Red Hardware Blues

I’ve stated many times that I love Friday evenings in SL. I love winding down the week with good friends and good music late at night at TriBeCa, with Calli spinning an eclectic mix for us. THIS Friday was going to be even more fun. The 1st Question was going to be on FRIDAY this week. *grin* I never did ask why, but my assumption was that some sporting event or other was interfering with the usual Sunday night time slot. Pooky Asterdam always finds the wittiest, smartest, most pleasant folks to be contestants on the show. This week the guests were StupidFun Will, Widget Whiteberry and Alem Theas. Oh? You don’t recognize them? Perhaps you know them better in a different life. Will is Will Wright, creator of The Sims and new member of the Linden Lab board. Widget is the co-producer of Virtually Speaking, conversations on politics, media, economics, science and more, hosted before live audiences in SL. Alem is Grady Booch, known internationally for his ground-breaking work in software architecture and engineering, and collaborative development environments. You can see why I was eager to catch this edition!

I’ve mentioned my love for red. I’ve mentioned my love for beautiful wonderful red Alienware M17x (all the lights glow red). I may have mentioned that my beautiful red laptop has been having a few difficulties with the video card. We’re not exactly sure why, but I will say support has been wonderful. The tech was due Friday morning to replace the cards and the fans and a cable. A very pleasant young man showed up, opened up my beloved machine, took out nearly every part, cleaned them, put in new ones, closed it up. He plugs in the cord and ….. nothing. My heart stops. He unplugs the cord, replugs. Nothing. It’s 1:30 on Friday afternoon. My gaming computer is….. omg….. It’s dead, Jim. You might have thought that I’d kill the tech, since my machine WAS working before he touched it. As badly as I felt – that poor child was ashen. Besides, I had no time to lose in hysterics or anger. I HAD to get a working computer. FAST.

My Thinkpad T61p has not been able to handle virtual worlds in over 8 months. My husband needed his gaming computer (oh sure, ‘needed’ it. as if…) When we upgrade, we don’t discard. There was my old Dell Latitude somewhere in the house (the one that I used 4 years ago when I first came to SL), my husband’s old Dell Inspiron, and my sister’s laptop that I used at her house. There IS hope. I grabbed the Inspiron (please understand that poor tech was still at the table working on my Alienware, on the phone with HIS support crew). It is so out of date I have to hardwire to our network because the wireless isn’t working. I stare at the unfamiliar setup. The tech looks over and I kind of wail: where do I START??? He points out that in the lower corner of the screen is the auto-update icon. Oh. Good idea. Well, it ended up taking about 2 hours, and 78 updates, and a new video driver but whoo-eee, that Inspiron was up and running. Doing a fairly decent job. I downloaded V3.2.8, the development viewer. Then I headed inworld to try it out. I started at home, went to Fogbound to check music and motion, visited Honour and her horses. So far, so good.

That Inspiron is the little-laptop-that-could. It isn’t my Alienware. And yeah, I crashed right before The 1st Question – some media plugin failure because I was trying to take pictures. I was pushing the machine too – I’d set the graphics to High. It was a very ugly crash – the kind where you have to power down the machine to get yourself back. I got back just in time to hear my friend Jessica saying “I think Ahuva crashed”. *grin* Oh so true. I didn’t dare take any more pics, so I can’t show you the adorable skit beforehand from the Tinies. But I did make it. The show was GREAT! Another fantastic job by Pooky, her co-host Hydra Shaftoe and the incredible crew, including the unflappable Petlove Petshop. There was an over-flow crowd, and folks participating via the chat bridge from the streaming url. The audience is as much a part of the show as the hosts and panelists. As always, I am astounded at how SMART these people are and how FAST. As always I said to myself – why am I not here EVERY week???? Afterwards Pooky and I were talking and she mentioned a championship round. Oh wow. Can you imagine? Pooky and I talked about how many smart people are in SL, how many people all love the science, the tech talk. We agreed that we all have a bit of a geek side. Which led me to suggest a new slogan for SL: Second Life – Let Your Inner Geek Out. *grin*

After the show, I headed over to Fogbound to relax a bit before Tribeca-Time. Evanrude Anton was DJ’ing, and lots of friends were there dancing. Gregg Torgeson was behind the bar. He’d been there earlier on my trial run and he asked how the machine was doing. That led into a discussion of hardware, plugin failures, graphics cards, mac vs pc, asus, alienware and more. Which is when Kalanite Bluestar uttered the phrase that needs to be printed on tee-shirts for the “Fogettes”: Hardware Chicks of the Fogbound. *grin*

The little-laptop-that-could was still going strong, so it was off to TriBeCa where we enjoyed LOTS of new Leonard Cohen.

Yet again, another wonderful evening spent with friends: smart, witty, talented, musical.

Game Show Time!

Lately it has become very clear to me that I don’t get out enough into SL. I settle into my sky box and IM. Unless of course I tp to a concert and dance and IM. But I don’t go to new venues, I don’t interact with different people (unless I’m pulling a knife on them) and I don’t take advantage of all the cool things that happen in SL. I was having a particularly brutal evening the other day and realized I needed to break the pattern. It was my great fortune that it was Tuesday, which meant time for The 1st Question! I blogged about this back in December when friends were panelists. I laughed til I cried at the witty and clever responses by the panelists. I figured a round of The 1st Question was good for what ailed me. So Honour and I headed to the studio.

