Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday miscellany

It's Monday again. Another week begins.

Weather continues wonderfully autumnal: blue skies, warm sun, gentle breeze. The chestnuts are nearly finished, the acorns and hazelnuts have started to fall, there are berries everywhere of all colours and shapes.

My not-quite-a-cold remains just that. I am determined to ignore it.

I will be in Canada in two weeks and haven't yet written the speech I will have to give at my parents' wedding anniversary party. I've known about the party for half a year; I've known for two months (and suspected from the beginning) that I would have to give a speech. My inclination is to wing it, because I am good at speaking off-the-cuff. But that's not the reason I haven't written this speech.

This is the reason: I just don't know what to say. I cannot come up with anything that is neither a horse-laugh-inducing bromide nor a yawning platitude.

In other news after two weeks in G and U's new office, I conclude that I really like the place. It's a converted shopfront in one of the most pleasant streets in Stuttgart, a broad residential street lined on both sides by mature trees and rose bushes.

office_1 office_3 office_2

Working there feels like being in the middle of a small town. There is a steady trickle of pedestrians going by our windows, schoolkids of various ages and ordinary citizens going about their business. We were all vaguely worried about that enormous expanse of glass, fearing that we would feel like goldfish in a bowl. In fact, it's not an issue (yet, wait to see how it feels in winter when it's dark outside). The great majority of people walk past our six metre long single-pane-of-glass window without so much as glancing at it. Children sometimes stoop to look under the obscuring stripe; if I notice them in time I smile and wave.

In other, other news I continue to spend too much time in Second Life. I wrote my first object script on the weekend: a simple box that sits on the ground and greets by name people who approach it. It knows the difference between me (i.e. its owner) and you: the box turns blue if I click on it but green if you do. Simple stuff, but I was very pleased. The language is easy, it's based on C so anyone who has done any serious programming at all will feel quite comfortable working in LSL. Documentation is a problem, there's a wiki but it is quite patchy and has far too few working examples. (That's something that I could do to make myself useful in the community.)

While showering this morning I decided on a project: to make a functioning analog wristwatch for avatars. It should display either SL-time or your own timezone, and should (of course) update itself automatically. Not too hard a task—and pleasingly useless too, for the SL viewer software has a digital clock built in.

Finally courtesy of CP a very funny video to start your day with a smile.

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Anonymous ann marie said...

Hi and good Monday, navigated here from Antonia's ville because of one of your questions on the geeky VC-guys philosophy question but then I saw you're in SL too. - Agreed on LSL not too difficult if I can use it and script although I'm more of a builder/sculptor. Say, if you do that avatar wristwatch could you consider making a converter for several timezones. I have grown into thinking in "Linden time" (PDT naturally) but sometimes it's like "Hey, for the in-world SL meeting, er, what time is that in GMT+3 if I am in GMT-5" and drop a landmark to Marigold Galland in-world or advertise it :)

September 24, 2007 at 2:06:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Oh, you are starting to get me interested in SL, but I've too much else to do.

September 24, 2007 at 5:47:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger May said...

Your family might just as well be happy to hear what you consider a platitude. When the other night my little one told me 4 times in 10 minutes - I LOVE YOU - I was delighted to hear each of them.

Good on you for your SL achievements! I am interested to know how it works (though not in trying it, yet).

September 24, 2007 at 9:05:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Pacian said...

"My inclination is to wing it, because I am good at speaking off-the-cuff."

Yes, I find the trick to public speaking is to already know what you're going to say, but to allow the way you say it to arise naturally.

September 25, 2007 at 12:39:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Diana said...

That's a toughie for a speech. Walking the line between being funny and witty but not vile as they're you parents and all.

Better you than me.

September 25, 2007 at 4:53:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

AnnMarie: I've noted the name and will let you know.

Joe: yeah, it's a enormous timeswallower. Be careful.

May: you may well be right that I am overjudging the need to be profound and insightful and whatever.

Pacian: indeed, that is the key. I expect that I'll do a combination of the two, bulletpoint triggers in order and a few good phrases noted.

Diana: well, better someone else than me, but it's not a request that I can refuse.

September 25, 2007 at 7:46:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger zhoen said...

Just don't do it in PowerPoint, 'n you'll be fine.

September 26, 2007 at 1:43:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Anonymous ann marie said...

/me = AnnMarie in CamelCaps who almost never reveals her SL identity in full nods, maybe see you all in SL one day, adding "It has to be managed in terms of time spent versus yield, just like everything else". I don't want to hog public speech-writing space here but you know, agreed on loosely written speaking points and take it from there, factoring in audience and so on ... because the opening line sets the tone, then as pacian puts it, it's all in the way of saying it all, and momentum counts. I have found myself in public speaking situations (very unlike this one) when the ambiance was cold because of expectations and had to do a few one-liners first then... well, blanking out is just out of question, stay with the situation not that you need this. Here's a hi to y'all.

September 26, 2007 at 1:54:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Powerpoint?! the solution!!! why didn't I think of that!!! (runs off to reserve a beamer)

September 27, 2007 at 9:06:00 p.m. GMT+2  

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