Thursday, May 31, 2007


When the camera jams for just a split second, it might not capture the exact same picture... However, the pictures are just a means to capture the mood and the state of mind. Thus, even if the picture does not look exactly like you wanted to, the mind will always make up for anything that the camera might have missed.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"What did you change ?"

or, If the vacuum cleaner did not help...

Some time ago, Veyron had an interesting article about

Second Life crashes, and how they are caused by excessive heat or insufficient power.

While the article contains very reasonable suggestions, I was not really optimistic it would apply for my case.

I was experiencing relatively random crashes, which seemed to be having the following properties:

  • they seemed to be very correlated with the changes in the picture - most of the time they would happen after the camera movements, or after the teleports
  • static areas with little number of elements had much less of a problem
  • lot of textures seemed to be something almost fatal..

With that in mind, I had tuned down pretty much all the settings, with not so great success...

And all of this time I remembered that for a long time before I did not have any problem whatsoever, maybe 1-2 crashes within a few months (compared to 10-15 within a few hours).

There had to be something changed. I did install various sorts of software on the PC in the meantime, however, it was mostly sound-related, nothing video-related...

And suddenly I remembered... Once, in an attempt to "improve" my SL experience (which was already reasonably good), I bumped the "Graphics card memory" in the Advanced Graphics tab in preferences to something I *thought* would be adequate to my card (read: higher than it was before).

So, putting it back...

And no crashes since then. All the other settings pretty much back to maximum. Woohoo!

Crashes can have many different root causes, so this recipe is by no means universal. However, maybe it helps someone...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pictures, dude, you forgot pictures!!!

Oh, indeed - after looking at the screen of SL client for a few days I thought I can make a blog posting without them - naaah, does not look cool.

I've fixed the annoying bug with the texture/colors not reapplied if you rerez different number of prims, also added a small random delay for each prim when it applies the parameters (might be of some use to limit the asset server bashing), also added the "News..." button to jump directly to the news on this blog related to this device. (consequently, the most current version is 1.02 - you can grab it by searching in places for "primskirtbuilder" and going there).

Now, the pictures:


Me, standing on the posing stand, with the skirt prototype (under me in the awkward place :), and control prims (left and right from me).


Yours truly, after doing some manipulations to the prim on the left (changed size, texture, color, transpareny and position) - you can see that the whole skirt prototype has changed.


Once I was satisfied that I probably made the ugliest looking skirt in SL ever, I click on it and select "Link...". It asks the permissions, and after a short while - moves to the left - ready-made object with the green ball being the root prim...


I am trying to put this wonderful creation on my head...


And suddenly it turns alive, this aggressive out-of-space alien medusa - starts flying away and attacks me with blu-rays!

...Appears that fashion is a rather dangerous occupation, did not know that. So, be careful! :)

Vint's prim skirt builder

or, Dalien-fashionista, continued :-)

All right. So here it goes, my modest coding result.
In short - it is an in-world GUI for the LoopRez, with the rotation enhancements that I mentioned in one of the previous posts.

The package includes the manual and everything else, and is distributed under GPL license - so if you are interested, you can peek at the mess of the scripts :-)

I'm very glad that it seems to be a success - a few folks that saw it, gave reactions ranging around "cool", "wow" and similar - so you might try it out too.
Just be sure to RTFM if something does not work according to your expectations.

I'm posting the version 1.01 - which contains a couple of tweaks compared to the version 1.0 that I was trying out with a few people:

  • "precaution timer" for the case where you derez the posing stand and forget to derez the skirt/control prims - they get deleted after some 10-15 minutes. Previously it worked only for control prims, now it works for all prims.
  • texture reset timer (after re-rez) - seems might have been a bug there - I tried to make it more "gentle" - see if it works in all cases now.
  • wiping all prims ("Wipe all..." option in the dialog) now also resets the script.

A few words of caution / known quirks

  1. The textures sometimes do not get re-posted onto the newly recreated skirt when you re-rez it with different number of prims. I think it should be fixed now.
  2. The change of attributes on many objects sometimes creates strange behaviour. This is a bug in SL, I think. For this you can try out the script in the distribution area (see slurl below).

The distribution/try out area is a piece of land in Mindulle, where you can pick up your copy, also rez it and test it out. The plot is set to autoreturn in 120 minutes, so it is a sandbox for all the practical purposes. And a tiny prim limit and small space will help ensure it is used for purposes of testing the primskirtbuilder only :-)

The SLURL is here.

Enjoy, and feel free to write in the replies what you think about it! (bugs/features/etc.)

Update: the characteristics update after the re-rez still seems to be borken.. grr :) workaround: change the texture on the master prim to something else, wait for it to replicate, then change it back...

