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Governance Linden

Hey everyone,

 

It’s recently come to our attention that there has been an increase in the use of third party tools that gives account credentials and control over a Resident’s account to another Resident. This and similar products can change an account password and/or details, such as email address, which could prevent an owner from accessing an account, or even from being able to recover the account.

 

We want to remind everyone that giving another Resident access to your account or account information, by any means and for any reason, is both dangerous and not permitted by the Terms of Service. An account is intended to be used solely by its creator, and keeping your account details secret and secure helps you keep it that way.

 

We’d like to provide you with some quick tips on how to keep your account secure:

 

Choose a secure password with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols, and avoid common dictionary words or phrases. For instance, “password” is not a good password, but “wh4tAr g@t4P55!” is much better (though you shouldn’t use that last one either, now that all of Second Life just read it, too).

 

Choose a secret security question answer. To keep your information extra secure, choose an answer that you will remember, but that no one else could possibly guess. For example, answering “What is your favorite vacation spot?” with “Potsdam, Pennsylvania” isn’t secure if you have that listed as an interest on your social media accounts. Answering “The Wide Wide World of Sports” might be much more secure!

 

Keep your password and the answer to your security question secret from everyone, regardless of their relationship to you. Only you should know this information; not your significant other, family member, casual acquaintance, person with an honest look in their eye, or anyone else.

 

Keep your password unique and special to Second Life. Reusing the same password across different platforms or websites makes your account vulnerable if one of those sites suffer a data breach.

 

No Linden will ever ask for your password. Likewise, there is never a reason for you to enter your password to unlock an item, receive a discount, or anything else.

 

Use only the official Second Life Viewer, or a Third Party Viewer from the Third Party Viewer Directory. If the viewer does not allow you to log directly into your account for any reason, the viewer is NOT secure.

 

You can read more about keeping your information secure on the wiki at Linden Lab Official: Password Protection

 

If you have any problems accessing your account—especially if you believe that your password or security information may be known to anyone other than you—please contact the support team by opening a support case.

 

Thanks for keeping your account secure!

-Governance Linden

Torley Linden

I won't mince words, and I know it's human to feel this way: IT SUCKS WHEN HELP EXISTS AND YOU CAN'T FIND IT. You search, it doesn't turn up. You manually browse, you attack the darkness, still doesn't come out. You're all like "Double-you-tee-eff!!!!!" until a helpful fellow Resident points out that there's a broken link that was blocking you, or something else which should be ridiculously easy to fix. But that helpful Resi also understandably gives an exasperated sigh on the inside, because they have to manually do this each time someone has the same problem — and it's a hot problem!

facepalm_cat.jpg

If only a Linden knew and did something about it.

That's what this is about, since Resident Enlightenment (good gosh, what is that?) is one of my so-called "key responsibilities".

Let's talk real, not theory. Leading off from my recent post specifically about the Scripting Library, you know I love folding multiple steps into one, removing slop and waste so you get what you expect. Or better.

And often, putting useful instructions in front prevents much wasted time later. That's why I'm on a rampage — a help rampage — to connect the dots.

For example, I often encourage Resis (endearing abbreviation for "Residents") to check out the help pages on the Second Life Wiki (linked to from the Support Portal) and to search and contribute. But as followup, I found myself tediously typing out the same instructions time and time again — I paused myself and dealt with the root, by updating the wiki's own navigation links and pages.

The wiki now has a revised, friendly About & Help page, and it'd be swell if you took a sec to have a look.

Among numerous other "little things that make a big difference", I've also (for now) highlighted the wiki's search box in yellow to give it emphasis. This, in response to the many "How do I search?" I get. Seem obvious? Don't laugh, we were all new once. Also, astutes may be wondering 'Why's there a Go and Search button?" See that previous link.

Okay too much words for now so a picture.

What wiki.secondlife.com looks like on 2010-10-25 - Second Life Wiki_1288023447946

My wiki co-showrunners (listed on that About & Help page, of course) are working on further goodness.

Still can't find something you've seen before? Let me know the specifics in the comments and I'll research.

Now, onto the forums...

These might not have proper "stickies" (why?) and Featured Content has been buggy, but as a "something far better than nothing", I can certainly add a widget box which makes super-useful threads more visible, as seen in the Scripting Library. (I can change font size later, this is all subject to adaptation and removing unneeded redundancy.)

blogs.secondlife.com Scripting Library on 2010-10-25 - Second Life Blogs: Channel: Scripting Library_1288024370734

Do you have a nomination for an ultra-useful forum thread that you're frustrated having to bump up for newcomers? Let me know in the comments.

