Reading Attachments from Second Life Post Cards

January 16, 2010

For a good part of tonight, I’ve been working on yet another idea. I wanted to be able to read email. Specifically, I wanted to grab email that I send through the snapshots and post the content and picture to my wordpress blog. Tonight, I figured it out.

I originally tried to use the methods in PHP provided for IMAP, POP3, and NNTP. I quickly found out that my GoDaddy account does not provide this library. I was stuck with finding an alternative. After some searching on the Internet, I later found out about a PHP Class to read email via POP3. The demonstration files only provided a way to access email messages, and not the attachments themselves. Even worse, the multiple content types that the message came in that I needed to read was not that easy to read.

I did a lot of tests and soon discovered how to identify different parts of content within the same email message. Email is litterally composed of a web page and many embedded images. I also learned how to decode (base64) data as I save it to the local file system. It’s very ugly code that I have written out, but I am sure that I’ll be able to clean it up.

The future is pretty bright for the capabilities that this offers. For starters, I can allow people the option to send snapshots to an email address to be used for products. Why save first before uploading to the site, when you can go direct?

The big one though, is for blogging. I originally started my blog with a watch hooked into slbuzz. I could only post text messages, and I had to say them out loud. I later switched over to blogHUD, which let me write note cards and drop them in to be posted. (No more talking to myself). Later, blogHUD also provided an email address that I could send snapshots to, that was also cross-posted to my wordpress blog. I’ve been using blogHUD for years, but I’ve had problems from time to time.

  • blogHUD logo on my images.
  • Can’t customize templates of posts
  • No SLurl on the posts themselves (everything leads back to blogHUD).
  • Doesn’t always work. (I have hundres of posts that never made it to wordpress)
  • Somtimes posts the same image more than once.
  • Breaks long links
  • Doesn’t make use of categories or tagging.

With the ability to parse email, I am able to gain control over my own content. I can even add my own watermarks if I like. I’m even thinking about better control with sending content to directly through their API.

I’ve tried going down this avenue many times before, but kept getting stuck at reading multi-part form data and finding libraries that would support it. Without this class to read email, I may still have been stuck.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Applewood using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

The Comment Box

January 10, 2010

The comment box was perhaps one of my first big projects in Second Life. The earliest copy that I have in my inventory is from January 1st, 2006. I was making something that could hold notes from visitors and let people see the titles.

Over the years, the comment box has had many changes and updates. Zakk Starr asked me if I had any updates since version 1.9 that he got a few years ago. I handed him a copy of 1.13. I was curious myself and took a look at the newer version.

Oddly enough, I was unfamiliar with a ton of new features that I had put into it. This feeling is the same with most projects that I work on in real life and the virtual world. I move onto so many things very quickly that I forget what I have done.

It’s now smaller in height, but anyone can resize it. The newest model only uses 3 prims instead of 7. Two of them are sculpties. You can choose different textures for the box itself that change both the text and color. A technique has been used so that each individual texture actually contains 16 images, so there is one texture for each color, but all images have the same text. There is only 1 script instead of four. Scripts are compiled in mono. You can adjust privacy settings so that people may or may not see titles of note cards, or get the notecard itself. An access list allows you to control who else may adjust the settings on the comment box as well. Improvement in determining who dropped in a note card, rather than looking at the creator of the note card alone. The owner is sent an instant message as new notes are dropped along with the name of the person, note, and a slurl.

The comment box has come a long way since it’s inception. Previous the the comment box, there was an art easil that I made to display my real life artwork. The earliest copy that I can find of it is version 1.3 from December 31st. I’m sure I made a few before that. The easil is closely related due to how it was able to read the information from note cards and images, display that information as hovertext, and give out note cards. It also cycled through the paintings on it’s own.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Applewood using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Blame Sculpties on me

December 4, 2009

I finished downloading metaverse messenger archives today and was able to use the search feature in the Adobe Reader to search the text of all PDF’s at once. I found my “Resident of the Week” spotlight in M2 Vol. 2 No. 26 (February 27, 2007), page 7 and 22. In the article, I mention that I would like to see images used to store mesh information. The exact thing came true just a few months later on the preview grid. So the question is, would I have a right to patent and license the intellectual idea since I came up with the idea first in a public forum?

Here is my response to what I hoped to see in the future of SL upgrades.

I would like to see the ability to upload mesh objects to apply to our basic prims in the same way we can apply images from our inventory. Compressed, simple meshes would be about the same file size as an image, so the only limiting factors are how to texture them and apply physics. It would be amazing to see what kind of avatars people come up with. Besides that, the ability to edit notecards with Rich Text formatting or HTML so that we can support unicode better, make text different colors, centered, bold, underlined, and also have inline images and links that open in your web browser (or in the notecard window itself).

I’m still waiting to see Rich Text Formatting (RTF) in note cards.

Along with that issue, I discovered my name mentioned in a few other issues as well.

M2 Vol. 1, No. 35, Page 14 – I won third place in an Open Rod Tournament on April 9th, 2006 in Neo-Realms Fishing Camp – long before there was a 7 seas fishing game. I still have that trophy in my inventory.

M2 Vol. 2, No 52, Page 30DrFran Babcock speaks about her build “Womyn Tree” for the Burning Life event in 2007 and mentions me as part of her Green Team. I was on the parcel next to hers.

