Blog Entries
TINY CENTRAL Information Tags: tiny central

 

TINY CENTRAL was established to help people to join one group and thereby get information on everything going on with the Tiny community no matter where it happens on the thousands of Opensim worlds.  Anyone from any hypergrid world can join.  Anyone from any hypergrid world can post their Tiny-oriented event.

The basic idea is to promote tiny events without having to post the same event notice on multiple groups or grids.

You will need to visit DigiWorldz and join TINY CENTRAL to post and receive group notices.  Just SEARCH for TINY CENTRAL and JOIN.

On some grids in order to automatically receive notices of events you may need to create an avatar on DigiWorldz grid (http://DigiWorldz.com), but this is very easy to do. (This is the case with OSgrid members for example, since OSgrid does not receive or forward external grid messages.)

In most cases you don't have to use a DigiWorldz avatar to post an event; you can come in across the hypergrid using your normal tiny avatar and post your event.  You will need to activate your TINY CENTRAL group to do so. 

Fortunately it's possible to join the group with any Opensim Avatar by visiting DigiWorldz Grid, SEARCHING for the TINY CENTRAL group, and clicking the JOIN button.  (If you later find you're not receiving notices you will need to create a DigiWorldz avatar and join the group. Simple process, and after that group notices will go to your  email.)

 

TINY CENTRAL GUIDELINES

TINIES DEFINED:  small avatars (usually about knee-high).  These include the original Wynx Tinies, other brands of Tinies, Dinkies, Wees, Bladencats, Koalas, Dwagons (Tiny or Dinkie), and even Teenies (really small tinies) and other small avatars.   Usually tinies are small animals or fantasy creatures, but really can be almost any small avatar. 

Following are sensible guidelines that will make people want to be a member of this group.  Please take a  moment to become familiar with these basic "rules of posting".

 

* TINY CENTRAL is a group on DigiWorldz Grid that can be used by any tiny on any grid to announce their events.  

* ANYONE MAY JOIN Tiny Central (regardless of avatar size), but only Tiny-oriented events may be posted in group notices. 

* HYPERGRID. Please note the hypergrid requirement.  It must be easy to teleport to your event without logging in to a specific world.

* FAMILY FRIENDLY.  All such events should be considered family friendly, as conceptually there is no such thing as an "adult tiny".  ;D

* BIGGIES (normal size avatars) may attend such events if the event permits it (most do).  Biggies must dress modestly or face the wrath of our Tiny Bouncers.  ; )

* ANY TINY MAY POST an event in Tiny Central, on ANY Opensim Hypergrid..  You don't need to be a founder or officer of any group; you just need to be hosting a real event with permission from the land owner. 

* IF YOU POST IT, HOST IT (barring RL issues, in which case please try to get someone else to fill in or at least send notice of cancellation).  Non-hosted, automated, or "non-events" (just trying to get people to visit your land) are not allowed.

* PROVIDE ACCESS.  Please be sure to include a hypergrid-jumpable landmark or URL.  Test it with an avatar from a different grid to make sure it works before posting.  It doesn't do any good to have a hypergrid Tiny event if people can't get there.  ; )

* NO AVERTISING ALLOWED.  This is not a marketing group, it is an EVENT GROUP ONLY.  Advertising may result in avatar ban without prior notice.  If this proves to be a problem we will switch from open event posting to role-required registration.

* ONLY TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS PER EVENT please.  Please avoid spam.  You can post an event days prior to the event, and then the day of the event. 

* NO "HALF TIME" EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS.  Again, only two announcements per event.  Please no announcements such as, "It's half time at the My Special Event! Come and dance your feet off!"  Is spam... and not da tasty kind.

* NO BIGGIE-SPONSORED EVENTS.  If it's a regular "biggies" club where tinies are invited... that's not a tiny event.  This group is for tinies-specific events.  Of course, biggies may be invited, 'cos it encourages them to be tinies. : )

* PLEASE AVOID REPETITIOUS POSTS.  If a group hosts a Tiny Dance every night and sometimes twice a day... please avoid driving members crazy by announcing every. single. event. (Instead, post a single notice with a notecard listing your week's events.)  Of course, if you're an event-prolific Tiny and regularly host unique and fun events, that's total okay. We're glad to have you join us!  Moderation and balance is the key.  We leave that bit of discernment in your paws.  Thanks for your cooperation.

We're happy to have you join us!  : )

 

TINY CENTRAL HISTORY

On Sept 16, 2022 a proposal was presented to Terry Ford, owner of DigiWorldz, to create a group to centralize event announcements for Tinies, Dinkies and Weefolk that exist on Opensim Grids, regardlesss of the grid where the event is held.  Terry approved the concept the same day:

Hi Snoots,
No problem at all on our end if you make your own group to do this, I think it's a great idea!
--Terry Ford   DigiWorldz, LLC

Friday, September 16th, 2022 (21:46)

The Tiny Central concept was a joint idea between Snoots Dwagon (usually a Dinkie Dwagon in appearance) and Shalheira Nailo (a well-known mechant of wee apparel and gear).  It was discussed and conceptualized, then upon approval Tiny Central was founded by Snoots and includes moderators to insure group adherance to posting guidelines.

 

--o--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

WHY OPENSIM Tags: opensim why opensim

 

WHY OPENSIM???

Note:  the following applies to the majority of public Opensim grids.  Opensim can be widely configured.  Individual grids may offer different features.

 

Opensim is an open-source program that supports a community of privately-owned virtual worlds, grids, and regions that operate just like Second Life.

Although many people are unaware of it, Opensim has more regions than Second Life.  Changes made in 2018 brought it up to technical standards and speeds that meet and excel those of SL. 

Opensim consists of thousands of GRIDS.  Think of Grids as if they are "planets", each self-contained, such as our planet Earth.  Each GRID has a name:  OSgrid, Kitely, Alternate Metaverse, DigiWorldz, ZetaWorldz and so on. There are literally thousands of Opensim grids. Within each grid there are lands known as REGIONS  that are somewhat like a city.  These REGIONS can be divided into smaller areas known as PARCELS (plots of virtual land).  Many grids employ a universe-wide teleport system called the HYPERGRID... a "grid super-highway" that allows you to teleport between grids. 

In short:  Opensim is large, powerful, inexpensive, popular, and offers...

* Very low prices.  On Opensim a standard price for a 2x2 VAR (512m x 512m or four "standard regions") is about $20 a month, depending on configuration-- and no setup fee. (Compare to SL $250 a month for one region... plus a significant setup fee.)

* Extra prims.   It is common for Opensim regions to allow 45,000 prims or more. 

* No upload fees.  That's right, uploads are free.

* VARs.  A "Variable Region" is a single region expanded to a much larger size.  The result:  you can have the equivalent of 64 regions (8x8) with no sim crossing lines.  2x2 (4 regions) and 4x4 (16 regions) VARs are very popular.  Imagine sailing a 20-passenger yacht or flying a large plane on a 2048m x 2048m region... with no sim lines!  (SL region limit: 256m... and only four avatars can cross a sim line on a vehicle.)

* NO LINK LIMITS.  You can link as many prims as  you like, for as far a distance as you like.  As an example, I built a spaceship that is 105m long, contains 1,000 prims of zero-lag detail, is fully linked as one object... and flies like a charm.

* LARGER PRIM SIZES.   Opensim allows prim sizes of 128m, 256m and larger, depending on the grid configuration.  This is great for building "sim boxes", domes, globes, walls, floors or large buildings.

* RUN YOUR OWN WORLD.  Many people run their own Opensim server using a spare computer (even a laptop) out of their own homes.  This gives you 100% control over your lands, along with the ability to back up all of your lands and contents, and to back up your entire inventory.  If you don't want to use your computer, some grids provide a server package for a fee, allowing you to be  your "own company" with total control over everything.

* YOU OWN YOUR STUFF.  You have 100% rights over things you create.  The open-source, low-cost nature of Opensim discourages policies that are against the welfare of the customer... because such policies would drive the customer to another grid.  And there are plenty of grids to choose from... or even create your own!

* THE HYPERGRID.  Hypergrid membership is optional for a grid, but hundreds of grids support it.  You can travel freely from one grid to another-- with the ability to explore like never before-- as easily as TPing from one region to another.

* FREEBIES.  Opensim is so inexpensive that many creators offer their items freely.  You will find freebies all over Opensim grids. 

