection. If Packet Loss is a nonzero number, your network or ISP may be having issues. See Using the statistics bar for more information.

• Check to see if there is anything blocking your computer’s ventilation ports, and make sure all the fans are working properly. Laptops in particular can get quite hot when placed on a flat surface, so you may want to try propping yours on a stand to increase airflow, or consider buying a cooling device like a “chill mat or a laptop cooling mat”.

• Finally, if you’ve overclocked or made other modifications to your computer, disable them until you can attain stability. You can use tools like Prime95 to stress-test your computer independently of Second Life.

USING THE STATISTICS BAR

The statistics bar presents a detailed list of information about the performance of your computer and Second Life. While the sheer amount of information can be confusing, knowing what to look for can tell you a lot about what’s going on in Second Life. Below we will go over the most important aspects.

To view the Statistics Bar, choose Advanced > Performance Tools > Statistics Bar. Shortcut Keys: Control + Shift + 1

Basic (This is YOUR computer info not the simulator)

Displays basic information about your Second Life performance. Click on the word Basic to hide or display this panel.

FPS: The number of times per second your computer is redrawing(or refreshing) what’s on the screen. Higher numbers are better. A framerate between 15-30 frames per second (FPS) is about as smooth as broadcast television.

Bandwidth: How much data is being transferred between your computer and the Second Life world. This number varies wildly depending on what bandwidth settings you’ve used, where you are inworld, what’s going on, and whether you’re still loading some things (objects/textures/etc) that are in your field of view. If bandwidth is 0kbps, something may be wrong (you may be partially disconnected).

Packet Loss: The amount of data being lost as it travels between your computer and the server. Any nonzero packet loss is bad; packetloss above 10% is very bad. Packet loss might be caused by a dying server (in which case everyone in the region would be experiencing it), a bad connection between you and Second Life (possibly a bad router between your ISP and Second Life, or congestion at your ISP), or problems on your local network (wireless networking, or internet security or firewall software on your computer).

Ping Sim: How long it takes data to go from your computer to the region you’re currently in. This is largely dependent on your connection to the Internet. If Ping Sim is high but Ping User is not, the server might be having problems.

Simulator (This is the info for the simulator you are on!)

Displays statistics for the region (simulator) you’re currently in. Click on the word Simulator to hide or display this panel.

NOTE: an “agent” is either a user in a given region (a “main agent”) or a user in a neighboring region (a “child agent”). Any user who can see objects inside a simulator region increases the load on that simulator. The nominal values below are for simulators running on a single simulator per CPU. On other simulators (such as water simulators), these number will be different.

  • Time Dilation – The physics simulation rate relative to realtime. 1.0 means that the simulator is running at full speed; 0.5 means that physics are running at half-speed.
  • Sim FPS – The simulator frame rate. This should now always be the same as the physics frame rate — 45.0 when things are running well.
  • Physics FPS – The frame rate at which the physics engine is running. This should normally be at or near 45.0.
  • Agent Updates/Sec – The rate at which agents on this simulator are being updated. Normally 20 updates a second, this will decrease if the simulator has a large number of agents on it.
  • Main Agents – The number of agents (users) who are on this simulator.
  • Child Agents – The number of agents who are not on this simulator, but can see it.
  • Objects – The total number of primitives on the simulator. This value does not include primitives being worn as attachments.
  • Active Objects – The number of objects containing active scripts on the simulator. This value does not include scripts inside attachments, unless the attachment wearer is sitting on a scripted object.
  • Active Scripts – The number of running scripts that are currently on the simulator, including scripts attached to agents and objects.
  • Script Perf – Number of LSL opcodes being executed a second by the simulator. Note that this is the number of ACTUAL instructions executed in the last second, not the theoretical maximum opcodes/second. If your simulator is not running very many scripts, this number will be low even if performance is good.
  • Packets In – UDP packets being received by the simulator.
  • Packets Out – UDP packets being sent by the simulator.
  • Pending Downloads – Number of asset downloads to the simulator that are pending. If this is greater than 1, this means that you may see delays in viewing notecards or scripts, and rezzing objects.
  • Pending Uploads – Number of current uploads of asset data pending. If this number is non-zero, this means that there may be performance issues when attempting to teleport.
  • Total Unacked Bytes – The size of the reliable packet data sitting on the server waiting to be acknowledged. A large number may indicate a thin pipe or other possible problems between the viewer and the sim.

