Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Leaving Second Life? Confused by Open Sim? Two Tips

We are thinking about it. We are ticked off. But looking at some of the geeky materials about OpenSim might make us think twice, and crawl back to our abusive and arrogant partner, Linden Lab.

How the hell DO we find out about OpenSim? This post begins what I hope to be a series of tips for those considering an exodus, as I am.

1) Read Hypergrid Business regularly as you shop for a new home.

I want to thank Jokay, aka Jokay Wollongong of Second Life, for posting their easy-to-consult list of OpenSimulator hosts:


And John Lester for pointing out Maria Korolov's primer to OpenSim:


2) Learn how to use a third-party client instead of the SL default clients. Most things are in the same place as viewer 1.23. I've not switched, and do not plan to switch, to SL's Viewer 2.

Here are my favorites for OpenSim:

--Imprudence Viewer (Mac / Windows / Linux)
--Hippo Viewer (Windows / Linux)
--Hippo Viewer (Mac OS--Intel Processors. See bottom of page)

More to come! Got a tip? Send it my way!


sororNishi said...

InWorldz is my tip. It's got an economy, and therefore shops with stuff that's worth buying, and it's more stable than the others.

Oh, and yes, Imprudence is super cool...

sororNishi said...

p.s. there's stuff on my blog about inworldz, including interviews with the founders

Anonymous said...

Iggy --

Thanks for the links to Hypergrid Business!

I would particularly want to point educators to a couple of recent articles that offer an overview of OpenSim for newcomers:

Advice to Educators

How to Choose an OpenSim Hosting Company

-- Maria Korolov
Editor, Hypergrid Business

Josue Habana said...

Yes, I agree, Inworldz is looking like a good option at the moment.

I checked out ReactionGrid too...

I've been in Avatar Hangout, but that seems to be taking a long time to really get going in terms of an economy.

Openlife... not really for me to be honest.

Matthew Leach said...

Don't forget the completely free options that are suitable for educators.

If you have a simulation that you want students to go through individually (medical procedure, crime scene, wildlife field trip etc.) then you can run the OpenSim server and viewer on the same PC, both from a USB stick if you want. You'd need a fairly powerful PC, but setting up an OpenSim sandbox is now quite straight forward (mainly just pressing Enter). You only have to do it once and then distribute copies.

A shared experience is a bit more messy, but it's perfectly possible to have one PC in the lab act as the server, and the others connect to it. If you are within the firewall there usually isn't a problem with ports.

The benefit of OpenSim is that you can do all of the above. Once you've created your sim you can move it between different servers and setups.

Tinsel Silvera said...

My recommendations would be Reaction Grid or OS Grid. I have a sim in the former and a parcel in the latter. Both are very stable and full of great people. One thing I like about Reaction Grid is the real life identities of the owners are published on the website and very easy to be found. That is a major factor for me before investing in any open sim grids run by anonymous avatars.

Lalo Telling said...

The owner/operators of InWorldz recently de-anonymized (yes, I just coined that word).

I had the occasion to chat with someone formerly involved with edu sims in SL, when he dropped by my build platform in InWorldz. He considered the fact that there (as in SL) the owners control the servers to be a stumbling block.

However, just yesterday Pathfinder (among others) Tweeted about a new service called Pleiades that promises to be able to create OAR backup files of any sim in SL, for export to OS-based grids, or just for insurance against loss. One would expect them to be able to do the same in InWorldz.

On the other hand, if your purpose in using virtuality is as a laboratory or classroom, and interaction with the "townies" isn't important, then Lucius' advice is the best: DIY.

BeckyBOO said...

Due to badly timed and mismanaged decisions, like the recent price hikes, educators are seeking alternatives, but in our zeal to move or expand, caution needs to be taken into account, as there are many social dynamics at work in the OpenSim community that could impact any serious augmented reality project in a major way, both from a legal and public relationship point of view. One of these is the way content is handled in regards to offers of backing up and migration.