Opensim grants all IP rights to the creator.  And at the very low cost of Opensim land, creators don't have to sell things to pay for extremely high land costs.  As a result, you'll find copyable freebies all over Opensim lands.  But for those who love to shop, there are stores aplenty.

* LESS STRESSFUL, MORE CREATIVE.  Without excessive land fees to pay, residents are less stressed.  And because lands are larger and allow more prims, have no link limits and allow larger prim sizes... residents have the ability to create like never before.

But what about SL friends and communities?

Many people own land and create things on Opensim, then log in to SL for community and Events.  You're not locked in to any one grid.  And there are communities and friends all over Opensim as well.  People host events and even large multi-grid gatherings such as OS Fest, where people from all over get together on a large collection of regions to show off their creations and lands, and to enjoy dozens of live performances and dances.  People also conduct Hypergrid tours, showing off interesting grids and lands.

Many creators build things on Opensim because of the free uploads... then port them in to Second Life.  Opensim offers the best of both worlds. 

That's why Opensim. 

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Let's Discuss Copybotting.  Some people claim that Opensim is a "copybot" system, but let's be honest and realistic:  there are copybotted / stolen items all over Second Life, and "freebies" are openly sold on SL Marketplace by people who did not create them-- with Linden Lab's full knowledge of such.  In truth, the SL TOS declares that all creations on the grid are company property. Realistically, one can't "swipe" more creations than everything

Copybotting is no more prevalent on Opensim than it is on Second Life itself... and there are many very talented creators on Opensim that design orginal products every day.   Most professional grids actively guard against copybotting, but we all know the reality:  It's nearly impossible to stop copybotting entirely-- even on Second Life.  it's just a reality of virtual worlds.  Pointing the finger at Opensim is a biased and unfair accusation. It is propaganda, drama and witch-hunting.  Opensim is a powerful system of virtual communities just like Second Life... but far less expensive.   This makes some people envious, so they point the "copybot" finger at Opensim.  But the truth is Opensim has no bigger problem with copybotting than Second Life itself-- a Grid that declared all user creations to be Linden Lab property.

Do copybotted items exist on Opensim?  Of course; they exist everywhere (including Second Life).  So while accusations of copybotting aren't untrue... they're not exactly fair and balanced either. There are uncounted thousands and thousands of original creations on Opensim... many of those creations exceeding what can be built on Second life (because of Opensim's advanced building tools).

 

HOW TO JOIN OPENSIM

Opensim is a series of thousands of grids that work like Second Life but are owned by separate companies or individuals.  A great deal of Opensim is connected by the HyperGrid, which allows members to travel freely between one grid and another by using HOP or GRID addresses.

To join Opensim, pick any grid of your choice and register with that grid.  From there you can travel to any other HyperGrid-connected grid.   Here is a list of prominent grids where you can get started.  Note these are only a few of many such grids.

OSgrid.org

Kitely.com

AviWorldz

Alternate Metaverse

ZetaWorlds  European-based: uses Euros

 

You can log into Opensim grids using the FIRESTORM Viewer.  (The Second Life Viewer is specific to SL and does not work on Opensim.)

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UPCOMING EVENTS
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: events elf clan

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Be sure to bookmark this page.  : )

 

OPENSIM EVENTS  For information on how to join Opensim (a series of grids apart from Second Life) please see end of this page. 

TO GET THERE:  Plug "hop" coordinates into Opensim chat, call up your chat window (ctrl-H) and click on the link.  (You must log into an Opensim grid first.)  You may have to teleport twice to arrive at your location.

Plug "grid" coordinates into the Viewer MAP and Teleport.  Again, you may need to teleport twice to arrive at your location.

 

SL EVENTS:  Plug the SLURL into the system MAP and teleport.  You may have to teleport twice to arrive at your location.

Saturday October 15 - 10 AM   Sci Fi expo: FILK performance (science fiction & fantasy folk songs).  Location to be announced.

 

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Please place these events on your personal calendar. 

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WHY OPENSIM?   <---- click this link for more information

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HOW TO LOCATE AND ELIMINATE LAGGY ITEMS Tags: lag laggy reduce eliminate
 
 
DWAGON LESSON:  HOW TO LOCATE LAG ITEMS
 
Here is one way to discern if an item is "laggy".  This method is great because it can help you determine if an item is laggy the moment you set it out.  It can also determine if already-existing items are laggy... and thus help you de-lag an entire region.
 
NOTE:  This method will not work for particles unless the particle script itself is really bad.  Particle control is a whole nuther lesson.  : )
 
 
MAKE THIS TEMPORARY CHANGE TO YOUR VIEWER
Top menu / Developer / Show Info / Show Updates to Objects.  CHECK
 
This will turn ON the "activity beacons", little dots that show object activity.  They can be turned off after lag check is finished.
 
Visit an area you wish to check, and STAND STILL. This only works when you aren't moving.  While you're moving items will be regularly updating and give false lag readings.
 
The first thing you might note will be regular red dots above your avatar.  This indicates the avatar is performing continual updates.  ALL avatars do this.  But this ordinarily only happens every 1/2 to 1 second, so it's not too bad. 
 
If you see regular red dots (especially almost constant) that means the avatar contains a badly-behaved active script that needs fixed (maybe several scripts). 
 
The same can be done for objects on a region.
 
If an object is inactive, there will be no marks.
 
If an object is only moderately active, it will show cautionary blue dots or waves.  This indicates the object is causing potential lag, but likely not too bad.  (I'm speaking in generalizations here.  "Lag" is a multi-definition term.)
 
If an object is active, it will have red dots coming from it.  If an object is excessively active, there will be numerous red dots coming from it.
 
It is best to eliminate as many red dots as possible.  Those are the "lag" objects on a region.  Usually this can be fixed by replacing or modifying scripts. 
 
Take care to not confuse distant red dots for local.  There is no distance occlusion in this, so you can quite easily see red dots from clear across a region, even through water, ground and mountains. 
 
If you believe you've found a red dot item, move around it to make sure the red dots are coming from that item.  Again, stand still to see if it's active.  When you move, items update both in position and angle of view, so naturally there will be red dots.  Thus the need to stand still and allow time for normal updates to finish.
 
You can tell if an entire area is "laggy" or not by looking for excessive red dots.  This is often best done from a bird's-eye view (flying and looking down).
 
 

WHAT DO DO WITH LAGGY ITEMS

Once you find a "laggy" item, you can decide what to do with it. 

 

* If it's an unimportant item, sometimes you can just delete it.  
 
* At other times the item is a good decoration but contains an unnecessary script.  In such case, deleting the script can eliminate the lag (take a copy of the item first).
 
* Sometimes an item is valuable in both appearance and function.  In such case perhaps the script(s) can be modified or replaced to eliminate lag.
 
* Sometimes a nice object contains a bad script and cannot be modified.  In such case the item may need to be replaced with something else, or if the lag isn't too bad, just accept the fact that some items lag.
 
Overall, it's best to eliminate all red dots to the greatest extent possible.  A region without red update dots is a happy region.  However, realize that some items by their very nature are active.  So be discerning.  Red dots aren't always "bad"... they just indicate a need for examination and consideration of alternatives. 
 
--o--
 
Unique Musical Instruments Tags: music instruments

 

Folks may know that I make box guitars (also known as "cigar box guitars" or CBGs), as well as standard electric guitars, guitar pickups, flutes and other music instruments.  The very name "box guitar" classifies it as a "guitar"... however it's played differently, tends to have only 3 strings, and most I've seen are made by hand (power tools are okay too).  To me, that makes almost the entire genre "unique".  All one has to do is Google Image CBGs and wow... what an odd assortment of instruments.  One of the things that makes CBGs "unique" to me is that if you ask a CBG maker what the basic "rules" are he'll say every time: "Only one:  there are no rules."

My store:  https://Etsy.com/shop/Wishbringer


Chicken Coop Blues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN7nVZbZue0

Great documentary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auY4Vx99MfE

Terrific playing of a simple 3-string amplified CBG (gotta luv it):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVxflu60qsA

Pure unplugged folk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIIEhH7xOXg

Another instrument that strikes me as unique is the bodhran, which is a thin Irish drum that is played with a double-headed drumstick called a tipper.  Because of that it sounds like one is playing with two drumsticks, when in reality it's one drumstick being flipped back and forth in one hand.  The other hand is placed behind the drum head to change timbre.  Of course they are mass-produced, but the concept always fascinated me.  I own a nice one and it is fun to play.

