Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CC McGrumpyPants: Nylon display at C88.

Everyone knows what Collabor88 is right, a place where a bunch of creators can put new stuffs for only 88L$?  You can get some nice deals there...amongst the lag you get from there being a horde of shoppers there.

Well the last time I was there, I was walking around and saw a display that made me have a "What the Hell, Designer" moment.  It was simply put, not a good ad..and it was from a Veteran designer who should have known better....Nylon Pinkney of Nylon Outfitters in...(shudder)....Tableau.

Here's the display:

Bad Ad!  Ad scare CC with lack of contrast!  CC can't read!  Pastel dresses, pastel background, pastel lettering is a bad mix.  Sure, It's Nylon so the dresses are most likely of high quality and easily worth the L$.  Most likely she didn't have a second pair of eyes check it out and has a bad monitor or one that could use some calibration.   And even if that was fixed, the freaky Supermarionation meets "Tableau girl" model is unappealing to me.  Unappealing models means I'm less likely to buy stuff in displays.

 And...I'm less likely to support a designer that I partly blame for the plague of freaky cabbage patch, cowboy legged, hammer pants wearing, oversized glasses overusing, frowny faced, overpierced, cigarette equipped..."tableau girls". I call them that because that is where I first saw them, though they also like LAMB, Mon Tissu, Tres Blah and in the old days, Boing Fromage, besides the usual Fashionably Dead, Nylon Outfitters and Clawtooth  Tell me that this image of Elka and these displays aren't the ancestors and inspiration for the current generation of even MORE exaggerated you-know-whats.

No girls, you are not being indie anymore, in 2006 being a touch cartoony with slightly wider hips, capri pants and oversized glasses was indie compared to the high heels and party dress wearing barbie glamour girls like me, but in 2012 you are a caricature.  Stop it!  If I never see a pair of oversized glasses again.....  Now if they looked like Zooey Deschanel, that would be another story.

Sax Shepherd Jewellery line: Frills

The Blessed Velvet Head, who is otherwise known to people who don't use silly titles as Salome Strangelove, has been encouraging a friend of hers to maketh the jewellery.  This be-eth a good thing, because Salome knows her stuff, and knows the grid could use a good jewellery maker.  Salome also told me she's been telling Sax about former jewellery maker Miriel Enfield and explaining her needs in jewellery.  The new line being from Sax Shepherd Designs and called "Frills"

So, being as I am a former lackey of hers, I was provided with some stuffs to look at.  Chunky beady stuffs  The first set that I caught notice of in my inventory  was the red and black lacquer Poetry set, being intrigued by the name I put it on.

CC loves.  That's basically all I have to say, I'm no jewellery expert, but I know what I love, and I love that.  And if I had seen it while out shopping with L$ in my pocket, it would have ended up in my inventory.  I love it that much.  Comes in other colors too!  And with armbands and anklets.  (I'm not much for ankletts, not even in RL.)  It is also reasonably priced, Salome is training Sax well.

I also tried on the Carbide Pitanga set, nobody does carbide in SL, which is a crying shame.  Which I also liked for it's chunky sort of stripey grayness.

That is also not the only carbide set Sax has done, which is a good thing. 

The sets are scripted with easy to use resize scripts...I had to take them down about 5% for me.  And if this is what Sax has come up with having only started doing jewellery, I can't wait to see what he comes up with once he really gets going.  And thank you, Oh Great Piggie Bunned Salome, for bringing unto me the beady goodness.

SLURL to SSD: Frills at Seven Veils

Friday, May 11, 2012

CC McGrumpyPants: Hamlet Total Fail.

Hamlet is complaining about his technical issues again.

I will say it again, he's wrong to blame LL  The blame should rest on himself, and his inability to recognize that default laptop video drivers often need replacing. 
 LL themselves say that on Windows Vista and 7 you should use the absolute latest drivers.  I've troubleshooted serveral friends SL issues, and I have found that several times, their graphics driver was NOT up to date and sending them to Nvidia/ATI to download the latest driver fixed the problem.

