Digital Concepts - Franco Grid

Traveling has been an adventure this last week; discovering the hypergrid a fun and learning exercise.

I knew about the hypergrid of course. I even remember when Lindens teleported without inventory or attachments over to another grid. See official press release here.  That same or similar technology (so not a techie person) lets visitors today travel amid connected Open Sim grids.

Not all worlds are connected and even for those that have joined the hypergrid, travel is iffy. The technology isn't perfect by any means and there is also the issue of servers being offline. Some grids are running older hypergate protocols and can't be accessed from those on the newest version (Chic waves hand). So finding a one step ago system and THEN teleporting is the trick.

The location above is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places I have seen on any grid. The photo is now my personal wallpaper. You can get yours here - up to 2560 resolution.

Many of the hypergrid worlds are as you might suspect left in a time long ago. Most welcome grids host the same free files which honestly would have been marginal in my youth. Content is minimal in most cases.

Now and then though I have found some "good stuff". Now that definition is a relative term of course. We aren't talking BAIASTICE and Trompe Loeil here *wink*, but things that I would have kept maybe three or four years ago. And on Open Sim that works.

Happily I can make most everything I need. Even so, it gets a little boring wearing those overalls that took me ALL day to make. So when I found a small store where the owner appears to have retired from a larger grid, I was a happy gal. I even found a shop  that included  mesh clothing and fitted mesh. Only a few of those items fit me though. Skinny gals and fitted mesh (at least in its infancy) didn't go well together.

There are a fair amount of Take A Copy works like in the early days in SL. Most are 2006 vintage but again now and then there is a "oh my" moment and that is fun.

According to Hypergrid Business, "the total land area on OpenSim’s public grids rose by the equivalent of 1,616 standard regions to 52,180, the grids gained more than 6,000 new registered users." (a monthly figure)

That is a LOT of territory!

Why are folks flocking to OpenSim? Well it can't be content! There is certainly freedom with the "free" part underlined. There are several grids that offer free land to residents. You can run your own server and attach to a grid (also free) or you can opt for a very cheap sim ($4.61 a month in Canada and $8 on some other grids).

If you are looking for a place to visit with friends, teach virtual classes, create art -- it all works in OpenSim.

Not all Opensim grids are part of the hypergrid of course. There are choices among those running the server software. Some grids are completely closed with invitations needed to join the world, some are closed to the hypergrid but open to the public, some offer hypergrid visiting but goods cannot be taken AWAY from the grid (no export). All this is decided by the grid owner.

I have visited most of the popular places by now but Metropolis, where I finally got out of cloud status by a series of steps involving a hypergate and a Canadian decloud box, is growing quickly due to the offline status of the OS grid -- so more exploration is definitely in order there.

An account in any hypergrid world will let you explore the connected worlds. Happy adventuring.

That Next Generation and the Entry Door

A few posts back I made a comment about SL 2.0 doing away with a uniform path for all new users -- that being my take on comments that were made on the Designing Worlds show.  That came into question and I agree that comments can be taken many ways AND what is planned at the moment may not be the end result.

Still, I was happy to see this post which echoed my take on Ebbe's comments. Watch the video and decide for yourself. This is kind of important stuff.

I have been busy hypergridding this last week and will write down some thoughts on that in the near future. In the process I was amazed that you can converse with someone on your home world while journeying around the metaverse. Very cool. While Ebbe stated long ago that this would likely not be possible between the current and new platforms  -- chiefly because of the vast differences in technology -- it would be a great step if the devs could somehow manage that bit of icing.

Many folks need safety blankets and having a friend to talk to while you journey far from your roots might just be the ticket.

Five Worlds

Too much work and not enough play, I decided it would be fun to chronicle my fives lives and current looks in each world. Along the way there will be some thoughts on the various grids I now inhabit.

Second Life

There is no question that Second Life is Queen of Content. We can have almost anything we can imagine and be anyone we want to be.

Along with long term content creators (Zaara above) there are lots of new kids on the block. Now whether they are really newcomers or simply alts made for that clean inventory aspect, it matters not. Beautiful things role out daily. Shoppers are faced with so many venues, the hard core of the bunch run out of both time and lindens.

The downsides still include:

Very expensive land
Upload costs
Physics model mesh hassles
Lots of competition


Growing at a steady pace lately -- possibly because of the InShape beta, you can have most of what you want here, at a less expensive price. There are fewer choices of course and except for a couple of exceptions none of the top name SL creators venture over or stay too long. For some folks this is a perfect place. Uploads are free.

The downsides still include:

Poor default avatars
Toxic official forums
Fewer top quality items


I ran into someone last week who told me he had twenty-eight folks coming over to his mall in the near future. That's sounds good. The people are friendly if sparse. Free shops are available and some are very large. Still the 30 day matrix numbers are not looking good.

The downsides still include:

Faulty mesh physics
Limited high quality items

Virtual Life

Oh look! It's the overalls again. Now to be fair there are clothes and other goods in VL, including mesh items. I am just a Tomboy at heart.

This is a small and friendly grid. Folks come and go though. From an outsider's viewpoint it seems like they expect to make a fortune here overnight, sort of like the Gold Rush days. It is unlikely that will happen, but the grid owner seems determined and things run well. It takes time.

The downsides still include:

Limited inhabitants

The Great Canadian Grid

I am having a great time in Canada as I think of it. Free homes, free stores, almost free sims and no upload fees. I have a city built and shops almost filled. I finally figured out how to "port" things more easily and have found older but very usable items on my hard drive that now have a new life on a new grid.

Much like Virtual Paradise, folks are coming in, grabbing land and shops and not returning. It could be though, that they are simply waiting for the money issue to work out. Long story, it will likely be resolved soon.  On the plus side for me, except for my skin -- which I actually remade from the textures that came in the pack -- everything I have I have created.

I have a sim in Second Life. It isn't really mine of course, I am merely the caretaker. I love MOSP and am thrilled to be able to design sets with the best items the grid has to offer. Still, there is something about building your own world. It works for me.

The downsides still include:

Money system still in progress

And if you made it all the way through my personal chronicle, there is a very short film on my new home you might like to see. Find it here.

I have to say it is VERY nice to have the option of adding materials again!