Great Bodhran demonstration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ChbigufBC8

An American instrument is the spoons, in which one cradles two wooden or metal spoons between the fingers and clacks them rhythmically between the leg and palm of the other hand.

This is as "folk" as you get:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TS9ugnarQQ

Well... maybe except for this:

https://youtu.be/hiZM47duWIo



Ocean Drums are odd in that they are played using pebbles inside the drum for an effect similar in concept to another interesting instrument, the rain stick.

Really good short ocean drum solo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVj888Yge7c

The Cajon is a drum made entirely out of wood.  The thicknesses of the wood on the front side are inclined.  One sits on the top of the drum and plays the front, which will give different tones depending on where it is thumped.  Players typically wear tape on their fingers to prevent injury.

Talented Cajon solo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyPk6-aEOoM

The Ektara (east Indian), Canjo (American instrument made from a can and stick of wood) or the Diddley Bow are all single-string instruments played either by finger pressure or using a glass / metal / ceramic / wood slide.  They are extremely easy to build by hand and produce an unexpectedly rich and incredible sound.

Short simple Diddley Bow demo:
https://youtu.be/T33fUCihG_g

Is it bed time yet?  That was a longer post than originally intended. ;D

My first CBG:
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2922/13480611274_0a584283ee_z.jpg

Notice the highly-professional metal hardware bolts used for the nut and bridge? :D

Elf Clan After Inworldz
Category: Elf Clan News

 

As I write this it is late October 2020, and it has been an odd few years.  Aside from the Inworldz grid self-destructing July 27, 2018 and changing the face of Elf Clan... the Covid-19 virus has changed the face of society globally. 

So what is the status of Elf Clan at this time?

 

ELF CLAN STATUS

Elf Clan still exists in name, history, and some rather incredible lands.  As of this writing (2020-11-04) Elf Clan affilite lands number over 130 regions... by far the largest we've been in our history!

When the Inworldz grid self-destructed, the centralized, "closed-wall" nature of Elf Clan that had existed from 2004 to 2018 ended.  Members of Elf Clan were able to spread throughout the virtual worlds, settling on different grids of their choice.  Some returned to Second Life (though not in Elf Clan capacity).  Others set up new homes on grids such as OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz.   Some returned to real life, having tired of the ups and downs of virtual worlds... and replaced virtual life with something more substantial.

 

ELF CLAN HISTORY EXHIBITS

The core home of Elf Clan settled on OSgrid in the form of three continents:  ElvenSong, ElvenGlen and Frankenstein.   All three of these are 5x5 VAR regions, 25 times the size of a normal SL region.  The huge amount of land and ocean area combined with no sim lines provided wonderful building and travel opportunities.

ElvenSong and ElvenGlen present the history of Elf Clan, including our orginal region with its immensely tall castle and the nearby Orc Fortress.  This is Elf Clan in 2005 when it existed on the Second Life platform.  Eldar Peter Lioncourt has placed additional lands and creations around the original ElvenGlen to achieve the huge woodland areas and sailable waters he's always enjoyed.

ElvenSong presents Elf Clan as it existed on Inworldz, with changes made to take advantage of the increased continent size.   The areas of ElvenMyst and Pirate's Cove have been merged with ElvenSong to form a large dual-island pair.  Here one will find ElvenSong Castle, Dwagons Keep (home of the Dwagons), the Poetry Guild Treehouse, Pirate's Cove, and the Elf Clan Museum that contains numerous beautiful, hand-picked photos of Elf Clan history.

In high-sky ElvenSong you will find Replicant City, our  enjoyable multi-genre science fiction exhibit. Replicant City is often featured on the splash page when logging in to OSgrid.  It has been greatly expanded and now includes nine detailed starships surrounding the City.  For science fiction fans this area offers hours and even days of exploration possibilities.

We have added to these regions Frankenstein.  As the name implies it is an experiment, a stitched-together complex of multiple worlds available on the Internet, as well as our own creations to add to the fun.   Almost everything on Frankenstein is free-to-copy.  It is one of the largest "freebie stores" anywhere, consisting of 25 themed regions.  

Wellspring on DigiWorldz grid is an 8x8 "ProServer" mini-grid consisting of 64 regions.  Owned by Alexina Proctor and Prax Maryjasz, Wellspring is the home of the famed Sendalonde Community Library (Sendalonde is Elvish for "peaceful haven"), as well as the newly-formed Rascal Flats tiny town on Varmints region.  Wellspring is a mutli-themed beautiful world that features Steampunk, Tiny and Fantasy themes.  Of the Elf Clan lands it is the most active, with planned events, three markets, tours and extensive creations by several individuals.

 

THE HISTORY LIVES

While Elf Clan is not as Event-active as it once was, if one wishes to explore the lands and history of one of the oldest and (at one time) largest themed groups on any virtual world... there is much on these lands to explore.  Elf Clan (according to Linden Lab) was the very first themed group to purchase a private region on Second Life. It was the first group to reach 500 members, then 1000 members... and just kept going (even to this day the group has almost 2,000 members).   On Inworldz we had a total of 54 regions.  We now have over 130 official and affiliate lands.

When we left Second Life (due to constantly changing policies and ridiculously high prices) and moved to Inworldz... that tiny 14-region micro-grid turned from an unknown grid into a 1,000+ region mega-grid.  Inworldz sadly self-destructed, resulting in moving our Elf Can home to OSgrid.  This actually turned out to be a good thing for our home lands; they're larger than ever before and far less expensive.

Elf Clan is hosted on two privately-owned servers, one in the U.S. and the other in the Netherlands.   ElvenSong, Frankenstein and Wellspring contain full self-guided tour systems.   So while the group itself exists primarily in name and history, the lands have never been larger or more interesting to explore.  We still host Live Music events.

You are invited to visit these lands on OSgrid and DigiWorldz either by registering with that grid or hopping directly to the lands via the Hypergrid (a system that hooks together virtual worlds).  The history is interesting, the lands fascinating, and your avatar will by no means leave empty-handed.  : )

--o--

 

 

Retrospect 2019 Tags: retrospect

 

REFLECTIONS OVER THE YEARS

I started virtual worlds in 2000 with Worlds.com, a modem-based,  under-powered, yet fun platform where very few people built and most people met just to explore and socialize.  I moved to Second Life in 2004 after reading an ad on Google.

Somewhere in there Wayfinder founded a small group called Elf Clan, which for odd reasons grew to be the largest themed group on Second Life for several years.  Go figure.  Our touring lands exist to this day. 

Due to host company problems and extremly high costs on Second Life, Elf Clan moved to Inworldz in 2010 and shut down our SL holdings in 2011.  When Inwordz died we set three continents OSgrid in 2018.  Elf Clan affiliate lands now number over 160 regions... the largest land holdings in the history of the group.

Elf Clan Central on OSgrid now consists of four continents, consisting of 100 regions, running on three self-hosted servers literally spread across the Earth.  Elf Clan members have moved to grids throughout the Hypergrid.  We have changed in form from being a social, heavy-event-oriented group with very high monthly costs, to lands that run on the cost of electricity and that are scripted and fully-automated to host tours for both our Fantasy and Science Fiction worlds.  We have official member lands on OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz, and the residents there are quite happy.

The great thing about owning our own servers is that we can now enjoy our virtual worlds without consideration for finances or "will things be there tomorrow?".  We are able to back up everything, including land, inventory and assets.  100% control  and ownership over our own creations is a wonderful thing.

The Eldar have complete control over our land backup, inventory backup and server operation parameters.  We no longer have corporate whims controlling how our group functions.  We need no longer worry about meeting monthly tier, or a company going back on their word and destroying valuable group lands.   The sense of peace and removal of stress on the Eldar and land holders is palpable, and appreciated.  In short, our virtual life has never been more peaceful, stress-free, and low-cost.

As a result, both group leaders and members feel a sense of freedom that we could not experience before.

 
THE ORBIT EFFECT-- controlling your own virtual experience
One thing I have noticed over the years in virtual society as well as real life:  people tend to gravitate toward and orbit around prominent / charismatic figures.  I noticed this with both Wayfinder and Snoots.  When they were very active in Elf Clan, the group was lively and active.  When they "retired", the group became far less active.
 
