Unexpected Departures

August 30, 2012 by · 9 Comments
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Life sometimes surprises us in incredibly unexpected and ultimately very painful ways. When someone you love suddenly leaves this world, especially when they were so young with so much more to enjoy, that departure can be even harder. I know this … or rather knew it already … and today was reminded again in a way that struck so very close to home.

Right around two years ago, five helpless, defenseless souls entered our lives in the most unanticipated manner. Even so, these last two years have been pure delight and awe at the way they moved into and so easily inhabited our hearts. I am speaking of the five kittens we adopted. Allow me to tell their story in a bit more depth.

Continue reading “Unexpected Departures” »»

SET BACK!

September 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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The man behind Darrius Gothly has had a small set back and will be offline afk for at least another week. Thank you for your patience.

Depths of Corporate Boneheadity

May 3, 2011 by · Comments Off on Depths of Corporate Boneheadity
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This post has nothing to do with with Second Life or DG Products for Second Life .. but it’s just something I gotta share. If nothing else, let this prove that totally boneheaded, absent a freakin clue, what on EARTH were you thinking corporate decisions are not the exclusive property of Linden Lab.

My internet provider, Time Warner Cable, decided a few years ago that it would be “more convenient” for me to STOP paying them the same way I pay everyone else .. with automatic bill pay from my bank’s online services .. and instead required me to log into THEIR site, sign up for a new account, step through a few more hoops and give them access to my bank account so they could take the money whenever they wanted. Huh?

What they MEANT was, it was more convenient for them to overbill me, take any amount of money they chose .. and then ignore anyone that has a billing question. More convenient? Yeah, for them!

I refused, told them to mail me paper statements, and have paid them late by one month ever since. (Never far enough out to incur late charges, just enough to make their cash flow management really annoying.)

Today I received ANOTHER email from them. Guess what? They’re going to make it MORE convenient again. They’re now requiring I sign up for yet ANOTHER new account on yet ANOTHER new website to jump through even MORE new hoops. The email contains this sentence:

“We thought it was only natural for you to be able to pay your bill and manage your account in the same place — so we made it easier. “

Nah .. what is natural is for me to pay the bill at the same place I pay all my other bills … MORONS! *facepalm*

Departures…

March 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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For quite some time now, it has been an almost daily occurrence that I have said goodbye to someone in Second Life. While I have seen various names posted of those that left because their human counterpart had passed away, until today my personal circle of departees were all voluntary and on purpose. Until today …

In July of last year, I quite unexpectedly met an Avatar named Adric Antfarm. For some crazy reason, he pulled me out of the masses and chose me as the recipient of his whacky award. We chatted In-World briefly and I found his sense of humor as cracked and irregular as my own. I didn’t keep in touch, in fact I never spoke to him again, but I proudly placed his award in my main store.

Today, while performing routine maintenance on my blog, updating links and whatnot, I opened his blog to make sure I had the latest RSS Feed and bumped into news that I did not really want to hear.

I will remember you fondly Adric. I will do my best to keep the wonderfully off-balance and upbeat sense of humor you shared with me. And I will do my best to keep true to the last words we shared.

I am very disappointed

January 29, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, Uncategorized 

Back in 2009, I became aware of a new set of changes being planned for Second Life by the Commerce Team working at Linden Lab. Those changes eventually became known collectively as “The Freebie Roadmap” … named after the ill-fated blog post of the same name by Colossus Linden. Upon hearing the rumors and then searching out and reading exactly what was planned, I was galvanized into action and took up the mantle of putting a stop to the ill-considered disaster that was about to be enacted despite all reason to the contrary.

Since that time, I have been immersed in the day-to-day operations, plans and boondoggles foisted on the unsuspecting Residents of Second Life by the Commerce Team. Many of them have been documented in this blog, and all of them were glaring examples of how NOT to manage any sort of high-tech product development effort. Continue reading “I am very disappointed” »»

A Shameful Disgrace

August 15, 2010 by · 2 Comments
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I’ve been a professional programmer for nearly four decades now. I’ve worked on all manner of projects and systems from mainframe megalithic code piles to ultra-tiny microprocessor controlled doo-dads. But one thing I have always retained across every job has been a sense of honesty, fair play and integrity.

If you’re a programmer, you know this question all too well. “Hey, can you hack into …?” People ask it for various reasons, usually petty personal ones, sometimes not so petty and sometimes not so clearly answered. But my answer has always been the same … no thank you.

Recently I have posted in the Second Life Commerce forums about the disgraceful website the Linden Lab Commerce team has put out there under the banner of the Marketplace. Their total lack of respect for both customers and merchants, the shoddy manner in which they released a barely functional pre-alpha abomination, and then their spotty, on and off communication with the people that most need it has had me fuming a time or twenty.

But today all of those fell to nothing in one simple blog post that sucked the life and pleasure out of me. It was a blog post made by LordGregGreg Back, late of the Emerald Development team.

In his post, he is both apologist and outraged developer. He blows the covers off something that was added into the Emerald Viewer code by others on the team. And not just added in, but purposely and willfully kept secret, encrypted to prevent detection, obfuscated from other team members, and then lied about when confronted head on.

