Epic Fail – Part Deux

Hard Work
Taking a break from all the unboxing!

It’s been a couple of days since my epic inventory fail, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share with you.

Some I would urge you to do, some are just things I am planning to do myself, after spending the last few days trying to replace a (very) small portion of what I lost.

CHECK YOUR TRASH BEFORE YOU EMPTY IT

As I said in the first post, I usually do, but this time I didn’t, and it cost me dearly.  11,000 items was nearly 1/3 of my inventory, and while I didn’t lose everything, some of what I lost was irreplaceable.

Some of the things I lost included a TON of outfits from Blacklace (which were mostly system, so I’m trying not to cry too hard over them); ALL of my silks – many of which are not available anymore (via in-world stores or MP), so they are just gone forever; ALL of my ‘whole avatar’ costumes, like my alien avatars, my gummy bear avatar, and all the adorable avatars I’ve collected over the years from Abranimations Advent Calendar – irreplaceable because they were gifts and/or no copy; ALL my ‘costume accessories’ which included things like headpieces, glasses, crowns, tiaras, shoulder pets, weapons, hats, scarves, bags, particle effects, bindis, masks, horns, and more.

Truthfully, there was so much, I don’t even remember all the names of the subfolders, much less what items were in them. Add in that many of them were hunt items, gacha items, or gifts – all gone.  *wipes away tears*

KEEP YOUR OWN TRANSACTION RECORDS

You can log into your transaction information through your Second Life account.  However, those transactions are only kept for the last 32 days.  If you want to keep a running record, you will need to download the transactions yourself every 30-32 days and keep your own file.

I also went back through my MP orders – which, surprisingly, went all the way back to 2010.  However, many of the items I purchased on MP are no longer listed there – because the items were on sale, because the items have been pulled, or because the store no longer exists.  So even though I have a record of my purchase, I am not going to be able to replace those items.

I went to many stores to hit up their redelivery terminals and learned a few things.  If a store uses CasperVend and you hit their redelivery terminal, it brings up a page with those store purchases listed at the top, but it also lists CasperVend purchases from other stores on the page as well.  After hitting up the redelivery at one store, I was able to get many other items from other stores (some of which I didn’t remember) redelivered as well.

Same thing with stores using the Bejambled system – I hit the redelivery terminal at one store and got a list of lots of purchases at other stores as well.  A caveat – no copy items cannot be redelivered, so any no copy items will show as purchases, but you will have to actually purchase them again if you want them replaced.

I haven’t come across a store that used the HippoVend system yet, but I’m hoping it works the same way.  Many stores use the E2V system – however, what I’ve discovered with that system is you have to visit each store separately – your redelivery terminal only shows purchases for that particular store.

The biggest thing that I noticed was that many of my purchases (which I knew I had made) did NOT show up on any of the systems.  What I realized was that those missing purchases were made at events, like Collabor88, FaMESHed, Uber, Kustom9, etc.  I recalled reading somewhere that, to limit scripts and therefore lag, some creators used simple click-to-pay vendors rather than scripted ones.  Without the Casper/Hippo/E2V scripts in the vendors, the only record of the transactions is in your history and the creator’s.

This means that each creator would have to be able/willing to go through their own records (assuming they keep them), to find proof of your purchases, and then redeliver them manually.  Because I do a TON of shopping at events, this is a HUGE reason for me to keep my own records – then I can simply send a NC to the creator with all that information to prove my purchase.  Much easier for them to do, I would imagine. Also, some creators do not use any sort of system like CasperVend or E2V, which means you have to contact each creator individually about redeliveries.

KEEP BACKUP COPIES OF ITEMS

This one may not make sense for everyone, but it’s something I’m going to start doing, simply because this whole issue has been a giant headache for me.  Most items are delivered in a box – so my plan is to open the box, keep the items I need in my inventory, and then save the original boxes somewhere (probably in another box rezzed on my land).  That way, if I accidentally delete the item, I can go back, pull out the original box, and just open it again.  This is the system I have used for years with my dance animations, so it’s just another quick step to add into my opening/boxing/sorting routine.

