Radegast updates to 2.18

Radegast is a third-party Second Life / OpenSim client which has proven to be especially popular with those on low-end systems over the years, and gained a solid level of support from the visually impaired, who found the client a lot easier to use than a full viewer – so much so that a special accessibility guide was produced, and special classes held in using the client.

Sadly, ongoing health issues impacting Latif Khalifa, Radegast’s creator, reached a point where, in November 2014, he had to signal that he was unable to continue maintaining the client, although he ensured the source code remained available for anyone who wanted to do so on behalf of the community.

Well, the good news is that on Thursday, July 9th, Radegast was updated to version 2.18. The even better news is that the person making the update was – Latif Khalifa!

The new update brings a number of improvements to the client, which the release notes list as:

  •  Support for Group Bans (RAD-471)
  • Double click on inventory item to wear/attach (RAD-472)
  • RLV support for @acceptpermission (RAD-500)
  • New Automatically Accept Dialogue Function (RAD-490)
  • A fix to allow the main window to minimize to the system tray correctly (RAD-497)
  • Add log-in support for SirinHGpole-Grid to the grid manager (RAD-503).

The Group Ban functionality in Radegast operates the same way as for any viewer:

  • Avatars can be banned from a group by either selecting them in the group members list if they are already a member and using the Ban button (below left), or by using the Group Ban Picker to ban one or more avatars pro-actively from joining the group by using the Ban … button in the Banned Residents tab (below right)
  • Group Ban capabilities can be be awarded to any role in the group by enabling the GroupBanAccess option in the  Allowed Abilities section of the Roles sub-tab.
The Radegast 2.18 update adds Group Bans to the client
The Radegast 2.18 update adds Group Bans to the client use the Ban button in the Members and Roles list to eject and ban a person in the group; use the Banned Residents tab to track those previously banned or to pro-actively ban users from joining the group.

For those unfamiliar with Radegast, it is a full feature but lightweight client able to run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It provides pretty much all of the capabilities found in a full viewer, including full inventory management, mesh upload capabilities, voice support, etc.. In addition, it has a few options of its own such as an API for plug-ins, speech recognition and an AI capability (ALICE).

For those who may be without their viewer for some reason, but would prefer to see what is going on in-world, the Windows and Linux versions of Radegast provide a 3D scene renderer in which you can see the world and move around in it, chat with others and – via the Objects option – interact with the things you see around you.

Radegast's in-world view option (the Scene Viewer)
Radegast’s in-world view option (the Scene Viewer) – note this does not support windlight, etc.

All of this has made Radegast a flexible, usable and popular client, and if you’d like to know more about it, please refer to my Radegast coverage in this blog.

Given Latif is still recovering from illness, this update may not signal his full return to supporting Radegast; when I did ask him about this update, he replied, “there were several updates, such as group bans that were done, but unreleased. So why not get them out ;-).” As to the future, we’ll have to see what comes along; but certainly, seeing Latif back in the saddle with this release is great.

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A tropical dream in Second Life

Pandora box of Dreams; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrPandora box of Dreams, July 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Note: this vision of Pandora Box of Dreams has closed. 

I first visited  Lokhe Angel Verlack’s (Jackson Verlack) Pandora Box of Dreams when it was, I believe, in its second iteration, back in April 2015. Located on Lokhe’s homestead region of Diamond Bay, Paradora Box of Dreams tends to undergo a change every two or three months, each time presenting an environment where dreams and contemplation are encouraged.

I did actually manage to visit the region during its third dream iteration – the River Dream – but didn’t actually get to blog about it;  so I’ll refer you to Ziki’s post on that. Dream 004 has now arrived in the region, and the Del Mar Dream is precisely what I need right now, despite not generally being a “beachy ” person: a tropical paradise.

Pandora box of Dreams; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrPandora box of Dreams, July 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Del Mar Dream presents an idyllic Pacific island, laying far from the ocean trade routes, nestled in the arms of a larger (off sim) island which provides shelter from the rest of the world. Here can be found a place of rugged beauty and soft, coral sand beaches shaded by palm trees. Little beach shacks are scattered across the island, offering places to sit and relax, either on your own with a friend or two, and simply chat or let your thoughts escape. Hammocks also sit out in the sun or under the shade of the palms, offering the opportunity to catch a tan or drift in sleep,

For the more energetic among us, a careful climb up the rocks forming the spine of the island will  bring you to a graceful stone bridge by Alex Bader, and access to a tiki-style platform on the highest point on the island, where it sits suspended from palm trees; an ideal place of rest / look-out. Alongside the bridge, and for the cost of joining the Pandora box of Dreams group (L$50), you can grab a hang glider and drift around the island on the wind.

