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20 November 2008


Lossy Upload

No one likes to think of losing things from their inventory. It's bad - and expensive - to lose, say, a Huddles full of anims. If that happens the creator will usually understand and replace things you have a record of - and what a relief it is when something you'd thought was gone forever comes back! I've had problems that were fixed by clear-cache-and-search, a Tiny appendage replaced by Wynx, and maybe a few things I haven't noticed have wandered off over the years. Nothing big. Nothing I built and am the sole owner of has, as yet, ever poofed.

I don't buy a lot, but I've built bazillions of things. My inventory has all my builds, my snapshots and textures, animations I've made and bought, gifts, oddball things that have sentimental value more than anything else - and my avatar. Me. I did copy down the slider numbers once, but I'm sure I've changed since then. I haven't done any backup, and although Second Inventory might be useful it's a relatively new development. I'd be upset if my inventory vanished. I'd be more than upset if my account was wiped.

Postmark Jensen has lost everything. In his words:
I have been unemployed for a year, so I couldn't afford to keep my premium account. I sold my $L to paypal. Then I changed my account to not-renew as premium. There was an issue with the website where my change to a basic account didn't go through. Also, there was an issue with paypal, and they didn't process my USD$37. So, Linden Labs kept me at a premium account and took the $37, then shut down all access to my account until I paid up.

Unable to pay up, I asked many times in e-mails with the new LL support group to just keep the $37 and give me access to my avatars. They refused. I tried again. They refused. I finally got fed up and gave up.

He has returned and his account is an empty husk.

To me the issue goes beyond the personal to something more general which is a bit wounding: premium accounts, because they are connected to a fee, are wiped after a certain amount of time has gone by. Premium accounts don't count for much anymore, but a few years ago people who went premium did so because they wanted to support the company. It would be kinder if an old premium (any premium, in fact), having gone into arrears, was downgraded to a free account, and left intact barring landholdings. I think inactive free accounts are wiped after a time, too, but if an email were automatically generated (like I receive from MindArk periodically) saying, "Hey, log in to the website at least or your ass is grass," it would be a kindness.

There can't be many old accounts gone into arrears, you'd think. Of those, a certain number will be people who have died, some will be people who have wandered off after spending a significant amount of time in SL, others probably had no inventory to speak of anyway. A few will have had game-changing events in real life that took precedence, and, possibly, made a year go by very, very quickly.

posted by - 6:30 PM


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