Tips &Tools

Get rid of lag in your classroom

Did you know the hair on your avatar’s head or the prim clothing on avatars in your classroom could be causing most of your lag in Second Life.

But you can get rid of some of it.

A real life  representation of lag.

The Lindens have recently come up with a fascinating tool which allows you to see how much personal lag you cause and others cause: it was interesting to use the tool and see that one so-called self-appointed welcome area lag protector was causing the most lag in the region he was in – with 9000 plus prims he had a magnificently dressed and coiffed avatar but he contributed more to the problem rather than the solution.

A recent issue of the Second Life blog tells you how to look at your avatar’s lag footprint and those of others and if you are into green SL stability how to lower your lagginess – which should help everyone survive in SL. It means low prim hair, low prim clothes and attachments and no more bling.

The blog provides a primer on computer graphics and video games and graphics pipeline stalls as well as advising how to avoid them.

http://blog.secondlife.com/2008/05/01/who-me-yes-you-couldnt-be-then-who-introducing-avatar-rendering-cost/

RezEd now live

RezEd, an online hub providing education practitioners using virtual worlds with access to resources and research in the field of learning has now gone live BETA (www.rezed.org). Described as being designed to establish a strong network for those using virtual worlds for learning, the community will feature inter-related podcasts, brief best practices, digital resources, and featured blog posts and discussions.

Useful help for new SL residents

For those of you just started in Second Life or who may have students just getting started Second Life resident Thinker Melville has built an interesting collection of how to items on his web site. It is worth while checking out: SL Intro Channel and Virtual Village Directory

Lipsync and gestures

Sabine Reljic / Willow Shenlin has noted via rezed that the Second Life 1.20 viewer is providing a few new goodies for teaching/learning purposes: Now that lipsync is functional on the main client she advises that one should read the documentation provided by Linden Lab on Lipsync as well as how to co-ordinate voice actions with your gestures: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LipSync. She refers to a teaching/collaborative meetings browser as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzIzOu9cUgo

Getting around in SL

The Space Navigator 3d, USB controller, apparently can improve ones appreciation of Second Life through making navigation easier. No recommendation at this stage as I don’t believe ii is yet available in New Zealand. https://3dconnexionstore.com/itemDetail.asp?itmNo=56826423N

Survey data tool

The German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) in the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the SWI at Indiana University has developed a tool – Virtual Data Collection Interface (VDCI) which is an SL object that optimises question delivery and data retention – for collecting survey data within Second Life so that the respondent experience is very close to the typical experience with web surveys. This is believed to be the only tool available in SL capable of doing this. http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2008/07/the-virtual-dat.html

John Waugh/Johnnie Wendt

August 1, 2008

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