See Copyright and Usage Notice
How The Palace (Net) Works
The Palace is really a large network of Palace sites running on individual computers, local area networks, and on the Internet. The Palace is known as a client/server system. This means that your experience in the world is maintained by two cooperating pieces of software known as the client and the server. The client runs on your machine, and the server runs on a remote machine. The client is the interface window onto Palace worlds. Servers run behind each world and help coordinate the people in the world, and what they see on their clients. The Palace client software you run can communicate with any Palace server. This allows you to wander through hundreds of different worlds by pointing your client at new servers.
The Palace is completely cross-platform, which means that it can be used by both Windows and Macintosh users. On Macintosh computers, The Palace software can run on a local AppleTalk network, or it can access the Internet using MacTCP or Open Transport. Windows users can run The Palace software on either a TCP-based LAN or on the Internet via a SLIP or PPP connection. Palace servers running on Local Area Networks, which are hooked to the Internet, allow interaction between people on the LAN and folks coming in via the Net.
Installing The Palace Client
What do I need to use The Palace?
You can run The Palace on either a Macintosh or a Windows PC. You will need about 5MB of free hard disk space for storing the executable files, data files, sounds, and pictures for the original The Palace Mansion Site. If you plan on traveling to other Palace sites, you'll need additional hard disk space to store the art that these servers use. This new art will be downloaded from Internet and stored on your hard disk.
To run The Palace, you will need a color Macintosh with at least 2MB of free memory. The Palace requires Macintosh System 7.0 or later. The Palace will (someday) work on a 12-inch monitor, but currently works best on a 13-inch monitor or larger.
To run The Palace, you will need a 386 PC or better with at least 4MB of RAM, running Windows 3.1 or above. You also need a 256-color display. The higher the resolution on your monitor the better; a minimum of 800 by 600 pixels is recommended, but not required.
Software and connection requirements
The Palace client software is all you need. It is called Palace on the Macintosh and palace.exe on PCs. This client program is specially designed to communicate with The Palace server program (typically running on someone else's machine, but possibly on your own). There are a number of different ways to get connected to a Palace:
- To use The Palace client on a LAN, you don't need any additional software.
- To use The Palace client on the Internet, you need a Winsock stack. (Short for Windows Sockets, Winsock is a standard interface for Microsoft Windows applications and the Internet.)
- To use The Palace client with a modem over the Internet, you'll need a SLIP or PPP connection at 14.4 kbps.
In general, if you can use Netscape, you should be able to use The Palace. You canít use The Palace through Windows-based, on-line services like America Online, CompuServe, MSN, or Prodigy unless they support direct Internet access through the 32-bit Winsock. Winsocks allow communication between Windows Web browsers, e-mail clients, IRC clients, or any other Windows Winsock applications and the TCP/IP. See, ìSetting up your on-line service to connect directly with the Internet,î in Appendix D. If you have further problems, contact your on-line service for help.
Getting started and a few disclaimers
The Palace is easy to install, and as a version guest user, it is free to use (you have to accept the terms of the free license during installation). You are not charged for the time you spend talking in The Palace, but you could be charged for the hours you are online from your Internet service provider (ISP). Check with your ISP on monthly free hours and rates. If you become a registered user, for a fixed yearly fee, you have access to many more features. To learn how to become a registered user, see the section, ìHow do I Become a Registered User of The Palace?î in the FAQ at the end of this chapter.
More About the Companion CD Software
The Palace is constantly evolving, and may have changed since this chapter was written. We placed the very latest version of the Palace on your book CD and it may have some differences from what is described here. These differences will not be major, and this chapter will still be a great guide to the Palace and its worlds. If you see new features or changes, you should check for information under the Help menu in the Palace. When you have installed the Palace and first log on you may be asked to upgrade to a new version. You can download an upgrade, or a completely new version of the Palace from the Internet by following the instructions under, "Installing or upgrading The Palace from the Internet," later in this chapter.
[begin Sidebar with help icon:]
Keep up to date on your favorite worlds; Visit your Avatars! book Web site often
As a special service for readers of Avatars! I have a special home page on the World Wide Web devoted to keeping you up-to-date on your favorite worlds. Find news about software updates, social events held within these virtual worlds, and brand new worlds you might want to try at http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars. Bookmark it!
If you have questions or problems
If you have questions or problems installing or running The Palace, consult the FAQ at the end of this chapter. If this does not help you, check the excellent Palace home page at http://www.thepalace.com, especially the Tech Talk pages at http://newbie.thepalace.com/D000.html which hosts discussion groups, on-line manuals, related sites, and tech support pages.
I appreciate your feedback on Avatars! but I donít have the resources to provide technical support. I would be happy to hear about your experiences in The Palace. Contact me through the Avatars! book Web site at http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars.
