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VRprofessor

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About VRprofessor

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  1. FWIW I always over estimate what I can get accomplished when I design a new course--don't feel bad about being overly ambitious. (Do listen to the warnings others have given.) Based on skimming your comments I wonder if you have too much emphasis on virtual worlds--It sounds to me as if you want to introduce kids to a broad range of skills to encourage them to think about electronic media related career opportunities. A worthy goal, but I feel you can accomplish this while still providing some foundational lifetime skills for students who go on to careers outside of electronic media and making much less use of virtual worlds. I like getting kids into opensim/SL and making sure that they have the basic skills to function in them. Building with prims provides a lot of opportunities for learning about problem solving and exercising creativity. Many folks in SL are placebound and SL gets them "out of the house," which will be useful to some of your students later in life. Others will need to attend lectures or meetings in virtual worlds as part of their future non-media job and being able to move around without frustration would be a benefit to them. GIMP has a lot of features that are useful without any reference to virtual worlds. I suspect you could teach an entire course just on GIMP. But how many folks actually need the power of GIMP? Many of your students are going to want to be able to do basic photo editing (Picasa) or edit sound files (audicity) or video files. Knowing what to do if one shoe ruins your family photo seems like a good skill to have. And having students create a photo of themselves interacting with some historical figure would go a long way towards teaching healthy skepticism of stuff you see on the internet. Many of the commercial game engines are available free of charge for educational uses. Students could learn some simple world development-make a park or develop a historical view of some location. I love the idea of teaching basic programming skills, but I am unsure of the best approach. I would want my kids learning concepts that generalize fairly readily and I am not sure LSL is the right way to do this. I have heard of something called "netbeans" which I know some educators swear by. However, even if you teach topics, such as GIMP, as stand alone topics you can still have a few minutes of instruction on moving things from GIMP into a virtual world as one of the many things you can do with GIMP. The same with other media development tools.
  2. Perrie Juran wrote: Oh, Tex and VR, my name is Perrie not Pierre. I may make love like a French man, but alas, I am not French. I begin by apologizing for past erroneous spellings. I continue by apologizing for the future spelling errors I am likely to make. I will try to remember and do it correctly, but spelling has always been a bit of a challenge for me.
  3. FWIW the animosity towards surveys is not unique to SL or this forum. Certain populations become over-studied by well intended, but poorly prepared, researchers and those populations often become hostile to researchers generally. Pierre does an excellent job of explaining the variety of problems with most of the "researchers" looking for survey responses. There are folks who have done successful research in/about SL. The two that I am familiar with have spent time in world understanding the environment and making friends who trust the researcher enough to participate and often help recruit more participants. These folks have done good work. Those who pop up on message boards asking for survey participants rarely do work worthy of the time they are asking of participants. If you want good research, emulate those that have done good research.
  4. The most productive is to take your avi into SL and start making some friends---go ahead and declare in your profile that you are a student researcher. When folks have had a chance to get to know you, you can pass them a note card with a link to psychdata (or whatever online service your university provides) along with preliminary informed consent information (general purpose of the study and such). Google "Simon Evans" at the London School of Economics and read the methodology sections of his papers.
  5. Treasure Ballinger wrote: Hi Togran; As others have suggested, please do contact Virtual Ability. Speak with Gentle Heron, tell her I sent you over from the forums, she'll be able to guide you. Hope to see you around the grid. Gentle is definitely the one you want to talk with first.
  6. When I send students out to chat the men report far more challenges getting a conversation going than do the women. My guess is that newbie men frequently show up looking for sex and little else and so end up being ignored. As for getting started--I agree with advice about focusing on basic movement and such first--you can do a lot without moving your camera a lot. There are several wonderful newbie places--you can find some in the destinations tab and others by searching. The busiest place seems to be NCI Kuula which is usually crowded--start with some friendly chit-chat in the public box. Other places are less busy, but that will allow you to get basically personalized tutorials on some basic topics. White Tiger, Helping haven, and hobo helpers are the ones that I am personally familiar with--there are more and someone will surely add some names to this list. Another option is to use the search function to find a music club that specializes in the type of music you like and then teleport around till you find one where there are some folks hanging out. Again, monitor the public chat and contribute where you can.
  7. Avatar shape is easy, select any of the basic avatars and you can edit the shape as you wish. In the SL viewer right click on your avatar and select "edit my shape" and you will find lots of adjustable sliders. I've read about designing and editing skins--I can see why skins tend to be expensive. When buying skins use the demos--skins tend to be designed to a particular shape and may not look good on your preferred shape.