This is somewhat a shame, as it is still possible to host events, to have drum parties, celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, etc.  It's just that no one does so any more. 
 
I've never considered myself "charismatic", but the "orbit" effect was undeniable. However, a friend actually had to point this out to me before I noticed it.  We see this around popular figures in all walks of life and in many groups on virtual worlds.  I remember in the old days we had a "rule of thumb" in Elf Clan:   Bored?  Stand in the sandbox for 15 minutes and soon you will have a party.  People gravitate toward one another, and orbit around the active, outgoing avatars. 
 
Just an observation:  if you want an active group, be available and active yourself.  Become the charismatic "orbit figure".  In our case  no one else was willing to step up to the plate and take over the  job of events-- which told us that our group members were quite satisfied with a more relaxed atmosphere.  So today Elf Clan consists of highy-engaging automated tours that can help visitors enjoy our lands and history.
 
SOCIAL VENUES
Our dispersal throughout Hypegrid has largely eliminated such venues and replaced them with automated adventures.  I admit missing the Drum Circle or the company of like-minded souls around a camp fire... but do enjoy the fascinating experiences to be found on our OSgrid worlds of ElvenSong, Replicant City and Frankenstein.  The historic build of ElvenGlen (the very first privately-owned non-business region on Second Life) gives people a glimpse into the past history of both our group and virtual worlds.
 
MIXED FEELINGS
Virtual worlds can be used for many good things.  They can be a social center for the disabled.  (Moderately disabled ones might make effort to get out and make friends in the real world, because virtual worlds are no substitute for real life.)   Virtual worlds can make a decent hobby, as entertainment, and as a creative platform-- if that use is kept to moderate levels.  When one allows that recreation to become a primary focus of life and their "second life" becomes their first life-- that's when personal value and true accomplishment suffers. 
 
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES
I discovered that truth when I "took a vacation" from virtual worlds for about 4 years or so.  I had already built and accomplished what I wanted to in virtual life and realized it had become unfulfilling.  Linden Lab had managed to destroy all of our efforts on Second Life.  We had accomplished everything we set out to accoplish on Inworldz (and quite a bit more)... but it proved an empty achievement when the grid died.  Everything was virtual and as Inworldz absolutely proved, could vanish in a moment.   
 
That's the reality of anything really, but when a virtual grid dies an entire "planet" collapses-- something seldom seen in real life.
 
When I took that four-year vacation (with virtual life taking almost zero time) I learned a brand new skill:  designing and building music instruments... which I was surprised to learn I had a hitherto-unknown talent for.  I then opened a RL online music business.  During that period I designed three totally new types of music instruments that sold rather well (and earned far more money than I ever earned from virtual sales).  Had I not taken that vacation from virtual life, I'd have never accomplished those things in real life. That was a very sobering thought.  It caused me to wonder what I had missed during the years I'd spent so heavily involved in virtual worlds.
 
The reality there is that there are options to virtual life.  "Virtual worlds have virtual success."  After two major "disasters", many in our group have found this to be quite true.
 
DON'T GET ME WRONG...
None of this is meant to condemn virtual worlds.  Wonderful things are accomplished on virtual worlds every day.  Charities benefit from virtual events. People learn from virtual worlds.  
 
All of this just means we do well to maintain a balanced view of it all, realizing there are alternatives to virtual life-- namely real life.  I've learned to break the habit of hitting the Viewer button every time I'm bored and instead search for other things to occupy my time.    There is so much else out there, so many people that need our help and attention... and so many lonely people who could simply use a face-to-face friend. Virtual World Addiction is like any other addiction; sometimes we have to work hard to break away and seek  more valid lifestyle.
 
There is much to be said for sipping a cuppa and simply chatting for a while with someone who is alone and lonely.  An older friend, a shut-in, someone who is disabled and can't get around by themselves.  It requires effort beyond typing on a keyboard.  It is more personal than triggering a dance animation at a virtual party, more fulfilling than sitting staring at a screen for two hours.   As enjoyable as virtual friendship scan be, real life friendships have proved more lasting and rewarding.
 
VIRTUAL IS ONLY VIRTUALLY FULFILLING
In the end game, virtual reality is virtual.  It may touch lives in personal ways, but like anything can be abused and become unbalanced, taking over our lives.  In retrospect I realize that to exist for 18 years in virtual worlds, I had to give up a great deal in the real world.  
 
Consider (and there is no brag here, just fact):  On SL I founded the first Poetry Guild.  Elf Clan proved to be a marvel.  We purchased the first privately-owned themed island, were the first non-business group to reach 500 members, then 1,000, then 2,000.   We created a business model that influenced all of Second Life.   As a prominent SL newsletter stated, Elf Clan set more paths and more people followed those paths than any other group to date.  I admit much of this was unintentional; I was just doing what we felt was necessary for the group.  But in doing so we blazed some trails. 
 
When we moved to Inworldz, the entire grid consisted of 14 regions, 13 of those company-sponsored (only one belonged to an individual).   People followed Elf Clan... and thirty days later Inworldz had 200 regions.  Within sixty days it hit 500 regions and by the end of the year-- 8 months later, was the first non-SL commercial grid to top 1,000 regions.   During my time on SL and Inworldz I started two virtual businesses, becoming an established builder, scripter, instructor and live music performer.    I spent an average of 6 to 12 hours a day in virtual worlds, 7 days a week.
 
To accomplish such things and then have them fail due to problems with the host companies (in both cases-- Linden Lab and Inworldz), defines the very essense of "virtual".  As a group we saw 14 years of effort and over $200,000 U.S. in land fees go down the drain.  If this happened to Elf Clan... as large and successful as we were... what can others expect? 
 
It's not that similar things don't happen in real life.  They do. Large businesses fail due to no fault of their own.  People lose real lives due to disease, age, or accidents.   Families are torn apart due to drama.  People lose jobs.  If anything, virtual worlds reflect all too realistically the real world.
 
The point of all this is simple:  as an individual I was privileged to accomplish more than most people ever get to experience in virtual worlds.  Only large group owners, land barons and successful merchants would understand the effort that goes into doing so.  It would be difficult for a person to accomplish more than we accomplished with Elf Clan. (Raglan Shire is still at it after all these years.  They understand.) 
 

Some things for certain:  I know that Elf Clan helped change the lives of at least a couple of people, giving them a solid foundation around which they formed their real life ethics and goals.  (The Elf Clan Charter is in its most basic terms, simply a guide for life, be it virtual or real.)  But if there's something I learned about virtual worlds:  they are as temporary as yesterday's newspaper.

 
VIRTUAL WORLDS IN 2019-- AND THE NEXT 18 YEARS
So the question of what I will do for the next 18 years comes to mind.   Whatever I choose, I hope it will be with increased wisdom, insight, accomplishment and benefit. Some of that will have been learned from activities on virtual worlds, interacting with the people there and learning skills that applied to real life.  For that I am grateful.  But one always wonders about the path not taken.
 
Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors-- and wise choices in how we use our limited days on this planet.
 

--Wayfinder Wishbringer / Snoots Dwagon

 
 
Elf Clan Grids and Lands
Category: Elf Clan News

 

CLICK HERE to become an Elf Clan affiliate grid or land.

 

ELF CLAN AFFILIATE GRIDS

Elf Clan lands currently consist of 144 regions on multiple worlds.  Our home region is ElvenSong on OSgrid

This list will update on occasion.  Please bookmark this link and check back from time to time.  In alphabetical order:

DigiWorldz 

Kitely

OSGrid

Second Life

 

ELF CLAN AFFILIATE LANDS

Land name / Grid / Size (number of regions)

ElvenSong -- OSgrid  5x5   Elf Clan's home lands, central Elf Clan ContinentIncludes Replicant City and Pirate Cove.  Owner: Snoots Dwagon

ElvenGlen -- OSgrid 5x5  western  Elf Clan Continent.  Reproduction of the original Elf Clan region.  Owner: Peter Lioncourt

Frankenstein -- OSgrid 5x5 northern Elf Clan Continent.  Freebies and massive insanity.  Owner: Snoots Dwagon

Sendalonde -- DigiWorldz 8x8 continent.  Home of Sendalonde Community Library & Rascal Flats on Varmints.  Owners:  Alexina Proctor & Prax Maryjasz

Total region count:  139

 

Members wishing to host Elf Clan affiliate regions and have placement on this list, please check our article on the home page for information.

