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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pandora's Box

OK, here is a very quick tutorial for the Very New Person. (Helper people, feel free to bookmark this and hand 'em the URL).

You've just switched from Basic viewer mode to Advanced, and you found some free things and managed to buy them. But, when you went to wear your new dress, this ugly box appeared on your hand! What gives here? Have you been cheated? Where's the dress you thought you bought? Calm down, dear avatar...what you have encountered is a “boxed item”.
Oops, I'm Wearing a Box!
 In Second Life, one of the neat things about objects is that they can contain other objects. Creators use this to organize and package their goods, putting them into a “box”. Your mission is to...Get The Stuff Out of the Box!
  • Right click the box on your hand and select Detach.
  • Go to a place where you can rez objects, like a public sandbox. You can tell when you are in such a place when there is no yellow cube with a “NO” slash on it displayed in your top menu bar. Newcomer help areas like Caledon Oxbridge University and White Tiger Help Island have areas where you can rez things.
  • Find the box in your inventory (it's probably in the My Inventory/Objects folder).
  • Drag it from your inventory onto the ground.
  • Right click the box and select Open. A window with a list of the box's content appears.
  • Either click the “Copy to Inventory” button in this window, OR
  • Highlight the contents manually (select multiple items just like you do in your operating system, with SHIFT+click or CTRL+click)
  • Drag the highlighted contents into your inventory. I like this second method because it lets me create a new folder for the stuff and drag the items into it; I don't have to hunt around later for all the pieces.
If any of the items are No Copy, you will get a warning message asking if you really want to move the item. Tell it yes. The transfer will stop at that item, so you may have to go back and re-select the remaining items to complete transferring them all.

Once you are sure you have everything unpacked, right click the box again. You can either select Take (putting it away in your inventory) or Delete. You should do one or the other...no one likes litter left lying about. Which one you select is partly a matter of what permissions the box has, and partly a matter of choice.

If the box is copyable, a copy remained in your inventory when you rezzed it on the ground. Taking the one on the ground back into your inventory will give you two boxes. No need to keep both!

If the box contained No Copy items, it's empty now, so you may as well delete it.

If the box itself was No Copy, but the items were copyable, it can serve as a backup should you misplace any of the items. Take it back into inventory and store it away safe...or, you can trust that you won't lose the unpacked items and delete it. I usually do, and I've only wished that I hadn't once or twice.

A few boxes are equipped with an “unpacker” script. Just left click the box once you have rezzed it and it creates a folder in your inventory with the box's content in it. These “auto boxes” can be unpacked manually as well, so you don't have to worry much whether your box has this feature or not.

Now that you've unpacked your new stuff and cleaned up the wrappings, you can wear the items! (Whew, it's worse than those darn Real Life plastic bubble packages you need a meat cleaver to open!)

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