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Torley Linden

Spring is in full swing, and that goes hand-in-hand with spring cleaning — which includes your Second Life inventory! Wait, what's that? You dread opening up those dusty folders with hundreds, even thousands of items that you've never used. I bet that rings a bell.

Have no fear. While the psychological burden may initially seem like a mountain, taking small steps is the key. Cleaning your inventory isn't exciting compared to hanging out with friends in cool places, but each of these tips only takes minutes, and when combined, will help you feel sooo much better after decluttering! Plus, did you know a smaller inventory loads faster and uses less resources? It's not the same as going green in the physical world, but it helps. Let's get started with this video tutorial, then I've got written tips that expand on what I show, along with direct links to those sections of the video:

Get Your Total Item Count

For fun (or abject horror), start typing something — anything — in the Filter Inventory field. Your item count will rise above, until it's done loading. You can compare this to what it is when you're all done.

Don't be hard on yourself, though: this count includes Library items which you can hide, since they're not actually yours.

Make a "Temporary" Folder for Sorting

Right-click the My Inventory folder and select New Folder. Name this folder "Temp", or if you want it to stand out, something loud like "~*~ TEMP ~*~". Drag items that you're not sure of into here, so you can sort them out. This prevents them from clogging up casual folder browsing.

You can extend this concept more specifically. For example, create a "Temp" folder in each main folder like Objects.

Sort the "Temp" Folder

Here's a basic process that I've refined over time:

  1. Put on some mood music to get you in the zone. (I usually bliss out to ambient, but there was that one time I rocked out to 
    in an aggro loop... yes, there's an emo Torley... sort of.)
  2. Teleport to a clean surface, like a white skybox or a public sandbox. I have a flat platform which is set to Full Bright (neutral lighting), and makes it easiest to see what I'm placing.
  3. Drag and drop objects from your "Temp" folder inworld, so they rez and you can see what they really are. This is useful if you have a lot of generically- or identically-named stuff (like lots of objects named "Object"). "No copy" objects are removed from your inventory after being rezzed, so take them back from inworld if you want to keep them. Otherwise, you can delete the inworld instance.
  4. Move objects you want to keep to another folder. You may have an existing sorting scheme. I have "Archive" folders for objects dated by month, because I often have memories attached to objects of how I got 'em.

Depending on the land, you should either clean up after yourself or let auto-return take care of it. In the latter case, multiple objects returned to your inventory simultaneously appear in your Lost And Found folder as coalesced objects. Like the Trash, you can easily and permanently delete its contents by right-clicking it and selecting Empty Lost And Found.

Continue Onto Other Item Types

Objects are just one inventory item type; you surely have clothing, notecards, textures, and so on. For each item type, I like to go through them as a batch. These tricks make it easier:

  • For animations, gestures, notecards, scripts, sounds, and textures (including those in your Photo Album): hold Shift key while clicking to select a range of items, or hold Ctrl while clicking various un-adjacent items in a list, then right-click and select Open to open all those items in a single window. This makes it easier to browse each item and decide if you really want to keep it.
  • For clothes and other wearables, it can be a good idea to have a minimal, "neutral" avatar so you can easily see what's added upon wearing. While an ideal one isn't provided off the bat, I suggest making a nude/underwear outfit of your fave avatar. This also accurately reflects your bodily proportions, which matters because just like the physical world, wearables look awful at the wrong size.
  • If you want to save a texture to your local hard drive but no longer need it in your inventory: double-click the texture and click the Save As button, which saves it as a TGA file which can be opened or converted by an image editor like FastStone Viewer. (This only works if the texture is fully-permissive, like in-Viewer pics you take that end up in the Photo Album.)

