AviWorlds down, vendor offers migration

AviWorlds, a commercial grid which allowed people to connect self-hosted regions, went down yesterday. At the time, it had 138 regions and 319 active monthly users.

Many of the grid’s regions, as well as centralized grid services, were hosted by Zetamex.

“The owner has just contacted and left me,” Zetamex founder and CEO Timothy Rogers told Hypergrid Business. “People are asking about what happened, and I can’t say anything other than he has ceased operations with Zetamex.”

As of this time, AviWorlds owner Alexsandro Pomposelli has not responded to our requests for comment. We will update the story if he does.

The grid’s website is down, and so is its Twitter account. The official Facebook page is gone, but another AviWorlds Facebook page is still up, but has not been updated since May. The AviWorlds – Brazil Facebook group is also still up, but has no information about the closing at this time.

A recent wedding on the AviWorlds grid. (Image courtesy AviWorlds.)

A recent wedding on the AviWorlds grid. (Image courtesy AviWorlds.)

Customers who hosted their regions on home computers still have those regions, but will need to connect them to another open grid, such as OSgrid, Metropolis, or Craft.

Customers who paid Zetamex to host their regions for them, can move those regions to any of the other open grids for free, Rogers said.

Customers can also get a download of their entire region as an OAR file, he added.

Inventory exports, however, are not available, he added. “I cannot do IARs because of liability issues,” he said.

User inventories may contain items that are only licensed for use on the AviWorlds grid.

Zetamex is one of the largest providers of OpenSim grid and region hosting. The company is currently running a sales promotion, with a free money module with any grid plan, a 25 percent off the first three months of region and mini-grid hosting using the “25OFFSUMMER” discount code, and a 25 percent off the first month of full grid hosting, using the “GRID25OFF” discount code.

AviWorlds troubled history

AviWorlds has had a rocky existence since its start. It launched in March of 2011 as AvWorlds, setting itself apart from other grids by deliberately pricing regions at the unusually high price of $145 a month, with the idea of helping an in-world land economy. That strategy was abandoned a couple of months later when nobody signed up, and AvWorlds switched to a more typical price schedule.

Since then, the grid has closed and reopened, switched names, hosting providers and business models. This spring, the grid was down for a few weeks while it attempted to switch from using a commercial OpenSim hosting provider to running the grid on its own servers, before moving again, to Zetamex, with a new business model under which users could connect self-hosted regions and hypergrid teleport to other grids.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

  • dang, that sucks! =(

  • Joe Builder

    Seems the reason AviWorlds has ceased operations is there Hosting Company was providing inadequate service. Failed Registrations, Regions going offline, Assets missing. Alex who has a full time real life job pays a hosting company to take care of the Grid, And this wasn’t happening. Alex says he was getting emails daily from residents saying regions are offline. I suspect Hosting a Grid takes a lot more than 3 servers using the latest 7.6 which is still in testing. I agree Alex did have a string of bad luck with hosting company’s in the past but that’s the gamble we take in using them. In my opinion this is no way to run a grid but the constant issues in grids functionality does and did take its toll in this case.

    • hack13

      I did warn the grid owner about using 0.7.6 as I do with all grid owners, however he wished to use despite my advisory. But I do not think in any way was upset with the service, and towards the end there we had stomped out all the crashing. Why caught me by surprise, because just earlier that day we received a message from Alex:

      “In fact u already offer alot more and you are way ahead of them in terms of customer service. So dont worry… keep up with the good work Timothy. In my opinion u are the best and I thank u for all your efforts and help.” ~Alex

      His final words upon cancellation were

      “Thank you for all your work and what you have done with AviWorlds, it is just not working out.” ~Alex

      We do not speculate, but just feel slightly bothered that the grid owner did not inform his clients of his decision to close the grid. But rather just tell us to terminate, while many of his clients were left in the dark.

      • Joe Builder

        Lastly, Alex does say service was outstanding, But got very overwhelming for him in the end.

  • I hope things work out-))

  • Yoshiko Fazuku

    You know if those users grabbed there oars and came to me i might just set them up on aviation for free for a few months

  • Felipe Heuser

    I was a user AVIWORLDS, had an island called “CHIRON ISLAND” and I would like to know the possibility of having a copy of my OAR, my name there was the same in real life: Felipe Heuser. How is this possible? Does anyone know what I can do? Thanks to everyone who can help me.

    • Contact Tim Rogers at Zetamex at [email protected] — if your region was hosted with his company, he should be able to help you. If you still have problems, email me — [email protected] — I’ll see what I can do to help you further.

  • As a not very techy sim owner on Open Sim, this is the kind of story that terrifies me. I must figure out how to back up my inventory.

    • Hannah

      Hi, Lynne!

      If you have console access (meaning, if you can see a dos-like window that you type commands into), you can back up your inventory very easily.

