« My Numbers | Main | Government of the People, by the People, for the People »

02/17/2007

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Khamon

The First Land program was created when there was truly a scarcity of land for sale anywhere on the map and litte hope that a viable resident-resident land market was forthcoming in the near future.

We have a viable resident-resident land market now with buy and rental opportunities scattered all over the tiny grid that's about to be greatly expanded.

The propoganda *is* misleading and as unnecessary as continuing the First Land program. Like any government givaway program, it's doing more harm than good after having lived out it's usefulness.

As you say, most people who find SL can afford a few dollars a month and a one time ~$40 fee to "purchase" some land in either arena. Those that can't will simply have to be tourists.

Heed the advice LL: terminate First Land and clarify the website.

Khamon

Oh and you forgot to mention that catering to customers using server types 1 and 2 effectively "runs off" the little people expecting a handout. That may or may not be intentional; but it's an interesting aside.

Prokofy Neva

yes, it's terribly when they cynically -- or heedlessly -- drive people away by offering first land but not really offering the *land*. It's not quite a legally-determined "bait and switch" because they don't *say* you will find it.

When people conditioned to games come into a world, they do expect some kind of welcome package -- something a little more robust than the cherry bed in the library .

As we've seen, the Lindens are capable of dropping landmarks into every new account in a flash; they can drop resident-created skins in a flash -- they can drop pretty much anything they need.

I think they should get rid of the stale library and create the library as ad spaces, which it is now anyway for people like Nylon. Then let people who want to give freebies to newbies consciously buy ad space in their library -- and rotate it often. Like classifieds, this will be a great source of revenue for LL, and newbies will feel like they have something more fun than a dead parrot, a TV that doesn't work, and a beach ball stupidly put on all permissions so that it is easy prey to all griefers wishing to find a ready-made device for self-replication.

Erbo Evans

In RL, I work for a company that sells supercomputing clusters, similar to the arrays of servers that LL needs to run the Grid. So I can speak with a certain amount of authority on the problems of supplying servers in this quantity.

In order to ship a cluster to one of our customers, we have to order in all the parts for each server (chassis, motherboards, CPUs, RAM, disk drives, and so forth) from suppliers, assemble the servers here, run "burn-in" tests on them (and fix any that break down in the process, possibly requiring that we send the defective parts back to the suppliers and get new ones), install those servers in racks, along with network switches and any other required components, install OS images on them and whatever else the customer requires, test the completed clusters, and then ship them out, usually via FedEx. The process can take several weeks even if all goes well, and I can't imagine it would take that much less time for LL, even if they order servers without an OS image from a larger supplier than we are. (And even if they order "naked" servers, they'll still have to install the OS on them themselves. They'd have to install their sim-server code on each system, in any event.)

In terms of sheer space...a typical server rack is about the size of a refrigerator, and contains 42 "units" of space, each of which can hold one server. (Some of that space will be taken up by network switches and so forth, too, which means less space for actual servers.) At four sims per server, assuming dual-CPU dual-core servers, that's a theoretical maximum of 168 sims per rack; the actual number will be less because of the space required for other hardware. (And LL uses servers for other purposes besides sims, too...the asset server is one big cluster, from what I understand.) This will improve as LL is able to get servers with quad-core CPUs; Intel is shipping those now and AMD will be shipping them before the end of the year, but LL probably doesn't have any (or not many) yet. They don't have an infinite amount of space in their colocation facilities; that's probably one of the biggest resource constraints they face.

Getting power to all those servers is not a trivial proposition; even we have a tough time sometimes being able to power large clusters, or large quantities of clusters, simultaneously. (The necessary power-distribution hardware also takes up space in those racks.) Equally important, all those servers must be cooled; you need sufficient air-conditioning capacity to offset the heat thrown off by all those systems, or you'll start seeing servers fail prematurely. These factors can be dealt with, but that does require additional resources.

Small wonder that Philip himself is looking for a guru to help manage all of this...

Mako Mabellon

I think that either I'm missing something or your logic is wrong; the subsidised first land is very, very cheap, but it is not in any sense "free". Think about it like this: you pay Linden Labs $9.95 for tier and L$512, then exchange the L$512 for some first land. Therefore, you have effectively paid Linden Labs the portion of your US$ tier payment that is returned as L$ for the land.

Of course, that's not to say the current first land setup works; it probably doesn't. I *think* the actual profit people reselling First Land make is $9.95 (the monthly fee) less than you calculated, though - remember, tier is useless if you don't own any land, and if you put the money back into land, have you really made a profit in any meaningful sense?

Desmond Shang

It's interesting how we can do tight analyses on the forums, yet I rarely find that people typically function as 'smart' shoppers.

In particular, on the mainland. Almost everyone knows the story of someone who has, say, 4096m of tier, is using 3000m or so of it, and then sells off their property at huge loss to 'get out' - often due to a social situation.

Or even more commonly, land is kept, tier is paid for months and months, un-used but still being billed until the owner finally gets tired of World of Warcraft.

Yes, there is satisfaction in knowing that your world is waiting for you, but at an incredibly high cost. Easier to sell all your land, repurchase somewhere else and spend an hour setting your things back out.

So in that perspective, here's my point. For every sim full of mainland land owners, there is often far *more* than a sim being paid for. Many people are stuck in bad situations, such as having 6000m of their 8192m tier but no more land they want is available.

The Company sells not only land, but 'option for land'. It's a big business. Anyone who has unused tier, or reserved a grid square knows exactly what I'm talking about. I'm guessing they make an additional significant percentage (ten?) from this sort of thing, even taking into consideration the group land bonuses offered.

I personally imagine it as an invisble continent (90% transparent terrain sparkling over a starlit void sea) - a huge, fantastic place full of unsubstantiated dreams. Dozens upon dozens of sims, and fully funded, of course. I'm into it for 80 USD a month myself presently, via void reservations - I'd love to at least plant a small flag on that most intangible of shores.

Prokofy Neva

Desmond, this problem of unused land/tier is just as big as the land-for-sale problem. Their tier system makes for it, of course.

For example, I have like 8192 m2 of unused tier now. I could go out and buy something ridiculously expensive to "use it up," or I could carry it over yet another month. Why? Because it only costs me $24 US. Of course all these "onlies" add up for us and them.

But what's the alternative? Drop $450 US just to make use of the $24 payment? Or wait until an 8192 m2 can be found for less?

You can't shed unused tier once you've bought the bulk rate at $97.50 for the next half tier (not $125 on the first pass).

You could divide up among alts, but then you'll be paying more per square meter. I've done this sometimes -- it's a hassle as their due dates start falling differently.

Allana Dion

>"I think they should get rid of the stale library and create the library as ad spaces, which it is now anyway for people like Nylon. Then let people who want to give freebies to newbies consciously buy ad space in their library -- and rotate it often. Like classifieds, this will be a great source of revenue for LL, and newbies will feel like they have something more fun than a dead parrot, a TV that doesn't work, and a beach ball stupidly put on all permissions so that it is easy prey to all griefers wishing to find a ready-made device for self-replication."

I realize it's slightly off topic but this is actually a really good idea.

Khamon Fate

I agree with Allana, this is a very good idea.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)