SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Newbie Notes: Hints on contacting creators, landlords, and anyone else in Second Life

It’s happened to all of us at some point. We’ve bought something in a store, our money has ker-chinged out of our account, but the item never showed up. Or we need to ask our landlord something about our rental agreement. Or we simply have a query about something in general.

The first instinct of most people is to search for the avatar’s name and initiate an IM session, but most content creators and landowners in Second Life are extremely busy people and usually have a preferred method of contact. So, bearing that in mind, hop behind the cut for some hints and tips on getting the best results out of any contact with creators, landlords, and others in SL.

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November 5, 2010 Posted by | newbie notes, second life | 7 Comments

Newbie Notes: How to archive things in a box

You’ll often see me, in my inventory management posts, exhorting you to “shove ’em in a prim”, to “archive them” or to “box them up”, but it’s only in the past couple of days that I realised the newbies among us probably haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about!

With that in mind, this post is all about putting things in boxes, and what options you have with those boxes. Behind the cut you’ll find out all about:

– Where to make your boxes
– How to make your boxes
– How to make lots of boxes quickly (for those big archiving jobs!)
– How to make the boxes easier to open at a later date
– How to fill the boxes (and what the optimum amount of contents is)
– What will and won’t go into those boxes
– Permissions

Because Linden Lab are in the middle of trialling a new viewer (Viewer2, or for the purposes of this post, V2) I’m trying to guide you using screenshots of both viewers, as the experience is vastly different between older and newer viewers. Please be aware that V2 is still being worked on so these screenshots may not be accurate in the future. The basic premise remains the same, though.

Hop behind the cut!

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May 23, 2010 Posted by | hints and tips, newbie notes, newbies, second life | 2 Comments

Those Little Questions: All About Skyboxes

Here’s another in my series of questions and answers inspired by the search terms that bring people to this blog. I’ve been pasting all of the questions into a file so that once I have enough I can write up a post, and I noticed that a great many of the search queries concern skyboxes, so that’s what this post is all about.

Hop behind the cut to learn all about skyboxes, including:

What is a skybox?
Where do I get a skybox?
How do I make a skybox?
How do I place/rez a skybox?
How high can I put a skybox?
Where can I get land to place my skybox?
Is a skybox private?
How do I get inside a skybox? There’s no door in mine!

Edited to add new skybox questions:

Can a skybox home be placed on the ground?
How do I get access to my friend’s skybox?
How do I get music in my skybox only?
Can I have a skybox if I own a Linden Home?
Can any house be used as a skybox?
Can I remove furniture from a fully-furnished skybox?
Can I build my skybox on someone else’s land, or on land that’s been abandoned?
Does my landlord own my sky box?

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May 12, 2010 Posted by | do's and don'ts, hints and tips, homes and skyboxes, newbie notes, second life, those little questions | 13 Comments

Newbie Notes: Something for nothing

Well that’s the whole ethos of the Freebiesphere, I know, but there are many great ways of getting something for nothing in SL. Two of my favourites are Lucky Chairs (and, by extension, Lucky Boards) and Midnight Mania/Madness boards. For those new to SL, the workings of these things may be a bit puzzling (see my previous Q&A post where someone arrived at my blog on a search engine query ‘how to sit down and win in Second Life’) so here’s a quick tutorial about how these prize items work.

Hop behind the cut!

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March 9, 2010 Posted by | hints and tips, lucky boards, lucky chairs, midnight mania boards, newbie notes, second life | | 1 Comment

Those little questions

Every day I glance at the search engine terms that bring people to this blog, and sometimes I see questions that, when put together, would make an interesting blogpost: a kind of random Q&A. So that’s exactly what I did.

Here is the first set of questions from the past week (my stats cut the final parts of most questions off, but they’re usually fairly obvious). Every time I get enough new questions I’ll make another post like this one.

How to check if friend has removed you from their friends list?
Simple: their name will no longer show up on your friends list.

Where are skin files located in Second Life?
In the Body Parts folder of your inventory. However, if you have bought a skin (even if it’s a freebie) it may appear in its own folder underneath all the main folders in your inventory (and the folder could have any name). It’s a good habit, at the beginning of your Second Life, to organise your inventory as you go along, so moving that skin folder into your Body Parts folder would make sense ;)

How do I sit on a chair to win in Second Life?
This is called a Lucky Chair. Lucky Chairs (there are also Lucky Boards) have a prize (or prizes) loaded into them, and they display a letter of the alphabet (sometimes a number, or a question mark). The chair/board will display this random letter/number/question mark for a set length of time and then (assuming nobody wins) will change to a new one. Most chairs and boards will show how many minutes remain before the letter changes. You win if your first name begins with the same letter that’s on the chair/board. If the chair/board is displaying a question mark then it’s a ‘wildcard’ round and anyone can sit/click and win. Right-click on the chair and select ‘sit’, or left-click on the board, and you will win the prize. The chair/board will then change to a new letter. More info on lucky chairs, lucky boards, and also on Midnight Mania can be found here.

