Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Get your *own* grid! Thomtrance O'Toole provides step-by-step instructions for OpenSim + binary executable

I like to think that everything we publish on this blog is significant and valuable information, but what I am going to share with you here, today, has the potential to be transformative, and for some, will be on par with a religious experience.

ThomTrance O'Toole is a deceptively easy-going, self-proclaimed mad Celt Goa King and the owner of Happy Clam Island, the home of Organica. There - together with his busy clan of 'Happy Clams' - he blissfully DJs vintage Goa trance tracks and promotes global sustainability and Permaculture. Make no mistake... this man is no light-weight. In fact, he is profound, and I am deeply honored to call him a friend.

Several weeks ago, ThomTrance O'Toole IM'ed me in the most excited tones to say that he had pursued a thread of an earlier conversation we'd had regarding OpenSim. I entreated him to share his findings with me via notecard so that I could distribute said information to the rest of the NPIRLers. ThomTrance is always teasing me gently, and this time was no exception. Here are the contents of that notecard:

Today, I blamed Bettina Tizzy for ruining my life.

On the boundary of the phase transition from a two dimensional NET, to a 3D Metaverse, the bleeding edge is where life begins, where we take small steps into the new Metaverse... being able to create a region of your own, a sim of your own, beyond the boundaries of Second Life, is one of these steps.

OpenSim, an open source project is now in Alpha release 0.4, and I am here to report that yes, Second Life is possible outside of Second Life.

Today, at Bettina's prompting, I tracked them down, downloaded the source, and built the alpha release. Running the executable in stand alone mode, on my desktop, I quickly, and easily established a server.

And it is a *piece of cake* to set up and log in. (Download file - about 18MB - to login = 10 minutes!!!). Note that I have the source code and have built the code into a binary... an .exe, which I will give you via the NPIRL blog.

Now here is the interesting part: I used my Second Life client (1.18.2) to connect to this server, and logged in with the user I created when I originally started the server. Connecting to "ThomSim" , I was presented with a raw island, and a Ruth avatar. (Don't mess with the estate.XML until ye know what ye are doing thom, he said, after needing to reinstall it after doing exactly that).

But this space, this sim, even though I could build on it, and terrain it, and change my av, existed in my desktop, outside the grid of Linden Labs! My head is still spinning, as I realize that this opens up our Metaverse to new grids, all accessible through the SL client . Like the Web in 93, with just a few small servers out there serving up primitive HTML pages, I can see this as a turning point for our Metaverse, a freeing event that will allow us ALL to host and build regions and creations in an ever expanding Metaverse.

Granted, this is an alpha release, not everything works, plenty to still work on, but to login to SL......MY own SL running on my desktop, was a thrill I have not experienced in years.

In the coming week I will prepare some detailed instructions for the non-coders among us, and Bettina will have a link soon to a binary executable from her wonderful blog. A sim of your own coming to a desktop near you.

Until then, Love and light,

P.S. I can see me completely immersed in this project now, so thank you Bettina - for "ruining" my life!!

We haven't seen much of ThomTrance these past few weeks...

But ZOMG, look, look, look at the AMAZING information ThomTrance has created for us! Follow this link to find his gift: step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions that even non-coders can use on how to get your own grid PLUS a binary executable.

I just hope we don't lose you forever! Please report back to me periodically, would you?

... and ThomTrance spoke yesterday of creating the Not Possible IRL grid. I'm pinching myself. Blessings, ThomTrance. <3


AldoManutio Abruzzo said...

Glad to see the follow up with the step-by-step ... I have been distributing copies of the server code now for about a month at the conferences Ihave been attending. The more hands, the sooner we get this out of Alpha ...

Jopsy said...

Welcome to NPIRL-2: aka NPISL ! ! :)

Jopsy Pendragon
aka, that Particle Laboratory guy.

Stitchavr said...

anyone knows what are lindens plans about allowing opensim to interconnect eventually?

JoiKoi said...

Excellent stuff, I'm excited, I remember my first webserver in 93 , I wrote down my ip and rang all my friends with it telling them to check out my new website. Can't wait to get my hands on the executable. Thanks for ur good work, appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

A Not Possible IRL grid? Atlas Shrugged in the metaverse?

Opensource Obscure said...

Me too I felt much excited when I did login for the first time into my OpenSim island. It was a freeing event, as the post author wrote.

@ Stitchavr:
Linden Lab is going to interconnect an experimental grid with OpenSim in the next weeks/months. This is more or less what Zero Linden expressed at his last Office Hours (Take an avatar that is hosted on a Linden Lab agent domain and log into an OpenSim region).

Edo Autopoiesis said...

I looked on an OpenSim some weeks ago and, exciting as it was, it's still needs quite a bit of development to be actualy usable, like a 'normal' sim.
Prolly better to just wait for LL's own implementation of software for sims run outside of LL's maintainance.

Bettina Tizzy said...

@Aldo - Hear hear... more hands the better.
@Jopsy - NPISL, indeed! <3
@stitch - what opensource said :) but also
@joikoi - You try it yet?
@opensource - Thanks for that link... good stuff
@Edo - I guess that's what the thomtrances of the world are for, hehe. I think that holding this one back is like trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube. I'm all for embracing it... though obviously there are all kinds of issues still; some quite serious. Like thomtrance says, if you break it, you get to keep both parts.

Doran Carter said...

I’m trying to get my head around the above, I am what you might say a little scripticaly challenged!

But as I understand it – they are developing a version of SL where you can run your own sim on your own machine at home. What are the ramifications? (Lets pretend Super Broadband exists, with no lag) Would it be like a number of different peoples home run sims integrated with the main grid? Some one could TP into your sim seamlessly, check out you’re beautifully created terrain and buy your latest t-shirt or dance at the club you’ve made? Who would the land belong to? How would the Lindens get their cut? Could this mean an introduction of a second currency - call it the New Grid Linden $NG - with fluctuating exchange rates?

Any explanations in words no greater of one syllable would be great thanks.

Jopsy said...

There is one *huge* stumbling block with 'rogue' sims: The main grid will, almost guaranteed, not trust them to check out assets (objects, textures, avatars, animations, sounds, scripts, etc, etc, etc) from the 'asset server'.

Teleporting into a rogue sim would mean: Your inventory does not go with you. Nor your profile, your avatar shape, any attachments.

You're reborn in a completely separate universe, the only thing in common between them is you and your computer at home.

A common currency shared between 'rogue' sims would be *extremely* unlikely. All it takes is one unethical rogue sim owner and a few hacks, and they could rob anyone unfortunate to teleport into their private world.

I'm excited about the OpenSim project because it means that something similar to Second Life will still be around, even if Linden Lab gets struck by a meteorite, but we've a *long* way to go before this means truely decentralized ownership of a unified Second Life grid. =)

Doran Carter said...

Thanks for the further insight jopsy.

Maybe an advantage of running your own sim could be taking your time making creations with out any lag. Hopefully a hassle free way of uploading your masterpiece to the main grid would be introduced.

Another scenario would be that people’s home grown Sims would be marked as ‘Private Property’ or something like ‘Off grid Estate’. To TP there would be by invitation only after clicking a “ I accept the possible consequences if… virus… info theft.. blah blah” button.

This whole concept fascinates me, mainly because I have a crap broad-band connection and the lag is making SL to bothersome to play sometimes.

wsty said...
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