SL Weirdness

Q: Who would be daft enough to have a business model in which your customers can’t pay you? A: Oh those crazy kooky Lindens!

Update (3rd March 11): I had a follow up “How Did We Do?” questionnaire from the Lab asking me to rate their recent help. I shit ye not. Also, despite a general email about local payments systems now being in place, I still can’t register my card for the same reasons I ranted about below. LL for the win!

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Righto, first off let me say that I may well be wrong about this but if I am I’m buggered if I can see how. Still, I could be and if I am I shall offer my apologies to the good old Lab right now. Somehow I doubt anyone there will give a shit one way or the other.

When I first created an avatar in Nov 2006 I waited a few weeks before putting any actual real money into the game, but when I decided the time had come I slapped in my credit card with the greatest of ease and have had no problems whatsoever since. I even added the same card to Ryne when I created him in 07. Since those days I haven’t created another avatar… or rather, hadn’t. I created Ya (Steal Head) late last year and have just created Bryce last week. The noticeable difference between the first two and these new ones is that I can’t connect my credit card to them.

Can’t do it.

Simply won’t work.

Ohhhh I’ve put in a ticket of course. No answer so far. I’ve also gone  on as HBA and used Live Help twice (he’s my one and only Premium account, the others are freebies) and can honestly say that whilst perfectly friendly, the helpers were fuck all use. They seem to think that all I have to do is log into my new av’s account and use the link lin the Billing Information Section.

THERE IS NO FUCKING LINK!

I have lost count how many times I’ve explained that to them. Sure in HBA & Ryne, the Billing Information link allows me to delete or update my card or PayPal information, but in both of my new av’s accounts there is no such detail – no links. None. Nada. FUCK ALL! This is what I see in the Billing Information section of both Ya & Bryce:

Now, you tell me where I can put my card or paypal details in there.

One help tech told me I had to try buying something in-world to ‘kick start’ the system into recognising me. Seriously, what the fuck? Still, I’m game for a laugh (normally – in this case I really am not, I rather suspect I’m quite the fucking opposite in fact) so I popped inworld as both Bryce and Ya and clicked on the Buy L$ button. A dialogue box popped up to tell me I could not do such an act and I should click its helpful link to buy some externally. The link took me (via one of the interminable and seemingly random log in screens) to my SL account page. Upon logging in I was shown the Buy L$ option on the Linden Exchange page. I typed in the amount of L$s I wanted and clicked buy – the system whisked me off to an external provider of payment management:

First off there is no PayPal section. Odd as I had just changed both HBA & Ryne to PayPal from my card in their SL account areas and successfully tested that both could buy L$ in-world from my PayPal. Still, no hardship as I could add my card here, test it in-world and then change over to PayPal as I had done for HBA & Ryne. Happy days.

Regular readers may guess that this seemingly happy ending is about to be flushed down the crapper like a week-dead goldfish. Well done you. Gold star.

Despite entering my card details 100% correctly, this service would not progress any further and instead asked me to correct the errors indicated by its handy red error icon. There was no fucking error icon showing. I know this because I then went and entered incorrect data to test it and POOF! the error icon appeared next to that data as promised. Back to correct information and no with NO errors showing I could not progress due to these fucking error fucking icons. Fuckers!

My last life line was the Toll Free UK helpline number! I could just speak to a human being and they would fix this mini-cluster fuck for me! Yay! Humans FTW! I love people, me!

More gold stars, anyone?

The Toll Free number (someone should tell the Lab that we in the UK do not use the term Toll Free and beyond reminding us of dialogue from US TV imports and films, it is meaningless) took me to a recorded message stating that the number was no longer being used and would I be interested in renting it from the owner. No. No I would fucking not. I would be interested in throttling some fucker with it and shoving it up their arse for all to see, but renting it, alas, was not foremost on my mind if I was being honest.

So there it is. My ticket went in two days ago and will no doubt rot like an unflushed week-dead goldfish until I get a useless answer that tells me to “Try the Billing Information section of your account page”.

