SCREEN-L goes real time! Starting next Monday, SCREEN-L will host a "real time" conference each and every week. This means that folks will be able to meet at a particular site on the Internet and chat instantaneously--by typing pithy one-liners to each other. The day: Mondays The time: 2-3:00 p.m., Eastern (U.S.) Time Zone The place: PMC-MOO, accessed via Telnet at dewey.lib.ncsu.edu 7777 or 220.127.116.11 7777 The time, duration and day are open to change. They were chosen based on suggestions I received that argued for a U.S. business hours time so that people who only have Internet access at work and those attending from Europe might be accommodated. I worry about SCREEN-Litarians from Asia and Australia, though. Perhaps if there's enough interest from those quarters we could establish a second time slot. So, how does all this work? PMC-MOO is a text-based virtual environment at North Carolina State University, created by the editors of the electronic journal POSTMODERN CULTURE. You might even call PMC-MOO a virtual reality, although there are no images or sounds involved--only >descriptions< of images and sounds. When you first connect to PMC-MOO, for example, you wind up in the Lobby. From there you can travel to the Library, the Terrain of Postmodernism, and the Conference Room--among many other locations. In other words, a spatial metaphor structures PMC- MOO. Each user has a virtual presence that he/she moves through this virtual landscape. SCREEN-L's conference will be held, logically enough, in the Conference Room. So, participants initially enter PMC-MOO's Lobby and then move into the Conference Room. When they do, they will be told who else is there and they will see messages that other participants type. All this happens with very little lag time so someone in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (like myself) can chat back and forth with someone from Australia. There are no menus or cute little icons to press on PMC-MOO. It is all based on typing commands, but you need to know very few commands to connect and participate in a conference. It's relatively painless. Honest. And you can always get help by typing HELP, or HELP followed by the specific thing with which you want help: e.g., HELP MAIL. Oh yes, MOO stands for "MUD, Object Oriented," and MUD stands for "Multi-User Domain/Dungeon." ------------------clip and save for future reference----------- REALLY SPECIFIC DETAILS >>>>>> CONNECTING TO PMC-MOO First of all, you must be on the Internet and able to use Telnet. Type: TELNET dewey.lib.ncsu.edu 7777 or TELNET 18.104.22.168 7777 You'll be greeted with a "Welcome to PMC-MOO" message that explains how to log in. To do so, type: CONNECT playername password and hit ENTER. (All commands must be followed with ENTER to send them to PMC-MOO; this will be presumed in all the examples below.) Replace "playername" and "password" with the playername/password that you've >previously< chosen. Fr'instance, I personally type: CONNECT Jeremy.B chowderhead (not my REAL password! What kind of a rube do you take me for?) The first time you access PMC-MOO you don't have a playername, but you can create one in a sec before actually entering the system by typing (at the "welcome" message): CREATE playername password ...and replacing "playername" and "password" with words of your own choosing. Be sure you don't put any spaces in your playername or password or PMC-MOO will freak. Otherwise, you're on your own. If you're not so sure you want to have a playername yet or you just can't think of a way-cool one, you can noodle around in PMC- MOO as a guest. Type: CONNECT Blue_Guest >>>>>> GETTING THE HELL OUT OF PMC-MOO Getting out of PMC-MOO is a snap. Just type: @quit Like many of the commands in PMC-MOO, the QUIT command must be preceded by an at-sign (@)--just to indicate that you really mean it, I suppose. >>>>>> MOVING AROUND PMC-MOO To move in a specific direction, type the name of that direction (or the first one or two letters). To go north, type NORTH or N, for example. When you first "connect" to PMC-MOO you'll be placed in the Lobby. From there you may go: North to the Conference Room West to the Terrain of Postmodernism East to the Library Down to the Conversation Pit For instance, to get to the SCREEN-L conference from the Lobby, type N. Ba-bing! You're in the Conference Room. To get out of the Conference Room, or anywhere else, just reverse your direction. Let's see, that would be SOUTH or S to return to the Lobby. >>>>>> SPEAKING AND EMOTING IN PMC-MOO To speak, preface your remarks with the word SAY or a quotation mark ("). E.g., to say, "PMC-MOO is just atomic!" type: "PMC-MOO is just atomic! (Note that it's not necessary to close the message with another quotation mark.) You'll see displayed: You say, "PMC-MOO is just atomic!" Other users in the same room will see, in my case: Jeremy.B says, "PMC-MOO is just atomic!" If you only want one person to receive a message you type, then you must WHISPER it to him/her. Typing: WHISPER "Jeremy.B is such a chowderhead." to bob or WH "Jeremy.B is such a chowderhead." to bob results in "Jeremy.B is such a chowderhead." being displayed to bob only. Take care with this command to avoid the embarrassment of a message meant for one person being displayed to all! To do what's called "emoting" in PMC-MOO, preface your behavior with a colon. E.g., to float up above everyone, type: :floats casually above the crowd. You and other users in the room will see displayed: Jeremy.B floats casually above the crowd. To kill the space that comes after your playername in a behavior, preface it with two colons. E.g.: ::'s face turns red. This results in the following display: Jeremy.B's face turns red. >>>>>> A FEW OTHER HELPFUL COMMANDS LOOK Gets you a description of the room you're in and who's there with you. Helps you avoid getting lost. @WHO (Note that this is one of those at-sign commands.) gets you a list of all users currently connected to PMC-MOO and tells you where they are. @EXAMINE As you wander through PMC-MOO you'll come across a broad variety of objects--including television sets, VCRs, books, x-ray glasses, and other users like yourself. You can do all sorts of things to these objects--from picking them up to throwing them around to turning them on to winding them up, but it's hard to know what an object will do unless you first examine it. That's where this command comes in. Basically, it gives you clues as to what an object can or might do. To check out an object or another user, type: @EXAMINE object Replace "object" with the thing you want to examine. E.g., in the Conference Room is a video camera. To find out how to operate it, type: @EXAMINE Conference-Room Video Camera or @EXAMINE CVC This command will give you various details about how to start/stop the video camera, as well as how to pan or zoom it. @PAGELENGTH @LINELENGTH @WRAP @MORE If you're having trouble with words running off the screen too fast for you to read, these commands will let you get that stuff under control. These commands are too complicated to describe here, but typing HELP followed by the command name will get you all the details. QUESTIONS? Questions/problems/suggestions should be sent to Jeremy Butler ([log in to unmask]), the coordinator of SCREEN-L. Questions about PMC-MOO in particular may be sent to [log in to unmask] The supervisor of PMC-MOO is John Unsworth.