See Copyright and Usage Notice
Installing Worlds Chat
What do I need to get to Worlds Chat?
To visit Worlds Chat, you must have a PC, though it does not have to be a very powerful PC. As shown in the minimum machine table in this chapter, all you need is a 486, 66 MHz PC running Windows 3.1 and a direct connection to the Internet. You canít use Worlds Chat through on-line services like America Online, CompuServe, or Prodigy unless they support direct Internet access through the 32-bit Winsock (the software that Windows uses to communicate with the Internet). For example, you can use Worlds Chat through the Microsoft Network or CompuServe 3.0, as they do provide this service. You may be able to configure your on-line service to run Worlds Chat. 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.
You have to be directly connected to the Internet by a dial-up SLIP or PPP with a 14.4 kbps connection. If you are at work or a place where you have a PC on the Internet full-time (such as a university or college), you can also use Worlds Chat. Connecting from work might require you to check on your firewall restrictions; see the ìFirewalls and Proxiesî section in Appendix D for more information.
Getting started and a few disclaimers
[Jackie, mucho changeitos this section]
Worlds Chat is easy to install and very easy to use. Using the step-by-step guide in this chapter, you will explore a three-dimensional virtual world and experience your first social interactions in digital space. Worlds Chat comes in two versions: Demo and Gold. Demo is free and provides you much of the experience of 3D chat in a virtual world. The Gold version must be purchased on a separate CD-ROM. You can install the Worlds Chat Demo version either from the CD in this book or by downloading it from the Internet. Doing this is easier than you might think, and you will be living the life of an avatar in no time.
A big plus is that the Worlds Chat demo version is free to use (you have to accept the terms of a free license during installation). You are not charged for the time you spend exploring and chatting in Worlds Chat, but you could be charged for the hours you use from your Internet service provider (ISP). Check with your ISP on its monthly free hours and rates.
The version of Worlds Chat you will find on your Avatars! CD is the one described in this chapter. However, Worlds Chat may have evolved since this chapter was written, so when you log on, you may be asked to upgrade to a new version. If you download an upgrade from the Internet, or a whole new version of Worlds Chat, it may look somewhat different from what I have described. To download an upgrade, or a completely new version of Worlds Chat from the Internet, follow the instructions in the section, ìInstalling or upgrading Worlds Chat from the Internet.î
Worlds Chat may be changing homes
At the time this chapter was finished, Worlds Inc. informed us they may be finding a new company to host both Worlds Chat and Active Worlds (including AlphaWorld). They assured us that both Worlds Chat and Active Worlds would continue to be on-line and they expected the new homes to continue developing them. By the time you have this book, both Worlds Chat and Active Worlds may already be moved. Please see Worlds Inc. home page at http://www.worlds.net or your Avatars book home page at http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars for news on both Worlds Chat and Active Worlds.
[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 Worlds Chat, consult the FAQ at the end of the chapter. If this does not help you, check the Worlds Inc. home page at http://www.worlds.net, and its special Frequently Asked Questions page at http://www.worlds.net/support/wcg-faqs.html, for help on common problems. Worlds also maintains a forum for technical issues and pointers to newsgroups at http://www.worlds.net/support/wcg-forum.html. To contact the Worlds Inc. Worlds Chat team directly with your suggestions, bug reports, or comments, fill out the feedback form at http://www.worlds.net/feedback.html.
Another good source for information on how to use Worlds Chat is the on-line Help file. Just press F1 while using Worlds Chat and use the table of contents or index to find the topic you are looking for.
Worlds Inc. and I appreciate your feedback on Avatars!, but we donít have the resources to provide technical support. We would be happy to hear about your experiences with Worlds Chat. Contact us through the Avatars! book Web site at http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars.
Macintosh, UNIX, and OS/2 versions, and running under Windows NT
At this writing, there are no native versions of Worlds Chat for the Macintosh, UNIX, or OS/2 platforms. Check the Worlds Inc. and Avatars! book Web pages for updates on new versions which might support these platforms. You also may be able to run Worlds Chat using a Windows emulation system on non-Windows platforms. Worlds Chat may run under Windows NT, but Worlds reports that you may also experience problems. Check the Worlds Inc. Web site for assistance with operation under Windows NT.
Bear with me through the following step-by-step instructions, and soon you will be experiencing life as an avatar in digital space!
Do you have a previous version of Worlds Chat installed?
If you have previously installed Worlds Chat, it may be wise to delete it before installing the version from the CD. Our version is demo version 1.1b If your version of Worlds Chat is more recent, or you have the registered user gold version, you may want to stick with it. The installation program will probably give you the option of de-installing your old Worlds Chat, but there are ways you can do this yourself in advance.