To set expectations, I'm only including what's broadly useful (which sadly, disqualifies lolcats, altho they're broadly memeful) and in some cases, it may be better to have a single link to a page collecting useful links, as is the case with the earlier Scripting Library example. But I don't know that until I hear from you.

Also, for the purposes of this post, I'm focusing on the (1) wiki and (2) forums, but I'd still like to hear about "help breakers" that are flat-out wrong or confusing on our official secondlife.com properties and in the Viewer. Like the fact we do support 64-bit Windows 7.

I'm done now. But I'll be back in the comments, promise.

400px-End_of_line.jpg

Torley Linden

Ohai, I wanted to let you know we just moved the Second Life Wiki — where a variety of "help me learn SL!" pages are stored — to a new server host (Amazon EC2). What does mean for you? The changes are under-the-hood, so while you won't see drastic visual differences, you should notice better performance and reliability. We also upgraded to a newer version of MediaWiki, bringing the security improvements and bug fixes that come with that. All this also means that every time I share a link to a wiki help page in a tip or on the forums, you should be able to get there faster, and browse to subsequent pages quicker — it all adds up.

However, on the geeky side of things, there are a few known issues you may want to be aware of (thanks Rand Linden!). Should you notice any more, please add them to the known issues discussion page so our wiki-inclined Lindens can have a look.

Keep spreading the knowledge!

Torley Linden

In the epic tradition of me promising to followup when wishes come true...

With the Viewer 2.4 Beta comes with the exciting, long-awaited GRADUATION of several "advanced" features to SUPPORTED* status, as denoted by their inclusion in the PREFERENCES window (instead of being buried obscurely under-the-hood).


 

You may know a lot of my video tutorials feature the Advanced menu, which, despite its name, has features that are useful for even beginner Residents once you get your hands on them. However, it can be tricky for some to get the right keystroke combination down, so we've added a checkbox!

Be sure to download the beta first.

  1. Select Me menu > Preferences.
  2. Click Advanced tab.
  3. Check Show Advanced menu.

And ooh, what else do we have here? A checkbox to Allow Multiple Viewer, another thing that's been on the hotlist for... <BRIAN BLESSED Blessed>ETERNITY!!!!</BRIAN BLESSED> My venerable-yet-creaky instructions may soon vanish, replaced by what is a deservedly simpler method. To make this work, still in the Advanced tab of the PREFERENCES window:

  1. Check Allow Multiple Viewer and click OK. (It seems a restart isn't required but let me know if you find different.)
  2. On Windows, double-click your existing Second Life Beta Viewer shortcut (it's probably on your desktop). On Mac, right-click the app package and select Duplicate, then double-click the copied app. (I don't know what the Linux process is, please deplete my ignorance.)

Another Viewer should spring to life with no "Second Life is already running" error so you can have a party with your alts without worrying whether you put one or two dashes in front of the flag (old joke).

Also be sure to see Jack Linden's Viewer 2.4 Beta blog post for what else is

.

And hey, on a tangent, if your computer supports it, have you played with DEPTH OF FIELD? Mighty fine inspiration coinciding with the snow, lemme tell ya... the first few are post-processed, but I find DOF makes it so much easier to achieve "lofi" and "analogue" camera looks.

Hearth Pose (edit)Seasoned Spirit (edit)Play That Funky Music Avatar (edit)Looking Nostalgic (edit)Not Evil Ball (edit)Bloooom (edit)effected with Toycamera Analogcolorcornell box revisited - Torley LindenMISSING MILE - Torley Lindeni want it like old film - Torley LindenProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-31-51-57ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-29-59-62ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-28-15-69ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-26-39-00ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-18-35-72ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-16-53-52ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-10-30-13ProjectViewer-Mesh 2010-12-02 13-03-22-38i feel like a twin peaks - Torley Lindenorange and black - Torley Lindencold projection - Torley Lindencrates, lots of them - Torley Linden
oh you're freaking me out - Torley Lindenorb lula - Torley Lindenadventure awaits - Torley LindenDepth of Feel

 

* This is a Beta so to set your expectations, stuff is subject to change. Also, while making these features visible is supported, stuff contained inside — like the myriad Advanced options — is not necessarily, unless mirrored by something already surfaced. Augh, subtleties.