Update2: setting the high prim limit to 60 maybe was a bit of overkill... let's set it to 30 for now.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

lil' spoiler...

Last couple of days were quiet.

Friday - a gig in Cherry (btw, gonna play again there next sunday 10am SLT (that's 7pm CET for the folks in europe).

Saturday - listening to Dolmere's basstastic perversions - very good stuff! :)

And inbetween... inbetween there is a LOT of coding.
By a LOT - I mean - tons of it :-)

And what is going to come out ? You should be able to see shortly hereafter...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Not-a-meme #17: State Thy Groups

My variant of a not-a-meme#17 suggested by Vint..


As it looks I still have a couple of slots in the space - only 23 groups. So if someone invites me to a group I do not like to join to, I will have to tell the truth! :)

All right, let's start.

  • none - never found a good use for this one, but I think I will keep it, since not sure what happens if I leave it..
  • 555 staff - indeed, rezzing group for my land, without it - no build, no scripts, no nothing. The name has a funny history with my club... maybe some other day.
  • Beach Club VIP - a very nice open-air venue on the beach. I played there once, maybe will play again one day (one of the difficulties is my timezone). Live music events are very frequent. If you come, bring your own danceballs - warns the owner :)
  • Cirque Mystique - I found this place once just by random clicking, nice techno/rave/trance music - sometimes live DJ. Good for clubbing when the mood is there but the weather sucks.
  • Crazy Sharks - One of the big music venues in SL, entire sim, they usually have 3-artist runs. Big part of the music-infected gang shows up there every now and then.
  • Dalien's personal spam box - in theory, that's the group for me to spam others about my gigs. Was not actively used for a few months, seems a bit rusty. I tried using it today for my today's gig - seems it worked, although after a while.
  • Dann's Fanns - group for Dann Numbers' fans. The advertizements very frequently overlap with Crazy Sharks and other musical groups, so I'll optimize it out. (Dann: no offence whatsoever, please :)
  • Eshi's friends - a friend artist, friend of Luigi (I think :), however, this group had never been used... I'll optimize it out too - again, nothing personal, Eshi :-)
  • Freudian Slip - fantastic music venue, open air, water, fun audience (thanks Salome and Ilyana for giving me the opportunity to play there) - it is a marvellous place. They had a break in the events for some while, but I think now are restarting. The best performance there was a trio, with two guys being in one location, the third guy being in the other location. It was pretty damn good. (Makes a note to find out and drag someone-I-know there once there is a good show)
  • Friends of Coyote Gallery - This is my neighbours couple, Zak and Kat - their plots are neighbouring some of mine.
    Should still find out if they finally finished their live music venue. Would be convenient.
  • GinkoTec Financial - this is a bank where I sometimes store some money.
  • Julian Vesta's Bathroom - if you haven't heard this guy yet, you should.
  • Kat's Konnection - a live music event where the artists come and play 3-4 songs in front of venue owners, held by kat Vargas. Lots of fun and very useful, except the timing is difficult.. - monday (if I remember well) late night for me...
  • Komuso's Fans of the Blues - this is also someone you might wanna hear if you like blues.
  • Live Music Enthusiasts - a huge group for event-announcements, founded by Astrin Few - the first SL live musician, I think. Sometimes there is some spam, however I learned about the "Ignore" button, and once a few people were muted - it is very acceptable. (Astrin plays in Freudian slip - at least in the above mentioned trio he was the "third" :) (or the "first" - since he was mixing the resulting stream and streaming it out).
  • Luigi Live - my friend Luigi DiPrima, plays nice relaxing tunes, I like to pay him a visit every now and then.
  • Pal of Preciousse - another musician's group, nice songs, good voice.
  • Paradise Lost... - ok - this one has some funny history :-)
  • Primforge - a group of building/scripting friends, they do some fun stuff.
  • Rhythm Collective - the group for Maximillian Kleene, yet another musician. Thank you Max for the yesterday evening, we did enjoy it!
  • Second Life Bloggers - once I revived my old typing habit, Vint got me into this group :-) Slowly getting acquainted with a bunch of fun folks.
  • Second Life Music - another group, I think this is another one where the evil people send the DJ-spam. Ignore works here as well, so let's keep it.
  • Spunky BT's Dance Club - I was once supposed to play there, but there was an organizational mess-up, and the thing did not happen. Still keeping on the list, need to ping them..
  • The Cherry Land and Staff - my first music venue - and again thanks to Cheribomb Tripp for hosting me today :-) (also: awesome sofas with very nice sitting poseballs :-)

hmm. I think my set of group can not boast much diversity...