 

 

How to JOIN ELF CLAN
Category: Elf Clan News
Tags: join

 

How to JOIN ELF CLAN

 

Visit any of our AFFILIATE GRIDS, Search for the ELF CLAN group, and JOIN.  It's open-join on all affiliate grids.  You can join on multiple grids if you wish.  Our two primary grids are Second Life and DigiWorldz.  (OSgrid doesn't have group functions for Elf Clan.)

 

GRIDS please contact us to have us set up the Elf Clan group on your grid and add you to our list of affiliate grids.

 

How to Register an Elf Clan Land

People become an Elf Clan affiliate land because they wish to declare their lands family-friendly, themed lands. It costs you nothing, we take charge of nothing, nor do we interfere with operation of your land. 

Elf Clan is widely-known for its G-rated, family-friendly, theme-based lands.   Many people love this concept and wish their lands (and even groups) to be  affiliated with Elf Clan.  We feature the themes of fantasy, science fiction and steampunk.

Joining your land to Elf Clan gains you recognition as being visitor- and family-friendly.  As we list all affiliate lands on this site, it can gain you visitors and bring you new friends.   Moderation of your lands / regions remains totally under your control (if we happen to receive a complaint we simply forward it to the land owner).  You can retain your own group identity and still be an Elf Clan affiliate. 

To join your land to Elf Clan, please contact Snoots Dwagon on  on Kitely or OSgrid.  It is best to do so by notecard, as IMs can get lost or capped. 

Let us know:

1. Your land name (VAR, region, world, whatever)

2. Your GRID name (company that hosts your land)

3. Your AVATAR name

4. Your THEME choice (fantasy, science fiction or steampunk)

5. Any comments or specifics you wish to add

Upon approval (verification of information via exploration) we will send you the Elf Clan Banner, which is placed at or near your landing point.  This lets visitors know you are a family-friendly land.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES

To examine what joining your lands to Elf Clan entails, please read our Visitor Guidelines.  These will provide you with a good, short-to-read outline of how the Elf Clan group operates. 

Please note that many changes have taken place recently.   If you feel something is out of date or needs revised, please let us know.

 

-- The Eldar of Elf Clan

 

OWNING YOUR OWN REGION
Category: Elf Clan News

 

ELF CLAN RELOCATES pt 2

Pt 1 click  here

WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE

Our members love the concept of Elf Clan.  Our G-rated, family-friendly,

* Honor * Respect * Friendship * Charter concepts are appealing to many.  It is that concept that brought so many people to follow us to Inworldz and eventually set up 54 unique regions.  It is that concept which caused Elf Clan to grow beyond our greatest expectations.

At this time the framework of Elf Clan has changed.  We are no longer land locked.  Our lands need no longer be owned by one person and rented out.  Our members have greater freedom to choose their home locations.

When we first moved to Inworldz, it was the only real viable option.  At that time no other grid outside of Second Life offered group-oriented functions or coalesced inventory (the ability to take unlinked objects to inventory and re-rez them in original form instead of a pile of puzzle pieces).   So the choice was straight-forward.

What this means is that Elf Clan members can now choose from several grids.   We are no longer limited to one, single option.

 

OWNING YOUR OWN REGION
Many of our members have never owned a region before, primarily due to the cost.  Even on Inworldz our discount price of $40 a month could be out of the pocketbook range of many.   However... what if you could own a region for $20?   $15?   $10... or less? 

Grids outside of Second Life and Inworldz offer an amazing range of packages designed to meet just about any pocketbook. So you can now pick a grid, choose the price level you can afford, and set up home.   There is no longer need to rent land... when you can own an entire region for a price so low it's difficult to resist.  

As far as hobbies go, owning your own region is now a fairly inexpensive choice. On the other end, our highly-creative power-builders can obtain lands that can meet pretty much any goal you can dream up for around $40 a month.

 

SETTING UP AN OFFICIAL ELF CLAN LAND
Most of our members came to Elf Clan for one reason:  we are a G-rated, family friendly fantasy-themed group.   People like our peaceful, harmonious lands and find them a beautiful place to relax, free of the pressures of outside lands.  The core of this is not a grid, nor an area of land... but the Elf Clan Charter, which for years has guided our group. 

Original the Charter was extensive... necessarily so to protect our group from the extreme and arbitrary limitations of Second Life.  Now we are more free to relax and spread out, and our Charter is much simpler to follow.  Individual land owners decide on their own "rules"... so long as they maintain the basics:

* Family friendly and visitor-friendly lands

* Honor * Respect * Friendship

* G-rated public areas (Mature areas are clearly marked or restricted to high sky)

* No nationalistic, religious, or obviously controversial conponents.  Elf Clan is neutral and non-controversial in theme.

So long as a member is willing to implement the concepts of the Elf Clan Charter on their lands... that land can be an "Official Elf Clan Affiliat" no matter where it is based.  (Obviously this cannot be the case on openly "adult" grids which use sex as a marketing theme.)

To become an affiliat, contact Snoots Dwagon at Kitely grid.  We will examine your land and provide you with an Elf Clan Affiliate Banner to post at the entry point of your land.  The banner bears our group logo and simply reads:  "Elf Clan Affiliate Lands- G-rated, Family Friendly".

It's a nice banner.  : )

Now about grids, Hypergrid, VARs, OARs, IARs and the rest...

=====================

CHOOSING A GRID

When choosing a grid, please be sure to read the fine print.  Most grids have websites.  We recommend you examine those sites thoroughly.  Some grids have costs in addition to their monthly fees.  Some have "gotchas" which you may find incompatible with your needs.  Some may offer special features that you will very much desire.   Pretty much every grid has its pros and cons. The trick is in the details. Pay attention to the details. 

 
VARIABLE REGIONS
Both Second Life and Inworldz offered single regions measuring 256m x 256m.  Crossing a sim line limits the number of avatars that can ride a physical vehicle and also involves data exchange between the regions that involves a significiant amount of time and promotes lag.  "Sim crossing issues" are well-known on single-region grids.

VARs, or Variable Regions, expand the size to whatever the grid allows.  Some grids offer "2x2" regions (512m x 512m, or 4 regions total in size), "4x4" (1024m x 1024m or 16 regions in size) or even huge 8x8 (64 region) VARs (of course, these bear cost appropriate to land size and prim usage). 

So for those who want lots of land, sailing oceans or flying area, these super-regions can be a very pleasant experience.  No sim line issues  and lots of room for landscaping, forests, streams and lakes.  If you're a person who likes to spread out your creations, a VAR can provide you a vast sandbox.

Be aware that regardless of the size of a VAR,  it is still controlled by one server core (ask the grid company for specifics of server provision).  Just because a VAR measures 8x8 and allows a million prims doesn't mean the server can actually handle whatever you throw at it.  You still need to be conscious of texture use, scripts and other issues, the same as you would with a single region.  The main difference is you have far more land now available to you.

THAT SAID... if you use good, low-lag (or zero-lag) scripts, watch your texture placement and build sensibly, you can do some rather remarkable things on your VAR.  

For example...

On our Elf Clan Home lands we decided on a 5x5 VAR (25 regions in area).  The majority of that is sailable ocean with the occasional island or landmark.  IN THE MIDDLE of this incredible-size area we have ElvenSong, the Elf Clan Home region.  It is loaded with items including:   ElvenSong Castle, Elf Clan Museum, Dwagons Keep, the Secret Dwagon Playground, the Elf Clan Gardens, the Poetry Guild Treehouse, Dance Grotto, Thirsty Dragon Tavern, Pirates Cove, ElvenMyst Castle, the Drum Circle, and much more.

In high sky we have  REPLICANT CITY-- The huge science-fiction-themed, highly-interactive multi-museum that has been enjoyed by many a visitor.  It is a prime tourist attraction on OSgrid.

In addition to this we have a huge sailable ocean with functioning rezzable ships.  This is all on one region which measures 1,280 msq.

ElvenSong is one of the most building-intensive, power-scripted regions in all of Elf Clan... and we managed to put all of this on a single VAR on our own server with no discernible lag.  Build smart and your VAR will be happy.

On FRANKENSTEIN, we took 25 full OARs (individual region worlds) and as an experiment stitched them together on one continent, offering a patchwork quilt of multiple themes, activities and freebies.  Worked like a charm.

