Which Viewer Do You Use?

When you created your Second Life account, you were prompted to download the SL Viewer. And I’m sure most of you did—which is perfectly fine. That’s what I used myself for a long time before I discovered there are alternatives. Many people have opted to use one of more of these alternative.

I myself use Firestorm, but more on that later.

Why Use the Official SL Viewer?

Most, if not all, tutorials, help files, and FAQs in SL are designed for the official viewer. They assume that’s what you’re using, since it is the de facto viewer. Rather than having to have separate version of their information for every possible viewer—pretty much an impossibility—they have designed everything around that standard. Less confusion, greater efficiency.

And that’s all right: Linden Labs (the brilliant minds behind SL) knows their product better than anyone else, and are therefor the best people to design and maintain their viewer. And most people are perfectly happy with that.

But just as not every user of Microsoft Windows uses MS Word as their word processor, and as not every iPhone owner uses Pages, so too do SL users sometimes use an alternative viewer.

There are many reasons for this, but I’m going to cover the most popular alternative SL viewer.


Firestorm is a creation of The Phoenix Project. The sole purpose of the project is, in its own words,

The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. is a non-profit, incorporated organization whose mandate is to improve the user experience in Second Life and other virtual worlds by providing an advanced open source viewer with greater features, options and interface flexibility than the standard offering by Linden Lab.

It’s the viewer that I have been using almost exclusively since I discovered it, and I’ve been in SL in various guises for over 13 years.

Why Do I Use It?

Simply put, I find it easier and more efficient. Inventory maintenance is a breeze, as is avatar design and customization. And on my laptop, it loads faster.

Worried about support? There are over 40 support groups for Firestorm in SL, including many run by the Phoenix Project. And at last count, there were 15 official Firestorm locations, including the main social gathering area right here.

In Conclusion

So yes, use the official viewer when you first start making your way around SL.

But once you’re comfortable using it, and are looking for another experience, give Firestorm a try.






(NOTE: Second Life, Linden Labs, Firestorm, The Phoenix Project,
Microsoft, Windows, MS Word, Apple, iPhone, and Pages are
trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.)

Time Zones and Relationships in Second Life

You know what really sucks? Meeting someone in SL and finding a kindred soul, only to discover that they’re in Australia while you’re on the East Coast of the United States. Not that there’s anything wrong with Aussies—it’s just that it’s awfully hard to maintain a friendship, much less a relationship, because of the time difference.

I had something similar happen to me recently. I made several new friends, but I haven’t seen any of them since then. And that, my friends, is why I urge you to put a note in your profile. In my 1st Life tab, it simply says  EST (SLT +3). EST is Eastern Standard Time, and SLT +3  means that I’m 3 hours ahead of Second Life Time (which is either Pacific Standard or Pacific Daylight Time, depending on the time of year). As Linden Labs are located in California, that’s the default time for the entire SL world.

Some Notes On Your Profile

Your profile is there for a reason. It lets people know a little bit about you. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but at least put something in there! I generally make it a practice to ignore people with empty profiles—especially when they’ve been in SL longer than 6 months.

I’ve even seen empty profiles for people who have been in SL for 7 or 8 years! What that tells me is you’re boring or perhaps too secretive for me to waste any time on you.

As an example, here’s my profile:

It’s pronounced “ash-LEEN.” Yes, it’s Irish. Yes I am…if you go back 4 or 5 generations. And before that, we wuz Scouses.

Harbour Grace, Newfoundland is the ancestral home. See my Picks for more about me.

I am ceann cine (clan chief) of Clan Aisling O’Connor. It’s pronounced “kian kineh.”

And under my Picks:

I’m kinda shy around new people, but I’m happy to join any conversation to which I’m invited. I always answer IMs…so long as they’re not of the “Hi, baby! Wanna fuck?” variety. R and U are letters, not words.

I appreciate people who can form complete sentences and who use proper grammar. What can I say? I’m an English professor in real life.

Those words are accompanied by this picture:


And that’s me in a nutshell. But my profile is a living document: I keep it updated to reflect where I am in SL, in relation to friendships, servitude, relationships, and the like.

Don’t be boring! And if you’re too shy to put anything in your profile, you might want to ask yourself just what the hell you’re in SL for in the first place.

It’s Not Always About Hair (redux)

I know. Big surprise, right? After all, SL isn’t limited to buying hair. In your search for a unique appearance, en route to becoming you, you need a lot more than hair!

There’s skins, for example. And a great place to find one is at Lara Hurley Skin, in Magic Valley. Besides a huge variety of skins, there’s also a fairly large selection of quality free skins.

