Hello my dearest dears! How wonderful, here we all are again, ready for another exciting adventure on OpenSim, the non profit software platform that hosts hundreds of independently operated worlds/ grids, many of which are connected by an amped up teleportation system called the Hypergrid. If you do not understand any of this terminology, or do not know how to get on OpenSim, please read my super easy to understand OpenSim posts, and don´t forget my Newbie Glossary at the top of this blog!
For today´s adventure we will be visiting OpenSim´s PM Grid, a sixty odd region Grid founded by BOB WELLMAN , an ex IT Project manager who “took early retirement, so boring people is my specialty.” Having just spent a week on his brainchild, I would have to say that as a bore, he is an abject failure. Although the various bits of web info are all too techno for me to really understand, Bob seems to be a mover in the British OpenSim scene, hanging with heavyweights like OpenSim core developer JUSTIN CLARKE CASEY, doing design work for the UNIVERSITY OF BOLTON, and around 2010 starting PM GRID with a buddy from the office days, Peetr Maynard, who actually has the server in his house(wow), and fully shoulders the large and thankless task of maintaining the beast. So in the spirit of fair play, Bob named his grid PM, although personally, I think it would have been neater to change Peetrs name to Atlas, and go from there.
The grid is Bob and Peetr´s hobby; you can apply to them and get a bit to oodles of space, at no charge. As in free. No money. Wow indeed. And as it is a hobby thing, they say they can´t guarantee a professional level of service. Ignore them, it runs beautifully; and they have stuff on here that would melt professional servers. Now let´s get started!
Getting there: PM has a middle grid address, julpet.ath.cx:9020, that my computer just didn’t want to go to the first 20 times. If you do get it to work, it will take you to region Art00, but you should really read this post before exploring, or you might just get frustrated and leave before hitting the cool stuff. I found the best route was via Shaun Emeralds wonderful Blam Gates at the Sanctuary Eld, which you can get to from my beloved home grid CRAFT, virtualchristine´s personal recommendation for anyone starting out on OpenSim!
Now we have to talk about navigating this grid.
1. Although many regions have a proper name, like Market Square YOU CANNOT USE THIS NAME TO RUN A WORLD MAP SEARCH AND TELEPORT!!!
2. All regions have an abbreviation of three letters and two numbers you can use for the search and teleport. To get to Market Square, for example, you would type reg23, search and teleport. You can also type REG23, or Reg23, but never, ever leave a space between the numbers and letters, like this: reg 23.
3. There are five region groupings reg, art (short for artemis), rom(short for Romenna), riv(I am guessing short for Rivendell), san(short for Sandbox). You can run a search on one of these three letter codes and get a a list regions…
4. A LOT of the listed regions aren’t online. I have no idea why, but in every grouping, there were blocks of numbers that were on the world map list, but could not be teleported to, because it said they didn’t exist! In the San group they are san04-09, and san14-19. In reg, they are reg04-09, reg14-19, reg24-29. In art, they are art04-10, art13-19,art 24-29. In riv, they are riv03-09,riv11, riv14-19,riv22, riv24-29. In rom, they are rom04-09, rom13-20, and rom20-32.
5. Not all regions have viable landing points. I read somewhere that it because of the size of some of the prims used, but for whatever reason, in quite a few places you wind up like this:
I thought I would organize our tour by the code groupings. So now, with no further ado:
PART ONE: THE REG REGIONS
This is all obviously just getting started; the houses and shops were all empty, there are some little building glitches, also there is no personal information anywhere inworld or on the web about Silvers Baroque at all, which is always kind of a bummer. I did, however, manage to draw one or two conclusions from some of Silver´s builds- the first one is is located behind the town, on the lake.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, this is a HOBBIT HOUSE.
REG02 is a little island near Silver Winds called Standing Stone, with a mystical stone formation , and little altar. Again Tolkien, but not the really, um, distinctive build.
REG03 is just the water off the city center
REG12 is the Welcome Area, which currently consists of two unfinished buildings.
REG20 is just a water parcel behind …
Creator MUZE ACKLAND is a project manager at an online educational organization called the ROCKCLIFFE UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM, and founder of ACKLAND PRODUCTIONS, who´s main focus seems to be something called The One Big Soup Project:
“We know how to help bring about cultural understanding using 3d web technology. Through multicultural education we can bring balance in the virtual world by restoring cultural respect and honoring each others place in it. Just as in nature, the removal of one seemingly insignificant element in nature and adversely effect or affect an entire ecosystem. Balance restores harmony in ecology, economics, political power, spirituality and the list goes on. As it is experienced virtually, it carries out to the physical world.
We acknowledge this truth and realize that every culture has something to offer as ingredients of One Big Soup we call “the world”. OBS is building a diversity network/explorers game, celebrating these cultures through the many interactive means available such as music, art, architecture, cuisine, fashion, legends, history and language. We are EVERYWHERE.”
This quote is a kind of mission statement from a workshop Muze facilitated about OBS in 2011 at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. The big Jules Verne Globe seems to have been part of her presentation, but these two things were unfortunately all I could find on this very cool sounding project. Now let´s hit the snowglobe!
