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Truly Madly Secondly

Truly Madly Secondly

The land of second chance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

I have been working on my end of year performance appraisal to hand to the boss for signoff, a practice I've developed to ensure a better rating. However, it's forced me to reflect on what I've achieved this year and why that list is so short. Indeed, my time as a CIO has been not so much a stellar career as terrestrial - that is, one that never got off the ground. If I had the chance to do it all again, I'd correct my mistakes and be a successful CEO.

And it turns out I can because opportunity does knock twice in life thanks to Second Life.

It's good to know that even in virtual worlds, the Haves perpetuate the class system against the Have-Nots when resources are constrained

Second Life (SL) is an online world where people live virtual lives, buy land, go shopping, conduct business and virtually have affairs, but with real money. Sure, it means these people spend all their time cooped up in a room only interacting with a computer, but that pretty much describes my First Life. This was the first of many parallels I found between First Life and Second Life.

The first step in SL is to create a character (called an avatar) which means starting with a name. The surname is not a free choice, but then I didn't get a choice of my name in First Life either. I selected Troglodyte (people who lived in caves, so not dissimilar to IT people in data centres) from the list of 50 or so names on offer. I gave him the first name of Truly, a name not used in literature for over 40 years. Bonus points if you can name the book (by Ian Fleming) with a character of that name.

My character needed a password to log in. Second Life rated my password as weak in big red letters, suggesting I change it. Just like First Life, I left it weak.

For my avatar's appearance, I chose the one that looked most like a geeky computer nerd. SL calls that appearance City Chic, so perhaps in the online world, geeks are groovy now. Lastly I had to agree to the Terms of Service - all 7402 words of them. That's still 2000 words shorter than the Ts&Cs in Office 2007, and given SL is all of life, not just a single office, I suppose that's reasonable.

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