Eliminate Useless Redundancy by Deleting Duplicates

You don't need more than a single copy of an item in your inventory if it's copyable, so after you've checked goods out, select dupes and hit that Delete key. But before you do, be aware:

Items with the same name aren't necessarily the same. For example, if you work on an object inworld and take it back into your inventory, it keeps the same name. This is confusing if you also keep older versions of it. You can click the little gear icon at the bottom and choose Sort by Most Recent. Also, learn from many great content creators: append a version/revision number to the item name. I sometimes type the date in the name as a self-reminder.

Landmarks are one of the most notorious types of dupes. Here's why: many, many stores give a landmark in each product box. While this is initially useful to find your way back if you want to buy more, as shown in the video, the WORLD MAP dropdown shows landmarks from every folder in your inventory — and isn't smart enough to hide dupes. If you don't use that dropdown, this doesn't matter to you, but otherwise, you can filter (search) your inventory for those dupes by name, then delete them.

Furthermore, I don't keep many landmarks: since any landmark can be converted to a standard web link known as a SLurl, I save SLurls on the web instead, like in my Flickr exploration albums which have the advantage of loading quicker and giving me higher-resolution visuals.

Delete original boxes — MAYBE. There are two schools of thought: some Residents prefer to keep original boxes of copyable items because they're a backup if things go awry, while other Resis feel secure not having them around, after expanding the contents into a folder. My recommendation? It really does depend on the specific items. Boxes for non-copyable objects can probably be tossed away because they're just empty shells — unless you like the box design itself. Also, a growing number of merchants offer automated delivery if you lose something, so take that into consideration.

Ye Olde Art of Cube-Stuffing

If you've spent any amount of time with veteran Residents, you may have caught wind of "cube-stuffing" lore. Cube-stuffing is exactly what it sounds like: archiving a bunch of items in a cube and lowering your inventory item count. This works because object contents aren't tallied up in the total. You can cube-stuff items you want to backup and preserve items you seldom use, yet don't want to throw away.

  1. Right-click and select Build on a parcel of land you have build permissions on. The build tools open.
  2. Click the parcel to rez a cube.
  3. In the build tools window, click the Content tab.
  4. Drag inventory items you want to archive into the Contents folder pane. (Advanced usage: You can drag items directly onto the cube itself, but there's a subtle exception: Dragging a texture onto a prim applies it to a prim's face, unless you hold the Ctrl key while doing so.)
  5. Once you've stuffed the cube, click the General tab to give it a meaningful name and date so you remember what's inside later.

Limitations:

  • While there's not a strict upper limit for how much you stuff in a cube, note that loading the item list can be extremely slow once you get into the hundreds of items. Also, there are no sub-folders: dragging nested folders breaks their hierarchy, so cube-stuffing isn't that useful for original outfits.
  • Unfortunately, you can't search the contents of an object as you can with your inventory.
  • Some Residents keep stuffed cubes out on land where it won't be autoreturned, so they have backups in case of inventory loss — since the cube isn't in your inventory, it won't be affected. However, it will be affected by land changes, so be sure if you're going to do this, rez the cube somewhere stable.

This information is provided so you're aware of the possibilities. I don't really cube-stuff anymore and have grown more forgiving of letting my inventory count (it's at 13,362 right now) grow over the years, with the tradeoff that I'm more aggressive about deleting clutter. In first life, there was an insightful Lifehacker post on this titled "Rethink Your Stuff: What to Splurge On, What to Toss". While we avatars don't need beds and our shoes aren't going to wear out, sentimental stories attached to an object still matter to many of us!

Remember to Empty the Trash!

It's garbage day! After all the above, right-click your Trash "folder" and select Empty Trash. Then check your total item count and congratulate yourself — your future self will say thank-you too, when they find something you couldn't. ;)

Explore Resident-Created Inventory Organizers

While the above has mainly focused on trimming your existing inventory, this is closely related to ongoing organization. Searching the Second Life Marketplace yields dozens of "inventory organizer" matches that are designed to overcome system limitations, and further automate the above steps. For example, texture organizers can make it easier to browse through visual previews instead of muddling around in folders.

In case you're wondering, I don't currently use a specialized inventory organizer, but am discovering many cool tools as I rebuild Torley island.

