The idea of some type of joournal club or discussion group is an
excellent one. As Aki Hohji mentioned, there are a number of net
resources that could be utilized that would facilitate such discussion.
For example, about two months ago, there was a posting about a MOO that
was dedicated to the use of biologists. A MOO is a perfect forum for
real-time discussions regarding issues in immunology, or at least it
could be used as a way to catalyze discussions that could be continued
through USENET. For everyone's information, I am reposting an
informational message about MOOs that was posted on
methods-and-reagents awhile back. I would be interesting in hearing
comments about this.
ANNOUNCEMENT: BioMOO, a virtual meeting place for biologists.
BioMOO is a virtual meeting place for biologists, connected to the
Network Academy. The main physical part of the BioMOO is located at the
BioInformatics Unit of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
BioMOO is a professional community of Biology researchers. It is a
place to come meet colleagues in Biology studies and related fields and
brainstorm, to hold colloquia and conferences, to explore the serious
side of this new medium.
All characters on BioMOO are identified. You can find out who anyone is
by using the @whois command, so that you can contact them to continue
To get a user ID in BioMOO, you have to provide the following information:
1 - The user ID you want, usually your name.
2 - Your email address.
3 - Your full name.
4 - Your affiliation/institution (e.g. your university).
5 - Your occupation (professor, programmer, student).
6 - A short description of your research interests.
NB: even though character creation is automatic, this information IS
BioMOO's telnet address: bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il 8888
numeric address: 18.104.22.168 8888
Please join us, and help build a valuable and fruitful environment!
How do I connect to BioMOO?
To access BioMOO, you have to:
telnet bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il 8888
Once you get the login welcome message, follow the instructions to
Note: there are several 'client' programs available, that help you connect
to the MOO more easily. What program to use depends mainly on what type of
computer you're connecting from. (anonymous ftp to ftp.parc.xerox.com)
What is a MOO?
MOO stands for MUD, Object Oriented. MUD stands for Multiple User
This means, that a MOO is an object-oriented computer program that allows
many users to log in at the same time, and interact among themselves, and
with the program.
What does 'object-oriented' mean?
Inside the MOO, everything is represented by objects. Every person, every
room, every note, all are represented by objects, that can be looked at,
examined and manipulated.
Here is some very basic info on how to do the most basic actions in a MOO.
Note that there are lots of other commands, best learnt through practice.
You can always type 'help' to get an index of help topics. For example, to
get specific help on how to communicate, you can type 'help
To know how the room you're in looks like, just type 'look'.
To get information on the objects around you, you can type:
look <object> -- you get the description of the object
examine <object> -- you get the description, and additional information,
like the owner of the object, and some commands to
To know who else is connected at the time, type '@who'.
You get also information on where they are, for how long they have been
connected, and when they were active last.
To communicate with people in the same room you're in, you can 'say' or
Let's say you logged in as Guest. If you type
or: say Hello, there.
.....the other people in the same room will see this:
Guest says, "Hello, there."
If you type
or: emote smiles.
.....they will see this:
To communicate with people not in your room, you can 'page' them:
page John Do you have some free time?
To change your password:
@password <old password> <new password>
If you have trouble with text running off your screen, or if you receive
only the beginning of the lines, you might try the following commands:
@wrap on -- to make the MOO wrap the text you read
@linelength XX -- to set the length of your lines, in letters, to XX
@pagelength XX -- to set the length of your page, in lines, to XX
@more rest/flush -- to read/flush suspended output
Finally, to logoff:
@quit -- or (in some computers) control-]
James F. George, Ph.D. "Back off man, I'm a scientist"
Department of Surgery --Bill Murray
University of Alabama at Birmingham
txpljfg at uabcvsr.cvsr.uab.edu