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hippoRENT - What’s New in the Latest Version?


Welcome to the latest version of hippoRENT! If you are a new user, you may safely ignore this document — it’s aimed at people who have been using previous versions of the product.

You can choose to read about ...

... What’s new in hippoRENT v5.65 ...

... What was new in hippoRENT v5.6 ...

... What was new in hippoRENT v5.53 ...

... What was new in hippoRENT v5.0 ... (Inworld features) (Web-enabled features)

... What was new in hippoRENT v4.5 ...

... What was new in hippoRENT v4.0 ...


What’s new in hippoRENT v5.65

Welcome to the latest version of hippoRENT (v5.65). This version is a minor update, adding a couple of new features to what was available in the previous version; for web-enabled users, it also applies a new Second Life communications technology (“http_in”) to boxes, servers and vendors, making communication between the web and Second Life even faster.

This notecard explains what you’ll find new if you’re upgrading from a previous version of hippoRENT (see the ‘How to Upgrade’ document for information on how to easily migrate your existing rental boxes to v5.65). If you’re an existing user of hippoRENT simply visit the main Hippo Technologies Store to get your free update, using one of the updater machines on the top floor.

  • Include slURL’s With Instant Messages
    Add INCLUDE SLURL WITH IMS: Yes to a box’s configuration notecard (or for a web-enabled box, tick new ‘Include SLurls with IMs’ checkbox in the ‘Communications: Instant Messages & Email’ part of the configuration web page) and any IMs from the box (to tenants, or to you) will include an SLurl — this is a web-like-link you can simply click in your Second Life chat history window to open the Second Life map and show the location of the rental box. Potentially a great time saver!

  • Tenants Can Now “Terminate” Their Tenancy
    If a tenant wishes to end their tenancy but you haven’t allowed refunds, they can now choose to simply terminate a tenancy without a refund. The tenant menu (that appears when they click their rental box) now contains a ‘Terminate’ button. (You’ll get a notification IM if they do this).

  • Improved Web Communications
    Web-enabled boxes, servers and vendors now use the new http_in technology, recently added to Second Life. It makes, for example, communications between the website and items inworld vastly quicker — and communication between e.g. boxes and vendors more reliable. Those of a technical persuasion can peruse this link: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LSL_http_server.

  • Vendors Can Choose Not To Refund if Box Doesn’t Reply
    Occasionally, if Second Life communications are running very badly, when a new tenant pays at a vendor, the box can the fail to acknowledge the payment and the vendor refunds them — even though the tenancy actually started. (This is caused by the reply from the box to the vendor getting lost in Second Life). Both non-web and web-enabled vendors now have a new possible configuration notecard setting: REFUND IF NO CONFIRMATION FROM RENTAL BOX: <Yes/No> —set this to “No”, and if that communications error occurs, the vendor will not refund the customer.



What was new in hippoRENT v5.6?

With hippoRENT v5.6 we’ve introduced a number of useful little features that have been heavily requested; simply visit the main Hippo Technologies Store to get your free update. While there, check out the new additions to the hippoRENT ecosystem — more tools to make renting land easier and easier. Including ...

  • hippoRENT Lite ... a special “reduced scripts” version of the web-enabled rental box; if you run dozens of rental boxes on a sim, this can seriously help reduce lag and improve performance.

  • hippoMEDIA ... an amazing new tool to allow tenants access to parcel media (web, video, audio etc.) with no effort. Since media controls are the most common thing tenants ask landlords for help with, hippoMEDIA can save you hours of work.

  • hippoRENT Rental Boards ... a neat new way to display your rentals to your clients.

  • An amazing hippoGROUPS summer promotion ... if you use the web-enabled version of hippoRENT then you can now buy a copy of hippoGROUPS, our popular way to organise lists and groups of people (e.g. tenants) and get 42 days credit (rather than the usual 36) when you first start using it. That’s almost 16% extra free! This promotion ends at the end of September. Click here to find out all the ways that hippoGROUPS works with hippoRENT to save you time and effort!

  • New Management Module ... allow colleagues or friends to manage aspects of your web-enabled rental system if you wish; see here for more information.

Okay, now for the new features in hippoRENT v5.6. Remember, updates are free; just use one of the updater machines on the top floor of the Hippo Technologies Store inworld ...

  • Paying a Box Clears the “Not Renewing” Indicator
    If a tenant clicks the “not renewing” button to tell you they plan to leave once their rent’s up, they can now simply pay the box to clear this (most useful in the web-enabled version, where each box will tell you in the box list if its tenant doesn’t plan to renew).

