Here I am , at information packed Midway Station, another terrific amenity offered by Craft, the Friendly World. ( See my last post for more details.) I am smiling because I more or less understand  all those fancy charts and landmark behind me, and by the end of this post, so will you!!

Hello my dearest dears! Here we all are are again ready to embark on another metaverse adventure! Ever since I stumbled onto OpenSim a few weeks ago, I have been doing a lot of research and reading, trying to get a handle on what all these new terms, like hypergrid, and OpenSim itself, meant. I have often complained in this blog that Linden Lab´s information is scatty, unclear and badly organized. Okay, they are; but next to OpenSim, Linden Lab is the most brilliantly clear  source of information the world has seen since the Roman army torched the Great Library at Alexandria. OpenSim is ridiculously difficult for the lay person to pin down . After clawing through page after page and site after site of  technonerd gobbledygook, this is what I think is actually happening!  If it´s not, feel free to comment! Let´s start with a little Q&A, shall we?

Q. I am a Second life resident, and I would like to explore OpenSim. So can you tell me about any major differences between SL an OpenSim, and how to log on?

A. Loaded question. Second Life is basically one virtual world, run on one main grid  (and several experimental grids,one of which, named Beta, is open to the public) on servers owned by one company named Linden Lab, for profit. OpenSim means Open Simulator, and actually refers to the software that enables lots and lots of different servers, such as  privately owned professional servers and  public institutions like universities , as well as your laptop or PC to provide the platform for people to build their own grids, to host their own worlds. So if you can´t get onto a given world, it could be that the grid is actually in some guy´s  laptop, which is switched off.  OpenSimulator is non profit.

Q. Using allthose different computers sounds very complicated. How well does OpenSim really work?

A. Amazingly well, when you consider how many varying factors there are- grid owners use all kinds of different software, and the OpenSim project itself is  “open source”  a legal term meaning the code is all public. So anybody can mess with it, and does. Grids on the OpenSim platform   have more lag, and are generally a bit quirky. I find it all more interesting than annoying.

Q. So who runs OpenSim?

A. Um, no one really. The OpenSimulator project is non profit and so there are trustees and elected” core” engineers , programmers, developers etc. Core developer Michael Wright started the project, but I haven´t  seen any  term like CEO. The grids are all self governing separate entities.

Q. What does all mean to me as a metaverse traveller? You still aren’t telling me how to log onto OpenSim!

A. You can´t. There is no big single Second Life type entity to log onto. The term “OpenSim” is like” Africa” or” Asia”. It is a term of reference. You can travel to Asia, but you have to buy a ticket to Beijing or Tokyo. To get into OpenSim,  have to register with an individual world! From there you can use the hypergrid system to travel to all the different hypergrid enabled worlds using the OpenSimulator platform. Here is an official list of OpenSimulator Grids that are open to the public and free to use: OPENSIM GRID LIST .  ( Nowhere near all of them are listed.) I registered at Craft, which offers a very supportive and interesting environment for the Newcomer. You will need a new browser- Phoenix , Hippo, Imprudence – look, here´s a link for free ones : OPENSIM BROWSER LINKS , just ignore all the techno babble and download one! A  virtualchristine Techno Tip: I recommend Phoenix- it is just like the SL browser! Hardly any learning curve!

Q. What is the difference between a world and a grid?

A. As far as I can tell, the terms world and grid seem to be interchangeable. Worlds have regions and regions have parcels and estates. Second Life has one world and 30,000 something regions. OpenSimulator has hundreds of worlds and 16,000 something regions. Second Life is bigger, but OpenSim is growing faster. Alot faster.

Q. Can I use Linden Dollars on OpenSim worlds?

A. No. Most OpenSim worlds don´t have inworld  economies. A very few have their own currencies, and some are starting to use Open Metaverse Currency( OMC ), which you need to keep in a third party account like Virwox since there does not seem to be a  centralized , Linden style exchange. VIRWOX OMC PAGE will give you the details. The OpenSim Grid List (see above)  includes economic information!

Q.Okay, what exactly does using the hypergrid system mean?

