Zonja Capalini

Condensation Land: A status report

Introduction

Recently, the page about performance in the Opensim wiki has been extensively updated, and this prompted me to gather some data for Condensation Land, a mini virtual world powered by Opensim which I administer, to be able to add this data to the page. Condensation Land is special in the sense that while it’s a quite small, home-based, world, at the same time it hosts a relatively big number of prims and scripts, and I thought that adding that data to the page might end up being useful to somebody.

0840 - Temple 1

Temple, an island by Omurtag Milev in Condensation Land

When collecting the data I had to visit all the islands, one by one, and this made me remember the story of Condensation Land, how it all started, the things we did there, the people who have contributed wonderful stuff to be displayed, and I thought I’d write a blog post listing and commenting detailedly the technical data I had gathered, and at the same time giving an account of the history of the mini-world.

History

Condensation Land started as an experiment in looking for alternatives to Second Life after the OpenSpace fiasco. The initial six months of this process are explained in detail here. Shortly after writing this article, the company I was working for decided that virtual world technology was not adequate for their needs and started using WebEx. The initial founders of Condensation Land (Ludmilla Writer, Favio Piek and myself) decided to keep Condensation Land as an experiment and a playground, and to invite people to show their content in the mini-world.

Technical status

Condensation Land is a mini virtual world powered by Opensim. We are using r13558 of the Diva distribution (D2); the Wifi page can be accessed here. Condensation Land has a WordPress blog, used mainly to keep users informed of new releases and content additions, and a Flickr group.

The physical machine

The whole Condensation Land virtual world runs on a non-dedicated home machine with Windows XP SP3, 3 GB of RAM, and two SATA ST3400620AS HD’s of 372 GB each. The first HD (C:) hosts the operating system and the swapfile, while the second HD (D:) is dedicated to Opensim and MySQL. Apart from keeping the system updated and running the disk defragmenter every so often, the machine requires almost no maintenance.

Networking is provided by JazzTel (a spanish ISP) in the form of a symmetrical 2 Mb SDSL line; the machine has an external IP address and can thus be used for HyperGrid teleports, accesed from anywhere, etc. This line costs around € 200/mo, which is more or less US$ 250/mo.

World setup

Condensation Land (loginuri: http://condensationland.com:9000) comprises 11 regions, of which 10 are public. The region with most prims is Condensation Land, with 10,278 prims, and the region with more active scripts is Angelico Miguelis, with 706 active scripts. The whole world uses 38,065 prims and 1,934 active scripts, as detailed in the following table.

+---------------------------+--------+---------+
| Region                    | Prims  | Scripts |
+---------------------------+--------+---------+
| Angelico Miguelis         | 10,024 |     706 |
| Conceptior                |  6,280 |     531 |
| Condensation Beach        |  2,455 |      46 |
| Condensation Land         | 10,278 |      97 |
| Condensation North        |  1,610 |     122 |
| Condensation South        |  1,908 |       7 |
| Condensation SouthWest    |    992 |      77 |
| Shoshisn                  |    555 |     163 |
| Temple                    |  3,239 |     139 |
| Tralfamadore              |    427 |      29 |
| (private region)          |    297 |      17 |
+---------------------------+--------+---------+
| Total                     | 38,065 |   1,934 |
+---------------------------+--------+---------+

MyWorld.ini sets CombineContiguousRegions to false to avoid the use of megaregions. The bin\library directory contains the default IARs shipped with D2, plus the large objects library downloadable from the D2 downloads page, plus some small animation IARs created by myself with freebie anims found elsewhere. I’ve not had time to set up default avatars for male, female and neutral preferences.

Performance

Opensim.exe is pretty stable. and oscilates between 0% and 10% of CPU usage (even when idle, there are a lot of scripted objects, and object status has to be saved frequently), and uses between 167 MB when idle to 512 MB with one avatar and 1 GB of RAM with some few avatars. MySQL.exe consistently uses 250-300MB of RAM, and MySQL backups (in .sql format) occupy 3.51 GB, 1.32 GB when zipped.

The following video shows a party with four avatars in the Condensation Land region:

Content evolution

After 20090430, I added a 2,889-prims Klein bottle,

and an exhibition called Mirror Worlds featuring pictures from Florence Babenco, Ludmilla Writer, Mikil Tiki, Monika Finchy, Senna (SennaSpirit Coronet), Shoshisn Shilova and myself, and sculptures by Shoshisn Shilova.

After that, a very nice thing happened: people started to contribute their own stuff to be shown at Condensation Land! :-)

Breen Whitman donated a fantastic building called “Eastern Gaswork”, which I placed in Condensation South;

0741 - Breen Whitman's 'Eastern Gasworks' building - Outside view

Breen Whitman’s ‘Eastern Gasworks’

Shoshisn Shilova got an island (called “Shoshisn”) and Mikil Tiki got another island (called “Tralfamadore – La Mikilina”);

0773 - Our world is growing

Condensation Land world map after adding “Shoshisn” and “Tralfamadore”

and finally Omurtag Milev added three awesome islands called Temple, Conceptior and AngelicoMiguelis,

which you should absolutely visit (or, at least, look at the videos and pictures here).

