Categories
Tech Blog

Add New Events Tool Available….

We have now added the ability for our users to add his/her own events to our events calendar.
Simply go to “World” on the main menu of the website and hover over “Event Calendar”… a new sub menu will appear.. “Add Grid Event”. Click “Add Grid Event”, enter the required information and click the button “Post Event”. Your new event will be immediately available via the website Events Calendar and also in the Grid Viewer under search… events tab.

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Tech Blog

Sit Positions after upgrade…..

During our previous upgrade on Dec. 26th, 2014 we decided to move back to the “Out of the box” sit positions.
Several years ago the “sit” position in OpenSim was different than it is today.
When the change was first made, we decided to stay with the old sit position which caused us to change each new version before we upgraded to maintain this old sit position.
This was great for our current users at the time as they would not need to change the sit positions in all of their items, but.. it has always caused issues for new users coming to our grid from others since many of their scripts, etc would be using current sit positions while we were still using the old ones.
The decision to change back to the “Stock” opensim sit positions was not welcomed by many, but this was a needed change to make sure our grid is inline with what new users coming to our grid expect. We do not want to provide any reason for a new user to not want to be a member of our grid. This was an issue for many new users and we thought it best to make the switch now, as with each new user increase, those who would not be happy with the changes later would increase.

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Tech Blog

Troubleshooting Region Lag

One of the common questions and complaints is concerning region lag.
There are many issues which can contribute to “Apparent” region lag:
1. Your internet connection speed
2. Your computer hardware – CPU, Ram, and Video Card
3. Number of people in your region
4. Number and type of prims in your region and surrounding regions
5. Textures in Your Region and surrounding regions
6. Attachments on yours and other avatars
7. Scripts

The most obvious, but commonly overlooked issue is your connection speed. The region needs to send and receive data to/from your viewer, if your connection speed is slow, this can give “You” the appearance that the region is “Laggy”.
Sure, you may pay big bucks for a fast connection, but it may not always be fast and should always be the first thing you check. You can also have someone else come to the region and see if they have the same experience, if they do not, it is likely not the region.
Remember, “Your” connection to a region is “NOT” the same as another user… unless you are both using the same internet connection. Each user’s connection follows different paths to communicate to the region servers and “Any” trouble along the way can cause problems.

I don’t have any issues on “XYZ” grid… why do I have them here?
Again, your connection to “XYZ” grid may be shorter, better, etc., unless they use the same provider as us, your connection variables will be different with them.

When it comes to computer hardware, there is no general rule of thumb, but you should expect better performance from newer, better technology. Your graphics card is probably the most important aspect of your hardware as it will see the most load.

Your region will generally perform better with less people in the region. As the number of users increase, so will the demand on “All” variables. Your hardware will need to work harder, our hardware will need to work harder as more data is moved around.

The number of prims in a region will affect performance of a region. Each prim has an impact on the physics engine of the region as will each texture. The size and type of a prim matters as well… a torus will impact the region more than a standard cube. The type and size of textures is important.
The larger a texture is, the more time it will take to download/process and display.

If your draw distance is set high enough to see into a neighboring region you will need to account for the downloading and displaying of all prims and textures in that region as well, including any attachments an avatar there might have.

Scripts really don’t have as much impact on the regions performance as some might think as other things take priority and what is left is used for scripts. This is “Generally” the case.

So how can you troubleshoot a laggy region?
You can start by using some of the viewer’s built in tools.
There will be a “Statistics” option in your viewer… find it, open it and make some observations.
StatisticsBar
The FPS and Bandwidth readings at the top under the basic heading is “Your” FPS and Bandwidth stats, to see the region’s stats you’ll need to look lower under the simulator heading.  Simulator FPS values of less than 43-44 will start to display “Chopped” movement.
The time dilation is a very important value. 1 is a very good and represents the region is seeing time in real time. A general rule would be that a region with a dilation reading better than .89 is not lagged at all, while a region with a reading of .1 is ready to crash.
Look at the Total Frame Time and all sub categories.. you will see a spare time category which represents how much free time a simulator has to perform other work. If this reading is very low it means your region is loaded and doesn’t have any “rest” time.