Torley Linden

Ever been in an awkward situation where you wanted to wear several accessories at once, only to find that they all used the same attachment point? And wearing one detached another? ARGHHHH... WAIT! Before doing the old-skool "attach to a different point and manually reposition", you should definitely know that in Second Life Viewer 2.4, we've formally introduced MULTIPLE ATTACHMENTS TO THE SAME POINT. (The eagle-eyed among you know it's been in testing for longer.)

Heck yes.

What this means is you can "stack" objects on any attachment point, as long as the total # of attachments your avatar is wearing is 38 or less. This video shows you a very practical situation many of you lady avatars can relate to: how to deal with when jewelry tries to attach to the same slot as your dress.


 

Gotta be glam for your big night out, yeah? Special thanks to Nyx Linden, a master of multi-wearables, for confirming facts!

For more details,

check out the "multiple attachments" help page

See something missing? I encourage you to fill in more useful info! Like inworld content, Second Life help is Resident-powered, and I'm here to inspire you to discover your power of self-expression.

Torley Linden

The Second Life Viewer can be pretty resource-intensive, but there are ways to help it cooperate better with other things happening on your computer. You can easily increase or decrease the amount of CPU power the Viewer uses when it's in the background — for example, if you're surfing in an external web browser, or editing images in Photoshop. In other words, anytime the Viewer doesn't have focus. This video shows you exactly how:

  1. Select World menu > Show > Advanced Menu. (Veteran Residents will remember this used to be more obscure!)
  2. The Advanced menu appears next to the Help menu. Select Advanced > Show Debug Settings.
  3. Type in "BackgroundYieldTime". It autocompletes. The default is "40" milliseconds, a reasonable balance.
  4. To make the Viewer lighter in the background, increase BackgroundYieldTime to "200" and click on the desktop (or another app where you can still see the Viewer). You should see the Viewer update less frequently — animations will be choppier. For the inverse effect, decrease this to "1". The Viewer should still run smoothly when it's in the background.

Why might you want to increase the power the Viewer uses in the background? If you're on a powerful computer with multiple cores, you can run multiple Viewers easier. If you're making machinima, you could film two Viewers simultaneously (since one would always be in the background) with less of a framerate drop.

So depending on your specific needs, you can adjust this whenever you want. Experiment and see what works best for you! The Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac) can show you CPU usage.

Have Second Life performance tips? Share 'em in da commentz.

Torley Linden

Friendly greetings!

I'm delighted to see you, now that community.secondlife.com is live for your vibrant participation. (The old blogs.secondlife.com addy still works, and redirects.)

If you're new to this site or even Second Life, check out "Welcome to the New Second Life Community Platform", and remember that Community Help is accessible from many pages.

A bit about myself: I'm Torley Linden, and have loved being an intense part of Second Life since 2004. I believe that creative expression through your avatar is a self-empowering and healing benefit. Here's who I am today, yes I'm meditating:

5492234878_3af1ebdb9e_o.jpeg

Ever since I started, I've had a passion for learning useful + fun facts and sharing them broadly so Residents of all experience levels can benefit: I observe that many "power user" tips are only perceived that way because they're obscure and not well-understood, and by making knowledge more accessible, you'll have a better experience. After all, how many times do you find yourself going: "I wish I knew that earlier!" That's one of the most popular things I hear. So I found myself constantly promoting these tips & tricks — hence YOU ARE HERE! :)

It's been wonderful seeing you "early adopters" jump onboard community.secondlife.com and not only play with a variety of things, but also ask questions. For starters, if you've been perusing the My Settings area (there are a lot more options than the previous community platform), you may have wondered:

What are macros?

Simply put, macros let you easily copy-and-paste frequently-used blocks of text. It could be a catchphrase, a collection of useful links you often refer to... think of what you need most. So without further ado, here's a video to prepare you on how to use macros:

Another thing I should call out... if you want to make richly-formatted macros but aren't comfortable with HTML coding:

  1. Enter the macro you want to see in a Rich Text field. (You can easily get to one by starting a question in Answers, but remember not to submit it through if you're just testing!)
  2. Click the HTML tab to see the code.
  3. Copy that code into the macro field on the Macros page.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Macros page and click Save Changes.

I have a video that shows you exactly how to do this, too:

But remember: styling should support effective communication, not distract from it.

