From email@example.com Sat Jun 22 11:48:58 1996 Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 08:01:59 -0400 From: Bob Rankin
Reply-To: TOURBUS-REQUEST@LISTSERV.AOL.COM To: Multiple recipients of list TOURBUS Subject: TOURBUS - 20 June 1996 - Virtual Reality Hi All, Patrick asked me to forward this... -Bob /~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~~~/~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~~/~~~|~\ | "Why | Surf When / You Can | Ride The | Bus?" / | \ |__________|__________/__________|__________|_________/ | \ / /______|----\ / Looking for some good, clean chat on the internet? |//////| | | WorldVillage Chat always has friendly folks, great |//////| | | conversation, and special games six nights a week! |//////| | | http://www.worldvillage.com/wv/chat/html/chat.htm |//////| | | |//////| | ~~~/~~~\~~/~~~\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/~~~\~~~~ \___/ \___/ T h e I n t e r n e t T o u r B u s \___/ TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP : Virtual Reality Stuff TODAY'S TOURBUS ADDRESS : Lots! If you are subscribed to either the advanced HTML list (ADV-HTML) or the Roadmap96 beta test list (MAPBETA), you will have already heard about the absolute nightmare experience I have had this week upgrading my Apple Macintosh Powerbook from System 7.5.2 to System 7.5.3. Just when I thought that I had fixed my problems, my computer once again crashed. :( So, I decided to head home to my parent's house in Decatur, Alabama ("soon to be the world's cleanest city"), so that I could use their computer to send out today's TOURBUS ... better late than never. Actually, I am proud to announce that besides commandeering my parent's computer, I have also convinced my dad to guest write today's TOURBUS post. So, without further ado, here is my daddy: ----- "Hey, that's almost real!" Virtual reality (VR). Long the expensive toy of rich corporate R&D departments and aspiring artists who forked over the rent money for technology that didn't quite work, VR has managed to sneak up on us. It's here. Well, almost. No, we're not talking about inserting a network connection directly into your brain, or even buying the latest VR body suit at the price of a small car. If you're willing to look through a window into the virtual world, you can do it today. The window is the monitor on your computer, and the virtual world is any of literally hundreds of virtual worlds that have sprung up thanks to Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). These are 3-dimensional (3D) worlds that you can move through. Where you can bump into walls and not fall through floors. Where objects move and you can click on an object to visit another world. And where you can have an avatar (a 3D character that others can see that represents you, but thinner and better looking) that interacts with other avatars and with objects in the world. You can push buttons and open doors and hear music (that gets louder as you "walk" toward the instrument that's playing). You can get part of this capability on your desk today, and before the year is out, you'll get the rest. Here's the scorecard. Walking through worlds: here today. Walls that you can't walk through: today. Moving objects: here today, but going to move far more interestingly tomorrow. Avatars: here today (on a couple of experimental sites). Objects that react when you approach or touch them: today in a couple of applications. Sound: probably next month. OK, where do you get it? Well, virtually (yuk, yuk) all the VRML browsers use Netscape or Internet Explorer to display the world and to handle the messy details like networking. Some of them are plug-ins and some are helpers, but you don't care about that. So the first place to look is on the sites for Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer: http://home.netscape.com/comprod/products/navigator/live3d/index.html and http://www.microsoft.com/ie/addons/vrml.htm That probably takes care of the majority of the Tourbus riders who have graphical web browsers. If you prefer another browser, don't panic. We'll have a place for you to look in a minute. The two plug-ins (Live3D and VRML Add-In for Internet Explorer) will get you up and running. Even though they're free, we Tourbus tourguides make a practice of *never* recommending specific products, except of course... *----------------* Unlock the Secret of Your Dreams *-----------------* This deluxe 5 lesson course delivered via the Web will empower you to interpret your dreams on your own and in electronic discussion groups. Dr. Jayne Gackenbach, a leader and highly sought speaker in the field of dream research is your instructor in the next course, starting July 8th! This $129 course is being offered at a low introductory price of $39 (US) or $49 (Canadian). Register today - space is limited. *------------------( http://www.outreach.org/dreams )------------------* Where were we? Oh, yeah. We aren't endorsing either product; we just know that they'll basically work. You may decide to stay with them, or you may want to go to: http://www.sdsc.edu/SDSC/Partners/vrml/software/browsers.html the immense list of VRML browsers kept at the VRML repository at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). OK, we've found the browser, waited for hours while it downloads, puzzled our way through the installation instructions, and finally we're ready to use it. Let's find some virtual worlds. I have a little list of my own at: http://hiwaay.net/~crispen/vrml/worlds.html SDSC has an even larger list at: http://www.sdsc.edu/SDSC/Partners/vrml/examples.html and while hiwaay, my Internet Service Provider, has some pretty good hardware, they don't have a building full of supercomputers. So try SDSC first. If that isn't enough URLs for you, try my three favorite worlds on the web: http://pentium.intel.com/procs/ppro/intro/vrml/nav.wrz -- the Intel Pentium Pro site in VRML. I don't care if your heart beats to the Motorola company theme song, this is a great looking site. http://hiwaay.net/~cbullard/ -- you need Live3D for this one, but Len Bullard's tribute to Kate Bush in VRML is one of the most innovative uses of VRML I've seen. http://www.eye.com/event/hammer.wrl.gz -- what can I say? It's a hammer. Just a hammer. But it's gorgeous. *--------------------------* ONLINE COURSES *-----------------------* Do you want to keep your job AND take courses? Univ. of Wisconsin- Stout provides facilitated & self-paced courses online. For info visit "http://major.uwstout.edu" or e-mail "firstname.lastname@example.org". *---------------------------------------------------------------------* ====================================================================== SUBSCRIBE : Send SUBSCRIBE TOURBUS Firstname Lastname to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM unSUBSCRIBE: Send SIGNOFF TOURBUS to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM Web Site : http://www.worldvillage.com/tourbus.htm Advertising: E-mail BobRankin@MHV.net w/ Subject: SEND TBRATES ====================================================================== TOURBUS - (c) Copyright 1996, Patrick Crispen and Bob Rankin All rights reserved. Redistribution is allowed only with permission. Send this copy to 3 friends and tell them to get on the Bus!