So this gives you an idea of what can be done on a VAR-enabled grid.  The creative freedoms you'll experience and the vast open-travel can be incredible.  Imagine building the worlds largest virtual roller coaster... or a train system that travels through 36 regions... or the greatest forest/lake area you can imagine with your home right in the middle.  

Handled correctly and sensibly, VARs are one of the greatest features of OpenSim-based grids.

=====================
NOT A BUILDER?  
Is building not your thing? You have two choices:  the markets (which contain many items that cater to the Hypergrid)... or FREEBIES.  You see, freebies are all over the place.  You can create an entire world based on just freebies.  If you visit somewhere, right click on an object and if it says COPY... you can copy it.  Left click an item and see if it gives you a copy of itself.  That's all part of the fun.  Pick freebies up, set them out.  It's like Legos on steroids.  What's more, if you don't have an OAR already (a pre-built world), there are FREE OARS on the Internet, ready to download and upload to your preferred grid.  Instant world!

=====================
WHAT GRIDS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR OUR MEMBERS?

Just because we have decided to home on OSgrid doesn't mean all of Elf Clan needs to do so.  You can do so if you wish, but there are other options, depending on your personal needs.  

We already listed  recommended grids in the first part of this set of articles.   Which you choose is completely up to you and your needs.  What we can do is provide a little insight based on our years of creating lands and groups.

 

THAT'S WHERE MY FRIENDS ARE

Considering the nature of the Hypergrid (being able to port anywhere and chat with anyone, anywhere), "because that's where most of my friends are" isn't necessarily the best reason for choosing a grid.  We encourge our members to consider ALL areas of importance (price, prims, services, ease of use, etc) when chosing where they are going to make their virtual home-- possibly for years to come.  You can freely travel between one grid and another just as you travel from one region to another.  On the other hand if you're a member of a centralized group, homing where that group exists may be the best option.

 

OAR AND IAR FILES
OAR files are complete copies of your region / VAR... including land, objects, scripts, the whole works.  It is basically a "data photograph" of what you build.  Such files can be made and saved to your own hard drive for absolute security of your work in case any individual grid winds up no longer existent.  So you will want to inquire as to the grid's specific OAR policies.  Different grids have different OAR policies and restrictions.  Are the OARs made for you (at a cost) or do you create them?  Are the oar files kept on their servers or available for you to download to your own computer?  Are there fees involved in creating OAR files?  These are very important questions to ascertain before "buying a home".

IAR files are copies of your inventory.  These too can be saved to your hard drive.  Similar questions should be asked about IAR policy.  Most grids do not allow IAR download... so if that grid goes offline (as we saw happen with Inworldz), your inventory is toast.  Consider this strongly before investing in a grid.

Note that on most grids there are exceptions to what can be saved.  If you have created an item yourself, or if you own items that are FULL PERM and TRANSPORTABLE (can be moved between grids), those items can often be saved to your local hard drive (depending on your Viewer).  On some grids full perm items are considered your property and can be backed up to your hard drive.  If the grid you are on suddenly ceases to exist, you merely find a new grid and upload your OAR and IAR files.  Your lands and avatar (theoretically) can continue from where you left off.  (Understand of course, nothing is perfect, nor guaranteed.)

If however an item has restrictions (nomod, nocopy, notrans or no transport)... it will be excluded from OAR and IAR files.  That means if the grid crashes... those items will not be able to be restored from your backups.

Inworldz had no OAR or IAR capabilityElf Clan members would do well to remember that experience.

Most items found on OSgrid are free and quite often full-perm.   If you decide to shop at a market on another grid, be aware of the PERMISSIONS before purchasing the object, then make your decision to purchase according to whatever limitations you are willing to accept.  

======================
THE DIFFERENT GRIDS
We will very briefly discuss here the primary strengths of the three  grids we fully examined.   We do not here include grids that charge fees for services normally included free on most other grids, as such charges can significantly increase your monthly costs.

======================
OSGRID
SUMMARY: Total control on self-owned lands.  Prices range from free to reasonable.

This is considered the "center" of the OpenSim experiment and is the largest of the grids.  It is the "generic" OpenSim grid which offers a rather nice option:  you can host your land yourself, either on your home computer-- or via a server-provider-- and connect it to OSgrid.  You can have full, 100% control over every aspect of your lands.  This is somewhat for the do-it-yourselfers, but offers the greatest power of any grid.

OSgrid is pretty much raw OpenSim code without the specialized DEV work provided by high-tech grids. There can be quite a bit of effort involved in setting up your own server if you decide to go that route.  If you use a server-provider that hassle is largely eliminated (but more expensive).  Home-based self-servers are FREE aside from the cost of electricity (OSgrid does recommend donating to the cause to keep the asset servers online).  Server-providers charge a fee for server space and service.  So you can check around and decide which you prefer, depending on your techinical skills and pocketbook.  

There are lots of "freebies" on OSgrid (and the Hypergrid for that matter).  You can build an entire world just out of freebies. 

Due to the "free" nature of the grid, OSgrid offers full unlimited OAR and IAR processes.

* Be aware that nothing is actually "free".  OSgrid does have overhead, and regular funding drives are held to pay for such.   All members of OSgrid are encouraged to give as generously as they can in order to keep the primary asset servers online... and even improve the quality of those servers over time. 

=================

DIGIWORLDZ
SUMMARY:  Lots of LAND for your money. Social grid with privacy options.

DigiWorldz offers up to 6x6 VARs that can be connected side-to-side, allowing groups to create entire continents should they choose.  Plenty of air and water space for those who enjoy vehicle travel.

DigiWorldz offers a wide variety of packages by separting land and prim purchase.  Decide on the type of land you want, then add to that "prim paks" to meet the total number of prims you will likely use.  If you don't need a lot of prims one of their low-price land packages may suit your taste. 

DigiWorldz offers both the least-expensive and highest-end  land packages-- depending on your needs.  If you want super-cheap first-owner land, this is a good option.  Larger, more prim-packed lands are available, depending on your pocketbook.  DigiWorlds offers low-pricing packages that make regions available to those who could never before own their own lands, as well as ProServer packs that allow 12-core power and your own registry system... a "grid within a grid".

Both DigiWorldz and Kitely are very user-friendly and have excellent tech support. 

With any grid, count the land size desired along with your total prim count needs to calculate the cost per month of owning your own region, and then purchase what you need.  You can always expand later if required.

=====================

KITELY
SUMMARY:  Lots of PRIMS for the money.  Total privacy by design, social if desired.

Kitely offers up to 4x4 private worlds that are hidden in every way from surrounding lands, "worlds within the world".    It also offers "always on" MegaWorlds that are 8x8 in size (64 regions). 

Kitely is best known for KITELY MARKET, a large, highly-professional shopping system akin to SL Marketplace. Many items can be taken to whatever grid you wish (check the permissions before purchase).  Kitely owners are very friendly and support is excellent.

Kitely offers three simple plans that are easy to choose from.   All of these plans are low-cost.  In order to accomplish that, your region "turns on" only when you or someone else enters the region.   A short period of "log in" time is required (usually ranging from 40 seconds to 2 minutes), during which you wait for your region to load.  This is not an excessively long time; Kitely members soon get used to this unique process.  Their popularity is proved by the fact that Kitely is second only to OSgrid in land area.

Each Kitely region is a "world unto itself".  You can teleport to other Kitely "worlds" and vice versa, but cannot be connected side-by-side to other worlds.  This is great for those who want absolute privacy, as each Kitely world is physically invisible to those around it -- even by camera.   (See the Kitely website and read thoroughly regarding this arrangement.)

Kitely offers strong and functional website-based tools for its members that allow you to create your own OAR files, download them to your hard drive, and manage your region without entering the world itself.  Kitely does not offer IAR ability.  

=====================

3rd ROCK GRID

SUMMARY:  Balanced price structure.

The most observable thing about this grid is its age (going on 10 years now) and its balanced price / land / prim structure.  It is moderate in all directions, both land and prims increasing as one's pocketbook allows. 

Friendly tech support, a solid-feeling foundation and long time in the business makes this a worthy choice.  Members will want to ask them about their OAR and IAR policies before settling in and make sure grid policy meets your needs.

