December 31, 2007

What a great start into 2008 :-(

While working on some custom animations for a client, my PC repeatedly crashed rather badly. checking the PFN_LIST_CORRUPT error message on Google hinted a problem with the installed memory, and indeed a Memtest86 running right now shows loads of red. This, and the repeated failures of my internet connecting, really have a negative impact on my SL experience. Sigh. Hope the new year continues better than it is about to start.

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome

The other night, my new friend (and old acquaintance) Therese Carfagno invited me to a masquerade ball at the "roaring Twenties" styled Ballroom. I had my teeth sunk deep into a scripting task, and when I finally IMed her back and asked whether the ball was still going on she replied everybody has left already. But incidentally she needed a male avatar for a photo so I TPed over (the result can be seen here).

Therese had a great Las Vegas showgirl outfit on, and soon we talked about about fashion again, and I mentioned the great female Tux at Blaze, and she showed me a Tux she had. One word gave the other, and soon we were transforming her in showgirl in honor of Berlins Friedrichstadtpalast, famous for its linedancing ballett girls.

After tweaking Therese's shape a bit (what an odd feeling to wear a female shape and adjust the sliders), and after giving her Vette's new (and as of yet unreleased) waistcoat, the result was quite stunning. Excuse my poor photography skills:

Flickr got me

I might have been slow with this - and in RL I still have no page, but Peter Stindberg is now on Flickr (and was dumb enough to not figure out the order of images):

December 30, 2007

Great customer service: Zabitan Assia

One of my favourite clothing items is the ":FORM: Warning Tee" witht he nice inscription "Don't fuck with Tokyo". The only downside was that it only came as shirt and jacket layer, not as undershirt layer. While I managed to get around this most of the time, I ran into problems when I tried to combine Vette's lovely scarf with it.
So I wrote an IM to Zabitan Assia, the owner of :FORM:, described the situation and asked whether he could make an underwear layer too. And today upon login I had a folder with the whole set again, including the underwear layer - for free. Thanks a lot, Zabitan, that's great customer service!

December 26, 2007

Vette's Boutique

Two nights ago my friend an ex-piano-addict Caterin took me Freebie Hunting. I got dizzy from the quick teleports she fired off into my direction, but finally we found some rest in a rather small shop called Vette's Boutique. The available freebie was not really my taste, but I found some nice and unique designs, and actually yet another unisex item which I bought for myself - a rather nice red-and-white scarf.
Last night I took my sister Chey to Vette's boutique and - as I usually do - sent a cold-calling IM to Vette DeCuir, the owner of the place, offering my translation services. It turned out that she was right above our heads and came down to say hello.
The three of us had some great fun, and Vette is a really charming personality. She had just started SL in July, and - being a graphics art student - decided to make her own clothes out of frustrations that she couldn't afford and/or find decent clothing for herself. Her collection is still rather small, but she is working on 20 new items to be releases January first.
Obviously Vette has enjoyed our conversation as well, since she posted her own report on her blog. I can highly recommend Vette's Boutique - here is a designer who has come a long way in a short time, and who is certainly worth watching out for in the future!

December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

My good friend Gina (who is due for her own blogpost for a while already) had the courtesy to make some great photographs of me. One of which I turned into the official season greetings card for Babel Translations:

December 22, 2007

The solution to all crashes of SL

Overheard at Dark Eden:
Lady Ma'am, i'm about to crash, may i reboot please?
Well - just say "No!"

New neighbours in Beachwood

I'm renting the office in Beachwood for almost 4 months now, and I've seen a lot of neighbours come and go. There has been quite some strange "businesses" among them, and for whatever reason the tower seems to attract "security" companies. The newest addition to the gallery:
"Wh security is hi class hi tech we dont take shit from anybody we have disabled whole mafia groups we are loyal and also do pr work for club, bas restaraunts is u want a job im me willo westland or haitham neddings we own the firm"
Well, that surely inspires confidence...

