Archive for January, 2009

OpenSim Grids

Posted in OpenSim with tags on January 4, 2009 by billmagee

Second Life is a bizarre and beautiful expression of the human spirit; testimony to the fact that a virtual world inspires the imagination of a hacker in much the same way that a blank canvas inspires a painter. Linden Labs, the San Francisco-based company that enabled the extravagant outpouring of creativity called Second Life, deserves our heartfelt gratitude. Still, they are a corporate entity, and like all corporations (and Universities) their bottom line is money, not people. This breaks my heart, for the cost in human suffering is always high. And as for elf suffering, follow this link to the migration of the elf clan from Second Life to OpenLife Grid.

Luckily, at least in the digital world, there are alternatives to heartless corporate greed-based programs. Open Source Software (OSS) projects are non-corporate volunteer efforts. Many of them function better than their bloated corporate counterparts (Linux and LaTex users know this to be true). Sometimes the learning curve on OSS software is slightly steeper (or even much steeper) than that of a corporate product. But it is a slope worth climbing.

The OpenSimulator Project is an OSS virtual world application that can be used by anyone ( Central grid and Openlife Grid are two increasingly popular virtual worlds using this software. Here is a learned quote about OpenSim from seanfitzgerald lifted from Bettina Tizzy’s recent blog on the Openlife Grid:

“OpenSim” – – is the open source platform that the Openlife Grid is based on. Opensim has been developed by independent developers in conjunction with developers from companies such as IBM and Microsoft.

What Linden Lab released as open source was their Second Life viewer. Despite popular misconception, OpenSim was not back-engineered from the Second Life viewer, but was built from the ground up.

OpenSim grids can be accessed via the official Second Life viewer or a range of other viewers compatible with it.

Openlife Grid is just one of many alternative grids based on OpenSim.

Currently I have not been able to visit any of these alternative grids, since my school’s IT policy inexplicably blocks my access to the ports needed. But I will have access later this month when I return home to the US. In fact, I intend to visit all the OpenSim grids.

Here is a complete list of OpenSim grids:

NOTE: it turns out that the elf clan is not migrating at this timel. See the latest
posts here:

Alas, there is no decent open alternative to Second Life yet. But there will be eventually…


Eloise Pasteur

Posted in Second Life on January 1, 2009 by billmagee

I am a big fan of Eloise Pasteur.  She is a major presence on the Second Life Educators List (SLED) and is the CEO of her own Educational Designs company in Second Life. When I first decided to invent a mediatron for the Tibetan language, I posted a question about it on SLED and Eloise gave me the code I needed. I have a link to her blog over there on the right. Here is a quote from one of her postings that I completely agree with:

First we have a question about approaches to the recession from Hightouch: If you’re an organisation that says people are your most important resource, why are you dismissing people before you consider closing buildings and working remotely with your people? It’s a good question – tiny, tiny organisations like Eloise Pasteur Educational Designs manage to work in a virtual environment. Great big ones like Department for Homeland Security and IBM manage it too. There are free to use tools such as Skype, Gizmo, Yuuguu etc. that let you work smoothly with distant people, and that cost nothing save some bandwidth and installation time. If you really believe your people are the most important resource, doesn’t finding a new way to work with them make sense?

I feel sorry for those who have been thrown out of work so their old companies can heat their big inefficient buildings.  Why can’t employers see the obvious? Buildings do not make money: people at work make money. The day is coming when people will wake up to the economic and human advantages of Virtual Worlds.