The View From Here: Scaling the Palace

    The View From Here: Scaling the Palace

    on ThePalace

    ……………………………………

    The View From Here: Scaling the Palace

    July 1996

    Let me start this column by saying that I have no truck with any chat system, text or video, even though I wrote the book on the latter (). It’s hard to hold a sustained conversation with limited bandwidth, yielding superficial topics, typically the hardware they’re using. The inability to hold a good conversation weeds out many network denizens, and the resulting population is typically very young and immature. (Interestingly, the exact opposite is true with the

    crowd: they tend to be a old-timer, rag-chewing (long-winded) group that talks about — you guessed it — the hardware they’re using.

    You may be saying to yourself: “Michael, if you don’t like these media, what in hell are you writing about this month? Why don’t you pick a topic that lights your fire?” This month, I’ve found that topic: a chat system.that has me going back again and again, meeting folks who talk about other topics than their toys, and I’m excited about it. That’s why I’m writing about it.

    ThePalace is a product of the Time-Warner universe. TP — as The Palace is known to initiates — provides a pseudo three-dimensional chat space where you appear as an avatar you choose, either a combination of their predefined props or one you construct yourself. The avatar at left is the generic round face avatar with two props: the hat and the cross. (Props are a maximum of 44 pixels on a side, avatars are a maximum of 132 pixels square.) The floating palette at right shows variations on the round faces and the 16 different colors the round face can be. It’s one of several palettes provided by the TP client. (Visitors are allowed to use the props; registered users (US$25) can don graphic images.)

    The conversation scene below shows seven avatars: three are the face-and-prop variety and four are scanned images. Most avatars are Japanese “anime” (the figure wearing overalls) or digital images (the dog, the Riddler, and yours truly). Very few people use images of themselves, preferring instead to explore other pseudonymous identities. This can lead to a somewhat unreal air: one night I’m speaking to a beetle, the next night I’m debating with a car.

    Many folks use the same avatar day after day, and there is some continuity from session to session. The population at the main palace is an interesting mix of a crowd that hasn’t reached driving age, and their mothers (who log on after everyone else in asleep). A good number of visitors are from rural areas. The Real World does impinge on the virtual world: time zones dictate when humans are awake (mostly), so the contingent from France is around only after midnight (Pacific Time).

    In summary, ThePalace is a nice fix, a humanizing force on your computer. Spend your time with family, friends, and pets. But if you’re surfing, join the denizens of The Palace. The main web site has many interesting spots to visit:

    and his cat Copernicus live on the top floor of a Victorian in the Upper

    neighborhood of . Michael works out of

    on Haight Street with his wireless

    setup. These days he’s programming in Perl, mating a database to the World Wide Web.

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me . Thanks!

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    This page

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    1993-2006 by ,

    via the Creative Commons License. Questions and comments? Send

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    Leave a Reply

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    The View From Here: Scaling the Palace

    The View From Here: Scaling the Palace

    on ThePalace

    ……………………………………

    The View From Here: Scaling the Palace

    July 1996

    Let me start this column by saying that I have no truck with any chat system, text or video, even though I wrote the book on the latter (). It’s hard to hold a sustained conversation with limited bandwidth, yielding superficial topics, typically the hardware they’re using. The inability to hold a good conversation weeds out many network denizens, and the resulting population is typically very young and immature. (Interestingly, the exact opposite is true with the

    crowd: they tend to be a old-timer, rag-chewing (long-winded) group that talks about — you guessed it — the hardware they’re using.

    You may be saying to yourself: “Michael, if you don’t like these media, what in hell are you writing about this month? Why don’t you pick a topic that lights your fire?” This month, I’ve found that topic: a chat system.that has me going back again and again, meeting folks who talk about other topics than their toys, and I’m excited about it. That’s why I’m writing about it.

    ThePalace is a product of the Time-Warner universe. TP — as The Palace is known to initiates — provides a pseudo three-dimensional chat space where you appear as an avatar you choose, either a combination of their predefined props or one you construct yourself. The avatar at left is the generic round face avatar with two props: the hat and the cross. (Props are a maximum of 44 pixels on a side, avatars are a maximum of 132 pixels square.) The floating palette at right shows variations on the round faces and the 16 different colors the round face can be. It’s one of several palettes provided by the TP client. (Visitors are allowed to use the props; registered users (US$25) can don graphic images.)

    The conversation scene below shows seven avatars: three are the face-and-prop variety and four are scanned images. Most avatars are Japanese “anime” (the figure wearing overalls) or digital images (the dog, the Riddler, and yours truly). Very few people use images of themselves, preferring instead to explore other pseudonymous identities. This can lead to a somewhat unreal air: one night I’m speaking to a beetle, the next night I’m debating with a car.

    Many folks use the same avatar day after day, and there is some continuity from session to session. The population at the main palace is an interesting mix of a crowd that hasn’t reached driving age, and their mothers (who log on after everyone else in asleep). A good number of visitors are from rural areas. The Real World does impinge on the virtual world: time zones dictate when humans are awake (mostly), so the contingent from France is around only after midnight (Pacific Time).

    In summary, ThePalace is a nice fix, a humanizing force on your computer. Spend your time with family, friends, and pets. But if you’re surfing, join the denizens of The Palace. The main web site has many interesting spots to visit:

    and his cat Copernicus live on the top floor of a Victorian in the Upper

    neighborhood of . Michael works out of

    on Haight Street with his wireless

    setup. These days he’s programming in Perl, mating a database to the World Wide Web.

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me . Thanks!

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

    This page

    is

    1993-2006 by ,

    via the Creative Commons License. Questions and comments? Send

    to the Geek Times Webmaster. (Domain and web content hosting at .)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.