Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Weekend full of Stress

Chicken farmers were very enthousiastic about my EggBoxer and I was making quite a lot of sales, when suddenly a disaster hit us all: The EggBoxer stopped to work! Immediately it started raining IMs from disappointed customers. And I rushed to find out what was wrong.

Well, that did not take very long: It soon became clear that Sion, the creator of all these eggs and chickens and the "proteggtors", had decided to change the password that was used to encrypt the details that are displayed when an egg is put into a proteggtor.

The EggBoxer, of course, NEEDS this encoded data to be able to store all the information. There is no other way to get it, because the eggs have a lot of cool features, but an API (Application Programmers Interface) is not one of them. For some reason, Sion does not seem inclined to make it easy for other developers to create accessories for his products. (I don't see a reason for that, an open interface would in my view only ADD to the success of his products...)

Of course I immediately decoded the new password and found out it was a sentence in plain English text, that was a direct threat to sue anyone decoding it! Amazing! Sion's non-co-operative attitude to other developers was clearly not by mistake, it was a company policy.

Meanwhile the farmer's group discussions were of course fizzing with activity about the EggBoxer and speculations of what had happened and why and how. And this was not just a technical debate, the legal and ethical implications were part of the discussion as well. Some people considered it wrong to decode the encrypted messages, but the majority of the farmers just wanted the convenience of boxing their eggs without the tedious and error-prone hand-copying the color codes on their screen into a more usuable form.

I soon had a new version (1.45) of my system ready to be released, but I was hesitating: There was the threat Sion had hidden into the new password and there was of course the possibility for him to keep changing his password every day, making the development of accessories into an arms race instead of a normal business.

Of course I IMmed Sion to have a talk with him, but he did not reply.

Then, towards the end of the weekend, an official announcement appeared. Not from Sion himself, but sent to the chicken groups via other people: Sion had come to the decision to make the password public, so that everybody would be able to use it for building accessories.

The password he published, was the original password, that was already built into my system. And the proteggtors that were sold from that moment on, were all using the old password again. No need to release version 1.45, no arms race, and an end to a stressful weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vidal Yeodeol

I recently met javabox Kawanishi. A great clothing designer from Holland. I like the stuff he makes and the price tag is way below what we are used to see from the established designers.

What I did not like, was the way his stuff is marketed. Maybe it is just an allergy of mine, but I hate it to yell from the rooftops how great you are and that everybody should buy your stuff. (To be honest, it is not even javabox himself who does that, but some of his affiliate vendors do.)

I would like a Vidal store where customers can shop around in a relaxed way and ONLY have to talk to the sales staff if they have a question about the products. Well, that is very well possible: I just had to open my own store to do it. And I did. Javabox gave me the vendors and the building materials to make a shop in the true Vidal look-and-feel and I managed to fit it into an unused area in my sim.

So now Yeodeol has its own Vidal Fashion store.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Of course you all read about my Egg Wrapping system. It made life easier for us and other breeders. Unfortunately it soon became obsolete with the introduction of the V11 sionChickens and sionEggs. Over the past weeks we have been working on a system for collecting and packing the V11 sionEggs.
This resulted in:


Every time you click the system, it will pick up one of the eggs your chickens have laid. It fetches the egg to the location of the EggBoxer and helps you to put it into a proteggtor. Then it helps you to pack the proteggtor in a box that allows you and your customers to see all the important data about the egg inside.

All this information is collected WITHOUT HAVING TO TYPE ANYTHING.

The central element in this system is the "EggBoxer". It is a prim you install about one meter above your chicken pen. When there are eggs to be picked up, all you need to do is click the EggBoxer and it will rez a small basket, that goes out to fetch the egg for you.

This "Fetcher" picks out one of the eggs and moves itself below it to pick it up. Then it moves upward with your egg to the same height where your EggBoxer is located. Next it moves in horizontal direction to the EggBoxer.

When the Fetcher reaches the EggBoxer, a proteggtor will be rezzed on top of the EggBoxer. Now it is your turn to take some action: You have to click the proteggtor, to move the egg from the Fetcher to the proteggtor.

When the EggBoxer sees you egg has been transferred to the proteggtor, it will rez a "Wrapper" to put your egg in. The wrapper will automatically be named to reflect version, race, color vectors and color name(s) of the egg. The Wrapper will also be colored in the two colors of the egg.
Once the egg has been transferred to the proteggtor, the Fetcher is no longer needed; it will vanish automatically.

You now need to take the proteggtor into you inventory and put it into the Wrapper by dragging it from your inventory to the Wrapper, holding the <ctrl>-key. Finally you take the Wrapper, with your egg in it, into your inventory.

So what will you get this way? As you collect eggs, they will get stored in a standard way in your inventory, making it easy to see which egg is which. The boxes are also usefull when rezzed in-world: You can immediately see the two colors and when you click the box, it will display the egg's race, color names and two color vectors for 30 seconds in hovertext.

To be able to work, the EggBoxer needs to be filled with empty Proteggtors. These will have to be bought from Sion of course. You can just buy a pack of proteggtors, unpack it into your inventory and the drag the whole bunch of them from your inventory to the EggBoxer holding <ctrl>. You will then be ready for packing a lot of eggs.

You can buy the EggBoxer in my shop at
Or at XStreetSL: