Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fly in No Fly Zones [Level 4]

We JUST discovered a way to fly in zones designated no-fly!

We love the Paris 1900 sims, but let's face it, they're huge and despite the fact that you materialize in a Metro station there's no public transportation. It takes forever to walk anywhere, and running is so undignified.

So go to the Client menu and make sure View Admin Options has an X by it (or toggle View Admin Options on and off with CTRL-ALT-V).

That's all there is to it!

Oh-oh! Maybe not! Don't have a CLIENT menu at the top of your screen? CTRL-ALT-D switches (toggles) it on and off.

View Admin Options does other neat things, the nature of which we are working on fiendisly in our supersecret Tweaktocracy laboratories.

It seems you can offer teleport to people with whom you are not friends. Woo-hoo!

And when you look at an avie's profile, you'll see four options you haven't seen before: Freeze, Unfreeze, and CSR.

You have to have land perms to freeze or unfreeze an avatar. We're not sure about kicking (although there are a LOT of avie's we'd like to kick!) But CSR plugs us into a web-based databse which requires a password we don't have.

Enjoy, and if you figure out something more about View Admin Options, IM Exuberance Lafleur or Cheyenne Palisades, please, and tell us.

And be careful flying in no fly zones. Sim owners might not like it. If you get caught, you didn't learn how here. No, no, no, no no.


Photo: Chey and Xubi circumventing high-tech security device (a huge prim) and breaking into the Moulin Rouge at Paris 1900.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Here, Primmy, Primmy: Finding Lost Objects [Levels 1-4]

Some things in Second Life are invisible—but there are tools you can use to see them!


Level 1

Hit the CTRL-ALT-T keys (CMD-ALT-T on the Mac) simultaneously and invisible things will become visible. You will see transparent (alpha) textures, particles, and other things that are ordinarily hidden from view. Like ghosts (just kidding). They will show in red; if there are a lot of invisibles, you may be looking at the world through a red haze.

Hitting CTRL-ALT-T again will turn off HIGHLIGHT TRANSPARENT. (This is called a toggle because it works like a light switch: toggle on, toggle off, toggle on, toggle off.)

HIGHLIGHT TRANSPARENT is handy for finding lost objects (ever rez something and lose it from inventory, hear that rez sound but couldn’t find it? Chances are it’s there, just out of sight and reducing your prim count. Click on items hidden in the red fog and look at their names until you find the one you are looking for.



Chey’s Funny Highlight Transparent Story

Just about a year ago, when Cheyenne was still new to Second Life, a particularly obnoxious neighbor agreed to sell her his 5k plot. She found herself standing on the property with the neighbor and a Dreamland agent, negotiating the deal.

Somehow, Chey had accidentally hit the key combination that turned on Highlight Transparent. As she was standing there conducting business, her neighbor’s certain Xcite! body part was clearly erect and visible, and she could not, despite frantic IMs to Exuberance, manage to turn it off. She was laughing so hard she was barely able to hit the Pay button to complete the deal.

You can read about it here.


A Word to the Wise

When created, very object is named, uh, Object. It’s wise to change that to a distinct name, and the sooner the better! That will make it easier to identity when you relocate it—and if worse comes to worst and you go on a serious prim hunt with one of Second Life’s many prim finder gadgets, the prim finder will be looking for Xubi’s Mechanical Robotic Extensible Steam-Powered Replacement Right Arm and not one object named Object in a field of hundreds with the same name.


Objects Hiding In Contents of Other Objects

Level 2

Golly gee, Chey and Xubi, I used Highlight Transparent, but my object didn’t turn up. Whatever can I do?

Glad you asked, grasshopper. And that’s Xubi and Chey. Read on.

Occasionally (and we’re not quite sure how), an object will, instead of rezzing, be placed in the contents of another object. Floors are especially bad about this. So when we lose an object and it doesn’t show with Highlight Transparent, we take a quick look in the contents of the prim or prims on which the lost object was rezzed.

To do that, open the EDIT menu on the objects nearby the place of rezzing. Click the tab that reads CONTENTS, and see if your object is there. With luck, it may be!

It has happened to us!

If you find your object, drag it back into your inventory. You can then re-rez it.


Objects Hiding Inside the Physical Space of Another Object

Level 3

Every move a picture close to a wall, only to have it disappear inside? Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

If your lost object is still selected in Edit, you may be able to rescue it by dragging it to a new location. But what if you’ve lost focus on the object? It’s stuck inside that stupid wall, and you just can’t get to it to move it!

In most cases your object will not be inside the wall’s contents; it will merely be inside the physical space of the wall.

One way to retrieve your lost object is to simply move the wall—even if it’s the wall of an entire house! With the wall out of your way you can grab your lost prim and move it into the clear. Then you can put the wall back in place.

