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NZVWG Visit – Additional ways to configure

As a few folks have tried getting ready for tomorrow (I’ve done so myself and it works quite well, best to cut/paste the long entry in #4 though), two of the folks on the VWER Planning Committee have also written up alternate directions.

For those of you using Mac, try these:

The instructions they give basically enable you to create an alternate icon for SecondLife which obeys some particular command-line parameters to use a particular server and location. Mac applications icons don’t point to command lines – except for applications which are an AppleScript. Here are the instructions to create an AppleScript, adapted from http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Client_parameters#Command_line:

1. In /Applications/AppleScript open Script Editor.

2. Open a new document and paste the following text into it:

do shell script “”/Applications/Second Life.app/Contents/MacOS/Second Life” -set SystemLanguage en-us -loginuri http://130.216.248.197:8002/ -loginpagehttp://nzvwg.org/opensim/loginScreen.php

3. Once you’re happy with the parameters, click “Compile”
4. Choose File > Save As
5. Save the script as an “Application” (not Script), and select “Run Only” (may be “Execute” on OS X.4 Tiger). I named mine “New Zealand Grid” and put it on the Desktop to make it easy to find.
6. Double-click the application you’ve compiled to launch the Viewer with the specified parameters.
NOTE: If the Viewer launches then immediately quits, open it normally since there is likely an update available: download it and your script will work again.

For those of you using PC, this may be simpler:

1. Download RealXten viewer (http://www.realxtend.org/)
2. Open viewer and enter you name and password
3. On the right hand side you will be asked where you want to connect to.
Here you will just enter the login uri for  Auckland NZVWG Portal

The Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable visits New Zealand Grid

I realized this is very short notice, and I take full responsibility for that – but the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable will be holding its monthly “Other Gird” meeting this Thursday, March 11th – from 12:00pm Pacific Time for an hour.  Our host grid this month will be the New Zealand Virtual Grid and Dr. Scott Diener.

In order to join us, you have to follow the instructions below.  We hope to see you Thursday.

To request an account you need to first go to www.nzvwg.org.  Select the Auckland University Portal as your NVWG portal.  Our host has requested that everyone use their real name for the avatar, as that will simplify things.  Of course, this is not a requirement, but a well considered request.  The system is automated so the new account should be approve in very short order.

While waiting for your confirmation on your account, here is what you need to do in order to access the New Zealand grid.  Please note, the following instructions are for a PC.  Mac instructions are in the works. (you may want to print this out)

  1. Make a copy of the Second Life shortcut on your desktop
  2. Right click the new shortcut and select properties
  3. Select the General tab and rename the shortcut to ”NZVWG’ (change the text in the box at the top)
  4. Select the Shortcut tab and change the Target as below:
    “C:Program FilesSecondLifeSecondLife.exe” -set SystemLanguage en-us -loginuri http://130.216.248.197:8002/ -loginpage http://nzvwg.org/opensim/loginScreen.php
  5. Click OK
  6. Double click the new shortcut and the Second Life viewer should start.
  7. Enter your NZVWG account First and Last names for your avatar and your account password.
  8. Do NOT log in to Home.  Login to region Kapua 3

According to our host, apparently when you first rez your avatar will be a fluffy cloud,  so you will need to create a new skin/shape/hair and clothes.  Here are the steps he provided in order to do this.  Its suggested you log in prior to the meeting to take care of this – as far in advance as possible.  Once you are signed in to the New Zealand grid:

  1. Click the inventory button at the bottom right of the viewer.  This will open an inventory window.
  2. In the inventory window, right click on Body Parts.  Select New Body Parts -> New Shape.
  3. You can give your new body shape a name if you like.
  4. Do the same thing to create New Hair, Skin and Eyes.
  5. These new body parts should all now appear in your inventory under Body Parts.
  6. Select all the new body parts in your inventory (ctrl-click to select multiple) and right click to select Wear.
  7. Now right click on your avatar and select Appearance…
  8. The appearance window should now be displayed.  Down the left hand side of this window are a number of tabs that you can select and these will give you options to change particular parts of your appearance.  NOTE: At this point you will not be able to change your clothing
  9. From the shape tab you have the option to make your avatar male or female.
  10. Once you have customized your appearance, click Save All  and close.
  11. You can now go back and change your appearance at any time by following steps 7 – 10

What’s going on at “The Lab”

Over the last few months we’ve seen a rash of people leaving employment with Linden Lab, the owners of Second Life.  Some of the most recent ones are names most people would not recognize but they were important players working “under the hood”.  There have been, of course, some very big departures – many of which have been written about in other blogs, if you have a link please feel free to leave it in the comments section.

Today, John Lester announced that he will be leaving “the lab”.  John, who is better know as Pathfinder Linden, is an amazing guy and has been an awesome evangelist for education in Second Life.  This is not an under-the-hood, behind-the-scenes low-level department.  And, unlike a few of the others, John is not “leaving to pursue the next adventure”, as is evident by his recent note to the Second Life Educators list:

Greetings,

Due to recent reorganizations at Linden Lab, my current position
(Evangelist, Market Development) has ceased to exist.  There are
no alternative positions available to me, so as of March 12th I
will be leaving the company.

I am not sure what the future holds for me, but it will probably
involve something at the intersection of online communities, 
virtual worlds and neuroscience.  I will be remaining open to 
new opportunities.

I'll continue to follow this mailing list, since innovation in 
education and healthcare remains near and dear to my heart.

You all are doing amazing work, and I'll be sticking around to 
see what you come up with next!

Take care,
-John (formerly Pathfinder Linden)

This follows on the heels of another shake up of the EDU community when a very prominent figure, Jokay, who blogged regularly about SL in education, and also created a well-used wiki, was unceremoniously served a cease-and-dissest order from Linden Lab for using the “SL” in her wiki name.  Linden Lab lays legal claim to the “SL” in capital letter in the use of anything related to virtual worlds and Second Life.  The tool that integrates Second Life and the learning management system Moodle, originally called SLoodle, was forced to change its name after being served a similar cease-and-dissest, although this pre-dates what is now being called “The Jokay Incident”.

After the Jokay Incident, the SL Education Roundtable decided to change its name to Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable (VWER – http://www.vwer.org) and to also expand its consideration to include other (read: non-SL) virtual worlds.

Something is up at Linden Lab.  Instead of the “Google”-like atmosphere I used to image in, I now have images of evil scientists running around trying to figure out how to rule the world and keep their subjects in line.  Perhaps its just my over-active imagination.

What do you think about John (Pathfinder) leaving Linden Lab?  How do you feel about what is going on for the EDU community in Second Life?  Do you think things are better today than they were for us a year ago?  Two years ago?  I don’t mean the platform itself, I mean the consideration we (the EDU) community are given?  Do you think we are still important to Linden Lab or is this just a readjustment phase?

Auto Sign In

Thanks to John from the CHSS Tech Team for providing me the instructions on how to set up our Faculty Resource Room computers to automatically sign in to the Faculty desktop.  Here are the rough instructions, I’m putting them here so I can search this blog in the future and find them if I need – hopefully, it might be of some use to others also.

Go to START—>RUN and then enter

control userpasswords2

When the pop-up opens, uncheck the box at the top that says “user must enter name and password”

When you hit APPLY it will provide a sign in window, where you can enter the user name and password of the account you want to automatically sign in when the computer starts up.

Of course, this is for computers that have more than one user profile.