Getting Started With Radegast: A User Guide for the Blind and Visually Impaired
By Roxie Marten & Celene Highwater
Explore bustling 1920’s Berlin, catch a play in New York City, hang out at one of the many dance halls and clubs, become a horse and trot the rolling hills of the Midwest, roleplay in a town from the Old West or in a modern or ancient city set halfway around the globe. Try your hand at fishing, work in your dream profession, or even just laze by the pool with an ice cold glass of lemonade. All of this and more is possible in Second Life.
Second Life is a virtual world that functions much like the real world. There are towns, businesses, clubs, theme parks, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, libraries, movie theaters, concert venues and scenic locations like beaches and mountain ranges. It offers the unique ability to explore the world from your computer. And for those with disabilities, Second Life can provide an unlimited source of opportunities and experiences that may not be available in the real world. For example, someone with developmental disabilities can own and drive a car, have a home of their own, grow a garden, or even drive a jet ski. For someone in a wheelchair, it offers the chance to hike through the Rocky Mountains, bike across-country, or simply walk.
And for the blind, Second Life offers the opportunities listed above plus the ability to navigate without some of the challenges we as blind people can experience in the real world. Go to the mall and purchase the latest fashions with ease, browse one of the thousands of freebie shops across the world, enjoy the rides and sounds at a theme park or take in an outdoor concert or one in a grande ballroom, all on your own if you choose. Granted, there are challenges, but in a world this complex there are bound to be challenges for everyone, even for the sighted user. With that said, learning Second Life takes time, patience and persistence, but it is well worth the effort. So we invite you to come with us and explore the world of Second Life and see what it has to offer for you.
Note: You must be sixteen years or older to use Second Life and those who are under eighteen can only visit G rated sims.
Entering Second Life
Before you can enter Second Life you must register an account with Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. We suggest that you register on the Signup page at Virtualability.org because Virtual Ability is an organization that helps those with disabilities enter and become successful in virtual worlds.
The signup page on the Virtual Ability website will guide you through the registration process step-by-step so that when you do log in, you will be on Virtual Ability Island where mentors are available to help you, should you need further assistance. Please note however that mentors have interests and other things both in-world and out that they are involved in so you must send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> to schedule a time to work with a mentor. Otherwise, we can not guarantee that someone will be there to assist you.
To register, go to: http://www.virtualability.org/sign-up-for-second-life/
Once you register, you will need to obtain a copy of Radegast,a third-party text-based viewer that has made Second Life accessible to the blind. Please note that Radegast is neither supported nor endorsed by Linden Labs. It is open source software that was originally developed for users of mobile devices and low-power computers, but has since become the vehicle for which blind people also access to virtual worlds such as Second Life. The developer of Radegast is keenly aware of its new user base and is continually looking for ways to improve the software for screen reader users and is implementing features to make Second Life even more accessible.
Radegast is operated using keyboard commands and we will walk you through them shortly.
To obtain a copy of Radegast, please visit: <http://radegast.org>
Please note that Radegast is optimized for Windows and Linux and may not work well on Macintosh computers.
When installing Radegast, make sure you also choose to install the Radegast Voice pack if you intend to use audio. Once Radegast is installed, you will need to log in using your Second Life user name and password. We recommend that you check the box that allows Radegast to remember your user name and password so you won’t have to type it in again.
Once you have done that, hit the space bar or enter on "Log In" and wait until you have been logged in. You will know when you are logged in because the cursor will automatically be placed in the edit field of the chat window.
Now That You’re In-World
The chat window is your default window and you will always start here when you log in to Second Life. If you registered using the Virtual Ability website, you are standing on the landing point at Virtual Ability Island. So first off, welcome!
Now, we want to give you some basic Second Life terminology and tips so you will better understand the instructions below.
Note: For Those Who Wish To Use Voice In Chat:
To use the voice chat feature, you will need at least a microphone and speakers. A better option is to use a headset. If you decide to do this, you will need to set it up in the "Audio" window of Radegast. To access the Audio window, press alt9. If you need assistance, ask a Virtual Ability Mentor for help.
Second Life Vocabulary
- SL: Shorthand for Second Life.
- Avatar: A computer-generated representation of a person: your persona in Second Life.
- Gesture: An avatar action (wave, dance, applaud, etc.) that may include motion, sound, and/or text.
