254 - Standing guard

Where's Dim Sum? #254 - Standing guard


Dim Sum watches as the moonlight drags the shadows across the knotwork tiles. It's like watching grass grow, but her ancestry and training has built up her capacity for extreme patience with hair-trigger alertness.


OMG. After weeks of frustration with Dell, I did some research and discovered Falcon-NW, which is a boutique store that builds custom gaming machines. I've heard of them before, but I ignored them because their prices were out of my range and Dell had given me this open credit with 0% interest if I paid it off in 12 months.

What I found out was that Falcon-NW's prices are comparable to Dell. I mean, what's a few bucks when you're buying something worth several thousand?

So, my new Fragbox from Falcon-NW arrived last Friday, and I installed it on Saturday. I'm very, very happy. It's so so quiet. And I have high settings in SL right now and several browser windows open, but I don't even notice any lag.

Earlier today, I took a picture of my avatar and six other avatars. It's eye-popping (if I may say so myself), and not just because of the nudity.

location: Caelestium Isle


Technical notes

windlight: MorningGlory (modified)



Why You Should Avoid Dell

Dell had made several stupid decisions (sound familiar?). First, they split up their website, so that you can't buy certain high-end machines unless you apply for credit again as a business. Your consumer credit line won't pay for the machine in the business section.

Second (and they've had this problem for years), they won't let you change an order -- you have to start all over -- even if the problem is on their side, like they ran out of a certain part even though their website offers it, or like the configuration (that you put together from their website) is invalid because it requires more PCI ports than the motherboard can handle. Problems with their website becomes your problem.

Third, they will cancel your order by the end of the day they notify you that they don't have the part. Even if they claim they give you 24 hours notice, they don't. They'll call at 8am on a Friday and cancel it before 5pm. If you were at work and didn't check your personal voicemail before 5pm, you'll have to start all over.

Fourth, sometimes, you don't know what the problem was, because they don't tell you that when they're cancelling your order, so you order the same thing again, hoping that maybe this time, they have the part available.

Fifth, even if you already waited for your original order for almost two weeks, you're back at the end of the queue again and you have to wait another two weeks. Of course, if the problem was with the configuration and you didn't know, your order will get cancelled again, so you wasted another two weeks.

Of course, if you didn't put in that second (or third or fourth) order because you got fed up, they will hound you with emails and phone calls. And, all of a sudden, they have great customer service.

When I bought my Alienware M17 from Dell four years ago, it took me 3 months to get it, from the first order (in October) to the day it arrived (in January). The problem at that time was that they ran out of Blu-ray drives, which I didn't really care much about so I replaced that part with a regular DVD drive, just to get my machine.

This time, the problem was that the NVIDIA Titan Z took up two slots and I had to either give up the sound card or the wireless card. It took two orders before they finally told me what the problem was. And it was one of their representatives who put in the second order. They could have easily called me up to ask me which card to give up and then finished my machine. But, nope, they didn't allow changes to an order, remember?

Okay, thank you very much. No, I won't call the order department again.




253 - Afternoon with a Gypsy

Where's Dim Sum? #253 - Afternoon with a Gypsy


Dim Sum watches the marionette Gypsy move her hips mechanically and wonders if she's angry because her only audience is a cat.


It's been a long while, I know. Real life intervened. Actually, I was taking an online course to learn Scala, so I was studying and doing homework almost every night and definitely every weekend. There wasn't time for much else.

That was for 7 weeks. Then I took a breather.

In fact, it's difficult coming back to this project. My muse is calling me elsewhere. I'm not making any breakthroughs in this project anymore. I haven't for a while. Even after a hiatus.

So I'm going to plug along when I have time, but Dim Sum will be roaming less often as I follow my muse.


location: Caelestium Isle


Technical notes

windlight: Places Alirium (modified)



252 - Centaurs in the palace garden

Where's Dim Sum? #252 - Centaurs in the palace garden


Dim Sum snorted disbelievingly at the man-horse, who claimed he was once a stone statue like those behind him.