  • Improved the “Not Renewing” Communications
    If a tenant clicks the “not renewing” button, you’ll automatically get an instant message to alert you.

  • Confidential Settings Applies When Reserved
    If you’ve marked a box as “rental details confidential” and it’s unrented but reserved, only the avatar for whom you have reserved it can click the box to get rental contract information (price, prims etc.) Useful if you want to keep rental prices secret between you and each tenant.

  • Land Parcel Name Change
    The web enabled box will detect any changes to the land parcel name under it whenever it calls home, helping keep your box list on the web site up to date.

  • Expiry Warning Notecards Held Remotely
    Many people use “expiry warning notecards”, since IMs can get lost. If you use the web-enabled version of hippoRENT, you’ll see when you configure a box you can now specify any notecard in any web-enabled server as the “expiry warning” notecard. Just that little bit easier.

  • Rental Door Improvements
    We’ve included a new door plugin script in each rental box carton; provided you’re using the latest version of the door, you can now configure a door not to open when a tenant is in arrears (just edit the script so the appropriate line reads gLockDoorIfTenantIsInArrears = TRUE;) Great if you want to more strongly “encourage” errant tenants to pay up when rent is due!

What was new in hippoRENT v5.53

Please note that most parts of the rental system are at version v5.52. Boxes are currently at v5.53, with the extra point representing a couple of bug fixes which we squeezed out after the main release.

  • Now running on Mono
    we’ve converted hippoRENT to Mono, the new, improved Second Life scripting engine. Click here for more information.

  • Tenants Can Edit Their Own Partners
    Just add TENANT CAN EDIT PARTNER: Yes to a box’s “Configuration Notecard” (or tick the “Tenants Can Edit Their Own Partners” option on a web-enabled box’s configuration page). When a tenant clicks their rental box, their tenant menu will now contain a “Partner” button. They can click this to get to a further menu which will let them add (or remove, if they have one) a partner.

  • Reservation Improvements
    You can now reserve a rental box for the next tenant before the current tenant leaves. Just use either of the regular reserve tools (the menu button, the ‘reserve’ voice command, or the online tool if using the web enabled version). A box can also re-texture itself when it’s available and reserved: simply add a texture called “Reserved” to its contents.

  • Auto Hide Hovertext
    Add AUTO HIDE HOVERTEXT: Yes (or tick “Auto Hide Hovertext” on a web-enabled box’s configuration page) to have the hovertext on a rental box only appear when the box is touched: it’ll vanish again 15 seconds later. Useful if you’d prefer a neat looking location without hovertext everywhere!

  • More Hovertext Options
    You can now use HOVERTEXT PRICE: <Yes/No> and/or HOVERTEXT PRIMS: <Yes/No> to individually turn these two items on or off in a box’s hovertext when it’s available. (Note, SHOW PRICE AND PRIMS WHEN AVAILABLE must be set to “Yes”, or it’ll override both these options). Web-enabled rental systems users should first turn on “Separate Options for Price and Prim Information Hovertext” in the preferences page to see these options when configuring a v5.5 box.

  • Notecards as Well as Instant Messages
    A rental box can now give a notecard as well as send a warning IM when the tenant is near to the end of their tenancy (or runs into arrears). Simply add a notecard called “Expiry Warning” to the rental box and that will be given each time the IM is sent.
    Useful Trick: Prefer to locate your “Expiry Warning” notecard in a server (key-based or web enabled)? Easy: pop it in the server and add a notecard called “Expiry Warning (Remote)“ to the box’s contents. When the notecard is needed the box will note from the ‘(Remote)’ suffix that it actually needs to give not that card, but the “Expiry Warning” card from the server instead.

  • Not Renewing Improvements
    If a tenant has specified that they won’t renew their tenancy, it won’t be allowed to go into arrears: rather the tenancy will now be automatically terminated when it runs out of credit. You can also now set or clear the not-renewing-status via voice command: simply use the voice command “won’t renew” to set it or “may renew” to clear it. (These commands can also be sent via the website’s “Configuration Option” tool if you’re a web-enabled rental system user).

  • New Prim Counter
    we’ve entirely rewritten the Prim Counter (used if counting prims on deeded land). Make sure you replace the old plugin script in an existing rental box if using the new counters -- they won’t work with the old plugin script. One practical upshot of the new Prim Counter is that it can handle multiple rental boxes connected to the one counter. The new Prim Counter also has several new configuration notecard options, including COUNT SIM WIDE: <Yes/No> (set to “Yes” to count all and group prims on group deeded land everywhere in the sim, not just the parcel); IGNORE TEMP PRIMS: <Yes/No> (set to “Yes” to ignore any temp-on-rez prims when counting all prims); and DEBUG MODE: <Yes/No> (set to “Yes” to have the counter chat full details everytime it does a prim count).