NCI Kuula (New Citizens Incorporated – Help/Classes/Freebies) also offers tons of freebies, including a huge selection of eyes of various colors. Clothes, skins, shapes, hair—if you need it, they’ve got it!

New to SL? Need to learn things quickly? Then either NCI Kuula or Caledon Oxbridge Gateway is for you. In fact, I’ll be there later today to take a class in scripting. Maybe I’ll see you there!

And after all that hard studying, I’m going to head on over to The Blarney Stone, an authentic Irish pub, and toss back a few Guinness’s or Harps. After all, woman shall not live by bread alone!

Are you female? Want a great place to hang out with other women? Then look no further than Girltown at Sansara Annex. It’s an extremely safe place to make your home, since men are not only forbidden, but are actually automagically ejected if they do show up.

These are just a few of the places I like to visit. In my next post, I’ll give you links to a few NSFW places.

Until then,

Poppy: When You’re in the Mood for Salvation

Poppy is the second in this week’s offerings from Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore.

As always, the complete set costs $L1500.

I was kidding about salvation. It’s a saying I picked up in Texas when I lived there: “The higher the hair, the closer to heaven.”

Poppy is all about Big Hair. Of all its included styles, there’s only one that can rightly be considered short:


And, naturally, that’s the one I like best. But as I said, there are three other, longer styles. If you’re into Big Hair, then you’ll be in hog heaven with this one!


Two other views of the same style:


Then we come to the up-sides:


Poppy, designed to satisfy your appetite for Big Hair.

Exclusively from Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore.

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling


Upgrades…And Something For the Guys!

This week brings something special from the Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore. It’s a hude selection of upgrades not just for women but for men as well.

The August updates covers 23 older styles, all of which have been upgraded to result in much lower display weights.

Here’s what’s available:

For The Men










And For the Women





A&A Zuzanr Hair Variety Colors-pic

A&A Vanadis Hair Variety Colors-pic

A&A M Hair Variety Colors-pic

A&A Keira Hair All Colors-pic

A&A Katelynn Hair All Colors-pic

A&A Juniper Hair All Colors-pic

A&A Celeste Hair Variety Colors-pic


The men’s styles sell for $L99 each. Most of the women’s styles are also $L99 each, except for the larger sets (you can tell which is which by looking at the photos above), which go for $L499 each.

In Conclusion

In my humble opinion, Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore makes the best hair in all of SL. So if you’re looking to update a style, or just want to try a new look, you can’t do better anywhere.

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling

Mendy: A Curly Delight!

OK, I confess: sometimes a girl just wants to feel all, well, girly. Dresses and high heels are all well and good, but your hair can make or break the feeling. Heck, even a pair of worn jeans can be offset by the femininity of the right hair style.

Mendy: Curls Upon Curls

That’s where Mendy, the latest offer from the Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore comes in. It fairly screams, “I’M A GIRL!”

Mendy front

It’s perfect with my sheer lace top, and never mind that I’m wearing a ratty old pair of jeans—I still feel ultra-feminine.

A&A Mendy Hair All Colors-pic

The complete set sells for $L1500, and comes with all the colors you see here. And note the low display weight!

On a budget? Then try just the Red Set, which sells for $L250 and comes with the entire range of red shades:

Mendy Hair Reds

And here’s two more of me wearing my own selection:

Mendy left

Mendy right

Check out Mendy, now at Alli&Ali Designs Mainstore!

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling

The Pleasures of a Premium Account

Ever wish you had more privacy than SL affords you? I mean a place where you can just get away from it all? A place where no one can see or hear you? Maybe you’re tired of always having to find a dressing room when you want to change your appearance. Or maybe you would like a private place for more…shall we say, intimate moments?

Enter the Second Life Premium Account. It’s what I have, and it comes with all of those benefits and more. Best of all, it comes with a free house! You can set who is allowed into your house and control their actions while they’re there.

Besides the house, you have an additional 512 sq. meter land allowance. This means you can purchase another plot of land for setting up a store, a shop, or just about anything you can think of, providing the acreage you buy allows those activities.

In addition to a $L1000 signing bonus (payable after 6 weeks), you also get a weekly allowance of $L300 starting as soon as you upgrade.

And finally, you have access to sites and gifts only available to premium members.

Here’s an exterior view of my house (the tiny figure at the bottom is me):

House exterior 1

And here’s a view of the interior:

House interior 1

While each house comes with curtains, shutters, etc. (which you can customize), I provided the artwork and the furniture.

If you’re ready for a great investment, you owe it to yourself to investigate Second Life’s Premium Membership.

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling
Aisling’s Signature