Ethos Erlanger's Virtual Building Blog

Building in Virtual Worlds

News to Celebrate! – UPDATE

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 28, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum

Dateline: Usonia, Second Life

Until the official news release has been blessed by both parties, I will paraphrase what has happened. The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum has been granted a license by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The news release that I had used was prematurely sent out to the staff members of the museum.  I simply published what I believed was an official press release.  I will now wait for the official joint announcement to come.

The excitement for me comes from the fact that this will allow me to access the archives at the FLW Foundation and use them to build the most precise renderings of Mr. Wright’s work.

High on my list will be the Guggenheim in NYC and the Dana Thomas House.

I would also like to do Taliesin which is set on the rolling hills of Wisconsin with much of the property that surrounds it.  This may be a task I set aside for an Open Sim mega region where size and prim count are not such a constraint as it is in Second Life.  I am hoping this brings out other builders who have always dreamed of building for the great architect so that more of his work makes it into the virtual world for all to see.

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger


Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | 1 Comment »

Two Restarts for the Diva Distro of Open Sim

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 24, 2010

Something seemed odd. When I crash my local Open Sim Server, I must start it twice for all prims to appear.  It affects any prims that are linked together.  Single prims are always seen after the first re-start, but linked prims are missing until I restart Open Simulator the second time.

Crashes are quite frequent for me as I attempt to import large buildings from Second Life using the Meerkat Viewer.

I may buy the Second Inventory program to see if that works without crashes.

Posted in Diva Distro, Erlanger Acres, OpenSim, OpenSim Crashes, OpenSim on a Local Server | Leave a Comment »

Again, I want to build the Gugenheim Museum

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 18, 2010

I always wanted to build the Guggenheim Museum in Second Life.  This quest has gone on for a long time.  I am motivated by two driving forces.

1)  It has shapes in it that are not easy to replicate by using standard prims.

2)  It has an inner space that is hard to comprehend when it is experienced only by viewing it through flat, two dimensional photographs.

In fact, reason #2 is the reason that I want to build most of the architectural replications that I am interested in.  Second Life affords the viewer a spatial understanding that is hard to duplicate in any other publication form.

Google Earth has the ability to display three dimensional models, but that viewer does not afford the person viewing it to go inside the building and navigate the spiraling ramp and hallways. It does not have a working elevator or revolving entry doors.

The three-dimensional aspect of Second Life provides an immersive experience that will only be surpassed sometime in the future when it might be rendered with a 3-D viewer and viewing glasses like you find at the I-Max theater.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in The Virtual Guggenheim | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Museums Anyone?

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 17, 2010

The officially licensed installation of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum in Second Life is about to be born.  Yes it has been in Second Life for a period of time while we talked with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  All life forms have a gestation period.  I had little to do with it. But I like to think I planted a seed when Lox and I built Fallingwater in Second Life with no official approval.  We did ask permission and did not receive it. Maybe we did not have critical mass back then.  Being turned down did not dissuade us from leaving Fallingwater up and on display in Second Life.  We discussed it and felt that if we never sold it and never charged admission, it was fair use.  And since we were never pressed on the subject, that counts as a good thing. We never did or said anything to offend any of the various rights holders, so I guess it is a case of no harm, no foul.

I repeat that I had little to do with the creation of the museum. I did write some emails and left voice messages at an opportune time asking for plans and dimensions of the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.  I reached just the right person at the Guggenheim by following up on a referral given to me by Leslie Weston through her work at Harvard.  Those emails and phone messages turned into a phone call to me one afternoon back in early October of 2009 from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  I immediately called  Assistant Director Rosalie Oldrich and she, together with Museum CEO Frey Bravin carried the ball forward from there.  The rest, as they say is history.

I am told that the agreement will be signed this week, and I will write more after it is official.

Again, I did little for the museum other than place a copy of our Fallingwater at the museum and do a bit of terra-forming around it. I made the waterfall and made smoke come out of the fireplace chimney.  I dressed up as Frank Lloyd Wright one night at a dance that was held at the museum.  It is not a long list of contributions, but I feel comfortable when I go there.  I feel at home there.  I enjoy myself at the museum both alone and with friends.

Enjoy the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum in Second Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life, The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building, Virtual Museums | Leave a Comment »

Old Grumbles are Heard

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 17, 2010

Someone heard my grumbles and I got an avalanche of replies to my request for a new password.

Now that I write the bug reports, one is dismissed as not an issue because it cannot be reproduced. And so it goes. I too am beyond it because I was conditioned by the miscreant code to never attempt another import of a large multi-prim object.  Computer one…. Human zero.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in OpenSim, OpenSim Crashes, OpenSim on a Local Server | Leave a Comment »

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 6, 2010

I thought I would go write those two bug reports to the OpenSim Mantis.  Now it is faintly familiar. I tried writing a bug report many months back. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.

