Thursday, June 20, 2013

Various SL10B Places

With the SL10B, there are a few hundred exhibits to see. That's quite a lot. There was no way I was going to see them all within a few days, so here's what I've seen so far.

The Relay For Life in Second Life exhibit, at SL10 Dazzle (153, 247, 22)

"The Behemoth," Created by Loki Eliot. This exhibit has gotten a bit of attention, including appearing in a machinima. It's been described as a metaphor for Second Life, and perhaps the Internet. It's advised you get the HUD at the bottom before climbing up. You get a few freebies along the way, including some avatars.

SL10B Wonderous ( 132, 48, 23)

And next door was the Team Firestorm plot, with it's Phoenix build.

The Astor Castle Hunt, with 14 freebies hidden in various objects around the place. This includes a copy of the castle according to the notecard, but I never could find that. It's located in SL10B Mesmerize (104, 83, 24)

The "Dogs on the Run" exhibit about air combat, with a Me262 jet from New Bastogne's JG52. SL10B Dazzle (122, 152, 21)

The Acorm2Oak PTSD Community, representing the Fearless Nation support group. On Thursday June 20th, they hold an event.  At SL10B Dazzle (175, 155, 21)

Mac Kanashimi 3D Mazes & Labyrinths, SL10B Dazzle (215, 175, 21)

Madpea Productions hat stack exhibit, at SL10B Dazzle (222, 112, 22)

Bear Island, where one can find copies of various Linden bears of the past, from the days whenever you met a Linden you could ask for a teddy bear. There are also the SLB bears, and one can find a build of the former Blue Linden, popular among many residents until he was booted in the great purge in 2010.

SL10B Bear Island (166, 166, 24)

These of course are just a few of the many sims. Come by to look at these, and more.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tradewinds Yacht Club

By Grey Lupindo
Now that summer is here, I wanted to go sailing.  Unfortunately my sailboat inventory was really limited until a friend took me to Tradewinds Yacht Club, located at Dex (174, 32, 24).  At Tradewinds there are free sailboats and a very supportive sailing community.    They give lessons as well easy-to-sail freebie boats. 
Tradewinds Yacht Club states that they are a group that wants to have fun with SL sailing.   Their official statements reads, “Tradewinds Yacht Club is home to the independent minded sailor– what we're about is just having fun without the politics – we really mean it when we say “sailing first".  To support this ideal, there are plenty of free sailboats and lots of places to hang out and things to do when you aren’t sailing.   Races are held every week.  They even have some buried treasure chests hidden around the sim.  
One of my first stops was the SL Sailing History Museum that is being created by Tasha Kostolany at Tradewinds Yacht Club  at Dex  (185,11,28).    The Museum is located inside the lighthouse and shares space with a Coast Guard post.   Kostolany’s notecard states, “This room will give you a brief overview of how we have progressed in sailing from the start to where we are now....Click most every object to get more information.”    Although there is a lot more to be done, the museum a great place to learn about early SL sailing.    This isn’t the only sailing museum in SL, but it looks like it has the potential to become the best.
The most prominent display is about Kanker Greenacre, whom Kostolany describes as the “father of SL sailing”.   He was rezzed on 5/16/2003, making him a very early SL resident.   Approximately two years later, in June, 2005, he released the first SL sailboat, the Tako.   Kanker Greenacre also developed “race wind”, which was more stable for sailing than the real SL wind, as well as other racing items.   In order to promote sailing, the SLSF (Second Life Sailing Federation) was organized, and it remains one of the largest sailing groups in SL.   Even more importantly, he shared the Flying Tako sailboat and its sailing code so that others could use and develop sailing ships.  
To get a good overview of Tradewinds Yacht Club, you can take a free balloon tour at Dex (146, 17, 29). When I typed in “ap start”, the balloon began warming up the burner and soon rose into the air.  The tour started at the harbor and boat store.  From the air you can get a good look at the bay, the lighthouse, and the channel.   To the south is the Siracusa sim where you can sail through The Channel.    The tour passes into other sims and islands and past the Salliohsis lighthouse.   Tradewinds is attached  to over 500 sims of sailable water, and I had only seen a small portion of them.   When a Distance Warning note told me that the next waypoint was 647 meters away, I decided to end my tour.   Although I was enjoying the balloon ride, I was anxious to set sail.

