A Cynic Looks at a MOO

Erik Ostrom eostrom at gac.edu
Sat Jan 30 16:09:00 EST 1993

A couple of minor points:

>   The command is typed as follows:
>   telnet theory.cs.mankato.msus.edu 1709

This is right for most if not all UNIX systems, and some others.
However, it is not right for all computers.  For example, on some VMS
systems you would need to type

    telnet theory.cs.mankato.msus.edu /port=1709

(I think that's right--it's been a while since I've used VMS.)
Macintosh telnets have various ways of connecting to nonstandard
ports.  So, if this command doesn't work for you, well, check your
local documentation.

Also, I should mention that theory.cs.mankato.msus.edu is, for the sake of anyone who has trouble with non-numeric

>   Be aware, however, that people listed as 'here' might not actually be
>   logged in.  If they don't respond, that is probably why.  Rob, for
>   example, spends lots of time sleeping, unresponsive, in his office.

As an example of the quick development you mentioned: As of last
night, players who aren't logged in will be marked as such:

    Rob (sleeping) is here.

>   " - beginning a line with a quote sends a message to everyone 
>   in the room with you.

: - beginning a line with a colon does a similar but different
thing.  If you type


what happens is that everyone in the room will see the message:

Guest waves.

>     To get to the ECC, issue the following commands, each terminated by
>   a carriage return.

Actually, you can do this all in one line:

   go u w w s s s

You might also want to type "@mode brief" so that you don't see all
the descriptions of the rooms you pass through.  On the other hand,
you might want to just relax and enjoy the scenery.

>   Next, you need to give yourself a description.  I am trying to get
>   everyone to include one of those dopy plastic name tags in their
>   descriptions.  For example, my description is as follows:

It wouldn't be that hard for someone to create name tags, so you could
type, say, "get name tag from desk" and then "fill in name tag", which
would ask you questions about yourself and write them on the name tag.
People would then have to type "look tag in Steffen" to see your tag,
though.  Why am I posting these vague plans to all of Usenet?  I don't

>   @describe me as <place a short description here.  Mine is as long as
>   is allowed.  Terminate the description with a carriage return.  To
>   force line breaks, you have to insert spaces -ug!>

This is actually wrong.  Using spaces to force line breaks is a very
bad idea, as not everyone has the same line length.  If you want a
multiple-line description, you should type "@notedit me.description",
which will take you to the note editor, and then look around and start
figuring out how to use it.  (Yes, a tutorial might be helpful.)  Your
first step would probably be "mode list", to put you into multi-line

>   As you play with with MOO, note what you like and what you don't like.
>   Send complements, suggestions, questions, or money to:
>   steffen at bcm.tmc.edu

Also consider using the @gripe command:
    @gripe Why is is so dark in the underground?
which will send your complaint (or compliment, or comment, or or or)
to the MOO's administrators, and the
@bug/@typo/@suggest/@idea/@comment commands, which will send your
message to the owner of the room you're in.  Don't worry about using
the wrong command--your message will probably be forwarded to whoever
it should go to.

>  See you at the MOO!

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