These six posts (#247 to #252) are catch-up posts. The images were taken and posted on Flickr last weekend in a big rush to take as many pictures as I could before the Fantasy Faire ended last Sunday.

model: Pholos
location: Fantasy Faire 2014 - Palace of Tears


Technical notes

windlight: Bryn Oh's BLUNIVERSE (modified)


251 - Lights and lotuses

Where's Dim Sum? #251 Lights and lotuses


Dim Sum wishes people would stop walking and tripping over her while she meditates in this solemn place.


These six posts (#247 to #252) are catch-up posts. The images were taken and posted on Flickr last weekend in a big rush to take as many pictures as I could before the Fantasy Faire ended last Sunday.

The "Moon Lotus Fool Bloom With Stalk2" was created by Elicio Ember.

location: Fantasy Faire 2014 - Fairelands Junction


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Build 002 Light (modified)
water: Default (additional effects caused by prims in the water)


I am responding here to Zippora Zabelin's comment in Flickr about the lighting, because it's a bit too long of an explanation to put in the Flickr comments.

As with most of my images in this series, the lighting is more than just windlight. In fact, the windlight setting doesn't have as much effect as it normally does in most of my images.

In this particular one, local lights and glow are more at play:

1. The lotuses themselves are already bright, although I don't think they cast their own light. I think the remembrance lights on the far wall *do* cast a light, but I could be wrong too.

2. I added glow to make the remembrance lights and the tree lights brighter because they were too far away.

3. Dim Sum is wearing invisible prim lights (same as in another image) to add more light to the middle ground. (It lighted the shrub in the middle ground and the exposed tree roots across the water from it.) It's basically three light prims that are linked together and worn on her spine. They are positioned far away from her body and I adjust the position depending on how I want the scene to be lighted. These worn lights are perfect when the sim doesn't allow rezzing objects. The disadvantage is that, when she moves, so do the lights, so I have to force her into an animation where she doesn't move much.

4. The location is full -- really, really full -- of trees. I didn't think I could get some dappled light (which I love to use) through the leaves, so I was surprised when I got some on the boardwalk; otherwise, it would have just been a plain black swath by the foreground lotus. The trees made the scene a lot darker, so the same windlight would look very different elsewhere. I think all I did with the windlight is move the sun/moon so I could get just the right dappling and just enough light to bring out the fern leaves near the foreground.

250 - Adoring an angel

Where's Dim Sum? #250 - Adoring an angel


Dim Sum was literally struck dumb by the pretty angel after bumping into her. For a short while, she thought she was seeing doubles and triples, until she realized the angel had multituplets, if there is such a word.


These six posts (#247 to #252) are catch-up posts. The images were taken and posted on Flickr last weekend in a big rush to take as many pictures as I could before the Fantasy Faire ended last Sunday.

The "Angel of Temperance Statue" was created by pravda Core.

location: Fantasy Faire 2014 - Sanctum


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Meni Light 01 (modified)


249 - The caged worm and the drunken fairy

Where's Dim Sum? #249 - The caged worm and the drunken fairy


Dim Sum and the caged worm listen patiently to the frustrated fairy who decided to get drunk after hours of hunting in vain.


These six posts (#247 to #252) are catch-up posts. The images were taken and posted on Flickr last weekend in a big rush to take as many pictures as I could before the Fantasy Faire ended last Sunday.

Harmony was participating in the hunt and she couldn't find the clue in that sim, and she said maybe she should just sit down and get drunk.  :)  Funny fairy.

model: HarmonyQuest
location: Fantasy Faire 2014 - Mourningvale Thicket


Technical notes

windlight: Nacon's O-6am


248 - Tree lights at the faire

Where's Dim Sum? #248 - Tree lights at the faire


Dim Sum looks up at the tree lights, higher up than her own already high perch.


These six posts (#247 to #252) are catch-up posts. The images were taken and posted on Flickr last weekend in a big rush to take as many pictures as I could before the Fantasy Faire ended last Sunday.

location: Fantasy Faire 2014 - The Faery Court


Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Build 002 Light (modified)