Brothers, wizards, watchmen and Jedi

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, August 2nd, 13:30: Tea-time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower, Kaydon Oconnell and Corwyn Allen continue reading The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, originally published in 1894, and which brings together twelve (or eleven in US editions of the volume) adventures featuring Holmes and Watson, as originally published in The Strand Magazine. This week: The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter, first published in 1893.

Mycroft Holmes by Sidney Paget, 1893
Mycroft Holmes by Sidney Paget, 1893

It was after tea on a summer evening, and the conversation, which had roamed in a desultory, spasmodic fashion from golf clubs to the causes of the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, came round at last to the question of atavism and hereditary aptitudes. The point under discussion was, how far any singular gift in an individual was due to his ancestry and how far to his own early training.

“In your own case,” said I, “from all that you have told me, it seems obvious that your faculty of observation and your peculiar facility for deduction are due to your own systematic training.”

“To some extent,” he answered thoughtfully. “My ancestors were country squires, who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class. But, none the less, my turn that way is in my veins, and may have come with my grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist. Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.”

“But how do you know that it is hereditary?”

“Because my brother Mycroft possesses it in a larger degree than I do.”

It is in this way, via an innocent summer evening conversation, that John Watson – and Arthur Conan Doyle’s faithful readers – first learn the Sherlock Holmes not only has an elder brother, but that Holmes considers his brother to have a superior intellect to his own. So much so that while Mycroft prefers the quiet elegance of the  Diogenes Club the the exertion of investigation, Holmes has often consulted him in order to bring his cases to a successful conclusion. This time, however, as Holmes goes on to inform Watson, it is Mycroft in need of their assistance.

Monday August 3rd, 19:00: The Wizard of Karres

Gyro Muggins returns to the universe created by James H. Schmitz and given form through his 1949 novel, The Witches of Karres, as he continues reading the 2004 sequel, The Wizard of Karres, penned by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and Dave Freer. So why not join Gyro as he once more traces the adventures of Captain Pausert and his companions, Goth and the Leewit, the Witches of Karres.

Tuesday August 4th, Go set a Watchman

WatchmanTrolley Trollop concludes her reading of selected passages from Harper Lee’s newly published Go set a Watchman.

While referred to as a “sequel” to Mockingbird, Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer-prize winning novel, Watchman actually pre-dates it, having been completed in 1957, leading Lee herself to refer to it as Mockingbird’s “parent”.

The story focuses on Scout Finch, the narrator of Mockingbird, who is here seen as an adult and using her given name, as she returns to her father’s home in Maycomb, Alabama, where she re-lives events from her childhood (including those central to the narrative of Mockingbird) as she tries to come to terms with political and personal issues, notably her own feelings about her birthplace and upbringing, and her father’s attitude towards society.

Thus it is that Watchman re-introduces readers to many of Lee’s most famous characters, including Atticus Finch, although readers may find the Atticus of this novel somewhat removed from the “younger” man found within Mockingbird.

Wednesday August 5th, 19:00: The Beauty of the Interstate

It was July 2013 and I had just accepted a part-time contract job that meant commuting some 60 miles round trip on the Interstate (I-5) several times a week.  It began with a single two page story one day.  Little did I realize that the highways and byways are full of stories . . . Beauty On the Interstate is a collection of some of those essays and short stories.

Join Seanchai’s Caledonia Skytower as she reads from her latest published work.

Thursday August 6th

unnatural creatures19:00: Unnatural Creatures

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.

Join Shandon Loring as he brings some of these stories to life.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.

Saturday, August 8th, Noon, Seanchai Kitely – Star Wars Saturday

With Shandon Loring and Caledonia Skytower, in Spaceworld ( Eirc).


Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for June / July is the The Xerces Society, at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programmes.