I am able to log on to the main OpenSim webpage. However, I am unable to log onto the OpenSim Mantis page.

I am also unable to request to change my password, or create a new account.  It says it sent me a new password, but I never receive it via email. It says it has opened an account, but I never get the confirmation email. [yes I checked my spam folder]

I will forget about all these troubles in another few months and try again.  Until then, I will write my rants here on my blog page.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©, but just do not write bug reports about it,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in OpenSim, OpenSim Crashes | Leave a Comment »

Another view of Erlanger Acres

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 5, 2010

I am quite fond of the Little Sable Point Lighthouse.  It would have been a few less prims if I had built it first in OpenSim than I had used when I built it in Second Life, but the conical (tapered) tower was a good challenge to my building skills when I originally executed it in Second Life.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Erlanger Acres, OpenSim, OpenSim on a Local Server, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building | Leave a Comment »

Two restarts to recover from a crash in OpenSim

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 3, 2010

I am using OpenSim to build off-line and when I crash the server (which is often) it takes two tries before I get to a place where the region has all the recent objects out and showing.

So, you are probably asking: “Why is he blogging about this?”  Well it is a way of letting off steam. Many people use the word RANT to describe this.  What makes this different, is what is behind the crashes.  Meerkat.  Well, not really the viewer, but something I am doing with the viewer. I am importing prims from an XML file.

Why not just write a bug report about the crashes?  Well I have read some of the bug reports about importing prims, and the authors are told that the OpenSimulator Project does not support “3rd Party Viewers.”  They go on to say that only the SL viewer is supported.  (Note: the SL viewer does not import or export prims.)  Does that make the SL viewer and Linden Lab a party of the first part?

So, here is my question. Is there any fully endorsed way to get prims into my OpenSim sandbox? I should relax and take a chill pill, but the frustration of having to restart the server twice after every attempt to import a portion of my building that I brought from Second Life is the cause for my attitude.

Also, where can this be discussed if it is not a valid OpenSim bug? Inventory transportability is one of the main reasons I began climbing the learning curve to get my own OpenSim server running on my own computer.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Diva Distro, Erlanger Acres, OpenSim, OpenSim Crashes, OpenSim on a Local Server, Virtual Building | 2 Comments »

Loading prims into Erlanger Acres using Meerkat

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on January 3, 2010

What you are seeing in this photo is a college building that I built last year, the Little Sable Point Lighthouse, and the lower 160 ft of the Washington Monument.

The viewer that I am using is Meerkat because it has the ability to save objects as XML files and then restore from those files that I keep on my computer. Some crashed and delayed rezzing of building parts has occurred as I begin to bring some of my work from Second Life into Erlanger Acres.  I am beginning to think I may want separate server hardware from the one I use for the viewer.  I am experiencing these crashes with various viewers including the current Second Life viewer by Linden Lab.

Not all textures are in my cache, so this photo shows some parts of the buildings as white, but generally, the importing of prims is accurate.  I am learning some of the inner workings of the server and viewer and now understand a bit more about textures and what it takes to get them to show up.  I will have to brings some textures from SL into my sandbox region or visitors will not be able to see the buildings as I see them.  I consider this to be fair use.  I hope the original artists understand.  I am taking time to contact many of them and ask if they will allow them to be used in the OSgrid.  Nothing is for sale at this time and for now all of this is under my complete control in my own computer.  No infringement is intended.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Erlanger Acres, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building | Leave a Comment »

Historic Event at Erlanger Acres

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on December 27, 2009

You might all yawn and say: “What is Ethos so excited about?”

Ethos invited his first outside visitor to join him at Erlanger Acres today.  After reading and re-reading every possible tutorial and blog post related to OpenSim configuration, Setup, and troubleshooting of OpenSim, Ethos Erlanger flipped the switch on his recently updated Diva Distibution.  He then walked into the living room of his home and using his wife’s computer, logged into OpenSim as Visitor One and arrived face-to-face with Ethos on Erlanger Acres. The 30 feet or so between the office and the livingroom computers may not seem like a long distance to travel in the virtual world of OpenSim, but it represents a milestone for Ethos.  Now his confidence is bolstered and he will be inviting friends over for some serious building and collaboration.

Erlanger acres is comprised of 4 regions put together as one mega-region.  This size allows the building of many large buildings or monuments.  A recent hardware upgrade to 4GB of RAM seems to allow endless possibilities.

I hope you all stop by to visit some time.  I will try to get some nice clothes for you to use when you arrive as a visitor to Erlanger Acres.

Enjoy Your Virtual Life©,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Erlanger Acres, OpenSim on a Local Server | 1 Comment »