Further Learnin'

You can see general inventory management tips in our Knowledge Base — note some of that info is stale and I haven't gotten to updating the videos.

Have an inventory-cleaning tip that leaves you feeling like sunshine? Let us know in the comments!

 

Torley Linden

Not long ago, I was going to eat sushi with friends. (I'm so fond of sushi I named a cat after it.) But before I did, I took many pictures of the impending feast. One of my chums asked me why, and I candidly replied:

"This meal will be gone soon, but the memories will remain."

So it is with inworld photography, one of the most popular hobbies inside Second Life — and getting started is as easy as clicking a single button. Years ago, I started a snapshot help page that has since helped thousands of Residents discover the joy of SL photography firsthand. As time passed though, I received hundreds of requests to update the guide to reflect the newest Viewer versions. I have!

Curious and short on time? Aren't we all. This less-than-three (not to be confused with "<3", although I love teaching this stuff) minute video gets you started:

What's next?

Happy snapping and see you 'round community.secondlife.com and in Second Life!
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!

--

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

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

Awhile ago when we changed from the older-style "First and last name" at registration to "Single-word username" system as part of display names improvements, single-username Residents could view, but couldn't post to the forums and blogs here at blogs.secondlife.com.

After much tussling, we've fixed it as shown here, so go ahead and make your voice heard! I know it was terribly frustrating from the many messages I got. Our apologies it took so long, seeing as how important it is that you can ask for help from your fellow  Residents in Second Life Answers... and I'm guessing you have a lot to say. Single-username logins also work at the Bug Tracker.

Related, single-username logins to the Second Life Wiki still don't work, meaning newer Residents can view, but can't edit the wiki help pages. We're still working on this and if it seems like we've gone strangely silent on giving updates, just ping me and I'll check with our tech experts to see what's going on. I promise.

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

There's so much to learn in Second Life that it can totally, understandably be overwhelming at first! Instead of "drinking the ocean" all at once, it helps to KNOW THE BASICS quickly, so you can feel more confident to carry on learning at your own pace. You know what they say: we were all new at one time, and one thing leads to another.

That's why we've added a special "LEARN THE BASICS - Get started with Second Life" part to our sidebar, elegantly brought to you by Experience Design (aka xD, lol) at Linden Lab! Click the Second Life eye-in-hand logo, then scroll down. As shown here:


 

Indeed, embracing the rich diversity of learning styles we have here, I've also done a video to show you the same steps. Whether you're a new Resident (friendly greetings to you!) or a veteran who wants to (1) help a friend or (2) get re-acquainted with skillz, this resource is available!


 

Extending help

If you know of more "Learn more" links that'd be handy to include on the wiki help pages as shown in the first video above, feel free to add them (

) to these pages:

Totally gratuitous header

Sidenote which at first glance seems unrelated but actually is quite relevant: I'm currently addicted to Mass Effect 2, and in playing the demo (it's free on Steam), I was wowed at how integral, immersive, and hands-on their basics tutorial is. After a cinematic intro, they bring throw you into the tense heat of battle, and I've long been fascinated with how stressful experiences (both positive and negative, even simulated ones) become imprinted on your mind. Later on, ME2 shows advanced combat training video tutorials, which taught me how to execute biotics on several targets simultaneously.

My point here is: have you been wowed by any introductory tutorials out there, from games to webapps to kitchen products? I believe education should be vivid and passionate (not eyes-bleed-boring as is the case with so much "technical documentation", blah), and always like learning what's possible outside of SL, then applying it inworld. SO — please share what you enjoy.

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

Ah, skyboxes, a special part of Second Life culture alongside other product types like animation overrides and terrain extenders. Not only can our avatars defy gravity, our buildings can, too. That's right, you can rez (create) something in the air and it'll just stick there. Somewhat self-explanatory skyboxes have been with us since near the beginning of Second Life, and if you're new, you're bound to run across them sooner or later, even if you don't realize it (by checking your height coordinate).

