01 March 2008

The Epoch Institute Welcomes You!

Hello! I'm Jenn Forager, Director of the Epoch Institute, and it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to this initial orientation before your entry into virtual reality.

The Epoch Institute is located in Second Life™ or SL, as we commonly refer to it. SL is an on-line virtual world that you access via a computer and the Internet. Once you are logged into this virtual world, you will be represented by an avatar (a cartoon figure that looks like a human being). This blog post will introduce you to how to make that avatar do want you want it to do.
Before You Start
You need a middling personal computer in order for things to work. If you’ve bought your computer in the last couple of years, you should be fine. But the faster your computer and the better your video card, the more enjoyable your Second Life™ experience will be. If you have any questions about whether your computer will work, check here: http://secondlife.com/corporate/sysreqs.php or with your local computer guru.
Through Second Life™, you are participating in an exciting new way of interacting with other people located all over the globe. Immersive environments like SL are very new and, as such, you may experience some of the difficulties that come with any new technology. In other words, you might do everything right and things might still not work. It’s sometimes like visiting a website that crashes or is suffering a glitch. Be patient and we will support your navigation of this new technology.

Ready to Start?
If you have not done so yet, you need to download the SL program. 

You do that here: http://secondlife.com/community/downloads.php On a broadband connection (that is, a standard “fast” connection) you will need to devote about 15 minutes between download and installation. The process is very simple.

Logging In
Once the program is installed, inititate it from the icon installed on your desktop. Normally, SL will guide you to create an avatar. The Epoch Institute may provide you with an avatar for your use during your scheduled event. If so, you will have received three pieces of information by email upon confirmation of your registration: a first name for your avatar, a last name for your avatar, and a password. So you may then skip this step, and simply use the avatar supplied to you. The names are not case sensitive but the password is!

This avatar will be customized for your class, seminar, or one-on-one session. We highly recommend that you use this avatar as it will make for a much more pleasant SL experience.

Using Your Own Avatar
We prefer that you use a class specific avatar, but if you have previous experience in Second Life and feel strongly that you wish to use you own, we’ll tell you how to get to the Epoch Institute, (Please see: Where in the World is The Epoch Institute  http://epochinstitute.blogspot.com/2008/03/where-in-world-is-epoch-institute.html )

Running the Second Life Client
Once you have entered your Avatar name and password, you may wait for a minute or two, as a lot of information is passed to your computer. You will see a couple of “progress bars”. Sometimes they stop moving. Sometimes it seems that they take a l-o-n-g time. If they stop moving for more than, say, 2-3 minutes, the interaction between Second Life and your computer has failed and you should exit Second Life and start the process again. This can happen until you get all of the settings on your machine optimized. 

Please continue now with the post titled: How Do I Do In Second Life? http://epochinstitute.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-do-i-do.html

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