The History of the 3rd Rock Grid

For those who are interested in the history of 3rd Rock Grid it is as follows…

Once upon a time… oh wait, different story…

Beginnings

In December of 2007, our founder, Terry Ford — aka Butch Arnold — discovered the Open Source platform know then and now as “OpenSim.” Being a long time programmer, hobbyist, and Second Life user, he was intrigued by the potential of this platform. He started configuring, changing, and tweaking the source code until early February of 2008, when he placed what is now our world online for the first time.

3rd Rock Grid, at this time was used by Terry’s friends as a new, fun alternative to Second Life; and several agreed to help Terry test his new creation.

Testing and tweaking continued, and in June of 2008 Linda Kellie — aka Ayla Holt — found her way to our grid. Her impact was profound (in a great way) and immediate. Linda Kellie had been a content creator in Second Life and was pleased when Terry agreed to let her “build” anything she wanted, wherever she wanted, and when she wanted.

Linda Kellie became what Terry jokingly called the “3RG Energizer Bunny” because she would build so much, so fast, and seemingly without sleep — as it seemed she was always building in the virtual world we now knew as 3rd Rock Grid.

Two Major Improvements

Permissions

During the month of June of 2008 Terry tackled a problem all other “OpenSim” based grids had at the time: permissions. At the time, the “OpenSim” platform and all virtual world providers using this platform had no way of protecting a user’s content. If a user decided to build something in our virtual world, anyone in that world could take a copy, take the original item, move the original item, and could then make copies of or give away copies of the item to others.

Terry implemented a “fix” for this which made 3rd Rock Grid the first of its kind to offer its users permissions which roughly mimicked those found in Second Life.

This ability made our grid very popular and our user base grew considerably during this time. By the end of the month of June 2008 we had over 1200 users and were growing each day.

Economy

During the first week of July of 2008 Terry decided to tackle another common problem with the “OpenSim” platform, no economy.

Many other grids based on this platform were working towards the same goal, to enable economy features, but it was 3rd Rock Grid where the first OpenSim based economy was realized as Terry implemented buying and selling of items and land.

This ability again caused a growth spurt since none of the other grids had these features yet. It was during this growth period in July that 3rd Rock Grid began “selling” regions to other users. By the end of August 2008, 3rd Rock Grid had 146 “paid” regions and was quickly becoming one of the most popular alternatives to Second Life.

Transitions

Just as 3rd Rock Grid was flourishing, tragedy struck. At the end of the month, on August 30th, Terry’s wife fell ill. She passed away in the first week of September, and 3rd Rock Grid was taken offline for a 2 week period as Terry dealt with the tragic loss of his wife.

When 3rd Rock Grid was put back online, growth continued; but it became clear that Terry was no longer going to be able to continue his efforts. On November 1st of 2008, Terry transferred ownership of 3rd Rock Grid to one of its residents — “Trucker Anthony.” It was at this time that Linda Kellie also decided to leave and pursue other ambitions.

Trucker continued to offer the 3rd Rock Grid platform, but hit a few snags along the way, which caused some usability issues that degraded the opinion of our world to some. Trucker realized he needed some help and agreed to take a partner – Lazuli Pooraka.

A short time later in the spring of 2009 Trucker Anthony transferred sole ownership of 3rd Rock Grid to Lazuli Pooraka, who has continued to operate the grid since.

3rd Rock Grid has been built largely with volunteer help from many individuals, and we realize that without their help and contributions our world would not exist. While many are no longer with us, we do continue to recognize and appreciate all of their efforts.

3rd Rock Grid Today

In October of 2012, Terry returned to help get things in order and to build a better platform for 3rd Rock Grid.

Today, 3rd Rock Grid continues to strive to provide the best platform and environment for our users and we continue to add features, hardware, and content. As 3rd Rock continues to grow, we realize each day that our world would not be possible without our users, and it is our users that determine our atmosphere and the overall face of 3rd Rock Grid.