Best use policies:
1. Use the smallest texture possible. A small texture will require less data transfer and will load your video card less.
2. Position your prims to cause the least amount of collisions.
3. Set your draw distance to the lowest setting that is still acceptable.
4. Try to use as few complicated prims that you can.. a torus will require much more overhead than a standard cube.
5. Change your graphics settings in the viewer. You can find a fair amount of performance gain simply by tweaking some of these settings and in many cases, you won’t “See” a difference.

Categories
Tech Blog

Upgrade Summary

On December 26th, 2013 3RG was taken offline to upgrade our version of OpenSim.
3rd Rock Grid is now running on version 7.6-Release code, but with a few custom changes.
During this upgrade many other changes were made to our platform to increase our stability, performance and reliability.
This upgrade combined with our other changes have provided a very nice platform on which we will continue to improve.

Categories
Tech Blog

New Website

Welcome to the new 3rd Rock Grid Website!

We’ve been anticipating going live with this new site for some time but wanted to make sure all was working well before changing over.

This section, “Tech Blog” is where I will keep everyone up to date on any significant changes to our systems, problems fixed, and various things we may be working on.

We have been working very hard lately on various projects behind the scenes to make our platform much more stable.

In the last 12 months we have made major changes to our configurations, the biggest was moving all of our processes from leased equipment to owned equipment. This move also included going with a new network provider.

Our old platform was hosted on services at a datacenter in Virginia, USA on leased servers which, provided decent performance, but at times caused us to experience network issues. Wanting to gain more control over these servers and our network connectivity we opted to purchase our own servers and place them online at a datacenter in Columbus, Ohio near me. This will allow me to personally oversee all server operations and tend to any maintenance issues which may be needed.

The move was not a trivial move by any means, it required moving a database which had grown to over 120gb. Transferring this data from the servers in Virginia to the new servers in Ohio was a very time consuming task which took several days to complete, but the connectivity gods were shining on us as it took only one attempt with very minimal downtime.

Once the data was in place in Ohio, we had to setup a new database, load the transferred data from the old database into the new database, and place the new database server online for use by our grid.

After several days running with the new database server, we continued our move by moving the grid and region processes over to the new datacenter.

We then had to repeat this process for our sister grid “Curiositygrid.com”, which is, if you are not familiar with it, is a “Closed, Invitation Only” grid for use by educators.

All things considered, the move went very well with few hiccups.

Our website at the time was hosted on severs provided by yet another provider and we again chose to move this operation over to our own equipment.

All moves have been completed and we have recently been working on an upgrade path for our OpenSim version. Currently we are running a slightly customized version of 7.3, but we have been testing the 7.6 release code and have thus far found it to be a very nice candidate for our future upgrade.
Moving to this newer version required us to rewrite a bit of code for our customizations, but so far this has gone very smooth.

We are very close to making the switch with only a few things left to “Tidy up”.

After we have upgraded our running version of OpenSim we will then concentrate on various user related features which we hope will make our grid a leader in grid features once again.

So stay tuned, and thank you all for your patience during our behind the scenes work, we will continue to strive to providing the best platform possible for all of our enjoyment.

——————————————————————————————————-
Butch Arnold

Categories
Our Team

Thoria Millgrove

Real Name:  Tara
Lives In:  Maryland, USA
Email:  thoria.millgrove@3rdrockgrid.com

Notes:
Involved with 3RG since April 2009, and virtual worlds since 2006.
Professional Software Developer
Three children and three wonderful grandchildren

Areas of Concentration:
Assisting with grid operation, Building, Scripting

Categories
News

August 2013 is Fantasy Faire Month 3RG – LAND Special!

alt

During the month of August, 3RG will be celebrating Fantasy Faire Month, with a building contest, events, great explorations and specials.

3rd Rock Grid is creating a Fantasy realm. Regions in development in a Fantasy themed areas of 3RG means that you can use the shared Fantasy realm for your role plays and story immersion efforts.  Imagine renting one or two “home” regions for your role play group, but having 8 additional regions to extend your stories.  We believe that supporting your efforts to create a fantastic fantasy role play neighborhood is the best way for for all parties to make ordinary become extraordinary.

To celebrate the inclusion of Fantasy Realm into our themed areas and bring awareness of the new areas, we are running an “under construction” special allowing you to bring your fantasy role play  builds to 3RG and immediately have already additional available regions in which to engage and explore with other fantasy groups.

Here are some of the 3rd  Rock Grid’s Core (mainland) advantages.