      From the region prompt, you would type something like this:

      save iar lynne hand / (password) lynne-inventory.iar

      and for your region, you would type something like this:

      change (region name)

      save oar regionname-date.oar

      It’s very easy, only takes a few minutes and is a LIFESAVER in situations like this.

      You can read more on these pages:

      IARS: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Inventory_Archives

      OARS:http://opensimulator.org/wiki/OAR_Format

      • Hannah

        However, if you do NOT have console access, you need to contact your vendor and ask about their backup policy, and what they have available.

        • Hi Hannah,

          Thank you.

          Unfortunately there is no iar backup available. I can however save an oar and most of my stuff does move with it.

          I do wish someone would come up with an off grid backup system that could be used in any virtual world. (People say I’m a dreamer). 😉

          • Lynne —

            If you are able to save an OAR, you might be able to box up your stuff and save a copy of it that way.

            If your vendor filters the OAR export, you won’t be able to save some items, of course.

            Another option is XML exports, which allow you to save things one item at a time. The Imprudence viewer is most commonly used to export and import objects and their textures: http://wiki.kokuaviewer.org/wiki/Imprudence:Content_Backup

          • Thanks everyone. Some great ideas. I will try boxing everything, that sounds doable. I have used Imprudence, but somehow always seem to be missing some textures or sculpts, even when I have full permission, and am marked as the creator. As I said in a class about inventory control at “that other” virtual world, called Second something or other, I know enough to really mess things up. 😉

          • Thank you, I will check it out. 🙂

          • Tony

            Hi Lynne, so hosting providers do have this service, try yoursimspot.com

    • Just a little fyi-))

      http://www.hypergrid.org/metropolis/wiki/en/index.php/Hauptseite

      Has just added inventory backup to their list of web-based features [which were already pretty awesome] when one rents regions from them [affordable also].

      This is, btw, somewhat breaking news Maria and it may be a bit premature my speaking of it….but I feel they won’t mind as they are well aware I am a know motormouth-)))

  • Guest

    Oi gente!
    Meus amigos do AVW.

    Escrevo aqui para informar a todos oque aconteceu comigo e com o AVW.
    Infelizmente eu sofri um acidente de carro muito feio e fui parar no hospital ja morto sem sinal de vida.
    Oque aconteceu foi que ao mesmo tempo ja era hora de pagar a hospedagem do AVW.
    Por eu estar morto no hospital claro que nao pude fazer o pagamento e com isso foi tudo para o brejo….
    Minha esposa nao renovou nada inclusive fechou tudo que era meu pensando que estava livre de mim.

    Com a graca de Deus eu estou bem e me recuperando apos um susto grande e realmente so estou aqui por Deus mesmo.
    Eu peco perdao a todos pelo oque aconteceu que realmente foi fora do meu controle.

    Obs.
    Quem tinha acima de 1000 avs na conta e quizer reembolso por favor me enviar um email.
    Nao coloque nada aqui sobre isso ok. Mande um email com seu paypal account e assim que eu puder vou passar oque for devido.
    (email – [email protected])

    Bom sobre o AVIWORLDS.
    Ainda e meu sonho mas nao tenho nenhuma ideia de quando eu irei poder trabalhar nisso agora.
    Ainda estou me recuperando e com essa recente experiencia do AVW tambem percebi que nao posso confiar em TERCEIROS como o hosting etc.
    Eu teria que realmente ter o controle total de tudo mesmo. Havia muita ilha caindo toda hora e isso pode ter sido falta de memoria que o provedor estava me passando para traz.

    Bom gente eu vou continuar minha recuperacao aqui estou feliz em viver!

    Meu email e [email protected]

    Coloque um AVW temporario do meu servidor na garagem aqui em casa para quem quizer matar saudades.
    Coloque a ilha OTAKI eu acho? Nao lembro…acho que era a unica que eu tinha o oar…bom..
    Mais uma vez me desculpem pelo oque aconteceu e horem por mim.
    Obrigado
    Alex Ferraris.

    http://68.195.87.46:9000/wifi site de registro se quizer e o login uri e http://68.195.87.46:9000/

  • AviWorlds

    AviWorlds should be back online in the next 24 hours. Everything back in its place.

  • AviWorlds

    I have something to say here to the entire Open Sim community. I am not someone that gives up easy. I will try until I die.
    No… hiding under a new name or changing my grids name does not sit well with me neither.
    To fail does not mean I am a dishonest person or I have to give up on my DREAM! I will beat on this project until It succeeds!
    No matter what people are saying behind my back or making fun of my name etc etc. So I have heard.
    Trying and re trying is not a reason for me to hide or give up.

    I just could not live with myself knowing I could try one more time and one more time and success is only a try away…
    So to everyone that want me to close AviWorlds or change its name; sorry. No can do.

    Thanks everyone.
    Alex Ferraris

    • Heavy Hitter

      Yea I just got an account plus free land now that’s the real deal