 But let me address those bullet points:

  • Buy a better laptop to run SL.  
No, SL is hard on laptops and since most laptops don't have user upgradable graphics cards, you're out of luck if you want to  upgrade.

  •  Get a better graphics card to run SL.
Well that 335M should run SL fairly well for what he does. Though turning on Shadows will probably drop his framerate in half.

  • Stop using a Dell/Alienware to run SL.
Yes, while Alienware was once a boutique brand the hard-core gamer geeks tend to prefer other brands now.

  • Stop using Windows 7 and install Linux OS to run SL.
Yes, he could, I do.  I have minimal issues, I often make jokes about how stable SL is for me compared to others, but SL should run pretty well oh his laptop once he gets his issues fixed.

  • Use another third party viewer (made by non-Linden staff) to run SL.
Nope, I always recommend LL viewers, either mainline or Snowstorm if you want to contribute to testing and catching problems before they reach main release

  • Stop expecting SL to work like a mainstream product and just learn to run SL.
Yes, SL is not a mainstream product.  Gamer companies PAY nvidia to add profiels for the games to Nvidia's control panel/settings thingy.  They give or supply at reduced cost sofware and games to include WITH video cards.  LL does not do those things.

  • Here is a long and detailed technical explanation on how to fix your problem that would be nearly impossible for an average consumer to follow, but you should do so anyway to run SL.

It's no fault but your own, Hamlet, if people tell you how to fix your issues but you refuse to do so and keep on complaining.  I know that if I'm experiencing graphics problems in windows, the first thing I should check is to see if Nvidia released a new driver package version.  Also if I had a hybrid card setup as in some laptops I would check to make certain the crappy Integrated half is disabled and ensure that it ONLY uses the good half with it's own RAM.  Installing a new graphics driver is easy, it's not hardcore nerd work, and everyone should know where to go to get updated video drivers for their computer.  It's kind of like knowing how to check the air in the tires of a car and put air in if needed.

Hamlet, I offer again to fix your problems via remote assistance as I said in a previous post.  I'll even sweeten the offer.  If I can't fix your SL issues in an hour or less, I will pay you L$1000.  I make this offer out of nerd pride and the desire to get you in-world more.  You may not like the fact that I called you on your indirect financial relationhsip with Facebook in regards to your excessive shilling of a Facebook/SL connection, I am truly offering to help

ADDENDUM:  Just had an idea.  Hamlet, since you went all gaga over Philip Rosedales Coffee & Power startup, maybe you could offer up a job there to fix your SL issues remotely....when they're back up running. silly startups, keep your original stuff running until the new stuff is 100% ready, then do the transition.

And Hamlet...neither you or I, are Tom Wolfe.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Bloggy Disservice

I must apologize to my very few readers, and to the SL shoppers in general for doing them a disservice in my blogging.

I have ignored certain issues, like quality, or store builds, or pricing and not commented on them.   you see, as a blogger, it's part of my duty to do things like that.  We bloggers should be advocates and ombudspeople for consumers, insisting on good quality, fair prices, etc.  I have not been doing that and I should have been.

In part it's because I'm nice and don't want to make people upset, or cause drama.  I have attempted to discuss certain issues in certain groups but it tends to cause a slight ruckus, so I back down.

But today I'm going to talk about certain issues, without getting too particular, for the most part.

1. Mesh and Pricing:  Personally I don't think creators should charge more for mesh products.  For one, mesh has been in the works for ages, so creators should have been learning the tools a year ago, though I do take that in account.   The real reason is that there's a glut of stuff in SL and shoppers are tapped out!  Shoppers can only spend so much, and there's so much supply and only so much demand...that should mean that prices should DROP, but they haven't.  And of course I've always been a big fan of "everyday low prices" a la Bare Rose.  And also, Mesh is a crapshoot, sure there's demos for some of it, but i's still a crapshoot.

 2. Hair.  Most mesh hair is "meh" and it looks plastiky.  I haven't seen any really worth owning...not even Truth or Elika, though they come closest.  There is also a problem with a "sameness of styles"'s hard to tell hair apart since everyone is doing superlong and full hair that's swept back on one side and poofed out on the other for the frowny girls with hammerpants.  This is especially a problem with Truth hair, which is really having the "sameness" issue with me.  Enough with the headbands and the brushed back bangs.

