Fifty shades of Amber

My relationship with the CDS in twelve words:


…or least, it seems that way. Unlike past CDS adversaries I honestly have nothing bad to say about the folks there. It’s a simple case of mis-matched expectations -I’m passionate about preservation in a living sense, they are more willing to throw out the old in favor of the new than I am. What’s important to them isn’t to me, and vice-versa. It’s a recipe for endless frustration.

I keep banging my head against the wall with that org, to the point where my frustration and resentment prevents me from being a positive force there.

I intended on making a clean break, but I still have friends there so I think instead I’ll simply retire, keep my properties but let them lay fallow for now.

I reached a point in January where I felt like there wasn’t any point in being in opensim; so I closed down my servers -including Admeja.

And, in SL, wiped out Funadama and the Neuanzere project. I came to realize that It’s time for me to admit that the micronation tangent was a dead-end and to do something else. It was time, too, to let go of what Funadama was before I found Admeja and Mannie’s in 2010.

Since 2011, I’ve been chasing Funadama 2007 in one sense or another. I could remake it, and have remade my own version a few times. Now it’s 2017, and it’s time to go in my own direction, one that isn’t necessarily tied to earlier builds and places.

Throw over the table, wipe away the slate, go back to the beginning again.

Thing is ….”use it or lose it” is a very real consideration. After a month of an empty sim I began to feel anxious about what I was going to do -even if it was to kiss off SL. Luckily (?) it didn’t come down to that.

I sat in Funadama, hitting revert over and over again, just tossing things around in my mind. I thought about one of the things which I had wanted to do with Neuanzere was to make a hidden underground city.

Seattle has an underground city -which is mostly hidden and inaccessible. I remember being bitterly disappointed by that when I took the tour.

That led to another thought -all of the poor, and seedy places have been scrubbed from downtown Seattle long, long ago. I wandered there as a teen-ager in the early 80’s and by 93 it was already an altogether different place

One that was more hostile if you were poor. And my understanding is that it’s grown far, far worse.

The cheap “hotels”, the porn shops, pool halls and the scariest bars this side of hell …gone, largely.

I’m sure as hell not going to try to make another Seattle, that’s for sure! I don’t have the textures, I don’t have the skills and it wouldn’t be my own.

But over the next few years I’m going to try to make my own city center

…and my own underground.

I’ve already started:


The grid pattern has to go, I have to come up with something else. That much is obvious. Right now I’m scouring flickr and the Seattle photo archives for building references and ideas and trying to decide what I’ll put where.

AvatarFEST is back on, but I’m sure will be much much more scaled back -and I’ve even returned to Opensim, though Admeja grid is in mothballs until I get the scratch to rent another server.

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CopayB0atin (reinventing the wheel bad)

For ages it seems like, I have been trying to make my “schloss” for the neuanzere project and as my home. It’s been a great learning excercise, but I know fuck-all about design -like, at all.

It’s 3 floors, roughly 24 meters in height. Going from one floor to the next is a challenge -teleporters feel wrong, I’ve been settling for ramps but they’re obtrusive. There’s also the question of layout too, but that’s another story.

So, in desperation (and in search of a reference) I looked in my inventory for stairs. There were several in my copy of the Linda Kellie outdoor build collection and I found one that had a lot of promise:


It was great but I can’t copy it from my grid to SL and I thought it was sculptmapped (I was wrong -it’s prim) and not easily modifiable.

So -I decided to “copybot”, or rather creat my own copy based on hers.

This was part of her collection which is given away gratis under her “do what you want” license -so I had a clear conscience on that front.

The goal isn’t just to whittle a boat out of another boat, however. In the end I want to not just have an exportable copy of her stairs -I want to create mesh prefabs for other pojects.

At first I rezzed can copied prims, resizing them by hand to fit over the stairs she made:


Then I realized that her stairs are prims, and I can do the old “edit select prims” and copy the size and rotation. That made things go a lot faster:


Eventually I was done


-I had the build seperated into sections and ready to export:


Something that is important to note here; unlike XML, exporting to OXP seems to be version-dependant which is a HUGE and stupid pain in the ass. Restoring my oxp file may or may not be possible -I’ll include alternatives.