Related

And since we're still ultra-new-and-shiny, we've been hot out of the gate fixing various bugs. I'm aware we could use some more breathing space between headers, and bulleted/numbered lists aren't indented correctly. A gracious thank-you to those of you who helped me reproduce some of those bugs yesterday: quick fixes for image uploads, weirdly-spaced emoticons and more have already been done by our Community Platform gurus. Feel free to share your future findings in the Community Feedback forums!

Is there an aspect of community.secondlife.com you're curious about? Chat with me in the comments!

 

Torley Linden

Hey, wouldn't it be nice if you could directly login to a friend's pad or hangout spot? Guess what? We've got that in Viewer 2.5 Beta! There are a couple preferences boxes you need to check, and I've got you covered from start to finish, so download the 2.5 Beta and watch this video to see exactly how to make this work for you:


 

Here's da lowdown from Q Linden:

Logging In to your Favorite Locations
A  long-standing feature request has been the ability to access some of   your favorite Landmarks from the login screen, so you can quickly  teleport to places inworld. In the Viewer 2.5 Beta, we've added a  preference that gives you access to the Landmarks on your Favorites Bar  from the Login Screen. To use this feature, go to Preferences >  Privacy and select the check box labeled, "Show my Favorite Landmarks at  Login." If you log off and then restart your Viewer, then you'll see a  list of your Favorite Landmarks in the "Start At" drop-down box on the  login screen. Also, when this feature is enabled and you share a  computer account (login) with other people, they will see your list of  Favorites if they run the Viewer 2.5 Beta.

Subtle tips:

  • This works on an account-specific basis. Changing the Username at the login screen shows that account's favorite locations, if you have Show my Favorite Landmarks at Login enabled.
  • The Start at dropdown shows your fave landmarks in the same order they appear on the inworld Favorites Bar — drag 'em around to sort.
  • Alternatively, if you trigger a SLurl to launch the Viewer, it can also log you in to another place. The more you know, right?

Do you ever feel like you're collecting frequent teleporter miles?   Share your favorite SL travel tips in the comments!

Torley Linden

Even if your real-world home is in a land of palm trees, you can still enjoy winter responsibly in Second Life! With US Thanksgiving a few days away, winter is upon us and I've been visiting all the Winter Activities in the Destination Guide. Have a cool (hehe) place? Submit it! My wife Ravenelle and I have also been shopping at the Marketplace, because what says "Happy Holidays!" better than being a good consumer, right?  

If Second Life's sky and water still look too — well, warm — for your snowbound tastes, you can achieve a winter look in seconds. I've touched upon similar things in years past, but for the current Viewer 2.3 UI, you oughta see how easy it is in this video.


 

Basically,

  1. Select World menu > Sun > Environment Editor.
  2. Click Advanced Sky button.
  3. Select Foggy from Sky Presets dropdown menu.
  4. Click LIGHTING tab.
  5. Increase Ambient sliders to taste... you can have a warmer or colder sky this way, or overall brighter as I do here with all set to 0.22.

Many more WindLight/sky/atmospheric settings are here for your downloading pleasure.

And oh, the sled in the video can be acquired here — it was such a Matrix-esque moment of "We need guns!" except, we needed sleds, and Naxos Loon and Lita Withnail came to join us. The spontaneous rush can't be beat. Here we are all "AHHHH AIR!!!!"

four crazy people on a sled - Torley Linden

The reindeer are coming out too, red noses and all.

we'll be reindeer whisperers - Torley Linden

I'm intensely exploring Second Life and you can visit Here island (my home) and you can watch my adventures. Who knows when you might bump into me? Don't forget to ask for my bear.

Now go take some pictures and video and be hawt... in the cold.

Torley Linden

Ever wonder why other avatars are striding so pretty while you march like a soldier-duck hybrid?

That's because they have animation overrides, scripted objects that replace your default animations with way cooler ones when worn.

All you usually need to do is right-click and Wear the AO in your inventory, then click an ON button (if it's not automatically activated).

Yes, they're that awesome.

In this friendly video, I show you exactly what animation overrides are and what they can do for your avatar's expression. This is an essential Second Life thing to know, because everyone comes across them sooner or later. (I've often been asked "Why is my avie not walking like yours in a video you made?")


 

Special thanks to Hellespont Hoorenbeek for reminding me I needed to do this, it's a great example of a "SHOW IT IN MOTION" question that deserves to vividly be answered.

What other essential product types should all Residents know about?

Torley Linden

Fall is upon and so's Second Life Viewer 2.2! As highlighted in Esbee's post, Viewer 2.2 brings more of the "little stuff that makes a big difference".