3. Skills and quality:  Some creators haven't really skilled up over the years and it shows.  Some have also been a bit slack in the quality  I think every creator could use a second pair of eyes, to help keep them honest. I've had two recent purchases that emphasized this.

One was an ensemble that looks fine from a distance but up close it's edges need work..and this was a long time creator that should have caught it.   What's worse is that I picked up a similar item from another long time maker that is 1/3rd the price and is of higher quality.

Another was a mesh dress that is simply sub-par, even if I like the texture/color of it.  Neither have been seen on this blog and they won't ever be seen.

4. Shoes are overpriced, compared to everything else, we all know this and we shouldn't put up with it as stop buying L$1000 shoes already!

5. Pricing in general, take what I said about mesh and add this:  Supply is high, demand is static.  There's only so many people willing to spend money in SL.  Part of that is the designers problem for overusing freebies as a marketing tool.  I know several people who simply DO NOT SHOP, and group hop, and do other things to get a ton of freebies/cheapies.  Rather than charging a high price and getting few sales...why not charge low enough that people actually spend MORE than they what they would at the high price level without realizing it.  Would you rather they spend 800 on one item, or 1000 or 1200 without realizing it because your stuff is cheap enough that they buy multiple items.  And do NOT charge more for the complete set than the items bought separately added together....that will REALLY annoy me and make me not want to shop there ever again.   Sure it could be a mistake, but that's why you need the second pair of eyes!  Every vendor should be checked by someone else for typos/misnaming/mispricing!

6. Store builds.  I have seen far too many crappy store builds lately.  Mostly it seems to be an issue of wasted space, don't make me walk a half mile to see all your stuff.  Gown makers seem to be the worst at this.   Azul, I'm looking at you...single sided displays that are spread out too much and are overly large...  And don't get me started on inconsistent naming schemes, or items not given good descriptive names. In other words, don't name the glitch pants, glitch pants...give them a "Dress X - Noir- glitch pants, pants layer" name.

7. Use your groups, for other than just dropping announcements of new releases.  they can supply the second pairs of eyes, and if you can get them to be frank, good honest feedback.

8.  Talk to the bloggers/press, and actually "listen"...we can really help you, when we're not being too whiny.

This does not mean I'm going to blog stuff and then say how I don't like it or that it sucks...I'm too nice for that.  But be aware that I DO notice things and DO talk about them sometimes.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

My entry in the Summer Beauty Drag Pageant.

Just a quick post on my entry into the Summer Beauty Drag Pageant I mentioned last post:

On all:

Shape: Male, I modded my own shape
Skin: Nomine Andro Latte clean
Makeup layers by MOCK
Tiara and Jewellery by Native Visions, Wee-Ah & Rhia,

On Left:
Truth Jean Hair in Blood, Miriel
Enfield Eyes in Strong Green,
Lady D suit by Elisea Carter,
Carmen pantyhose by Insolence,
Madison Mesh boots from DECO
MOCK Makeup layers used: Super Neutralogy eye, and and L`Eau lip gloss in Russian Red

On Center and Right:
Truth Tanya Hair in Blood
"Nine" Gown by Purple Moon,
Mock Makeup layers used: Licorice Whips makeover and L`Eau lip gloss in Russian Red

Friday, May 04, 2012

Summer Beauty Drag Pageant

Here's details on the Summer Beauty Drag Pageant  envisioned by Aemeth Lysette.

That's an interesting idea actually. In my very early days I tried to make the male shape I started with as pretty as I could...but just decided to click the gender button. The trick is that they have to use a male shape are are encouraged to use a male skin, though most MTF crossdressers/drag folks and transitioners tend to use full coverage least until they've done permanent beard removal.

Though personally those femboys with their waif-like bishonen meets kawaii shapes are going to have an edge. Put a female skin on them and bingo, pretty!  I took one of my acquaintanceto my favorite skin crack dealer, and ETD...I mean Elikatira some months ago. Made her...I mean him, look even more adorable and squee-worthy.