Time

The following are the different times listed in the Time section of the Statistics bar. Click Time to hide or display this panel.

  • Total Frame Time – The sum of all time values listed below it, this measures how much time it takes the simulator to run everything that the simulator is trying to do each frame.
    • < 22 ms – The simulator is healthy, everything is running as fast as it can, and more scripts can be added without reducing the performance of individual scripts.
    • approx. 22 ms – The simulator is healthy, but there are probably a lot of scripts and agents on the simulator, meaning that script execution is being slowed down in order to maintain the simulator frame rate.
    • > 22 ms – The simulator is experiencing severe load, either due to physics or a large number of agents, such that even by slowing down script execution it is impossible to compensate. The simulator frame rate has been reduced as a result.
  • Net Time – The amount of time spent responding to incoming network data.
  • Sim Time (Physics) – The amount of time that frame spent running physics simulations. In general, this should be less than 5 milliseconds.
  • Sim Time (Other) – The amount of time that frame spent running other simulations (agent movement, weather simulation, etc.)
  • Agent Time – The amount of time spent updating and transmitting object data to the agents.
  • Images Time – The amount of time spent updating and transmitting image data to the agents.
  • Script Time – The amount of time spent running scripts.

Please keep in mind that some of these tweaks may improve performance (i.e. reduce crashing, reduce lag, etc.) but they also may affect the visual look of Second Life. By lowering graphics settings, turning off antialiasing, etc. it will affect the quality. You will trade performance for sharp visual quality. Play with the settings until you can get a balance of performance and visual appeal.

FIRESTORM VIEWER USERS: I strongly recommend joining the in-world Firestorm Users Group. There, you can get instant online help from FS staff as well as users. Also they frequently hold in-world classes on the viewer. I highly recommend these classes. They are extremely helpful.

New Monthly Credit Process Limits Announced By Linden Labs

In case you missed it, Linden Labs announced that they were changing the LindeX billing & trading limits to help alleviate the potential for fraud back in December of 2016. Well, that time has now arrived!

The ability to purchase and “cash out” Lindens has been a big benefit to many of our fellow Second Lifers, especially those who have been able to establish thriving businesses in world. In a sense, having these regulations helps keep that benefit secured and streamlined for those of us who use it often.

The new limits are:

LindeX L$ Buy Limit (24 hr):                US $1999.00

LindeX L$ Buy Limit (30 days):            US $1999.00

LindeX L$ Sell Limit (24 hr):                 US $1999.00

LindeX L$ Sell Limit (30 days):            US $1999.00

US$ Process Credit (24 hr):                   US $999.00

US$ Process Credit (30 days):               US $999.00

 

You are able to see where you stand within those new limits at any time by logging into your account and going here.

While this may not affect many folks, this can especially impact those who generally work with a lot of L’s each month with Process Credits and may exceed those thresholds. You are able to request a case-by-case review of an increase if these limits don’t suit your needs by going here. So, it’s certainly not the end of the world for high-volume Linden earners and consumers, but just another way Linden Labs is making sure that they’re enforcing financially responsible measures!

 

Bria Oceanside

ZoHa Blogger/Social Media

11 Ways to Make Money in Second Life

These days there is plenty to buy in Second Life as creators continue to extend their talents, providing an incredible array of options to decorate our space and dress our avatar. However, its understandable that at times it can be a bit difficult to support this hobby, and we may not be able to become as immersed as we want.