- Grid: Total land area in Second Life; the thousands of computer servers that run SL.
- Home: Landing point where you can log in or return with one click; a safety feature in SL.
- Lag: Delays in functioning or appearance caused by slow Internet connection or too many objects or avatars in the same place.
- Landmark: Record of a location for later return (similar to a website bookmark). Landmarks are saved in their own Inventory folder.
- Linden Lab: Company that created and maintains the Second Life virtual world.
- Lindens or Linden dollars: In-game currency. They are not necessary to play Second Life. If you choose to use them however, they can be earned in-world or purchased using a credit card or Pay-Pal.
- Inventory: Your closet or storage room where everything you accumulate in Second Life is stored.
- Log Out: Remove your avatar from Second Life. Changes you have made to your avatar or your surroundings such as wardrobe changes, Inventory edits, or furniture rearranges in your house, will all be stored automatically for when you log back in.
- Prim: Short for "primitive"; basic shapes (cubes, spheres, cylinders, etc.) which can be linked together to create complex objects.
- Region: Area in SL, usually an island or rectangular landmass, 256 square meters in size. Each SL region has a unique name, for example, Virtual Ability Island.
- Rez: Cause an object, scene, or your avatar to appear.
- SLURL: Link to directly teleport to a location in Second Life.
- Teleport: A form of rapid transportation in Second Life; the avatar disappears from one location and immediately appears at another one, anywhere in SL. Landmarks allow you to teleport to destinations anywhere in the SL world.
- Viewer: Software that resides on your computer and allows you to participate in SL. The viewer connects your computer to the stored virtual world on Linden Lab servers.
Now that you have a basic understanding of Second Life terminology and how some things work, let us give you some Radegast keystrokes to get you started.
Main Chat Window
Alt1: Allows you to navigate back to the chat window if you are in another window such as your Inventory. This window houses local chat and will be used to enter keyboard commands for navigation and for chatting via text. It also displays all messages that are not IM’s. This window is also where you can view a list of avatars nearest to you. To view the avatars around you, press tab twice if you are in the edit field, and once if in chat history.
In the list of avatars nearest you, the first name you will see is yours, followed by the avatars around you. The names are presented in descending order, with the closest avatar listed first. For example: Joe Brown(7m) indicates that Joe is 7 meters away from you. This list will change as you navigate around; it is updated automatically.
If you right click on Joe Brown’s name using the applications key, you will see the following menu:
- Start IM
- Master Control
- Point At
- Offer Teleport
- Teleport To
- Request Teleport
- Walk To
- Eject From Estate
- Turn To
Profile: Every avatar in Second Life has a profile. The profile presents you with a set of basic facts about the user.
Pay: This allows you to give money to the avatar.
Start IM: This allows for private communication between avatars.
Follow: This allows you to follow an avatar.
Attachments: You are able to view the attachments worn by the avatar.
Master Control: This is a unique feature that allows you to designate the avatar to see things for you by having them click items. This command is useful when in a crowded room or when objects are not uniquely named. You can have somebody click on an item and it will offer you choices depending on how the object is configured. The information displayed is: object name, its unique ID, and the following button options: Object, sit, stand, touch, point at.
Depending on how the object is set up, you might not see all the options. For example an object configured to be a vendor would not have the sit option. Many screen readers will present these buttons as blank. If you encounter an blank button, this means the object was not configured for that option.
Point At: This sends a visible stream of particles towards the avatar. Remember to use unpoint from the same menu to turn this off. If you do not, some person will be subject to being surrounded by particles. Some people may consider this impolite.
Offer Teleport: This will send an invitation for the avatar to come to your location.
Request Teleport: This will ask a person to teleport you to their location.
Walk To: This allows you to walk to the person. Be aware that this will put you nose to nose with them!
Face: Turns you to face that avatar.
Eject: This is a command for landowners or those with landowner permissions to remove a person from the parcel or sim.
Ban: Another tool for landowners or those who have landowner permissions. If you have permission, you can ban someone from entering the parcel or sim.
Mute: This command will silence any noises made by the avatar.
Turn To, Same as "Face" command.
Note: Some of the items in the menu above can also be used by typing keyboard commands, and we will discuss those later.