In this video, I show you some of the tweaks that could/should very well find themselves into your daily Second Life — from common-sense button bar reordering to Mini-Map improvements — all so you can get on and enjoy.


 

Don't forget to check out our Release Notes for more details. Many of the 2.2 changes are linked to Bug Tracker issues with explanations, to help you understand the "story" behind why and how something got fixed.

Torley Linden
  • Hey, are you having problems with the Second Life camera cutting into low ceilings and walls?
  • Or maybe it's too close to your avatar and you want more breathing room?
  • Perhaps you're filming a movie and want more cinematic vantage points.
  • Maybe you'd like to increase your field of view so your peripheral vision can see when a Linden is going to hit you with a concussive round of snowballs!

Yes, that's right, in time for the LINDENS VS. RESIDENTS SNOWBALL FIGHTS taking place today (Dec. 16, 2010) and tomorrow (where? when?), contrary to my self-preservation's best interests, this video shows you how to you can fine-tune your camera offset angles so you can truly get a better, personalized view of your world as you walk and fly around.


 

You can download Viewer 2.4 Beta and there's also general info about Advanced menu.

Special thanks to Skate Foss for giving me Guu Nishii's chill bazooka, and Paulette Parx and the Stepford team — they aim for realistic proportions with their suburban living:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5170/5264178398_a954c4a7ba_z.jpg

MOAR PIX HERE.

Want to go even further?

Scripted camera gadgets allow you to automate camera angle changes. Two of my faves are Penny Patton's Camera Control HUD (free!), which gives you an over-the-shoulder, "video game-like" perspective, and Rian Jayaram's Dvandva Region Snap (L$100), which lets you get birds-eye pictures of a region like this one of Stepford, BEHOLD!

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5246/5247402536_27dd9135bb_z.jpg

You'll never see our virtual world the same way again.

What are your fave camera tips?

Torley Linden

Along with general usability touch-ups, Viewer 2.2 also brings a builder-friendly feature, useful in situations like making a single texture appear cohesive across several prims. Esbee summarizes this as:

Builders can more easily align textures across linked prims using planar mapping:  This feature allows builders to align textures across faces so that  several prims can look like a single prim. Simply select the faces of a  set of linked prims, then open the Textures tab of the Build tool, make  sure your Mapping setting is set to “Planar”, then click the checkbox  labeled “Align planar faces.”

This video shows you how you can get started making it work in action, which looks like magic. And we like magic.


 

More context behind this feature's benefits and limitations can be found in SNOW-586 (which almost reads like a patch's equivalent of a How It's Made ep), and a gracious thank-you to Resident Thickbrick Sleaford and others who helped get it into release.

Even with Mesh on the horizon, "classic" prims continue to enjoy broad use. As I like to say: simply use what's useful. And keep being creative!

Torley Linden

What gadgets can I use to control Second Life?

At a minimum, you need a keyboard and mouse to use Second Life. But they're not the only options.

While it's largely uncharted territory, some experimenting with other input devices — or even maximizing what you already have — can yield great results. In other words, taking an hour to customize your controls can save you many more hours down the road.

(Even more adventurous in our history, see The Rig and Hands Free 3D.)

For example, most mice (including popular Microsoft and Logitech models) already have drivers that let you map extra buttons to keyboard shortcuts. Some builders I know mapped side buttons to Link (Ctrl-L) and Unlink (Ctrl-Shift-L) so they can quickly modify sets of prims when building. For awhile, I mapped a side button to Ctrl-Shift-S for taking a snapshot — until I figured out something even better (more on that in a bit).

We'll check out more gadgets later in this post.

What's the next step up from keyboard shortcuts?

Macros! With a macro, you can execute a whole sequence of keystrokes from a single keyboard shortcut. And in turn, you can make a single mouse click trigger that macro. There are various macro programs out there; on the Windows side I like PhraseExpress, but I recommend checking out Lifehacker for lots of info you can precisely apply to Second Life.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2513/3881460763_0d96d7bafe_z.jpg

Ever feel like the keyboard and mouse are too stiff to see what's going on? While it isn't the most publicized thing, many machinimatographers (moviemakers) and other fans of smooth motion are fond of the SpaceNavigator (learn more about usage), which has been marketed as a "mouse alternative" and makes it easier to zoom through scenes because it was built with 3D in mind. While it's been awhile since Linden Lab declared official partnering with 3Dconnexion (makers of SpaceNavigator), the setup still works the same way on Windows & Mac (not Linux) in the latest Viewer (2.4 as of this writing) and what you need to do is:

  1. Install the SpaceNavigator drivers.
  2. Plug the SN into a free USB port.
  3. Start the Second Life Viewer and login (it's easier to test when you're inworld).
  4. Go to Me menu > Preferences.
  5. In the PREFERENCES window, click the Move & View tab.
  6. Click the Other Devices button.