The beauty of Second Life is that it is based on its very own economy, which means there are plenty of ways to make money on Second Life so that you never have to upload a single dollar again. Don’t be fooled! Just like real life, earning Lindens takes some hard work and investment. But if you’re dedicated, you can build an empire.

Become a CSR

If you have time to spare and are looking for a job, many creators in Second Life rely on Customer Service Representatives to help run their brand. If you think you’d enjoy fielding questions and helping people navigate a store or how to buy an object, CSR may be a good position. These jobs often require set working hours, but allow you to go about your SL and simply take requests through IM. Some may require that you be in store to greet people as they come by.

Blog

Bloggers make money through Sponsors. The most popular kind of blogging is fashion blogging, or taking a picture of what you’re wearing and sharing with your audience. The same can be done with decorating. Creators of the items you feature may sponsor your blog in the form of free items or Lindens for promoting their items. The more popular your blog is, the better chance it has to get sponsored – so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while for your first sponsorship to roll along. This can take a while! Blogs are free to start through WordPress.com, Blogger.com, or Tumblr.com.

Use your Talents

Can you sing? Play an instrument? Maybe you are an excellent painter, or perhaps you love to dance. All of these talents can be expressed through Second Life, and turn into Lindens! For example, you can host your own shows to sing or play music through voice. You can play for tips! As a painter or illustrator, you can upload pictures or copies to sell as well. (Be mindful of Linden Lab’s policy on what you upload.) And if you love to dance, you can choreograph a set of animations for your avatar and record them to play along with music – a real recital in second life! Acting can be done in just the same way. These are just a few examples, the possibilities are truly unlimited and you can make money from all of them!

Open a store!

If you have a talent for texturing or 3D modeling, this is the best way to make money. Fortunately, if you’re not a master at 3D modeling software, many creators make full permission mesh templates for those who want to make a store. You only have to create a unique texture for your object and can sell it under your own brand! Unique mesh is the best way to go, but for those just getting started, there are plenty of options. And mesh isn’t the only thing you can sell. Skins, scripts, and even nail polish are some examples of non mesh things to create a store around.

Resell Gachas

If gachas are your addiction, there’s hope for you yet. The objective is to get into popular Gacha events such as The Arcade and Epiphany when the event first opens (within the first 48 hours is best). If you have a feel for which objects will be most popular, pull for them and start collecting your inventory. You can rent a booth at popular gacha malls to set out your items at a higher rate, or you can put them on the Second Life Marketplace. If you set them out early, you’ll be able to make more Lindens because demand will be high. After a while your items will be harder to sell, but you can still make a profit with each event! All it takes is a little investment and time.

Photography

Everyone needs a good profile picture, and not everyone knows how to make them! If this is something you are good at, you can commission your work for Lindens. Start by creating a portfolio of your photographs from Second Life on flickr.com. Then you’ll have something to show the people who you’re advertising to. You can either use windlights to manipulate photography within second life, or export your photo and paint on top of it for a more advanced look. Both are in high demand and can bring in good money!

Create an Experience

If you’ve had an idea for a theme park, haunted house, game, club, or interactive story, its likely that this will be a popular attraction for others. This of course takes a lot of planning, investment, and tools to create. It is something that many users have worked for years to achieve! But people like Bryn Oh and Madpea Games have been successful at creating widely popular attractions that bring in lots of money through admission and donations. If its your dream to be a storyteller or an attraction owner, Second Life may offer the outlet you’ve been waiting for.

DJ or Host

Clubs are popular hangout spots in Second Life – perhaps the most popular! Clubs need good music for people to enjoy the atmosphere, and hosts to engage the group and keep conversation flowing! DJs require a bit more technical skill and a good knowledge of music that people enjoy to be successful. If you think you’d be good at streaming music, there are plenty of opportunities. And always openings for hosts! Inquire at your favorite club about positions they might have, and look around at lesser known clubs to build up your resume.

