Monthly Archives: June 2009

Friday night was music night

After an interesting day when Helen introduced me to some people who had visited her at school, I had a very musical night last night ….

I am gradually making my way through a lovely set of landmarks given to me by Groovy Winkler .. a nice mix of edutainment.  (IM me for the list]Sometimes I can’t see anyone when I teleport somewhere, but I have now learnt to look at my map, locate all the green dots which represent life, then open my minimap to fly around and join them.

First stop was a night club in Courcheval where a friendly DJ personalised it all by greeting newcomers by name and explaining how to click on the dance ball above his head to get moving.  I chose the ‘dance in sync’ option.  It was so much fun to see the way the crowd managed to ‘sing along’ or rather ‘text along’ to the songs .. there was a great community feel to the place, and I got to try out my French.  Many of the songs chosen were Michael Jackson ones.  Helen told me that she went to a MJ concert in Milton Keynes years ago, and could not help but get swept up in the mania.  I left a little tip, and again was thanked personally.

Next stop: Milano.  In true Italian-style, there was a free concert going on in the large open square .. and what a concert!  Maximillion Kleene enchanted us all with his beautiful, tuneful voice, and skillful guitar playing, performing a wide range of music, some of which you would never have believed would suit solo guitar + voice, but somehow he made it work. He *said* he was in Niagara Falls .. but he looked as if he was with us in Milano!   It was so good, I had to invite my good friends Luis, Gizmo and Marisolde along.  Marisolde interacted verbally in a very entertaining way!  I wish I were as bold and witty as she is!  Amusingly, Maximillion’s tip jar is a figure of a cow which literally ‘tips over’ as you add money. I had to leave a group in order to join his fan club (you’re only allowed 25 groups in SL) .. but it will be worth it.

There was a slightly frustrating end to the evening though when I failed to speak with Gizmo… the reason was discovered by Helen’s long-suffering techie the next day .. somehow the audio / volume / recording control had slipped to ‘wave out mix’ rather than microphone .. hence why Gizmo could not hear me.

Next post: what happened on Saturday!

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Creating and passing on objects – nearly there!

I picked up a wordgrid from Dudeney Ge’s store on Edunation(he’s so generous) and decided to have a go at it.  It’s great!  You get to drag words to pictures.  There’s no feedback, so you have to do it with an ‘expert’ there .. but I could imagine a game where learners could discuss the answers as a group and use prepositions and imperatives to complete the grid collectively, then go on to compete to be the first to get a correct version (with the teacher running from board to board!!)

 Little tips for anyone else trying it for the first time: (this will all be obvious for any old-timers reading this!)

  • take time to read the instructions which come with it;
  • press ctrl+alt+T to see the ‘transparencies’ so that you can select the word easily
  • use the corner red and blue bits to navigate across the grid quickly (quicker than just using horizontal and vertical arrows)
  • always click the board to clear the pictures and the words before you take it back into your inventory(otherwise the words are left hanging in the air separately)

I then went further, and edited it for French. 

  • I saved the ‘original’ into a newly created folder called ‘wordgrid’,
  • I created a folder called ‘wordgrid French’,
  • I did a ‘save as’  and named it ‘wordgrid French animals’,
  • I created a new notecard containing a list of 16 words and named it ”words’ (-you have to call it words for the wordgrid to work),
  • I saved the card into the ‘wordgrid French animals’ folder,
  • I dragged the word list into the contents area. 

Et voilà – ça a marché!

Next step: to be able to package it up for passing on to others.

  • I created a little box (right click on the land / create / select object / click the wand on the ground)
  • I asked Helen to make a picture to put on the box in her world, (she’s actually quite proud of her creation – she used snagit to bring together 2 pictures and some text – and she’s featured her 2 cats!)
  • she uploaded it as a ‘texture’ into my world (File / upload …it only cost her 10 Lindens for this – about 5p in her world)
  • I added the texture to my box,
  • I dragged the wordgrid, the words list, a ‘give to all’ script, and something else into the box, (must ask Anna what the something else was .. I’ve lost it now and it’s not working!)
  • I checked the boxes to say that other could copy and modify but not sell the word grid

But now the sad news …..

While Anna was patiently giving me instructions, and was affirming that it had worked, we both got thrown out of Second Life, and sadly, I seem to have lost the box!  Of-course, we SL citizens are not fazed by this (!!!) so I did the whole exercise again.  But this time I forgot the ‘something else’, and so when I was showing off to my friend Gizmo later on, it didn’t work.

Watch this space for the answer!

Anna also passed me an object which allows you to organise your textures into little ‘mini-folders’ .. will really help to retrieve textures from pre-defined categories as I build up my bank of textures, and Anna says it has the advantage of constituting fewer prims.  I expect when I grow up, I will understand better what that means.

I’ll sign off now .. Helen has asked me to help her with an excel spreadsheet.  But I’ll try to upload a picture of my box first.

Mark / Nik’s ‘A coffee with Pete Sharma’

Nice to see several familiar faces at this evening’s interview. Helen tells me that in her life it is seen as quite rude for the audience to join in during a formal interview. In my world , we usually switch off our voice while the interview is taking place (to avoid echoes and interference), but we can express ourselves whenever we like in text chat. I must confess though that this sometimes means that I lose concentration and stop following a sustained line of thought. Perhaps I will develop this skill more as I get older. (Nik says he’s got used to it now!) Pete sounds like a nice, sensible man.

Grazie to Anna Begonia

Helen gently reminded me that I should have started by acknowledging the fact that I am blatantly copying Anna Begonia who is my intelligent, creative and fun Italian teacher .. or, should I say, ‘animator’.  (And I don’t care if that sounds as though I am trying to be teacher’s pet.  It’s simply true!)  I’m looking forward to seeing her and my friends tonight to do  some italianimation.  (If you read her blog, you’ll understand the new word which she has created!)

Hello world!

Hi!  My friend Helen has suggested that I write a blog for anyone who is interested in knowing what it is like in my life, which people from her world call ‘Second Life’.  I’m rather uncomfortable with the term ‘Second Life’ .. it sounds somehow ‘second class’ .. but to avoid confusion, I’ll use that description for now!  In my world, we have a variety of ways to communicate with each other (the most highly sophisticated one is called ‘voice’) – so it may take a while for me to learn how to use this method.  Please be patient!  I’ll be back later to learn how to upload a picture of me here. (Actually, I just have!)