#1. My Second Life: Getting started

Like many people, I’ve been experimenting with Second Life, kicking the tires, so to speak. Though I first got an account in November, it’s only been the last couple of weeks in which I’ve taken the time to go beyond the “wandering aimlessly, chatting with people, wondering what’s up with the furry folk” stage. This last weekend I took the plunge and signed up for an account for money. I did this for several reasons:

  • I wanted to understand first hand what the difference was in the experience between the free and the paid subscriptions.
  • At some point I want to build on a designated spot, and so I need a paying account to get some land.
  • I want to establish a base of operations, or home, and have it furnished to develop a degree of comfort while spending time in Second Life (SL).
  • I seriously had to get some new clothes. One of my early attempts at clothing myself brought a rather dismissive comment of looking like a mall security person, and so that had to be fixed.

Here are few comments and observations from my experience so far:

  • I like the anonymity but if I start using this for IBM business, that will go away. Therefore, I may need at least one more identity.
  • The IBM location is open and quite a few people were exploring it. Try out the magic train. Someone I spoke with suggested I look at the Cisco location because it was so nice. It was, and also empty except for me.
  • The newbie chatter gets tiring pretty quickly, though requests for help are certainly honored. There are plenty of other places to explore beyond the usual home locations.
  • The quality of some of the places is outstanding, such as the House of Tunes. The CNet location is quite nice, though I just stopped by when an event was ending, so I didn’t see it in action much.
  • It can be very distracting when you are in the neighborhood of a lot of scripted objects. The text can get to be too much after a while.
  • There is a lot of free stuff available. Search for “clothes” and you’ll find some.
  • Read the documentation in the help directory where Second Life is installed on your computer. It’s got some important tips for what to do when things go wrong.
  • Learn to master the camera angles. Hint: hold down Alt, click the avatar, and move the mouse around. There are other things you can do as well.
  • I’m certainly intrigued by the LSL language for adding event handlers to objects. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it. In particular, I’ve got to start building some objects myself.
  • Evidently there was a plan to move to Mono for the second generation scripting language, though that is delayed. I’ve avoided Mono so far, but it might therefore be in my future.
  • Most people are quite nice to talk to.
  • It’s a very impressive environment and is clearly only going to get better and more photorealistic and the technology and bandwidth improves.
  • The libraries are a good place to explore, but you may prefer the parties, concerts, and nightlife. Try to find some live music.
  • Check out the groups.
  • I’ve got to get better hair.

More as I explore and learn.

Next: Getting organized
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