Mini-tutorial: HOW TO Rescue your prims from being destructed and forgotten.

31 10 2009

There you are – a builder. Or a gifted aprentice.

 However, you are infected with a virus that lets you create things in-world.

To do so successfully and to keep your mental health you should always have one
guiding principle hardwired in your mind:

SAVE OFTEN AND EARLY!
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When you build,  it is advisable to take a copies of your creation into your inventory even before it is fully finished.

Nothing can drive you more nuts than loosing a work of several hours because
– you hit the wrong button,
– you get your stuff returned in a sandbox without notice and as a puzzle,
– SL has a bad day and the inventory is simply lost in the depths of the asset server,
– some idiot has invented a script that pushes your stuff off-world.

This tutorial should give you a few small hints on how to not loose your things.

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Basic Knowledge:
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Second life works this way with prims:
You build things in-world, in a sim, which is simply a RL server that handles the 15.000 primitives, users can create there by rezzing them.

A central secure asset server network is controlling all of the objects in Second Life, which people take into their inventory.

The simulators and the asset server interact which each other and constantly hand over objects due to rezzing them (asset server –> sim) or due to picking them up or take a copy (sim–> asset server).

Sometimes there are malfunctions in this interaction and sometimes stuff gets even lost in transition.
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Timing:
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Have a break reminder, your wristwatch or an eggtimer. Whatever.
Anything in this line is good. The reminder should alarm you at least each hour to take a copy. Thus, if anything happens, you only loose an hours work.

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Copy or Take:
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When doing the backup, you can either take the whole work with marking it, rightclick and “Take” on the pie-menu or by rightclick and “Take copy”.
Take copy is the more comfortable and safe method of both.
Comfortable, because when you take an object, it vanishes from the sim and you have to drag it back to there to continue to work. With “copy” a copy of the thing simply appears in your inventory.

Copy is also safer, because if there is any communications-malfunction between sim and asset-server (lag, crashes, bad net-weather, etc.), the object vanishes from the sim database and might fall into limbo. You might need a support ticket to retrieve it if possible at all.
When taking a copy, you still have the object you work on in the sim.

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Inventory organisation:
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When you build something, treat it like a project and let the poor thingie have its own folder.
When you do the first backup, go to the objects folder and create a new folder by rightclick and choose “new folder” from the popup menu. Name the folder as you like.

Then TAKE the object. You see your object vanish in the sim and appear in the “objects”-folder in your inventory.
 
Now leftclick it and pull it over to your new folder.Good.

Now drag the object from there back to the sims floor.

When done, every copy you take from now on (if you do not change the rootprim) will automaticly appear in your new project folder now.
This makes finding things easier.

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Naming the baby:
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Second Life is not very creative when it comes to names. Any prim you create is named “object”. Bah!.
Problem is, that the rootprim of the object you are backing up and thus the whole object is also named … “object”.

You will not remark this fact until you look for some special older version, which you need and have to go over 50 things named “object” in your inventory to find out which of the buggers is the one you actually want.

Give a name to your object is the first point here.
Name it in the edit-menu (Tab “General”).

Choose a name you remember! Once that is done your time searching will be a bit easier.

Also you want to be able to distinct between “MyFluffyRabbitImademyself” created yesterday or the upgrade of “MyFluffyRabbitImademyself” you finished an hour ago.

You can do so by simply choosing to sort your inventory in chronological order, so newest things are shown on top, or by using version-related names.

Simply let “MyFluffyRabbitImademyself” be “MyFluffyRabbitImademyself A”. Now after taking the copy name the inworld-version you work on “MyFluffyRabbitImademyself B” and so on.

Some people find it easier to use version numbers like “MyFluffyRabbitImademyself” 1.3″ etc.

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Linked objects and heaps:
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You can take copies either of pre-linked objects or you drag a marker square over your stuff and thus mark it and copy those.

The advantage of linked objects is that normally you have the same rootprim at any time (see above – inventory organisation).

With using heaps, you are able to mark unlinkable combinations of objects (rootprims further from each other than 20 meters).
The Problem is: if you do not have the same relating rootprim for the heap, it will change its name with every backup.

You can avoid that either by marking all objects and pick one object you de-mark by holding the ctrl-key and left click on it and then click again on it and re-mark it.

The last marked object in the heap will be treated as root prim to the whole heap and determine which name it will have.
A good method is to create a red prim a bit aside as an anchor and let it have the version name.

Then use the heap method and as last object de- and re-mark the red prim. Then take the copy.

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Rez-box-backup:
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If you are an advanced builder and build things for sale or if you are a true megalomanic when it comes to the sheer size of your creations, link and heap is no real option.

Your objects may be simply too big or to far apart to link them and stuff them in your pocket. Thats what rezboxes are for.

They basicly allow you to
– link multiple objects in segments instead of one huge object,
– stick scripts in each segement,
– safe the position of each segment relative to the rezbox,
– pick all up and stuff it in the rezbox inventory,
– make the rezbox rez them and put them back in their place.

There are multiple rezbox systems available in SL the most famous are
– Rez Locus
– Rez Faux
– Rez Foo

If you do not know anything about those, consult the inworld search for those names and check their product info about how they exactly work before reading on.

If you know how they work and have one, you can do your backups by doing more or less as described above.

The difference is, that instead of naming a single object in version names, you now name each segment with a child script in it (for example “Lefthalfofthehouse V1.2” and “Rhighthalfofthehouse V2.0”) every time you do changes (dont change the rootprims position or you have to re-store its position with the rezbox).
Then you rename the segment and take a copy.

After that, you simply replace the segment in the inworld-rezbox-inventory and take regular copies if the rezbox itself into your project folder.
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Carefull deleting:
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One last tip:
When deleting things, use right click on them and choose “delete ” on the pie menu.
Do not press the del-key on your keyboard.

When you use the del-key, things are simply deleted. Gone. Finito.
When you use the pie menu, things go to your trash-folder and you have the chance to retrieve them if necessary.

So, the right-click is probably the more carefull way.
Thats all folks.
Build long and prosper.