Date: Mon, 23 Jun 97 17:40:55 PDT
From: Neal McBurnett 
Subject: Come visit the BCN hangout at the Diversity University MOO
Reply-to: Neal McBurnett 

 + MOOs are a very popular way for people to get together on-line
   ("text-based virtual reality").
 + Diversity University is a large MOO devoted to education and research.
 + They have a "Community Services Center" which houses organizations like us.
 + BCN needs a virtual hangout to promote synergy.
 + I've set up a room at DU.  Come visit!

Dear tech-advisory and management teams:

A MOO is an easy-to-use, cross-platform environment for collaborative
networked communication and text-based virtual reality.  Source code
for servers and clients is freely available so it is a truly open

I've been using a MOO at work to keep in touch with people in Denver
for the last 18 months.  It is useful for planned get-togethers,
but even more useful for just hanging around on a daily basis,
with only occasional periods of "virtual water-cooler behavior"
when someone gets a great idea or has a quick question.

In the last week I've learned a lot about Diversity University and I
think it can be helpful for BCN itself in many ways, and allow BCN to
help others in new ways.  DU is friendly, well run and well documented
(with the inevitable loose ends that come with any free
mostly-volunteer effort).

Here is what they say about their Community Services Center:
   It will eventually house as many social and community service
   agencies and groups as wish to have offices here in an attempt to
   make it easier to secure help. It not only hopes to provide
   one-stop shopping but also to facilitate interaction between
   agencies becuase instead of playing phone tag, workers can step
   next door to talk to the appropriate people.

I encourage others to come visit as guests and see what it is all
about.  If there is enough interest in going further, perhaps during a
BCN meeting someone there could help me do a demo, and/or we could
pick a time for a more structured group visit.  If there were many
people involved it would be advisable to create "Visiting Student
Player Objects" for people via the VSPO facility (which helps
coordinate a large group of guests).

You can also just visit via the web, but then you can't interact.
Or you can have a coordinated visit where you can see where you
are via the web and also have a normal client connection.

The URL for Diversity University is

To see the BCN hangout, go to

The name of my character at DU is "nealmcb".

To fully experience the MOO you'll need to login as a guest.
It is possible to do this by just telnetting to
but it is best to use a special client.  Otherwise, if you are
in the middle of typing something and someone else says something,
their text will just appear in the middle of what you were typing
and it will be hard to remember where you were (though it is okay
to just keep on typing what you were going to say).

There is a Java client (that I haven't tried because of our firewall)
and there are also many clients for PC's, Macs, Unix, etc, as
documented on the DU web pages.  I use a GNU Emacs "mud.el" client.

Once you get there and get acquainted with the interface and the
surroundings, use the command
	@go community
to get to the right general vicinity (in the "eastern off-campus zone"), or
	@go #10068
to go straight to the BCN room.

To see if I am connected, try
	@who nealmcb
	page nealmcb with "hello"


Neal McBurnett   503-331-5795  Portland/Denver
Bell Labs / Lucent Technologies      (with PGP key)