Rezzable is proud to announce the opening of our ‘Rezzable Alpha Grid’ - based on the OpenSim system - for testing by our fellow virtual world citizens, and invite you to take part in it. Currently we are running eight sims, including a replica of Greenies Home and a bunch of empty ones with plywood in them. Our stress tests will take place at Greenies OpenSim Home and takes thes form of a giant party, with host Angelina Rhode. (Yeah, we’ve duplicated her too! ;)) Theme: Find the 7 Differences. Dates are Wednesday December 17th and Thursday December 18th starting 1PM SLT.
Although ‘physics’ in general isn’t what we’re used to in Second Life yet, this looks like an incredibly neat ‘under construction and alpha or beta we’re working on it still not even sure we’ll ever use it’ patch by 3Di (read also region splitting on OpenSim): ‘OpenSim Physics With Joints’.
“Experimental testbed for investigating joints with physics (ODE physics). This will allow wheeled vehicles, ragdolls, and mechanical/robotic assemblies to be interactively built within the standard viewer and controllable through scripting. This project is unstable and will likely change drastically as development progresses.”
Do you think Moterati, Fiat & the like might return ‘full force’ if we can have real looking crash test dummies? ;) My favourite moment is “Arise!” though. Imagine a legion of the unused, buried-in-inventory plywood prims! ;)
Interesting news from March 2008 (yeah yeah, running behind here):
Dynamic load balancing
OpenSim is allowing many regions to share a region server, but the optimal number of regions on each server depends on the load of each region, something which may change as time goes on. 3Di is working on a load balancer that allows the current load to be monitored and regions to be reassigned without requiring the servers to be restarted. To move a region, its state is serialized, and a new clone is created on the target server using this stream. The old region is then destroyed and the client viewer updated to use the new region address.
Currently each region can hold only a small number of avatars. To allow more avatars in each region, 3Di has implemented region splitting, in which several copies of a given region can be distributed across the region servers. Each sub-region updates a fraction of the avatars, and sends state updates to the other sub-regions.
I wonder how the ‘region splitting’ scales, and curious about test results of the final maximum avatar count on one region (that exists out of multiple ’splitted regions’). I assume having a few regions communicating with each other will hit a limit too? Or does this mean live music concerts inSL on OpenSim with more than 500 avatars attending? :D
Virtual Land is always there, even if you can’t login to reach it. Regardless if you’re using it or your customers are. Regardless if you’re on a two-month break from Second Life or not. And you’re not likely to ‘get rid of it’, as Linden Lab does not offer you the ability to save the current state to put it back somewhere in the future when you’ll need it again. Of course, there are programs that let you take a ‘backup’ of an entire sim, but most of the time full perm on all objects is needed, and what about the scripts and interactive objects you’ve spend that much time on? So you keep paying your land tier, because you know it will be pain if you have to recreate all.
Balaji Sowmyanarayan and Venkatraman offer you a way to by-pass this, at least, if you wish to go ‘OpenSim‘. Their solution was baptised ‘Sim-onDemand’, and exists of OpenSim servers running on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. “It is like using an auditorium in real life. You book it and use it only occasionally.” I have not tried this yet, and although they claim to be aiming their service at non-tekkies, I had to re-read the ‘about’ section a few times. This is what I understood:
You will be billed according to Amazon’s EC2 pricing, with in addition a monthly fee of 40 cents.
When not using your sim, it’s in “pauze”. Taking it out of pauze, your saved date will still be there: “The Sim-OnDemand saves the data in AWS’s Elastic Block Store (EBS). This ensures that the data persists across the runs.
Presently only standalone mode is supported. Although they are willing to look into running multiple connected regions and connecting to a grid if the users ask for it.
You need at least some SSH knowledge.
Balaji Sowmyarnarayan writes: “Sim-OnDemand in its present form is just a proof of the concept. It is a way to validate if there is enough interest in running OpenSimulator on EC2 on an On-Demand basis. Few more features are essential to make it useful. Here is my take on the list: User Management, Multiple regions, Grid Mode, Ability to attach to to public Sims, Previewing the latest OpenSim software - hot off the source code repository, Ability to run custom applications, Automatic scaling with load, regions, number of users logged in, Integration of OpenSim forge community contributions.”