That’s IT for opensim! Time to hop over to secondlife’s beta grid:

(I chose the beta grid so I wouldn’t be interrupted, you can do this on the main grid just fine):

Once on the beta grid, I scavanged a workspace and imported the build from the OXP file I’d saved it to:


ofc, Firestorm tends to restore things where-ever it feels like…so I had to manually set everything on the platform.


That done, it was time to use a lil ol’ trick I learned from Arcadia Asylum:


…or rather, a slight variation. She used sculpt generator, I use mesh generator.

Both are available on the marketplace:

sculpt generator (L$3k):

mesh generator (L$4k):

For each section I wanted to convert, I did the following:

1)edited the root prim, copying the prim conversion script into it

2)converted it to mesh & download the dae file (renamed) to a DAE file on my hard drive

3)uploaded onto the beta grid (renaming it from MG_*)

Eventually I had a collection of han-held mesh prefabs:


When I copied and assembled into mesh stairs:


Of course, uploading mesh to second life costs money. Uploading the different files cost me roughly L$100 using the default settings. Your milage may vary, depending on the options you select.

There are a lot ..a LOT of faults with this. The prims should be better arranged and fitted before uploading them into Dae files, for instance. Also I’m aware that you can export to dae instead of using the mesh generator (I seem to have better results …lower LI… using the generator, so I go that route).

For those who want them, I am giving away what I made in different stages. Because this is based on Linda Kellie’s build, I am going to release it under a “do what you want” license -creative commons zero. Share, improve, make a buck off it if you can (if you do, send some lindens my way :p)…whatever you want.

A zip file containing the oxp file, dae/collada files and an iar file can be found here:

or here:



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Virtual worlds, real nervous break

I think it was roughly this time last year I ragequit G+ and everything, I felt overwhelmed and also I had doubts about how healthy virtual worlds are for me, for my mental health.

I’m having a nervous breakdown again, this spring. I’m feeling like I’m fumbling and messing up my involvement with 3RG and squandering an opportunity there. I’m not mad (of course), instead I’m filled with a lot of dread and anxiety.

I am mad about a couple of other VW projects centered around SL. Long story short, I feel as though me and my contributions are getting blown off, which pisses me off.

Thing is, my sleep is fucked IRL -I think I’ve gotten one, maybe two full night’s sleep in the last month. That fucks with one’s head in a major way.

I stopped one mind-altering med (ritalin), went through withdrawls and now I’m starting another (provigil).

Then there’s RL stresses involving me and my friends’ medical conditions …doctors visits, arranging shopping, that sort of thing.

This leaves me in a raw emotional state and I don’t quite trust my judgement, either.

The easy way out is to say “well, blame the virtual drama, cut it out and life will be easier”. I tend to over-extend myself and that’s definately a contributing factor …but I believe that’s also a cop-out.

I fell for that cop-out last spring and found myself profoundly missing this part of my life, and found myself still having to cope with things; so no …I don’t buy that it’s an answer.

I’ve been dealing with clinical depression and (clinically diagnosed) agorophobia since my 20’s. In that time I’ve learned some DBT tricks and I think instead of blaming virtual worlds,  cutting and running from them it will be better if I lean on some of the lessons I got from DBT;

1)Self soothing …while I adjust, things are going to be a roller-coaster. The best way to get through it is to spend time w/ people who nourish me and find things that are fun and focus on those as much as possible.

2)Radical acceptance. I need to look at some things I’m deeply unhappy with, throw up my hands and say “fuck it …it is what it is”. This is in a virtual world context, mind you. Haters gonna hate, flakers gonna flake. I have to take things, orgs and people for what they are and work around that …instead of what I wish they were or the potential that I see in them.

3)Practicing more mindfulness and detachment. It’s really weird, because I don’t think of myself (and IRL I don’t present myself) as a very emotional person …but virtual worlds bring out a primal, emotional side of me and I have to cultivate some detachment regarding them.