Rent your Land

While a big initial investment, buying and renting land has been a popular way of making money in Second Life from the very beginning. If you acquire a sim from Zoha, the best way to do this is to create a beautiful Sim that people want to live in. This can be a neighborhood, a town, or even a tropical beach with a number of cabanas! You can set rent at an increased price since you are offering a fully landscaped sim, perhaps with a structure already in place. Create enough rentals that it adds up to a profitable income, but not enough that your tenants feel crowded. The more real estate you can offer them, the more interest you’ll have. While it takes time and effort to keep your tenants happy, you will be able to make a profit each month.

Decorate or Landscape

If you’ve got a large inventory and a knack for making it all look good, then people will pay good money to have you decorate their spaces for them. You’ll want to have a collection of items with the ‘copy’ permission, so you can place one on their land without losing it from your inventory completely. Many decorators charge by the size of the space they’re decorating, or how many prims they are expected to put down. If you keep a photographic portfolio of all of your clients, soon your book will be full and the Lindens will come rolling in!

Event Planner

A Second Life event planner does exactly the same things as a real life event planner would. Your clientele include people planning weddings, birthdays, baby showers, galas, and other events or surprises! Its your job to pick the venue, make sure its decorated and that everything from the music, to the ceremony steps, to the invites are taken care of and ready to go. This can be a big job, so its a great way to make money if you are good at organization! However at some point you may need a staff, so this can become a real business if that’s what you are looking for!

 


 

Making money in Second Life can be as simple as choosing what you’re good at and using Second Life as an outlet to explore things you want to be good at. Ask youself, if I could do anything in the real world as a job, what would it be? Maybe there is an opportunity in Second Life, and maybe you’ll make something Second Life has never seen before!

Good Luck!

Delilah Greyson (amoralie.triellis)
ZoHa Islands Blogger

How to Install New Windlights & 5 Packs to Download!

Photo Credit : Naminaeko

For anyone who is even casually a photographer in Second Life, you know that windlights are what make the beautiful shadows, delicate glows, or bold contrast in a virtual photo. As Linden Labs explains in their wiki:

WindLight is the codename for Second Life’s atmospheric rendering system that enhances skies, lighting, and other graphical aspects of the environment.

Our viewers come packed with a good number of ‘out of the box’ windlights we can use and tweak. The easiest way to change these on a whim is to go to World > Environment Editor > Environment Settings > check Customize my Environment > and play with the ‘Fixed Sky’ dropdown. To make your own windlight, you can open up Phototools and play around with the settings until it fits the mood you’re after.

However, many of us don’t have the time necessary to painstakingly alter the many sliders that make up a perfect windlight. Why not leave it to the professionals? Luckily, we can install windlights from users who have gotten them down to a science.

Where to Download

We’ve picked 5 places with professional packs of windlights to download. To begin, just download the one’s that you like to a folder on your desktop. We’ll go over the rest in the next section!

  • Strawberry Singh – This page lists a number of different packs of Strawberry’s. Many to choose from!
  • Naminaeko – For download are both 2015 and 2017 packs of windlights.
  • Magick Thoughts – Magick even includes some water windlights which change the color & reflectiveness of SL water!
  • Shaedynlee – Not only are there windlights for download, but she explains how to create windlights of your own!
  • Steffy Ghost – Four whimsical and delicate windlights for a feminine feel.

How to Install

  1. First, shut down Second Life
  2. Unpack the zip files that you downloaded and get them ready in one folder.
  3. Drag your unzipped windlights into one of these folders: ** NOTE : If you are not using the Second Life viewer, you will need to replace the part in the filepath that says ‘Second Life’ with the viewer you are using.

Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\SecondLife\user_settings\windlight\skies

Windows Vista & 7 – C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\user_settings\windlight\skies
or
C:\Program Files\SecondLifeViewer\app_settings\windlight\skies

Mac – use Go menu > Go to Folder and paste in: ~/Library/Application Support/SecondLife/user_settings/windlight/skies

That’s it! You’ll be able to open Second Life and see your windlights ready to use. Credit goes to Strawberry Singh for instructions and file paths.