You can’t do this, of course, with no copy items.  Which brings me to gachas. 🙂  I have a love/hate relationship with gachas.  I love them, because it brings it out the gambler in me, and winning that RARE or ULTRARARE is always a rush.  For the past several years, I’ve avoided gachas for things like H&G items – I would want them to use in a set, and you can’t use no-copy items in a rez box.  However, I would still play the gachas for clothing, hair, accessories, and costumes, because no-copy wearables is a non-issue for performances.

Unfortunately, the fact that they are no copy means no redelivery.  That means all the gacha outfits, corsets, costumes, horns, and more that I had (many of which were rare or ultrarare) are gone forever.  Oh sure, I could hit up the yard sales for replacements (and probably will, for some items), but rares and ultrarares are generally offered for ridiculous prices, so the odds that 1) I find them and 2) I’m willing to pay the price are pretty slim.

PART DEUX

I wrote in the first post about losing all my particles and ColeMarie Soleil (owner of Cole’s Corner particle store) being a doll and redelivering my purchases manually.

In addition to my particles, the other items I was most upset about losing were my costume purchases from !deviousMind.  It has been one of my go-to costuming stores for years.  I had so many of her items that the store had its own subfolder. 😀

I sent a notecard to Chandra Meehan, the creator, and explained the situation, asking whether it would be possible to get some of my lost items redelivered.  Though I didn’t have transaction info for all of them, I did have pictures of some of the items on my blog and on my Flickr stream to offer as proof of purchases.

Chandra was an absolute angel – sending me all the items she could verify from what I had provided. She also very generously sent me some of her recent group gifts (I have been a group member for years) and told me she would work on replacing other items as she had time to work through her transaction records.

What I have already received was beyond my wildest expectations, and though I still have a long road ahead, I have at least made a dent in replacing some of what I lost.  😀

EPILOGUE

In addition to all the costuming items I lost, the other killer for me has been that I lost my ‘Finished Routines’ folder.  The folder contained all my completed routines – dance HUDs, choreography sequences, rez boxes – everything I would need for a routine, should I want to repeat it or modify it.

This means that I now have no ’emergency’ ready routines that I can pull out in a pinch.  For the foreseeable future, I will have to create everything from scratch (which isn’t a huge deal) while I slowly rebuild my inventory.

I used to pull out my choreography notecards and such and save them in other places in my inventory, but I had gotten out of the habit of doing that.  Guess I will have to get back to doing it!

I also will be more careful about putting ‘everything’ to do with a routine in one folder – or at least make a backup copy if I do.

There have been some silver linings to this whole situation.  1 – People have been absolutely amazing with their kindness when they learned of the issue (it seems unexpected inventory loss happens more frequently than I realized).  2 – Though I wouldn’t have chosen to lose 1/3 of my inventory voluntary, it’s quite possible that this is a blessing in disguise, forcing me to get rid of all those old items that I kept for no apparent reason. 3 – I now have 1/3 less inventory to manage.  4 – Less inventory means more shopping! 😛

My darling husband commiserated with me over my loss, and then told me to go shopping and replace what I needed, even offering to share his large and rarely used stockpile of L$ with me. 🙂

So, SL has given me lemons, and I am busy making lemonade. Now, what events start this week? 😀

Wasted Space

After attending several dance shows recently, I was once again struck by how much of the stage ends up being wasted space for me.

I have never been a fan of large stages.  As I’ve said before, I’m there to see the dancer.

Sure, a nicely decorated stage is nice, but it’s not my focus at a dance show.

Perhaps I’m alone in this, but I will often focus my camera on the performer, so that I can follow their movements as they dance.

What ends up happening is that I miss a lot of things, because I am cammed in so close to be able to see the performer.