Pandora box of Dreams; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrPandora box of Dreams, July 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Down on the beaches on either side of the hilltop can be found diving boards (to the east) and a jetski rezzer (to the west). I’m not entirely sure the of watery engines would be appreciated by all of the island’s visitors, which might explain why, although I could get a jetski to rez, it resolutely refused my efforts to let me drive it off the rezzer and out into the bay!

The bay also offers opportunities for wading and swimming – although I do urge a degree of caution: there are puffer fish and jellyfish to be found among the rocks and shallows. Leopard sharks hug the sandy bottom further out, but present no threat to swimmers, preferring their usual diet of  clams, spoon worms, crabs, shrimp, fish, and fish eggs. Instead, they’re content to swim among the rays there.

Pandora box of Dreams; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrPandora box of Dreams, July 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Local sounds can add further ambience to a visit as well, with the beach towards the west end of the island in particular presenting sounds of vacations and holidays which might stir a daydream or two. The audio stream is also suitably appropriate for the environment, and I spent a contented couple of hours relaxing on a lido out on the water, sipping a cocktail while listening to the music and steering my camera around the island remotely (flycams is such a time saver!).

As I mentioned towards the top of this piece, I’m not much of one for beach holidays – I love to explore places and wander across sandy beaches to see what might be beyond the next rise or around the headland, rather than sit and soaking up the sun. Nevertheless, the Del Mar Dream iteration of Paradora Box of dreams did – again as noted – have me simply lazing and enjoying. While it bears little resemblance to them, it did bring thoughts of some of my favourite tropical coastal areas to mind; particularly the north-east side of Sri Lanka around Batticaloa, with its white sands and wildlife.

Pandora box of Dreams; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrPandora box of Dreams, July 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

All told, a lovely iteration in Lokhe’s Dream sequences for the region, and one I really enjoyed visiting. As things do tend to change periodically, if you would like to visit this tropical paradise, I’d suggest you not leave it too long before doing so. And you might find that once you’ve done so, the beach and waters might well call you back again before Lokhe crafts something new to be enjoyed.

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Sacred Light in Second Life

Sacred Light - The Living Room
Light – The Living Room

Tuesday, July 7th saw the opening of the latest art exhibition at The Living Room, the music and arts venue operated by Owl Dragonash and Daallee. Sadly, I was unable to make the event, due to it clashing with another in-world appointment; however, I did hop over as soon as the opportunity arose to see what the latest in what has been a fascinating monthly series at the venue has brought us.

Sacred Light is a display of 2D and 3D art by Kiesta Aljon, whose work often richly expresses contrast pairings: light and dark, big and small, motion and stillness, and so on, in an effort to engage the observer in her work and encourage them to see the creative process through her eyes.

Sacred Light - The Living Room
Sacred Light – The Living Room

For this particular exhibition, several of these contrasts are on offer, both in the images and the sculptures which are presented on both the main and mezzanine floors of the Living room’s gallery space; and all of them are linked through the central theme of light and them impact it has on us.

This is a fascinating display because to the richness of contrasts that are on offer, both within individual pieces and between the various groups of pieces. For example, on one side of the gallery’s main floor are two animated digital images, both entitled “A Whirl”. Each offers a captivating contrast of fluid light against  a dark, static background which is almost mesmerising. At the same time, and on the mezzanine above them, sits a trio of mandalas, all of which again offer a rich contrast of colours within themselves, while their serene stillness offers its own contrast to the perpetual motion embodied in the two “Whirl” pieces.

Sacred Light - The Living Room
Sacred Light – The Living Room

The title of the exhibition is also fitting, as there is something “sacred” to many of the pieces – not in any religious sense, but simply because the contrast (and balance) of colours breathes a special amount of life into them.

For me, this is particularly evidenced in the three pieces entitled “Ship Storm” (seen at the top of this article), where the colour of the sky and the shadowed vignetting of the clouds seems to breathe life into the ships themselves, giving them form an existence entirely of their own. But the feeling is also true in many – if not all – of the other works exhibited here; so much so that you could find yourself contemplating various pieces individually and collectively for longer than you might have anticipated. I know I did.

Sacred Light - The Living Room
Sacred Light – The Living Room

July brings with it another Thursday of music to The Living Room. On July 16th, Jed Luckless will be taking to the stage at 17:00 SLT, and will be followed at 18:00 by Bandit Eddingham. Sacred Light itself will remain open throughout the month, and will feature a special closing party on Tuesday, July 28th, with Lazarus Doghouse presiding over the music (time TBA at the time of going to press).

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