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1.2 Connecting to the MUCK

To play on a MUCK, you need to be logged onto a character. The most basic way to do this is with Telnet. A client program (see Appendix A) is vastly preferable to Telnet, but not essential. For now, examples will assume you are using Telnet from a UNIX account. If you don't have a character on the MUCK, you will need to log on as a Guest. You will also need to find the addresses and port numbers of some open MUCKs. Lists of such address are frequently posted on the newsgroup, and are easily found via web searches for keywords such as `muck' or `mud'. The example below use the current address for FurryMUCK (as of Summer, 1999).

Logging on involves two steps: connecting to the MUCK, and logging onto a specific character.

To connect to the MUCK via Telnet on a UNIX account, type telnet, followed by a numeric or domain name IP address, followed by a port number. Press enter.

> telnet 8888

If the connection is successful (i.e., if you typed everything correctly, the Net is not having a Bad Day, and the MUCK itself is running) a login screen will scroll onto your terminal. If you experience a delay, and then a messages such as `connection incomplete: timed out', wait a few minutes and try again: it's possible that the MUCK was undergoing a save while you were trying to connect, or that there were transient connection problems on the Internet.

The login screen should show informational text, illustrations composed of ASCII characters, or a combination of these. It is possible to successfully connect to the MUCK, yet see a rather garbled looking login screen. Usually this is due to improper terminal settings. If this happens, continue with the login step. The problem may disappear once you've logged on, and if doesn't, people online may be able to help with terminal settings. (This problem is relatively rare.)

Once you've connected to the MUCK, you need to log onto a specific character. If you don't have a character on the MUCK, you can (usually) connect to a Guest character.

> connect guest guest

If you have a character, type connect followed by the character name and password.

> connect cashmere flipFlap

On large MUCKs (including our example, FurryMUCK) it is common to require Guests to page a wizard and ask to be let out of the Guest Room. This is a security measure: it is not unheard of for players who have been banned from the MUCK for causing problems to attempt to log on as a Guest and continue their improper behavior; a wizard can check the site from which a Guest is connecting, and refuse to free someone from a site known to be the home of problem-causers. If this step is required (the text you see after logging on as a Guest will say so), type wizzes to get a list of any wizards online, and page one asking him to let you out (paging is discussed below, in Section 1.4.3). If no wizards are online, you'll have to try again later. On most MUCKs, this step is unnecessary. You can get out of the Guest Room simply by typing out.

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