Back on stage..

Ok, today @1pm SLT I'll restart my live performance endeavours - at Cheri's.

It's been a few months that I haven't been playing, but this needs to change. So, I'm busy rehearsing, and if you have the time - feel free to drop by. Just search for my name in the events for more details and the landmark...

And thanks to Cheribomb Tripp for hosting me -
it's always a pleasure to sing there :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Talk to me

or, the best feature of the new release.

Ok, please put your geek glasses on and we start.

The best feature of this release. No, you guessed it wrong, not sculpted prims - I just barely figured out building a cube, so for me it is still too much of a rocket science. I'll wait for someone to teach me before I can do anything meaningful with it :)

llRegionSay - that's really the killer feature.

Why ?

Okay, let's take a look at what we have at our disposal to make the scripts talk to each other.

llSay - fast, works well, but... the range is limited by a 20m sphere.

llShout - same as before, but the radius is a bit bigger.

So, what if I want to have a bigger range ?

The answer is: It's a pain. The pain (a.k.a. shooting the canaries with a nuke) can be self-inflicted in two ways:

  • llEmail, and juggling with a huge delay that this incurs
  • llHTTPRequest, deal with a an interesting throttling mechanism, and set up your own server. And poll this server from all around. This just does not scale at all...

Both provide unlimited range, and both come with a huge price - throttling, rate-limiting, etc.

However, with the new llRegionSay everything is very simple - just use it where you'd use the normal llShout or llSay. I went up to 4km, and was still having the communication between the two test objects working just fine. The specs claim it will work anywhere within the sim :-)

Indeed, now the crosstalk will increase, so it is important to properly filter and authenticate the messages, to ensure your script does not collide with anything else.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

About the cat...

Oh, so, about the cat ?...

When I had read about the bloggers meeting, I figured I'd get something relevant - blogging for just about a week, and even coming without the ears, and whiskers, and all - that would have been a gaping violation of the netiquette.

So, I went ahead and hit the search with the keyword "neko". Unfortunately the shop I found myself in was heavily deviated towards the neko females (everything is relative - I would need to look at that from the female perspective one day too) - so I was sitting there, scratching my hopefully-soon-too-be-neko-head, unsure what to do. Luckily, there was a guy passing by, and I started asking... he pointed me to the place where I had some more luck.

The first thing I bought, was this cute little pet:

My pet

It's just so cute. I simply could not help but adopt one. So now someone can sit on my shoulder also in SL and suck some blood. Helps the pressure, and I have a hope of teaching it one time something useful... like, maybe, he can help escape the traps if I teach it - so I do not donate all of this blood for nothing... But the positive sides - it does not complain.

Anyway, after getting myself a little pet, I went and grabbed a nice black skin and all the other accessories. So, now I have the ears, and whiskers, and all!

Besides, there's some very practical aspect to it - the clothing. Since the paws work pretty well in all weather, and the pants do not look all too well when they are halfway hidden by the paws - the only remaining piece to pay attention to is the shirt. And the black sunglasses, of course.

So, now I got a full right to demand a ginger beer, and after that, go and search for the door into the summer... It's been long overdue.

The door into summer

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A canned cat...

..or, F = m * a

Why "A canned cat" ? If you do not know yet - you will know from the next post... Meantime...

Who said being caged is not fun ? Well, maybe depends by whom. :-) It's a pleasure to be caged by friends.
First, the most charming Vint tried on me the cage weapon that she had. What a great experience! Unfortunately the crashes of my SL client have ruined the nirvana bubble I was in, and it somehow disappeared.

Next was Wrath's turn. His caging gear was more peristent. A comfortable phone-booth-size box, semi-transparent (good, so I did not get too claustrophobic), which was very very kind to me and patiently waited until I login back after the crash. And it was corteously following me immediately after I try to sit on some other object that I had rezzed nearby.

Very handy thing. It is miniature - so you can stack many of these; It has a roof - so even with the new weather enhancements you can have a shelter from the rain; It follows you - so you always have it together with you.

There was one way to seemingly get rid of it which was taking my megalift script, and putting it into a sphere which surrounds both me and the cage. I tried that, however, due to limited height of the roof - it only made a lot of noise :-)

It seemed unescapable (or inescapable ? Well, impossible to escape - that's for sure). However, thinking of how gently it was following me, I found a way to part with it.

A short detour into the LSL. In order to follow the avatar, you need to know its position. Pretty much the only function to do that is llSensor and friends.