But what do you need to know, and how are skyboxes relevant to you? And hey, how do you get up there, anyway?


 

Whether you're looking to make your castle in the clouds or purely want to explore that extravagant third dimension, there's more help in...

The Guide o' Skyboxes

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3557/3431138779_0b8572f053_z.jpg

As always, let me know what's missing from this guide that could make it awesomer, or go ahead and edit the wiki help page (

). Your suggestions will help spread cultural knowledge that future generations of Residents shall benefit from!
Torley Linden

No matter how much changes here, some things are still around. Among them, classic clouds.

Do you turn classic clouds on or off (or switch depending on context), and why?

Also relevant: if you didn't know you could turn them off — maybe you're a new Resident — you should try and decide for yourself!

After my last post on skyboxes, classic clouds is a natural followup topic: the ground, water, and clouds are so much of what you see in Second Life, so changing their appearance (or entirely removing them from view) can have a massive effect on your inworld experience. Think about the real-world and how even hearing rain results in, uh, a certain urge.

I show you how classic clouds affect performance here:


 

And there's...

More on the "Classic clouds" help page

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

Curious about the history of Second Life scripting? This is for you!

Preserving our history is essential to understand the progress of earlier generations that in turn, informs our future decisions and prevents us from making the same mistakes they worked through, so we don't have to. Hopefully.

As one of the lead Lindens working on wiki.secondlife.com, I love seeing exceptional contributions to the help pages, and I wanted to highlight Cerise Sorbet's

Old forum Scripting Library index

Contains links to templates, examples, and more you can use in your creations. Shows that one Resident can make such an overarching, positive difference! Not only does it have sortable tables and brief descriptions to quickly summarize what's in each thread, older threads are colorfully catalogued (as "Museum" and "Attic"), making their historical status clear. In turns, this builds upon the previous, venerable curation by Nada Epoch, whose scripting forum moderation was already esteemed when I joined Second Life in 2004.

Forums as a tool have their uses for thriving discussion, but the wiki is often a more effective medium for collaboratively upgrading a single source, including the LSL Portal. But I've found using both are quite complementary, since (1) wiki talk pages can be awkward for newcomers to chat in and (2) vibrant forum discussions often lead to wiki help pages, as I've done and seen across 1,000s of edits. Resis who are wiki-shy often team up with the more experienced to learn and communicate changes. Further behind-the-scenes on how I apply this to help you and fellow Residents of Second Life can be found on Rapid Knowledge Iteration.

To discuss the Scripting Library index with Cerise and others,

jump into the matching forum thread

 

And...

Curious about editing the wiki yourself? Learn more!

Often, I've found editing the wiki stems from a personal perspective, passion about a topic, where you not only wish something could be better, you act on it — whether it's correcting a typo, adding a key fact, leading all the way up to writing whole guides and indexes. What you spend a few minutes on could save many hours for yourself and others in the future.

Torley Linden

There's an amazing array of events in Second Life. Many of them have "real world" analogues... with a twist! For example, first life concerts aren't inundated with nearly as many ASCII art audience reactions.   Whether you want to attend a crowded party that packs the hizzouse or are more into relaxing art shows, all that's missing is HOW TO FIND THOSE EVENTS, ARRRR.

Well fear not! I've been compiling a

Guide to Finding Events

which, as the name apparently suggests, is exactly about that. It covers the default secondlife.com and in-Viewer events search, as well as manual methods, and Resident-created callouts. Try 'em all out and see what's most comfortable for you, because your interests are an extrusion of your unique personality! I happen to enjoy the serendipitous spontaneity of flashmobbing. I used to drop in on gameshows a lot because I'm trivia crazy. And I ♥ seeing many awesome avatars in the same place at once, 'cuz having a remarkable avatar is a key conversation-starter.

But I'm sure stuff is missing from this guide, which is where you come in.

