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cyfishy: (selfport)
Every time a shiny new virtual world shows up and the geekosphere starts circling and rubbing their hands and predicting the doom of Second Life, I see the same thing happen.

I watched it happen to Lively, to There and now even Blue Mars is abandoning any further development of its PC client and shifting to a mobile platform.

They each have one flaw, a flaw that is to all appearances fatal.

I can't get in.

I'm a Mac user. I always have been. Our family's first computer was an Apple, we were probably the first on our block with a little beige box in 1984 and we've been Mac people ever since.

About twelve percent of American households have a Mac in them as of 2009. The majority of those have some kind of Windows-based PC lurking about somewhere, so it wouldn't seem necessary to go to all the trouble to make a virtual world client specifically for Mac users. There are so few of us, after all, in the larger scheme of things.

Except for the fact that it isn't just about numbers. It's about the kind of users you cut out by shutting the door on the Macintosh.

The affluent type. The college-educated type. The artsy, creative, I-make-my-living-conjuring-pretty-things-out-of-pixels type.

Photoshop, the program most commonly used for editing Second Life textures, started out on the Macintosh and didn't have a Windows version until after a few years of development. It's a pretty safe bet that a large number of Photoshop experts are Mac people, and if you don't have a way for them to get in, you cut yourself off from a deep pool of creative talent. Not all of them will go to the trouble to either obtain a Windows machine or force their Mac to mimic one just to access a program. Why on earth should they, when they already have Second Life if they need a world to play in?

In fact, I'll go out on a limb and firmly declare that any virtual world that cannot be readily accessed by a Macintosh computer will never successfully surpass Second Life.

I'm not sure where Blue Mars goes on that scale, to be honest, considering that the direction they're heading towards is . . . the iPhone and iPad.


I think that says it all, really.
cyfishy: (Default)

Big changes at Quantum Fields . . . including a new shop design. Miles arranged to get the back wall opened up so we have a place to sit with a view of the sea. I've also set up some 7Seas Fishing at the dock nearby, with some bonus catches of SB merch to be caught. Many possibilities are unfurling in this new year. I hope to update a little more frequently here to chronicle them.
posted by CyFishy Traveler on Quantum Fields using a blogHUD : [permalink]
cyfishy: (selfport)
I've revised the Five Things To Do Before You Get Started in Second Life on my Newbie Guide to reflect the recent development of Display Names. I realize there's a lot that needs to be tweaked on the site to keep up with the constant changes in Viewer 2, and I hope in the new year to be able to devote some more time to them.
cyfishy: (whitehair)
This is rather absurdly short notice, but I've decided to do the Second Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Sale at Social Butterfly!

Starting Christmas morning (December 25th) and running through the 12th day of Christmas (January 5th) one item in our store will be marked down to a mere L$12. It could be our Kaleidoscope Eyes. It could be one of our lovely shirts. (It probably won't be the L$5 shirts upstairs because, um, that would be kind of silly.) The only way to find out is to go and hover your little cursor over each item to find out the price.

Happy Christmas to all!

cyfishy: (Default)

The new and improving Social Butterfly mainstore. (At least Miles didn't leave that dumpster around like she sometimes does when things are still under construction.)
posted by CyFishy Traveler on Quantum Fields using a blogHUD : [permalink]
cyfishy: (allofme)
I know many complain about your instability, but I've had few troubles with you crashing on me incessantly.

Nevertheless, I am growing a bit weary of your tendency to rearrange the furniture with every new release. I had the process of creating new clothes down to a nice little rhythm and now I have to figure it out all over again because you've completely changed the Edit Appearance windows.

This is especially frustrating for someone who runs a How To site for SL newbies. I can't imagine what they're going through when things shift around the moment they've finally figured them out.

I do have hopes for you, Viewer 2, but maybe you should work a little more on the back-end stability since I know so many people have fled to Emerald (and now to Phoenix) not because of the layout, but because of the not-crashing thing. How about you give us a little time to adjust to the layout before fiddling with those parts, even if they're not as glamorous as the grindy process of debugging?

