Forgotten Wars

February 5, 2010

I talked with Ina Centaur for quite a while last night about her primtings museum and the possibility of creating a piece of art. The idea behind her primtings museum is that people are inspired by real-life artwork, and then build their own interpretations in the virtual environment. The name “primtings” is a prim’d painting. I’ve hunted through many pieces of artwork and finally found one that called out to me. It is “Guerre Dimenticate” by Viale Susanna. It’s itallian for Forgotten Wars.

The painting could be interpreted for different wars in my mind. The first that called out to me was the Natzi concentration camps with the pile of skulls. There is also a history of slavery in the United States where many slaves were treated with no value other than for hard labor. The wars in the middle east seem to be forgotten, and the mention of mass graves of the dead are vaguely in my memories. I imagine that there are also many wars and events that I never hear about, but they are a reality for many people.

I was able to build a quick mockup of the painting with skulls and a yellow wall. The hardest part was to get the position rite for the person to look over and have their hand out towards the skulls. Anyone can walk up to the piece and sit down so that they too are a part of the art.

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

Converting Snapzilla Images to blog posts

January 31, 2010

After the success of using “Snap Down” earlier, I was able to parse through the cached data to extract metadata about each of my images. I was able to parse out the title, description, slurls, tags, albums, links, slugs, and more. Albums are stored as categories, and tags are stored as keywords. I setup the images themselves to be linked as enclosures.

There is still one part that I’m scratching my head over. The snapzill website only lists the date that the image was uploaded, but does not include the time. This is a bit tricky for me as I can not identify the timezone. I am assuming it is PST to be inline with the time that the virtual environment uses, but I think the snapzilla server might be located on the east coast. Other than that, I believe that’s the last thing to work out before I start to upload the images and merge my posts into WordPress.

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

Echo Canyon

January 30, 2010

I was to go and help my mother in-law to configure her voice in a virtual environment today. The snow came in last night and hasn’t let up yet, so my plans were abandoned. Since this is hardware based diagnostics as well as software configuration, I could not visit her virtually. My physical presence was necessary. My roads haven’t seen a plow yet and I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

One of the places that I heard about in the past for voice diagnostics in this virtual environment was Echo Canyon. When you arrive, anything that you say is played back in your headset. You can hear yourself talk, but you can not hear others around you speaking. However, you are free to talk to them via text chat.

Adjusting the volume in the device settings didn’t seem to have any effect on this. (You can adjust your volume level by editing your preferences and clicking on the voice chat tab). I got the feeling that my voice wasn’t being played back from the vivox servers, but being played strait from my own computer.

Another handy tool that I’ve used in the past to detect voice settings by calling echo123 on skype. Once you call the echo sound test service, an automated message asks you to start making some noise. After 20 seconds, it is then played back for you.

Since I didn’t go off to mom’s house today, I spent the time importing my blog posts from my real life blog related to virtual worlds into my virtual blog. I finally completed importing them all manually. The next thing that I would like to work on is importing my snapzilla snapshots as well. When I send images to social networks, snapzilla also gets a copy sent its way. Usually snapzilla will have blog posts that other systems did not interpret properly, or that other services did not crost-post to my main virtual world blog.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Voice Echo Canyon using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

P Squared

December 15, 2009

I had a look around P Squared and I got the idea that this was probably Philip Linden’s Island. I’m guessing that P Squared means that there are two Philips – one in real life, one in the virtual environment. I had a look on the Internet and found that P Squared often has additional meanings.

1. Women who tolerate men because both their paycheck and pleasure satisfy the women enough. It had me thinking of how much people tolerate Philip. He neither pays nor pleases us though.

2. A 40 something guy pretending to be younger and who likes small children. This had me thinking back to the RockSpider inccident. Their really isn’t much perversion about Philip though except for his rhinestone crotch pants, so I moved onto the next definition.

3. Someone who doesn’t want to break rules to help out so called friends. I passed this one over because he doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who holds back based on fear of getting in trouble.

4. Getting pleasure due to pitty. Philip’s married, so I passed this one up as well. I don’t think there is much pitty being felt for this guy to build an island for it.