It should recognize the SpaceNavigator by name here. The default settings work fairly well and all the fields may look scary, but here's an example setup which is good for capturing inworld sporting events. Notice it disables Pitch Scale (0.00) so you don't get flip-flopped upside down when tracking motion:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5286/5263836936_1b22fa2bea_o.png

An odd thing about the specific SpaceNavigator model that I have is that it's gone up in price over time. This is because the "cheaper" ones some of us got ages ago were a "PE" model: functionally the same hardware-wise but lacking the same level of tech support — something to consider if you use the SN with other apps. Typically, you can find the "SE" model for under US$100 on Amazon and other places, although if you hunt around on eBay, you may be able to score one closer to US$50, which is what the old price was.

The SpaceNavigator isn't the only USB input device compatible with SL: I've heard from Residents using XBOX 360 controllers and other gamepads and joysticks. None of these have been certified to work for sure, so before you go exploring, I recommend doing research for pre-existing experiences and buying from somewhere with a good return policy.

What other input options are worth considering?

Not long ago, I acquired a Scythe USB Foot Switch to solve a problem: taking photos and videos when my hands are busy with the keyboard and mouse! Now, all I have to do to grab some footage is STOMP! It's a lot of fun, the Foot Switch seems to be built pretty well.

usb-footswitch-3-large.jpeg

Mine is the 3-pedal model and looks somewhat like a guitar stomp box. I got it for about US$44 from Newegg; cheaper 1-pedal and 2-pedal versions also exist. The setup software is really crude but you can map it to most keys on your keyboard. One drawback is that I could only find Windows-compatible software, although interestingly enough, it retains the keys in memory so you might be able to set it up on a Windows machine (or Boot Camp install), then plug it into a Mac. I'm unsure of Linux compatibility.

In my specific (read: geeky) setup, I've been using the F-keys at the top of my keyboard as PhraseExpress triggers. That way, I can have the Foot Switch setup so:

  1. The left pedal is mapped to F11 - Starts/stops movie capture in FRAPS.
  2. The middle pedal is mapped to F10 - Triggers PhraseExpress macro to (1) take a snapshot to disk (good ol' Ctrl-`), (2) hide the UI and take another snapshot to disk, and (3) send a postcard. Whew! I did this because postcards are flaky and I wanted to have an easy copy of the hi-fi original.
  3. The right pedal is mapped to F12 - Takes a picture in FRAPS.

Note that the F-keys themselves are pretty much arbitrary and I've configured this simply as I feel comfortable. I'm still exploring the possibilities and these are very specific needs, but specific needs are often the most timesaving for one's particular workflow. And you can always adapt these principles to your own processes.

Can you remap Second Life's keys?

Yes, you can. It's not the most user-friendly but it's not brain surgery, either. What you need to do is open a text file and change some lines. I previously wrote the "Keyboard mapping" help page to show you how.

Have a question or a tip about using input devices with Second Life? Ask/answer away in the comments!

Linden Lab

Residents are experts when it comes to using the tools within Second Life to create amazing work. We love it when someone decides to share their knowledge in an easy and intuitive way - and hope to share even more helpful community tutorials here in the near future.

You may have seen this lighting tutorial from Resident and creator Brookston Holiday recently, but if you haven't - we encourage you to have a look. If you're a builder, designer, or even a casual photographer in world, the tips shared here are simple, low resource ways to create dramatic effects using lights and projectors inworld. 

Torley Linden

I'm regularly in the blogs.secondlife.com forums, not just helping where I have knowledge, but staying in touch with our culture and encouraging you HOW to share info easier.

I keep seeing "OMG HELP ME!" questions where the original poster seems at a loss for how to describe something in words, and there's a big gap between what they saw and how they're struggling to explain it. Also consider language barriers: instead of trying to tell, simply SHOW!

Well, that's where we need to go beyond words: whether techy terminology confuses you or you wanna be a more effective, vivid communicator, consider adding pictures and videos to your posts to make it clear what you mean!

It takes a little bit of patience to get started, but hey, so did learning how to read, how to use a computer, and Second Life itself. I have faith in your smartosity!