Yours sincerely,

CyFishy Traveler
cyfishy: (cybegin)
In Four Pictures . . .  )

All in all, it was a lovely rezday. Four is an interesting age to be in a world that is itself only seven. The time the grid existed without me is now exceeded by the time the grid has existed with me in it. And I'm still here. Sometimes frustrated, but still fascinated and hoping to see and do more in this virtual place.
cyfishy: (allofme)
I finally broke down and bought a paid account so I can do a little more with this blog than I've been able to.

My newbie guide is in need of considerable revision in light of the new viewer, so I suppose I'm lucky that I'm such a procrastinator and all the pages I was going to get to Real Soon Now will be accurate once I get them put up.

Still trying to prod Miles--and myself, for that matter--into some action on Social Butterfly.

The Me has some crazy ideas she wants to pull off, but many of those crazy ideas involve Second Life in some way, so you may be hearing more from me soon.
cyfishy: (whitehair)
One of the reasons I did my newbie site as a webpage instead of writing it as a book (as some suggested) is because I was fully aware that Second Life is a mutable thing and anything that got committed to paper would eventually become obsolete. I finally got the second part of How to Dress Yourself up and now I may have to redo How to See What You're Doing in light of the new interface that is currently in Beta testing.

I'm rethinking my approach to the Newbie site in light of the increasing number of viewers and options available. A tutorial on How To Use The Internet should not confine itself to the quirks of Internet Explorer.

So far, a lot of the criticism directed at the Beta Viewer seems to be along the lines of "It's all different and weird and scary! Make it exactly like the viewer I'm used to! Only more usable!" Not that there aren't valid complaints out there (I have a few, which I'll get to) but I really wonder about the guy who insists that the old-school pie menus are less confusing than the new context menus in the Beta viewer.

So, complaints first, then compliments--

The top "browser" bar and side tabs take up a little more visual real estate than I would like. The side tabs in particular are like a HUD you can't detach. It would be WONDERFUL if there was a simple clicky way to hide them completely and reveal them as necessary so I can see the world unimpeded.

Color scheme is at least a little classier than the classic brown-and-blue muck, but it would be groovy to have some lighter options.

Good job on making the sound controls so unobtrusive that I couldn't FIND the things until I read a FAQ update that explained where to look. (I'll get over that one, but sheesh. By the way, for those still looking--they're in the upper-right corner. That's also how to make the voice chat dot go away, by bringing up the sound settings and deselecting "Enable" next to the Voice Chat volume slider.)

I get why you decided to make profile pictures square now that you're using them as little sub-icons in things like friends list and chat window. But after all that tweaking to make my profile picture fit neatly in the 3:4 window, it's a damn nuisance to wind up distorted all over again. And I'm going to have to live with looking squishy in the profile windows of those who decline to make the switch. Sigh.

Things I do like:

The new context menus. It's an enormous relief to see all my options at once instead of having to click through to the dreaded "More..." to get to what I need and they're familiar enough to the average computer user to be more 'intuitive' than the pie menus were.

The tattoo layer! What a great idea--I know quite a few people who love their tattoos but have to sacrifice so many lovely undershirt-layer clothes in order to wear them. It would be nice to see how they'll look while still in the Appearance settings, but maybe they can fix that in future iterations.

I'm still getting a feel for the new IM window, but I suspect we might have fewer cases of "Whoops! Wrong window!" because of the changes. I also felt better about it when I realized it could, in fact, be detached and moved from the bottom of the screen to wherever I needed it to be.

How will it work for a complete newbie? I'm really not sure, since I'm so familiar already with How To Make The Thing Go, but it does look like it's a little more friendly to the novice. I'm thinking I may need to reincarnate again to see how the new life begins in the M Linden Age.
cyfishy: (allofme)
I thought about editing the last post to include this information, but I felt it merited a new entry.

