SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

The basics – 01 – Getting stuff out of boxes

The basics – 01 – Getting stuff out of boxes

This post is the first in a series aimed at newbies in Second Life. In the series, I hope to be able to answer all those questions that newbies have in-world and yet might not want to ask of anyone around them, for fear of appearing silly or noobish. There are no silly questions here; we all wondered these things when we first appeared in-world. *g*

We begin with boxes. Some of the questions you might have about them are:

* I’m in a store and it has stuff that’s free and in boxes. How do I get it?
* Someone told me I need to ‘rez’ my stuff. What does that mean?
* I got this stuff, but it’s in a box. How do I get it out of the box so I can wear it?
* Why can’t I unpack my boxes here? I keep being told I don’t have permission.
* I tried to wear these clothes I got, but I’m wearing a box. What went wrong?
* I opened the box, but do I choose ‘Copy to inventory’ or ‘Copy and wear’?
* I opened the box, but what’s this about ‘you have selected no-copy items’?
* I opened the box and got the stuff out. Where did it go? How do I find it again?
* What do I do with the box once I’ve got the stuff out of it?

If you’re new, and you have any other questions about boxes, please do feel free to ask them in a comment here, and I will add to the post. I’ve tried to think of all the questions that might be asked, but there’s bound to be something that I’ve missed! Likewise, if you’re an older avatar and notice something that I’ve missed out, please let me know in a comment.

Hop behind the cut for answers to the questions listed above.


*I’m in a store and it has stuff that’s free and in boxes. How do I get it?

This depends on how the store has the boxes set up. Sometimes you just need to click with the left mouse button, sometimes you need to right-click and select ‘buy’ from the pie menu that pops up. Try left-clicking first of all. You’ll know if that’s worked because the box will get a yellow highlight around it, and a new window will pop up, listing the contents of the box. Before you click the ‘buy’ button, check at the bottom of the window that it says, “Buy for 0L$ from [Avatar Name]”. That way you’ll know it’s not going to cost you anything. Then click the ‘buy’ button, and you’ve got the item.

If left-clicking the box doesn’t do anything, then you need to right-click it and select ‘buy’ from the pie menu. A different sort of box will pop up then. Again, check that you’re buying for 0L$ so you know it’s completely free, and then click the ‘buy’ button.

A little note: sometimes an item is described as a freebie, but it actually costs 1L$. This is known in-world as a dollarbie, and is the designer’s way of recouping just a little bit of money for their efforts in creating the item. You can’t buy dollarbies (or any other item costing L$ [Linden dollars – the in-world currency]) if you don’t have any money in your Second Life account.

*Someone told me I need to ‘rez’ my stuff. What does that mean?

The word ‘rez’ (also ‘rezz’) means several things in Second Life. In this case, it means to drag an object from your inventory so that it appears in-world. (It can also mean the world appearing around you as the textures and objects are downloaded by your computer, it can mean creating a new item, and it can mean *you* appearing, too!)

*I got this stuff, but it’s in a box. How do I get it out of the box so I can wear it?

First of all, you need to look in your inventory to find the box. Click the blue ‘inventory’ button on the bottom of your Second Life viewer, and a new window will pop up. You navigate through your inventory pretty much as you do the folders on your computer: the little triangles at the side of each item will open that folder so you can see what’s inside it, etc. I’ll go into more detail about your inventory (and how important it is to organise it as soon as possible!) in a later post. For now, you need to find your box.

If you’ve just obtained it, then look in the ‘recent items’ tab. This tab holds everything you’ve acquired since you logged on for this session in-world. It empties when you log off, though, so if you obtained the item in your last session, you need to check the other tab. Look for the name of the item, and you’ll see that it probably has a small golden box icon next to it. This is the standard ‘object’ icon in Second Life.

To open that object, you need to ‘rez’ it (see definition above). To do that, left-click on the object. Then, holding down that mouse button, drag the object out of your inventory and onto the ground in-world, then let go of the mouse button. You won’t see it go, but you should hear a ‘shhka-shhka-shh!’ sound if you have your speakers switched on, and a second or so later (depending on whether Second Life is a bit slow to respond) you should see your box right there where you let go.

Now you have three possible ways to get the stuff out of the box. Some boxes will automatically give you a folder of their contents, so you might need to do nothing at all! Boxes obtained from the NCI (New Citizens Incorporated) freebie walls do this, for example. You’ll see a blue dropdown infobox in the top-right of your viewer, saying something like: ‘[Object Name] has given you a folder called [Folder name]. Press ‘yes’ to accept’. You need to click the ‘yes’ button to accept the folder. (Incidentally, if this happens out of the blue and without you opening boxes, it’s always wise to decline*. Sometimes griefers and troublemakers will give you seemingly free things that *could* cause you hassle.)

