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Friday, 25 July 2008

All sky camera at the Astro-Park

If you have been along to Shimmer Island, then I suspect you may have taken a teleport up to the Astro-Park. In recent times I have been populating the park with all kinds of astro type resources, but the one resource I have been on the lookout for is a facility that will allow me to display a live image of the night sky, after all lets face it, surely one of the great pleasures in astronomy is actually seeing real stars. Anyway the other day I decided to get on top of this one and see what could be done and I came across a web site run by Paul Beskeen at Paul runs a whole sky camera linked to his server that streams images to the web every 60 seconds. Well it’s just as well web page on prim came along recently because it was no great task to get the images displaying. An avatar touches the screen and the stream switches on displaying the latest image, now if the avatar remains within 4 meters, then a scanner will reload the page every minute, if you move away then the default texture is returned and the stream closes.

So what can you see? Well as you can see this is a day time shot, but I would safely say stars down to magnitude 3 / 4, and we may be lucky enough to capture the odd meteor trail. All in all its well worth a look and by the way if you would like to join the Shimmer group and stay in touch with all our latest resources, then you can open enrol and membership is free.

Look forward to any feedback, by for now Skipper

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

My Tiny Life

The title of this posting as you can see is in fact taken from the book of the same name, you can pick up a copy used real cheap from Amazon and I can recommend it. I found my copy in a charity shop and it makes compelling reading. The story line is based around a journey through the RL-VR world of LambdaMOO. If you are intrigued by the blurring and merging of SL and RL, with all the moral, legal, aesthetic and philosophical connotations of functioning in both realities, then I feel you will certainly find this book worth a dip, and when was it published – 1998, that’s ten years ago and eight years before I got into SL!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

SL and Professional Development

I ran our first in college professional development for Second Life the other day with staff. Though I know many colleges have vulnerabilities regarding the ports that SL requires to be open, we have managed to get around that by having a subnet that bypasses the firewall and so is physically separate, though of course we do also require a partitioned open Windows build at the client. After demonstrating my place in SL and its main features, everyone went onto the net and signed in for an SL account, logged in and started the tour of Orientation Island. All in all the feedback for the event scored between Good and Very Good, so that’s encouraging. Having started , I guess the next stage is going to be in developing a strategy for the systems deployment as part of our main stream programmes.