Amazing. I can not give the Lab my money. I can not link my two new avs to a payment method and let my hard-earned wonga fall into their eager little hands. They must be so tit-deep in wonga that they just don’t need any more – I can only imagine their bog rolls are glued strips of $100 bills and they each ride to meetings on the back of gold unicorns whilst drinking tea made from water strained from their own personal clouds shipped in from Nepal. That’s fine, really it is, but if they could just see their way to making things in SL free so my new avs can actually buy stuff that’d be swell. In the absence of that happening (I realise it will have to percolate through the Love Machine for a few years first) how about you let me give you my card or paypal details for I can send you some new bog roll, eh?

I ask you,  is this a way to run a fucking ballroom?

Fuck me.

All the diodes down my left side…

I have a snazzy computer. OK, it’s not a shit-hot gaming machine, but it didn’t cost me £2,000 so I never expected it to be. But still, way back in December 09 when I had the Great Graphics Card Balls Up (had to buy a new card, it didn’t fit in my PC or on my motherboard and I ended up buying a whole new PC in kit form and building it myself) I expected great things from it.

Well I’ve only had great-ish things from it.

It plays games wonderfully but it still finds SL a grind at times and a couple of weekends ago things came to a dramatic head when it simply refused to play ball during the Bay City 2nd Anniversary and I missed the Parade.

I think I’ve fixed it – I’ve certainly had no problems since Osprey’s advice, but in case anyone is looking for help with a similar issue, here’s what I did:

1) Cleared the cache. 4 times. Result: On relog things back to normal but not for long.

2) Defrag HD. Twice. Result: None.

3) Added 2Gb memory to take total to 4Gb. Result: None I can see so far but not tested much yet.

4) Switched on multi-threading in the SL client prefs (this was Os’ advice and it helps SL cope with multiple programs running on the computer). Result: This seems to have cracked it and I’ve had no problems since.

All in all it’s been hard to tell what worked as I was doing everything at the same time (bar adding the memory – that came a few days after and the system was running OK by then) but if you’re having problems, try the multi-threading thing out. Note, this is different from multi-threading on nVidia graphics cards which is about linking cards together.

Disaster in Rodeo! Kahruvel Erased… AGAIN!

I was pootling around in St Helens building a log cabin when an IM popped up from Neal Lyle: Get to the Forest! Something terrible has happened! Rodeo has gone!

Rodeo? Gone? I assumed he meant the sim had winked out of existence. It happens. Red mapped we used to call it – the whole sim just vanished leaving perfectly straight cliff walls tumbling into an inaccessible sea where once hills and valleys could be explored and enjoyed. It takes a while, but The Powers That Be can bring these lost lands back pretty quickly (and since Havok 4 came into being it seems to be quite rare) so as I TPed over I simply thought this would be a panic over little.

I should have known better. This was Neal, not some three-week old newbie still green around the gills. Neal knew the grid. Neal knew what warranted an urgent message and what didn’t. I should have known.

Rodeo is still there, but it looks as though everything on it has been erased! The land looks like it must before human (or otherwise) hand had touched it. The tower was gone. The standing stones and the aqueduct too. The idol’s head Ilia found, gone. All gone.

Neal and I both IMed Sal, but he was out-of world and there was nothing we could do but wait. It was terrible thing to stand on the hill over looking the inlet and see all I have loved about the first since I found it three years ago simply gone.

2007:
The old BB blog header

2009:
New BB Blog Header - Kahruvel & Rodeo

Now!
Rodeo Erased!

I heard on Sal’s twitter feed that he’s alerted the Linden’s, but he sounds worried and if Sal is worried we all should be. What if this is the work of the Great Erase? What if it has followed me back from Shade?

One Bloody Big Bird

So there I was, minding my own beeswax, sitting on the roof of the Eleanor Theatre when a bloody big bird landed. Fek me. That’s one really big bird…
The Great Big Bird of Phobos

The bulgy faces of McCain and his Pitbull

I came across this poster for the loopy side of the US election (1) and it caught my eye as weird (and not just because she is plain scary). Looked at from this angle it seems ok:
USA Prez Poster 1

But cam around and it soon takes on a rather horrific aspect…
USA Prez Poster 2

For some reason the faces have been rendered as odd, clown-like sculpties. Why? It’s just plain spooky. And with that gruesome twosome on there, it really didn’t need any help in being that.

