(and the Purple Crayon)
Dreamatron started out in 1987 as a text
MUD-like-thing whose parser was given the power
to create the world from inside. This feature is
essential to my concept of VR and "holodeck",
and the light pen gui in the case of the 3D worlds
is an example, perhaps inspired by the story book
"Harold and the Purple Crayon".
Dreamatron is still significant because it used a
truly universal serial bus network. USB is certainly
not true in this sense. In DT, a stream is started by
a pulse of 2 clocks, followed by morse code like
data of pulse length 1 for "0" and pulse length 3 for "1",
and terminated by 4 periods of no signal. This has been
used as a free, convenient link between all kinds of
computers, usually requiring nothing more than a wire
between them. The driving code for this link is less than
200 bytes, and the speed is irrelevant and unlimited.
The way dreamatron is played has changed from MUD
to 3DVR, but the signal remains the same, based on
morse code and cassette tape data.
Original dreamatron, after being played, would have a
world stored in a "file" consisting of these fields:
You Are: [In the middle of a road with nothing but trees
You See:  (no data)
You Can Go: [West,East]
This would be stored as:
40 0001 [In the middle of the road with nothing but trees
all around] [ ] [W0002E003]
And would tell you :
You are in the middle of the road...
You see nothing interesting
You can go west or east
If you typed GO WEST it would find place 2 and
tell you the description of it.
You could GO NORTH if you wanted to,
in which case it would ask "Where are we?"
and store the answer in the worldfile:
You could say "I SEE SOME THING(S)",
and it would ask what, and store it there.
There were movable objects. You could make them
up, saying CREATE A THING. It would ask what it is,
and you could say "I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS".
You could be somewhere and say IF I HAVE A THING AND I
USE IT THEN GO HERE & SAY /POOF!/ & LOOK AROUND.
Otherwise, if you weren't making the world you were wandering
and exploring it, and able to interact with the other players whose
computers that were exchanging signals.
It was possible to FLY AROUND and LAND. Or FLY TO MARS.
MARS was not linked to the world you flew from, and if you went
there for the first time you would have to create it.
(more info coming...)
Dreamatron in VR will likewise be a user-defined fantasy world.
Should a Dreamatron system unit detect the signal of another
Dreamatron unit, then it should appear as if a new world is rising
on the horizon, and while there is a link, the players can
communicate and travel between.
A Virobook is a hardcover book whose pages
have been hollowed
out and replaced with electronics. There is no specification of what
kind of electronics a VIROBOOK has in it, therefore they might
do anything. In this context, a Virobook is like a MYST Linking Book,
running Dreamatron. (It is also like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
or Penny's book from the cartoon Inspector Gadget, and other similar
fictional technologies, therefore not based on Myst. VA1980 and other
similar things existed before.)
The "Purple Crayon" (lightpen) gui interface seems to me
to be ideal for user-created VR worlds.
[VR Liberty]- imagination is pure freedom; keep it that way!