Reg22 is a little pagoda and mountain behind the welcome center.
PART TWO: THE ARTEMIS REGIONS
Art00 is three houses in the shadow of the volcano.
Art10 is an empty water sim behind the volcano
Art11 are the empty hills behind The Manor.
Art20 is a small hill in an otherwise empty water sim.
Art21 is an empty water sim behind the hill.
Art23 is an empty lawn behind the Mountain lake.
Art30 is another little hill in the water.
Art31 and 32 are flat empty land.
PART 3: THE SANDBOX REGIONS
San00 is a small honeymoonish tropical island
San01 is restricted.
No, I haven´t forgotten San02.
san10 is a public sandbox.
San12 is a private sandbox.
San13 is a Linda Kellie Fantasy OAR.
San20 is an empty water sim.
San22 is again a little hill in the water.
Now let´s set the mood for san02:
…through corridors of carven dread
whose turns were lit by lanterns hung
or flames from torches that were flung
on dragons hewn in the cold stone
with jewelled eyes and teeth of bone.
Then sudden, deep beneath the earth
the silences with silver mirth
were shaken and the rocks were ringing,
the birds of Melian were singing;
and wide the ways of shadow spread
as into arched halls she led
Beren in wonder. There a light
like day immortal and like night
of stars unclouded, shone and gleamed.
A vault of topless trees it seemed,
whose trunks of carven stone there stood
like towers of an enchanted wood
in magic fast for ever bound,
bearing a roof whose branches wound
in endless tracery of green
lit by some leaf-imprisoned sheen
of moon and sun, and wrought of gems,
and each leaf hung on golden stems….
The painting depicts the greatest archer of the Sindar, BELEG ,leaving the Elven fortress city of MENEGROTH, which was built entirely underground for the Sindar by their friends, the Dwarves of Belegost, after QUEEN MELIAN ‘s vision. And while Silvers Baroque´s vision of Mengroth is still taking shape, it is nevertheless a complex, powerful build, you can truly savor exploring. At this point you can just open the doors and fly down the stone corridors to the build´s center..
PART FOUR: THE RIV AND ROM REGIONS
Okay, now I know this is hard to believe, but Silver Barok´s Menegroth is NOT the big Tolkien build I pictured in the post opening. Romenna City is our Tolkenesque leviathan; originally a 4 sim build called OSLIGAITH in Second Life that went belly up due to finacial reasons. Gasp. What a shock. BEFORE IT WAS EVEN COMPLETED in SL it stood out as a must see build, when completed it set an artistic standard that transcended role play and received attention from the broader ARTISTIC COMMUNITY (See my link to inworld and real life intellectual powerhouse Elif Ayiter/Alpha Auer, and don´t miss my New Genres Grid post!) When Osligaith folded, PM Grid offered creator Nick Lassard upwards of 16 regions to basically just go nuts, which he has. There is a bit of a problem with lag that is definitely improving,( this may be due to a low power home server, but apparently there was also lag on SL), and apparently going in GROUPS can be tricky, but the thing I found really bizarre, is the lack of visitor attention. Nick Lassards inworld profile asks folks to say hi, because it gets” lonely here” and there is a comment thread on TIDAL BLOG where Nick actually wants to give the oar away in some form so it can be used and loved. Then it went all techy, but still!
So let´s get go say hi to Nick! A significant number of the Riv and Rom regions have non viable landing points. Lotta giant prims. I will take you through the landing points that actually work, as well as pointing out bad lag. There is also an absolutly massive water system of huge pipes, canals and chambers running every which way for you to explore. The entrances are hidden, so this is a SPOILER ALERT!!! I will give you one big hint, and then four of the actual entrances at the end of this section, so you can play this any way you want!
I’ve thought about it a lot, and I think the best place to start our tour is Rom31, which will set you down in shallow water. Fly up, and turn around.
This is a very general map; I am mostly going to highlight viable landing points, so you can teleport around without getting stuck in lag like molasses, or under a floor or rock!
1. Located in surf on the left hand corner of the map , number one shows the position of the rom31 landing point, which is off the coast, just beyond the statue.
The third level is under the city; Nick’s wonderful sewer labyrinth, which is virtually lag free.
2. Rom 10, the best landing point for entering the city on foot.
If you are interested, here is a link to a page on the VOLENTINE GAMBIT, an Apple Computer text adventure and game written by Jim Long in the mid 1980′s.
Now we are going to talk about how to get into the wonderful sewer labyrinth!
First the hint! Romenna is built as a normal human city. No mystical portals and such. So WHERE WOULD THE SEWER PIPES COME OUT?
If the hint is not enough, keep going!
I am sure there are even more entrances than than I´ve shown you here! I had an absolute blast in the underworld, and I am sure you will too!!
And now my dears, I will finally post this and get some sleep! Thank you to all the folks at PM Grid for making the metaverse a MUCH more interesting place! And thanks to all of you for joining me in my small adventures! Your company makes me so very happy! And if you see me out there, don´t be a stranger! I love hearing about your adventures too! The sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days to all of my beloved readers! Until next time then, Adieu!