BioBit #23 MOO

Rob Harper Rob.Harper at
Mon Jan 11 06:52:25 EST 1993

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                                   No 23
                          BIO-NAUT NEWSLETTER 8-1-93
                         << EDITED BY ROBERT HARPER >> 
                         FOR SUCH TIMES AS THESE
         %                                                             %
         %  People mutht be amuthed. They can't be alwayth a learning  %
         %  nor yet they can't be alwayth working. They an't made for  %
         %  it.                                                        %
         %                               CHARLES DICKENS: Hard Times   %
         %                                                             %
  To play or not to play that is the question.
  While in Pisa I listened to a lecture by Peter Deutsch where he waxed
  lyrical about the possibilities of using MUD's (multiple user dungeon)
  for serious teaching. Now chatting on the net, be it on BITNET RELAY or
  on INTERNET IRC, is often scorned as being inconsequential, and not
  worth the investment of time taken to learn the commands, since the
  exchanges that take place are about as stimulating as talking to
  Never the less if someone from "" does something with a
  MUD then perhaps it is time to sit up straight and pay attention to
  what is going on.
  Besides I have always thought that learning through playing is the
  best way to learn... at least when I learn things through play and
  experimentation, they tend to become hard-wired into my nervous
  system. This is in apposition to the stuff-it-down the throat method
  of teaching where I often gag at being force-fed information.
  Learning should be a stimulating experience. Gone are the days when
  books were rare, and the Professor who had all the knowledge, passed
  it on to his students via lectures. If a Professor only passes on
  information that can be found in books then his lectures will be
  poorly attended. A good lecturer not only passes on information, but
  does it in a manner that inspires others. My old Professor, Helge
  Gyllenberg used to pack the lecture room not only because of the
  information content of his talks, but because of their entertainment
  Being a Bionaut it is a matter of pride to boldly go where no
  biologist has gone before, and having acquited myself with a defence
  for playfulness I present a introduction to using a MOO-GOPHER.
  Fasten your seat belts... and no smoking.
  Logging into MOO-GOPHER
  Anyone on internet can log into MOO-GOPHER by giving the command
  telnet 1709
  A MUD is a Multi User Dungeon. Many people can log into a MUD and move
  around the rooms by giving commands (up down east west etc). In the
  MUD there will be other players and you can "talk" to them and perhaps
  ask advice.
  When I look at the gopher.log on the Finnish EMBnet gopher I can see
  that there are roughly 1000 transactions per day and I can see that
  people from all round the world are using the site. Wouldn't it be
  fine if there was a "gopher room" that people could congregate in and
  talk shop about biology. Give advice to each other. In the room would
  be a "gopher-guru" who could call up menus from different bio-gophers
  and direct other bionauts in the use of the many online resources that
  are available for biologists... is this only a dream? Read on.
  MOO-Gopher session.
  Here is a log of my first MOO session. I will present it just as it
  happened and put in my own comments to clarify things that might seem
  bewildering. Comments are prefaced with a ####
  sun4 /mnt/home/csc/harper 2 telnet 1709
  Trying ...
  Connected to
  Escape character is ']'.
  Bringing you the latest in Jay's harebrained networking schemes,
  #### Access is easy no problems. Opening screen gives some on-line
  #### help.
  Welcome to JaysHouseMOO!
  Type `connect <character-name <password     to connect to your character
       `connect Guest'                          to connect to a guest character
       `create <character-name <password      to create a character
                                                  if you don't have one;
                                                  human characters only, please
       `@who'                                   just to see who's logged in
                                                  right now, or,
       `@quit'                                  to disconnect, either now
                                                  or later.
  After you've logged in type
       `help'                                   for documentation.
  #### Have to get into the system by giving command connect Guest
  connect guest
  Please email bug/crash reports to nop at
  Okay,... guest is in use.  Logging you in as `Muffin_Guest'
  #### Good lord, logged in as Muffin, who would want a nick-name like
  #### that. You then get a description of the "room" that you are in.
  This is a dark, cramped space.  It appears to be very crowded in here; you
   keep bumping into what feels like drainage pipes, alligators, and other
   people (apparently sleeping).  One useful thing that you've discovered in
   your bumbling about is a manhole cover above you.
  Don't forget to take a look at the newspaper.  Type 'news' to see it.
  #### It is good to read what the messages say. It says to type news
  #### so that is what I do.
  It's the latest issue of the MOO Herald-Examiner, dated Wed Dec 23, 1992.
   On JaysHouseMOO, we are building with the assumption that builders and
   programmers can be trusted almost absolutely; there are a lot of wins that
   come from this.  Unfortunately, this is quite different than the policies on
   LambdaMOO and some other MOOs, and there is a bit of a culture shock for
   people who log in here and expect to be made programmers on sight.  Please
   don't take offense if we don't immediately make you a builder; stick around
   and come up with good ideas, and we probably will.
  If you're just interested in looking at code, you can `@chparent me to #58'
  regardless of whether you're a programmer or not.  @list and @d (@d $network:
   seems to be popular) will work for you; other things, like evals and writin

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