How do I retire my avatar in Second Life?

Log into using your avatar name and password, and go to your Account page (click the arrow to the right of ‘Account’ in the left-hand sidebar to expand it). From there, click Cancel Account.

Are all money trees for newbies only?
In the main, yes. I’ve not seen or heard of any that pay out to older accounts.

How to tell if a ‘female’ avatar is really a man?
I’m afraid you can’t. Voice-changing software is readily-availably and extremely convincing. In addition, many people portray a different gender in SL than their RL gender, and for many reasons. Insisting that someone ‘voices’ with you is no guarantee that what you hear is genuinely them, and insisting on webcam (which, since SL currently has no webcam facility, would need to be via an external application) may cause offence.

How to buy a money tree in Second Life?
Go to the Wolfhaven Money Tree Headquarters in Silla: secondlife://Silla/176/37/74

March 9, 2010 Posted by | hints and tips, newbie notes, newbies, second life, sl basics, those little questions | | Leave a comment

Newbie Notes: “Help! I’m pregnant!/a vampire!”

Oh dear…

If you’re a newbie to Second Life and you’re panicking because you’ve just let a vampire bite you and been told it costs a LOT of money to ‘get your soul back’, or if you’ve been engaging in pixel-bumping shenanigans, only to have your partner’s naughty bits inform you that a bundle of prim joy will soon be winging its way to you via the sculpty stork, then read on.

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | newbie notes, second life | 11 Comments

PSA: Group Invites

It’s happened to us all (or, if you’re brand new to Second Life, it will happen to you soon enough). We land in a new region or store, and from the top-right of our viewer, down slides the ubiquitous ‘blue flag’ of a group invite. Just like this one:

Blahblah Avatarname has invited you to join a group

Well, let’s just say it’s a store you’ve seen featured on a blog. You loved the style of the clothes in the store, and you know the store owner gives out regular freebies. You want to know when those freebies will be available, so joining the store’s group seems to be the best way, since that’s how most store owners let their customers know about new things (and freebies) they’ve made.

So there’s the group invite. “Yay!” you think. “I don’t have to hunt around for a group join thingy to click!” Your cursor hovers over the ‘join’ button, you’re about to tap the mouse, when suddenly Mar looms up behind you and hollers in your ear:


Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute. Hold up with the click-happy finger!

Read that group invite again. Sure, you’ve seen them a hundred times before, but actually read it. I’ll wait…

Uh-huh. Did you spot that first time around? The 1000L$ join fee? Chances are that you probably did this time around, because you’re reading a blog post. But when you’re in-world and you’re buying stuff and grabbing freebies, clicking on that blue window repeatedly starts to lead you into SL’s version of Motorway Blindness. Click… click… click, and before you know it you’ve paid 250L$ for something you thought was a freebie, or you’ve accepted a TP offer to a packed-out party when you’re naked and trying on demo skins (it’ll happen one day; trust me!)

The moral of this post is to remind all of you reading this one thing: pay attention to those blue flags. Don’t just glance at them, especially when you’ve just logged in-world and you’re clicking away all the inventory offers, Midnight Mania gifts and all the other stuff we get bombarded with when we first rez in SL for the day.


Free-to-join group invite:

Pay-to-join group invite:

July 21, 2009 Posted by | do's and don'ts, hints and tips, newbie notes, newbies, second life, sl basics | Leave a comment

Newbie Notes: Nervous newbie? Be a Tiny!

Maybe you’ve just decided to check out this Second Life thing, but you’re wary of all the bad stuff you’ve heard about it. You know: the tabloid stories about sex, real life divorces, paedophiles, sex and more sex. But nonetheless, you’ve seen some pictures of Second Life, it looks pretty cool (apart from all that nasty stuff you heard about) and you want to check it out. But you’re kind of nervous about all that nasty stuff.

Or maybe you’re a bit of a loner, you’re not into socialising. You just want to explore without having people randomly saying ‘Hi! Where are you from? What’s your real name and what do you do?” to you.