It’s a question of getting RL sorted out -and RL *is* getting better…and then when RL is sorted out (particularly on the medication front) I’ll be able to see things for what they are; right now I don’t quite trust my perceptions on a lot of things (lack of sleep, med changes make me distrustful a bit).

I’m going to have to re-assess what I can do, and what’s WORTH doing. But it doesn’t have to take a ragequit to do that. It’s a question of giving myself time to heal IRL, soothing myself as I go through that, and then having faith that when I’m better I’ll see things clearer and can cope with stuff then.

So I’m not leaving -leaving would be pointless and it’s not necessary.


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Introducing the Neuanzere Project.

Since hearing that they have gone non-profit, I have wanted to jump on the 3RDRockGrid bandwagon and somehow throw my support behind them. I have rented a region from them and I hope to expand that with more regions, though time will tell.

Interestingly enough, I’m using my 3RG region as a springboard for my Neuanzere project.

I have almost no details yet of what it’s going to be, but they’re getting fleshed out.

Originally, I conceived Neuanzere as a name for the empty half of my Funadama project, imagining that it would act as the town center and as a lodestone for the rest of my grid before spreading across the hypergrid.

I’m imagining that it will be eventually turn into a roleplay multi-grid “empire”, and that is the part I am starting on.

Inspired by the origins of the CDS (where I am working) ..hence the “Anzere” (the name of the sim the CDS started at) I am starting this as a multi-grid project, originally it was intended to be my answer to the CDS, but in Opensim; however I’ve changed my mind on that for a variety of reasons. First, we already have a democratically run grid out here (Metro), I may well be wrong, this is something I’m investigating.

The “empire” part comes from my living in various places …SL, Metro, 3RG, and of course Admeja -it lends a coherent theme to my different builds. On all of those grids, of course, I have had a Funadama which has been a near identical build (where possible). With this project I intend on using the “empire” or “government” of Neuanzere as more of a theme and intend to have different eras and styles represented instead of cloned builds. I’ve also toyed with the idea of having them all (but SL) linked by blamgates, but decided that wouldn’t be workable.

Neuanzere 3RG is going to be based in the 20th century and America. Right now I’m going for a small-town idea as I flesh things out.

I spent last night importing Linda Kellie builds from Zadaroo and positioning them, later I’ll cannibalize them for their textures and as a head-start on builds. The hope is that it will be easier to do it that way instead of starting fresh builds completely from scratch.

Here’s a snapshot of what Neuanzere-3RG looks like currently; all of this will change as a result of trial-and-error over the next few months and years:

Ariel photo of the Neuanzere Region on 3rd Rock Grid

Neuanzere on 3rdRockGrid

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Gut reaction to Thirza’s poll

Recently, Thirza Ember posted a poll asking people what they used opensim for. She released the results in this blog post, along with some editorializing. I posted my reactions to the thread Linda Kellie started in her group, and I think that they’re long enough to justify sharing here, too.

No love for the Benjamins?

(from the blog): “Almost nobody voted for making money. Is there anything wrong with admitting you are in [opensim] for the cash?”

That could be an ethical question, or a practical question.
Ethically? No, of course there isn’t.

Practically? Practically speaking, you’re trying to make money off of something which people have the freedom and ability to do for themselves, for free. That’s gonna be a tough sell.

In my opinion there’s nothing ethically wrong with trying to make a buck out here, but personally speaking if I thought I had something to sell, I’d be selling it in SL or someplace better suited with a larger audience.

So I don’t think there’s anything unethical about it, but I don’t think it’s gonna work out very well at the same time.

Expanding on that …I think that a lot of what brings people here is the desire to escape the hyper-commercialisation that makes up secondlife, that -coupled with a pervasive ameteur-hour lack of professionalism rampant in the opensim community also makes people hesitant to open their wallets and be good little consumers –if that was what they wanted to do, they would have stayed in SL instead of coping with the steep learning curve and constant glitches and regressions of opensim.

No raunch for us, please -Matlock’s coming on

(again from the blog);”The least surprising thing is that nobody wanted to admit they are inworld looking for love. I don’t believe that, but hey.”

