Instructions for Making and Using Recording Devices in VRoma

 

 

Print out this page before you connect to the MOO so you can refer to it as you work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Generic Scribe will fill most people's needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember that you must drop the scribe in a room before he can record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Generic Recording System is most useful if you want to record conversations in up to five different rooms.

There are two different objects that will record conversations that take place in VRoma. This page will explain the differences between the two, as well as how to create and use each. Recording devices are very useful objects to have, since when turned on they log all conversations (proceeded by the command say or ") and all actions (proceeded by the command emote or :) that take place in a given room. The logs, which can easily be emailed to your home computer, are saved in ASCII format that can be read on any platform. Thus they provide instant minutes of meetings or records of student activities in the MOO. In order to make a recording device, your MOO character must have builder status; if your character is currently just a player, email vroma@vroma.org to request a promotion.

I. Generic Scribe (#116)

This is the simplest device to make and use and will probably cover most teachers' needs. A scribe is a personal slave who can record conversations in only one room at a time. As long as the activities you want to record will take place in a single room, this device is ideal.

Creation: In the MOO, type @create (all commands must of course be concluded by pressing the Enter key, which sends your command or message to the remote computer). You will be asked what type of object you want to create and given a list of generics. Type 116 (without the number sign), which is the number of the generic scribe. You will then be asked to name your object; you can name him whatever you want, but if you use scriba, attach another identifier (e.g. scriba of Scintilla). You will then be asked to type a description (type a sentence without quotes); you can write your own or type in the standard one: You see a scribe who endeavors to be inconspicuous while writing down everything that is said in the room. You will then be given an object number for your new scribe. Your character will be carrying the scribe, so the first thing you should do is drop it (type the word drop scriba; in all these instructions, substitute the name of your scribe for the word scriba).

To make changes in your description or give your scribe an icon and image, click on Customize rooms and objects in the right-hand toolbar. In the object browser page, click on Edit an object's basic characteristics, select your scribe from one of the object lists, then click Do browse or edit. In the object editor page, it is essential to place a check mark in front of each category where you want to make changes, otherwise your changes won't be saved. To change your description, check the Description box and then revise your description. If you want to lock the scribe into the current room so no one can remove it, place a check next to Object and then click is locked to its current location. To add an icon, check Object's associated icon and then type in the full URL (if you wish, you may use the image I made: http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/neonscribe.jpg). To make this image appear full size when the name of your scribe is clicked, check Object's associated URL or HTML document, click URL, and then type in or paste the image URL. When finished making changes, scroll down and click the button marked Update Characteristics. You will see a message that your changes have been saved; then click Return to Viewer and you will be able to see your new scribe.

Use: To record conversations, the scribe first has to be dropped in the appropriate room; it will not record if it is being carried by a character. Pick up the scribe by typing take scriba; if you have already locked it in a room, you will not be able to take it until you unlock it (type @unlock scriba).). Then drop it in the room where you want to record and lock it into this location either by typing @lock scriba with here or by using the object editor. Then turn the scribe on by typing start scriba. You will be asked to type a label for your log; this can be anything, but I like to include the date for later identification (e.g., assignment2_25). You—and anyone else currently in the room—will be notified that the scribe “snaps to attention and begins recording everything that is said in the room.” If you click Look Again on the toolbar, you will see that (recording) has appeared next to your scribe's name, so anyone who comes into the room will know that the conversation is being recorded.

The scribe will continue to record until you turn it off; no one but a scribe's owner can turn it on or off. When you are ready to stop the log, type stop scriba. You—and the room at large—will be notified that the scribe “ drops his stylus and tablet as he dozes off” and that he has stopped recording. The log will be moved from the scribe to you (i.e., your character will now be carrying it). You will be given instructions on how to mail it to your personal email address (e.g., @mailme assignment2_25). You can also read the log by typing read plus the name of your log. Once the log has arrived safely in your email, it is a good idea to recycle the log (e.g., @recycle assignment2_25) unless you plan to use it directly in the MOO.


II. Generic Recording System (#96)

This is a more complex device to make. However, if you need to record conversations and activities that are going on in several different rooms, this device will be worth the effort and will ultimately be more efficient than making several individual scribes. Basically, this is an adaptation of a control panel that can regulate up to five intercoms/tape recorders in different rooms. We have made up Latin names that sort of cover the concept (moderator scriptorum for the control panel and scriptores for the scribes that this device controls), but of course nothing of the sort was actually available in the ancient world.

Creation: In the MOO, type @create. You will be asked what type of object you want to create and given a list of generics. Type 96 (without the number sign), which is the number of the generic recording device. You will then be asked to name your object; you can name him whatever you want, but if you use our suggested name moderator scriptorum, attach another identifier (e.g. moderator scriptorum of Scintilla); it is also a good idea to give this device a short alias so you will save yourself typing time. You can add an alias during the creation process by typing a comma plus the alias after the name (e.g. moderator scriptorum of Scintilla, ms). You will then be asked to type a description (type a sentence without quotes); you can write your own or type in the one I have written: You see a device that functions as the eyes and ears of Scintilla, substituting your character name for Scintilla. You will then be given an object number for your new scribe, which you should jot down, as you will need it later. Your character will be carrying the moderator, so the first thing you should do is drop it (type the word drop plus the alias you gave to your moderator; e.g., drop ms).