5. Getting premium pleasure. …

6. Party posse. I haven’t seen a posse following Philip around. In fact, I haven’t really seen him around at all.

7. Someone who leaves a party with the best looking people, causing the rest of the night to be a drag. Well, Philip would first need to show up to said parties.

What do you think that “P Squared” means?
posted by Dedric Mauriac on P Squared using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Happy RezDay to me

November 28, 2009

I remember on my 9th birthday, I stood in my kitchen looking out the window at the back yard. It wasn’t anything in particular that I was looking at, but more in deep thought to myself. Nine was a big number back then, and there were plenty of milestone birthdays to look forward to. In this virtual environment, I now have a second birthday. Just as in real life growing up, there aren’t any celebration parties in the virtual environment either. However, I’m not quite certain what the milestones are if any. My avatar is now four years old. Will next year be a big number? What is the significance if any? There is so much that has changed over the years in both the platform and my avatar.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nowhereville using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Musical Box Piano

November 7, 2009

Every now and then I have a desire to make a programmable music box in a virtual environment. Today I went a step further. I found a program to create MIDI files and found a music box in the sound bank. I used Audacity to record and alter the sounds a bit to my liking. I then Created a piano keyboard texture and uploaded both the sounds and two octives of sounds. I created a script to sense what area of the prim was touched to play a specific sound. For starters, I now have a 1-prim keyboard that plays single notes of a music box.

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

To sell, or not to sell

September 30, 2009

I’m having some internal conflicts at the moment regarding if I should start to sell my products again or not. There is a gray line that I don’t want to cross, now that my real life company is within the virtual environment of Second Life. The other problems is that I wasn’t doing so great selling things anyhow. The last I saw, I was making roughly 75 dollars a month at best. At one time, I was making around 500 US$ a month.

There are many excuses that I have come up with as to why sales have gone down over the past few years. I’m starting to focus on one that brings up diversity. The thinking goes like this. I had so many products, that I couldn’t concentrate on the quality of one. Therefore, competition is able to easily surpass the features and quality that I offer. If I just focus on one thing alone, then I could have a fighting chance in a niche market. In addition, it wouldn’t be as hard to determine how to advertise my product since I would only be advertising one thing alone.

In the past, my products often targeted people who owned land so that they could take the product out of inventory. I am starting to think a bit different. In the past, I had thought the only alternative was clothing. However, there are also services. Subscribe-o-matic is one such service. Although the individual users do not pay for it, the owner of the product pays a service fee if there are more than 500 people who subscribe.

The idea of automated services is what I am starting to look into. Free to use by the majority of people, but paid for by the individual owners who control the content. There is an additional part to this equation though. I want to leave it open to expand outside of Second Life. Perhaps OpenSim, and then maybe websites too. The first part would be an in-world server to hand out inventory as prizes, and the individual items that you find. This is your basic inventory server (think of XStreetSL, JEVN,, etc.). The difference is that instead of handing out inventory for money, it hands out inventory as a reward for finding things. I designed one a few years ago for the Relay for Life of Second Life. People were able to find a collection of records that had 10 second sound clips of songs done by in-world musicians. Amazingly enough, I had 18 songs from musicians that agreed to be a part of it. Once people found all the records, they got a trophy.

With the idea of a new system that was HTTP based, I used Gliffy to create a diagram of how it all works.

Flowchart Digram of Prize Box made using Gliffy

Flowchart Digram of Prize Box made using Gliffy

The main thing that I’m thinking of here also is that this shouldn’t have anything to do with my employer. There is a scavenger hunt in place on the island, but I did not design it, it is not like the system I have designed for RFL or the one I am working on. I am hoping to have a system that is very easy for novice users to just rez it and forget it.

In addition, I have setup a virtual PC with LAMP using Ubuntu to start testing against before putting out money for a hosted solution. It should cut down on costs during development, and perhaps even speed it up.

Half of me is still not certain if I should keep going. Is the business plan sound? Do I even have a business plan? Would people buy into this? The other half is just begging to do something with what little spare time I have regardless if everyone hates it.

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