Now, we look at an interesting detail on the wiki: The limit of range is 96m. Values greater than 96m will be accepted but will be treated as 96m. (Vint: not sure where I took the value of 30m that I mentioned - must've been some other function). But at that point in time I had in mind 30m :)

So, rez a usual wooden .5x.5x.5 cube somewhere nearby. Stay in edit mode


  1. Sit on it. The friendly phone booth follows.
  2. Remember the coordinates currently shown.
  3. Start changing one of the coordinates by small increments - due to my delusion I used 20 meter increments, but given the updated info above, a bigger value might suffice as well
  4. The doggie-booth honestly keeps following you. All according to specs. Good job!
  5. Once the distance from the original point is big enough (I moved away 200+ meters), set in the editor the original position that you have remembered.
  6. The cage can not see you anymore, so now you arrive alone on your cube, safe and sound. Stand up and clean up your "saviour" cube.
  7. Voila! :-)

We could not find back the cage. Wrath said he commanded it to deactivate, and never heard from it. I suspect that it simply got too upset from my evil trick of leaving it alone in the open space, with noone to admire its faithfulness, and it evaporated because of infinite sadness that only the loneliness in the middle of the black sky full of stars can cause.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rotations and other irritations..

Ok, appears the solution to the rotation problem is simple. So simple that the only excuse for not finding it right away might be the tiredness.

Here's the code to rotate the prim around a fixed local point on it, expressed as an offset from its center in prim's local coordinates. There are far too many excess variables, I kept them just for the sake of clarity, indeed in the real implementation this would be way shorter. The below code rotates the prim 45 degrees around the Y-axis in local coordinates, around the point in the center of its Z-coordinate top.

// how much to rotate per iteration (in degrees).
integer rotateAngle = 45;

// current rotation of the prim.
rotation rot = llGetRot();

// "size" of the prim.
vector scale = llGetScale();

// offset of the rotation point in prim's local coordinates.
// (center of the top in this case).
vector offset = <0, 0, scale.z/2>;

// "delta" rotation expressed as a vector in radians.
vector euler = <0, -1*rotateAngle*DEG_TO_RAD, 0>;

// "delta" rotation expressed as a rotation.
rotation deltarot = llEuler2Rot(euler);

// new rotation for the prim after applying the "delta" rotation.
rotation newrot = deltarot * rot;

// current offset of the rotation point vs. the prim center.
// now expressed in global coordinates.
vector vvv = offset * rot;

// new offset of the rotation point vs. the prim center.
// expressed in global coordinates.
vector vvv2 = offset * newrot;

// current position of the prim.
vector currentPos = llGetPos();

// current rotation point, not needed except for visualization.
//vector rotPoint = llGetPos() + vvv;

// new position for the prim.
// it is different from the current position.
// by the difference of the rotation points offsets.
vector newPos = currentPos + (vvv - vvv2);

// visualize the rotation point if needed.
//llRezObject("ball", rotPoint, ZERO_VECTOR, ZERO_ROTATION, 0);

// set the new position and rotation for the prim.

p.s. very nice, ths template seems to mess up the formatting.. If you copypaste - either do it from "view source" or manually fix the comment lines - i end each of them with a dot. (I know, I should've fixed the template for the blog instead, but i am lazy :)

re: your inquiry

[Re: your inquiry ]

Dear Veyron,

First of all, I would personally like to thank you for all of your interest and the active help to Vint regarding this - and I am sure that she does appreciate your efforts on this matter.

This item was already put on the agenda, however, it was determined that due to some environmental constraints it will not be pursued at this point in time. Nonetheless, if and when these constraints are resolved, the proposed action will be reconsidered as a matter of urgency.

Your interest on the subject is much appreciated, and you will be certainly notified, should there be further developments on this subject.

It should be specifically noted, that any attempts to impact the decision-making process, including, but not limited to:

  1. spoofing the participants' conversation by means of shouting retransmitter objects with the same names as participants (not only it looks green, but also disrupts the normal flow of conversation with shouts)

  2. using the dance and clothes (or lack of thereof) as a bribing mechanism

  3. threatening with the stick, gun, or any other weapon

will be gratefully accepted as a means of amusement, but they will have no influence whatsoever on the results.

However, rest assured that we do take the feedback into the account - so if you have any constructive suggestions on the removal of the abovementioned enviromnental constraints that are blocking the implementation, they will be listened to and their feasibility for the context will be studied with the utmost attention.

Kind regards,

Dalien Fashionista and other random bursts of creativity

First, I've got a 1st Life picture in the profile now. I can really say that with my photoshop (well, actually, GIMP) skills, I can be proud of it.

Second - a new song. Took me a while to record anything sounding slightly less than catastrophic since the range of it is a bit too much than I normally have. So feel free to listen, but pay attention to the importance of the things:

  1. Mood
  2. Music
  3. Words/Grammar

So if you have a better lyrics to place there... I will be happy to get rid of the default placeholder.