  • More Website Filters and Sorts
    The rental box list can now be filtered by the number of prims available. Web-enabled vendors can sort their contents by availability. The rental box list can now be properly sorted by time left on a tenancy, even if your box list contains a mixture of rentals counted in days and those set to end on a specific date.

  • Parcel Details on the Website
    If you’re using the web-enabled rental system and you’ve turned on “Show Land Parcel Details” in your preferences, v5.5 boxes will also report the size of the land parcel (in square metres) that they’re located upon.

  • Report Tenancy End Dates
    If you’re renting in days, weeks, or months (anything other than “Month-by-Date” mode, in fact), use the new REPORT ACTUAL END DATE: Yes command in a box’s configuration notecard (or tick “Report Actual Calendar End Dates” in a web-enabled box’s configuration page) and when the tenant pays a box, or clicks it to get the status of their tenancy, the box will attempt to calculate the SL date and time that the tenancy will end. This can help remind a tenant to write the date in red, heavily underlined, in their diary!

  • Door Plugin Improvements
    If you use our Door Plugin Module, you’ll be pleased to learn that version 5.5 of the door package now allows you to pair doors together easily (useful for double front doors, for example). There’s now also a “sensor pad” included, allowing you to quickly create doors that open when a permitted user approaches them. You (or a tenant) can also now quickly add people to the door’s access list who are standing nearby, by picking their names from a menu, rather than having to laboriously type their name in chat.

What was new in hippoRENT v5.0

1. What’s new in the inworld part of the system?

  • Supports MetaCard
    hippoRENT boxes can now accept payments via the FirstMeta “MetaCard” service. you’ll need to sign up with First Meta and obtain a plugin script from them to make this work.


  • Easily IM Tenants
    You can now send messages to a tenant or parter using the new MESSAGE voice command on a rental box, including easy use of tags to save you typing the name of the tenant, rental box or its location. [Find out more!]

  • Bulk IM Tenants
    As well as individually send messages to tenants using the feature above, you can send a message to every tenant from your server. [Find out more!]

  • Edit Rental Time to the Second
    The new TIME voice command lets you edit rental time more precisely than ever before. It can be used at a rental box or from a server [Find out more!]

  • Track Down Bad Passwords
    Set a wrong password on a rental box or vendor and now your server is giving “bad password” messages? No problem, in hippoRENT v5 it’s now possible to find the exact location of objects you’ve setup wrongly so you can quickly teleport in and fix your mistake! [Find out more!]

  • Easier Version Tracking
    It’s now possible to issue a VERSION command to a box or vendor from your inworld server, allowing you to double-check its version without visiting it [Find out more!]

  • Tenants Can Say They’re Not Renewing
    Tenants who plan to leave after their tenancy ends and not renew can now help you out by telling the box this using the new “Won’t Renew” button in the tenant menu. (It doesn’t commit them to anything, merely allows you to track the fact) [Find out more!]

  • Kill All Hovertext
    Use the new HIDE ALL HOVERTEXT configuration option to easily remove all hovertext entirely from your rental box. [Find out more!]

  • Show Rental Name in Hovertext
    The new HOVERTEXT RENTAL NAME configuration option now allows you to include the name of the rental location in the hovertext that appears over a box. [Find out more!]

  • Only IM When Owner Online
    Version 5 rental boxes can be told to only send you instant messages (e.g. about a new tenant renting etc.) if you’re online at the time. Useful if your IMs get capped when offline and you don’t want your message queue cluttered up with lots of rental box messages. [Find out more!]

  • Rental Sign Improvements
    The free rental sign, that you can connect to your boxes, now allows a tenant to not merely change its texture but also to add a landmark and notecard to the sign, to be given to visitors who touch it. [Find out more!]

  • Sound Effects
    A rental box can play a sound when a tenancy starts, is extended and/or when it ends (each sound can be individual customized). [Find out more!]

  • Easier Moving of Rented Boxes
    Much easier to move a box in a rented state and work out where it will end up when it falls vacant again. [Find out more!]

  • User Friendly Time Left Display
    The time left is now displayed more helpfully for tenants. If a box has more than 7 days left, then weeks will be included in the hovertext (and status text) (so not “16 days” but “2 weeks, 2 days”. This makes it just that little bit easier for tenants to be able to see at a glance what time they’ve got left.