I've attached multimedia thousands of times, and have seen what a positive difference it makes to have this skill, whether you're asking or answering on SL Answers, reporting a bug, giving a product demo for the Marketplace, and so on! SUPER-USEFUL.

I highly recommend watching this video tutorial, which shows how to take a snapshot in Second Life and put it into a forum post. It's terribly easy.


For further details with tips and tools,

see the "Visual communication" help page

which you can add to. (Please do.)

I'm continuing to be out and about in the forums, promoting these opportunities so you can help others help you. (Clichéd but true, hehe.)

Feel free to ask in the comments if you have process/workflow questions about spicing up your text with pics and vids.

Torley Linden

Saving a couple seconds to do a task in Second Life may not seem like much — until you multiply that by dozens, hundreds, even thousands of times. Minor disruptions to workflow make for severe pain, I know! I've noticed many of the more effective paths have been stumbled across or discovered by experimentation, and while I heart serendipity, it tends to take too long to get consistent results, leaving people going: " AUGH! I wish I knew that earlier!"

I've been creating various "utility help pages" covering repetitive steps — I do the work so you don't have to — and my latest one, fittingly enough, addresses "Different ways to do the same thing" as this featured video shows:


  • A new Resident looking to see if there's an easier way to do basic essentials like moving your avatar
  • An advanced Resi making sure you have the bases covered
  • In a situation that requires adaptation, like running the Second Life Viewer on different platforms (there's a link to PC and Mac shortcut key differences, too)
  • Simply curious about what your options are, so you can make the best choice for your personal preferences

These types of questions come up so often in our forums and elsewhere, and if you spot a hot omission, go ahead and let me know in the comments, or add it to the wiki help page directly (login to wiki.secondlife.com and click the edit tab on the page — I

, too). Here's the jumbo link so ya can't miss it:

Different ways to do the same thing

Torley Linden

My Tips & Tricks are directly influenced by what you — Residents of Second Life — ask for (my inbox, comments, the forums, inworld itself) because useful + fun knowledge has a massive effect on your inworld experience. From "I wish I knew that earlier!" basics to "This should be a supported feature..." esoterica, it's my call of duty to keep you covered. I'm like your Vault Boy in times of the post-apocalypse, know what I'm sayin'?

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5006/5227246978_04d87ce07c_z.jpg

Inevitably, I received requests to teach you (as a fellow artiste, hehe) how to do the experimental depth of field (DOF) effect that was introduced into a cutting-edge build of the Mesh Viewer. (Thanks for the heads-up, Runitai!) Long ago, I had a manual tutorial on such a thing, and while this feature doesn't let you get hearts-and-stars bokeh, it's still snazzy and BUILT RIGHT IN. Whether you take photos or make movies in Second Life or just want a more "gamelike" experience — since a DOF shader effect is in many hot titles, including the impressively bleak Metro 2033 that I recently soldiered through... "ARTYOM! SHSHSHSHHH" — depth of field is pretty. But it's not just eye candy, because creative expression is an ultimate power.

So yeah, obligatory video so you can cut through the claptrap and get to the good stuff:


 

Big red disclaimer that THIS IS PROTOTYPE, Resident-contributed videos, text instructions and more tips are on this help page, feel free to edit it. Make it awesomer. Let's show the world what we can do. You know the thrill:

Depth of field (DOF) help page

post ur pix and vids in comments plz ^^

 

 

Trivia: there are 6 references to games that use DOF above. Spot them all.

Torley Linden

Residents asking if the Second Life Viewer is compatible with Windows 7 is a very hot! question in the forums.

The answer is YES, the Second Life Viewer is supported on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.

Long story short: the current System Requirements page is confusing because it says "Windows 7 (32-bit only)". That refers to the Viewer being a 32-bit executable, not that "Second Life only works with 32-bit Windows 7".

A SysReq update is pending, but since this is often a time-sensitive question that affects the next operating system and computer you choose (and what a pain it is to change that once you've installed), I've chopped the slop and put up a wiki help page (which can be updated in seconds) to clarify this, with more details. Special thanks to Q and Esbee Linden for confirmation. Bookmark and share with your friends:

Windows 7 compatibility help page

Move lively context found in this forum thread which you can comment on, thanks to Irene Muni for encouraging more visibility.

