See Copyright and Usage Notice

Virtual Places Frequently Asked Questions


What type of computer do I need?

Virtual Places runs on both PCs and Macs. These are the recommended configurations.

PC Version

MAC Version

How long does it take to download the client?

The Win95 client takes 8 minutes to download with a 28.8k modem. The Macintosh client takes 10 minutes to download with a 28.8k modem.

What do I need to run VPJava?

Java and Java Script enabled Web browser running on PC, MAC or UNIX.Supports:

Can I launch the Java Client from within Virtual Places?

No, the clients should be used separately to avoid conflict.

What type of Internet account/access do I need?

SLIP/PPP, or a dedicated line. Anything that gives you your own IP address and an IP connection to the Internet.

What web browsers can I use?

Netscape Navigator version 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0. You should not use Virtual Places with any beta versions of Netscape or Explorer as

the program is optimized for final release versions.

What browser does VP use as the default browser?

If you have Microsoft Internet Explorer installed on you computer, Virtual Places will use it as the browser, even if it is not your default browser. If you don't have Microsoft Internet Explorer, Virtual Places will use Netscape.

Why does Virtual Places close any open Netscape windows when I launch it?

If Virtual Places uses Netscape as its browser on your system, it will close any open Netscape windows when you launch it. This is to minimize conflicts which can occur between the programs. If you have Microsoft Internet Explorer installed on your computer, Virtual Places will automatically use it as its browser and will not conflict with any open browser windows.


Does my version of Virtual Places run on multiple communities?

You can use your version of Virtual Places on any community that supports it. To change communities do the following:

1.From the Tools menu, choose Community Servers. The Community Servers dialog box appears.

2.In the Community Name field, enter the name of the community.

3.In the Server Address field, enter the address of the server.

4.Click Add. The community is added to list of communities.

5.From the list of communities, choose the community.

6.Click Connect.You are connected to the community.

Once you connect to another community, you are prompted to sign on. Also, the help you access while connected to new community will be that community's help.

Will I be able to use the Virtual Places Client from behind a firewall?

If you are behind a corporate firewall and have been unable to connect to the Virtual Places community server, contact your firewall/system administrator. Ask him/her to ensure that Virtual Places's well known port (1533) is open for outgoing TCP/IP. Java clients should make sure that the VPJava port (1345) is open for outgoing TCP/IP. Virtual Places provides the same level of security as your web browser.

Can I connect to the community via a proxy server?

Currently, it is inadvisable to connect to a Virtual Places community via a proxy server. Developments are underway to make this a viable connection alternative.

Why am I sometimes notified that I am already signed on to a community when I sign on?

This occurs after you have already signed on to the community and are signed off in a way other than exiting the program (i.e. power failure, operating system termination, etc.). If you sign on to the community quickly after being terminated in this way, the community server does not have enough time to register your exit. If this occurs, wait a few minutes and sign on again.

How and Where

Where can I get documentation?

A collection of documentation about Virtual Places including on-line help and release notes is available via the Help menu in Virtual Places.

Where can I find support for Virtual Places?

ZDNet provides support in the ZDNet Chat Forum.

How can I find out where others are chatting?

Use the Places To Chat button to access the Places Directory. In the Places Directory you see where people are and how many people are in each place. To go to a place, just click the place name.

How can I prepare a personal avatar?

Virtual Places comes with a gallery of avatars, but you can also create your own, custom avatars. Prepare a graphic (48X64 pixel GIF) using an appropriate graphics package and/or scanner. (One shareware graphics package is the shareware version of LVIEW by the Independent JPEG group.) Using the file tools under your window system, move or copy the graphic you prepared to your personal avatar gallery. (You can find the directory containing your personal avatar gallery on your system by opening the Virtual Places Preferences dialog box.) The new graphic will be displayed with other personal avatars in the gallery.

How can I add avatars with moods to Virtual Places?

Virtual Places has supplied a gallery of avatars, each with four "moods" which is installed in the location defined in the Preferences dialog box. When properly "installed" the new graphic will be displayed in its normal mood with other avatars in the gallery. When you change your avatar to the new graphic, the four moods will be available from the shortcut menu on your avatar.

You can add avatar graphics to the Virtual Places Stock Avatar Gallery as follows:

1.Prepare four graphics (each a 48X64 pixel GIF) using an appropriate graphics package and/or scanner.

2.Save the four graphics by the same name, appending an a (normal), b (happy), c (angry), or d (sad) to each. For example, if your name were Jane, you could name the four moods of your avatar as follows:

3.Determine which directory contains Avatar Gallery on your system, by looking in the Directories tab of the Preferences dialog box.

4.Using the file tools under your window system, move or copy the graphics you prepared to the Stock Avatar Gallery.

Where can I find more gestures?

There are a number of independent Web sites that provide gestures that you can add to Virtual Places. You can find them by using a Web search engine

Can I find out if someone is logged on to the community?

Click the Locate button under the People List or select Locate from the Tools menu. In the Locate dialog box, enter the person's name. A window with their location appears. You can send them a message, join them, or review their identity.

Can I stop certain people from contacting me?

Right click the person's avatar and select Ignore from the menu. All of their chat, instant messages, and their avatar will be ignored without anyone else being notified that you are ignoring that person.

Can I save a conversation so that I can read it again later?

Choose Save As from the File menu to save the text of a conversation as a text file.

When private rooms are created, how long are they there?

They exist as long as someone is present in the room. Once everyone leaves the room, it disappears.

© Copyright Bruce Damer, 1997, All rights reserved.