So I thought I’d do a visual demonstration.  🙂

Here is a picture of an empty stage.

15X30StageThe size is 15m deep by 15m high by 30m long.

Pretty standard these days for a stage.

Some may be even larger.

So what does it look like when you put a solo dancer on a stage this size?

Stage with DancerThis.

I’m in there – see?

Can’t you tell that’s me?

Notice that both pics are pretty much the same distance from the stage.  Not a lot of detail at that distance.  You can tell I’m wearing red and black, not much else.

But we don’t see empty stages, do we?  So what does it look like if you fill up the stage with stuff? (Ok, I just filled it up with cubes, but you get the idea.)

StageDancerCubesI’m still in there, see?

These cubes are 3mX3m in size.  Just to simulate the size of the space occupied by props in many routines.

Again, the pic is pretty much the same distance from the stage as the first two.

I’m not a small avatar.  When I checked my size (remember, I’ve been called ogre-ish tall), I am 2.23m tall (that’s 7.3 feet, according to the appearance editor).

This is not the best viewing distance, in my opinion.  Indeed, I’ve been to many a show where the DJ/MC/Host urges you to ‘cam in close’ to see the performer.

So what happens when you move in closer?

StageDancerCloseOk, a bit better.  I can sort of make out the dancer and the props behind her.

But the props on the side of the stage?

No longer in visible range.  At this distance, I could probably keep most dancers in view without moving my camera around, as a pretty big chunk of the stage floor is visible.

But I still don’t get a lot of detail viewing the performer.  I want to see the cool costumes, don’t I?

So I cam in closer.

StageDancerCloseUpThat’s better.  Now I can see some details of the performer.

I can see the hair, the jeans, the cute sweater.

But I’ve lost even more of the stage and props.

In the picture above, you could see 6 cubes.  Now you see 3 and parts of 3 more.

And I still can’t see the dancer clearly.

StageDancerFaceNow we’re talking!

I can actually see the performer and am close enough to see their face.

But – I can only see 1 complete cube.  The surrounding two are cut off.

And the other 11 on the stage?  Can’t see ’em.

This is perhaps an extreme example, but it helps to illustrate my point.

I sometimes feel bad for dancers who have clearly gone to great lengths to build and decorate their set, when most of the audience doesn’t even see it, except at the beginning and end of the routine.

If there are multiple dancers on stage, then there is a reason for a larger stage.  However, the picture with 3 cubes visible would probably be plenty of room for that, or even the picture above that one (with 6 cubes visible).

But the first few pics?  Does anyone really stay cammed out that far for a dance show?

Sound off, people!  😀

Restore to Last Position

This is an issue that I have come across more than once.  Often when I built a set for an act, I would use no copy and/or no mod items.  I know that many dancers use a rez box to rez sets, but with no copy and/or no mod items, you cannot use a rez box.  Hence, the restore to last position.  Occasionally, however, I would run into issues – the items would not rez, I would get an error message, and the item would disappear from my inventory (also known as the ‘SL ate my set’ problem).

Inara Pey’s latest blog post highlights this problem and why it occurs (I never could find anyone who could explain to me why I had to relog for things to reappear in my inventory).  Read Inara’s post here.  The ‘Restore to Last Position’ is near the end of the post.  I still use ‘restore’ once in a while (because that chair is EXACTLY what the set needs, even though it’s no copy), so reading that Firestorm (which is the viewer I use) is possibly going to restrict the use of restore with no copy items is disappointing.  It’s not always possible to find copy/mod items for a set that work with your artistic vision and what you’re trying to create.

I am not a content creator and I don’t have the skills (or the time) to create every item used in a set.  So taking away ‘restore to last position’ as an option for me is again, disappointing.  I could switch viewers, I suppose, but since the LL official viewer may remove ‘restore’ entirely (not just for no copy items), that doesn’t seem like an option either.  While I can understand the attempt to limit the loss of no copy items, I wish there was a better fix.