  8. On your budget I would recommend buying a basic, non-gaming i3 or i5 based desktop and think about upgrading in a few months. Even a fairly cheap build is at the very high end of your budget: Using lower price, but basically sound, components you could build with: A fairly basic case for $40 to $50 B75 chipset motherboard ~$75 i3 CPU $120 to $140 8GB RAM ~$75 Windows OS ~$100 (or Linux for $0) Power supply ~$50 DVD drive $30 Hard Drive $80 That puts you at ~$590 and you haven't purchased a GPU yet. ($490 if you go with Linux--although I have no idea how/if Linux deals with most PC games.) You can save a few $ by watching for sales, but only $50 or so. If you can salvage the hard drive and/or DVD drive out of your current computer you can save a few dollars that way, but you will likely want to replace a salvaged hard drive before too long--so the savings are temporary. If you want a nice gaming PC, you should prepare yourself to spend a bit more than you currently have budgeted. I am pretty happy with budget cases, but not everyone is, and a case can run you $200. The B75 based motherboard is going to have very few expansion slots--I never add more than a GPU so I only need the one, but if you plan to save up for dual GPUs, you'll need a better motherboard--they start at around $130 and go up pretty quickly. You can purchase a basic, non-gaming i3/i5 computer comfortably in your price range--it won't have a GPU and the power supply won't support a high end GPU, so you'll need to replace the power supply before you add a GPU. It will handle photography comfortably and it will play most games on lower settings. This approach gives you the option to save up for a nice GPU and power supply in the future.
  9. How comfortable are you with editing an AO? You could buy an AO that is copy/mod and take out all the standing animations that you dislike. If you only want a couple of stands many of the vendors sell starter/newbie AOs pretty cheap. Cheap enough that you could even buy a couple and see which you like best.
  10. Here's one on sale today: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313582&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL122413&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL122413-_-EMC-122413-Index-_-na-_-34313582-L04C I worried a bit about the GT 745M GPU, but it has better specs than my GT 550M so it should work fine. the 17" screen size does make it more of a desktop replacement than a laptop, so maybe that doesn't work for you.
  11. Daisonia wrote: Would this be good then? (A link from your site). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314178 videobenchmark.net rates the GT720m as barely better than HD4000. Look for something with a GT650m or better GPU.
  12. I am a big fan of the intel HDxxxx graphics as a temporary measure in a desktop--buy a nice GPU a couple months after buying the desktop when your wallet has a chance to recover. But in a laptop, you have to buy the graphics card when you buy the computer--and the HD series is not a true graphics card. (I understand they are great for streaming video and such, but they are not for serious GPU use.) Find something with an NVidia 550m graphics card, or better (650m is better) and shop for a sale. It took me about a month to find the laptop I use....but it was worth the hunt. (graphics in mine is GT 550M which runs SL comfortably on medium settings. It will run High settings, but with soooo much heat I am afraid the whole system is going to burn up.)
  13. Definitely check your wifi channels and hope there is some "empty" space. I live in a relatively sparse neighborhood and I still receive about 10 different signals--I cannot imagine how many you must have in an apartment complex. I have no problems with SL and wifi in my home, but if I lived in an apartment I would look into running a network cable from the router to the spot I normally sit when accessing SL.
  14. Happened to be idling browsing the web and noticed one of the benchmark sites ranks the GTX 760 as delivering th most performance per dollar spent of several GPU cards in the same category. If you (OP) can afford one (around $300 U.S.) that seems like the card to shoot for to me.
  15. You've gotten some good advice on some sensible hardware upgrades for a better computer at minimal additional cost. I'm going to add one point. Many people will deny it, but the higher end AMD processors (and the Intel i-series processors) will run Second life, all be it not well--low graphics settings at low fps rates--but it will run. I mention this because if you are currently having budget issues you may want to put a bit of extra money into the CPU, and other components today, and purchase a nice GPU in a couple of months. For me a good GPU pushed my computer's purchase price past my comfort level--so I relied on the built in graphics on the CPU (i5-2500k) for 3-4 months until I could afford a decent GPU. Depending on where I am, I run SL on a variety of computers with a range of different capabilities. The built in GPU for the modern high end chip runs SL on par with the worst of the computers I use (older G-xxx CPU and GT 520 graphics card). So for the first few months my SL experience on my worst and best computers was roughly the same. Eventually I bought a GTX550ti, which was a nice upgrade, and finally a GTX 660ti which does everything I need right now. Other: Modern computer components are like really expensive legos--they are designed so someone with a modest bit of care and skill can put them together. Just make sure the components you purchase work well together. Cases vary all over in price--there really is a difference, but I've purchased a couple of low end cases that have worked well enough. What really matters, to me, it the position of on/off switches, number and location of USB ports, and that sort of thing. My cases sit on the floor so power switches on/near the top are critical. If, however, I set the computer up on my desk, I would be looking for a power switch nearer the bottom of the case. Repeating the message from an earlier post: do your homework so that you don't spend money foolishly. If you buy 6gb of RAM today you are almost certainly going to be upgrading to 8GB in a few months to a year--just get the 8GB now. I don't know the AMD CPU line, but in the Intel line, upgrading from i3 to i5 is very likely worth the extra money, while upgrading from the i5 to the i7 probably isn't worth it.
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