The Duran Duran islands are gone. If you click the SLURLs from my previous posts on the matter, the pointer lands in the middle of the ocean. (The avies they created for the band members still exist, at least for now, though Andy Taylor's avie disappeared some time ago.)

I'm not the slightest bit surprised. I'd expected it was only a matter of time before they gave up on ever coming inworld and while it would have been lovely to have been proven wrong, it was not to be.

It's strangely liberating, to be honest. Why I came here is no longer relevant. Why I stay here is.
cyfishy: (selfport)
Quite a bit has happened in the three-odd years between when Duran Duran first announced they'd be doing a show in Second Life and now.

One thing that hasn't happened is the actual show. The four regions that were created to host the event are still there but any attempts to teleport there are thwarted.

An avie known as Desire Duesenberg took it upon himself to set up a Group devoted to keeping an eye on the Duran Duran Islands and watching for signs of life. I had a Group slot to spare, so I signed up out of curiosity, though activity on it was intermittent and ultimately sputtered out until it was abruptly closed at the start of this month. The reason? Desire discovered that he had been banned from the islands.

Granted, there's no material difference between being unable to teleport somewhere because you're not on the access list and being unable to teleport somewhere because you've been banned outright. Either way, you can't get there--the only difference is the message on your screen that explains why. (A message that Desire took a screenshot of and now displays in the Picks section of his profile.)

Why was he banned? I can't state with any certainty, to be honest--I only have Desire's side of it, and his side is, understandably, a little blinded with outrage right now. It's classic Duranie drama, I can say that much, and a reminder of why I left that fandom behind.

On one hand, I suppose it's encouraging in that conspiracy theory sort of way to find out that somebody is running things. On the other hand, I'm not sure it makes a lick of difference except to the banner and the bannee, since the islands are still in limbo and will likely remain so until the band looks at their expense sheets and asks somebody "Um, why are we still paying for this again?" (It's possible they still hold out hope for a show inworld, but that hope gets fainter with each passing year.)

It's truly no nevermind to me. If they do a show, I'll probably show up and if they don't do a show, well, I won't really notice the difference.

Night View

Jan. 16th, 2010 02:54 am
cyfishy: (Default)

Pausing to gaze out over the water from our Galaxy suite before we log for the night.
posted by CyFishy Traveler on Galaxy AFT using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Date Night

Jan. 16th, 2010 02:36 am
cyfishy: (Default)

Beginning and I tangoing at Grizzy's Cafe with Steve the Cat at our feet. He seems it enjoy hanging around with us when we dance together.
posted by CyFishy Traveler on Xenia using a blogHUD : [permalink]


Jan. 14th, 2010 04:41 pm
cyfishy: (whitehair)
I met Sacred Singh, as I met many avies in my early days in Second Life, through Miles Montgolfier. Her avie was that of an ethereal blonde, but she openly admitted that she was a much older woman at the keyboard, with grown children and I believe grandchildren as well.

On my first rezday, she was the one I ended up talking to when a relationship I was in reached a crisis point. True to her professional training as a therapist, she did not urge me to break it off, but she did urge me to ask myself what I really wanted, what would make me truly happy and how I could fulfill those needs.

She suggested I use a mirror. Instead, I eventually ended up incarnating as Beginning, and talking to myself that way.

The last time I'd talked to her was on my third rezday. I'd just gone through another dark night of the soul and she again provided her support to me.

November, I'd been phone texting back and forth with Miles about some things for Social Butterfly and Miles dropped the news on me: Sacred had cancer again, and it was spreading rapidly.

There I was (or there The Me was, if you like) curled up in the corner of a coffeehouse with my iPhone, crying openly in grief for a woman I'd never met in the flesh. A tall man in black--a musician of my acquaintance--noticed and was kind enough to stop and hold my hands as I wept and tried to explain to him why.

