Tuesday, 24 May 2011

I Thought I Was So Over Julia Hathor

Sparkly moon gardens bought: 1 (enchanting)

Although have dozens of houses in inventory, some unrezzed, was prepared to be captivated by some new residence at the Home and Gardens Expo. What had not expected was to be right-click-select-buy-ing on an item by Julia Hathor.
Now, Julia Hathor was designer of first treehouse on Infolit iSchool, in fact at one point island was positive shrine to Hathor, since also had Fairy Bridge, Magic Apple Tree Bridge and Magic Apple Tree. 2 apple tree items are still in situ, near hobbit home (even though pose on Magic Apple Tree went wonky, so you get swallowed by the tree), but tree house and bridge have gone way of all prims, i.e. deleted in favour of newer items.
Old tree house had a waterfall grove at the bottom, spiral staircases (impossible to negotiate, one of the reasons it went), elegant viewing terraces, a splashy pool halfway up the tree, and a nice patio nook with cushions at the top, plus lanterns, nature sounds and some sort of bird of prey. Have numerous pics (e.g. here) of Ishbel and I floating in the pool, Marilena posing elegantly at the poolside, teaching meetings in the top treehouse room etc. Feel quite nostalgic just writing about it.
However don't think was just nostalgia that prompted the click-buy. Products definitely seem improved, but basically as soon as entered moon garden, all with moonbeam twinkles and lush grass and meditation pads and a waterfall and a cool tree-climbing animation - it is is all just SO PRETTY and so SL that I thought - blow realistic baked-in shadows and artfuly distressed concrete - this is Magic.

Was going to replace greenhouse with moon garden, but as noted yesterday, have decided greenhouse is too cute to delete, so it was summery coast house that went. Did a fraps of the house before deleting.
With 600 prims at disposal, rezzed moon garden and set about decorating. The thing about a Hathor garden is that it is pretty much loaded with stuff already, but think sometimes you just have to go over the top, so piled on some more plants, a bird bath, a bird feeder, birds, beer, knitting, more birds, buterflies, more plants, more butterflies and a cute rabbit. I put on my fairy crown and rode my fairy steed around, for added effect.

Yesterday got Pancha to come along and lounge with me by the waterfall. Think this makes the cuteness complete.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Bye-bye Screenr, hello fraps

No. of videos which failed to publish on Screenr: 5 (bad); No. of minutes it took to to buy fraps and download it: 10 (good); No. of minutes it took to work out how to record a video in fraps: 5 (v. good); No. of minutes it took to work out how to edit and save a video use Windows Movie Maker: about 60 (bad)
Relationship with Screenr somewhat under strain. Had been using it happily to record video in SL. Can only do 5 minutes, but in some ways that is opportunity rather than constraint, as they say.

However, had something of a SL-fest on Saturday (after 9 days away from SL) looking round Homes and Gardens expo, doing some dancing to virtual Albannach, and fitting in some photo shooting for the 52 weeks of colour. Attempted to capture some of this for posterity, and was successful with Albannach vid, but film of Homes expo persistently failed to publish, so had to rerecord it (see above, it ends with me purchasing the Julia Hathor enchanted moon grotto, but that's another story).
After this was downhill all the way, as tried to record one vid of the Spring Home that am about to delete on Infolit iSchool, and another of the greenhouse on Noyo (which was going to dismantle, but doing the tour reminded me how much I like it, so it stays). In end recorded tour of greenhouse 3 times, each time attempting to publish it endless (well, not literally) times, v. frustrating.
Thus purchase of fraps today. Downside is that it captures the whole screen, rather than allowing you to frame the part you want. Upside is that it records inworld sounds and is simply toggled on and off with the F9 key.

In heady rapture proceeded to record 3 tours had failed with before: the 2 mentioned above plus a broomstick tour round Infolit (since am just clearing out the cherry trees and installing summer), which had tried to record on Thursday. Also recorded art installation by Pixels Sideways and a brief cherry blossom idyll. Files run beautifully on my computer, but are huge, and as want to share some of these with world have to fiddle around with them in Windows Movie Maker. This is in fact why have never bought fraps until now, as see this is dreadful slippery slope towards yet more late nights playing with pixelated technology. Edited 2 videos and uploaded them to Youtube (where resolution seems pretty low grade, or could be way Movie Maker Saved the project, the saving options seem somewhat obscure to me, having been user-friendly-fied to point where not clear what is actually going on).
Anyway, above you should see the greenhouse tour.
My, I do sound twee.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

4th Rez Day

Years in SL: 4 (good); No. of rez day greetings: one (better than nothing)
Have not tended to make much fuss about rez days, though had toyed with idea of having a party this year. Am not v. good party person since generally assume that will be disaster and no-one will turn up. However, more to point, am snowed under with work, plus have been handicapped on SL front because:

1) Have been away from office for 2 weeks and therefore dependent on laptop for SL fun;

2) Said laptop started making clunkety-clunk noises about 12 days ago, never a good sound for a laptop. Think bit might have got loose and interfered with fan. Laptop did not crash, but hope to get good bit more mileage from it, so am not risking using it til it's been (hopefully) fixed by Samsung Laptop Expert.

3) Seized by laptop deprivation, made impulse purchase of cute Samsung mini-laptop. Whilst have bonded with new purchase for blogging and suchlike as is lighter, smaller and has more battery life (plus was cool conference accessory), is basically carp as regards SL. Can get onto SL, but spends ages being grey, graphics never resolve properly even on lowest settings, and it sort of flickers periodically. Therefore is OK for emergency SL (collecting & sending IMs etc.) but not for much else.

Thus, no time for party organisation. Was even late for first time with 52 weeks of colour posting, so posted Periwinkle on Saturday and then today celebrated with Tangerine (this week's colour) and then pics of rez day outfit, also seen above. Floaty eh. Will wear it for LILAC conference report meeting tomorrow, though possibly minus the butterfly hair corsage.

Checked up on land: as usual several things had crashed into my parcel in Noyo e.g. this jet fighter and had to return them.

Also made sure cats were ok: turned up they needed updating (you can tell this because they have Update Me in red hovertext above them). Update included exciting new animation, Play. When click cat and then click Animation and then click Play and then click Yes when asked Is It Ok To Animate Your Avatar then you do a throwing-the-tiny-coloured-ball animation, and if all goes to plan, cat starts patting and chasing tiny coloured ball, very cute. Only problems were:

1. When had Played with Quilt and then clicked Quilt again to get Qulit to jump to be cuddled, Quilt obstinately refused and started chasing ball further and further away, well outside her cat range. In end got her to Jump Home.
2) When tried Play with Naomi later, she was stuck in a corner and kept ignoring the ball, so I got her to jump home. Then started to click Play again, but it crashed. So may be a few bugs in animation.
Also, is tendency for ball to get stuck under sofa or behind chairs, in which case cat sits and stares at it until you come and retrieve the ball for her. This seems somewhat like RL. Cutest thing is probably when cat picks up ball and drops it at your feet (first cat pic), though not sure have ever seen actual cat do this, is somewhat beneath them. 2nd cat pic shows Naomi running after ball. Note cat and ball shadows (other shadows are from the windows).

So that was the day in SL.

Will not list all dull jobs should have been doing instead of playing with virtual cats, creeping round lag-laden shopping precincts waiting for vendors to rez, and posing in new clothes on romantic sea shores. Would be just too, too tedious.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.