Additional Links

Support ACS and honour Kylie Jaxxon

The Trace Too auction; Trinity Yazimoto, August 2015, on FlickrThe Trace Too auction poster, Trinity Yazimoto, On Flickr

Update, August 6th: As reported by Ziki Questi, Kylie has made a return to Second Life, dispelling the major concerns about her welfare. “I am alive and well for the time being, and my intention is to keep The Trace going,” she told Ziki, before going on to express her thanks to all those who stepped forward in her absence to support The Trace Too. She also said the current auction to benefit ACS will continue. See Ziki’s post for more.

Now open, and running through until Monday, August 10th at The Trace Too, is a special art auction in honour of Kylie Jaxxon, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society via RFL of SL.

Kylie has been known to many as a friend, blogger, photographer and owner of two of the most beautiful regions in Second Life: The Trace (see my article from April 2014) and, more recently, The Trace Too (see my article from March 2015).

In 2014, Kylie was diagnosed with leukaemia, forcing her to withdraw for a time from Second Life and focus on her health and treatment. The Trace Too came about as a result of her positive response to that treatment, and her return to activities Second Life.

Iamages by Gidgette Adaggio, part of the auction to honour Kyliee Jaxxon at The Trace Too - proceeds to RFL of SL / ACS
Images by Gidgette Adaggio, part of the auction to honour Kylie Jaxxon at The Trace Too – proceeds to RFL of SL / ACS

More recently, however, Kylie sparked concerns as to her well-being among close friends when she suddenly departed Second Life, with the closure of her account and her blog. As a result, a group of friends,  led by Hippie Bowman, Lenni Foxtrot and Trinity Yazimoto, stepped forward to organise a special art auction, the focus of which is explained in a note posted to Trinity’s Flickr stream:

In honour of Kylie and her gorgeous work that has touched the Second Life community, there is an art auction at her sim to celebrate her talent, and wish Kylie a fabulous and final farewell:

The auction was originally intended to raise funds to keep her beautiful sim, The Trace, open until the end of August. Due to people’s generosity this goal has already been achieved, what an amazing result!

With this in mind, all proceeds from the art auction will now go to Relay for Life in Kylie’s honour.

Image by Lizzy Avon, part of the auction to honour Kyliee Jaxxon at The Trace Too - proceeds to RFL of SL / ACS
Image by Lizz Avon, part of the auction to honour Kylie Jaxxon at The Trace Too – proceeds to RFL of SL / ACS

Artists from across Second Life have donated images of The Trace Too, including Chrysterox,  Hillara, Lumiette, Pinkrayne, ScarlettElizabet, SereneDean, Skinninylla, Gidgette Adaggio, Kaelyn Alecto, Lizz Avon, Bamboo Barnes, Terravive, Becca, Leonorah Beverly, Lo Coeur, Maxie Daviau, Seraphiel Galaxy, Coober Galicia, Pearl Grey, Eddie Haskell, Rosy Highwater, Sabastian Melmoth, Masquerade Snowbear and Tripp Nitely.

Each artist has contributed one or more pieces, which can be found alongside the locations where they were taken, Bids can be placed against pictures by clicking on them and stating the bid amount in local chat.

If you have enjoyed Kylie’s creativity in, and contributions to, Second Life through her work at The Trace and The Trace Too, and through her blog, please do hop over to The Trace Too for a final explore and consider bidding on the art items displayed there.

Thank you Trinity, Hippie and all involved in the work to keep The Trace Too open just that little longer, and in bringing this auction together. And a very special thank you to Kylie for sharing her talent, vision and creativity with us all, and her generosity in allowing us to enjoy her landscapes.

SLurl Details

Second Life project updates 31/2: TPV Developer meeting

Up to U; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrUp to U, July 2015 (Flickr) – blog post

The following notes are primarily taken from the TPV Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, July 31st. A video of the meeting is included at the end of this report, with any time stamps in the following text referring to it. My thanks as always to North for the recording and providing it for embedding.

Server Deployments Week #31 – Recap

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates / news.