Last night, I'd booked a suite on the SS Galaxy and was curled up with Beginning for a little quality time when Miles popped inworld for a moment. Beginning waited patiently, the way she does, as I IMed with Miles and found out the news--that Sacred had passed away on Saturday.

I sent an IM to GypsyDoctor Donat, who knew her in RL as well as SL and who had been the one to tell Miles about her. He mentioned that Sacred's daughter may take over the account long enough to pass the news on to the avies on her friends list. How strange it would be to see her name one last time in the corner of my screen, even knowing that she's never really coming back.
cyfishy: (selfport)
So if you've been shopping yourself senseless in anticipation of the holidays, here's a special little sale so you can get a little something for yourself. Here's how it works: on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25 - January 5) we'll be secretly marking down one of the Kaleidoscope Eyes from L$50 down to L$12. It will be marked down just for that one day, so be sure to check back daily.

We'll also have a wrapped package tucked in the corner with a free ladies' top in it just for those twelve days as well.

Social Butterfly is located at Quantum Fields: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Quantum%20Fields/223/83/23

Have a happy holiday season, everyone!
cyfishy: (cybegin)
Beginning and I both have, um, Twitter accounts now.

The Me got hooked on Brizzly and decided that since the option for multiple accounts was there, we might as well take advantage of it.

I am @cyfishy and Beginning is @beginthurs, for those of you who wish to follow either of us. Much like this journal, I'm likely to confine my follow list to fellow avies and let The Me follow the atomic world folks, but this may be subject to change.

We've been away for a while, but I hope to remedy that. The New Year will bring many changes, I suspect.
cyfishy: (cybegin)
The Me is embroiled in NaNoWriMo again and thus Beginning and I will be a little less present in the world than per usual.

There will be much to speak of once we emerge.
cyfishy: (boyself)
When Miles Montgolfier made it her mission to de-noobify my appearance, one of the things that she insisted on correcting was the way I walked. Before then, I'd been stumbling around with the standard issue dorky-looking walk that avatars come with when they enter Second Life. I didn't see anything wrong with it, but then I didn't see anything wrong with avatar hair, either. Miles dissuaded me from both notions by tossing me a few hundred Linden Dollars to buy my first prim hair from Deviant Kitties and then taking me to a shop that had a free Animation Override and insisting that I put it on.

Suddenly, my gawky stumble became a sexy saunter and my hair flowed behind me as I moved. Second Life became a more glamourous place.

When I first shifted to boyshape, the sexy saunter didn't really work as well so I reverted to the dorkwalk until I could find a better option. By then, spending money on enhancing my appearance came naturally to me, so when I asked [livejournal.com profile] caliburnsusanto for advice, he pointed me to a HUD that sat discreetly in the corner of the screen and gave me a manly sort of stride.

For a while, changing genders (as I still do) caused me to change Animation Overrides to the point that I tucked a copy of the sexywalk freebie in the folder for my girlshape so it was easily gotten to. Once in a while, I'd forget, at least until I took a few steps and realized which AO I had on. Then one day, I decided to leave the manly stride in place while in girlshape and decided it didn't look so bad. (Certainly not as bad as leaving the sexywalk in place when in boyshape, at least to my eyes.)

So I think I'll keep it. It seems that even in girlshape these days, I end up retaining a number of my more 'masculine' aspects, such as the indie rock glasses, the clothes and even the hairstyles. I suppose I'm the butch to Beginning's femme when we're in 'rezbian' mode. Plus, it makes shifting back and forth much less of a hassle, which is always helpful.
cyfishy: (cybegin)
As promised, Beginning's blog is now open for perusal.


I hope to be writing more about our adventures soon.
cyfishy: (cybegin)
My third rezday was last Saturday and while I wasn't able to make it inworld until late in the day, I did have a lovely time once I made it in.

Cut for length and photography )

Beginning has been spending enough time inworld on her own (at my insistence) that she's considering starting a blog of her own to detail her adventures. I'll let everybody here know the moment she does.