There’s not enough churn, not enough variety of new blood and not enough diversity of ages (!!!), backgrounds as you find in someplace such as SL.

And I have no problem believing that almost no one out here is “looking for love”.

Based on my experience talking to people out here, most of us are middle-age or older (people in their 70’s aren’t uncommon) and we’ve been through that. We’re either settled down, or we’ve outlived the “urge to merge” largely.

That also affects sex and sexuality. I’m aware of a “adult” grids here and there, but in 5 1/2 years in opensim I’ve never once come across the “fuck palace” style of regions which litter SL.

Because we’re a different demographic, with different desires and things we want to do. You have adults and you even have “adult” places out here (eg Linda Kellie’s nude beach), but even those are more risque than raunch.

Both the lack of hardcore raunch, and the lack of romantic hookups is due …IMO… to where many if not most of us are in life, and also to the small size of our community (again -lack of churn).

What we make reflects what we want, and the fact we haven’t littered the hypergrid with gangbang grids and instead created a plethora of artistic or pastoral and roleplay regions reflects where most of us are in life -which is well past the demanding hormonal drives of adolescence and early adulthood.

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Opensim not working? Some basic things to check:

Someone on metro was having problems so I started to write out a checklist of things to go over when running opensim. The list snowballed so I thought it would be worth sharing as a blog. Here ya go!


If you are able to start opensim but not connect to metro, or not connect to the hypergrid, try looking at these issues and seeing if you can fix them.

First -there’s two ways computers communicate with each other; tcp and udp. This is important to remember.

First thing to check; windows firewall. You will need to make a rule that allows incoming and outgoing traffic on ports 8000-8003. You need to make one set of rules (incoming and outgoing) for udp and one set for tcp.

You will need to make rules in windows firewall for port 9000 (udp and tcp) and you’ll have to make rules for each region in addition that you want to host. Personally, I make a rule opening ports 9000-9200 (tcp and udp); I don’t use all of those but if I need them, they’re open.

Then your hardware firewall. You’ll have to read the manual or google for your router model, but usually most modems have a way to open ports; you’ll want to find out how to do this on your router and then open the same ports that you did for windows firewall.

If you have a home network (IE  you share the internet with family, spouse, other computers) make sure that the opensim traffic is going to the right place. Find which **LOCAL** IP your machine is getting assigned to by the router and then find out how to direct traffic to that IP so that the router doesn’t send it to the wrong computer or drop it entirely. On belkin routers that’s under the “virtual servers” link; your router will be different and you’ll have to google/read the manual about network redirection.

Loopback. Most home routers don’t support loopback (virtual network adapter) and that can cause viewers to hang when trying to connect to a local opensim instance. The best way to cope with this currently is to create a virtual loopback device; the instructions for that will differ depending on your operating system, and operating system version. Look here for a general idea:

If none of these pan out, then ask your grid for support on their forum (for example, to get metro’s version running, go to and descripe your setup, describe the steps you took and describe what problems you’re having as in as much detail as possible).

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Experiment gone …mediocre

I’ve lost count of how many fucking times I’ve found myself on G+ whining about having to set things up again because I had to reinstall blah blah …that’s the price you pay when one of your hobbies is tinkering with os’s, but I had an idea that could end up mitigating that.

I’m experimenting with running everything –firefox, mp3s off of a virtual machine. The downsides are pretty bad, but I have half an idea.

Using SSH you can run an application on your local computer even tho their binaries live on a remote computer. How many fucking times have I come on here whining about having to set things up again because I had to reinstall blah blah?

I’m experimenting with running everything –firefox, mp3s off of a virtual machine. The downsides are pretty bad, but I have half an idea.

Using SSH you can run an application on your local computer even tho their binaries live on a remote computer.

I have a linux VM I host my regions on, and I tried installing Singularity on it and logging into SL. It worked -really poorly! 4fps on low poorly.

So, yeah -that didn’t work, but I’m not giving up on the idea entirely. I am going back to the drawing board for now…

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