1) Each Region Adjoining protected access regions bordering at least one edge.alt

2) Themed access areas for shared use regions by all citizens of 3RG and significantly useful for the Fantasy roleplay landholders.

3) Cooperation and mutual advantage of similar groups creating themed neighborhoods.

4) Coordinated access system, allowing all land owners to be connected to a broader core transportation system.

5) The Grid Development Team works with the citizens to better enhance their experience and investment.

 

altDuring Fantasy month will be running a region special to create a fantasy foundation while we continue the development of the area.

 

 

Fantasy Faire Land Special
SPECIAL Pricing till 08/31/2013 Region Size (meters) Prim Limit Price list price in USD rental/month
Prim Standard $30.00 65536 sm (256×256) 15000 [was $75.00] now $60.00 (paypal) SPECIAL $30.00/mo.
Prim Themed size  $37.50 65536 sm (256×256) 30000 [was $90.00] Now $75.00 (paypal) SPECIAL $37.50/mo.
Avaialable regions:

 

Sprite – Sofie – Flickersong

Bumbleblossom – Oak Bottom

Gaul

Terraforming of region borders must stay

compatible with adjoining land elevations features

 

altIf you have questions or want to know of other theme areas we are developing

for email  use :

support@3rdrockgrid.com

or fill out a ticket at

http://www.3rdrockgrid.com/support/

Categories
News

Minethere Builds Regions One Mountain at a Time

MinethereMinethere Always, a self taught builder, is expanding her love of creating raw terrains on numerous grids. Through the creative efforts of terraformers, land is shaped to represent all matter of terrains, everything from tropical to mountains.

 

On Third Rock grid, she smoothed out a number of regions to make them much more presentable. She gave the grid a number of free terrains and oars, which are entire regions, prims, settings and ground. She also does private landscaping to suit the landowners’ need.

 

Minethere is multi-grid voyager. I’d met her on InWorldz. She came to 3rd rock grid when she was expanding out into the metaverse. She was offered a parcel and began creating RAW terrains, which are the entire grounds of a region.

 

The first region she created was in a closed commercial grid, she tells me as she scanned the fishing area that Linda and Punk Rock decorated. Some of the best creators in the metaverse allow her to use their items, with permission, to landscape a region. Ideas are generated from many places. She’s created high mountain terrains, rivers, hills and ponds.

 

She doesn’t scale the landscapes according to the size of the avatar, but she will gauge them by walking through the areas.

 

“I fly them to do the rough outs and walk to do the final smoothing,” she explained. “I have about 100 different regions on my harddrive.

 

Log on to her online store to see what she has available:

http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=239383.  She sells all types of terrains, depending on the needs of the individual or couple. She doesn’t have any one type of bestseller. A lot of the work she does in-world is done by hand.

 

If you were to purchase a raw terrain, you would get a download link. After downloading, you can then upload to any region you own or rent. The ground textures do not save with the file so you would have to do that yourself. It’s a simple upload using estate tools.

 

“Or I can come in and do that.  My minimum is $15 USD or equivalent in a grid and I do accept tips, which I often get,” she said with a smile.

Categories
Our Team

Gail Kilara

Real Name:
Lives In:
Age:
Email: @3rdrockgrid.com

Notes:

Areas of Concentration:

Photo:

Categories
Our Team

Sunny Tomorrow

Real name: Jackie *My brother picked the name Jack… I was supposed to be a boy but fooled them*
Lives in St Louis, Missouri home of the fabulous St Louis Cardinals and St Louis Rams and St Louis Blues

Email: sunny.tomorrow11@gmail.com

Info:
One of the first pioneers in 3rg, like #12 or so to sign up… leaving that other grid after about 2 years… not much of a virtual traveler.. 3rg is my heart and home 🙂

I am still a caretaker so a very busy household… my son, daughter and 2 grandkids all live with me so I do tend to be afk quite often.. but do try to return IM’s upon re-entry to the virtual world.

Areas of Concentration:
Well.. it is hard to concentrate sometimes but I guess my strong point is just general grid helper. I help where I can, help with grid restarts.. try to answer questions and fix problems…….. some building.. a little of this.. and a little of that. I tend to hang out at the welcome center to greet new people as they enter our grid for the first time and show them around. I’ve been asked by a couple people as they filter back through the welcome area if I ever move from there hehe. I am basically a people person and enjoy helping.