 


 

Delilah Greyson (amoralie.triellis)
ZoHa Islands Blogger

Social Media for Second Life – Finding Your Virtual Social Circle

If you’ve ever found yourself bored and idling within Second Life, you’ve likely realized (with much frustration) how difficult it can be to find friends or people with similar interests by simply hopping from grid to grid.

With social interactions at the center of this virtual world, it’s a wonder that making connections is so difficult. Second Life’s interface based attempt at connecting the world is a destination guide, which lets you browse popular places and easily teleport to those which are currently populated. This list is full of dance clubs and beautiful vistas – but leave out the ‘niche’ communities where many of us find our homes and communities.

That’s where social media comes in. External social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter make connecting easier by letting us view a window into people around the grid via updates and information publicly shared. No need to worry about privacy concerns! Second Life social media users use their avatar’s name and photos to make accounts just like they would with their real life identity.

Of course, social media doesn’t take away the fear of having to make that first step at communication. It does give us many more opportunities to find people to talk to, places to go, brand new releases, and breaking news – something you just can’t find in world!

Ready to explore Second Life like you’ve never seen it before? Let’s see where people are talking…

Facebook

The most widely used social media platform is Facebook because of its ability to easily find and connect with other Second Life user and businesses.

A large amount of clothing stores, venues, events, and clubs have created pages for following which allows users to keep up to date with things that are happening now in world. If you’re ever bored, within a few scrolls you’ll see the release of a new item to check out – or a link to a blog post that features a new location to explore. Of course… messaging a new friend is only ONE click away. (Don’t be shy!)

Facebook is essentially the largest external hub of information from businesses and users alike. It’s a place to share art, exciting personal achievements, ask questions about how to do things within Second Life, post pictures of the avatar you’ve worked hard on, and keep up with old friends. With everyone sharing their stories, you’re bound to find a few that were meant to fit perfectly with yours.

Check out the Zoha Islands facebook page to see what it’s all about!

Disclaimer : One slight hiccup – Facebook does NOT condone the creation of accounts that are not your real life identity. Your account can be reported and removed for using your Second Life identity. While this fact is widely known, people still continue to use the platform and re-make accounts after they’ve been deleted simply because at the moment is the best social media platform for Second Life! The only way to stay ‘safe’ is to use your real life name. It is not mandatory (most people don’t) but advised to stay away from being reported.

Onlinker

In reaction to the accounts that were getting reported on Facebook, a new social media platform especially for Second Life avatars was created. Their mission statement reads…

OnLinker.com is safe and friendly social network for Second Life users. Make new friends, find romantic connections, share your photos, create events, write blogs and much more… all for free, and without the possibility of being banned for being ‘not real’. Because at OnLinker, Second Life is our focus.

With much of the same features as Facebook, OnLinker looks to be a promising source for social connections outside of Second Life. It is fairly new, so users are still migrating from Facebook and still using Facebook more heavily. But in anticipation for a harder crackdown on fake accounts in the future, it’s advised to hold an account here and start supporting OnLinker as your main social media platform.

Flickr

If you’re more interested in ‘viewing’ second life happenings rather than being an active social member, Flickr holds a large collection of photographs and artwork from Second Life users (at a much higher resolution than Facebook!). Stores and businesses also post photos of their latest happenings, so you can always stay up to date. Join groups within Flickr to become a member of your favorite communities!

Many contributors to Flicker post a link to their blog in the description of their photo. Bloggers tend to detail out which items they are wearing in their photograph, and sometimes give you the location of the shoot as well. This is a great way to find new things and get a feel for popular spots within Second Life! Its against Flickr’s policies to allow users to post directly to a money making source – so you won’t find MP links, but that’s what blogs are for!

Zoha Islands posts pictures on our Flickr page!

Twitter

Twitter is popular for 140 character updates that are published as quick quips or thoughts. Many people use twitter to share their photos or blog posts, and some use it just to think out loud.