  • Automatic Key Retrieval
    When you’re manually entering a tenant or partner name, a rental box will try to find the person’s key (needed to count their prims, send them IMs etc.) using two of the biggest Second Life name-to-key databases. (If it can’t be found, the box will grab it next time the tenant or partner touches or pays the box).

  • Prim Counter Improvements
    The new deedable Networked Prim Counter, used to count individual tenant prims on group-owned land, has been beefed up. Now one Prim Counter can service any number of boxes. [Find out more!]

  • Door Plugin Improvements
    The new door plugin module allows you to connect one door to multiple rental boxes (useful for e.g. a front door in an apartment building). It can also be set to allow entry for people who are members of the same Second Life group as the door. [Find out more!]

  • Lock on End Configuration Command
    Fix a “lock on end” command by setting it in the configuration for a rental box, not just with a voice command. [Find out more!]

  • Easily Set Pictures by Key
    The new PICTURE KEY voice or configuration notecard command provides another way to supply the picture for a rental box to use when it appears on your rental vendors. [Find out more!]

  • New “Month by Date” Rental Mode
    If you’re running a monthly rental (or tier) operation, v5 boxes have a new mode that avoids you having to mentally turn days into days; instead the box will work on the basis of a tenant’s rent/tier falling due on the same day each month (e.g. the 28th of every month). [Find out more!]

  • Ability to “Enforce” Group Membership
    Use the new RESTRICT TO GROUP and MUST BE IN GROUP TO RENEW configuration commands and tenants will have to be members of the same group as the rental box (and have that group active) in order to start or renew a tenancy. [Find out more!]


2. What’s new in the web-enabled part of the system?

As a web-enabled hippoRENT user, you’ll still want to read section 1 above, as most of the new features also apply to web-enabled boxes. However, you get more goodies as well ...

  • hippoGROUPS Compatible
    Easily communicate with your tenants, en masse, by using our new “hippoGROUPS” product, support for which is built into hippoRENT. Boxes can automatically add tenants to a hippoGROUP on rental and remove them when they leave. Great for mass-tenant communication.

  • Ban Lists
    You can define a list of people who are banned from renting from a given rental box. [Find out more!]

  • Copy Tenancies
    Easily copy or move a tenancy from one box to another (or even from one to multiple boxes!) [Find out more!]

  • Easier Version Tracking
    There is now a preference to show the software version of your rental boxes in the box list display. (You can also filter the box list by version). [Find out more!]

  • IM Partners
    If a rental location has a partner (and their key is known) and you have our Instant Message Module (for sale in our main store), the partner name will now have an button beside it for quick communication.

  • New Vendor Filters: Box Group and Price
    When configuring a web-enabled vendor, you can choose to filter the property it shows by price or box group. [Find out more!]

  • Vendor Filtering by Box Group
    When configuring a web-enabled vendor, you can choose to filter the property it shows by box group. [Find out more!]

  • Delete Multiple Vendors
    There is now a button on the vendors page, so you can easily select and delete multiple rental vendors at once.

  • Edit Rental Time to the Second
    You can now specify the hours, minutes and seconds part of a tenancy when editing it on the website. [Find out more!]

  • Prim Code Cues
    Forgotton what A, G or T mean in a tenant’s prim count display on the box list? Just hold your mouse over the word ‘Prims’ before e.g. “Prims: A:1092 G:1055 T:0” to get a reminder! [Find out more!]

  • Show Prim Counts When No Tenant
    There is a new preference option to show prim counts from a box even when there is no tennant currently renting (obviously only all and group prims will be shown). [Find out more!]

  • Land Parcel Display
    If you wish, you can include the name of the land parcel each rental box is on in your box list (and CSV exports), using the new preference available. [Find out more!]

  • Finding Out of Contact Boxes or Vendors
    Rental boxes that have not called home for more than 48 hours are now flagged with a icon; you can also filter the box list to easily find them. Vendors (version 5 or above) that have not called home for more than 96 hours are likewise indicated.

  • Deleting Inworld Items via the Web
    There is a new preference option that will allow you to delete v5 items (boxes, vendors, servers) inworld when you delete them on the website. Use with care! [Find out more!]

  • Copy Vendor Configurations
    Easily copy a configuration from one vendor to another using the new picklist at the bottom of the vendor configuration page. [Find out more!]

  • Custom Fields
    Add a “custom” field (e.g. for useful notes) to a rental box using the new preference options. (Scripters and add-on makers can access this data inworld, too!) [Find out more!]


What was new in hippoRENT v4.5

1. What’s new in the inworld part of the system?

(1a) Rental box can be told to lock itself when the current tenancy ends. Use the LOCK ON END voice command to achieve this.

