Sunday, November 16, 2008

Signing up with Vivaty.com

I'm signing up with the Vivaty 3D social world or 3D chat or whatever you want to call it.

Vivaty is at http://vivaty.com.

I'm using my Second Life avatar name, Sharcel Bellic, for Vivaty.

Vivaty's pretty sluggish on my computer using the Flock browser.  Too sluggish for someone who lacks a special interest in virtual worlds, 3D social networks, etc. to want to use it.

The Vivaty avatar is pretty ugly.  No offense intended

Vivaty closed long ago. Today on March 4 2013  I finally removed the Vivaty embedded viewer that has screwed up the display of this post for years now. 

I'm not sure how well the embed code will work in blog post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chorded typing using a midi keyboard

Anyone know of any examples of using a midi keyboard to do chorded typing?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Flock Accounts and Services

So far I have Facebook, Twitter, Gmail for my personal stuff, Gmail for my public web stuff, Photobucket, and Blogger in my Flock Accounts and Services.

I have a lot more accounts and services for an alias, but I'm tired of always being an alias.

If I was posting as my alias, I would have some readers, at least a few, but posting as me has I think not produced a single reader.

I not registered with as many places as the "real me" as I am with my alias, and thus have no "friends" or history with sites like Digg and Myspace and so on.

I have signed up with Mashable.com, and it has a page with a ton of social networking sites that include all the places in the Flock Accounts sidebar, plus many many more. So one thing to do to make this "real me" presence a bit more lively or find some readers and make some social network friends is to sign up for the bulk of the Flock Accounts sidebar sites, then go to the Mashable sites list, which I think is called the grid on the mashable site, and start signing up for them

Adsense disappointment

I was disappointed to find that Adsense only allows one Adsense account per checking account, or what Adsense thinks of as one person. The Adsense text includes a publisher id, which would then appear on all your sites that use Adsense.

So, for example, if you wanted to produce a Republican seeming blog with Adsense ads, and a Democrat seeming blog with Adsense ads, that should seem like they were written by different people, they would share a common Adsense publisher id, which means that dilligent nosy busybody troublemakers could find that both mutually incompatible blogs were produced by the same source.

I am in a situation similar to that described above, though it doesn't involve Dems and Reps.

I've only accumulated about 4 cents in my existing Adsense account, so closing it in order to get one opened for this blog and perhaps elsewhere is no big deal financially, but it is an annoyance. The probability that Google would change this policy is about as likely as the probability that Google will enable sorting of Gmail by date, or add folders into Gmail, i.e., zero.

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd329/Sharcel-Bellic/SharcelBellic-SL-freestuffandanL-1.jpg



The picture above is one of things I saw on Help Island when I joined Second Life. It's just here as a test of uploading a picture with the Flock photo uploader and putting it in a post using the Flock blog editor.

For some reason this process, which should be very simple, failed repeatedly. I clicked the insert image icon in the (I will now make an acronym, I'm tired of typing Flock Blog Editor, and having to decide whether to capitalize Blog and Editor, so from now on I'll try to use FBE to mean Flog Blog Editor. Having decided that, I'll probably never need to refer to the FBE again. Unless someone asks what it mean, which they probably will, especially since it starts with FB, which suggests FaceBook. I think I'm drifting off course here, though. )

I pasted the url for this picture, http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd329/Sharcel-Bellic/SharcelBellic-SL-freestuffandanL-1.jpg , into the appropriate field in the FBE image insert dialog over and over, and while the letters appeared in the dialog, the image did not appear in the editor when I closed the dialog. The source code view showed html for an image. I chopped off the http:// at the front of the image url and pasted the remaining part that onto the end of the http:// that appears in the FBE image editor by default, and that worked, the image appeared when I closed the dialog. I pasted the image url again, the whole thing, making the http/:// that appears in the field vanish, to be replaced by the one in the pasted text, along with the rest of the url, and nothing appeared.

I did that kind of crap over and over, at least a dozen variations on the them of using a complete, guranteed to be error free image url into the FBE image insert dialog, with no image appearing upon closing the dialog.

Then for no apparent reason, doing the exact same thing that had failed before repeatedly worked.

There's no lesson in how to get it to work right the first time to be learned here, and the details described above are almost certainly totally uninteresting to anyone, including the author, but there is a lesson to be learned, and that is that doing the same thing that has failed repeatedly one more time is not alway a sign of insanity, as one sees fairly often as a quote attributed to Albert Einstein.

This makes me wonder about the people who post that alleged quote repeatedly, as if it was somehow going to stop people from doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result from doing the same thing again. Why do they keep posting that quote again and again, can't they see that it's not going to change people's behavior, it's never caused people to keep from repeating behavior with an expectation of different results before, so posting it again is not likely to work the next time they post it. I suppose they must be insane.