How to Chat
To chat with the people around you, find the "edit" field in the chat window. Once you have typed what you want to say, you can either hit enter to post your message in nearby chat or press the tab key twice for a drop-down menu displaying a few options. In this box, there are three options: whisper, normal, and shout. By default, the option is set to "normal." If you want to whisper or shout, arrow down to select the option you'd prefer then press shift plus tab keys once to reach the "say" button.
If you talk normally in local chat, avatars up to twenty meters away from you can hear what you are saying. If you whisper, this range decreases, and if you shout the range increases.
If you don't want to select one of the chat types from the menu, you can type actions into the edit field. For example, type the following minus the quotes: "/me yawns," "/me whispers," or "/me wonders where the pizza is."
When displayed in local chat, the actions you type look like this: Celene yawns. Celene whispers. Celene wonders where the pizza is.
Tab: This key is a standard screen reader keystroke and it is used a lot in Radegast to navigate within a window. Use it in chat to see chat history, who is around you, and to set the tone of your voice. Tab once if in the edit field to read the chat history, twice to view the people around you. Shift tab: This keystroke allows you to tab backward through the information you just tabbed through. Control tab: This keystroke will allow you to switch between open windows in Radegast. The Arrow Keys: Use the arrow keys to move around various windows. Ctrl W: Holding down the control key and pressing the letter W within a window will close it. This is a good command to remember when sending and receiving IM’s. We recommend closing your IM window after you send or receive an IM so that you will hear a notification sound when a new message comes in. This sound is only heard once within a IM session unless you close the window, so do it often if you want to be sure to catch all your incoming IM’s!
Note: The following commands will need to be typed exactly as they are shown here minus the colons, parentheses, and/or quotes in order for them to work. To view the results of a typed command, tab once to read chat history. All results will be displayed there. Results will not be visible to anyone but you.
//status: When entering Second Life, we are faced with the same questions that we address in the real world and that first question is: Where am I? This question can be answered by use of the //status command. This will present you with a brief overview of your location, direction you're facing, how much money you have on account and the current time. To save time, we are only going to cover the most relevant pieces of information displayed when you type the status command. Please note that "current time" is game time, not real life time. Game time is an important thing to know in order to arrive at events or classes on time. Region: This lets you know what region you are in and the region’s maturity rating. Account balance: $573.00 Current time is 9:45 PM //go: Go is self-explanatory. This command tells your avatar to move. For example, if you type "//go 2 m" your avatar will walk forward two meters in whatever direction you are facing. //go 2 N: This tells your avatar to walk two meters north. This works for all compass directions: N, NE, NW, S, SE, and SW. //go tp person (insert person name here): This will teleport you to a specific person near you. For example, type "//go tp person Celene." This will teleport you to Celene if she is nearby. This command also works for teleporting to specific objects as well. For example: Say you have looked at the Objects list and you know there is a red balloon nearby and you would like to teleport to it. You can type "//go tp object red balloon" and you will be teleported to the balloon if possible. //go xyz 128,128,22: With this command, your avatar will walk to a specific position on a sim. The numbers in the command above are the coordinates, and they are separated by commas. Each sim is shaped like a cube, and each sim is256 meters across from west to east, and 256 meters from South to North. To better help you understand this, let’s break the coordinates down. The first one goes West to East, West starts at 0 and East ends at 256. the second number in the set starts in the South at 0 and ends North at 256. The third set of numbers represents your height. For example, if you type “//go xyz 128,128,20” you will find yourself in the middle of the sim at water level. Anything above the number 20 is usually ground level or above. However, sometimes it is possible to have higher elevations of water if the person who owns the sim chooses to set it up that way. //go TP XYZ 128,128,22: Another way to navigate to a specific location on a sim is to use the “//go TP” command. It works the same way as the one above, except that instead of walking to a specific location, you will teleport instead. //find object (insert object name here): Another way to find nearby objects is by using this command. The only difference in using this command rather than the Objects list is that this command lets you know how far an object is above or below you, and how far away it is and in what direction. Here’s an example: Say you are in a store or a mall and you are only interested in finding sweaters, shorts or things that are red. If the object has a name that includes one of those words, as they often do in stores, you will be able to pull it up without ever leaving the chat window. Please remember however that the most efficient way to find things in Second Life is probably by using the Objects window. //find object red: This will pull up anything with the word red in the title. //find object sweater: This will pull up anything with the word sweater in its name. //go object (insert object name here): Instead of teleporting directly to a specific object, this command will allow you to walk to it instead. //sit (insert object name): If you walk into a concert hall and don’t want to browse for a seat, you can type "//sit chair" and Radegast will find the closest chair to you and your avatar will sit. You can also use this command to sit on the ground, etc. //unsit: This command tells your avatar to stand if seated. //follow: When you are with a group of people at a huge place such as a park or a large gathering, sometimes it’s easier to follow someone. Just be sure and ask if you can follow them first to be curtious. For example: "//follow person Celene" will follow Celene until you tell your avatar to stop following her. To do this type: "//follow stop." //face: This will change the direction you are facing. For example: "//face ne," or "//face w." You can also face a specific degree or a specific person.