December 21, 2007

The cold season

Ever since reading about the Charlatan coat on SL Men on December 11, I sidled around the vendor, undecisive whether to buy it or not. I showed it to my sister Chey and my friends Elusyve, Gina, Ramo and Tina who in turn loved or hated it. Which did not exactly help to decide for it. Then Chey considered recommending it to her Sweetie, since both where looking for coats (read more about Chey's recent coat madness here, here and here ). Of course if Chey's Sweetie would wear the coat, I would not buy it. But I kept returning... sneaking around it.

Tonight, Chey asked for the landmark to the coat again, since she wanted to buy it as a present. I teleported her to the shop and she tried to figure out if it is trans. Finally she bought it, and I begged her to put it on, because I wanted to see it on someone. But she declined, saying it's not right. All of a sudden Ramo appeared:

[12:00] Cheyenne Palisades: Peter, I'm afraid this is an ambush
[12:00] You: Oops?
[12:00] Cheyenne Palisades: We are here to wish you a merry christmas and to ask you to accept this present from the two of us
[12:00] You: uh?
[12:00] Cheyenne Palisades gave you [CIVVIES] "Charlatan" Coat (mod/trans/nocopy).
[12:00] Cheyenne Palisades: hehe
[12:00] You: Awwwwwwwww!
[12:00] You: Oh wow!
[12:00] You: Oh my!
[12:01] Ramotswe Nagy smiles
[12:01] Peter Stindberg gulps
[12:01] You: Oh... wow
[12:01] Cheyenne Palisades giggles happily
[12:01] Peter gives Cheyenne a big hug.
[12:01] Ramotswe Nagy likes to see peter speechless
[12:01] Cheyenne Palisades likes hugs
[12:01] Peter gives Ramotswe a big hug.
[12:01] You: You shouldn't have!
[12:01] Cheyenne Palisades: Yes, we shoudl have
[12:02] You: Wow, thank you!
[12:02] Ramotswe Nagy: of course we should
[12:02] You: Am I supposed to leave it until Christmas?
[12:02] Cheyenne Palisades: Any man that goes four or five times to look at a coat is serious
[12:02] Cheyenne Palisades: No, put it on.
[12:02] Cheyenne Palisades: Let us see you in it
[12:02] Ramotswe Nagy: yes do it now!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you you crazy women! I love the two of you!

More than 25 groups

I blogged about this a while ago already, but I'm more than willing to join the effort of alpha bloggers Veyron and Vint to give this issue a bit more publicity.

Check out the issue MISC-208 on JIRA, log in with your SL name and password, and vote for this issue. Goal is to get at least 500 votes, that's only 94 from now on.

December 17, 2007

You know you spend too much time in SL when...

... you are at your companies Christmas dinner, watching some of the restaurant staff squeezing their way along a Christmas tree half-blocking a door, and wondering why they don't simply set the tree and door to "phantom" and just walk right through it.

December 15, 2007


I've been intending to blog about the apparent large number of lesbians couples in SL - and the (from my perspective) apparent rejection of male avatars by many female avatars for a long time. However, Kit Meredith has written a very long post about it, and I can agree to many of her thoughts about the topic. So while I let my own thoughts simmer for a while, maybe you enjoy Kit's post in the meantime.

December 14, 2007

Good hair day

The first "real expensive" thing I bought was prim hair. I harvested money trees for weeks, sent my avatar camping while I attended to other things, went to events where prizes were given out (preferably when there was a CampMaster in the vicinity as well), and finally bought, after long consideration, "Spike Brown" by Adam and Eve (~250L$).

For a while now, I felt that it was time for a change. As an experiment I put on a freebie hairstyle I still had in my inventory. The hair was more messy, and pitch black. I got all kind of reactions along the lines of "I liked your old one better" (Tina) as well as "It was about time you changed it" (Sonne). So I kept on looking, trying demos, browsing blogs. But the male hairstyles I found were all either extremely dull and boring (think "Ken"), or were intended for broad shouldered warrior/barbarian type of avatars with a glistening sixpack under their leather coat. In short: not at all what I looked for.

