Yesterday, I did a Virtual Earth presentation in Second Life as a part of the Dr. Dobbs Life 2.0 Conference "inworld." What a trip. First off, I was asked to do this last week and having never even been in Second Life I had some work to do. About a year ago, I tried downloading Second Life and my video card wasn't strong enough to run it. So, I bought a new machine (IBM/Lenovo T60p) with tons of RAM, HD space and a high end video card. I actually forgot about my desire to install Second Life until this conference speaking request came up, so I was excited to enter the virtual world and be born into my second life.

Once I got an account setup, the software installed and my avatar created (see screenshot, guy who is front and center) I figured I was off and running. Um, not exactly. I have this virus on my machine called "QuickTime" that's required for running media in Second Life. QuickTime wouldn't upgrade or uninstall but would repair fine, so I had to use a hack I found on the web to remove the files and I finally was able to install the correct version, so I'm still infected. I digress.

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I presented Virtual Earth as a developer platform, but dove deep into the imagery processing called photogrammetry we use to generate our 3D models. The presentation was delivered on the two virtual screens inside the virtual arena in the screenshot above. Each of the people you see in the screenshot are representations (aka avatars) of real people (although I understand there are some bots in Second Life). These are people who teleported to a place called "CMP 4" - NOTE this link will teleport you there if you have Second Life installed. FWIW - CMP 4 as in CMP Media who is backing the event. In speaking with the conference coordinator he commented that Microsoft has made "quite the investment in building this arena." News to me, but, someone from Microsoft created the arena my avatar is standing in using 3D tools. So, users come to the arena at the appropriate time, sit in a chair (or stand in the back or hover somewhere - yes, your avatar can fly) and watch, listen to and learn from my presentation right in Second Life. I love this medium - it's so different - personal, yet impersonal. I hope to do more presentations in Second Life and I will not charge any lindens (the currency in Second Life). :)

Here's the arena:

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And, if you want to "friend" me "inworld" my name is "CP Kirax."

CP