(1b) You can easily copy a tenancy from one box to another within the same sim. Click the box that is to *receive* the tenancy, choose ‘Voice Cmd’, type RECEIVE. Then within 60 seconds visit the box that will sending the tenancy, click it, choose ‘Voice Cmd’ and type TRANSMIT.

(1c) The server has entirely been redesigned (it’s smaller and has fewer prims) and there is a new, lower-prim version of the single panel rental vendor.

(1d) You can grab a rental box (or vendor’s ) server key from a web page. To do this, put the text [HIPPORENT SERVER KEY: <key of your server>] e.g. [HIPPORENT SERVER KEY: 2040de8d-f19c-b066-8272-a486f45c3e09] somewhere on the page (it needs to be in the first 2,000 characters, due to Second Life limits). Then in your rental box or vendor’s configuration notecard, use SERVER KEY: <web page> e.g. SERVER KEY: http://www.myblog.com/myrentalkey.php ... Why is this useful? It means if you accidentally delete and have to re-rez your server you can just change the web page, rather than have to wander round and edit dozens of configuration notecards. How do I make my boxes reload themselves ... one way is to use the new CHECK FOR NEW SERVER KEY EVERY: <time in seconds> configuration command.

(1e) Some Second Life scripts can fail to work properly if the object they’re in is not set to the same group as the land under them; this is a common cause of some rental box issues (e.g. payment sharing failing). To alleviate this, a rental box, vendor or server will warn you (on rez and when you reset it) if you’ve not set it (don’t deed it, just set it to the group!) to the wrong group.

(1f) A “Rental Sign” is provided. This can be connected to a rental box in much the same more as the rental door, for those of you familiar with that (or any of our plugin devices). Once connected, when a tenant rents a connected box they will be able to change the texture on the sign simply by clicking it and following the easy to use instructions / menu. For full details of how it works and how to connect it, see the instructions included in it.

(1g) Rental boxes, vendors and servers in the same region will communicate by chat (well, llRegionSay() to be precise) as well as email, making communication more effective when Second Life is being slow and sticky (which never happens, huh?) There is a very, very small performance hit for this, as devices need to maintain a listener. If you don’t wish to take advantage of this and would prefer to kill the listener script, use DISABLE REGION SAY: Yes in the vendor, server, or box’s configuration notecard.

(1h) Rental boxes can apply a special texture when they’re locked. Just include a texture called “Locked” in the rental box’s inventory.

(1i) A common cause of some payment sharing failures (Second Life now throttles payment requests by scripts) has been dealt with ... one consequence is that boxes need debit permissions granted twice (once for the main script, once for the payment sharing script).

(1k) Prim counting has been improved and optimized, improving the results especially on slower sims.

(1l) You can now include a partner’s name in the Configuration Notecard (e.g. PARTNER: Frodo Baggins or PARTNER: None) if you wish to, as well as using the voice command method you were able to before.

(1m) For those of you using the door plugin, the latest models have a new “Lock” and “Unlock” command in their menus ... if for example a tenant is holding a party, she may wish to temporarily let anybody in (so use “unlock”) and afterwards, when everybody has gone leaving just a sea of vol-au-vant crumbs, she can use “lock” to revert the door to normal behaviour.

(1n) Boxes have a new “Test Mode” feature. This will count down 1 day off the tenancy every 6-7 seconds until the tenancy ends, or you click the box. Useful for testing things like instant message settings ... you can rent the box yourself, for example, click it, choose ‘Voice Cmd’ and type TEST MODE and watch what happens and when.

(1o) Fixed a glitch whereby somebody attempting to pay by proxy (e.g. a friend paying for a tenant) couldn’t if the tenant was in arrears and ‘In Arrears Others Can Rent’ was set to ‘No’. Bear in mind, if you have PAYMENTS BY PROXY: Yes turned on, there’s now little point in having IN ARREARS OTHERS CAN RENT: Yes, as the box first assumes (and asks, for confirmation, from the payer) that the payment is for the current tenant.

(1p) Fixed a minor issue that could cause a vendor’s “Show on Map” button to fail to hide when no properties are available.

2. What’s new in the web-enabled part of the system?

(2a) Payment sharing has been made more robust, with a couple of new Second Life annoyances that could cause payment sharing to fail worked around.

(2b) You can tell a rental box to lock itself when a tenancy ends (see 1a above).

(2c) Rental boxes can be removed from the website by clicking them, choosing ‘Voice Cmd’ and using the new UNREGISTER voice command.

(2d) When deleting a rental box (either on the web or using (2c) above), any vendors displaying it will automatically refresh themselves. (Note: you should still refresh your vendors after *adding* new rental boxes ... this is because after rezzing a rental box you normally wish to configure it first, not have it automatically appear on every vendor you own!

