Tuesday, January 9, 2007

a simple plea

While everyone's eagerly planning SL improvements or demanding major bug fixes, can I toss in my one tiny request?

A minimize button on Inventory, like there is on every other single window in SL. What the hell?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

The big move

We had an unexpected opportunity to move from our single lot to two adjacent lots on Winterfell, and after a little bit of discussion, we took it. It was not a small decision, both because it will cost more and because it meant having to move our castle.

That second one may have been the more daunting part. Even pre-fab castles are fairly complex to assemble, and this one had given us trouble when we first placed it. But we finally decided the doubled space would be worth the trouble. Not only would it give us more land and more prim allowance, it also gave us an ocean view on one side.

The first thing we did after making the necessary purchases was to take the foundation out from under the castle and use it as a pattern to find the best place for it on the other lot. That left the castle itself hanging in space for a short time.

The new location not only gave us double the space, but a lovely lengthwise riverfront, and that was the logical place to site it, so Morgana laid the foundation in. Then we took a deep breath and got ready to move the inidividual pieces of the building. But Tim Hoffman's castle aligner saved us. One command and almost all of the pieces flew across the landscape and put themselves together. The small number that didn't were easy to bring over. As unimpressed as we remain with his customer service, I have to give him due credit for that aligner script. It works wonders.

The land itself a needed a little maintenance. Returning the previous owner's trees was easy but we noticed most of the ocean had been terraformed so there was no usable water. I set about to scale that back.

For a finishing touch on the ocean side I made a small pier, while Morgana planted trees. All in all, what could have been a pretty complex operation went smoothly and we're starting to put the furniture back in.

We've had three addresses in a short time, but this is likely to be home for a while. It's big enough, the theme of the sim fits our tastes, and we have good neighbors and good landlord. Home sweet second life home.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Service, Please

People who run businesses in Second Life must understand the importance of customer service. Just like in real life, some creators are happy to help their customers use their creations, and others seem to vanish right after counting your money.

A case in point from our own experience: We bought a castle from Qabalah Quintus. When we needed some customization, he built us replacement pieces with no hesitation. When he upgraded our model of castle, he provided us a new one with a nominal upgrade fee. Anytime he was online and we had questions, he answered right away. If he was offline, he answered as soon as he could.

Result: We'll be pleased to recommend him to anyone we meet looking for a castle home.

As pleased as we were with his service, however, the castle itself just didn't work for us. After living in it for a while, we found it a little small for our needs and a little out of place in our area. So we shopped for a new one and ultimately bought a high-priced but roomy one from another designer. It featured a control panel to allow the owner(s) to control door locks, window tint and other variables from a single interface, and also had a building aligner tool that is supposed to pull all the pieces together once rezzed.

The aligner worked. Not much else did. Morgana started trying to set up and accidentally delinked the prims that made up the central piece. The designer came over to help only after about a week of repeated IMs.

Once it was set up, things were fine until we realized thet only Morgana had access to most of the control panel menus and I was limited to tinting the windows. No problem, we'll just change ownership to our group (a group that includes just the two of us). So she did, and voila! We now have the same priviliges with the panel. Only one problem: The prviliges we both have are the limited set I had before the change. Now she can't get to the rest of the settings either.

We figured out how to lock the doors with a voice command, but when we did that, the windows turned black. Untinting the windows also unlocked the doors.

So we IMed the designer again. And again. And again. Over what has now been at least two weeks, maybe three. Granted it has been the holiday season, but that's a long time, and we still have had no response. We finally solved the door locking problem by buying a new set of doors from a different creator and installing them ourselves.

Result: We'll tell other people that his building is fine, but his scripting is bad and his service (unless he does finally respond with a really good explanation for the silence) is terrible. And we won't buy anything else from him.