While not the most popular of the social medias for Second Life, it can be useful for short attention spans and getting out streams of thoughts. It’s all about what resonates with how you take in information, and some people are just #TeamTwitter over Facebook!

Check out the Zoha Islands Twitter page to get a feel!

Plurk

Plurk is most similar to Twitter, and it’s more ‘Second Life focused’ companion. (Much like Onlinker is to Facebook).

It does have quite a few differences than Twitter while its the same in essence. The timeline scrolls horizontally rather than vertically, and posts can be much longer than 140 characters. Users are given a karma score so you can easily see who is active and weed out people who aren’t. It’s similar to Facebook in that people can respond to your posts and start a conversation.

Unique to Plurk is that you can post anonymously and people can still respond to your post – so you can get your feelings out while hiding.. And still remaining social!

We’ve got a Plurk too! Check the Zoha Islands Plurk Page.


While not a comprehensive list of all of the specialized platforms on which we can meet people, these social media sites can be a great help to finding like-minded communities and and events. They all work towards the goal of bringing us closer in world, and can enrich our Second Live’s through a deeper connection and capacity for immersion.

There’s something for everyone within Second Life – I hope these outlets help you find yours!

Delilah Greyson (amoralie.triellis)
ZoHa Islands Blogger

The Master Plan to Organize your SL Inventory and Keep it Clean!

One of the most difficult features for both newbies and veterans of Second Life to manage is the hard to navigate and terribly messy inventory system. Folders upon folders of outdated products, duplicates, lost items, and things you completely forgot you purchased are all hidden somewhere in the depths of folders you’ve accumulated over time.

But don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be a scary endeavor to manage. We’ve gathered some guidelines and secret tips to get your inventory freshened up and easy to navigate!

New year, new inventory. Find a sandbox, hop on your pose stand, and let’s get started!

** Note, we’ll be demonstrating these tips using Firestorm Viewer 5.0.1.52150 – your interface may look different, but the tips should still be applicable for many versions and viewers!

Create the Basic Folders

Start by outlining the basic structure of items you have. To begin, don’t get too detailed! Reorganize your items into their very general folder, then you can go back into each folder and make sub-categories later on.

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Body
  • Hair
  • Decorations
  • Furniture
  • Buildings & Structures
  • Animals
  • Cars & Riders
  • Textures
  • Poses
  • Animations & Dances
  • Holiday
  • Games
  • Scripts

Everyone’s inventory is very different. You’ll be able to customize this outline specific to you – and you’ll most certainly be adding folders as you go!

Again, make sure at this step you are only making the very general folders, then going back into each folder later to organize them further. This will help make a big task not so daunting to start!

Delete the Demos

Before you get started, do a quick inventory search for ‘DEMO’. Delete any demo folders and objects that may be hanging around – you can always go get another one for free if you really did need it! But chances are, they’re just taking up space.

Unpack Your Received Items  (& delete the boxes they came in!)

The first step I like to take before doing the real organizing is to empty the packages out of my ‘Received Objects’ folder. 9 times out of 10 when you purchase an item, the designer will send you a folder with one box. That box has the real goodies inside and is meant to be unpacked. Sometimes we unpack the item and forget to delete the folder and box it came in.

Go through your received items and see if you have any folders you already unpacked but forgot to delete. If you’re not sure, unpack it again. You can always delete the duplicates later.

If you find a Received Item that is not packaged and already unpacked within the folder, you can move that to one of your main folders now.

Unpack your Objects (& delete the boxes they came in!)

Once your received items folder is empty, we can move onto the Objects folder! This folder is also one of the places that unpacked items you purchase can end up. You can delete boxes here that you’ve already unpacked, or unpack them again to be sure.

You will have a lot of items in here that are not in a box. For instance if you picked up an item from a Gacha Mall that was already unpacked, it will end up here. We of course don’t want to delete the goodies, so place these items into the folders they belong in.