In Windows 95, here is how to remove a program: open the control panel, double-click on the Add/Remove Programs icon, scroll down to Worlds Chat, highlight it, and click on the Add/Remove button to delete it from the system. You can also delete the Worlds Chat folder (usually C:\worlds\chatdemo or c:\worlds\chat). If you are running Windows 3.1, deleting the folder might be your best option.
Installing Worlds Chat from the Avatars! CD
If you have a CD-ROM drive on your PC, you can install the Worlds Chat 1.0 demo version directly from there. If you donít have a CD-ROM drive, skip to the section, ìInstalling or upgrading Worlds Chat from the Internet.î In Chapter 20 we provide a step by step example of installing from the CD-ROM. I suggest you refer to this chapter and follow the same steps for WorldsAway. Once the installation program on your CD-ROM has started, you can return to this chapter to the section: ìRunning the Installation.î
[The installation guide could be a full page sidebar, screened, with little installation man icon, hard-hat and toolbox:]
Installing or upgrading Worlds Chat from the Internet
[Note: this section is the most detailed coverage of the downloading process, complete with screen images and a detailed step by step.. this should be created as a distinct section in the book or referenced by other chapters where downloading is described. I have added this reference to Chapter Tour]
If you want the very latest version of Worlds Chat, or were informed that you had to upgrade the version found on your Avatars! CD, then you must download it 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 or Internet Explorer.
- At the top of the browser window, you will see a long area called Location, where you can enter text.
- Click in this area, delete the text inside, type in http://www.worlds.net, and press Enter.
- After a few moments, the home page for Worlds Inc. should appear. If nothing comes up for a long time, check to see that you are online.
- If the Worlds Inc. 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 Worlds Inc. and Worlds Chat.
Figure 5.2: wc01.gif
Step 1: Find and click on the link to download the Worlds Chat demo software.
- Once you are at the Worlds Inc. home page, follow the instructions for downloading or upgrading Worlds Chat. At one point, you will click on a link and be prompted for a place to save a file. Note that if you are not in the United States, you may want to select a location closer to you from which to download. The shorter the distance those Internet packets have to travel, the faster you will receive the file. The previous figure shows some other mirror locations available for downloading.
Figure 5.3: wc000.gif
Step 2: Ask your browser to save the file.
- Some seconds after clicking on the link, you will be presented with a dialogue box similar to the one in the previous figure; click Save File (Netscape) or Save As (Microsoft Internet Explorer) to download the file to disk (or you can save it on your desktop if you are running Windows 95). This is the file that you must download.
Figure 5.4: wc00.gif
Step 3: Choose a folder in which to store the downloaded file.
Donít forget where you put it!
- You will be prompted next to choose a folder in which to save the downloaded file. Note where you chose to save the file and the name of the file itself (in this example, wcd01.exe). You can use the folder that your Web browser suggests, or move back up and select another. I put all downloaded files in a folder which I call C:\download.
Figure 5.5: wc1.gif
Step 4: Wait while the download is in progress
please be patient!
- Wait patiently; this download is large, 5MB or more, and may take between 40 minutes and well over an hour, depending on the speed of your connection. You can do other work, but be careful not to interfere with the connection. Try not to do more work on the Internet while the download is progressing, and if you are using your regular telephone line for your modem, donít try to make a telephone call. You may want to turn off your call waiting feature. If someone calls in, this could interrupt your download. You can be more confident of doing work at the same time as the download is progressing if you are running Windows 95 (it has a wonderful feature called multitasking, which means you can safely do more than one thing on the computer at once).
Figure 5.6: wc03.gif
Step 5: Find the file you downloaded.
- After the download is finished, you must open the folder in which the file is located, and double-click on the file to start the installation. To do this:
- Open the My Computer icon on your desktop.
- Open the MS-DOS C: icon representing your hard disk.
- Open the folder where you saved the file (in C:\download, as shown in the preceding figure).
Go to the section, ìRunning the Installation.î
Running the Installation
Whether you are running the installation from the CD using your Web browser, from the CD file you directly copied, or from the file you downloaded from the Internet, use this section to guide you through the installation. Note that if you downloaded Worlds Chat from the Internet, the installation process may have changed. If this has happened, refer to instructions on the Worlds Inc. Web site.
- After the software has been downloaded, close your browser, and go to the directory (or desktop) location where you saved the file. Double-click on that file (it may be named wcd11.exe, if it came from your book CD), to launch the WinZip self-extractor application (see the following figure).
Figure 5.7: wc05.gif
Step 1: Unzip the file with the WinZip self-extractor.