(2e) You can group boxes into collections on the website for easier management! See http://www.hippo-technologies.co.uk/resources/hipporent/box_groups.php page for full details of how to do this.

(2f) Web-enabled servers could occasionally get confused as to what inventory they contained, causing rental boxes relying on them for notecards or landmarks to lose that connection. This has been fixed ... you’ll need to “convert” your box configurations to the new internal format we use to do this fix ... do this by simply opening a box’s configuration on the web and saving it again.

(2g) Rental boxes no longer load their configuration twice when asked to refresh themselves via the web interface.

(2h) Web-enabled rental boxes can *also* load a configuration notecard as well as their web configuration, allowing you to mix-and-match where you configure them. The main use of this, we foresee, will be connecting web-enabled rental boxes to inworld servers as well as the web. To use this new feature, add a notecard to your rental box called “Configuration Extra” and use any of the usual configuration commands you wish. Your rental box will load it *after* downloading from the web, so any changes you make in “Configuration Extra” will *overwrite* what the box loads from the web.

(2i) You can see at a glance what percentage of your currently selected rental boxes are rented; just scroll to the bottom of the list of boxes (PAGE-DOWN key works quickly in most browsers) to see this new piece of information.

(2j) Communications between rental boxes, vendors, servers and the web site improved — following the major Second Life problems of the last month, we’ve heavily rewritten some of our communications sub-systems, so you should notice a speed increase.

(2k) When editing the configuration of more than one rental box at once, only the fields that you have changed will be copied across to the other boxes. (As you edit text fields, you’ll see their background colour changes to indicate you have edited them).




What was new in hippoRENT v4.0?

By far the biggest new feature is that hippoRENT v4 can now be web-enabled. A simple plugin may be purchased from any of our store locations that will allow you to monitor and control your rental boxes and vendors using any web browser. It’s a brilliant way to make rental management even easier and its functions are described in the ‘Using the Web Plugin System’ document.


What’s New in the Rental Box?

  • Rental boxes can now be rented daily, weekly, or monthly. The period it rents in is defined by the PRICE PER ... command; e.g. PRICE PER WEEK: 100 or PRICE PER MONTH: 5000 or PRICE PER DAY: 25. You can use any date label for the MIN and MAX commands (MIN WEEKS: 4, MAX DAYS: 10, MAX MONTHS: 12) and it won’t effect the rental unit. To illustrate, the following examples would have exactly the same result:

PRICE PER MONTH: 1000
MIN MONTHS: 1
MAX MONTHS: 4

PRICE PER MONTH: 1000
MIN DAYS: 1
MAX WEEKS: 4

In both cases, you’d be telling the rental box to charge L$1000 per month and allow a minimum period of 1 and a maximum period of 4 months. For neatness and lack of confusion, we recommend you use DAYS, WEEKS or MONTHS throughout.

Important Note: The rental box works in calendar months. So one month from 31 May is 30 June; two months from 31 May is 31 July etc. The box knows about leap years.

Another Important Note: Internally, the box converts months into days for its counter. That means you can, if you so desired, switch the rental unit from months to days to weeks and back again during a tenancy and there would be a seamless transition.

  • You can now silently” boot a tenant via the “REMOVE” menu as well as the “SILENT BOOT” voice command.

  • Rental information and tenant information notecards can be held remotely, on the server, rather than in the rental box if you wish. Use “(remote)” before the information notecard or tenant information notecard configuration commands to do this; e.g. NOTECARD NAME: (remote) General Property Info. Do make sure you remember to add an appropriately named notecard to the server’s inventory, lest you really confuse people.

  • Pictures can also be held remotely in much the same way;
    e.g. PICTURE: (remote) My Apartment Block

  • Rental box picture used on vendors can be specified by key rather than name, if you prefer;
    e.g. PICTURE: 163b5ca3-2786-af19-c090-cc94addb1c5a
    Remember, you can get a snapshot or texture’s key from your own inventory by right-clicking it and choosing ’Copy Asset UUID’ to copy it the clipboard.

  • Rented and unrented textures can also be specified by UUID key if you wish.

  • The rental box can give out a landmark to people who click it (directly, or via a vendor) for information. It will give out the first landmark, alphabetically, found in its inventory. (If you’d rather hold the landmark remotely on the server, we suggest adding it to a remotely held information notecard ... see the point directly above).

