The Absolute Beginners: Basics – The Camera Controls

 Beginners, Hints & Tips, SL Basics  Comments Off on The Absolute Beginners: Basics – The Camera Controls
Mar 032012
 

One of the things I’ve noticed recently in Second Life is a lot of newer avatars that struggle to view things up high or down low, especially ad boards in stores. I see them walking right up to the wall where the board is, or flying to get up to higher boards, and I can only think that they’re either skipping the (generally good) basic tutorials at the Welcome Island they first arrive in SL at, or they just don’t understand them too well.

UPDATE: It turns out there are no tutorials when newbies first land in Second Life now. They arrive in a circular area with portals directly in-world, and have no guidance whatsoever!

One thing that all residents need to get to know and love is the Camera Controls panel. This is a little floater that you can move anywhere on your screen and it will help you no end in controlling your camera so you don’t have to fly up or walk into walls to see things. This post is a little tutorial on how to find it and how to use it.

If you do nothing else, then save this image to your computer where you can reference it until you grow accustomed to using the controls –

– and hop behind the cut for how to find the Camera Controls!

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Those Little Questions: a general grab-bag!

 Hints & Tips, SL Basics  Comments Off on Those Little Questions: a general grab-bag!
Feb 182012
 

Hi peeps! Here’s another in my ‘Those little questions’ series, where I try to give answers to the questions in search terms that lead people to the SL for Nowt blog. There are no silly questions in SL. We all started out as complete newbies, and we all wondered the same things, so here I hope to help you out with some answers :)

You can find the questions on the old blog archived here, and a special Those Little Questions all about skyboxes here.

Today’s set of questions is a general grab-bag. Behind the cut you’ll find out…

– How can I find out my friend’s location in Second Life?
– How do I make a landmark in a building in the sky in Second Life?
– How do I remove the group name from above my head?
– Can you change the landmark on the picks in Second Life?
– What’s the busiest welcome area in Second Life?
– Can anyone teleport into your home in Second Life?
– I can’t get my underwear off in Second Life!
– Can I preview Second Life without being a member?
– I don’t have a house in Second Life. Where should I leave my avatar?
– Do I need membership to have a skybox in Second Life?
– Is it cheaper to rent land or have a premium membership in Second Life?
– Why can’t I send a gift from Marketplace?
– Can anyone see how much L$ I have in Second Life?

Hop behind the cut for some answers!

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Aug 292011
 

One of the things about leading a freebie or cheapie life in SL is that, when a great new free/cheap skin becomes available and is blogged all over the place, you see a lot of people wearing that skin. And while it’s not as bad as turning up to a party where two other people are wearing the same dress as you, when a skin is quite distinctive and you’ve fallen in love with it and it’s just so you that you want to keep wearing it, it can be rather mortifying to find yourself looking at clones of you all over the grid!

The shape that you wear goes some way toward making that skin look different on you than it does on other avatars with different shapes, but there is a handy little trick that you can use to give yourself just a bit more individuality, and that is to try on different hairbases. Take a look at these pictures of Mar:

In each of those pictures Mar is wearing the same skin and hair, and no extra makeup. Yet she looks different in every one. Why? Well, in each picture she’s wearing a different hairbase.

If you’ve read this (or any other tutorials blog) you might know by now that hairbases get rid of the horrible default ‘grown’ hair (the stuff that looks like it’s erupting from your head like something you should go to see the doctor about!) so that it doesn’t poke through any prim hair that you’re wearing. But did you know that hairbases can also shape your eyebrows?

Most skin and hair creators include their own hairbases in with their wares, so if you’ve been trotting around the grid for a while you’ve probably acquired quite a few of them, and yet it’s something that many of us don’t think to change much. We were ‘born’ wearing a decent hairbase (at least, those of us who signed up after the old, original ‘grown hair’ avatars were phased out) and since it’s not an obvious thing to change, in the way that skins, prim hair, and clothing are, we don’t bother to try on different ones.

If you’re wearing a skin that a lot of other people are wearing, though, different hairbases can make quite a difference when teamed with unusual hairstyles and layered makeup; to the point where you can make the skin look totally unique! It’s worth having a go with different hairbases, just to see if you can give your avatar a bit of individuality and character. What’s more, if you don’t already have one you like you can even make your own hairbase!

