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Invitation to BioMOO

Gustavo Glusman bmgustav at bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il
Mon Feb 17 10:41:07 EST 1997

BioMOO's Frequently Asked Questions list

An introduction to BioMOO


Q: What is BioMOO?
BioMOO is a virtual meeting place for biologists, connected to the
Network Academy. The main physical part of 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
come meet colleagues in Biology studies and related fields and brainstorm,
to hold colloquia and conferences, to explore the serious side of this new

Q: Who uses BioMOO?
All BioMOO users are identified. You can find out who anyone is by using
'whois username' command, so that you can contact them to continue
professional discussions.
More detailed information can be obtained using the 'info username'

Q: How do I register in BioMOO?
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, etc).
6 - A short description of your research interests.
NB: even though the registration process is automated, this information IS

To register, point your favourite WWW browser at BioMOO's home page (at
http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/BioMOO) and follow the link to 'Register in
BioMOO using a WWW form'.
If you don't have WWW access, connect to BioMOO (see below), login as a
guest (type 'guest YourName'), type 'register' and follow instructions.

Q: How do I access BioMOO?
 Telnet address       bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il 8888
 Numeric address 8888
 WWW Home Page        http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/BioMOO
 Multimedia interface http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il:8888

To connect to BioMOO, you have to: telnet bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il 8888
Once you get the login welcome message, follow the instructions to
In parallel, point your favourite WWW browser to one of the URLs above, to
reach BioMOO's multimedia interface.
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.

Q: When I attempt to login into BioMOO, I get the error message "Login
incorrect" after the login and password prompts.
BioMOO has no login prompts, in fact no prompts whatsoever.
You are probably telnetting to "bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il" instead of to
"bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il 8888". The port number is crucial - BioMOO is
listening to port 8888. If you omit it, you're connecting to the default
telnet port (23) which prompts you for login.

Q: Where is BioMOO's Frequently Asked Questions document?
The latest text version of BioMOO's FAQ should be available via anonymous
ftp at machine bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il ( as file
There is an HyperText Markup Language (HTML) version of this document
available on the World Wide Web, at

Q: What is a MOO?
MOO stands for MUD, Object Oriented.
MUD stands for Multiple User Dimension.
This means, that MOO is an object-oriented computer program that allows
users to log in at the same time, and interact among themselves, and with
the program.

Q: What does 'object-oriented' mean?
Inside the MOO, everything is represented by virtual 'objects'. Every
person, every room, every note, all are represented by objects, that can
looked at, examined and manipulated.
In addition, the MOO is programmable, using a C-like, object-oriented
language, called... MOO.

Q: What are the basic commands in the MOO?
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 should 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,
who owns the object, and some commands to use it.

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 use the
commands 'say' or 'emote':
Let's say you logged in as Guest. If you type

         "Hello, there.
    or:  say Hello, there.

....the other people in the same room will see this:

         The guest says, "Hello, there."

If you type

    or:  emote smiles.

....they will see this:

         The guest smiles.

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

To go to the room where some other user is located, type 'join OtherUser'.
There is also a very user-friendly command 'go', which supports many
syntaxes. Here are a few examples:

    - go west down down               |  - go to the balcony
    - go home                         |  - go to Windward's
    - go to my room                   |  - go to Wats's place
    - go into my lab                  |  - go to Eric's office
    - go to Martin's location   (equivalent to: join Martin)

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-]

Q: Where is a list of all the commands available in BioMOO?
There are literally thousands of different possible commands in BioMOO.
Moreover, they are dynamic: the number of commands available at any moment
may vary, as well as the format they will accept.
Therefore, they are not listed anywhere. There is extensive help online:
type 'help topic' to get help on a given topic.
Don't be shy - ask other users, they'll be glad to help!

Q: Sometimes, when I type a command, it gets mixed with output from the
The best solution to this problem is to get a 'client' program.
If you can't, BioMOO provides with a partial solution to this. When you
to speak, type a double-quote (or the word 'say') and press enter
immediately. You are asked to 'enter your statement and hit return'. Until
you do so, no output from the MOO will bother you. (with a 2 minutes
For more information, check 'help output' in the MOO.

Q: Who can I mail questions to?
Send email to: Gustavo at bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il
Last updated Feb 17th, 1997, by Gustavo Glusman

     Gustavo Glusman              Founder/administrator of BioMOO
     Gustavo at bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il    (public PGP key available)
        Visit BioMOO, the biologists' virtual meeting place, at
     ___________ http://bioinfo.weizmann.ac.il/BioMOO ___________

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