And finally, the third but the most interesting one - is the LoopRez script in action:

First, the default script is very easy - it takes a prim (in the left-top), and makes an ellipse out of its copies.

RezLoop - unmodified

Then I started to tweak the script - as a first step, I wanted the odd and even pieces to have the different angle. This caused the creation of something which looks like... hmm... I do not know how it looks like, you say it!

RezLoop - tweaked

I am experimenting to get rid of the "messed up top sides" effect, but do not have a universal solution now - will post it when it is ready.

p.s. the last event for today is that I obtained a pair of cool sunglasses, which I did not forget to show off in the above. Now I can fearlessly work with the light-emitting prims! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I've been saying that the SL, being a very complex abstraction of a human existence, leaks. The evening today was idle and laggy on SL and for a change I was refreshing myself over the SL goodies on the web that I periodically keep an eye on - opensim and libsl.

Once upon a time, on a cold January evening (or December that was), I was having this exciting idea about making the scripted display board with texture to show the text dynamically. But it was a lot of prims, and at that time I did not have enough prim limit on my land. I've TP-d to one of the quieter sandbox landmarks that I gathered during the initial times in SL - "Kula sandbox" it was called, I think, and started building - copying and pasting the prims, since I wanted to make a 24x6 display - a lot of prims.

"What are you doing ?" - came the question from behind my back. - "Display board. Why?". "This is not a sandbox". "Oh, sorry". Apparently while I was "growing up" in SL, the purpose of that land had changed, and it was his land. He did not try to push me out or shoot, was just waiting patiently till I go. He appeared to be doing some Ruby as well, so we talked a few, and had some IM chats later on, but not much. So I can not say I know him all that well.

But having him in my friend list, I can not avoid to write this, even though I am almost a month late...

I think the immortality is when people remember you.

Jesse's work on libsl will not be forgotten.

This post is in memory of Jesse Higginbotham, SL Jesse Malthus - a young and a very bright guy that had passed away on the 19th of April following a tragic car accident.

My friend that I did almost did not know - maybe we meet on the other side one of these days and we can fix that.


Friday, May 18, 2007

They have humor in FL too..

Good to know - not all humor in FL is made on getting people into awkward situations.

Here is a counter-example, I think.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

When you have too many computers and not as much sleep...

...Then you might forget to turn off some of them (what am I talking... not turn off, even log off the SL!!) And of course the IMs are there to be seen only when I finish rearranging the cable spaghetti in the corner.

The fight with the spaghetti monster yielded the following trophys: 1 desktop PC, 2 USB cameras (I can do a stereo-webcam now!), 2 phone cables, 4 "professional" audio cords of varying length, 3 USB cables, 1 EMU-0404 soundcard, and a huge pile of dust.

In exchange, I've planted a small 4-port hub into the debris. The conditions there are pretty favourable (warm, dry, and a lot of electromagnetic fields), so I think in two years or so it might grow up and I will be a happy owner of a 24-port Gigabit switch.

The aerial view of the monster before it gave up its treasures seemed cute enough to deserve the posting here...

[ cable monster ]

rule#2, not quite... (or: Flash and SL)

Ok, after being accused of not following the rule#2, I will need to rehabilitate. Looking back, I think I might not necessarily have progressed on this front all that well in the past day, but at least I did not talk about football, did I ? :-)

Anyway, as it seems like ahead of me I have some exciting evenings in the library studying The Vogue and other useful materials, I need to balance that. So, this post will be about something completely different.

I think first time I heard about flash and SL was when Reuters had made something with it, and in the interview I had read a vague statement that the QuickTime player built into the SL "supports flash". Okay, have to try it out, I said. Of course it is easier said than done. Since the RL is by far not all Flash and Roses, it took me a while to finally get to play with it - RL and other pet projects were furiously competing for my time. Also, since I am approaching this from the perspective of "code" rather than "drag and drop" like any normal person would - life is much more difficult than it could be. (And just in case you did not know - flash player has a full-fledged virtual machine, with it's own flash bytecode. All of this object-drag-and-drop thing is just to ensure normal people can use it too, I think).

So - the first stupid question - "since it is a QuickTime player, how do you embed the flash into QuickTime?". After some (re)search, which did not give the answer to this (incorrectly stated) question, I decide: "well, what if I try to just take a .swf, put it on the server and give it in the parcel video URL?"

Here comes another point. I did see someone ranting on the fact that the SL viewer supports only Flash 5. ("Well, 5 is high enough, no? Could have been version 3?" - the quick look at the flash 8.0 reference quickly made me understand the fundamental mistake. Flash 5 is... well...terse.)