Your moderator comes with an icon; to make changes in this or in your description or to give your moderator a full image, click on Customize rooms and objects in the right-hand toolbar. In the object browser page, click on Edit an object's basic characteristics, select your moderator from one of the object lists, then click Do browse or edit. In the object editor page, it is essential to place a check mark in front of each category where you want to make changes, otherwise your changes won't be saved. To change your description, check the Description box and then revise your description. If you want to lock the moderator into the current room so no one can remove it, place a check next to Object and then click is locked to its current location. To change the icon, check Object's associated icon and then type in the new URL (the icon that comes with the moderator is http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/eye.jpg). To make an image appear full size when the name of your moderator is clicked, check Object's associated URL or HTML document, click URL, and then type in or paste the image URL you want to use (the full-sized image I made to go with the icon is http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/moderator.jpg. When finished making changes, scroll down and click the button marked Update Characteristics. You will see a message that your changes have been saved; then click Return to Viewer and you will be able to see your new moderator.

However, you now have to create the scriptores that this moderator will control. Decide how many you want (the maximum is five; if you make fewer than five now, you can always add more later by following this process). Type @create. You will be asked what type of object you want to create and given a list of generics. Type 97, which is the number of the generic intercom (note that this number will not be in the list of generics that appears on your screen). You will then be asked to name your object; we suggest scriptor 1 or scriptor unus, with the alias s1 (e.g. scriptor 1, s1). You will then be asked to type a description (type a sentence without quotes); you can write your own or type in the standard one: You see a scribe who endeavors to be inconspicuous while writing down everything that is said in the room. You will then be given an object number for your new scriptor, which you should jot down, as you will need it later. Your character will be carrying the scriptor, so the first thing you should do is drop it (type the word drop plus the alias you gave to your scriptor; e.g., drop s1). Repeat this process to make up to five scriptores.

Your scriptor comes with an icon; to make changes in this or in your description or to give your scriptor a full image, click on Customize rooms and objects in the right-hand toolbar. In the object browser page, click on Edit an object's basic characteristics, select your scriptor from one of the object lists, then click Do browse or edit. In the object editor page, it is essential to place a check mark in front of each category where you want to make changes, otherwise your changes won't be saved. To change your description, check the Description box and then revise your description. To change the icon, check Object's associated icon and then type in the new URL (the icon that comes with the moderator is http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/neonscribe.jpg). To make this image appear full size when the name of your scribe is clicked, check Object's associated URL or HTML document, click URL, and then type in or paste the image URL. When finished making changes, scroll down and click the button marked Update Characteristics. You will see a message that your changes have been saved; then click Return to Viewer and you will be able to see your new scriptor. Repeat this process for all your scriptores.

Setup: Before you can use your new recording system, you need to set up the moderator to work with all the scriptores. This is accomplished by typing commands in the input window (please note that these commands have to be typed exactly):

  1. Assign your scriptores to the moderator you have made. To do this, type: @set name-of-panel.recorders to {#XXX, #XXX, #XXX, #XXX, #XXX}; substitute the alias of your moderator for name-of-panel and insert the object numbers of your scriptores where it says #XXX. For example, @set ms.recorders to {#1625, #1626, #1627}.
  2. Then you must assign the object number of your moderator to all your scriptores. When you have found this number, type: @set name-of-intercom.control_panel to #XXX, substitute the alias of each scriptor for name-of-intercom and insert the object number of your moderator where it says #XXX. For example, @set s1.control_panel to #1624.

Now, pick up your scriptores (type take plus the alias of each scriptor). Drop one in each room where you want to record conversations. It is a good idea to lock the scriptores in the rooms in which you intend to use them, as this will prevent people from picking them up and moving them around. This can be done through the object editor, but with several devices it is easier to type in the command @lock name-of-item with here to do this (e.g., @lock s1 with here).

Use: The reason that this recording system is so useful if you are recording in multiple rooms is that you can control everything at once from the room in which the moderator is located. First the moderator must be turned on; when you are in the same room with the moderator, type press 0 on ms (or its shortcut p 0 on ms); substitute your alias for ms if you have given your moderator a different alias. You will be told “You hear the eerie whirring of gorgon wings as the moderator scriptorum springs into action.” Now start as many scriptores as you want by typing press 1 on ms (or its shortcut p 1 on ms). A submenu will appear from which you can start individual scriptores, or you can type all to start all the scriptores connected to the system. Every time you start a scriptor, a log will be created. You will be asked to type a label for each log; this can be anything, but I like to include something that indicates the room of each scriptor, since this helps with later identification (e.g., log1_forum or log2_curia). When all the logs have been named, you will be told “Waking scribe in Forum. Scribe in Forum has awakened. The scribe in Forum snaps to attention and begins to record the conversation on his wax tablet.” You will also see an ASCII diagram showing a list of rooms and which recorders are on or off. The word (recording) will appear next to your scriptor's name, so anyone who comes into the room will know that the conversation is being recorded.

The scriptores will continue to record until you turn them off; no one but their owner can turn them on or off. When you are ready to stop the scriptores, go to the room where the moderator is and type press 2 on ms (or its shortcut p 2 on ms). A submenu will appear from which you can stop individual scriptores, or you can type all to stop all the scriptores connected to the system. All the logs will be moved from the scriptores to you (i.e., your character will now be carrying them). You will be given instructions on how to mail these to your personal email address (e.g., @mailme log1_forum; you will need to type this for each log). You will also see You can also read the logs by typing read plus the name of your log. Once the logs have arrived safely in your email, it is a good idea to recycle theem (e.g., @recycle log1_forum) unless you plan to use them directly in the MOO. Finally, switch off the power on the moderator by typing press 0 on ms (or its shortcut p 0 on ms).

Microphones: This system also enables you to listen to the conversations in one or more rooms by switching on the microphones in those rooms. You control the microphones in the same way as the scriptores, in this case by pressing buttons 3 or 4 on the moderator. We have not “Romanized” the microphones because you are far less likely to use these; listening to simultaneous conversations in more than one room would be very confusing, and broadcasting messages to multiple rooms seems rather bossy and totalitarian.

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Please direct questions about this document to Barbara McManus bmcmanus@cnr.edu.
July 2002