Torley Linden

Do you want to have Second Life instant messages forwarded to your email address when you're not logged in? Or do you get many IMs and find them spammy? Whatever your choice, you can

toggle offline instant messages (IMs)

^ As that help page explains, you can do it from Account > Contact Information in your secondlife.com Dashboard, which is handy if you're somewhere you can't login to Second Life, or would rather not bother logging in. (I love convenience, don't you?)

While you're at it, you can also change your email address on the same page.

Dashboard - Account - Contact Information.png

Torley Linden

One of the new features we've introduced with Viewer 2.3 Beta are "hints", little text bubbles that come up and tell you more about a feature when appropriate. You may be familiar with this convention in other apps. For example, if someone types to you, you get a prompt on how to text chat. And there's one for the new display names feature too.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5123161205_63761fb3b4_o.png

You can click the "X" to hide a hint, but if you'd rather globally turn them off, just disable Help menu > Enable Hints

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4031/5143122180_cbb27451a2_o.png

Torley Linden

I, Torley Linden, am not currently blogging because my work focuses have shifted elsewhere... but you can get in touch with me on my profile page!

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In the Advanced mode of the Second Life Viewer, subtle-yet-powerful new Preferences get added — and overlooked — leaving them less used than they could be, which makes me sad unless I do something about it. I love to champion this stuff because I know how much enjoyment it can add to your Second Life.

One bit I'd like to call out is the ability to double-click and teleport just about anywhere you see. I'm voracious about sightseeing in Second Life, and that means not having to put up with walls when I want to get somewhere. Fast. Why put up with hassle when you can 'port in the blink of an eye?'

You can turn it on in just a few clicks:

  1. Select Me menu > Preferences.
  2. In the PREFERENCES window, click Move & View tab.
  3. Check Double-Click to and click either Teleport or Auto-pilot (which makes you walk somewhere instead of teleport).
  4. Click OK.

This video shows how it looks in action:

I've heard from many fans of this feature from Third-Party Viewers, so I'm glad it's come to the SL Viewer.

Oh, and if you prefer to use Basic mode, this combined functionality is already on: single-click auto-pilots, double-click teleports! The difference is a small dot to indicate your destination. Which makes me curious: if you prefer Advanced mode, do you want this feature on by default? (Click to discuss in the forums.)

 

Torley Linden

Running multiple Viewers has become more accessible thanks to an easy checkbox in Viewer 2.4 Beta.

If you run multiple Viewers (what are the official Viewers?) — for example, you prefer building in 1.23 but want 2.3's communication enhancements, and are also testing the Mesh project viewer — certain aspects can conflict, especially if you're running them at the same time.

For example, each Viewer refers to a cache folder which stores info about inventory, textures, sounds, and other previously-accessed data for quicker retrieval. Having a bunch of Viewers using the same cache folder is like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos™* — they clash for resources OM NOM NOM and oddities like perceived inventory loss (never fun) and corrupt textures (that sucks too) may result.

However, you can change your cache location for each Viewer.

  1. On the Viewer's login screen, choose Me menu > Preferences. (In Viewer 1.23, it's Edit menu > Preferences.)
  2. In the PREFERENCES window, click Setup tab. (In Viewer 1.23, it's Network tab.)
  3. Click the Browse button. (In Viewer 1.23, it's the Set button.)
  4. Use the file browser to choose a different folder, or create a new one. Then choose it.
  5. Quit the Viewer (as changes won't happen until you restart it), then repeat the above for each Viewer.

PREFERENCES - Setup tab - Browse button to change cache location.png

Thanks to cheery Sylvan Mole of our Linden Department of Public Works for suggesting this tip!

What tips do you have for using multiple Viewers?

* The hippo analogy is even more funny when you realize hippos are SL's unofficial mascot.

Torley Linden

Hot question answered up ahead!

Some of you have been wondering how to switch your forum — and in general, discussion — view to threaded view, which is commonly used on other systems so you can track branched conversations. It's easy!

  1. When logged in, click My Settings.
  2. Click the Preferences tab.
  3. Click the Display tab underneath that.
  4. Select Show all posts in a topic.
  5. Scroll down and Save Changes.

This video shows you precisely how:

Like I mentioned in the video, I recommend having a web browser with two tabs open, so you can easily flip between making changes and seeing what effect they have. Many are self-explanatory but some require experimentation and giving yourself time to get used to changes. Learning by doing will help you grow more confident with community.secondlife.com!

Our Community Platform team is busy scouring your early feedback and responding, so stay tuned for more need-to-know tidbits.

What other hot tips about using our community platform would you like to see?

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