See Copyright and Usage Notice

Black Sun Passport Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How do I move quickly to Viewpoints?

A: Right-click on the VRML world, click on Viewpoints, and select the desired view.

Q: How do I pick a nickname?

A: Click Options È Multi-User and fill in the Nickname field. Or, you can fill out your nickname information from the Cards button. To make this show up right away, hit the Reload button on your browser.

Q: How do I fill out my business and personal cards?

A: Click Cards, select your own card, and click Edit.

Q: How come sometimes I can't beam to people?

A: To beam to an avatar, you have to wait until the target avatar has completely loaded before you can beam to it.

Q: How do I choose a new avatar?

A: You can choose a new avatar at any time while using the Passport client. Click on the Me tool in the main controls panel on the left side of the window: your current avatar will be loaded in the left side of the word frame, and an avatar gallery will be loaded in the right side of the work frame. You may then choose a new avatar from the gallery.

For your new avatar to be seen by others, you will have to either reload the world, or leave to a new scene and re-enter.

You may also enter the URL of any other VRML 1.0 compliant file for your avatar. Remember, keep within the bounds of good neighborliness and good taste. Further information on choosing and using avatars, and all aspects of using the Passport client, can be found in the continuously updated on-line Passport client help files accessed through the Black Sun Web site at:

Q: Can I build and use my own customized avatar?

A: Passport client allows the use of custom-built private avatars. To use one you'll have to do the following:

  1. Build your avatar (it must be in syntactically correct VRML version 1.0). Keep total file size (including inline images and texture maps) less than 48K, and use gzip (a compression method) if possible. Use Orientation to define frontward. Put the avatar's origin point (0,0,0) inside its "head" (i.e. where you want others to "look you in the eye").

  1. Put your avatar up at a Web site where it can be accessed by Web browser. Make sure the mime type x-world/x-vrml for file extension .wrl is set correctly in the configuration file of the Web browser you use. If you use gzip compression, the content encoding option must be enabled for compression type gzip and file extension .wrl.gz in the configuration of the Web browser as well.

  1. Enter the URL of your avatar in Options È Preferences È General È Own avatar.

To find out more about tools that allow you to create VRML files, check the VRML Repository at:

Q: How can I use CoolTalk with Passport client?

A: Passport client can be used together with CoolTalk in a one-on-one chat session. There both chat partners must have CoolTalk installed and properly configured.

This version of Passport client can be used either with Sound or Voice. Both options are currently supported simultaneously. You must enable Voice in the Passport client Options panel to force a CoolTalk session once a one-on-one chat is set up. In this case, Passport client's sound capabilities are disabled automatically. In turn, enabling Sound disables Voice, and consequently the automatic start-up of CoolTalk.

You can have only one CoolTalk session with a one-on-one chat partner. Using the Chat button in the People panel only invokes a text chat session. Using the Speak button invokes a text chat session and, additionally, tries to start a CoolTalk session with a chat partner. An active CoolTalk session may be shut down if you start another one-on-one chat or perform a CyberCard exchange with another user.

If you have CoolTalk connection problems using the Passport client, you should increase the Default Response Time from 20 seconds to a higher value.

Q: How come sometimes I can't move when I enter the Plaza World?

A: You are probably colliding with other users. Select one of the viewpoints by right-clicking on the VRML world, click on Viewpoints, and select any view to move away from others.

Q: Why do I get a Connection Broken message whenever I try to follow a URL?

A: CyberGate expects the 32-bit TCP/IP software to be loaded when it tries to connect to the Internet. Some Internet dialers actually start the connection with the 16-bit TCP/IP software. Please use the built-in Windows 95 dialer whenever possible.

Q: Does Passport client work with Web browsers other than Netscape 3.01?

A: The Passport client was designed to be as platform-independent as possible. Any Web browser which supports Java, and has VRML rendering and navigation tools, should support Passport client.

Passport client, has been tested successfully in Netscape Navigator 3.0 with both Netscape's Live3D plug-in and Silicon Graphics' Cosmo Player plug-in.

To provide compatibility across a wide variety of platforms, Black Sun Interactive works closely with all the leading Web browser developers, VRML rendering/navigation engines, and other related software and hardware. Keep checking the Black Sun Web site for the latest information in platform compatibility.

Q: How come there is never anyone else in the worlds when I am there?

A: Most likely, it is because you are behind a firewall. If this is not the case, and you still can not see other avatars, please let inform Black Sun.

CyberGate and Passport use UDP as a network protocol for multi-user interaction, but many firewalls do not allow UDP packets to go through. The system administrator of your firewall machine may be able to open access for you.

Q: Can I build my own world and turn it into a multi-user environment?

A: To turn your own VRML files into interactive, multi-user environments, you only need to modify the template files provided by Black Sun to point to the HTTP server and Black Sun Interactive Passport server which will be presenting your world on the Web. Full information on enabling your worlds for multi-user interaction can be found in the Requirements for Multi-User VRML Worlds section on the Black Sun Web site at:

© Copyright Bruce Damer, 1997, All rights reserved.