Wilfred Pinfold (an Intel colleague and general chair of Supercomputing 2009) announced to the Supercomputing 2008 conference attendees plans to create a new virtual world called “ScienceSim.” Supported by Intel and the conference committee, this collaboration aims to use these immersive, connected environments to further cutting edge scientific research.
Primarily, we want to create a new tool that uses the unique features of virtual environments to facilitate education, collaboration, and understanding. The output of many supercomputing applications — from astronomical simulations to medical models — is complex and often highly visual. Creating a persistent, standardized environment where these models can reside will make it easier to share and explore these data sets with other researchers. Also, for educators, ScienceSim will provide an interactive 3-D environment that can be used to explain complex concepts such as gravity in a highly intuitive manner.
In addition, this world will provide an opportunity to innovate in these connected visual computing environments. Today’s virtual worlds are hindered by application scalability, computing, storage, and networking performance. The high performance computing systems that Intel and others deploy to host ScienceSim will become test beds themselves for system-level innovation. Also, because the world is based on the OpenSim open source world simulation platform, participants will be able to experiment with enhancements to the engine behind the world.
For the upcoming Virtual Worlds 2008 conference in LA, Adam Frisby and some of the other OpenSim contributors and developers have decided to sponsor a large booth, and they would like to cover it with screen shots of the best and most innovative uses of OpenSim out there today.
Theyneed high resolution screen shots from your builds, ideally these should be captured at a minimum of 1600×1200 pixels (if you are using the Second Life™ viewer, the “High Resolution Screen shots” option works well)*. All settings should be set to maximum, ideally with anti aliasing, screen shots should have a minimal amount of adjustment (limited to cropping, brightness) and originals should be provided.
* (You can also go into ’snapshot’ and then change the dimensions of the screen capture there. Normally, you should be able to go up to 3000px at ease.)
An overview of a few of the OpenSim grids - multiple sims connected together - can be found on opensimulator.org. Login information and a quick ‘how to login’ is also provided for. Have fun exploring and snapshotting!
More specific rules:
High Resolution - We’re printing onto a 300 DPI surface, this means we absolutely need the highest possible resolution when printing to make sure we have crisp clean non-blurry images. While there isnt a definition of what is or isnt high resolution - try submit screenshots at least 1600×1200, higher is preferred.
Submit in a lossless format - We need images provided in either 24-bit PNG, TIFF or BMP. As these files tend to be rather large, please zip or rar them with maximum compression.
If you are submitting a manipulated image, the original is required as well. There is no guarantee that the manipulated version will be used. (We are trying to provide accurate but nifty portrayals of what OpenSim can do.)
Deadline - submit your images before Wednesday, 27th August 2008. Sooner is appreciated as they will begin incorporating images into the layout as soon as they are received.
How to submit images - Please use a service such as yousendit.com to transfer the archived files, send your message to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. His inbox will reject files larger than 10mb, so please do not send these directly.
Judging will be done by Adam Frisby in conjunction with the other people sponsoring the booth. Decisions whether to utilize an image will be based on constraints such as whether or not we can work them into the larger montage and do so in a way which highlights OpenSim in a positive way.
Some tips - People/avatars always look good. Eye candy is always a plus. Showing scenes where this is in production and potentially useful for people interested in using it are also going to be in demand.
What ‘ya getting for it?
Nothing anymore. Contest deadline has passed, if you shoot, it’s just for the fun. ;) Accepted and utilized images will get 6 months free standard-class region hosting from DeepThink to a grid of your choice. The Judges may provide hosting for images of excellent quality which are unable to be used, however this is soley at the discretion of the judges.
I just _love_ doom day’s scenario’s, as there is always - at least - some truth in them. That and they are funny. So sit back, relax and have good look at how the allied Open Source community drives our Führer to madness and defeat. This creepy parody on our Brave New Virtual World called Second Life is conceived by Crystal Studio’s.
“At least we still have Orientation Island… WITH AN 80 DROP OUT RATE!!! Who’s idea was it to make it that stupid! I tried to go there last night… to reassure myself. I like, I rode the segway BUT I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET OFF IT!! THEN I GOT STUCK IN THE GROUND!!11” Hitler
Icky, ugly, YouTube compression! :( :( :( Anybody knows a better video hosting thingie with embed functionality?
For those who need a recap on how to login to OpenSim Ruth: if you want to try Ruth out for yourself, and test the OpenSim, Testa User to Testz User are available for your exploration pleasures. This is how you do it:
If you have a shortcut to the Second Life client on your desktop, copy it and name it ‘Second Life OpenSim Ruth’. If not, create one.