- Make sure the settings, Overwrite files without prompting, and When done unzipping run: wcdemo\setup, are checked. Also note the Unzip to directory path, as you will have to clean up files there later. I recommend that you set the Unzip to directory path to a temporary directory like C:\temp or C:\install. I copy any programs I download from C:\download to my C:\temp directory before installing them. This keeps the downloaded programs in C:\download separate from all of the temporary files created in C:\temp when I install. After successfully installing, I delete all of the files in C:\temp. This may seem like a lot of steps. PCs are like cars before 1910; you just had to be your own mechanic to own one.
- It is a good idea to close other programs before you continue with the installation. In Windows 95, you can do this by clicking on the running application icons on the task bar, and then closing them. In Windows 95 and Windows 3.1, you can use Alt+Tab to access other running applications, even when the installer is waiting for your input, and you cannot see the task bar. Simply hold down Alt while pressing Tab and select the icon representing your running application. You can leave your Internet connection running. When you are ready, press the Unzip button.
Figure 5.8: wc08.gif
Step 2: Run the Worlds Chat installation program.
- In 20 to 30 seconds, the files will be unzipped. Click OK and wait another 10 seconds or so for the Worlds Chat installation program to run. You will be presented with a license agreement; click Accept, and you will be presented with the installation options dialogue (see previous figure). I recommend that you select Express Setup. If you already have Worlds Chat installed, choose Deinstall current installation. In this case, your old version will be removed and you will have to restart the installation procedure.
Figure 5.9: wc09.gif
Step 3: A warning about your monitor??? display mode.
- If you are running your monitor with more (or less) than the 256 colors shown, the Worlds Chat installation program will warn you (as shown in the preceding figure). You can still go ahead and install Worlds Chat. It will run in more than 256 colors, but some things may not show up well. For optimum performance, you should set your screen to 256 colors. Also, the Worlds Chat window is optimized to run on a VGA (640 by 480) resolution. It runs just fine on screens of up to 1,280 by 1,024, but the window will look a little bit small. When I demonstrate Worlds Chat to larger audiences, I do it at VGA resolution. Please see, ìChanging your screen colors or resolutionî in Appendix D for more information on changing screen colors or resolution.
Figure 5.10: wc010.gif
Step 4: The installer asks to verify the location.
- The installer setup program will run install Worlds Chat and prompt you for the default folder. As the preceding figure shows, that default is C:\worlds\chatdemo. I recommend that you use the default folder (directory path) you are given.
Figure 5.11: wc011.gif
Step 5: Worlds Chat is installing.
Figure 5.12: wc012.gif
Step 6: Confirm that the install is complete.
- The two preceding figures illustrate what you should see as Worlds Chat installs and completes a successful installation. This step should take only a minute or two. You may be prompted to install a WinG graphics driver. I recommend installing it. WinG is a special graphics system for Windows 3.1. Installing it should not cause problems.
Figure 5.13: wc013.gif
Step 7: Create a shortcut to Worlds Chat from the Start menu (arrow) programs.
- After the installation is complete, you should see a window similar to the one in the preceding figure. With your right mouse button held down, drag and drop the Worlds Chat 1.1 Demo shortcut onto your Windows 95 desktop and select, Create Shortcut(s) Here. If you do not want to put a shortcut on your Windows 95 desktop, you can find Worlds Chat in your Start (arrow) Programs( arrow) Worlds folder through your Start menu. You can close program manager. In Windows 3.1, you should see a program group called Worlds, which should contain an icon called Worlds Chat 1.1 Demo.
- You will have to reboot your computer to start Worlds Chat. If you were prompted to change your screen colors to 256, do this now before rebooting. To reboot in Windows 95, click on the Start button, select Shut down, and then Restart the Computer. In Windows 3.1, exit Windows (if you can), and then turn the computer off and back on again, or press the reset button.
- After the computer restarts, I recommend that you do the following clean up of files before you start getting absorbed in Worlds Chat. After this, you will be ready to get started.
Clean up after installation
If you copied the Worlds Chat installation file onto your desktop, into a folder, or downloaded it from the Internet, you can delete it after the installation is complete. It should have a name like wcd11.exe. You can keep the original installer around just in case you have to reinstall it. Of course, you will have the CD with the original installers there, so you do not need to take up valuable hard disk space (5MB just for the Worlds Chat installer).
You will also have to delete the files you unzipped into your Unzip to directory (see Step 1 in, ìRunning the Installation,î in the previous section). You can find the directory (which might have been called C:\install or C:\temp) by opening My Computer and the MS-DOS C: hard disk. Find the folder named wcdemo and delete this folder and all of its contents. After the installation is complete, you do not need to keep these files.
The readme files
There will be files called readme.txt or Worlds Chat 1.1 Demo Release Notes placed in your Start Menu folder or Program Group folder. If you open these files, you will find general information about this release of Worlds Chat.