  • Rental boxes can hovertext the prim count (if you have prim counting turned on). Use the configuration notecard command HOVERTEXT PRIM COUNT: Yes. The prim count is also displayed in a rental box’s status report. Do bear in mind that prim counting in Second Life is still not 100% reliable, so if in doubt, always use the counts shown in Second Life’s “About Land” window.

  • More control is offered over prim counting with three new configuration notecard commands ...

    • PRIMS SUBTRACT: <number> (e.g. PRIMS SUBTRACT: 10) will subtract the number shown from any prims counted on the land before it decides whether to report prim violations by the tenant. This is useful if you want to rent land with a house already on it, for example.

    • You may also use IGNORE PRIMS OWNED BY: <avatar key> (e.g. IGNORE PRIMS OWNED BY: db089ef5-dc75-4c03-4c55-9965c5a7fe94) to tell the rental box to subtract/ignore any prims on the parcel owned by the avatar with a given key.

    • Finally, if you want the box to count prims on a parcel other than the one it’s sitting on, use PRIM COUNT OFFSET: <vector> (e.g. PRIM COUNT OFFSET: <10, 0, 0> to count on the parcel 10m along the x axis from here) or PRIM COUNT OFFSET: !<vector> to count prims at an absolute position; (e.g. PRIM COUNT OFFSET: !<100, 200, 40>). Most users will never need to use this, but we have occasionally been asked for it. Please note, you need the appropriate rights on any land you want to get prim counts for.

  • A SEND PRIM WARNING NOW voice command has been added; as the name suggests, this forces the rental box to send a prim warning IM now (if prim counting is turned on, the prim count requires it, and you’ve specified IMs to be sent).

  • A rental box can send management IMs (on payment, refund, eviction) to more than one recipient. Use ALSO IM: <key> in the box’s config card (e.g. ALSO IM: db089ef5-dc75-4c03-4c55-9965c5a7fe94). You can specify multiple recipients here by separating them with commas (e.g. ALSO IM: db089ef5-dc75-4c03-4c55-9965c5a7fe94, cb08aef5-de75-4c03-4c55-9966c5a7fe9). Do make sure you enter keys carefully, as a wrong key can cause the script that sends IMs to suffer problems.

  • A rental box can send emails (on payment, eviction or refund) to multiple email addresses, just separate them with commas. So, for example, in the configuration notecard - EMAIL: bob@hmmmtoast.com, liza@neednewhat.co.uk. (Don’t get too carried away with loads of email addresses, three or four is about the maximum due to the time penalty SL places on a script each time it uses an email).

  • You can use the TENANT MENU voice command to see the menu the tenant will see.

  • The tenant can use the new “Prim Counts” command on their menu to see their prim allocation and prim count (if you’ve turned prim counting on).

  • You can set the length of a reservation by using the “reservation length” voice command. If the reservee has not rented within the specified number of days, the reservation is cleared and anybody can rent. (You need to set the name of the person the box is reserved for, then use e.g. reservation length 4

  • Those of you using the door plugin module will be pleased to know that if you collect the updated door plugin module scripts, doors can now be opened by people listed as managers in the rental box configuration notecard.

  • You can now control how the minimum payment term actually works. By default, e.g. MIN WEEKS: 3 now means a tenant must pay for at least 3 weeks each time they pay. The old boxes considered MIN WEEKS: 3 to specify the minimum contract length, only applicable on the first payment. To revert a new rental box to the old type of minimum processing, insert the command MIN TYPE: 0 anywhere into the configuration card (boxes are running with a default MIN TYPE: 1, so you don’t need to specify this). But we think most people will prefer and stick with the new way.

  • The rental box can report an alternative location to the server and vendor than the actual spot it’s sitting at. This is useful if you want to put all of your rental boxes in a rental office, away from the actual spots they’re renting, for example. To use this, use the REPORT LOCATION: configuration command followed by the location, e.g. REPORT LOCATION: Rodeo (75, 50, 23). The server will then list this as the box location as will the vendor, which will also show it on the map when the “SHOW ON MAP” button is touched.

  • For those of you using the rental system to manage land and tier, you can change the language that the box uses so it’s more appropriate to tier payments and estate management. The default box now has this command ...

    TERMINOLOGY: Landlord, Tenant, Rent, Rental, Plot, Rental box
  • ... to determine the language used in menus and messages. If you were managing an estate and people were paying for land/tier, you might use something lke this instead ...