Right click it and look at it it’s properties. Normally under ‘Target’ it says: “C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe” -set SystemLanguage en-us. Just add -loginuri http://ruth.petitbe.be:9000/ to the end of it, so you get “C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe” -set SystemLanguage en-us -loginuri http://ruth.petitbe.be:9000/.
Use that shortcut to open the Second Life client. You should automatically connect to Ruth. As user name you can choose from Testa User up to Testz User, and the pass for all is ‘test’.
And the second option, which is my prefered one:
Go to ‘Start’ and then choose ‘Run’.
Type cd c:\program files\secondlife\ (or whatever path your SL client is located).
Type secondlife.exe -loginuri http://ruth.petitbe.be:9000/ .
See the Second Life client starting up and login with Testa to Testz User and password ‘test’ or bug Dalien (gently!) to get a private, personalised account.
If you see any Vint Falken running around, you can assume safely that’s me, so say ‘hi’. ;)
As not all seem to be interested in OpenSim - or all but one, it’s not totally clear - I’ll give you an advance warning if I’ll be writing about OpenSim starting today: *points at the OpenSim picture on the left*. So if you are convinced that ‘open source = closed society”, stop reading after seeing those pictures. ;)
For those that are interested, there’s some news: main channel chat linked to an IRC channel and Reuters finding open OpenSim interesting enough to write about. Hear! Hear! ;)
Main chat ft. IRC on OpenSim
Ruth - one of the OpenSim servers, run by Dalien Talbot - has now added IRC functionality. All you say in main chat is send to #opensim-regions on EFnet. Likewise, all you say on that channel is send to main chat on the sim. Which means you can conversate with the avatars present on the sim without needing to login to the server using the SL client or SLeek. One of the possible uses I see: if for a group meeting in SL, not all can attend, it’s possible to follow and interact using the IRC channel. Also most IRC clients have the option to notify you when something new is said in a channel by a sound or whatever you prefer. So a sim owner could easily be notified of someone talking / communicating to him / in the sim without having to run the SL client the whole time. I quote:
Oh, another side effect - everything that is said in the central parser, now is echoed on IRC in efnet’s channel #opensim-regions… As usual - thanks to Michael for the code… It’s still raw but it works. :)
You can easily connect to #opensim-regions from the web:
Under ‘Channel’ choose ‘other’ and type ‘#opensim-regions’.
Press connect. Voila. =)
I might try setting up a webapp that allows to connect to #opensim-regions here somewhere (which is hopefully faster and more stable then the EFnet Webchat), but I need some help with that. The ‘how to’ contained the word ‘binaries’. *blushes* and *grins*
Reuters on OpenSim
Some other good news is that - opposed to others - Reuters found OpenSim that OpenSim has ‘news value’. Adam Reuters reports on OpenSim, writing that about 300 servers are running OpenSim software at the moment, and at least 20 of those are interconnected.
He also tells that the New Media Consortum - a group of 300 universities and colleges exploring how technology can be used innovatively in education, of which over 75 are active in Second Life -, shortly put the NMC, follows OpenSim’s progress with interest. Indeed, for a lot of school projects, interconnecting the sims would not even be needed. Noting also the development features, as objects can be imported using XML files, I think it’s a great article. Yet I think my instructions on how to connect to - an - OpenSim are a bit more clear. ;)
Custom Appearance in OpenSim
The only thing I do not agree with Adam Reuters is that ‘there is no possibility to customize your avatar in OpenSim’, as I spend some time uploading my skin to Ruth and I now look a bit more ‘Vintish’.
I liked the mohawk for the hair, but when looking at myself through the mirror.. euhm.. snapshot function, I found a strange resemblance with Dandellion.
Maybe that is just wishfull thinking, but it made me decide to go with a more classic hairdo. What do you think?
I’ve written down the shape values I use in Second Life, but probably made a mistake somewhere, so I need to redo those and reenter them in OpenSim. (XML help, please? Is it possible? ;)) Quite shockingly to know there are that many: 75 I counted. So, this is Vint: 85 - 14 - 0 -52 - 33 - 76 - 42 -51 - 50 - …. . LMAO.
Ow, and before I forget: another neat thing about OpenSim is that they have other bugs then the default Second Life ones and change is always nice. Doesn’t my skin look great in the last photograph? ;)