Dedric Mauriac's Burning Life 2007 Build

M2 Vol. 2, No 57, Page 13 – Madison Donnelly (a fashion angel from fashion heaven) puts together an outfit for Halloween and uses my Wind-up key and claims that it definately made her outfit.

M2 Vol. 3, No 29, Page 32 – DrFran Babcock and Vanilla Jessop feature a set of the best prim wings, featuring a set of wings that my wife had made, and I had scripted (see the wings on page 27 on the lower left of the image).

Some really cool wings I have been scripting for Korii Tiger.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Dublin using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Lightweight Vendors

November 23, 2009

I usually come up with some interesting ideas when I go take a walk, or get a good nights sleep. The latest idea was how to improve the vendor experience. Most networked vendors are loaded with lots of scripts and prims. Using touch-based mapping, and the 5-faced prim that I use for my letter positioning, I can essentially create a vendor that has 10 preview panels, paging, and a main product presentation with 3 prims and 1 script. I’ve made a mockup and it looks like it can be done. I’ll need to get a rudamentary web interface working first assign images, note cards, and prices to items.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Woodbridge using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

TinyPaste API via LSL

November 14, 2009

Many scripters have had the problem of running out of memory to store information, or losing the information when a script resets. Ways around this include adding threaded scripts, using note cards, using the description field, or adding a back-end service such as a database. I happened to come across in which you can paste text from your clipboard, save it, and hand the link out to your friends. Amazingly enough, it has an API. Using a bit of my LSL scripting skills, I was able to create a script that makes use of this API. Have a look at the code:
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Motru using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Multiple Voting Stations

May 3, 2008

Daequix Scarborough came to me asking if I had a voting system. She was using my comment boxes to allow people to drop note cards into each one as a way to cast their votes. We worked out what she needed. She needed a system that allowed people to vote on 12 out of 27 contestants. You can only vote on each person once. I set to work and created a system that allowed her to place vote stations at different places. Touching a vote station looks at its own data to see if the vote had been casted by that person before. If not, it went on to talk to the voting server to check how many votes that person had left. If they had some votes left, then their vote was counted.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Woodbridge using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

I-World Expo

March 29, 2008

The Lindens are opening a new “Linden” island next weekend. It looks like they are starting to become more active in the community and offering a place that could compete with Yadni’s Junkyard. The idea is to setup a centralized place to get freebies to help folks out. I have already submitted my application to offer 14 freebies of my own. It would be nice to have an official place to get freebies, but I wonder if they will continue to manage it over time, or if it will be essentially ignored and hard to get new submissions added.

My ticket as follows:

I have many freebies that I am willing to submit for the island. Please let me know if you would like one, some, or all of them. I have included a screen shot of how I advertise them to help you get a visual reference of what they are. Here are some short descriptions. Each freebie is open source if scripts are provided.

ELIZA chat bot – operates fully on LSL script and note cards. Some people have made their own derivatives (such as the Hillary bot). Fully commented to help people learn to script chat bots.

Local Teleporter – teleports visitors within 300 meters. Fully commented. Easy to setup.

360 Floor Mat – rotating compass marks randomly changes color every few minutes. Also changes size and location (within 10 meters of “home”). Goes great with dance floors.

Synthesized voice box – Simulates speech with allophones. This was the only way I could speak to people before voice was available with the SL client. You’ll find a copy of it in the SL3B vault. The voice sounds like a robot. Fully open source and commented. Comes with 59 sound clips to form words.

Halloween Candy – click a bowl of candy and a random piece of candy is handed to you. Good for Halloween and learning how to hand out random items from inventory.

Unfortunate Cookie – A parody of how horrible fortunes are in todays cookies. Touch to get a random “unfortunate” messages with frown faces. Unlucky numbers are listed as negative numbers. Great to learn how to read a random line of text from a note card. Also has sorting of lists to show the negative numbers in correct order.

7th Son – The first podcast episode from seventh son fully uploaded to Second Life (with permission from the author). This viral marketing item not only has the ability to play a 45 minute podcast, but the script is fully open source with many powerful audio and memory management features.

Hippo Xing Pants – What would Second Life be without your very own pants featuring the mascott of this virtual world? This item was submitted as an entry in the “Get Philip In Your Pants” contest to replace Philip Linden’s classic pants with rhinestones in the crotch. This pair is an upgrade featuring a hippo with rhinestone eyes. Alone the side it says “Hippo Xing” (crossing) for those folks that love to travel and cross the sims.

Skype Status Indicator – This box allows people to walk up and touch it to reveal the on-line status of the owner on Skype. Open source.

Category Menu Demo – This script shows you how to display a menu, and then display a sub-menu based on the first choice that was chosen.

Classic Top Hat – This freebie is the first item that I made for myself in second life. I hand it out free to everyone to share.

Dedric Mauriac Brrrr… – As I collect bears from Lindens, I hand my own personalized bear back. If I was a Linden, This is the bear that would be mine. It’s blue ears are similar to my blue hair that I am always wearing. The bear is so cool, he was named Brrrr… Residents can modify and decorate the bear on their own as well.

Partridge pear tree – A winning entry to represent the “First day of Christmas”. This is a pear made to look like a tree. It is hollowed out to show a bird inside and four birds around the base representing the Partridge Family. You have to see it to get the picture.

Street Light – This modern street light was created early when “Light” was a material. I used them to let my parcel be lit up so I wouldn’t trip over skate boards and other prim litter on my parcel. Simple and elegant.

Dedric Mauriac’s Freebies

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Linden Estate Services using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

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