UNIX and OS/2 versions
At this writing, there are no versions of The Palace client program for the UNIX or OS/2. Check The Palace and the Avatars! book Web pages for updates on new versions which might support these platforms. You also may be able to run The Palace client using a Windows emulation system on non-Windows machines. Note that if you are considering hosting a Palace world, the server software runs on a wide range of UNIX systems (as well as PCs and Macintoshes).
Installing The Palace from your Avatars! CD
If you have a CD-ROM drive on your Macintosh or PC, you can install The Palace directly from the book CD-ROM. If you donít have a CD-ROM drive, skip right to the section ìInstalling or upgrading The Palace from the Internet.î In Chapter 20, I provide a step-by-step example of installing from the CD-ROM. I suggest you refer to Chapter 20 and follow the same steps for The Palace. Once the installation program on your CD-ROM has started, you can return to this chapter to the section, ìRunning the Installation.î
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Installing or upgrading The Palace from the Internet
If you want the very latest version of The Palace, or were informed that you had to upgrade the version found on your Avatars! CD, then you must download files from the Internet. If you havenít done this before, donít panic; it is easier than you might think!
- Connect to the Internet (dial up with your modem or make sure your Internet connection is active).
- Start your Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- In the top of the browser, you will see a long area called Location, where you can enter text.
- Click in this area, delete the text inside, type http://www.thepalace.com, and press Enter.
- After a few moments, the home page for The Palace should appear. If nothing comes up for a long time, check to see that you are online.
- If The Palace page is not available for some reason, try entering the location for the Avatars! home page, which is http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars. This page may contain more up-to-date links for The Palace.
- Once you are at The Palace home page, follow the instructions for downloading or upgrading The Palace virtual world chat software for the PC or Macintosh. At one point, you will click on a link and be prompted for a place to save a file. In response to the dialogue box, click Save to Disk (Netscape) or Save As (Internet Explorer), and save the file to a folder or a place on your desktop. You must choose a folder where you will remember to find the new file, and note the name of the file. You can use the folder that your Web browser gives you or move back up and select another. I put all downloaded files in a folder I call C:\download on the PC, and Download on the Mac. Wait patiently while the download progresses (about 3.5MB). You can do work in other applications, but be careful not to interfere with the connection. Try not to do more on-line work (such as Web surfing) on the Internet while the download is progressing, and if you are using your regular telephone line for the modem, donít try to make a telephone call.
- After the download is finished (about 40 minutes for a 28.8 kbps connection, and about 80 minutes for a 14.4 kbps connection), open the folder into which the file was downloaded and double-click on it to start the installation. Go to the section, ìRunning the Installation.î
Running the Installation
Whether you are running the installation from the CD-ROM, or from the file you downloaded from the Internet, use this section to guide you through the installation. Note that if you downloaded The Palace from the Internet, the installation process may have changed. If this has happened, refer to instructions on The Palace Web site.
- The installer setup program will run and prompt you at each step. First, read and accept the license agreement terms.
- Next, you will be prompted for the folder into which The Palace will be installed. The default folder on a PC is C:\palace, and on a Mac, Palace. You can change this or accept the default (recommended).
- Next, you will be prompted to install the Palace client and server (both are checkmarked On by default in the PC version). If you do not plan to host your own Palace area, I recommend installing only The Palace client, and checking Off the server. On the Mac, choose the Easy Install option to just install the client. Note that you can reinstall the server later, if you like.
- The installation should complete successfully if you have enough disk space (you need about 5MB free). You may be prompted to view the readme file, which is a good idea. This file contains notes about the latest Palace software.
Files created by the installation
It will be useful later to know the names of files created for The Palace client software. On the Mac, a folder called Palace will be created, and contain the following files:
- Palaceñan executable file: The Palace client software
- Palace.prpña binary file containing prop data used by The Palace client
- Cyborg.iptña text file containing a cyborg script
- Mansion scriptña text file containing the script for The Palace Mansion
- Picturesña folder containing the artwork for The Palace Mansion
- Soundsña folder containing the sounds for The Palace Mansion
- Plug-insña folder for storing Palace-aware, add-on applications
On the PC, a subdirectory called \palace will be created, and contain the following files:
- palace.exeñan executable file: The Palace client software
- palace.prpña binary file containing prop data used by the Palace Client
- cyborg.iptña text file containing your Cyborg Script
- Picturesña subdirectory containing the artwork for the Palace Mansion
- Soundsña subdirectory containing the sounds for the Palace Mansion
Clean up after installation
If you downloaded The Palace installation file from the Internet, you can delete it after the installation is complete. Do not delete the palace.exe by mistake, as this is your running version of The Palace client software. (On the other hand, I often keep the original installer around just in case I have to reinstall it.) Of course, you also have your CD with the original installers, so you do not need to take up valuable hard disk space with them.
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Finding the installed software
The installation program should have created a Palace entry on your Start menu (on Windows 95), or a program group (on Windows 3.1), or its own folder (on the Mac). The Palace should be easy to find.