I was asked in a PM from a SLUniverse user to commment on Hipihi, and the answer had too many words in it to waste on a PM. So here’s the text from that. I will forgo block quoting my own words:
I have indeed successfully installed and run Hipihi; I’m running it right now on the other computer, and just got through writing a post in the Hipihi forums introducing myself, commenting a bit on my progress, and listing my web sites.
I had no trouble at all installing the East Asian language pack, because it was already installed; I think it may have been done during a Windows Update session, or else I had done it because so many sites that turn up in my searches have Japanese or Chinese characters that I got tired of staring at empty rectangles and question marks and such. If you have your XP SP2 cd, or have the SP2 file, which can be downloaded from MS, assuming you have a properly registed copy of windows, installing the East Asian language pack is not a problem.
Once you get the East Asian language pack installed, you have to enable Chinese PRC in the Control Panel Regional and Language settings. This was more trouble, although it is just checking some boxes, because I didn’t know I needed to, or which one of the many choices of Chinese it should be. It’s Chinese Simplified, and it’s Chinese PRC.
Once you get Hipihi installed, you have to edit the shortcut’s properties, on the Compatibility tab, and turn OFF the Advanced Text Services for Hipihi.
There are two groups in SL , Hipihi and Hipihi – Third Life, which SL users interested in Hipihi might want to join. The Advanced Text Services tip I got from one of those groups, so there is definitely some help to be had there.
There aren’t many people in Hipihi currently, it’s just opened it’s beta program to the public, so it’s understandable that the population is low.
The terrain is nice and stable, it doesn’t quiver like a bowl of jelly as you fly along, unlike the terrain in SL. On the other hand, it is more obviously made of triangles in the hills and mountains.
The avatars are quite similar to SL avatars, I doubt many who find SL’s built in avatars acceptable would have much complaint with Hipihi avatars. So far as I know, though, there is no plan to allow for customization of avatars by adding attachments. That may change, though, depending I suppose on the company’s desires and the demands of the users.
Hipihi has just added an object creation and editing system that is a near duplicate of SL’s. There are the same exact types of prims, the box, sphere, cylinder, prisms, pyramids, torii, ring, and tube are all there, with the same parameters of cut, hollow, twist, revolutions, etc. I haven’t tested them all extensively, but it seems quite clearly to be a close enough duplication of the SL prim system that anyone that can build in SL will be able to build in Hipihi. I believe you could copy the parameters from objects you have rights to from SL objects to Hipihi objects and duplicate them. The object editing system interface needs some work; you can copy and past objects, but they come in at stupid places, and you can’t move your camera while editing in the most fluid and desirable way, and there is one problem I have had where you are in position adjust mode and stuck in the “restricted to a particular plane mode” and I can’t figure out why I got into that mode or how to get out, but a bit later you aren’t in that mode.
Just today I found out how to upload a texture and apply it to a prim in Hipihi. I chose a picture of me sitting on a wonderful dinosaur skull made by ahkenatan Grommet. So ahkenatan Grommet’s work precedes him into the Hipihi world.
So far as humanoid avatar customization goes, it is roughly the same as SL. You can select a sex for your avatar, adjust it’s height, select different skins, apply makeup layers, change clothes, make yourself fat or thin, select different clothing textures and adjust parameters for them, and it appears that you can upload custom textures for clothing, skin, and makeup layers, apparently files with the extension HVS, which appears to be type of bitmap file that records color data in a manner based on human vision rather than frequency based method like RGB.
There a building system distinct from the prim based object creation system, which offers a selection of premade objects such as signs, road pieces, houses, streetlights, etc. These can be adjusted in size, and modified in other ways, but can’t be taken apart and modified in the way that complex objects in Second Life can be.
Enough for now. There’s no great reason to think that adding a MS language pack will screw your computer up, and if does, just do a system restore or uninstall the lanaguage pack. There’s more risk in crossing the street than there is in giving HIpihi a try. Live dangerously.
I will add that I can’t wait for the English language version to appear. Not being able to read a single word of the interface is a pain.