I was also hoping to see how this big image appears in this blogger blog. The built-in Blogger post editor has three choices for image size, none of which are big enough to suit me.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Testing Flock 2.0's Blog Editor

I've just installed Flock 2.0 and created shortcuts for my Chuck Baggett profile and for another profile.

This is the first post I've made using Flock 2.0's blog editor.

First off, there's a problem with the font display in the editor, and problem that reminds me of a similar problem in Second Life's menu text using certain video drivers and versions of SL.



I used SnagIt to take the above screenshot, and uploaded it into my Photobucket account.   I'm finding that I'm not liking using Photobucket now because they've added so many popup menus to the interface that I can't move my cursor around without an unwanted menu appearing over top of something I want or might want to read.  I don't like having to snake the cursor around in hopes of finding an inert path that won't make something pop up over top of where I'm trying to read or where I want to move my cursor to or where my cursor currently is.  I'd much prefer to have the cursor change in appearance to indicate it's over something active.

Possibly Flock's media bar and other media functions will enable me to use my Photobucket account in a convenient way without having to actually see the overactive Photobucket site.

The text distortion problem may well have nothing to do with Flock or it's blog editor.  It could be because I'm posting this on the secondary monitor.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I just want white menubars and toolbars in Firefox, why is it so hard to find?

My eyesight has reached the point where I need to have higher contrast than current web page designs are tending to use.

In Firefox 3, for example, I would be able to read the menu and toolbars, the tab and bookmark and navigation and address bars much better if the gray background was white.

I don't want to change the whole interface, just change the menu and toolbar backgrounds to white.

On an unrelated note, why is the title field in the blogger post editor so darned short?

Firefox theme screenshots are needlessly slow

The pages that are used to show screenshots for Firefox in the Find Add-Ons page are needlessly slow, the window takes the time to expand outward, an effect I despise, and the resulting screenshot is not fullscreen, which means you don't see the detail.

Why add slowness into a webpage on purpose? I want my computer displays to be fast, as fast as possible, preferably instant.

I don't understand why people do this sort of thing.

What are the best groups in SL for people interested in virtual worlds in general, not just Second Life?

I'm wondering what the best groups in Second Life are for people interested in virtual worlds in general, such as Active Worlds, Hipihi, Cybertown, Twnity, Novoking, and related things such as Google's Lively, Vivaty, and so on.

The Second Life group search is not the most useful thing humans have ever invented.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Version Of Hipihi?

I'd fired up Hipihi to get some pictures to post for the person in the Hipihi forums who said they didn't see much when they went in Hipihi.

It seemed to be loading very slow, but then Flock was taking up half my one gig of ram on that machine, and my computer does get bogged down owing to accumulation of years of software.

I was trying to take a shot of the Vidal Sassoon site, using Hipihi's built in screen capture, for some reason, and when I went to change the folder the file would be stored in, Hipihi crashed. I think, I'm not sure, but I think that Hipihi does not like to have spaces in the folder names. Hopefully when I get it going again I will be able to select a folder of my choice but without spaces.

When I tried to log back in, Hipihi gave me a message saying there is a new version of Hipihi, and offering me the option to download it, which I think is new for Hipihi. I think in previous versions it left it to you to go to the website and download.

The dialog box for downloading the new version came up with some text that should have been in Chinese, but I think I have the default language for non-Unicode programs, or whatever that option is called, set to English now, owing to some problem I had with something. Hipihi wants that option set to Chinese, I think. Oh yeah, it's the AMD ATI Catalyst installer, if you have that set to Chinese, it makes the ATI software think you need to see Chinese in your dialogs. That's why I had set it to English.

At any rate, the dialog being unreadable made me select the wrong button, apparently, or else the download just failed.

So now to the Hipihi site to find the download. The Hipihi site is Hipihi.com. Hipihi.com is in Chinese, but there's a button the top right that gets you to the English page, and at the bottom left of that is a link to the English language download page, which is at http://www.hipihi.com/download_en.html .

Think link leads to a file with the same version number as the version I have, however, Hipihi doesn't change the version number for the files with each version change. It's kind of annoying; there's no way to know if you are getting the proper file. Dowloads are generally slow, and this one is no exception, it's loading at 14K, a speed I could have gotten back on my dial-up connection when I had the ancient machine with 64 megs of ram, long ago. It's picking up a bit now, but I'm not likely to be able to accomplish my goal of getting some pictures tonight.

While waiting I will check the forums.hipih.com to see if there's a post with release notes in the English forum.

Nope, not yet.