And it looks like everyone but technomasochists, these days code at least in flash7. So, tough luck.. I will have to find something really-really antique to even try my assumption on how to deliver the .swf to the SL clients...

Luckily it was not my first attempt to get a closer look at .swf, and from my previous escapade I had remembered about the existence of Ming - a software library for programmatically generating the .swf files.

So, let's look at ming examples and see if it works... The first attempt brings the "media texture" completely black.. ahh this must be flash8...

Oh! Invaders! Let's try this one... IT WORKS!!

After the first yell of joy, time to calm down. No keyboard events. No mouse events. Well, I *thought* there was something being passed to the script, but not sure - could have been just a side effect of lack of sleep. So - let's assume no keyboard and no mouse...

The lessons learned for now: not quite what I hoped for, but yet still better than changing the colors on the prims. And some folks tend to do interesting stuff even with this limited toolbox. Does anyone know if a model of the Turing Machine already exists in Second Life ?

If yes I think I would make a contest and give a prize to the first person who takes that machine and makes it decode and play mp3s in-world - just to see how far the hackaround skills stretch...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Men-Hunt: a prey's perspective

[ A.K.A.: 7 rules for a happy man-tourage ]

All right, where was I... Ah, mantourage. Since there are female avatars publishing the recipes for the females, maybe I should write down some of the male perspectives, and hope that they save someone a tear or two...

First thing you wanna do is keep in mind this is a pixel world. Repeat after me: This is virtual. This. Is. Virtual. While the norms of social behaviour and legal boundaries of course do apply, do not take it too dangerously close to your nervous system - it is a sure recipe for some drama, at least for yourself, and maybe for some innocent others.


Rule #1:

keep the tongue in the cheek. Besides the obvious safety net effect on your poor nervous system, exhausted in the RL stress, you might be able to get less busy with actually trying to chase down the ladies for some less sophisticated activities (By the way - consider the fact that some of them might be actually a guy with the beard drinking the beer and having a good laugh - although we have voice coming soon to the rescue, so it will be a bigger challenge for the guys with the beer), and concentrate yourself onto the greatest fun of all - the conversation.

The conversation should be interesting for the lady (ok, from now on I make a firm assumption that we consider the lady as a lady and not as a guy with the beer, beard and a ponytail). If she is an avid follower of the newly-published guidelines of mantourage, she might even try to talk to you about football. This is something to be very careful with. If there is a thing the vast majority of the women hate more than doing the laundry, this is football. So, two possibilities - either she is not a woman, or she is trying to lure you to become a blinded zombie in her bag of followers. Indeed, there are are exceptions which are always possible - however, considering the odds, do not consider yourself too lucky. Even though 80% of the people think they are above average in anything they are asked about, this is not true. Same warning as about the football goes about talking about the advantages of Gentoo over Debian, or CentOS over Ubuntu(and vice versa).


Rule #2:

talk to her in her language. This has an added practical benefit that you can learn the latest fashion trends, discover the wonders that they put into the magazine du jour for women - these are invaluable weapons that you can definitely reuse in real life, should you have a need.

Speaking of real life: never ever, NEVER EVER try to find out the real life details. Two reasons: you will be disappointed if you learn about the beer (ok, ok, that was the last time), second - some girls actually do prefer anonymity, since then they can release some of the less obvious sides of their nature, which they are reluctant to show in the wild in real life due to the twisted nature of the modern morale.

Indeed, you are free to tell her your genealogy up to 5th level of depth (just be careful not to go further, since even the most patient might fall asleep, and even if she does not snore, she will still not keep the conversation alive), but never expect nor demand anything in return.

5 words about talking: talk, but not too much. Remember, she has more men than just yourself in the pack, so try not to abuse the schedule of other participants. On the contrary - try to get acquainted with them - if the woman is worthy, then the chances are that you might find some other interesting people around, and you might get a chess partner or someone to help you analyze the latest stock market prices. They are not enemies. But assuming the stock market situation is clear, and the chess party has finished, you ask me - "Okay, and what to do then?"

Rule #3:

Redundancy. Never ever put the balls... err.... eggs into a single basket. Assuming that you want to live a long and healthy single life in SL, you need to be ready for anything. She may fall in love IRL, may get booted from work for spending too much time in SL and not having any work done (hence you will be one of the last things on her mind), well, even just marry in SL, if nothing else. If that happens, and you do not have the plan B ready - you will be disappointed. That should not happen. You don't want to feel like you've lost all of your self-respect, right ?

