Saturday, May 28, 2011

Coping with multiple avatars, or Sybil's Lament

Mister Acacia is online

If you're like me, you have more than one avatar. An alt. You may use it for any number of purposes, a giver bot, model, date. But whatever the reason, chances are you've run into the same problem I have, cache and settings file corruption by using the same viewer and same configuration file. Have you ever tried to share the same piece of paper while taking copious notes?

The solution is somewhat complex to set up, but will save you from so many headaches it's worth it, to me at least, to invest that initial work. In a nutshell, you must first tell Phoenix to use a unique settings file depending upon the avatar you're going to call up. This means a different shortcut or launcher for each. The only real difference between them is the command they contain. And since you already have one, it's pretty easy to adjust it and then copy it to make others.

Let's start with adjusting the one you have:

Windows -
    Right-click on the icon and choose Properties
    In the field called Target is the command. Move to the end of that command and add this:
        -settings phoenix_YourAvatarName.xml
    where YourAvatarName is in fact your login with a period separating first and last name, like  mister.acacia. If you have a one-word avatar name, then just do the single name.
    Click OK
Now, when you double click on that icon, it will open Phoenix and use a unique file just for that one avatar. Yes, this does mean redoing your settings. I told you it was complex.

Linux Gnome -
    Assuming you've created a launcher, right-click on it and choose Properties
    In the command field, scroll to the end and add:
        -settings YourAvatarName.xml
    Click OK
    If you don't have a launcher, right-click the Desktop and choose Create Launcher
        Set the name and description as you desire
        Click Browse and location the Phoenix directory and double-click snowglobe
        Add the -settings line from above
        Set the icon by clicking it and the navigating back to the Phoenix folder, then double-click the Phoenix icon
    Click OK
Same thing as Windows, this will start Phoenix and use a unique settings file.

Linux KDE -
    (needs documenting)

Mac -
    (needs documenting)
To make things a little clearer for you, rename that shortcut or launcher to include the avatar's name.

To make a second, simply copy the first, rename it and then go to Properties and change the name of the settings file. Easy Peasy.

Now, each avatar meeds a home or, at least, some space in the wardrobe:

    Log in as that avatar (one at a time, running multiples at this stage messes it up) and then go to Preferences, Network & Folders.
    Click the Open button for the Disk Cache location and create a new folder for your avatar.
    Close that window
    Click Set for Disk Cache Location and identify that folder you just created.
    Click OK and relog.
When you come back to preferences, that new folder should be listed as the cache location. You can get really obsessive and identify a different chat log location if you wish; Otherwise finish redoing your settings and you're done with that avatar.

Repeat these steps to create a disk cache location for the next avatar. Pretty soon, you'll have a desktop littered with icons, so get organized and pop them all into a folder. But even better, you'll have different settings files, different configurations, you can even have different skins if you desire, and you will no longer have issues with cache corruption resulting from multiple avatars.

Got more tips about this? Got additions? Corrections, Smart-ass remarks? Comment away.

Mister Acacia is offline

No comments: