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My first time Hypergrid standalone June 2, 2011

Posted by justincc in hypergrid, opensim, personal, secondlife, virtual-environments, virtual-worlds.
7 comments

Okay, so I know this will come as a bit of a surprise to some, but up till now I’ve never run a Hypergrid-enabled OpenSimulator instance.  Oh sure, I’ve looked at the documentation, read and reviewed the code and even written blog posts about it, but I’ve never found the time to actually put theory into practice.

Until now, that is.  Early this week, Nebadon Izumi was kind enough to give me some space on one of his openSUSE 11.2 servers and so I got to work.  First off, I cloned the very latest OpenSimulator development code from the Git repository, which was on Wed Jun 1 (commit 0a430bb).  I don’t advise this unless you’ve got the time and inclination to cope with all the issues of being on the very, very bleeding edge, especially right now as Diva is implementing HG friends and instant messaging :).

Then, after a standard prebuild.sh; nant; cp bin/OpenSim.ini.example bin/OpenSim.ini, I went in to bin/ and

  1. Changed the http_listener_port in the [Network] section to 20000 from 9000.
  2. Uncommented the Include-Architecture = “config-include/StandaloneHypergrid.ini” line.
  3. cp config-include/StandaloneCommon.ini.example config-include/StandaloneCommon.ini
  4. Opened the StandaloneCommon.ini file and did a search and replace of all “127.0.0.1:9000” references with “justincc.osgrid.org:20000”
  5. Started up mono –debug OpenSim.exe and answered the questions to set up an initial region, with a Location of 10000, 10000 and an ExternalHostName of justincc.osgrid.org
  6. Answered further questions to set this up in an estate called e1 owned by a user called Justin Clark-Casey with my own password.

Actually, I’m lying – at first I tried using port 9000, having forgotten that Nebadon gave me a different port range.  However, I soon realized when OpenSim complained of not being able to use that port on the first startup!

Okay, I’m also lying in that I started an ordinary standalone first just to check that everything actually worked before plunging into the relative unknown.

But after doing those other things, I logged in with the old 1.23 Second Life viewer and was pleasantly surprised to find that the direct login to -loginuri justincc.osgrid.org:20000 still worked.  After futzing around a bit, I went to the Hypergates website and clicked on the “Hypergrid Jump” link for the “Newest” Bellona Network Hypergates entry, which happened to be John Rogate’s Creative Twists region on osgrid.org (my address is justincc.osgrid.org but since it’s a hypergrid standalone it’s actually entirely independent from the rest of OSGrid).

And lo and behold, Firefox complained that it didn’t understand the protocol. (not surprising on my Ubuntu 11.04 box).  So I looked at the link manually

secondlife://hg.osgrid.org:80:twistsannex/151/158/31

noting the cool way that OSGrid’s hypergrid gateway address was embedded in a ‘normal’ Second Life link.  I remembered that you could click these things directly in the viewer chat, so I pasted it in, gave it a click, was pleased to note that my totally flat green map tile came up in the Place Information dialog and clicked Teleport.

And lo and behold, it worked!  I was able to run around this totally independent install of OpenSimulator and admire the architecture.  And my name had now become Justin.Clark-Casey@justincc.osgrid.org.  Fantastically cool – a truly distributed metaverse! (yeah, yeah, I know, I’m late to the party :).  Then I couldn’t teleport out again, though I suspect this is actually a network issue that John has.  And right now the region can’t be reached, which stops me posting a picture of it.  So instead, here’s a nice picture of when I went to one of Ai Austin’s OpenVue regions (secondlife://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002:Vue-9000/128/128/30)

and then on to Lbsa Plaza (secondlife://hg.osgrid.org:80:Lbsa%20Plaza/128/128/40), which for some reason locks me to the edge of the region on initial teleport, though I can then reteleport within the sim and everything works.

A couple of times I got bit by the “4096” bug, where you can’t hypergrid to any region more than 4096 regions away on the x or y axis from your current region (Linden Lab thought that 16,777,216 regions ought to be enough for anybody ;).  This specific teleport failure reason only appears to be printed in the OpenSimulator log at the moment which can leave the user a bit mystified.  And early on, I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t get to secondlife://hg.osgrid.org:80/Wright%20Plaza/128/128/30 from justincc.osgrid.org, until Nebadon pointed out to me that both my region and Wright Plaza had the co-ordinate 10000, 10000 (which tends to upset things :).

Getting an OSGrid user into my justincc.osgrid.org and setting up FreeSWITCH on my hypergrid standalone was another adventure, which I’ll write more about soon.

If you want some more structured hypergrid instructions, there’s a page on the OpenSimulator wiki though I’m not sure how up to date it currently is for OpenSimulator 0.7.1.1.  And there’s also Diva’s D2 distribution which is pre-configured in 2×2 Megaregion configuration with Hypergrid access.

Speaking at MetaMeets 2011 in Amsterdam in June April 28, 2011

Posted by justincc in opensim, personal.
8 comments

Hi folks.  Just a short note to say that I’ll be speaking at the Metameets 2011 conference in Amsterdam on Friday 17 June to Sunday 19 June.  I went last year and it was a lot of fun.  As well as seeing a whole lot of interesting presentations during the day F, it was also a great opportunity to talk to people who are really passionate about virtual environments and the emerging opportunities that they present.

The social side was fantastic as well – everybody was very friendly and a large group of us went out to dinner and to various bars every night.  Being in Ireland, this meant the consumption of a large amount of guiness and a certain bleariness the next morning 🙂

Naturally, in my time slot this year I’ll be speaking about OpenSimulator and closely related topics.  However, I haven’t made up my mind as to exactly what I’ll be talking about yet, so any suggestions are welcome (especially if you’re going to be there!).  I’m likely to do a more general or user-oriented talk than anything hardcore technical, but outside of that I’m happy to have pretty much any kind of conversation.

If you’re planning on coming along to Amsterdam in June then let me know and I’ll look forward to meeting you!

On another note, and in an eerie echo of last year’s Metameets post, I’ve got a little more time right now so I plan to start writing some proper posts again soon as well as the weekly development summaries.  Look out for those in the coming weeks and if there’s anything that you’d particularly like to see covered then please let me know.

Going to be at MetaMeets 2010 in Dublin next weekend April 30, 2010

Posted by justincc in events, opensim, personal.
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I thought it would be fun to go (physically!) to MetaMeets this year in Dublin on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th May.  MetaMeets, if you haven’t heard of it, is a conference for developers and users of virtual environments.  It isn’t tied to any one particular platform or sector and so there are many interesting speakers, ranging from people organizing music in virtual worlds to companies building standalone business platforms.

I won’t be presenting there myself but I’m still really looking forward to talking to people interested in OpenSim, not only during the day but also over a few evening beers.  So if you’re not going to the conference but do happen to be in Dublin, then please feel free to drop me a comment, tweet or an e-mail if you’d like to meet up.  And even if you’re not actually in Dublin, I’d be very pleased to chat over the virtual conference environments that are an integral part of MetaMeets.  Tickets for either the physical or virtual parts of the conference are still available.

On another note, I know that the blog has been rather quiet of late with only the regular development summaries posted.  As usual, the pressure of work (though OpenSim related!) has taken it’s toll.  But I hope to get back to some more regular posting soon – probably in the form of short articles on technical topics.  As ever, drop me an e-mail, comment or tweet if there’s anything that you’d particularly like to see.

OpenSim London Meetup Report February 2, 2010

Posted by justincc in events, opensim, personal, secondlife, virtual-environments, virtual-worlds.
4 comments

Hi folks.  As many of you know, last Sunday (Tuesday 2nd Feb 2010) we had an OpenSim real-world meetup at The Jugged Hare in London.  It was a really good event – lots of very interesting people came along and we had some great conversations about all kinds of OpenSim related topics – grids, development, education, applications – pretty much everything.  Unfortunately, I had a problem with my camera but Tipton Cole of lovejoysim was able to take some photos (apologies in advance for the blurriness).

Here’s Sean Doherty, Digital Strategy Director of Maverick Media related his adventures with OpenSim on OSGrid.  He looks very pleased about having his photo taken 🙂

Olli Aro of Second Places came along and told us about the interesting stuff he’s doing with OpenSim and education at The Content Grid.

Chris Hart, CTO of Reaction Grid had some great feedback on the experience of running public OpenSim installations.

Here’s a real power discussion – core developers Darren Guard (OpenSim founder and consultant currently working for Rezzable) and Melanie Thielker of Careminster Limited and 3D Hosting finally meet face to face.

As usual I (on the left) look incredibly fat in photographs (not helped by the fact that I actually am too fat).  Bob Wellman of PMGrid (only just visible facing the camera) and Kevin Buckley of Immersv join in the discussion.

And thanks to Peter, Aron, Deepwire, Dr Olinkha Gustafson-Pearce, SlimWarrior, Mal Burns, Will Jeffery (MD of Maverick Media) and everybody else who came along (please, please e-mail me if I accidentally left you out or mislinked to you).  You guys really made it a successful event.  We should definitely have another one, quite possibly in the second half of this year, if not sooner.

Talking about OpenSim at the Kopiwa Open Innovation Symposium December 4, 2009

Posted by justincc in opensim, opensim-applications, opensim-integration, personal.
10 comments

Hey folks.  Just a short note to say that I’ll be talking about OpenSim at the Kopiwa Open Innovation Symposium (programme PDF) at Mülheim an der Ruhr in Germany on Monday 7th December 2009.  This is in conjunction with Dirk Krause (Technical Director) and Markus Strickler (Senior IT Developer) of Pixelpark, the largest indepedent digital service agency in Germany (English information here).  We’ll be discussing some of the experimental projects that Pixelpark have created using OpenSimulator, including virtual meeting spaces and training roleplay scenarios based on the OpenSim-In-A-Box project.  OpenSim-In-A-Box is a pre-configured Amazon EC2 OpenSim instance produced by Pixelpark that comes ready-integrated with Freeswitch, a package that enables voice chat within OpenSim.

The symposium itself focuses upon the exploration of “Open innovation” rather than open-source virtual environments per se.  Open innovation is the idea that in order to maintain or gain a competitive advantage in the world today, firms can no longer look chiefly to their own development labs.  Instead, more than ever before they must co-operate with external entities, both the traditional, such as universities, and the non-traditional, such as individual freelancers and competitors.

This is particularly interesting in the context of open-source projects where innovation occurs out in the open and is accessible to everyone.  The OpenSim project, in particular, provides a neutral playground where otherwise fierce competitors such as IBM and Intel co-operate with a myriad of smaller companies and individuals with cool ideas in order to build a common virtual environment platform.  This then forms the basis for the next wave of innovative applications and virtual worlds.

Many thanks to PixelPark and in particular Dirk Krause, a long-time OpenSim enthusiast, for involving me in this.  And apologies for the very short notice if anybody would have been interested in attending – I wasn’t too sure if I would be able to make it until very recently.  The papers themselves will be released in book form early next year and I will be sure to link to any material that comes out on the web.  Of course, I’m also very happy to discuss any of ideas in this blog or elsewhere 🙂

I’m now a freelance OpenSim consultant September 17, 2009

Posted by justincc in opensim, opensim-dev, personal, secondlife, virtual-environments, virtual-worlds.
7 comments

Hi folks.  As of today, I’m publicly announcing my availability as a freelance open source virtual worlds consultant.  Given my history, I’m naturally going to specialize in OpenSim though I also have some knowledge of other open source virtual environment platforms.

So if you need some OpenSim-related consulting or programming, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at justincc@justincc.org or jjustincc@googlemail.com.  I’m also happy to provide free general strategic advice about OpenSim and its ecosystem, time permitting.

Here’s a copy of the information that can now be found on my hire me page.

I work as a freelance IT consultant specializing in OpenSimulator, the open source virtual environment platform compatible with Second Life clients.  I have been a core committer to OpenSimulator since December 2007 (the project itself started in January 2007).  In that time, I’ve implemented significant chunks of existing Second Life functionality, as well as performing refactoring, unit testing and bug fixes in many areas.  I’ve also created features unique to OpenSim, such as OpenSim Archives (OARs) and more recently OpenSim Inventory Archives (IARs).

You can see a record of my contributions to OpenSim (my handle is justincc).

I also have an extensive network of contacts within the OpenSim community and frequently write about OpenSim topics and development.

As a consultant, I can help you with

  • Setting up an OpenSim system – OpenSim is a complex system which isn’t always easy to get running.  Among other things, I can help you with installation, configuration and deployment of both the base system and third party modules.
  • Custom OpenSim development – I have a deep knowledge of OpenSim internals and interfaces so I can write custom modules for you or make local changes to the core parts of OpenSim.  I can also integrate suitable core changes into OpenSim itself if you wish to release them.
  • OpenSim-based application development – I can help you with the integration of OpenSim with external systems or websites to form OpenSim-based applications.  I can also port existing Second Life based applications to OpenSim where feasible.
  • Strategic advice – The area of open-source virtual environments is evolving extremely rapidly.  As well as strategic advice about the technical aspects of OpenSim, such as current development directions and system architectures, I can offer broader information about the surrounding ecosystem of virtual environment viewers, grids and content providers.I’m very happy to provide general strategic advice for free, please e-mail me.  I can produce documents and detailed strategic advice requiring original research as part of a consulting contract.

In addition to the above, I would be very interested in blogging about projects that I consult on if the details are publicly releasable.  And even if you require consulting on a confidential project, by taking out a contract you will still be directly helping the OpenSim platform by enabling me to continue to contribute open-source code and ideas.

For information about my media appearances please see my about me page.

Here is my resume.

Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at justincc@justincc.org for information about my rates and discussion of your requirements, as well as for free strategic advice and general OpenSim-related conversation.

Blog move! August 28, 2009

Posted by justincc in personal.
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Hi folks.  Just a short post to let you know that I’m moving my canoncial blog address is changing from

https://justincc.wordpress.com

to

http://justincc.org/blog

to give myself a bit more leeway with using different WordPress plugins and themes.  However, all the existing links to https://justincc.wordpress.com and the RSS feeds should continue to work fine, though the justincc.wordpress.com domain will probably disappear in a year or two.  If you have any problems accessing anything, please let me know on justincc <a t> justincc <d o t> org.  Thanks!

You’ll also notice a slightly different site theme.  I quite like it, but it does need some colour and some tweaking – hopefully I’ll get round to that sooner rather than later (maybe 🙂

Appearance on TWiT’s FLOSS Weekly Podcast June 12, 2009

Posted by justincc in opensim, personal, virtual-environments, virtual-worlds.
2 comments

For anybody who doesn’t know yet, Leo Laporte, Randal Schwartz and Jono Bacon from TWiT.TV were kind enough to have me on their FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) Podcast number 72 this week.  The subject was, of course, OpenSim and it was a lot of fun to talk about it with them.  There was a lot to squeeze in so apologies for not being able to mention everything that’s going on!

Also, apologies for not having written anything much apart from OpenSim development summaries here recently.  As usual, there’s a tremendous amount going on in my life and unfortunately blogging got squeezed out for a while.  But I hope to return to it soon, probably with shorter and easier to read posts 🙂

Appearance on TWiT's FLOSS Weekly Podcast June 12, 2009

Posted by justincc in opensim, personal, virtual-environments, virtual-worlds.
2 comments

For anybody who doesn’t know yet, Leo Laporte, Randal Schwartz and Jono Bacon from TWiT.TV were kind enough to have me on their FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) Podcast number 72 this week.  The subject was, of course, OpenSim and it was a lot of fun to talk about it with them.  There was a lot to squeeze in so apologies for not being able to mention everything that’s going on!

Also, apologies for not having written anything much apart from OpenSim development summaries here recently.  As usual, there’s a tremendous amount going on in my life and unfortunately blogging got squeezed out for a while.  But I hope to return to it soon, probably with shorter and easier to read posts 🙂

Personal News: Joining the FRI and panelling at the LA Virtual Worlds Expo August 5, 2008

Posted by justincc in opensim, personal.
3 comments

As some of you may already have read at Shenlei’s blog, I’m going to be leaving IBM next month to join the Fashion Research Institute as their Lead Developer for the Black Dress Technology subsidiary.  This is a fantastic opportunity to employ OpenSim as the base platform for a commercial enterprise application.  I’m very much looking forward to working with Shenlei, her colleagues and IBM to make BDT’s apparel product design solution a complete success.

On joining the Fashion Research Institute I’ll be continuing to contribute to OpenSim both as a developer and as an enthusiast :).  The  improvements that we make to the OpenSim platform in the course of developing our application will be contributed back to the open source project.

In other personal news, in the first week of September I’ll be in Los Angeles for the Virtual Worlds 2008 Expo.  In fact, I’ll be on a panel discussing open source, interoperable virtual worlds (scroll down right at the bottom of the page) along with Adam Frisby, Mic Bowman and Tish Shute (of UgoTrade fame).  Charles Krinke (OpenSim core developer and chief operator of OSGrid) will also be at the expo.  If anybody else is in the area and wants to meet up for a chat (and a drink), please feel free to drop me an e-mail – I’d love to hear from you (I must get on those new-fangled social network things one of these days 🙂