I logged into Second Life on Thursday to find a notecard from Georg Janick awaiting my arrival in-world. The note was a brief update on recent activities and included twenty eight pictures from Caerleon's first two weeks on ReactionGrid, a virtual world based on OpenSimulator software. He went on to explain that," Things are developing there faster than we expected and we are in the process of upgrading our SIMs so they can handle all that activity". His closer was an invitation to come over for a visit. I'd registered an account with ReactionGrid several months ago and had paid a few short visits initially, but hadn't really spent much time there. After leaving Second Life and with the invitation as incentive, I found my notes and login-in information, then launched the Hippo viewer for a trip into ReactionGrid.
On rezzing, I tried to do a search and it came up with no results for either Georg or Caerleon. So I opened the map and within a few minutes located what I hoped to be the right SIM. The teleport worked and I found myself on the Caerleon-Charon SIM. A system message said on my arrival,":: Nazz Lane enters Caerleon-Charon (now 3 visitors in this region)", which I took to be a positive sign I'd selected the right SIM. Opening the mini-map now, I located the other two avatars present and headed in their direction. Closing in I realized one was Georg, so I sent him an instant message to which he replied with both a greeting and a TP request. I was close enough to where he stood, so I rejected the TP request and in the chat window called out a greeting.
"There you are Nazz. I didn't see you." He said in reply and then asked, "Do you know Marnie?"
"Good to see you Georg. I got your notecard with the pictures and had to come over to look around. We've not met, but I have seen Marnie at a few Second Life venues." I replied and then exchanged greetings with Marnie Reinard.
"Oh great, I'm glad. We have seventeen people here now … on and off from Caerleon in Second Life."
I'd scanned around with my camera controls and saw several of the builds. Based on the number of pictures he'd sent, I knew there were more. "That's a lot done in two weeks … congratulations!" I said.
"Thanks … I'm surprised myself at how many have come, and we are running a major collaboration here on AI and A-Life led by Nonnatus." He replied and then added: "ReactionGrid has great owners and tech people … they make up for the glitches. That's one reason I like being here. Plus I'm tired of LL taking money and giving little back … the cost of a SIM here is 1/16th that of Second Life. Artists in the broad sense have built Second Life at no cost to LL."
"And allot of prims." Marnie added.
"The tool set here is the same or better?" I asked.
"Well there are differences. The prims here are fully scalable … no mega' and there are 45,000 of them per SIM … three times the number in Second Life. The tools are very much the same, the in world tools but you script in C# and Java as well as LSL if you know how." He replied.
"It provides more flexibility?" I asked.
"Yes, but of course it's also a bumpier ride sometimes." He responded.
"The stability of the regions?" I asked
"We just doubled up on our resources. We added an extra server with a full set of RAM, CPU, etc … so that should help a lot with stability." He answered.
"You have four islands here now?" I asked.
"Yes and we made add one more … we have to see, the upgrade is coming tomorrow." He said in reply.
"You have four SIMs in Second Life now, right?
"Yes, but we are going to drop one in about three months so we will have three there and four or five here." He replied.
"I really liked what I saw in the pictures ... remarkable stuff being created here." I said in comment and as I did, his avatar disappeared from the screen. I said to Marnie, "We lost Georg."
Before she could reply, a system message appeared in the lower left corner of my screen. ":: Georg Janick enters Caerleon-Charon (now 3 visitors in this region)".
"He is coming back." Marnie said.
As his avatar rezzed, he typed in chat. "Speaking of crashing … "
"But that happens in Second Life to." Marnie commented.
"I'm trying to bring Thoth, he's here on another of our SIMs. He made a great video structure." He said and then added; "Actually, let's take a look. I'll TP you."
Georg left first, followed by Marnie and then me. I arrived quickly at the new location and as I rezzed, Georg said. "My map shows Thoth somewhere around here. Make sure your video is on Nazz and set to midnight."
We were joined shortly by Thoth Jantzen and the four of us exchanged pleasantries. Georg then explained that he'd brought us over to show off the build. After getting my video set up in preferences, it started playing for me and the build lit up with the video and my headset with sound.
"Lead the way Thoth." Georg said.
"Just walk through the cube ... straight." Thoth directed then added; "You can stop and look around to …"
"How how did you do this Thoth?" Marnie asked.
"Very carefully." He replied with a grin and then added; "Actually, just a matter of slapping prims together and texturing them right and I'm more a builder … I sort of make canvasses for art to be shown on."
"Is this Cirque du Soleil?" I asked thinking that the video and music was familiar I added, "This is the same one you'd shown me a few days ago in Second Life."
"Yep it is Cirque du Soleil, but no I don't think it's the same one." He replied and then added; "Well, let's walk on through to the other side … this way kids … you sort of get disoriented in there. It's been a trip building here … but it's fun. I also have stuff at 300m and 2500m. I'm not finished yet though."
"Yeah but you've made a lot of progress in a very short time." Georg commented and then added; "Well you have a lot of prims to play with."
We spent the next fifteen minutes marveling at the sights and sounds presented in Thoth's build, but it was coming up on 2 pm and I had an appointment in Second Life. Georg commented that he also had to leave shortly. I thanked him for the tour and complimented Thoth on his build.
I was about to log out and leave ReactionGrid when Marnie said to Thoth. "You have done it now I want a notecard with how you did on it and the scripts."
"Well, there's no real scripts except for spinning and stuff. The rest is building and texturing and whatnot. I have a thing that shows how... has static and active versions of different pieces on it It's really simpler than it looks fundamentally … it's the arrangement of the pieces that does it."
As they continued the discussion, I said my good bye and logged out, delighted that I'd stopped in.