Second Life’s Undo function makes this easy. When you want the wall back in place, simply select it by right clicking and choosding Edit, and then choosing Undo. It should snap back in position.

Hint: if Undo doesn’t work, be sure the focus is on the object. We usually just close and reopen Edit.

Chey distrusts Undo, so she moves objects a specified number of meters in one direction or another—usually 10 meters higher; she simply adds 10 meters to the Z position. When she has retrieved her lost prims, she lowers the object back into place by subtracting 10 meters. Be careful, though; if you mistype the position, your object may wind up anywhere between 0 and 770 meters! For this reason, Chey has learned not to hit Enter after changing the Z position. Instead, she just clicks somewhere else in the Edit menu. If she has made a mistake, she may be able to get the object back by typing its original position in the Z field.

Oh, but great sages, what if the object my prim is trapped inside doesn’t belong to me? What can I do about THAT?

If you know the object’s owner personally, he or she will come and move it for you. If you don’t, you can IM the owner and ask. Most people in Second Life try to be helpful. You will find the owner’s name in Edit, General tab.

Many landowners have their parcels set to autoreturn the objects of others. If so, you will sooner or later get a message that your object has been returned to your Lost and Found folder in inventory..

There IS another option. It’s a Level 3 technique, maybe even Level 4, but we will reveal it now. You may thank us with everlasting reverence and loyalty.

You can use Camera Control to manipulate your view so your camera is inside the physical space of object that has trapped yours. If you can manage that, you will see and can select your object. Once selected, you can drag it to safety.


Select by Surround

Level 3

If your object is still lost, there yet hope. Go to the Tools menu and turn on Select by Surround. Also turn on Select Only My Objects. Click on an object and then hold Shift down and draw a box around it. This will show all your objects inside the box’s boundaries. If you see your lost prim, right click and select it and you can rescue it.

Be careful, though, and make sure only the desired prims are selected; otherwise you’ll move everything that is selected.

We’ve done that!


Playing with Rendering

Level 4

If you’re a god or goddess of Second Life, accomplished with camera control and the interface, this may be the technique for you!

Think your object may be underground? Go to the Client Menu, Rendering Submenu, Types SubSubmenu, and turn off Ground. The terrain will disappear and you can see what, if anything, is under it.

If Highlight Transparent isn’t working because you’re near a waterfall, fountain, or smokestack, turn off Particles (same submenu). Most of the red haze will disappear and you can more easily see your object.

You can also turn on Wireframe, which will reduce the entire world to a colorful set of outlines. Perhaps you can spot your object that way.


So adieu for now, and good luck with that lost prim!

Curing Cubitis: A Basic Building TIp [Level 2]

The ubiquitous prim... A .5 x .5 x .5 meter plywood box.

Don’t you get tired of cubes?

Well, we at Tweaktocracy have declared independence form the cube. We have said NO to cubitis!

Xubi in particular was afflicted with cubitis. She rezzed cubes she didn’t need and, not yet knowing how to rename or delete them, she took them into inventory. To this day, she still pulls the occasional .5 x .5 x .5 cube named Object from her inventory.

So what should you do when you rez a cube when you were trying for a sphere or a cylinder or a torus? What if you aren’t even sure which shape you DO want?

Just go to the Object tab in the Edit menu and open the dropdown Building Block Type. There, you can change that ugly cube into a saucy cylinder, scrumptious sphere, or tantalizing torus—or to a ring, tube, or prism. You can even make it into a sculpted prim. In fact, this is the ONLY way to make a sculpty. Once you’ve selected the sculpted type, all you need do is drag a texture into the box that will appear in the space below the heading Building Block type.

So remember, to change the basic shape of a prim, select EDIT > OBJECT TAB > BUILDING BLOCK> TYPE > THE SHAPE YOU WANT.

And you need never be afflicted with cubitis again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Turning off the Typing Animation [Level 3]

Photo: Chey and Pam Havercamp. Chey has the typing animation suppressed.

(Our Thanks to Peter Stindberg for his link to Torley Linden's Blog)

Some people like the typing animation. Some don't.

Xubi likes it because it lets her know when others are about to say something. It helps the social pacing, she says.

Chey doesn't like it because it makes her look slightly less fabulous.

You will of course make up your own mind. But here's how to do it if you so choose.

Press CTRL-ALT-D (OPT-CTRL-D on Mac). This will open the Options menu.

Go to Debug submenu and type in PlayTypingAnim. Set it to FALSE. You're done.

BUT See Torley Linden's tip on this here. There's a great Torley video associated with it. Just click on the video and it will play for you.


p.s. Some gestures override the typing menu. You can stuff your animation overrider with them and you won't type.