As I mentioned at the top, the one thing that has typified my career (and netted me some choice jobs in high-security projects) has been my personal integrity. Well the idiots that saw fit to besmirch Emerald’s squeaky clean reputation just destroyed not only their reputations for all time to come, but they robbed every single Emerald user of the TRUST that was key to its success.

I don’t know what malfunction made them decide to play stupid hacker games with the Emerald Viewer, and frankly I don’t give a damn. All I know is they did … and now 70% of the people using Second Life that also used, depended on and praised the Emerald Viewer just took a head shot from which there is no graceful recovery.

Shame on you guys. SHAME SHAME and MORE SHAME!! You have shown you are below contempt and certainly below forgiveness. You have taken the most precious quality of any highly personal software system … and trashed it needlessly.

LordGregGreg .. you may not ever read my words, but I want you to know that I understand your personal turmoil in the decision you’ve just made. I can tell you that where I am today is due in large part to having faced and made those same decisions in my career too. You are not alone, but you ARE worthy of a large thank you. And an apology for the criticism that will surely come your way now.

To everyone else, I will say with every ounce of earnest emotion in me, the actions of these few cretins that saw fit to hide, lie and steal from their loyal customers … that is NOT what typifies a true professional. Any doubts you may have should be weighed in the scale of truth that almost all of us that sling code (and your personal details) around through today’s computer systems, do so with the UTMOST respect for your rights of privacy and security. And we are ashamed for what a tiny few have done to shatter than tender bond.

The Farmer and the City Slicker

July 10, 2010 by · Comments Off on The Farmer and the City Slicker
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Tell ya a little story I heard some years back .. might be useful, might not. (Hey, it’s free, might be worth every penny. LOL)

One day a farmer was standing out in his field, leaned up against the fence post, idly staring at the clouds and feeling the wind on his face. All of a sudden a hot new sports car races up and screeches to a halt, throwing smoke and dust all over the farmer. The driver leans partway out the window and addresses the farmer.

“Hey, you, Hayseed. Do you know the way to town?”

The farmer slowly brushes the dust off his coveralls, eyes the city slicker up and down a few times, then answers him, “Yup, sure do.”

The city slicker, obviously in a hurry, sputters for a moment then barks out, “So? Which way?”

The farmer pauses a second, glances up at the clouds, eyes the trees on the other side of the valley, then points down the road and says, “That way. But you might wanna wait till tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah? And why is that?”

“Well, cuz the bridge might be out.”

Obviously amused, the city slicker slams his foot to the floor and roars off in the direction of town.

About three hours later, the city slicker comes walking around the bend in the road, his clothes tattered, hair mussed, and obviously drenched from head to foot. He marches right up to the farmer and nearly shouts at him.

“Very funny hayseed. Just how did you know the bridge was out? Did you read the clouds or did the trees talk to you? Just how did you know?”

The farmer puts his hand over his eyes, glances up at the sky again then peers off across the valley. He takes a deep breath and slowly explains, “Nope .. didn’t read the clouds or listen to the trees.”

“Okay, fine! I don’t care. Keep it to yourself then.”

As the city slicker begins to stomp off, the farmer continues on, “I knew cuz the last guy went down that road walked back and told me so.” Continue reading “The Farmer and the City Slicker” »»

Xstreet Marketplace 2.0

June 17, 2010 by · Comments Off on Xstreet Marketplace 2.0
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After much fanfare, followed by a chorus of crickets from the LL Dev and Commerce Teams, it appears that the new Marketplace 2.0 is on its way still. A post in the Second Life forums by Colossus Linden states “We are very excited to report that the SL Marketplace Beta, the redesigned online shopping site for Second Life, will go live in two weeks.” (View the full post from Colossus here) This is indeed very good news as it means that the Marketplace developers survived the recent slash in Linden Lab staff, and it also signals that this is a direction they are committed to taking.

Anytime a company takes on the developed product of someone from “outside” such as happened when Linden Lab bought the Xstreet SL site last year, there is always a sense of “Not Invented Here” that permeates and at times pollutes further development on the product. The fact that many of the features and functions of Xstreet that have been needed (and loudly demanded) by both the Merchant and Shopper segments have been long delayed or pushed off till “Real Soon Now” is ample proof that the LL Dev Team has had their fair share of NIH Syndrome.

Now it just remains to be seen what changes will be wrought on the existing listings in their move from the old Xstreet format to the new Marketplace 2.0 format. LL’s official Blog Post left little doubt that some massive changes were in store. As more and more information was provided, the future seemed to be getting darker and darker. At least now we have hopes that someone up ahead has a torch and we might just be headed out of the tunnel after all. When LL cut the primary “Go To Gal”, Pink Linden, many of us threw up our hands in frustration. Let’s all hope and pray that they’ve managed to maintain some level of continuity despite their taking an axe to their staff.

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The Ship Sails

June 15, 2010 by · Comments Off on The Ship Sails
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We at DG Products for Second Life have been threatening to put up a blog, a wiki and a few other neat goodies for some time now. Just recently we moved the site to the new domain (http://www.dgp4sl.com) and now we’ve begun fleshing out some of the tools and features we’ve always promised ourselves. Bear with us as we work out the kinks. At the very least, it promises to be entertaining. (But isn’t it always fun to watch someone fall flat on their face? LOL)