  • Tuesday, July 28th, saw the Main (SLS) channel receive the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels, comprising internal server fixes related to Experience Keys, comprising null pointer checkers and a configuration option for the number of Experiences a Premium member can have.
  • On Wednesday, July 29th, the three RC channels will be updated with a new server maintenance package aimed at fixing recent group-related issues (BUG-9725 ,BUG-9735 and BUG-9695). Reports following the deployment seem to indicate the issues appear to have been addressed.

Viewer-Managed Marketplace

As I’ve reported elsewhere, the Lab has now announced the retirement of Magic Boxes and the final shut-down of XStreet. Merchants have until August 17th to manually migrate their Magic Box items to VMM if they wish to have sales continue uninterrupted. After that date, the Marketplace will cease delivering goods from Magic Boxes. However, XStreet will remain available through until August 27th.

Wednesday, July 29th saw an updated version of the VMM viewer released. Version does not contain any functional changes to the VMM code, but does include a number of fixes which will hopefully reverse the elevated crash rates the previous RC version had been suffering when compared to the release viewer.

Providing the stats confirm this after the weekend, and no other emergencies occur, the VMM RC viewer will be promoted to the de facto release viewer in week #32 (week commencing 3rd August).

[00:35] The automated migration of all Direct Delivery items has now completed, and appears to have gone smoothly. The Lab is working through what Brooke Linden describes as “minor problems” directly with the Merchants who have encountered them. In addition, feedback from Merchants is currently being used to update the VMM Knowledge Base documents.

There was also an apology for the sudden change in plans regarding the start of the migration process, and the lack of forewarning to TPVs (and Merchants) on the matter.

 Grid Status Page RSS Feed

[08:06] Back towards the start of the year, the Lab attempted to make changes to the Grid Status page; however, the attempt caused issues, and things were subsequently reverted.

During the Third-Party Developer meeting on Friday, July 31st, Oz and Steven Linden indicated that the Lab is going to make a further attempt to update things. The aim is to update the RSS feed from RSS version 1 to RSS version 2.

As existing web pages, etc., using the feed may need to be adjusted to use the new feed format, a, proxy URL is available ( using the new feed format is available for testing purposes. This is already using live data, and the Lab’s plan is to allow it to run for a few months in order to ensure there are no issues, and then around November of December 2015, re-direct the existing Grid Status URL to point to the new feed, thus hopefully avoiding the upsets that came with February’s attempt to make changes.

Linden Parcel and Region Damage

[11:16] The Lab has put forward a proposal to improve how Damage can be managed at the region / parcel level. For detail, please refer to my separate report.

Unified Snapshot Floater

[19:16] As indicated in week #23 Niran V Dean has contributed his recent updates to the unified snapshot floater to the Lab, where they’ve been under review. The majority of these have now been approved, and are expected to appear in a Snowstorm contributions viewer in the near future.

Improvements to Prevent No Copy Item Losses

[20:14] As part of ongoing efforts to improve inventory handling, the Lab has been working on some simulator-side updates designed to fixes some issues related to content loss of No Copy objects – notably related to race conditions which can occur and result in rezzing failures and the subsequent loss of No Copy items.

These updates are again a result of the Lab’s continued investigation into inventory issues that started back in February, when they requested users complete an inventory loss survey. It is not anticipated that these changes will in any way affect the Return To Last Position capability, as used by some TPVs, nor do they involve any viewer updates. However, prior to their  deployment, a pile-on test will be held on Aditi, most likely on Friday, August 7th, which will involve TPVs and users putting the changes through a series of tests.

Assorted Notes

  • The Windows 10 detection fix, contributed to the Lab by Ansariel Hiller and referenced in part 1 of this report, will be incorporated in to a Snowstorm contributions viewer
  • There have been no recent code updates from Vivox for voice; Oz is hoping to have news  from them by the next TPV Developer meeting on Friday, August 21st
  • The inventory transform for fixed large “flat” inventories which are causing log-in issues (see my week 15 report) has been under testing, and is currently going through final QA internally at the Lab in preparation for deployment.