Self-respect. This is not to be mixed with ego. Yes, I know you are the center of the universe, but I am the center of the universe too, and even though it may be surprising for you (hopefully not) - she is the center of the universe as well, so put the things into perspective.

From this we get

Rule #4:

Behave with dignity. Be fair. Do not be greedy - after all, in real world you would at least buy her a drink, wouldn't you ? So do not expect that all women in SL are shipped under the BSD license. Spend some of these hard-earned lindens on this useless junk - jewelry, clothes, shoes.. If you are not sure - you can get away with finding a way to get her some cash. You are here to have fun - and so they are. So help them.

With regards to the fun - it can be different, there is no universal recipe. If she has fun dancing, bite your lip and go with her - after all, she's worth it, no ?
Surprise her. If she likes some extreme kinds of fun which you are not really into - then no need to strain yourself - remember, there are other candidates, who can very well enjoy doing that. Let them have fun too. Do not try to behave like a medieval feodal, tracing all her steps and demanding the report of where she was and what she did. If she wants - she will tell you. So,

Rule #5:

let her enjoy her freedom. Freedom is one of the fundamental joys that should not be touched. After all, if she keeps talking to you - you might have something interesting in yourself - concentrate on enhancing that. Be different.

Being different also means not starting your conversation with "where - your place or my place?" - even though there is an old anecdote about the person who was meeting the women and his first phrase was "you wanna f..k ?", and on the wondering question - "but you can get a slap on the face!?" he answered "yes, but you can also get a f..k" - I would doubt the hit ratio will be too big. Well, maybe amongst the folks with the beers it would... (oops! Honestly, this was THE last time!)

This brings us to the

Rule #6:

Never demand SLex. Neither in SL nor in RL, actually. If she decides she wants it, she will give you a hint, so open your mind if you are up to it. But demanding something you do not have the right to - is a good recipe for an unpleasant surprise. The more pragmatic ones might just set a price high enough which would cover their inconveniences, the others might not like it at all - again, remember there are the other candidates - behave yourself. If you feel that you really can not hold yourself tight, take a deep breath, and visit
the great experiment page - this will give you what you probably want, and in the process you will help advance the progress of the internet, and can learn the bleeding-edge technologies. And all of this - free of charge...

And now that I have mentioned the edge... Once upon a time you might find that you've been so astonishingly smart, so incredibly stunning, that one day you realise you two are spending all the time together, having a lot of fun, and there's not that much that is left from her mantourage besides you... And that you're waiting for the time she comes online, thinking of her while driving to work IRL, and so does she... So,

Rule #7:


And here I will excuse myself and disappear, leaving you two alone - I doubt you really in much need of any silly rules at this point...

The publisher's comment: while publishing this article, we became aware, that the rule#1 was heavily used in the process of putting together this content, so we wanted to ensure that we explicitly warn our readers to avoid any misunderstanding.


In Veyron's blog read on mantourage. Very interesting concept... And let's keep it this short for today.

Monday, May 14, 2007

SL BDSM as a lab exercise for a RL management training

During a casual conversation with someone I respect quite a lot for the wits and smartness (besides the other observable good qualities :-), kiddingly I've dropped in an attempt of a joke that being a dominating person in the BDSM is like being a manager in love.

Upon further thinking on this topic, I think BDSM could be used precisely as a practical lab in management/leadership courses of what is NOT to be done.

Disclaimer: all of the musings below are based on my very limited, shallow, and narrow-minded theoretical knowledge of both positions, so should not be treated any seriously, besides, the lack of exposure to both of the opportunities will almost certainly result in some gaping inconsistencies, which you are very welcome to correct. The opinions described here are merely personal opinions of the Second Life avatar, and as such, do not exist in real world, so if reading this causes you to spill your hot coffee on yourself, the computer to crash, the sun to stop shining, I decline any and all responsibilities for the mental and any other possible and impossible damages caused (after all, the coffee is supposed to be HOT - so predicting the results of spilling it is the responsibility of any thoughtful reader and NOT mine!). Besides, any correlations and similarities to anything are fully random and are the sole result of reader's too wild imagination.

In any case, lets start this largely anti-scientific fun exercise...

1) B.: No-No. Tying the people up makes them feel small. The "Small person" syndrome creates discomfort and kills motivation.

The manager should create a sense of responsibility and empowerment in the employees, which is hard to do if you put the handcuffs on them and stick something into the mouth so they do not whine too much :-)

2) D.: Well, this is a lesser evil, in a sense that in any hierarchical structure there is a natural set of "precedences". However, again, the domination carries the sense of free will suppression. Even in the case of conveyor belt - you might want your employees to be proud of their work.