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(1) If you don’t agree keep it to yourself – this is not a political discussion forum.

SL Weirdness: Ruthie is back in the building

Well, she is if you are using an old viewer like me*. Poor Slowhands – I don’t know him well, but I know that’s not his normal look O_o
Ruthed - it aint right

Damn you Ruth!** Damn you and your confusing breast additions!

* On the old laptop, Windlight has made SL unplayable so I’m using the old pre-voice, pre-WL OnRez viewer and it’s working a treat***

** Not you Ruth, you are lovely. I mean that Ruth.

*** By “a treat” I mean as good as can be expected on a 2 year old laptop with only an Intel**** graphics chip set and a hard drive the size of Turner’s charm*****.

**** Intel Inside, etc. Do Do Di Do.

***** Scientists are still trying to agree how small this is, but the general consensus is that some sort of negative google name will have to be invented******.

SL Weirdness: A Strange Job Offer…

I was sat outside a ballroom waiting for Sinatra Cartier’s gig to start (which I eventually missed due to a bad crash 😦 ) when I received a job offer from a very nice chap who wandered up. What followed was a very strange conversation that I shall post here for your amusement…

[12:44] MystiTool HUD 1.0.23: Entering chat range: luchedio Wolfenhaut (19m)
[12:44] luchedio Wolfenhaut: need a job?
[12:45] You: yes – one that pays £50,000 a year
[12:45] You: But involes 1 day a week of work
[12:45] luchedio Wolfenhaut: lol on this game smart guy
[12:45] You: and also gives me an executive relief desk
[12:45] luchedio Wolfenhaut: that would be nice
[12:45] You: see – I have it all planned out
[12:46] luchedio Wolfenhaut: lol well would you like to be a head hunter for now
[12:46] You: I don’t like heads – feet, yes but heads are icky
[12:46] luchedio Wolfenhaut: lol well kill them and give the head to me and keep the feet
[12:47] You: ooo! now that’s what I call thinking!
[12:47] You: Do I get a uniform and a sack?
[12:47] You: I’m not putting bloody partts in my backpack – my butties will get ruined
[12:47] luchedio Wolfenhaut: sure do
[12:47] You: Hang on… do I get a cap…?
[12:48] luchedio Wolfenhaut: here is my card,,go there and tell them i sent you ,and you are from texas
[12:48] luchedio Wolfenhaut gave you Empolyment Application Form.
[12:48] You: How did you know I was from Texas?
[12:48] luchedio Wolfenhaut: i have my ways
[12:48] MystiTool HUD 1.0.23: Entering chat range: Sinatra Cartier (9m)
[12:49] You: oooo – is it all in the hips?
[12:49] luchedio Wolfenhaut: as in i guessed
[12:49] luchedio Wolfenhaut: lol
[12:49] luchedio Wolfenhaut: im in fort hood
[12:49] luchedio Wolfenhaut: texas
[12:49] luchedio Wolfenhaut: but i must go tell them to expect you
[12:49] You: I’ve never been – is it near Fort Worth?
[12:49] luchedio Wolfenhaut: no,austin
[12:49] You: Hiya Sinatra!!
[12:50] Sinatra Cartier: Hello HeadBurro and Surfwidow 🙂
[12:50] You: Austin> Excellent – my fave place!
[12:50] You: That begins with an A, that is
[12:50] luchedio Wolfenhaut: im from dallas
[12:50] You: Did you shoot JR?
[12:50] luchedio Wolfenhaut: well hope to see you there
[12:50] luchedio Wolfenhaut: no ,,just bit him
[12:51] You: good man! He owes me a tenner
[12:51] luchedio Wolfenhaut: lol
[12:51] You: Thanks for the form – happy hunting
[12:51] luchedio Wolfenhaut gave you Employmemt in sl.
[12:51] luchedio Wolfenhaut gave you Employmemt in sl.
[12:52] You: I have it now – please stop – you are killing trees.