Examples: //face person Roxie: will turn you to face the person closest to you who’s name begins with "Roxie." //face 0: will turn you to face zero degrees or East. //face object café: Will turn you to face the nearest object with "café" in the name.
Third-Party Radegast Add-ons/Scripts
By default Radegast is completely accessible on its own and third-party add-ons or scripts are not necessary to enhance accessibility. The developer of Radegast has made sure to make the client screen-reader friendly and no issues have been reported regarding lack of accessibility using NVDA or JAWS.
However, because some users have entered Second Life with third-party add-ons or scripts installed, we thought we would address this issue. These downloads were not created by Radegast or Second Life users and therefore they may interact negatively with Radegast. Because these are not affiliated with the official Radegast project, we do not offer support for them. If you choose to find one of these and install, install at your own risk.
By default, group IMs, personal messages and chat show an avatar's full anme and timestamps before each message. This can cause users to have a hard time keeping up because of all the extra information being read. To fix this, open the Preferences window and change the default settings for incoming IMs and chat.
To access Preferences, press altF to open the file menu, and navigate to "Preferences."
General Settings: The General Settings tab inside the Preferences window will allow you to change several options including IM, group and local chat settings, text size, etc.
Auto-Response: Set an auto response that will be sent in response to incoming IMs when you don't want to be disturbed. By default message is sent when in busy mode.
Graphics: If you have some sight and want to use the 3D view in Radegast, you can modify your graphics settings here.
Automation: It is recommended that you not change anything in this tab. But if you do choose to play around with the settings in here, Radegast won't break.
Alt2: This keystroke will take you to your friends list. When you start out in SL, nothing will be listed here, but once you accept a friend you will be able to access their info here and start an instant messaging session with them.
Note that in SL, you have to manually accept friends and they have to manually accept you. This means that no one can befriend you without your knowledge or consent.
Once you add a friend, you will see their name displayed in your friends list.
Friends List Options
In the friends list, you have a number of options available to you. To view these options, arrow down to the friend you wish to view options for and then use the tab key to navigate through the options. A lot of these options are also available in the profile window.
IM: This option allows you to start an instant messaging session. Unlike local chat, IM messages are private.
Profile: This allows you to access the friend's profile. Their profile displays information such as Second Life date-of-birth, a list of groups joined if they have this information available, the option to give inventory items, exchange lindens, and several other options.
Profiles will always open in a new window. To close the window, use alt F4.
Offer teleport: Offer to teleport your friend to your location.
Pay: This option allows you to send lindens to your friend.
Remove: Remove someone from your friends list.
Request Teleport: Request a teleport to your friend's location.
After these buttons is a series of check boxes. Normally these can be left as they are, but you can change them as often as you wish.
As mentioned above, SL user profiles contain a variety of information about a person's Second Life and sometimes even info about their personal life. You can edit your own profile within Radegast by finding your name in the nearby avatar list in the chat window. Right click on it and choose "profile" from the menu.
Alt3: This is your Groups window. When you join a group such as Virtual Ability, you will have the option to IM the group, view group info or leave the group. These options are self-explanatory and can be accessed by pressing the tab key. And just like adding a friend, you have to choose to accept a group invite; you are not automatically added to any group in Second Life.
If you have joined a group its name will appear in a list just like your friends’ list. You can navigate through the options in the group window by using the tab key. The options will be the same for every group you have joined.
Main Group Window Options
Info: This button will open up a separate window from the main Radegast window where group information and options are displayed. To navigate around this window use your right and left arrow keys to cycle through the tabs, and the tab, up and down arrows to navigate around each tab.