There are, though, two things in Second Life that you will find called ‘hairbase’. Hop behind the cut for a guide to the difference between them and a quick tutorial for making your own.

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A no-newbie look for nuffink!

 Beginners, Gifts & Freebies, SL Basics  Comments Off on A no-newbie look for nuffink!
Aug 282011
 

Want to get rid of those newbie looks, fast and on the cheap? Here’s a great, casual no-newbie look that costs you absolutely nothing. All you’ll need is a bit of time and patience.

Note: This post is written for newbies, so it’s a lot more detailed than my usual outfit posts. Oldbies, you can still get this stuff, too!

Hop behind the cut to find out how to get it :)

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May 042011
 

There is a very large freebie culture in Second Life, and many blogs (such as this one!) are dedicated – or partially dedicated – to writing about it. There are also some unspoken rules – the do’s and don’ts of freebie culture – which most people in the ‘freebiesphere’ adhere to. However, a few do not.

Just because a rule is unspoken that doesn’t mean it should go unheeded. And, if you think, “Who is she to tell me what the rules are?” then I only have this to say: they’re not really even ‘rules’. They are, in the main, simple and common courtesy.

Hop behind the cut for a few do’s and don’ts: the basics of Freebie Etiquette :)

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Apr 302011
 

This is the second in my series of Second Life Basics for Absolute Beginners. In this post we’re going to examine some of the preferences in the official Second Life viewer (which I’ll shorten hereafter to ‘viewer’ or ‘V2’ – as this is known as ‘Viewer 2’). Please note that, for this tutorial, I was using version 2.6.3 of the official viewer. This viewer is, as I write this, still undergoing a lot of changes, so some of the menu items may change around, but hopefully you should be able to find them relatively easily in any future V2-based viewers.

Please note, also, that this post should not be taken as gospel. Behind the cut I’m just going to explain to you some important settings you need to be aware of, go through some of the things you do need to know (as a newbie) and what you don’t need to have enabled just yet, and explain what some of the settings do. The longer that you’re in Second Life, the more you’re going to want to do with it, so that will be the time to explore the menus again and see what stuff does: when you’re less afraid of breaking things!

Hop behind the cut, because we’re going to get started before we even log in :)

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 Posted by at 3:45 pm

Newbie No-No’s: Part 2 – Littering

 Beginners, Hints & Tips, SL Basics  Comments Off on Newbie No-No’s: Part 2 – Littering
Mar 092011
 

Welcome to Second Life, newbie! This Newbie No-No’s series is intended to be a light-hearted look at the don’ts of newbiedom in-world. Hopefully, the major don’ts are pretty obvious (don’t be a jerk, don’t grief, don’t be rude… well, all of those boil down to “don’t be a jerk”, really) but the lesser don’ts can be a bit of a minefield and it can be hard for a newbie to understand the various social mores in-world.

We continue the series with littering.

If your car broke down in real life, would you just leave it by the side of the road? Well, assuming you’re not one of the less-delightful itinerant types who frequently wreck greenbelt areas with knackered old vehicles and other junk when they move on, then no; of course you wouldn’t. If you buy something from a store in real life, would you unpack it and dump the packaging on the floor of the shop before walking out? I should hope not! And, if you buy fast food from a drive-through in real life, would you chuck the empty bags and cartons out of your car window when you’re finished with it? Well, if you would, then no wonder the city/countryside/etc is a mess…

But, in the main, if you wouldn’t do it in real life, there is no reason to do it in Second Life. Just because SL is ‘a game’ that doesn’t mean there aren’t other people in it: other people who have to bear the visual and aural annoyances of your littering should you choose to be a messy, thoughtless resident in-world. One of the unspoken golden rules of Second Life is: If you put it down at some point, pick it up when you’re done with it.

1. If you open a boxed item in a store because they haven’t set an auto-return time, then pick up the box (or delete it) once you’ve finished.

2. If you do #1 with a hunt item in a store then especially make sure you get rid of the box, or you’ll have hundreds of people coming in after you who think your ‘dud’ opened hunt item is the real thing. You don’t want to piss off hundreds of other people whom you may well bump into sometime in-world, right?