Some are offering comments and suggestions about the use of OAR files, both about SL and in some of the OpenSim grids. A very causal mannerisms is being used to describe these efforts to bring in content that belies the complexity of this act. Its not just a matter pressing a button in Second Life and it spitting out an OAR file. This is not even an option … LL does NOT OFFER to supply OAR file backups and the suggestion that anyone can achieve this legally is entirely false and irresponsible, because this can only be done by accessing LL’s server and database systems or using a copybot tool that indiscriminately copies content despite the creators permissions and copyrights. Further more, the act of taking those “OAR” files obtained through copybotting and posting them to a center distribution system to be offered to anyone raises this matter from a simple copyright infringement to the level of criminal intent.

While the idea to have lots of free and unrestricted content to play with in virtual worlds is something we all want and need, using illegal means to get there is probably not the best choice. The reality is that any migration is going to involve giving up something if you want to respect the creators you’ve depended on over the years. Many are more than willing to give extended license if you ask and will even deliver it for you. We’ve brokered many such cases into SpotON3D. If you’d like to know how to legally backup your shared and individual content legally, email us at tessa@spoton3d.com. You don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to expand or migration. You just have to be willing to work a little harder to get there. *-)

Tessa Kinney-Johnson
Tessa Harrington in Virtual
Co-Founder/COO @ SpotON3D

Tangee197 said...

1. Was the content copied into that OAR/IAR files vetted for copyright and licenses?

2. If not, was the user of that content given the right by the creator to replicate it despite its inworld edit menu rights?

3. Does it automatically fall under the COMMONS statue? Just because someone commandeered something for an educational project doesn't make it legal to use it. The original creator(s) have to expressly designate it for that purpose.

4. What about 'Fair Use'? You'd need a password protected distribution point in that case and it can't be a password given out freely and publicly, as that's designed to give a limited group of people access.

In yesterday's 'The Chronicle for Higher Education'(Professors Publish Guide to Copyright Issues of Multimedia Projects November 17, 2010, 5:26 pm By Paige Chapman

Stated that "a student revealed his personal troubles with copyright in a lecture. In that case, the student told the class he received a cease-and-desist letter after uploading an audio file to a public file-sharing system. He paid a $3,000 fine to avoid further legal action.

Copying Right and Copying Wrong with Web 2.0 Tools in the Teacher Education and Communications Classrooms

Ewa McGrail
Georgia State University

J. Patrick McGrail
Jacksonville State University


To avoid giving our community and industry a black eye where copyrights are concerned we need to proposed better standards for content backup, educate the community on the law, and make it easy and affordable for creators to pursue those who would willingly defy the law.

REMEMBER, just because everyone’s doing it and its easy doesn't make it right. That’s what got us into slavery, why people get hooked on drugs and why bad habits are so hard to stop. No matter how many do it, that doesn't make those actions right. Don’t be a sheep in a herd. THINK FIRST! Then do the right thing.

Tangee197 said...

Opps iggy! I DIDN'T MEAN TO SPAM and post twice. Sorry! Couldn't find an email addy to email you about my faux pas, so here I go.

I tried posting first under my tkinneyjohnson account, but it kept saying it was too long and that my pw was wrong for my gmail ID, though I was pretty sure it was the right one - nothing new there. Then I got busy with biz and ended up losing the copy of what I wrote, but had your web page still open to remind me.

So, tonight I figured I'd rewrite it under my tessaharrington email and see if I'd have better luck. Plus, I'd gotten my copy of The Chronicle with this great article on copyrights in the digital age, educating the kids and leading by example. Sooo, thought that while I was rewriting my post I might as well include that too - to kinda point out that SpotON3D isn't the only one thinking beyond the next 6-12 months when it comes to the industry of creating these 3D web portals. But again, it too kept telling me I was saying too much, so I cut it into two parts to try and get something posted. That worked out great, but then I realized my other post had indeed gotten through.

Please forgive the repletion and even posting this, I couldn't find an email to address this outside of the blog. If you feel the 2nd post or this one doesn't add value let me know -be happy to combine the two if you like and repost as one ... err if the dang blog will let me! *big chezy grin* Not sure why its giving me weird names. Maybe that's from other none biz type blogs I've used these emails with? :P Bah! Now my secret playtime blog ID's are exposed! *gasp! and laughs* Thanks for listening to my rant.