Before Sonne turned her back on me, we've been looking for hair at FNKY/Cake, where I saw a hairdo explicitly listed as "unisex". I went there with my talented photographer friend Gina the other day, who was looking for new hair as well, and she in fact bought the style called "Rumor" and it looks great on her. That made me thinking. A hairstyle that works both on men and women. Hmmm....

And I started to look into the female hair sections of the shop. And a world opened up for me. Of course not all female hairstyles work for a male avatar. I did not even bother to try any long haired, ponytailed or curly styles. But there is a whole lead of great short hair styles available, and a lot of them worked on my avatar. Cake's "Rumor" and "Dawn" by Adam and Eve were among my favourites, but in the end I settled for "Luth" bei Elika Tiramisu Designs (ETD).

The other day I told all this to Elusyve, and she smiled and surprised me with having the same hairdo in her trademark red. I took the opportunity for a photograph, so you can see it really works on both of us.

Bottom line: Guys, don't be afraid of looking at female prim hair! And a message to hair designers: you are missing an opportunity here - offer suitable hairstyles either as unisex, or put them up in the male section too!

December 12, 2007

Plywood Man for sale

My wise older sister Chey gently (ahem) nudged me to put some of the items I developed in the past up for sale. Being notoriously good at not finishing things, I used my involuntary sick-leave to tidy up some of the projects. The first item, which will be availabe both in Chey's new shop Flights of Fancy as well as on OnRez, is the full avatar Plywood Man. I created that one when sculpted prims were introduced, as a hommage to the old style prims. Enjoy!

More JIRA issues worth voting for

Found another few ones:

December 11, 2007


Downtime. And I'm at home on sick leave. Arghhh.... (or, as my lovely sister Chey puts it: "We're not addicted... we can stop anytime..."). I used the time to organize my SL projects on my harddrive, and doing so, found some old pictures! A while ago Chey held a rez-day party for Xubi, herself an me, and she asked me for old pics. If only I had them by then. OK, here we go:

Me, 4 weeks old, newbie skin, newbie clothing

Preparing for St. Patricks Day

The first (and last) piece of clothing I made in SL when I was 6 months old.

The skeleton avatar I used quite often, nicely demonstrating the notorious transparency bug.

My first office in SL (more or less exactly 10 months after I joined), for 50 L$/week including 50 prims.

Me and Chey skydiving at Abbots Aerodrome. The jumpsuit is out of a freebie box, and I wore it quite a lot before I made my "Bob the Builder" outfit. This photo is older though.

Snowmen art

Alpha-blogger Veyron Supercharge posted some hilarious sculptures involving snowmen here and here. Now I found another installation along these lines myself:

Visit it at Labyrinth while it lasts.

December 10, 2007

Pity me

I'm on sick-leave, which might sound great but isn't if you have the go to the restroom every couple of minutes. I'll spend most of it in-world, and I'm pretty bored. You're all invited to cheer me up :-)

December 05, 2007

Dues paid

What a strange day. Readers of my blog know that my love-life in SL was not very successful. However I managed to retain a friendship with my ex-wife Djanna, and since she knew I worked on skins in the past she asked for my assessment on new skins she intended to buy. In that process, she very cautiously asked for a loan. After hearing that that would be no problem for me, she then replied "OK, then in January you get xxx Linden$ from me" - where XXX was about twice the amount. To my suprise she did in fact remember a previous loan AND the partial rent of our joint property.

Talking about money I decided to take a look at my transaction history, only to find that - on the very last day covered in the report - the alt of my first SL-love sent me 800 L$. I contacted the alt (who in the meantime is the main account since the original account got deleted), and she told me it was old dues, and that she never forgot them and had to pay them back as soon as she could.