    TERMINOLOGY: Estate Owner, Land Owner, Tier, Contract, Land parcel, Tier management box

    As you can see, each word/phrase should start with a capital letter. The terminology you choose gets used in messages and menus throughout, allowing you to more easily customise a hippoVEND to what it is you’re renting/leasing/hiring/collecting money for.
  • Rental length can be edited much more flexibly. The old “LENGTH” voice command can now work in all these ways ... LENGTH 52 (sets days to 52); LENGTH +3 (adds three days); LENGTH -7 (subtracts 7 days); LENGTH +10% (adds 10% to the days); LENGTH -25% (subtracts 25%) ... (these last two can also be expressed more simply, for the maths wizards, as LENGTH 110% or LENGTH 75%).

  • A new “PRICE” voice command works similarly to length, changing just the price (but not the “unit”, for that use PRICE PER WEEK). So the following would all work: PRICE 100, PRICE +50, PRICE -25, PRICE +50%, PRICE -10%, PRICE 90%

  • You can add a second tenant to a rental box, who will be able to pay, click to get the tenant menu, have their prims counted (if you’re using PRIM COUNT: Tenant mode) and receive warning IMs about aspects of the tenancy. This is useful if a couple are renting a property, for example. To add a second tenant, click the rental box, choose ’Voice Cmd’ and type PARTER followed by their Second Life name exactly;

    e.g. PARTNER Pathfinder Linden

    Please note they won’t get IMs until they either touch or pay the box (so it has their key). Please also note the partner name/key is not “hard saved” like the main tenant, so if you take the box into inventory and re-rez it, or the sim crashes spectacularly, it may have to be re-entered. You can remove a partner with the PARTNER REMOVE voice command. The server will list partner names and you can also send a “partner” command from the server.

What’s New in the Server?

  • Lower prim server design (down to 8 prims now).

  • The box list now shows which rental boxes are locked or reserved

  • Rental reports can be sent from the server to multiple email addresses, simply by separating them with commas. So, for example, in the configuration notecard:

    EMAIL REPORTS TO: fred@jambutties.com, jemima@shoottringo.org.uk

    The same trick works if using the “EMAIL REPORT NOW” voice command.

  • You can set reservation lengths on a rental box from the server. For example, use the voice commands “box 1 reserve Fred Smith” followed by another, “box 1 reservation length 3” to reserve a rental box for an avatar called Fred Smith for 3 days. After 3 days, the reservation is cleared and anybody can rent again.

  • The terminology command (see above under the rental box) works in the server, too.

  • The server can make use of the enhanced tenancy length editor, so for example the following voice command would add 10% to all tenancy lengths: BOXES LENGTH 10%.

  • The server can make use of the flexible pricing command, so for example these voice commands would all work ...

    BOX 1 PRICE +100
    BOXES [rented] PRICE -20%

    ... etc. etc.

  • You can set the second tenant (or “partner”) on a rental box remotely; e.g. voice commands like “box 1 partner Fred Flintstone” or “boxes partner remove”.


What’s New in the Vendor?

  • A vendor can give out an information card to anybody who clicks it when it has no properties to show (e.g. when everything is rented). Just add any notecard to the vendor’s inventory ... it will give out the first notecard alphabetically it finds there (but not the configuration notecard or user guide of course!)

  • Vendors now count how many people have rented property via them and how many lookup a property’s location on the map from them. See these statistics by clicking a vendor and choosing ‘Status’. To reset the counter, perform a hard reset (click vendor -> choose ‘Voice Cmd’ -> type HARD RESET.

  • More control over how hovertext is displayed. You can now display just the rental price, just the prims available, both, or neither. (Use HOVERTEXT PRICE: Yes/No and HOVERTEXT PRIMS: Yes/No instead of HOVERTEXT PRICE/PRIMS: Yes/No (this older command is still supported and will still show or hide both pieces of information).

  • You can also choose to turn all hovertext off or have it only appear when the vendor is in use, then disappear afterwards. The new HOVERTEXT configuration command controls this; use HOVERTEXT: On, HOVERTEXT: Off or HOVERTEXT: Auto

  • You can choose to have the vendor only allow people to teleport to property that is currently available for rent, by using the new AUTOHIDE MAP BUTTON: Yes/No command. If you turn this on, the show on map button will hide and disable itself if the current property being viewed is unavailable (e.g. rented/reserved/locked).

  • Rental boxes that are reserved or locked will not be shown on a vendor that is set to show unavailable properties only — they’ll also be tagged “Unavailable” in vendors set to show anything, so that potential tenants don’t waste time trying to rent properties that are reserved or temporarily locked.

  • The terminology command (see above under the rental box) works in the vendor, too.

We do hope you enjoy the new features and that it makes running your rental business that much easier!

We recommend to all customers that they join the Hippo Technologies Users Group in Second Life (search for it, the group is open enrollment). It’s a friendly community and lots of advice, tips and support can often be found by asking nicely!


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