Or maybe… maybe you just want to be different.

What’s the solution? (Apart from not believing all the tabloid rumours, most of which were only written to sell more newspapers…)

Be a Tiny :)

What’s a Tiny? Well, a Tiny is a very small avatar, and usually pretty cute, too. Tinies don’t get hit on, nobody will proposition them for sex, Bloodlines vampires are very unlikely to offer to bite them (the animation for an adult vampire isn’t going to work on an itty bitty tiny), and best of all? They feel safe. And in a world where you might not feel completely at ease, safety – even if it’s only a sensation of safety – is important.

So hop behind the cut, and I’ll show you where you can find some free Tiny avatars.

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February 28, 2009 Posted by | avatars, freebies, newbie freebies from designers, newbie notes, newbies, second life, Tinies | 4 Comments

Newbie Notes: No place like Home

Second Life is a fabulous place, and you can spend hours getting lost and wandering from place to place. Some people love the nomadic life, but others kind of yearn for a place to call Home.

At the New Citizens Inc Home Spot in Kuula, you can have a place to call Home. Search Groups for “New Citizens Inc.” and join the group (it’s free, and it’s the one with several thousand members). Then, head to the NCI Home Spot at their Kuula location, and while wearing your NCI group tag, navigate the menus in your SL viewer: World > Set Home to Here. You should see a blue popup flag in the lower-right of your viewer, telling you “Home position set”.

Edit: Now you can set your Home spot at any of the NCI campuses. Just look for the Home Spot ‘stone’ that you see in the image below.

Now, whenever you either open up your Map and click the ‘Home’ button, or use the hotkey combination [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+H you’ll teleport directly to your new Home location.

Here’s a pic of Roxie standing on the Home Spot (it’s actually a little bigger than that; you don’t have to stand directly on the stone) –

To check if you’re in the Home Spot, look at the top of your viewer, and you should see this:

NOTE: The NCI group is a very active one. As a newbie, you will find their many tutorials and classes very useful, but they send out a LOT of group notices. Your Home location will remain set at NCI, even if you leave the group, but if you want to remain in the group and opt out of receiving group notices then you can. Just click the group name in your Communicate > Contacts tab, click the ‘info’ button and uncheck the box at the bottom of the window that says ‘Receive group notices’. You can still check for anything you might miss that way by using the Notices tab on that same window.

NCI is a great place for newbies, so take some time to check it all out one day :)

December 24, 2008 Posted by | hints and tips, newbie notes, newbies, second life, sl basics | Leave a comment

Newbie Notes: Don’t get ripped-off #1 – Full-Perm/Resell/Businesses in a Box

Newbie Notes: Don’t get ripped-off #1 – Full-Perm/Resell/Businesses in a Box

OK, here’s yet another new series for the newbies here, and it’s called Newbie Notes. This series will, like all my other newbie ones, be collected together in a links list at the top of the blog: just look for the ‘Newbie? Start here’ tab :)

Newbie Notes is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I intend it to be like an information area. I won’t be posting too frequently in this section, as my planned Newbie Q&A should hopefully deal with the “How can I…?” and “What does XXXX mean…?” questions newbies might have. Newbie Notes is more of an alert service, and thus we begin with a BIG alert:

Don’t get ripped-off!

As it happens in Real Life, so it happens in Second Life. SL is a fabulous place, full of wonderful things, but there are scammers waiting to con you out of your hard-earned L$ here, just as they sit in your email inbox, tell you to call expensive phone numbers to claim your mystery prize, and try to swindle you by every means possible in RL. It’s a fact of human existence that where there is money, there is greed, and virtual worlds are no exception.

So what ways can you be ripped-off in Second Life? I’m afraid that, as a clueless newbie, there are many ways you can get conned, and they’re not all instantly obvious.

The list that I’ll be compiling in the first part of this series is by no means a comprehensive one; it’s just the ways that I’ve come across and spotted in-world since I’ve been in Second Life. If any experienced readers have found other ways, I’d be very grateful for comments, especially if they include links to blog or forum posts about it, and hints and tips to help newbies avoid the pitfalls. I’ll amend this post accordingly, with credit for the authors of those comments/posts, etc.

Hop behind the cut, and we’ll get started with the first way you can be ripped-off: Businesses in a Box, Resell, Full-Perm and Stolen Content.

WARNING: The image immediately behind this cut is NSFW (Not Safe For Work)

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November 2, 2008 Posted by | do's and don'ts, hints and tips, newbie notes, newbies, second life | | 5 Comments