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MUVE Platform – The Second Life Grid

Inspire Space Park - a Second Life classic

Image by Bettina Tizzy via Flickr

MUVE Platform – Second Life

Who is it developed by?Linden Lab Research Inc, in 1999 (Wikipedia)

What functionality does it provide?

“The flat, Earth-like world of Second Life is simulated on a large array of Debian servers, referred to as the Grid.[2] The world is divided into 256×256 m areas of land, called Regions. Each Region is simulated by a single named server instance, and is given a unique name and content rating (PG, Mature or Adult). Multiple server instances can be run on a single physical server, but generally each instance is given a dedicated CPU core of its own. Modern servers with two dual-core processors usually support four separate server instances.” (Wikipedia)

 How well does it runs?

“Each server instance runs a physics simulation to manage the collisions and interactions of all objects in that region. Objects can be nonphysical and nonmoving, or actively physical and movable. Complex shapes may be linked together in groups of up to 255 separate primitives. Additionally, each player’s avatar is treated as a physical object so that it may interact with physical objects in the world.[3](Wikipedia)

How is it used?

“Every item in the Second Life universe is referred to as an asset. This includes the shapes of the 3D objects known as primitives, the digital images referred to as textures that decorate primitives, digitized audio clips, avatar shape and appearance, avatar skin textures, LSL scripts, information written on notecards, and so on. Each asset is referenced with a universally unique identifier or UUID.[7] Assets are stored in their own dedicated MySQL server farm, comprising all data that has ever been created by anyone who has been in the SL world. As of December 2007, the total storage was estimated to consume 100 terabytes of server capacity.[8](Wikipedia)

 How does it compare to others?

“Although Linden Lab’s Second Life Grid platform was not the first online virtual world entry, it has gained a large amount of attention due to its expanding user base and unique policy that allows participants to own the intellectual property rights to the inworld content that they create.” (Wikipedia)

What are your impressions of it? 

The first impressions are “Wow! This is out of this world!”, especially for a novice IT user (should I dare say ‘digitally and technically challenged’ user), who can be more than overwhelmed with the amount of technical information that is out there. But I’m sure all of the above comes down to the very basics of the IT – 0 (bit) and 01010101 (byte). I say this with minimum authority. As I scan down the info above, which is heavily copied from other sources, I cannot help but notice the references to ‘256×256 m areas of land’, or ‘255 primitives’, which are what IT is limited to, in my humble opinion. Perhaps, this is the “Wow!’ factor. The fact that Second Life exists, despite being limited to naughts and crosses, and only to the magic number of ‘255’. I can’t go into more details about this magic number, as it would need another blog entry, and perhaps a degree in IT. But I can say that the Second Life grid can provide all of the above (see the details in previous topics), with the given technology – net, subnet, servers, Debian servers…

Even for a novice like me, it’s quite impressive!

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