Activate: In Second Life you can only have one group activated at a time. This means that you can only wear one group ID tag at a time. Wearing a group ID tag gives you certain privileges such as picking up group gifts if you are a member of a stores VIP group, the ability to attend group-only events, or access group-only areas of a sim such as a private apartment complex.
IM: This button allows you to IM the group. Messages sent here are viewable by everyone in the group and if a message is sent here it will show up like your private IM window. Currently, you need to leave this window open if you are chatting with the group to read incoming messages.
Alt4: A question that is often asked in Second life is "Dude Where Is My Stuff?" Well, here it is. Everything you own in Second Life is stored here in what we call your "Inventory." Think of it as your Second Life storage locker or closet.
Your inventory comes preconfigured with the following folders: Animations, Body Parts, Calling Cards, Clothing, Current Outfit, Gestures, Landmarks, Lost and Found, Notecards, and Objects. There is no limit to the number of folders and sub-folders you can have, so you can create as many as you like.
Some of the folders listed above are self-explanotory (see Second Life Terminology above), but we’d like to explain the ones that might not be.
The Lost and Found Folder: This is where anything returned to you goes. Items that are rezzed in-world may be returned to you by land owners, sim administrators or Linden Labs.
The Objects Folder: The Objects Folder serves as a catch all for anything you pick up in Second Life at a store, etc. For example, if you go clothes shopping at a freebie store and you pick up several outfits and several pairs of shoes, they will be delivered to this folder.
You will notice that your Inventory is laid out just like standard windows folders. Press the right arrow key to open the main Inventory folder and arrow down to find the folder you’d like to open. Then, press your right arrow key once to open it.
By right clicking a folder using the applications key, you can access the following options menu:
- New Folder: Selecting this option will allow you to create a new folder. By default, the folder is titled "New Folder." Write in a new name to change it.
- New Note: This option opens a blank or new note card. To save your note, use "contrl S."
- New Script: This will open Radegast's built-in script editor so you can write a new script.
- Refresh: Updates the Inventory Tab
- Backup: Allows you to back up items that you've created to your computer.
- Expand: This option will open all the Inventory folders at once.
- Collapse: This closes all the folders in inventory.
By default, everything in your inventory, including folders, is sorted by name in alphabetical order. But you also have the option to sort it by date, with the most recent items being displayed first. Please note that this option may not be accessible with a screen reader.
With as much stuff as you’re liable to accumulate while in Second Life, you will need a way to search through it. The Inventory window provides search options to help you easily locate what you need.
To access search, hit the tab key until you hear your screen reader announce you are at the edit field, which is the search field. There you can type in what you’d like to find such as "blue shoes," "fishing pole," "ice skates." Remember that you don’t have to type anything into the search field; you can simply use the options in this part of the window to find what you are looking for.
You can then use the search options to narrow down your search results. They are checkboxes and you access the first one by pressing the tab key twice if in the search field.
Here are the search filters:
- All: This will search through your entire inventory.
- Worn: This is a very important option. As a blind user, this is one way to make sure you are fully dressed. The other is to check the "Current Outfit" folder which may or may not be reliable. To see what you are wearing, including any attachments you may have on, ignore the search field, check this box, and shift tab until you find the "Search/Refresh" button. Hit enter on that and anything you are wearing will be displayed in search results, including attachments such as a fishing pole or a radio.
- To search for something specific that you have on, you can type it in the search box and only those items matching your search will be displayed.
- Recent: This will show everything you received recently,. This is good for the shoppers who want to find everything they purchased today.
Wearing/Using Objects and Clothing
Once you have found the beautiful new dress or outfit you purchased, it’s time to put it on. Remember that in Second Life, your avatar is totally customizable. This means you can change shapes, skins, hair, eyes, lips, etc.
When you join Second Life, you will be wearing a default shape and skin, and maybe even clothes too. Learning to change your clothes will enable you to change your shape, skin, eyes, etc. and you will be able to completely customize your avatar in no time.
Some objects you receive or purchase in Second Life are in boxes. This means that you have to open the box before you can wear or use the item. If an item doesn’t say it is boxed in the title, you can usually tell by how many objects are listed in its folder. Sometimes, if it is a single shirt or a pair of pants, the folder might only contain one item, even when unboxed. When you are unsure, you might have to wear the item and ask someone if you are wearing a box instead of your intended item.
