Devokan Storybuilders celebrating 5 years in OpenSim

Vespers

Vespers, Dot’s Kitely homebase in OpenSim

Looking at the dates of archived region files the other day made me realise that the 5th anniversary of Devokan moving from Second Life to OpenSimulator is rapidly approaching.

Time for Devokan Storybuilders to celebrate? Yes!

In that time OpenSim has improved leaps and bounds. I mean this quite literally — in early days region physics crashed regularly so we moved by sitting on a prim and editing it.

Hypergrid technology means we can build on different grids, choosing them by matching their individual strengths to particular projects, while still keeping in touch with each other, even using a single avatar to visit all.

So… what is planned?

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Devokan and Kitely

Over the past year several of the Devokan OpenSim builders have switched from sharing a big hardware server to host regions on OSgrid to holding accounts in Kitely, an OpenSim hosting service based on Amazon cloud servers.

Time Vault, on Kitely
Time Vault, a 2×2 Devokan megaregion on Kitely

We’ve generally been very pleased with performance, support and ease of use — it has meant, for example, that less-techie builders have been able to make their own full-region backups (OAR files) using a simple web-based interface.

So why am I posting here now?

It’s because the plans are changing in Kitely at the end of this year. The plans used by many of the Devokan crew (Silver and Gold plans) are going to be grandfathered in, if they are current on the 31st December 2013. So it’s worth letting people know if they would like to take advantage of the grandfathered rates.

Here’s the Kitely blog post announcing the changes: Upcoming plan changes and a limited time offer.

The new plan will be called the Premium account. It will cost $19.95 per month, and includes 5 time-based full regions.

The current Gold and Silver plans are going to be grandfathered and even upgraded at the same time. For storybuilding or art projects they are ideal. Here’s what they will include when the new plans start on 1st January 2014:

  • Premium account (Silver) — similar to the Premium account, but with 10 time-based regions, for $20 per month
  • Premium account (Gold) — now 30 time-based regions instead of 20, for $35 per month.

If you are intending to build in OpenSim, it is worth considering signing up for the Kitely Silver plan before the end of this month to lock in the extra regions, given the similarity in cost with the Premium account (marginal cost of 5 extra regions = 5 cents!). If you decide later it is not for you, you can cancel at any time.

Many of the Kitely Devokan crew seem to be plumping for Gold accounts. The 30 full-region allowance makes it an extremely good deal.

Part of the motivation behind these changes to the plans is to facilitate Kitely linking to the OpenSim Hypergrid in the future, so that we can go exploring other OpenSim grids with our Kitely avatars, and have friends from other grids visit us.

Who needs SL? Playing with SoaS

After a false start or two, I’ve got Ener Hax’s Sim-on-a-Stick, a relatively easy-to-use personal version of OpenSim, running on a MacBook Pro under Parallels/Win7.

One false start was caused by unzipping the downloaded soas073.zip on the Mac side and copying the unzipped folder to the USB stick. When I tried running the software from that folder OpenSim.exe terminated before loading any regions with a splendidly named nini.ini.iniexception (whatever that is). I think this was caused by the extra hidden files starting with ./ that were created on the Mac side.

So… I erased the USB stick, copied the zipped soas073.zip to it, made Parallels/Win7 mount the USB drive, then unzipped the file within Win7.

This time, when I followed the minimal setup instructions within SOAS_Start_and_Login.txt, it all went swimmingly.

Sim-on-a-Stick Success
Sim-on-a-Stick Success
This shows the console (the window with a black background); some of the files in the bin folder are in the background.

There are more pictures (arguably prettier ones) beyond the break…
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New World Notes, Hypergrid Adventurers, and Devokan

Expanded Devokan Tao hub, 10 March 2012
It all started two weeks ago with a comment by John “Pathfinder” Lester on the photo of the expanded Devokan Tao hub in my Flickr stream:

Simply amazing. I am going to bring my Hypergrid Adventurers Club on a tour of these regions this week.

Hypergrid Adventurers Club? A tour THIS WEEK?

A few minutes with Google unearthed more details about the Hypergrid Adventurers Club, including their calendar. Today was Tuesday 10th April, and the next tour was scheduled for Thursday 12th. Panic!

The next couple of days I spent alerting the others and checking that all was working as it should be — this was potentially a chance to test out how well the server could cope with a larger group of visitors…

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