Let me know your favorite ways to find events in this forum thread,

such as... hunting the green dots, those "poker chip stacks"!


 

But do heed this gem from Veritable Quandry in response:

I should caution that TP'ing directly to a spot with two dots can have...interesting results.

Wise words. And this being Second Life, it's not limited to two dots, either.

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

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

Jack Linden recently announced "Viewer 2.3 Beta Available Today With Display Names and More"! In response to hot Resident requests, we made a bunch of design upgrades so that it's simple to do some everyday things you'll be using often.

Question: "How can I grab a complicated display name made out of characters I can't even type?"

Answer: We've added an easy Copy To Clipboard button. All you need to do is open a Resident's profile, which is is accessible in many places via an inspector (green circle icon with an "i").

Just click Copy To Clipboard, then Ctrl-V (Cmd-V on Mac) to paste both the display name and unchangeable username in any standard text field, including outside of Second Life. This video shows you how in action:


 

Remember, this is currently only available in the Viewer 2.3 Beta, so be sure to get the special Viewer and go to a supported region like this:

Because we need to ensure that Display Names operates correctly, we will  not enable Display Names for the entire grid immediately. Today, it  will work in a few thousand regions; once we see how it performs,  we  will dial that up over the next few weeks until the whole grid is  enabled. If you want to try using Display Names, then head to Blake Sea  and Bay City, as those areas will be enabled first.

Learn more about display names in our help pages!

^ I was writing these but have been transitioning them into the care of Bea Linden, feel free to comment and let us know your suggestions.

Torley Linden

Skip if you already know this — apparently it's been around for awhile and I had no clue.

You can drag an open texture preview onto any applicable surface, whether it's a prim face or a profile picture.


 

This may be a quick shortcut if you've already got a texture open and were under the assumption (like me) that you had to drag it from the PICK: TEXTURE window or from your inventory.

What's a Second Life trick that you wish you discovered earlier, because it seems totally obvious in hindsight?

(Don't be shy, there's always something new to discover in Second Life, and I encourage this curiosity! The only wrong answer is not learning.)

Torley Linden

What if I told you that

you can get less lag in seconds, with a few simple clicks?

No, this ain't a scam, but like some infomercials, it's completely risk-free. Y'see, I love "smart" defaults because they help give us a better experience out of the box, whether we're new to Second Life or doing a fresh install. But I keep coming across Resis who, despite having a fat broadband connection, feel "laggy" because they didn't know they could up their Maximum Bandwidth.

GOOD GOSH. SPREAD THE WORD:

One of the not-so-bright defaults, as I griped about with you guys some time ago (the Internet never forgets), is the default Maximum Bandwidth setting. It defaults to 500 kbps, which makes no sense because HELLO WE'RE NOT ON DIAL-UP ANYMORE.

But srsly, like Geordi La Forge said on Reading Rainbow, you don't have to take my word for it. Try it yourself.

  1. Go to Me menu > Preferences.
  2. In PREFERENCES window, click Setup tab.
  3. Move Maximum bandwidth slider all the way to the right... yeah, crank that baby!

(Supposedly years ago, setting your Max. Bandwidth too high would result in bad packet loss and overall decreased performance, but tell me if you still notice that. It may not even be true anymore.)


 

Links to followup on:

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

This is another one of those "Mmm subtle" kinda tips. You may already know that with Viewer 2.x, we've superbly integrated SLurls (web-compatible links that teleport you to a specific Second Life place, as used in the Destination Guide), and that pasting a SLurl into chat shows it in brief.

Side tip: Pasting a SLurl can be a quicker way of broadcasting it to nearby friends while traveling as a group, instead of having to drag a landmark on each person or send individual teleport requests.

Did you also know that SLurl-pasting works the same way in your profile? Watch this video to see how you can easily include a favorite SLurl or more in your profile, so others can come visit.


 

What's your fave creative use for SLurls that more Residents should know about?

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

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

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'?

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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.

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