Excused Absence

I’ve been absent from this blog for far longer than I’d like. No, I haven’t died… but my computer did. The results of the autopsy haven’t been released, but the likely cause of death was a power surge resulting from a lightning strike during last Sunday’s thunderstorms — which, incidentally, also fried my DSL modem (replaced this past Tuesday, at no charge – thanks AT&T!).

[It may not surprise you that there were tornado warnings in Central Indiana… but, in February???]

It may be too much to hope that the hard drive itself survived, but still… there’s a metric ton of photos on it taken in-worlds (SL and IWz both), including more than 50 from last Sunday’s 7-hour #sltweetup at Skate Foss’ gorgeous Matanzas sim, which I was about to begin editing for posting here.


So, while my formerly “good” computer is now an expensive doorstop, and before I amass a medium-sized wad of cash to drop on its replacement, I’m using this six-year-old Dell [single 2.8GHz P4 CPU, 2Gb RAM, GeForce 6200] that I keep for just such emergencies. It’s the one I entered Second Life with, back in ’07, but the world and the viewers have changed so that I’m not even going to try, now. I tried two years ago, when the original hard drive in the big box bought the farm… <2 fps on Low graphics with DD at 96m is not my idea of a good time, not after a couple of years of being able to run Ultra at 256 meters (and higher, for taking overview shots of full sims).

It’s been a bit of an adventure, taking this old wheezer out of its box and discovering what’s on it, and what’s not — the latter including 77 (!!!) updates to Windows XP that have been released since the last time. The photo folders still contain all of my oldest SL shots, from before I even had anything more than integrated graphics… godz, they look awful now! Guess I’ve learned a thing or three in the interim.

Meanwhile… no Virtuality for Lalo, except from the vicarious vantage of reading my friends’ blogs and tweets about it. Speaking of which, you ought to be reading Honour McMillan and Chestnut Rau regularly — they’re both posting prolifically about extremely cool sims they find, and I can’t wait to follow the SLurls myself. There’s a new exhibit at Originalia, too, including Scottius Polk – after “Metaluna” and “mushROOM”, I know it’s got to be amazing.

One thing I’ve been happy to miss direct contact with: Red Zone. It’s been around for long enough that perhaps an attempt at scanning me was made while out hunting (yes, I do hunts some times, when Ali IMs me to say there’s “guy stuff” as hunt gifts). I say “attempt” because I keep streaming media disabled as a matter of principle, and streaming audio doesn’t work in the Imprudence 1.4 Experimental viewer I use, so maybe I’ve been immune to Red Zone all along.

The latest buzz, as of today, is about the “achievement system” in the new Community Whatsit on SL’s website. ~yawn~ If it works as a behavior modification tool there, then more power to it. With extremely rare exceptions, I stayed far away from the previous couple of incarnations of the Flogrums; I’m not about to go there now, and I really don’t give a rodent’s posterior about an auto-generated email with some Linden’s name on it awarding me some bullshit badge.

I can award myself badges for bullshitting, right here ;)

BUT! (minor brag alert)

My weekly stats report from Sitemeter mentioned that I’d passed the 11,000-visit mark, and while looking that up I stumbled across this referral link, by which I’d received a visit or three: a post from Torley Linden on Tumblr. Nice to know that someone at the Lab has noticed, and it’s kinda cool that it’s the most *ahem* eccentric of the bunch, as well as probably the only one still on-staff who was around back then.

Now that’s what I call an achievement badge from a Linden! Friendly greetings backatcha, dude!

Anyway… Keep those blogs and tweets coming, my friends! I miss your pixels terribly (especially Ali’s, of course!), but at least I’ve got your words, and the personalities behind them.



7 responses to “Excused Absence

  1. Hey Lalo, nice to know you are alive :D

    I have a P4 that is serviceable in SL at the same MHz,although it sports a Radeon 9000 card (which isn't too much different from your 6200) and SL will at least work for me at Low settings, Media and Voice disabled; enough to walk around my parcel and get IMs and Notecards.

    *sigh* One of the first things I recommend to clients is a UPS system; one experience like you had makes you decide 80-100$ is worth it.

    The SECOND thing I recommend is to fully-engage the mantra: backup, backup, backup. Use removeable media for long-term storage, and an external USB/portable drive for active mirroring and backing up on a daily basis.

    There IS a chance that the HD survived; you might try mounting it in the old computer as a second drive just to check. If you can access the disk, get an external ATAPI or SATA-to-USB enclosure to pull the data off.

    Missing you til you return.

  2. Irony of ironies: I was pricing external hard drives for back-up the day before. :-\

    The “IT guy” at work is performing the autopsy, but he went on vacation for a week… which is OK, I need another paycheck before I can spend the kind of money I'll need to.

  3. Yep, hope all goes well. I actually decided to pay for storage at Flickr for important photos after my motherboard withered last year. Photos are, after all, the one export I can do easily from VWs, and may be all I actually OWN.

    Yep to the badges idea….we should definitely have a Suitably Sensible Sceptic badge,..well, the initials may be a prob there, but the idea is good, then we can award badges to each other…. to modify our own behaviour.

  4. Lalo…Welcome back XD!
    Yup… did a Western Digital 500 gig external hard drive a couple years ago.

    As for the RedZone stuff… I'm going to do a post on that this eve or early early AM.
    My take, after chatting with a very bright friend?
    Much ado about nothing. Is the data scraping and SHARING wrong?
    Is it a real problem?
    Not really.

    If I'm false banned from spending L$ at a shop? Who's the loser?

    See you in-world soon enough! =^..^=

  5. Welcome back, Lalo. Thunderstorms in February?

    The new climate-normal in our turbulent times. At least you have a roof over your head today. Guy near our farm raced home during a tornado warning, sat down in his favorite easy chair, and was found there, dead, the next day.

    With a tree on him. I wish our neighbor had stayed at the Post Office, where he heard the alert.

  6. I'm still using my ancient 1.4GHz P4 with 768MB of RAM and a 7-series GeForce card, and it runs the Linux build of the latest viewer fairly well, albeit with all the graphics setttings turned down low.

    “Minimum specifications” is a conspiracy by hardware vendors to brainwash us into going along with their cycles of planned obsolescence.

    Also, IKEA sell 6-socket plug boards with built-in surge protection for about £7.

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