A good manager would make the employee think that it is all the employee's results that are achieved and the employee would not notice the actual efforts behind this(disclaimer: most of the results are the persons' achievement anyway, however, meta-results that result in those results are not necessarily)

3) S.: The affection of persons towards this item could be considered dually. If the said activities do not bring any achievements to the one being tortured - then this is a wasteful torture, and the manager who finds the joy in such, maybe should reconsider the career aspirations.

However, the only well-remembered things are the ones you learn while spilling a bit of your blood - so a little bit of torture which leads to the person's growth should be considered as a very positive ingredient of a leader.

4) M.: is an opposite of S. and practically always coexists - just in different hemispheres. So, too much of S. is also not too great - it means there is a great potential for useless tortures.

However, if one to understand M in a sense of being willing to listen to others' input, react, and improve accordingly - then indeed that is an immensely useful quality and should be observed in all the candidates of the lab.

The Other Universe#1: It's damn hard to be a girl...

I do have a girlie alt - just for research purposes, and to get some time alone when I want to. I did not use it for a long while (oh well, I did not get to SL almost at all in the past couple of months), but I think it might be fun to record the experiences "from the other side" here. So, I decided to pimp my alt with new goodies.....

This reminded me of what the hoops the women have to go through, just to go through the ordinary life situations, that men do not even think of..

I've a nice red dress, but only blach shoes with thick heels, which do not fit this dress at all. Damn! Ok, an attack on the shop, and I have a pair of wonderful shoes with ao as well. Fantastic - so do I do something with my skin now, or not ?
It looks too dark, and not so many details... Ok, decided, let's go and buy the new one and pimp up the looks.

The owner of the shop is very helpful, and together we select some skin, among the cheaper ones - just L800, but it seems to fit.

Ok, now that I have all the goodies, definitely more suitable underwear is needed. Attack the other shop. They all fight very rigorously, leaving the wounds of 300L to 700L at a time.. Good thing that Dalien would not let me down in this battle - so a couple of switchovers to do some money transfers, and I am back in business.

Whoooof. I think I am done, so I can return back and try out all the new things.

Now that I have all these clothes, shoes, underwear, skins, and even one shape - which I eventually did not like at all - I need to organize the mess. So the nice hierarchical tree is growing, and absorbs most of the wardrobe. Cool. Now I can find everything. Maybe... Where did I put that skirt again - was it in "suits", or "dresses" ? Time to create another folder "Skirts"

After a couple of hours of fiddling, everything is in order.

Everything looks great, the only thing I notice... The old skin... looks... much... better.... A-a-a-a-a! So-o-o-me-e-e-one! He-e-e-elp me-e-e-e!

The voice in the background: And do not forget, for *every* event you go to, you have to pick up the appropriate style of clothing, jewelry, and make a proper make-up. Otherwise it's cheating.

All right. Let's keep the cheap skin. I like it much better - and I have to like myself for a starter, right ? Yes, and I promise to make a reasonable effort to dress accordingly, and all.

...To be continued...

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Thanks to Tiessa, Veyron and Vint for reviving my old habit.

All of this has started from a visit to a friend with a few beers, to check out his newest self-assembled from totally separate parts shiny hi-end 386.

Somewhere in the very beginning 1990s. Summer, white nights. Friday has just become Saturday.
Two geeks in the kitchen, sitting in front of a 13" screen.


The sound of the pulse dial (the tone dialing was a strange luxury at that time at that place), then the sound of the connect.

If you heard it once - you will never forget it: "...baaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeepshkrchkrspspkr".

Well, maybe not exactly, but something similar.


the funny name FrontDoor shows up, then the screen explodes with ANSI graphics and we start exploring the new and mysterious world. Look! you can download files! Many files! Wow, various programs.. too bad it will take a long time to get them here, even though 2400 is quite fast - it's almost 800 bytes per second!

Let's see what else is there.. oh - look! - there is a command "Yell" - we try it ? - ok!

The PC starts to emit the bleeping sound, and we see the message - "Chat started".

"Hello?" - the letters appear one by one, not too fast, and suddenly we realise it's well well past midnight!

"Did we disturb you ?" - "Nah, not really, what's up"

The next 2 hours of geekspeek are omitted for brevity, if you want the details - find the nearest BOFH and ask.

The end result was that we got full access to the files, and agreement to meet with the beers one of the following days to finalize the balance sheet.

I came home at 6am, by foot, all excited to have talked to another person, complete stranger, using the computer. Ain't this amazing ?

P.S. I've tried to locate the screenshot of such an antique, but found a couple of fun sites, and appears some BBSes are still running over the TCP/IP... try telnet to All the details, including the ANSI graphics detection and screen setup. Feel nostalgic yet ?