[ * The only exception to this is group notices and Subscribomatic notices. Groups and ‘subscribos’ will automatically send you things (often freebies!) but this will only happen after you have joined the group/clicked the subscribomatic. And, since you’ll remember which groups you belong to and which ‘subscribos’ you have clicked, you’ll know it’s safe to accept those items.)

The second option is that a single left-click will open the box. Hover your cursor over the box. If it turns into an icon of an open box, then a left-click will do it. From there you can copy the items to your inventory.

The final option is that you need to right-click and select ‘open’ from the pie menu.

* Why can’t I unpack my boxes here? I keep being told I don’t have permission.

This message means you’re in a no-build area. Many areas in Second Life don’t allow residents to build, rez, or create objects in them, for various reasons. To find out if the area you’re in allows building, look at the top bar of your Second Life viewer. Between the menus on the left and the name of the area you’re in, you’ll see some little icons. If you see an icon there that looks like the ‘object’ box with a red circle around or beside it that has a line through it (like a ‘no entry’ traffic sign) then you can’t build or open your box there (opening boxes is regarded as building something).

The best thing to do is find an area where you *can* build. A sandbox is good for this, as it lets anyone build or open boxes. Be aware that some sandboxes attract griefers (people who like to cause trouble and upset) but the three that I’m going to list below are ones that I’ve used quite a bit, and they all seem pretty good ones.

Clicking these links will take you to a Second Life version of Google Maps. You’ll see an orange ‘Teleport now’ button on the page. If you’re logged into Second Life, click that button, then return to your Second Life viewer. You should see a new window which gives you the options to ‘teleport’ and ‘show on map’. Click the ‘teleport’ button and you should be whizzed to that location. You might need to walk a short way to reach the area (follow any red arrow that you see in your viewer, toward the red vertical beam that you should also see) but most sandboxes allow building in any area of the box. Check the icons at the top of your viewer: if there isn’t a ‘no build’ icon, then you’re good to go, and you can drag your box in-world, as I described above.

Three sandboxes for you to try:

Skybeam Sandbox
Nerdy Sanchez
Sandbox Kaemi

* I tried to wear these clothes I got, but I’m wearing a box. What went wrong?

This happens when you’ve got an object that looks as though it might be wearable (it might be called something like ‘blue shirt’ for example) but it’s actually boxed and you need to open the box before you can wear the item.

Think yourself lucky that you’re only wearing the box on your hand. It used to be that boxes inadvertently worn like that would attach to the avatar’s head *g*

To remove the box from your hand, just right-click on it and select ‘detach’ from the pie menu. Then, find the box in your inventory and rez it in-world, as described above.

* I opened the box, but do I choose ‘Copy to inventory’ or ‘Copy and wear’?

The best option is always to ‘Copy to inventory’ first of all. The box you’re opening might contain non-wearable items (such as another box, a piece of furniture, etc) and you don’t want to be wearing those, too! The ‘Copy and wear’ option will copy the items to your inventory, but you’ll also end up wearing whatever’s in the box, too.

* I opened the box, but what’s this about ‘you have selected no-copy items’?

Some items in Second Life cannot be copied because the creators of the items only want you to have a single copy, not multiple copies of the item they have worked hard to create. It’s fine to accept this, but be aware that if you re-rez the original box again later you won’t find the no-copy items in there; they will have already been removed into the folder in your inventory.

* I opened the box and got the stuff out. Where did it go? How do I find it again?

Look in your inventory for a folder that has the same name as the box. If you’ve unpacked the box since you logged in for this session, look in the ‘recent items’ tab. If you unpacked it in your last session (or before that) then look in the main inventory tab.

* What do I do with the box once I’ve got the stuff out of it?

It’s good to clear up after yourself when you’ve been opening boxes, even in a sandbox which will return items to you after a set period of time (all items returned like this will be in your ‘lost and found’ folder, by the way. I’ll cover that in more detail in another post). If you can see the original box still sitting in your inventory then it’s safe to delete the box that you rezzed. Just right-click, select ‘more’ and then ‘delete’ from the pie menu.

If, however, the original box disappeared from your inventory when you rezzed it, that means it’s not copiable, and it’s best to take it back into your inventory in case something happens to the unpacked items and you need to re-rez the box (inventory loss does happen on some occasions, alas). Right-click and select ‘take’ from the pie menu.

That’s about all I can think of that might be useful for newbies to know about boxes. Again, if you think of anything else, or have any questions, let me know in a comment!

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July 5, 2008 - Posted by | hints and tips, newbies, second life, sl basics |

2 Comments »

  1. This is really a fabulous tutorial series you are doing. I’ve actually given out your blog address to new residents that I help in the course of my Mentoring. Keep up the good work! ^_^

    Comment by Meara D | July 5, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks, Meara! That’s great to know :)

    There are so many questions when people are starting out in Second Life (I know; I asked them all myself!) and apart from a few in-world newbie boxes, I’ve yet to find a comprehensive newbie guide. So I figured one needed to be made *g*

    Comment by Mar | July 5, 2008 | Reply


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