Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When Your SecondLife Makes Demands

There comes a time in every avie's life when his/her brain begins to weaken. She sees less clearly, moves slowly and gray becomes the new black & white and also the blue, red and yellow.

Your friends are all running the latest graphic card with 200 gigs of ram and a bazillion bits per nanosecond of wondrous pixel motion. When you go to "Edit Preferences" all you see is the limbo of SecondLife, "How Low Can You Go!" 

For the past months you've found yourself slowly ostracized to 'Garibnagar' (see Slumdog Millionaire). Your friends stop wasting their time sending you a limo and instead you stand alone as a solitary avie in a sim without textures waiting for an IM with words of encouragement.

It occurs to you, "I must buy a new computer."  And then the hunt begins. Your first thought is, "I want the biggest baddest bitch machine that can run SecondLife, ThirdLife and also give me a pedicure." So, you check both PC's and Mac's adding all the things that count such as, "I don't care if this machine can do anything else."

And then you begin the process of deciding what to buy. So, you click away adding NVidia Tesla cards, quad graphic cards in parallel of  Nvidia Quad's, a pair of Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision, cooling fans, AWG cables 0000, (that's the thickness of a tree and uses the electricity of a million homes per day). Of course you don't need MSFT Office. You want everything removed except a browser and SecondLife download.

Finally, you press total cost and it comes to $121,375 with FREE SHIPPING. You think, "so, if I sell my house and move to Starbucks...." and you stop, smile and think, "if I sell the children, all my clothes, my car....." and your brow furrows with a seriousness, "I wonder if they can build a microwave, freezer/fridge combo into this."

Slowly, you return to reality and order a machine you can afford. Something with just a gig of ram more then you had. A new graphics card and you press BUY. You want it to arrive tomorrow but that's Friday and it won't arrive till Tuesday. Over the weekend, your new machine is already obsolete but there is nothing you can do about it.

You get everything ready for Tuesday and finally it arrives. You spend the hours getting it up and running and wondering "what should I do with my old machine."  Of course you can't throw it away. Give it away. Not because you are worried about your bank password but you fear someone could get your SecondLife password and then what would happen to the 'true you?"

Finally you light up your new machine. Everything works great. You can see, even at midnight. Joy! Joy! Joy!  Your old machine has been placed in your SecondLife computer masoleum which resides in the back of your closet. Over time you will come and look at this old machine and remember the shows you went to, the rides you took, the concerts you heard, the number of flawless teleportations you had. It will sit there like a decomissioned Enterprise or the Millenium Falcon. You will even see it try to power up like Wall-E on a holiday evening. Perhaps a whisper of "EVE" will echo in your closet.

By Thursday, friends have newer machines and you are starting to fall back into gray spots and you wonder, "How long must I wait to upgrade to a new machine."