=====================

ALL GRIDS, EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING THE ABOVE

Whenever looking for a new home on a virtual world grid, there are two primary ways to go:

1) Follow the suggestions of your friends.  Hey, it worked for them...

2) Research and examine the grid you're considering to see if it meets your needs and pocketbook.

3) Ask yourself how long the grid is likely to be around.  Grids come and go, regularly.  The long-time grids will likely be more dependable.

If you choose to research, here are some suggestions:
* Register with the grid, go in, check it out.  See what you think about it from first impressions.   Spend a few hours (or days) exploring and getting used to it.  There's no rush to buy-in.
* Read the website.   Each grid has a website that tells about what it offers.  Read it as thoroughly as you can.
* Read between the lines, read the fine print.   Pay as much attention to what they don't say as to what they say.
* If you have any questions, CONTACT the grid owners, file a support ticket, or go in-world and speak with the users.
* Ask the major questions:
    * Do they offer a money-back guarantee if you set up and don't like it? (Not essential, but many grids do.)
    * Do they allow OAR backup?  Is there a charge for such?  (Most grids offer limited OAR backup, or none at all.)
    * Do they allow IAR backup? (Few grids do.)
    * How is the grid itself backed up?   To local servers or to external servers?  How often?
    * How many people are involved in managing the grid?  (A 1 or 2 person grid is naturally succeptable to the health of a limited staff.)
    * Is the grid connected to the hypergrid or is it a "closed grid"?
    * What happens to the grid if something happens to the owner?  (Yes, we know these are the "tough questions".  They're also valid questions.  This is a business.  You are "investing" in this business.  As a customer you have a right to know how your assets are protected in case of unexpected catastrophe.)

    ... etc etc.   You may wish to write down a list of questions to ask.

Remember:  you're not just handing them a little bit of money and "let's see what happens".  You will likely be paying this company a regular fee, every month, for a very long time.   Your investment will add up over time... so make a wise choice.

 

THE GOOD NEWS...
...is that Elf Clan has a home.  The other good news is that you can choose to join us... pretty much anywhere.   

You can be an official Elf Clan landholder... or not, as you wish.  The question to ask:  do you love the concept of Elf Clan and wish to remain a part of that concept?  Everywhere the Elf Clan banner is seen, people will know these lands are open to visitors, G-rated, family-friendly, and real life is left at the door.   Elf Clan is where people come to get away from real life, to relax, to enjoy friends and community. 

You will not harm Elf Clan if you decide to not be an official land.  You can help Elf Clan grow in popularity and reputation by hosting beautiful, official Elf Clan affiliate lands.  The choice is entirely yours.

Our very best wishes to all.

 

-- The Eldar of Elf Clan

 

 

 

 

 

Elf Clan's Relocation-Official Announcement
Category: Elf Clan News

 

ELF CLAN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF GROUP RELOCATION 

Pt 1

Pt 2 click here

 

ELF CLAN HOME:   ElvenSong at OSgrid.  ElvenSong is part of the 75-region Elf Clan continents which include ElvenGlen, Dwagons Keep, the high-sky science fiction themed Replicant City, Pirate's Cove, Frankenstein (2020) and vast sailing oceans. 

GROUP ANNOUNCEMENTS will be made via Second Life and DigiWorldz grids and will send you to the Events listing here.  Please join the Elf Clan group on those grids if you wish to receive group announcements. 

 

WE'RE ALIVE AND KICKING!  :D

 

Read the following for details.

 

Greetings members!   

 

We expect you have been waiting to hear where Elf Clan has decided to locate our new home.  We are pleased to announce the Eldar have come to a unanimous decision in this matter.

First, we would like to thank you all very much for your patience.  We have spent over four weeks of many-hours-a-day intensive research to come to our decision. 

This has not been an easy decision to make... because we wished to arrive at a solution that would be beneficial to all of our members, not just some.  We have heard the phrase, "You can't please all the people all the time".  And yet that's what we have been working to accomplish. Our group is learning to become more flexible. As far as our group members go, we believe we have arrived at a solution that best achieves this goal.

 

THE FIRST DECISION

On July 27, 2018 the well-known Inworldz grid went off-line.  All customer inventory assets were lost.  Most land assets were lost (with a few exceptions that we managed to salvage-- fortunately which include the historic Elf Clan home regions).

There are many reasons this happened, but the primary reason entails one simple issue:   Inworldz was a "closed grid" and did not follow the standard business practice of maintaining an off-site mirror backup of vital information.  So when the servers were shut down by the hosting company... the entire asset data system was lost.  Because of copyright and intellectual property issues, restoration even of saved OAR files provided only very limited salvage, as the "filtering" process is expected to be severe.

In light of these issues the first thing the Elf Clan Eldar considered was whether or not we wished to remain part of a "closed grid" system.  The answer was no.  Group position in this:  After our experience with Second Life ($50,000 group land investment) and Inworldz ($150,000 group land investment), Elf Clan as a group shall never again support nor invest in a closed grid.   There was no question among the Eldar in this matter.  While closed grids are fine for individuals and hobbyists, we consider entrusting our creations solely to another entity over which we have no control to be a very costly bad idea.   Experiences on Second Life and Inworldz made this very clear.

We wish to clarify that any Elf Clan member who wishes to remain part of a closed-grid is welcome to do so and still remain part of Elf Clan (even officially).  However we have arrived at another solution for the group in general.


THE NEW "HOME" OF ELF CLAN

It is the unanimous decision of the Elf Clan Eldar our new home shall be:  Everywhere.

In short, instead of being centered on one grid, with all land held and managed by one person and rented out,  Elf Clan members may home on any grid they wish to reside.  People have different needs and desires.  Different grids offer different options.  The good news:  the prices are considerably lower than SL or Inworldz, more land in the deal, and more prims to work with.   We're going Opensim.

By this concept:  We have decided to host our primary land ourselves... on our own servers located around the globe.  We have made this decision because it allows us maximum, 100% control over our historic creations, and 100% security in the handling of our home lands and inventory.  This decision will help maintain our primary historic lands and landmark creations while giving our members full latitude on where to place their own lands.

Elf Clan home lands are located at:  ElvenSong region on OSgrid.  Since OSgrid does not sponsor group notices, such will be sent out via the friendly DigiWorldz grid.  (We encourage those looking for their own home lands to check out both DigiWorldz and Kitely as stable and long-existing grids.)

ElvenSong is a 5x5 (25 region) VAR*.  It is mostly ocean with lands in the center.  ElvenSong is at ground level with Replicant City in high sky. Off to the side is Pirate Cove and ElvenMyst Castle.  These lands are owned and managed by Snoots Dwagon.  Alt Wayfinder Wishbrigner remains Founder and primary manager of the group.

Eldar Peter Lioncourt hosts ElvenGlen... a re-creation of our original home region, including the incredibly tall Elf Clan Castle, Elven Falls, the Ork Embassy and Fortress, and our ancient mascot FRED overlooking the lands.

* (See pt 2 of this article for more information on VARs.)

UPDATE September 2019:  These lands have been joined by Frankenstein... a humorous and eclectic colletion of stiched-together regions which are fully explorable and contain numerous freebies.  This gives us a total of 75 total regions on the central Elf Clan Continents.)

UPDATE August 2020:  Our home lands have been joined by the Wellspring group (now housed on DigiWorldz) as official affiliate lands, adding 64 regions to the preceding 75.  Wellspring is the host of the well-known Sendalonde Community Library, and the new Rascal Flats tiny town. Wellspring has been a long-time supporter of Elf Clan and good friends.  We are very pleased to have them choose to be an official affiliate.  Be sure to visit these visitor-friendly lands. 

 

 

THE NEW ELF CLAN

For many years Elf Clan has been a very active, event-oriented group.  When we moved to Inworldz we became a community group of separately-owned, close-proximity neighbors.  Now after almost two decades were are relaxing a bit and turning our attention toward becoming creative vistior-oriented lands, with the focus on automated tours and historic builds to chronicle the development of Elf Clan over the years.  We're no longer as active as we used to be, nor do we need to be.  We'll let younger ones take up that banner.  Nevertheless, we'll have enjoyable events from time to time as opportunity presents.

Our new homes are quite functional and work as well as they did on Second Life and Inworldz. We have far more space and lots of sailing room with no sim crossing lines.  The fact that we now have three huge 25-region continents plus the 64 regions of Wellspring means we have more land and ocean space than in our entire group history (Second Life:  8 regions.  Inworldz: 54 regions.  Current: 130+ regions.