Hmm, I decided to try logging in to Hipihi one more time, and this time the connection succeeded. There may not be a new version after all. I might should delete this post completely, but instead I think I'll just add a question mark to the title, given that I've already written this much.

Hmm, trying to change to snapshot folder crashed it again.

Trying again, and it appears that the snapshot function works, although I did get one snapshot failed message, if you don't change the snapshot folder.

I believe the snapshot goes on the web, and should be viewable in the Hipihi client as well. I'm not sure where the snapshot goes on the web at the moment, so I'll just put a shot on photobucket. Hmm, I might should try Picasa, I wonder if that is made to work well with blogger blogs.

Sigh, I'm so old, and my memory is shot to hell and back. I can't remember if I have a photobucket account in my name or not. Isn't that pathetic or pitiful or something?

Aha, I have used my real-name email address for a little used Second Life avatar (not my often used old SL avatar or my new Sharcel Bellic avatar). What to do?

Well, I have a zenbe account, so I should be able to use that to make a photobucket account. Or I could change the email address for the existing photobucket account, I guess, and then make a new photobucket account with my normal real world email account.

Nothing is as easy as I want it be.



Well hell, this is the large size picture, it's not nearly as big as I would like, but it's here, although not on photobucket.

This is the Vidal Sasoon site in Hipihi.

I have lost the text cursor in this blogger post editor, that's another little annoyance. Text cursors are nice to have when entering text, so perhaps I will let it's absense be the signal to end this post.

The Joy Of Money

I haven't had nearly as much of "The Joy Of Money" as I'd like to have.

If I had been applying myself to the making of money during the time I have spent on the internet since I got my first post-Atari computer , which was a Packard-Bell, and my first dial-up internet service with BellSouth , I would likely be in a much better financial situation than I am now. In fact, I've spent so much time on the web that if I'd been pulling in the bucks during that time, I might have a hundred thousand dollars or more in the bank, instead of a negative net worth. That's assuming I was making as much money netting as I do in my day job, which I suppose is a minimum amount to want to make once you decide to try to make some dough from your surfing and posting and so on.

In a beginning effort to combat this tendency to while away the time in a manner that is totally unproductive, I have started this blog under my real name, not some virtual world avatar name or forum user name, and now tonight I have created an AdSense account and added AdSense ads to this blog. The probability that I will actually get a check from Google is small, I suspect, but the probability of me making some money from the time I spend on the internet has now gone from zero to non-zero, which is tiny step in the right direction.

Tonight I have also created a Twitter account, and my new Twitter page is http://twitter.com/ChuckBaggett .

I am writing this using Firefox 3, on this computer, or if I'm using my other computer, I'd be using Flock, the Flock 2 beta that is based on Firefox 3.

I have also signed up tonight with Sandy, the email reminder service, in hopes that it might help me remember to do some of the many tasks that I tend to forget about. I don't actually have that many tasks to do, but I tend to forget about them or put them off anyway.

I intend to sign up for some more social networking sites and reminder services and various Web 2.0 types of sites.

Someone in the Hipihi forums asked me to post some pictures there of what I can see in Hipihi, saying that they have trouble seeing much of anything. That connects to one reason I have chosen this barebones, no sidebar format for this blog: I want to be able to put big pictures in my blog.

I think this is enough for this post. I'll try to write better posts as time goes on. Thanks for reading.

Blogger blocked my blog saying it's a spam blog.

Yesterday I checked my email and noticed a message from blogger.com.

My new blog, the one I made in order to be my real self, to some degree, in public on the internet for all the world to see, with all of one post, was determined by the Google spam detection algorithms to be spam.

This is rather depressing.

I followed the link to get this spam status changed and found instructions to fill in the scrambled letters shown in the picture.

Only problem was that there was no picture. Maybe that was supposed to represent zero or the phrase "the null set" or "void" or "missing image" or something.

It worked on the second try, the image appeared, but still, it's pretty insulting and disheartening to have the only apparent reward for your budding writing efforts be to get labeled as spam by a program.

I did get a response from someone in facebook indicating they saw something in facebook or elsewhere (probably facebook, elsewhere would be here, which isn't too likely) about joining Hipihi, so my attempt to reach out a bit haven't gone totally to waste.

Regretttably I must go to work now. I don't feel good, and I have to make thousands of dollars worth of stuff today, and the machine wasn't working to my satisfaction at the end of yesterday, so now I have to go hope that the machine is in a better mood than it was the last time I saw it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Post - I joined the Hipihi virtual world today.

I just joined the Hipihi virtual world.

I used the English registration page. Registration was simple and went smoothly.