   Tradewinds Yacht Club is following Kanker Greenacre’s example by giving away a lot of valuable sailboats.   Of course there are some larger and spiffier models for sale, but the free ones are the ones most likely to appeal to newbie sailors or residents.   They offer a great way to try the sport without spending a lot of Lindens.
My favorite boat is the Becky’s Baby Sloop 2-0 created by Becca Moulliez.  The sloop is easy enough for novice sailors like me, but it can be adapted for a more challenging experience.      What makes it my favorite is the color coded HUD that helps me learn how to trim the sails.   If I can keep the HUD green, I’m good to go.   According to the instructions, once I gain experience I can skip the HUD and sail by feel for a more advanced and realistic sailing experience.   
For a novice like me, the Becky’s Baby Sloop is amazing.   It has a rocking motion and sound as the waves slap against the boat.  The lower view angle and many others features make sailing it feel very real to me.    According to her notecard, this version is the result of over two years of advancements and refinements.  Moulliez wrote that other ship builders, such as Balduin Aabye, Qyv Inshan, Noodleqt Exonar, and Manul Rotaru, helped by giving advice, testing and donating some of their components and improvements.  There are others available, too, and one day I’ll try them out.   For now, however, I’m content to learn with the Becky’s Baby.
Tradewinds Yacht Club is connected to the Coastal Waterway, which is easy to sail through and leads to the Blake Sea.    Information about sailing options, including maps and rezzing sites, is available at their website  
Tradewinds Yacht Club, located at Dex (174,32, 24).

Grey Lupindo 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The First Sims – Natoma

By DrFran Babcock

Natoma is a sim that I have visited many, many times, and if you are a content creator, you may have been there often yourself. I was a bit concerned about completing this article, because, of all the first 16 first sims, Natoma is the only one that is always full of residents.

History of Natoma

Natoma has an illustrious history that is marked by several prominent landmarks that have been on the sim since the Alpha days of 2002. The Statue of the Man and the Alberto Linden Gate (October, 2002)

The Man Statue dates back to July of 2002, making it the oldest structure in Second Life™. It is a remnant of the Alpha stage of development when SL was called Linden World. Over the years, the face of Natoma has changed a lot. It once was home to the Welcome Area (The Newbie Corral) and Avatar Central. Avatar Central was owned by the Lindens, and provided a space that allowed any residents to drop items for sale.  Avatar Central is long gone, and the Welcome Area has been moved to other sims. All that remains of that build is the Arch D’Linden, which is the build by Alberto Linden that sits in front of the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives.

The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives

My first days in Second Life™ were characterized by “newbiness” of historic proportions. I had not been a gamer, and I came in with the podcaster rush of early 2006. The minute I saw that I could create content I was hooked. However, I had no idea what to do or how to do it. Someone told me that there was a place I could go to learn how to build, and that’s when I paid my first visit to the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives (ITLP). At that time it was on the sim of Noyo. It moved in June of 2006, shortly after my first visit.

I will never forget that it took me a whole long day to complete the tutorial on building a chair. Completed, the chair looked a bit more like a broken table than a chair, but I was very proud. However, the proudest moment at the Ivory Tower was when I met Lumiere Noir, the creator of the ILTP. His avatar was like the old Spy vs. Spy character from Mad magazine. He was friendly, encouraging, and committed to making sure that all residents knew how to build. Although he doesn’t spend much time here, he drops in from time to time to say hello. Much of his duties are handled by an avatar named Avi Arrow.

Who Lives Here?

Actually, there are no residents living on Natoma. That is, except for Luke Lorentz, who is 9 years and 9 months old, and has a small parcel on the western edge of the sim. According to the denizens of the ITLP Sandbox he has not been around in many years, despite messages left on his profile. The Ivory Tower regulars…the Dwellers, would love to see this parcel come up for sale, but it remains untouched.