An outfit that doesn’t require removal from a box might look like this:
- Brown Pantsuit Sleeve Right (no transfer)
- Brown Pantsuit Sleeve Left (no transfer)
- Brown Pantsuit Shirt Top (no transfer)
- Brown Pantsuit Shirt Bottom (no transfer)
- Brown Pantsuit Pants Upper (no transfer)
- Brown Pantsuit Pants Lower (no transfer)
The example above shows a pantsuit that is divided into multiple parts. Not all clothing will look like this; it is up to each creator to decide how many parts they want their item to be divided into.
Wearing the Pantsuit
Since the pantsuit is not boxed, you should be able to successfully wear it. In radegast you have two options for wearing clothing. You can either choose to "replace outfit. . ." or put each piece of clothing on individually. Both options have pros and cons.
Replace outfit: To replace the entire outfit you are wearing with one click, open the pantsuit folder and right-click on it using the applications key. This will bring up a menu. Arrow down and select "replace outfit. . ." from the menu that appears. Please note that doing this might remove your hair as well and any accessories you might have on. If you wish to keep all of this in-tact you will want to use option two.
Replacing your outfit piece by piece: Sometimes it is more convenient to put an outfit on piece by piece, especially if it seems that a part of it isn’t being worn correctly by your avatar. To put on each part of your outfit piece-by-piece, open the folder and right click on the first item. Hit enter on "wear" from the drop-down menu, then repeat this step for all items in the folder.
The Drop-Down Menu
When you right click any item inside a folder in your inventory, this menu will open. Below we have explained what each menu option does.
- Wear: As discussed above, this option allows you to "wear" an item.
- Take Off: If you are already wearing the item, this allows you to take it off.
- Attach To: This allows you to define where on your body you wish to attach the item. Note, you can only attach items made from prims, sculpt or mesh.
- Detach: The opposite of attaching an item to yourself. This option only appears if the item is attached to you.
- Attach To Hud: This will attach the item to your sceen as a Heads Up Display. This option is mostly used for Hud Meters in role play sims.
- Add to Worn: You are allowed to have more than one item on an attachment point. This option allows you to attach an additional item to, say, your right arm.
For example: Say you are wearing a bracelet and you would like to add an additional bracelet to the same arm. To do that, you would locate the bracelet you wish to add and right-click the item and then hit enter on "Add to Worn."
I just got a pair of shoes and they are boxed. How do I get them out of the box and on my feet?
Sometimes when you buy or pick up items for free you will find that the items are boxed. If you’ve just acquired the item and you want to unbox it, here is an easy way to find the item without having to sift through your Objects folder:
Press Alt4 to open your inventory. Then, open your inventory and tab over to the search field. Select the search tab if it’s not already open, check the "recent" button and hit the "search/refresh" button. From there, tab down until you find your search results. When you have located the item you wish to unbox, follow the standard unboxing instructions below.
Instructions for Unboxing Items
If you don’t have a home in Second Life where you can rez items, you will need to find a sandbox to rez your items in. To do this, use the search window and select the "places" tab. From there type "sandbox" in the search field.
Once you have found the sandbox you want to use and have teleported there, find the item you wish to rez. Right click it and select "rez in world" from the drop-down menu.
Now that you have rezzed your item, press alt7 to open the objects window. Once the window has opened and the objects have loaded, find your item in the list and right-click it. From the menu, hit enter on "show contents." Use the tab key to navigate to the "open" button and hit enter or space on it.
Your item should be opened now. If you want to be certain, return to the chat window by pressing alt1 and look at your chat history. You should see a notification that says something like this: "Items from object contents copied to new inventory folder Roller Skates."
All items in Second Life have permission settings. The following is a list of those permissions and what each one means.
- No transfer: This means you cannot give the item away.
- No copy: This means you cannot copy the item, but you can give it away.
- No sale: This means you cannot sell the item.
Alt5: This command opens the Search window. Inside this window there are four tabs: People, Places, Groups, and Events. You can navigate between them by using your right and left arrow keys.
People: Type a name in the edit field and hit enter. Press the tab key to see search results. To scroll through the results use your up and down arrow keys.