Back in December the panelists were most definitely smart and well-informed. They KNEW a lot and could answer the questions fairly well. They were also playing the game for laughs, however. There was no question that they worded their answers to play to the crowd, going for double entendre and puns and silliness. This week’s panel was smart. Smart, smart, smart. (Watch the show here!) They played for points. Yes, they threw in the occasional laugh, but mostly they went for the win. *grin* It was fun. I am impressed with how much people know on such varied topics. I love the questions that Hydra Shaftoe and Pooky Amsterdam ask. Forget the answers – the question are hilarious. 🙂 The contest was close for awhile until Barbara flew out ahead.

I think the favorite part of the show for me is when the contestants have to make up words. I was a bit hard-pressed again this time to pick my favorite. I can never remember after what they were, so I contacted Pooky directly this time to get the correct spellings and definitions:
Magellanosis: that feeling you have, as you reel down the dock after leaving a boat, that you’re still on board.
DIgipanic: A phenomenon which overwhelms otherwise competent and capable adults when they are faced with new technologies. Characterized by sudden irrational outbursts, a profound loss of common sense, and a deeply held belief that the computer ‘doesn’t like’ the victim.
slurlpy or slurlpee – Consumes many slurls in inventory.
Dogodiferous: the stinky stuff dogs like to roll in

It’s a great time. And its fame is spreading. The 1st Question was mentioned in the British Science Festival!! Scroll on down the list of SL events/places and there it is! Pooky also told me that she is compiling a PookyPedia – all the many fabulous words that have been created for 1st Question. That will be a WONDERFUL source for all of us. *grin* Let’s see how many make it into every-day usage.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the audience. The audience participates energetically. *grin* You need to be very quick-witted to hold your own with this group. I confess – I still have NO idea how to figure out the secret word. I don’t know how these folks do it. *grin* When I grow up, I want to be quick-witted and smart enough to hold my own in the audience! Then I can aspire to be witty and clever enough to be a panelist!

Thank you Pooky, Hydra and contestants for another great time in SL! C’ya next Tuesday!

The 1st Question

I had a NEW experience in SL last night. *grin* Just when you think you’ve tried all the genres, you realize how little you’ve tried. A friend of mine was a panelist on The 1st Question. This is a SL game show hosted on Sunday evenings by Pooky Amsterdam and Hydra Shaftoe. I heard about the friend’s appearance just a short time before the show was to start. I was playing with Emerald, and trying to get into a full sim for some wonderful freebies (no, I NEVER made it to that sim, not in two days of trying, and I am dropping that group. pffft). Oura and I decided to go check out the show.

Pooky – forgive me – I’m going to be honest here. I heard them doing the sound check – everything was indeed fine. But just as the show began, Pooky crashed. For MINUTES nothing happened, just some idle chatter. Oura and I had nearly decided to leave. I mean, how often can you listen to people stall and hope someone can get back inworld? Oh wait – we all do that all the time. *laugh* Anyway, just as we were about to leave, Pooky returned!

I was still a little disgruntled, so when Pooky launched into game show-mode I was not sure I was going to enjoy this at all. But then I listened and realized she was funny. *grin* The panelists were also good sports and articulate. That makes such a difference. They were asked to say what element of the periodic table they would be. The first panelist played it straight – picked a real element, a good explanation. The 2nd panelist mostly played it straight – a real element, a very silly, funny explanation. The 3rd panelist took off and set the tone for the rest of the night – a totally made-up element with correspondingly ridiculous explanation.

The questions on this show are HARD!!!! The first round is a yay/nay round. The panelist is given a question and must decide yay or nay. The audience is texting out answers too. I got nearly all of the questions wrong. *grin* Not a big surprise to me. The questions range all over the board from finance to science to whether there is fish oil in lipstick or Chanukah cards made of uncooked bacon. *grin* Okay – i KNEW that one. But that definitely set the panelists soaring into nonsensical hilarious answers.

There is a round where the panelists attempt to stump Pooky and Hydra and a round where the panelists are playing against each other on a timer/buzzer setup. There is a round where the audience votes on words that the panelists have created. (Have you heard of sniglets? They are creating sniglets.) Choosing just one word for which to vote was INCREDIBLY difficult. First of all, I was already laughing out loud at the local chat as well as the repartee going on between panelists and hosts. Secondly – the words were GREAT! This is the disadvantage of voice: I can’t remember the words. I was laughing and IM’ing with Oura and reading local chat and listening to voice, and forgot to actually write the words down so I could remember. I DO remember mommytasking and chatatonic. Mommytasking is what I do all the time. Chatatonic describes a very common SL condition. One of the others was misreading headlines but basically your mis-read was more accurate than what the headline said. People are so darn clever!!! I am always so envious of such creativity and quick wit!!!

Anyway, although the game started inauspiciously, it turned into a truly funny, clever, enjoyable night’s entertainment. Pooky and Hydra keep the show moving at a quick pace. If all the panelists are as quick-witted and funny as the four I saw, the answers will always be creative if not accurate. It was a wonderful evening. I will CERTAINLY be back for more “1st Question”.