I don't plan on participating, for one I think I deleted my male shape. and I'd probably be too quick to cheat a little even if it was just subconsciously, since I know which male faces and bodies are "easier" to transform.  "how about I make him slender, and short, and give  him some nice andrej pejic cheekbones, and make  his eyes slightly larger, and give him a slender nose and lets plump up those lips a touch so that when I put a minimal makeup skin and MOCK makeup on him, he'll look faboo"

Though this quote in a post by my Nemesis Hamlet Au over at NWN (okay he's not REALLY my nemesis), over at NWN, made me go WTF!:

Your actual real life gender is irrelevant, though I have a feeling that all else being equal, female SLers will probably have an edge, even over all the many men who like to roleplay as hot avatar girls.

I absolutely disagree.  Who knows more about making a male shape and face look "feminine", female SLers...or male bodied people who actually crossdress/do drag or are transitioning?  Personally, I know quite a few skills related to that, and yes, they're applicable to SL.

This is not the first time that Hamlet's ignored the existence of MTF transfolk in SL.  Have you noticed that Hamlet seems to mention/promote the blogs of female avatars that are open about their RL female identities?  I think this Hamlet quote from a post about the Boudoir design house sisters says it all

 Which is yet another example to counter the cliche that glamorous female avatars in Second Life are really fat naked guys in a basement -- sometimes, they're actually glamorous European women in a high-end fashion salon.
Yeah, lets hide the fact that some female avatars are played by non-transgendered men...and some even played by MTF transfolk like me, under a rug, shall we.

Caledon Minecraft!

Caledon has a Minecraft Server provided by our dear Generous Guvnah Shang, as a sort of bonus to feature to Caledon residents. Here's a short video I made, showing one of the "trains" a bit of the main Village and I eventually walk to my little outpost at the edge of the Jungle.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Challenge for Hamlet Au

My Nerd pride is acting up today. Ol Hamlet Au, whom I openly think is clueless in regards to SL, has been complaining about problems with SL clients for a long time on his 18 month old high end...snicker...laptop.

A recent post has the gist of his complaints First off, in hardcore gamerland, which I am not a part of, high end becomes dumpster crap very very quickly. I looked up his specs of his Alienware m11x. It is NOT a high end machine...not even for 2010.

 It's got a Dual core CPU running at 1.3 GHz....the slowest I've ever run SL is on a 2.2 GHz Single core, and a 2.0 GHz dual core machne. It uses Hybrid graphics, it uses integrated for basic stuff and a GT335M for things like SL...THAT is what is probably causing the issues.

For one if Hamlet's lifestyle is as mobile as he says it is, he's probably running that thing unconnected from power which might switch to integrated...which will suck.

And secondly, that GT335 is only slightly better and in a couple of ways...worse than my GT220. them GT 335M GT 220

While it does have more cores than my GT220, it's slower and it's OpenGL support (which SL uses) isn't as good: 2.1 intead of the 3.1 my GT220 supports.

 I want to fix Hamlet's issue, because one of the reasons I think Hamlet is clueless about SL these days is that he doesn't spend enough time in world. And the reason he doesn't is his tech issues, which I'd lay odds I could fix in an hour or less. Which would basically be, uninstalling imprudence...removing his settings.xml file from the standard viewer path, installing V3, installing the newest nvidia drivers...turning off Aero...and totally disabling the low end intel-integrated part of his hybrid graphics.

So here's the challenge to Hamlet: Let me Remote in to your box....if I can fix the issue in an hour or less....I get a reward. What sort of reward? Well, more dresses would be nice.....but I'd settle for an Op-Ed gig on NWN or even being unbanned from comments.

 Now you're all thinking: "But CC Hamlet knows you think he's clueless and would never let you remote into his laptop."..that's true, but I have nerd pride and would never take out my disagreement on Hamlet's writing...on his SL experience. I want his experience to be better so he spends more time in-world and becomes LESS clueless.

I also sent an e-mail to Hamlet a few weeks ago with a few similar suggestions.

 By the way, Organic Silk Dress from League, Analog Dog "Gala" hair, G Field shoes.