I used my real name for the username. I thought the username was a secret name, and the nickname would be displayed throughout the Hipihi site, but I was wrong. The username appears on the forums, at least when I am logged in, and it appears in Hipihi in the copyright part of the inventory system.

I'm not trying to hide my real name, so it's not a problem in my case, but it should be made clear exactly what information you provide will show where and to who. For example, the registration process asked for my birthday. I provided my birthday. I hope this is not displayed anywhere. It's a security breach, a serious security breach, as bad as making your password or security question publicly visible. Hipihi says it will use the birth date as part of the process of correcting forgotten passwords - why would they then make that public?

There is a field in the avatar profile that shows a birth date, but it didn't show the correct one. There's a separate place to fill in some profile information that I haven't gotten to yet.

I think there's a cultural difference between internet users in China and my home country the U.S.A. on the subject of providing your real identity. I at least am used to using aliases on the net, sometimes providing real information to the company that runs the site, and alias information for public display.

So I warn users who don't want their real id disclosed in the Hipihi system to be careful to not provide their real info to the Hipihi company.

My real name is Chuck Baggett, and my Hipihi nickname is Sharcel, the same as the first name of my recently created Second Life account, which has the name Sharcel Bellic. "Sharcel" is an anagram of the letters in Charles, my really real first name.

While in Hipihi on my first visit I was shown how to get an object that's been put out to share. The object I got was a hat with some hair. I have read enough about Hiphi to know that the object editing system is very much like Second Life, and I have also read how to make some of the interface be in English, which I had done before running it the first time, so reducing the size of the gigantic hat, rotating it so it was on frontwards, and getting it roughly positioned in the proper place was not a problem.

I liked the choice of avatars offered during the registration process; there were four male and four female avatars. The male avatars were nice looking, not exaggeratedly muscular and overdeveloped looking, and they didn't have as much facial hair as the Second Life avatars tend to have. There was a choice of business type suits and some more casual slacks and a T-shirt. I chose the khakis and T-shirt. I'm not a suit wearing sort of person.

There was a bunch of lag, but I don't know if that was Hipihi lag or caused by Second Life running in the background. SL has a bug that causes a memory problem if it is left minimized, I think, and that might have been messing things up. I had to reboot the computer, after attempting and failing to get Second Life to close.

A person, female avatar, approached me and offered help with using the interface, speaking good English. I had gone to their land, which is easy in Hipihi; when you find someone's profile you can go to their side, or to their land. You also get a real-time view of what their avatar is wearing, which I think might be a problem for folks that want to engage in avatar sex or work in a virtual strip joint or just even trying on clothes.

I can't type the name of the of the person that helped me, and I couldn't type their name in chat. This is because their name is in Chinese, which I don't speak at all. This is a problem that a multicultural virtual world needs to solve. It should be possible to in some easy fashion to select an avatar and have their name copied to the text buffer for easy retrieval, and to click on lines of chat in the chat window and select "reply to" in some manner.

I was aided in the process of getting Hipihi to run by the detailed instructions you can find just by typing "Hipihi English" into Google. I already had the Asian language pack installed, and the instructions for the rest of the process of setting up the Region and Locale, modifying the Hipihi shortcut, and editing the file in the Hipihi program folder that makes it use the English version of the interface where all perfectly clear and easy to follow. The interface is not completely translated. It will be interesting to see how many more non-Chinese speaking people try Hipihi as the English version is improved and presumably other non-Chinese language versions are created.

Here's the avatar selection during the registration process:


















Below is me as Sharcel a few minutes after entering Hipihi for the first time:




















Below I am getting instructions in how to get a copy of some creations left out for others to have:














I hope the Hipihi company comes up with some way to make the objects do things with scripts that I can figure out.

Hipihi allows use of Flash, shockwave files I guess they are, but I am not familiar with how to make them or even how to pick out free ones that would make sense to put in Hipihi.

There's a way to get land for free during the beta testing period but I haven't got that figured out yet.

I am registered at LiveMocha, the language learning site, but haven't gone back since the initial signup. I guess at my age the though of learning even a bit of a foreign language is pretty scary, pretty challenging. I will try to get back, I've received a number of friendship requests there, and I suspect that even if I don't make much headway learning Chinese, I might be able to help some folks just by chatting with them in English.

That's enough for this post.

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About Me

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I feel like I need to exercise extreme care in what I write about in order to avoid trouble, and that sounds like what the phrase "walking on eggshells" means, hence the title "Writing On Eggshells".

I think "Writing On Eggshells" offers the chance for some nice graphics for the blog title banner. Another thing to add to the list of things to do.

I'm the Chuck Baggett in facebook at http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560072876&ref=profile
I'm Sharcel Bellic in Second Life, and Sharcel in Hipihi.