Once you find the person you're looking for, you can press the tab key again and it will give you the option to view their profile and the option to IM them.
Places: Use this tab to search for a place to visit anywhere in the world! To search for a place, type what you are looking for in the search box. For example: "freebie store," "mall," "swimming," etc.
When you’ve typed in what you want to find, hit enter then the tab key to view your search results. Results will be sorted by the amount of user traffic, with the place that receives the highest number of visitors being displayed first.
To view a description of a place, hit the tab key twice when you hear the name of one you’d like to visit. If it sounds like its still somewhere you’d like to go, hit tab again to reach the "teleport" button. Hit the space bar on that and you will be teleported to the place you chose.
Tip: Since Second Life is filled with realistic soundscapes that make your in-world experience more enjoyable, turning down the volume of your screen reader so you can turn up the in-world sounds can be beneficial. Hearing the sounds can help add texture and depth to your explorations.
Saving Places As Landmarks
Landmarks are the Second Life equivalent of the pages you bookmark in your internet browser. Saving a landmark will automatically send it to your "Landmarks" folder inside your Inventory. Saving the landmark to a place you like is a convenient way to return there without having to use the search function.
Landmarks or LM’s as they are sometimes called in-world, can be obtained in a few different ways. For example, when you visit places in Second Life you are frequently offered a landmark by landowners with the hope it will encourage you to return. Often they are traded among friends as a way to share where they have been. You can also create one yourself by pressing alt W to open the world menu. Once the menu opens, arrow down until you hear "Create Landmark Here."
Because landmarks can be renamed, it opens an edit box where you can rename the landmark. If you don’t want to rename it, press alt F4 to close it and the landmark will be saved automatically in your Landmarks folder inside your inventory.
Groups: The third tab within the Search window is called "Groups." Second Life offers thousands of groups to join that have interests in just about any subject. To search for a group to join type what you are interested in the search box then tab once and press the search button. Tab once more to view a list of search results. Similar to the "Places" tab, the Groups tab returns group names listed by highest number of members in descending order.
To view info about the group, use the tab key to navigate. It is advisable to read the Group’s charter, which is usually a short description of what the group is about. It is a good way to determine if it is a group you’d like to join.
If you’d like to join the group, hit the tab key until you hear either "Join L$0" or "Apply." If the group offers open enrollment and it is free, as most are, it will allow you to join for zero Lindens. If, however, you must pay to join, it will show a different currency amount in place of the zero on the "Join L$0" button.
Note: Money is not necessary in SL and groups advertising free money in Second Life are usually a scam. And while they can't physically hurt your PC as long as you don't click to open a page in your web browser, it will most likely waste your time to get involved with these.
Events: There are always events going on somewhere in the world of Second Life and this tab allows you to search for an event either by choosing an event category and/or typing what you're looking for in the edit box.
When you open the events tab you will be placed in the edit field. If you don't have a specific type of event in mind and want to search using one of the categories listed, tab over until you hear "select event type." This is a drop-down box with different categories in it. Once you pick the one you'd like to use, press shift plus the tab key once to navigate back to the "perform search" button, and press the space bar to begin your search. Press the tab key twice to view search results.
In the results list, the event is listed first followed by the time it is set to begin. If it is starting soon and you want to attend, the "teleport" button is approximately eleven tabs away from your search results. By pressing it, you will be automatically teleported to the event.
Alt 6: This is the Map window. This window is not necessary to use, but it can be handy if you want to teleport to specific locations that might not show up in search.
The easiest way to use this window effectively is to tab until you are placed in the search field, type the name of the place you’d like to visit, then tab to press the "Search" button. Like other windows in Radegast, you can view search results by tabbing a second time.
Alt7: This command will open the Objects tab. This is your main source for learning what is around you. When you open this window, your screen reader will place you in the search box by default, so shift tab until you hear it say "objects list." This list will present you with a list of objects around you, with the closest object to you being displayed first and the furtherst object being displayed last. If an object has a name, the name will be displayed first, then the distance of the object in descending order, with the object closest to you being at the top of the list. If an object doesn’t have a name it will be called simply "object." This isn’t something that can be altered unless the object owner decides to title it. Most objects have a name however, so this isn’t an issue that will present much of an inconvenience for you.