Both incidents actually made me feel better. Not because of the money involved, but because of the underlying intentions.

December 04, 2007

Ouch... that hurt. Tagged by Caterin

Last night when we were iceskating, my friend Caterin threw a snowball at me and hit me. She threw another snowball at me earlier that day - she tagged my blog for one of those popular memes. Funny enough being a RL blogger for over two years now, I never got tagged before. So this is not only an SL premiere for me, but an overall premiere. Thanks Caterin!

The rules:

(1) Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
(2) People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
(3) At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
(4) Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog

Well... let's see...

1) I barely change my outfit - it's so hard to find decent male clothes, once I have a new set I keep it until inventory loss seperates me from it
2) I can only handle up to 3 parallel IM conversations
3) I have a lot of ideas, but never really seem to finish things
4) I once tried to talk my favourite RL band to perform in the Dublin sim, but didn't manage to sufficiently describe the attractiveness of a SL performance
5) Even though I know it's to no avail, I still pop in at Midas every once in a while to check my balance
6) I have a crush on Cat
7) When I was new in SL I gender-bended quite a lot
8) I still miss Sonne

So, what does all those random facts tell Dr. Freud? Let me know in the comments.

And then let's see how Nicholaz, my lovely sister Cheyenne, great tutor Natalia, charming VĂ©ronique, my new elf friend Elusyve, SL explorer Eppie, fantastic in-depth blogger and sex-worker Lillie and my shot at celebrity - gorgeous and witty Vint will do!

Update: *sigh* - 3 from my list have been tagged already

December 03, 2007

Making a point for translations in Second Life

To many, Second Life appears to be a US dominated community. But every one of you ran into the occasional French, German, Italian or Japanese user already. True, English is the predominant language on the grid. But you'll be surprised how many ethnic communities there are throughout SL. As you know I run a translation agency in SL, so my daily challenge is to raise awareness that even though English is widely used and accepted, you are missing on opportunity to not support other languages as well. And also if you have offerings for your German or French commune, you are missing on opportunity if you don't address the English speaking population.

In order to make my point, I had a close look at the key metrics published by Meta Linden, as of early October. Unfortunately, these statistics only list Countries and not languages. And it also does not list the total number of users, but only the countries by activity and hours spend online. As much as I had loved absolute numbers, I decided to go for countries by activity since this is the important number to my clients anyway.

To my best knowledge, I broke the countries listed down to languages, for example splitting Spanish speaking users from the US count, dividing Belgium into French, Dutch and German users, as well as taking away French users from Switzerland. Then I focused on the languages I am offering translation services for, and tried to calculate their share on the active user community. The result looks like this:

Language Percent
English 39,7%
German 15,1%
Spanish 11,8%
Japanese 9,4%
French 8,3%
Portugese 5,5%
Italian 5,3%
Dutch 4,9%

I am well aware that this statistic is - like all statistics - rather skewed. However I think it comes rather close to what I see in SL on a daily basis, and what my clients seem to have realized as well.

As one conclusion to push my point I decided to give a 10% introductionary offer to new clients. If you plan to go international with your second life business, now is the time to do so. And if you think it's too expensive: the majority of translation jobs we do is less thann 1000 L$ in translation fees.

When do YOU plan to go international?

Shameless vote whoring

Unnoticed from the majority of SL residents, the JIRA system is a way of reporting bugs and feature requests to Linden Labs. Nicholaz has a great article on it here and here. I reported some issues to JIRA too, and I voted on other issues. Here are my favourites - take a look at them and eventually vote for them too:
  • MISC-208 - More than 25 groups
  • MISC-686 - Eliminate script delays
  • VWR-27 - The notorious "transparency bug"
  • VWR-489 - Multiple attachments per attachment point (that truly would come in "handy")
  • VWR-1449 - 3 new avatar clothing layers (finally wear a tattoo AND underwear)
What are your favourite JIRA issues?