The Ivory Tower Dwellers are a group of people who seem to be at the Sandbox on Natoma at all hours. I know they do leave for a bit, because I have met them at Linden and Sculpt Studio Office Hours , but they really prefer hanging out in the shadow of the exquisite Ivory Tower, socializing, playing, but above all building, building, building. Most of them are friendly to newbies and oldbies alike. When I wrote about Minna you met Kennylex Luckless, who spends most of his time on Natoma. Another person who is usually fiddling with prims on the sim is Jack42 Meredith. Jack has always been so friendly to me that I knew he would talk to me about Natoma. I asked him how he came to spend most of his time here:

“I first came to Natoma to go through the self-paced lessons in the Tower. I did not know anything about building, and I started at the bottom of the Tower and worked my way up to the top. It took me about two weeks to complete, working a few hours a day. It is a must if you don't know anything about building. After that, I just used the sandbox next to the Tower and I have hung out here every since.  The best thing I learned was building tricks that make building easier with short cuts. I have always directed newbies to the Tower; if they never have done any building. They always seem amazed. Also, I have donated my premium tier for land to Minna with ANSI (Soderstrom) to  try to keep Minna looking nice. I come back to Ivory Tower because it has information in the Tower if you need it while you are building. The people that run it are very good at building, and are usually here for advice. And…it’s a good hangout spot when it’s not laggy.”

Another denizen of Natoma is Marcov Carter. You can see his work all over the place on Natoma, and he is very generous with his freebies. I especially love his Toony Throne, which he will give you gladly, if you ask. His version of the Statue of Liberty, lofting a box prim on high, stands in one corner of Natoma, greeting residents from all lands.

Avi Arrow

Throughout Natoma, and Minna, Clementina and Zoe for that matter, the name that is mentioned most often is Avi Arrow. Avi is the point person for the maintenance of these sims, and I was able to track her down for a short interview:

SLNewser: As I traveled around Natoma, Zoe, and Clementina many residents mention your name. How is it that you came to be the administrator for these areas?

Avi Arrow: Lumiere Noir, creator of The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives (ITLP), befriended me my second day on the mainland here in Natoma and I’ve been here ever since.  Five weeks later Lumiere sold me my first parcel in Zoe. Literally, 15 minutes prior to this I purchased a first land parcel elsewhere and sold it three hours later.  Thus began my land business.  Eventually, I acquired most of Zoe and Taber, and a substantial part of Clementina.  These properties I considered my “home” properties.  Some of these properties, including parcels in Natoma have been, subsequently, donated to the ITLP land group which now manages the majority of these properties among others in Minna and Tehama.  My relationship with Lumiere is being one of close, dear friends, and partners.  We are partners in that we share most everything with each other as it relates to the properties I mentioned above.  Lumiere donated the bulk of the Natoma property to IToP group when he first formed this group with Ryan Linden.  Lumiere's natural inclination is towards creating and teaching.  I am also creative and I enjoy instructing, however I have a natural talent for managing people and property, so it just progressed that I ended up managing the properties and the group while Lumiere focused primarily on curating, teaching, and creating.

SLNewser:  Please tell me a little about how you learned about SL, what it was like for you when you were new, and what was it that kept you here?

Avi Arrow: I began building in virtual environments in 1996 in Active Worlds.  A friend I met in 2004/2005 in Active Worlds brought me to Second Life™.  I basically came here to continue with my building, but soon found other interests (as mentioned above), which are mostly what have kept me here.  

SLNewser: sense that you have a commitment to keep SL beautiful. Can you tell me about that? 

Avi Arrow: I was most effective at improving or restoring certain areas of SL back when I was buying and selling land. I could absorb smaller parcels—often ad parcels into larger ones and consolidate properties, often at considerable added expense.  (ED note: If you don’t remember the blight of ad farms look at this link: ) My motivation for doing this was not always altruistic, though, as it was often the case I did it to protect or improve my own investments.  More to the point, and try not to roll your eyes, but I believe the land in here has soul just as it does in real life, mother earth and all that.  There are living memories here that are associated with the land and I believe these memories carry over and linger.  The old beta sims are sacred.  I love legacy.  What most people do not really think about is that what has transpired virtually here in SL is actual human history.  I think it important to protect as much of this as possible.

Well, I am not rolling my eyes at all. I believe that the old sims are hallowed ground, or I would not be doing this series. Thanks, Avi, for your thoughtful words, and dear readers, do take the time to visit these sims. Second Life™ is about to become ten years old, and that is history.

Visit Natoma:

DrFran Babcock