A named object might be displayed like this in the list: Pink Sofa (2 m). This means the Pink Sofa is 2 meters away from you. If the pink sofa is the first object you see in the list, it is the closest thing to you.
If you right click on the pink sofa using the applications key, the following options menu will be pulled up:
- Show Contents.
- Sit On.
- Turn To
- Walk To
- Point At
- Teleport To
As you can see, this menu is a list of options that will allow you to do a number of things. This menu will be virtually the same no matter what object you click unless it is something you can buy with Lindens or buy for free. Then it will have the option to do so, which will be self-explanatory. This is important to remember as this is how you interact with objects in Second Life. Sometimes, there will even be a sublist of objects that coincide with an object, like the pink sofa. To check and see if there is one, tab once and if there is one, you will see it. Remember, this list functions just like the main list, however, most objects in this list might not be named. But usually, enough of them are named so that you can interact with it.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at the options menu.
Click/Touch: This is an important command. Many objects in Second Life require you to click or touch in order to use it.
Sit On: This allows you to sit on the object. If you are not allowed to sit on an object a message will appear in chat history letting you know that you are unable to sit on it. You will know if you were able to sit however because if you are sitting, the menu option will change from "Sit On" to "Stand." Note not all objects are configured to sit upon.
Turn To:. This will turn your avatar to face the object.
Walk To: This will allow your avatar to walk over to the object.
Point At: When you point at something, a stream of particles is sent toward the object. The particles will then surround the object. If you are pointing at something that menu option will change to Unpoint. Not turning off Point At may be considered as a rude action.
Take: This allows you to take an object. In most cases you are only allowed to take what belongs to you.
Delete: You may delete an object. As with "take," in most cases you can only delete what belongs to you.
Return: This is an option for landowners or those with landowner permissions, such as someone renting an apartment. This command will return an item to the object owner’s Lost and Found folder in inventory
Mute: This command works the same on noise making objects as it does on avatars.
Teleport To: This will allow you to teleport to the object you right-clicked.
The edit field is used to search for an object with a certain name such as a chair, or a red dress. Please note however that this will not work unless you have given the objects list time to load, which it does automatically when you enter a new place or move your avatar. You can also broaden or shrink your search area by changing the radius to be searched.
Alt8: This window is where Media controls are located. Use the arrow keys to lower or raise in-world sounds such as birds, weather, footsteps, waves or animals. Also use it to turn music on or off, control the volume of the music so it doesn’t interfere with your screen reader, or change the volume of the notification sounds of Radegast itself.
Alt9: This window is where you will find audio controls. You can use these controls to enable voice chat and control the volume of both your incoming sound and microphone. Enabling audio will allow you to both hear and chat with others near you in-world. Please note however that audio is not necessary for Second Life and in some places, it is not recommended because it may disturb others.
To enable the use of audio, press alt9 to open the audio window and check the box that says "enable audio." To check this box, press the space bar. Then, use the tab key to navigate around the dialogue to set your input and output devices if necessary, and finally, to adjust the volume of both your mic and your audio.
To set your microphone and audio volumes, tab over to the volume sliders. These are not labeled. But the first slider you come to will be for your microphone. "Use your arrow keys to set the volume. We recommend that you set this to 40% or less so you don't sound distorted when you talk. The second slider is for your incoming audio volume--what you hear on your end from everyone else. Set to this to whatever is comfortable for you.
Once these are set, the next thing you will come to when pressing the tab key is "mute" checkboxes. The first checkbox is checked by default. Uncheck it to unmute your microphone. The second checkbox is for your incoming uaudio. This should already be unmuted but if it isn't, unmute it to hear.
The next option in this window is the option to "mute all" and "unmute all" buttons. Hit the space bar on these to conveniently unmute both your mic and sound.
Now, you should both be able to talk and hear others. If you find, however, that you are having technical issues hearing or speaking, it could be a problem with Second Life. Either wait a while and try again, or restart Radegast to see if that fixes the problem.
A Final Note
In this help guide, we have done our best to cover the basics of how to use Radegast with Second Life. Now, you should be able to find your way around the world, and interact with people and objects.
As with any new skill, learning to navigate in Second Life will take practice and persistence. But it can be done and we are here to help you along the way. So if you need further assistance, please contact us!
We look forward to seeing you on Virtual Ability Island and we wish you a very happy and successful Second Life!