0837 - New, fantastic islands by Omurtag Milev

Condensation Land world map after the addition of Omurtag’s islands

Condensation Land now has ten regions, instead of the initial five, and a lot of new wonderful places to visit! :-)

Conclusion

Condensation Land is a non-for-profit, home-based, virtual world maintained in my free time (and in the free time of the respective region owners). Obviously, since we don’t get any money from it, it’s a work of love. It’s also a proof-of-concept: of what can be done with simply some free time, a lot of passion for the technology, and some very talented friends :-) I won’t say that caring for Condensation is always nice and easy — being the administrator of even such a small world as Condensation takes quite a lot of work: users forget their passwords; upgrades don’t always work; we had a serious case of inventory messup, where tons of spurious folders were created and which I had to clean manually using SQL; sometimes electricity fails for so long that the UPS dies (yes, this happens in Barcelona in 2010) and the machine has to be physically restarted; and so on. But the feeling of having all this wonderful stuff in a machine of yours, and of being able to share it with the world, is more than enough to compensate for all of it :-)

August 25, 2010 - Posted by | Condensation Land, OpenSim | ,

6 Comments »

  1. Nice post Zonja, very interesting to read what you’ve been getting up to.

    Thanks also for the contribution to the performance table. I’m not sure exactly how useful it’s going to be, but hopefully it will give some clue to that perennial question “What hardware do you recommend for running OpenSim?” :-)

    Comment by Justin Clark-Casey | August 26, 2010

  2. Thanks! :-) What’s nice is that as hardware gets more powerful and cheaper, and the same happens with bandwidth (we’re about to get 50Mb/5Mb FTTH lines in Barcelona pretty soon, that’s 2.5x the upload b/w we have now for a quarter of the price), one can envisage having a home-based middle-sized world (say, 50 regions) with 20 simultaneous avies at almost no cost in a few years.

    Comment by Zonja Capalini | August 26, 2010

  3. Zonja —

    Nice post, great to see how this works in practice!

    How do you like the Wifi interface? Was it easy to setup? Does it work well?

    Thanks!

    – Maria

    Comment by Maria Korolov | August 30, 2010

  4. Thank you! :-)

    Wifi is very simple to configure — you reply to a set of questions, and you forget about it.

    In my case, I was migrating from r12274 and I wanted to merge-config from a clean install (sometimes there are new config variables in a Diva distro and these are not included automatically when you migrate, so I wanted to make sure that I got all the latest bells and whistles).

    Here’s how our [WifiService] section ended up in MyWorld.ini:

    [WifiService]

    GridName = “Condensation Land”

    LoginURL = “http://condensationland.com:9000”

    WebAddress = “http://condensationland.com:9000”

    ;; The Wifi Administrator account

    AdminFirst = “(hidden)”

    AdminLast = “(hidden)”

    AdminEmail = “(hidden)@gmail.com”

    AdminPassword = “*********”

    ;; Do you want to be able to control grid registrations?

    AccountConfirmationRequired = true

    ;; Variables for your mail server

    ;; Users will get email notifications from this account.

    SmtpHost = “smtp.gmail.com”

    SmtpPort = “587”

    SmtpUsername = “condensation.land@gmail.com”

    SmtpPassword = “*********”

    That’s it. I elected to review new account creation (I imemdiately grant account creation to people I know, but not to people I don’t know and who haven’t contacted me), and to use gmail to send notifications. Wifi sends quite terse but informative enough messages to the user and the admin when a new account is created.

    Once configured, it’s an install-and-forget feature.

    It includes a very simple user admin interface, which I’ve used to delete the gazillions of “First Last (SL Grid)” dummy users from the time we were using justincc’s Parallel Selves Message Bridge. There’s also an embryonic inventory manipulation program, which at the moment only allows for deletion of items, but which shows a lot of potential.

    I think Diva is working on a region/estate tool — this may be super-useful to simplify estate management, which at the moment is a pita and has to be done manually.

    I also took some time to customize WifiPages/links.html, one of the components of Wifi which can be altered as per the Wifi documentation, to include links to the Condensation Land blog, to my personal blog, and others: http://condensationland.com:9000/wifi

    As for how it works, for me it works perfectly. When a result set is large (for example, if I try to display my 6500+ items inventory, or when I tried to list the now deleted 600+ PSMB pseudo-users) the page takes time to load, for obvious reasons. Apart from that, it works flawlessly.

    I see a lot of potential in Wifi; to be more general, I see a lot of potential in small html applications served directly from opensim itself.

    Oh, and since after all we’re running WAMP, I took the time to program an Apache reditect, so that people going to http://www.condensationland.com land in the Wifi page instead.

    Comment by Zonja Capalini | August 31, 2010

  5. Fascinating!

    Comment by russbastable | October 18, 2011

  6. Thanks Russ! :-)

    Comment by Zonja Capalini | October 18, 2011


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