3. If the vehicle you’re driving/flying/piloting in some manner crashes and throws you off, go back, find it, and delete it or take it back into inventory. It will often have gone up into the air a bit, so don’t assume that just because that particle-spewing, roaring trials bike or monster truck isn’t on the ground where you last remember being it must be gone, because it isn’t. Take the time to fly around and look for it. If you didn’t get a chat message saying it’s been returned to your Lost and Found folder, then it’s still stuck in-world somewhere, and that ‘somewhere’ is probably right on the border of some poor person’s private land, where they can see it and hear it, but can’t get rid of it. And, dear newbie, karma is a bitch with a dry sense of humour, because one day that poor person with the spitting, roaring spaceship on their doorstep might be you

Think you can get away with it, because nobody will know it was you that left it behind? Think again. Every single item in Second Life can be inspected by anyone, and it will bear the name of the last owner. So, if you don’t want angry IMs, and if you don’t want to be abuse reported for prim-littering (which, for many people, is the only resort when vehicles are abandoned near their land parcels), then pick up your mess!

 Posted by at 4:55 am
Feb 252011
 

Welcome to Second Life, newbie! This Newbie No-No’s series is intended to be a light-hearted look at the don’ts of newbiedom in-world. Hopefully, the major don’ts are pretty obvious (don’t be a jerk, don’t grief, don’t be rude… well, all of those boil down to “don’t be a jerk”, really) but the lesser don’ts can be a bit of a minefield and it can be hard for a newbie to understand the various social mores in-world.

To that end, we begin with bling.

Bling is possibly one of the biggest things that marks out a noob in Second Life, and that’s mainly down to the plethora of old, blinging items in freebie warehouses. While you can get the gentle ‘plink’ of subtle bling, the vast majority of bling items are an assault on the eyeballs. For every subtly glimmering diamond there is a pair of 2007 boots with a furiously-fast bling script in every single prim, and for every gentle glint at a female avatar’s corsage there is a ‘gangsta’ or ‘playa’ belt buckle that makes a newbie male look as though his crotch is throwing its own private little lightning storm (and no, boys; that’s not as interesting as you might think it sounds!)

In short: bling is Not Good. It’s all very well your using the /1 bling off command in chat that turns the sparklies off for you, but it still shows for everyone else (especially the older, poorly-scripted bling). Bling is a particle script, and while it’s possible for other residents to set their viewers to de-render attached particles, it’s something that many don’t like to do (we need to know, you see, if anything we are wearing contains bling, because sometimes creators don’t mention that it does).

Far from giving the effect of expensive diamonds, bling only gives a cheap headache. If your items are modifiable, then create a new script in your inventory, delete the text already in it, call it scrubber script, head to my Useful Scripts Page and paste the scrubber script text into it. Save the script, then edit your items. Check each prim (Edit Linked Parts) and whenever you see a bling script, drag the scrubber script in with it. Once you’ve done that, you can delete both scripts.

Another method you can try (if checking each prim is going to be a pain, which it is in high-prim footwear and jewellery) is to edit the item, then head into the Tools menu and check ‘Set scripts to not running in selection’. Again, this will only work for modifiable items.

Banish the bling!

 Posted by at 3:05 pm
Feb 062011
 

Hi peeps! Here’s another in my ‘Those little questions’ series, where I try to give answers to the questions in search terms that lead people to the SL for Nowt blog. There are no silly questions in SL. We all started out as complete newbies, and we all wondered the same things, so here I hope to help you out with some answers :)

You can find the questions on the old blog archived here, and a special Those Little Questions all about skyboxes here.

Hop behind the cut for the questions and answers!

Continue reading »

Jan 292011
 

There are times when being able to log in to a quiet location is a distinct advantage. If you’ve just cleared your cache, for example, then being in a quiet spot with nothing to render but your avatar can sometimes help your inventory to load a bit faster. Or if you’ve been hassled at a previous location it’s useful to be able to relog into a quieter spot.

Here’s a quick tips guide to doing that, from Mar’s alt, Roxie  :)

Hop behind the cut!

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