A. It is just a different type of teleporting. On Second Life, you use an ordinary teleport from region to region on one grid, one world. You can´t teleport from the Second Life Main Grid to the Second Life Beta Test Grid. You have to log out of one grid and then log into another. Second Life is not hypergrid enabled. If theychoose to install the Hypergrid software, OpenSim Grids can connect directly to each other.

Q. How exactly?

A. With Hypergates.

This is one kind of Hypergate. See how it is the writing in the middle says”destination set false”? that just means it´s off.  Touch the blue area, and this menu will appear. Let´s click “This Grid”
Now we have this menu! I clicked” Popular”, but that just makes the whole menu disappear! The Hypergate system is quirky, but no matter! We will call up the first menu, and click ” Hypergrid” this time.
Let´s look at” New Gates”


Let´s click “Feenwald”!
See how the prompt appears in the bottom left of the screen. When you see this, touch the blue area in the gate again.
Your world map will pop up with your destination plugged in! Quick! Hit teleport !
It worked! You usually arrive near another gate, which can come in all kinds of sizes..
…and shapes! This is Gateway to the Metaverse  and all of these arches are called Blam Gates. Pick an interesting looking destination, and just walk in! If it doen´t work the first time, keep trying! Let´s take a look at the Blam gate next to the signs!
This gate doesn´t simply go to another world! The green lettering says ” Sanctuary 1- gates to grids at low map coordinates that can´t be reached from here because of the “4096 bug”

Q. Crap; I knew everything was going too well!  What is the hell is the 4096 bug?

A. Calm down. The 4096 bug prevents you from teleporting more than 4096 regions. There can be more than 9,000 regions between the upper regions, where most public grids are located, and the lower regions. There is a distance factor in OpenSim teleportation! Sometimes a gate jump will drop you in a region and give you a prompt to open your world map. Sometimes the next or final destination is already plugged in and you can just teleport there. Sometimes you have to look around for your final destination and teleport  yourself!  Stargate fans are loving this, I know!

Let´s head back to Craft´s Midway Station! I hope this sign makes sense to you now! From Midway station, you can gate to the upper regions, where Craft´s main continent is located, or to Ichnos in the lower regions!
This stone archway is the gate to Ichnos. Always be a little cautious in OpenSim about anything door or doorway shaped that is slightly hazy;  you could wind up in the middle of nowhere with no way back!

This is a link to HYPERICA.COM. This website an excellent  Hypergrid directory, and also has some very good articles for the lay person about OpenSim.

And now, my dears, it is late, and I will end this second OpenSim post here in lovely Feenwald. My next post will be about free land in OpenSim. Until then, I wish you all the sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days. Adieu!






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  1. Ener Hax says:

    wow, you have written this in an excellent manner! thank you for explaining hypergridding far better than i ever could and you defined OpenSim very, very well for the SL resident to understand (where were you 18 months ago! lol, this would have helped me a ton!)

    thank you and a happy New Year to you =)

  2. virtualchristine says:

    Dearest Ener,
    A thousand thanks for a wonderful New Years day gift! All the best in 2012! Christine

  3. And somehow I missed this post…

    What a great introduction to OpenSim!

    One thing I’d like to add:

    Using a stargate (blamgate, hypergate, whatever you call it) is the 3D equivalent of clicking on a hyperlink on a website.

    But you can also just type in the address directly — go to Map, and type in the HG address in the search field and hit search. For example, if you want to hang out with some folks and talk about OpenSim, go to OSGrid’s LBSA Plaza by typing: Plaza

    (All OSGrid addresses begin with and then what follows is just the region name.)

    If you want to find some freebies, type in: Plaza

    If there’s a destination you go to a lot, you can create your own hypergate to it on your own sim. Just create an object that looks like a stargate to you, and drop this script on it:

    I’m also going to be putting some free pre-made hypergates on my Hyperica regions: Lower Central Upper

    All three regions are very much under construction — but you can already find a few dozen gates to other grids on Hyperica Upper.

    — Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business

  4. virtualchristine says:

    Great minds think alike! Navigation was actually going to be the subject of my next blog. Thanks for the info, I will include it; I had been planning to push the Hyperica website anyway as a resource for the metaverse traveller. Bets Wishes, virtualchristine

  5. Pingback: Hypergating tuts/primers - SLUniverse Forums

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