We have set up Elf Clan as a group on several grids. Elf Clan members have set up their homes on these grids. If you so desire, you can do so and still be an official affiliate Elf Clan Land.  All that is necessary is to agree to host family friendly lands based on honor, respect and friendship.  We will provide you with a beautiful banner to present at your entry area and you'll be ready to go.

Elf Clan affiliate grids and lands

  

GROUP ANNOUNCEMENTS

Group announcements will be made via DigiWorldz grid.  If you wish to receive such announcements, please register with Kitely and join the Elf Clan group there.  Events will be held by individuals on their grid of choice and announced via Kitely.  The format of our group has changed.  Instead of a centralized, land-locked group we are now spread throughout the Hypergrid in individual "mini-kingdoms".  We believe this a good thing, allowing greater diversity and freedom. 

 

WHY EVERYWHERE?

Our members are numerous and have varied interests.   Some prefer total privacy, while others wish to host event areas.  Some are creators and wish to have lots of prims available, while others prefer wide-spread landscapes.

As the Eldar considered these matters we realized (being free of closed grid requirements) that Elf Clan can now adapt to all such needs. 

Elf Clan is a themed group.  We are no longer land-bound.  Some groups require centralization:  sailing groups, role-playing groups, active groups.   Elf Clan is a concept... one that can exist throughout the virtual worlds. That concept is family friendly, honorable, respectful.   Our theme is fantasy and science fiction.  We can do that anywhere.

The existence of the Hypergrid allows our members to create a home anywhere they wish... and attend events / visit friends regardless of location.  Our members can have avatars on multiple grids, even keeping the same name on several grids... or have one single avatar and travel throughout the Hypergrid.   This reality of modern-day virtual worlds helped us realize that our group no longer needs to centralize.  Elf Clan lands can be anywhere and everywhere.

By allowing and even encouraging our members to pick a grid of your own preference, we expand the concept of Elf Clan throughout the metaverse, spreading our creations and concept across the Hypergrid.  We can host events wherever we choose, socialize wherever we choose, travel wherever we choose.   We are no longer limited within closed-wall grids... nor shall we ever be again.

 

WHICH GRID SHOULD I CHOOSE?

As a quick-look guide, here is a short summary of grid strengths and themes.  Note that these are our observations.  We strongly encourage members to do  research of your own prior to choosing a grid-- a choice that may affect your virtual life for quite some time.  In alphabetical order of grids we have closely examined:

3rd Rock Grid.  An old and established grid with a good reputation.  Easy-to-purchase packages and regions that run approximately $1 per 1,000 prims, depending on the package.  Friendly tech support.  Strength:  an even balance of prims and land for your money.

DIGIWORLDZ.    A vesatile grid that caters to those who prefer a social environment (or total privacy if you choose). Strength:  Lots of land for your money.

KITELY.  Offers "worlds within the world", lands completely invisible to surrounding lands (or create a community if you choose).  Strength: lots of prims for your money. 

OSGRID.   This is the official central test grid of OpenSim and the hypergrid.  There are several options for setting up on OSgrid, ranging from hosting your land yourself on your own server computer, hosting your land on a purchased server, or renting a ready-to-go land from a friendly land-baron. 

Strength: 100% control over your lands if you self-serve, 100% inventory security and backup.  But it has no inherent built-in group announcements that go to email, so members have to log in daily to receive the latest group information.

There are other grids which we have not had time to properly examine.   Be aware that grids come and go.  Some have costs in addition to basic monthly fees.  Be sure to read the fine print... and the second part of this set of articles for additional information.

Welcome to the new age of Elf Clan.   Please visit this site's home page for contact information and to request inclusion in the list of  Elf Clan affiliates.

--o--

 

SPECIAL THANKS

We would like to extend special thanks to several people who have been of great help in our transition to the Hypergrid.   We could not have succeeded without you.  To avoid favoritism, we are listing these kind folks in order of contact:

Ilan Tochner of Kitely.   Ilan bent over backward to assist us in relocation, explained how both Kitely and the Hypergrid worked, and was professional and good-natured about it when we decided (for control reasons) that we needed to self-host our home regions.  Kitely's tech support and friendliness is outstanding.  One of our Eldar chose to host her personal home on Kitely. Kitely is likely the most technically advanced of the Opensim grids; they have worked hard to fix major issues in the Opensim code-- including the years-long headache of slow-loading textures-- which fix they shared with all of Opensim.

Terry and Nox of DigiWorldz.  We could not have asked for a more friendly welcome.   Nox spent quite some time showing us around the grid, explaining how it works, and she and Terry answered  every question we could throw at them.  These very-helpful people have welcomed new members time and again.  The Wellspring affiliate group settled on DigiWorldz and own a 64-region continent there.

KONI LANZIUS of ElvenWorld on OSgrid.  Koni hosted Elf Clan's home regions while we were getting back on our feet, made us aware of the benefits of the Hypergrid, and was instrumental in getting us the help we needed to self-host our own VAR with OSgrid.  Koni is no longer regularly active in the virtual worlds, but we owe her thanks in helping us decide on our new home and convincing us it was the right choice.

THE TECH.   Name withheld so he doesn't get swamped by requests... this kind, generous person was highly instrumental in helping us set up our own server system.   Elf Clan had a unique situation with special hurdles... and he stuck with us the entire time, over days, weeks and months of special problem solving. He never asked for anything in return other than friendship, and personifies the giving nature of the OpenSim environment.  You know who you are... and you are much appreciated.  Our special thanks.

-------

Please contact Snoots Dwagon at OSgrid to add your region / grid to our list of official affiliates.  To be an affiliate region one agrees to display the Elf Clan Banner at the primary landing point.  Minimal hassle, bringing recognition from a widely-recognized group.

 

Update note, October 2020:  ElvenWorld is offline, and we cannot contact owner Koni Lanzius.  We regret the loss of this 25-region VAR and Koni's welcome advice that got us to take a good, hard look at Opensim and the Hypergrid... and realize we were no longer limited behind iron walls. 

 

 

 

 

Intellectual Property Information
Category: Elf Clan News

 

Greetings to our Visitors!

Elf Clan is based on three Charter concepts:

* Honor * Respect * Friendship *

These things are very important to us, both as a group and as individuals.

 

Problems with Grid Shutdown

When the Inworldz grid closed down all asset information was lost.  This means inventory items, creations and creator information was lost as well. 

Elf Clan lands are historic regions, dating from the very early days of Second Life and onward.   Our lands went through four distinct creative phases before the recent fifth re-creation forced by the destruction of Inworldz.

Elf Clan Home Lands contain creations and donations by many people.  Those creations are part of our history, tracking our growth as a group over a period of 14 years.  Unfortunately when Inworldz shut down and those lands later re-built, no creator information was retained in the reconstruction files (OARs).  As a result all creator names were lost... and items re-constructed on our lands were re-constructed under one owner/creator name (that is how OAR files  work in a situation where no asset information exists).  The chosen name is our friendly tiny Snoots Dwagon, who will be in charge of maintaining these lands.

 

Our Humble Request to You

If you find your creations on our primary ElfClan lands, we request to retain those creations on these lands only, as part of our history.   We give you our solemn oath those creations will not be copied, transfered, sold or otherwise knowingly distributed.  Your creations will be considered a trust... part of Elf Clan's history. 

If you contact Snoots Dwagon we will be happy to provide Attribution Notice-- adding you to a posted list of creators contributing to our historic lands.  It is our desire to give you credit for your work as part of our history.

If you do not wish your items to remain on these lands all you need do is let us know.  Quite often we will already recognize you as an Elf Clan Creator and will honorably comply with your removal request.   If question remains as to creator authenticity, we may request additional information according to established legal intellectual property guidelines.  It is our hopes that creators recognize these as historic builds that provide them credit as the earliest talented creators on SL.. part of the Elf Clan legacy.

 

VISIBLE GROUP HISTORY

The creations on our primary regions present a visible, major part of Elf Clan's history.  These are regions people recognize as the Home Lands of Elf Clan... and span many years.   We hope creators consider it an honor to be a part of this, as we consider it an honor to have your creations as part of this tribute to Elf Clan-- the oldest active Fantasy Group in the virtual worlds.

 

-- The Eldar of Elf Clan

 

 

 

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