Woohoo! Another clean folder. We’re getting closer to being able to easily navigate our inventory.

Linked (Lost) Items

Looking for an item you SWEAR you had and know the name of, but can’t find for the life of you?

If you’ve ever accidentally forgot to pay rent and had your items sent back to you in a big cluster, you may have some items in your inventory that have a grid cube next to them like this:

This is because you either picked up a bunch of items together, or someone returned items to you all at once in a group. Find a big open sandbox and rez this item. Everything will be rezzed just the way it was picked up, and one by one you can pick up those objects and they’ll be returned to where they belong.

There’s that platter of burritos I’ve been looking for…

Drag & Drop!

Now you’re ready for the big task, getting all of your objects and folders into their main category.

Personally, for a single item within a folder, I like to take out the item and delete the folder it came in. This just reduces the number of clicks to get me to what I want and removes all of the note cards and landmarks I have a thousand of.

Below are a couple of tips to help you do this…

Multiple Inventory Windows

After 8 years in SL I finally discovered this life saving inventory tip. Two inventory windows to drag and drop items from side to side.

Open up your inventory tab, and in the bottom left corner click on the gear. Choose ‘New Inventory Window’ – and viola!

You now have two inventory windows to work with. I like to use one to keep open the folder I am working with, for instance ‘Shoes’. Then in the other, I search for all of the shoes I have to drag into the other window. Such a time and frustration saver!

Filter by Type

Useful for finding all of your Animations, Gestures, Landmarks, Scripts, ect is the filtering feature. In your inventory window click on the gear in the bottom left corner. Then click on ‘Show Filters…’. Here you can only click the checkbox of the item you want to find, for instance Gestures. Then, drag all of your gestures into the gestures folder to make digging around for them a whole lot easier!

In this example, I would go through and delete all of the baghold animations as well. A good touch to a purchase! But I don’t need those anymore..

Delete those Pesky Duplicates

When an item is copy, you may find yourself placing and picking up multiple versions.

The item you want to keep is the one that is simply (transfer) delete all of the (no modify) (no transfer) items. You will still have a copy you can place a thousand times!

A good habit to get into is deleting copy items that you want to remove from your sim rather than picking them back up. You will still have the main item in inventory, but you don’t need more than that!

Delete Unneeded Sizes

Never going to use that size XXXXXS that your sweater came in? Delete it! Keep the one, or ones that you will use. This will help you know exactly which one to attach the next time you go to wear it! And remember, if you end up needing another size down the line, you can always redeliver.

Resist the Hoarding Temptation

If you don’t know what an item is, rez it or try it on. If it’s hideous and you would never want your friends to see it… it’s time to say goodbye.

Yes, I mean to that beautiful prim dress you purchased in the summer of 2010 and haven’t tried on since. You can do it, be strong.

Sub Category Organizing

Once you’ve finished organizing all of your items and folders into their main folder, you can go back in and organize them further if you wish. An example would be:

  • Hair
    • Short
    • Long
    • Updo
    • Occasion

Or

  • Hair
    • Blonde
      • Short
      • Long
      • Updo
      • Occasion
    • Brunette
    • Black
    • Red
    • Pastel

Make this specific to your items and inventory – organize however you want!

Upkeep

Now that the hard work is done and you’ve got a squeaky clean inventory, make sure to keep it clean by:

  • Deleting the boxes and folders that you’re goodies came in
  • Deleting demos after you’ve tried them out
  • Organizing into your main folders as often as possible
  • Unpacking linked/lost items as soon as  you see them
  • Deleting copies rather than keeping multiple
  • Deleting sizes of clothing you’ll never use
  • Deleting old outdated items that you’ll never use again

Managing your inventory may seem like a daunting task, but the time it will take you to do it will save you just as much when you go looking for that item you have in mind!

Take it in small steps and work on it day by day. You may just find some hidden treasures you forgot about along the way!

Good luck!

Delilah Greyson (amoralie.triellis)
ZoHa Islands Blogger