Friday, April 2, 2010

Leaving Second Life and embracing OpenSim

Today I announced that my shop, NixTech, will be closing down on April 30th, 2010. The reasons behind it are related to the Third-Party Viewer Policy that will take effect on that day.

It's no secret that I prefer certain third-party viewers(Imprudence and Hippo, specifically) over the official LL viewer for many reasons(OpenSim support, content backup and restore, better performance, etc). Since many of the developers of third-party viewers have rejected the policy for several good reasons, after April 30th if I use any third-party viewer I run the risk of being banned.

Now, I could simply use the official Viewer 2.0, but to be honest it is a disaster of a viewer in comparison. It suffers from major slowdown, rezzes everything at a snail's pace and still consistently sucks up over 100% CPU use. It is absolutely not good enough for normal use, unless the Lab fixes these problems by April 30th(highly unlikely).

So as it stands, that means I won't be able to stay in Second Life for a long session(greater than a 1/2 hour) without suffering severe performance problems. This in turn affects my ability to run a shop in SL and offer support to my customers. Even my ability to merely socialize in-world will be adversely affected. So I decided to close it down on the 30th and convert the plot into my own residential spot(as I had it before I opened up NixTech). I will continue to have a presence in SL, but due to Viewer 2.0's volatility it will be a greatly diminished one.

However, this doesn't mean NixTech will be dead. I will continue to offer support to customers who have bought my items in-world or via META-life. I have already exported a good selection of my creations to my hard drive, and I plan to re-open NixTech in an OpenSim-based grid(most likely InWorldz) where legitimate third-party viewers are welcomed.

This was a decision not taken lightly. I've been a Second Life resident since 2006 and I've hung on through many events that have sent other people packing: the Linux client's sub-par quality before Tofu Linden fixed it up(no sound, no media, no shiny, not even copy/paste back then!), the gambling ban, the Lab pushing voice chat against the community's input, the OpenSpaces fiasco, and the XStreetSL freebies tax. This third-party viewer policy was simply the last straw and I can't just lie down and take it anymore.

See you all on the other side of the metaverse :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to access MetaGridNet sandbox via Hypergrid

As I noted in my previous announcement of the MetaGridNet social networking site and OpenSim sandbox, I had noted that it's possible to access the sandbox via Hypergrid teleporting. Here's how you can do it:


1. Download and install the Hippo OpenSim viewer. It's the only viewer that currently fully supports the Hypergrid technology(I did test with Imprudence, and it technically worked but it rendered the sandbox all botched up).

2. Log into OSGrid and teleport to a Hypergrid-enabled region such as Aesthetica.

3. When you get there, open up the map screen and enter this into the region box: "metagridnet.com:9000", then click Teleport.

Please note that for ReactionGrid users, to get to MetaGridNet you must first make a Hypergrid jump to a grid whose position coordinates are closer to MetaGridNet's(due to Hypergrid not being able to reach regions further than 4096 regions in a single jump on the map; thanks Maria!).

I do have a few rules for Hypergrid visits, though:

1. No griefing, harrassment or drama.

2. When you are done, please save your works, otherwise they may get deleted.

Otherwise, have fun!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

MetaGridnet: A social ecommerce website and OpenSim sandbox

If you recall, I had previously blogged about my successful, but laborious attempt at setting up an OpenSim installation on my hosted VPS server. Well, recently I redeployed my server and decided to do something bigger as a challenge: create an OpenSim installation, but with a social networking site to accompany it. The result is MetaGridNet.

MetaGridNet's social networking features include user blogs, Twitter-like microblogging, user pages, a forum, file uploading, and an online marketplace. And now as of this writing, MetaGridNet also has its' own 2x2 region OpenSim environment. Currently, you can set up an MetaGridNet account via the website, but there is no website page to create accounts for the sandbox(yet). To get a sandbox account, you must contact me via email and provide your avatar's name and password(Your data will be kept private). The login URI for the MetaGridNet sandbox is http://metagridnet.com:9000.

P.S - I do have Hypergrid enabled as the sandbox uses the Diva distribution of OpenSim. I'll provide details on how to Hypergrid to MetaGridNet in a later blog post.