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TUCoPS :: Cyber Culture :: vrfaq.txt

sci.virtual-worlds FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Article 7 of alt.uu.virtual-worlds.misc:
Newsgroups: alt.uu.virtual-worlds.misc
From: jkp@cs.HUT.FI (Jyrki Kuoppala)
Subject: MATERIAL: sci.virtual-worlds FAQ
Message-ID: <>
Sender: (Usenet pseudouser id)
Reply-To: jkp@cs.HUT.FI (Jyrki Kuoppala)
Organization: Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1992 02:11:06 GMT
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From hlab Sat May  9 12:19:16 1992
Date: Sat, 9 May 92 12:19:13 -0700
From: Human Int. Technology Lab <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: ADMIN: sci.virtual-worlds FAQ, updated May 1992. (LONG)
Newsgroups: sci.virtual-worlds,news.answers
To: hlab
Status: R

   This is the Frequently-Asked-Questions post (FAQ) for sci.virtual-worlds.
 Please send updates, additions to Mark A. DeLoura (
    	     This document was last modified on May 8, 1992.

	The Newsgroup
	The Mailing List
	The Listserv
	Index to Subject-line Blips
	The Posting Archives
	Virtual Reality Bibliography
	Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions, available via FTP
	The Glove-list Archive
	VR Tool Index	
	Other Businesses
	VR Research in Schools
	Suggested Reading List
	Other Sources of Information on Virtual Reality


The Newsgroup:

Sci.virtual-worlds is aimed at the discussion of aspects of virtual
reality and its related technologies.  The newsgroup is moderated by
two members of the Human Interface Technology (HIT) Lab, in Seattle,

	Bob Jacobson 			    Mark A. DeLoura 
	Moderator			    Co-moderator/librarian

Questions concerning the newsgroup itself or operations of the HIT Lab
should be addressed to Bob.  Questions regarding the archives, FAQ, or
FTP site should go to Mark.


The Mailing List:

The newsgroup is available via a mailing list, as well as UseNet
proper.  The mailing list originates from
To get onto the mailing list, send e-mail to Mark requesting to be put
on it.  Articles will come to your mailbox as they are posted to the
group, and articles can be posted to the newsgroup by Replying to any
of the messages, or sending mail to
Unsubscribe requests should also be sent to Mark.


The Listserv:

Sci.virtual-worlds is bounced off a BITNET site, UIUCVMD at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  To sign on this list,
send a mail message to listserv@uiucvmd.bitnet (or whatever the
appropriate manner for sending mail to bitnet might be at your site).
The body of the message should read:
	subscribe virtu-l <full_name>
Put your full name as a replacement for <full_name>, of course.  Greg
Newby is the administrator for virtu-l.  Any questions about the list
should be directed to him at:


Index to Subject-line Blips:

        ADMIN: Items of administrative importance.
        APPS:  Applications of virtual worlds in various domains.
        CONF:  Probably the most overused blip, for conferences.
        EDUC:  Having to do with schooling in the field.
        JOB:   Notice of job offers, etc.
	MISC:  Items that don't fit into any other category.
        PHIL:  Deep and profound discussions of virtuality, etc.
        SCI:   Scientific issues, like how light refracts, etc.
        SOC/CULTURE: Notes on virtual worlds and social phenomena.
        TECH:  Hard technology, codes, software, hardware, etc.
	%-):   The Awestruck Smiley symbol.  Item is of unusual interest
		or quality.


The Posting Archives:

Nearly all of the postings ever made to sci.virtual-worlds have been
saved, and are available via anonymous FTP.  We say "nearly all",
because some postings from the first few months have been lost.

The FTP site is (  The messages
are stored in ~ftp/public/virtual-worlds/postings, and are generally
kept in monthly groups that are tar'red and compressed.  An index file
is kept in the top-level of the postings directory, and is also
compressed-- it consists of the subject lines from all postings that
are available.

Don't forget to anonymously ftp the files in binary mode!  (If you
have no idea what I'm talking about, you'd be best off talking to your
system administrator.)


Virtual Reality Bibliography:

There is a bibliography of VR-related papers and publications
available in the FTP site mentioned above, in the directory 

The bibliography is in latex/bibtex format.  If you don't have these
text formatters, the files are readable as straight text, they just
look a little messy.


Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions, available via FTP:

Also in the sci.virtual-worlds FTP site, there exists a large
directory filled with various information on current VR technology.
Most of this information has been obtained from sci.virtual-worlds
posts, and will be updated as things are posted to the newsgroup.  The
information will be kept in ~ftp/public/virtual-worlds/faq, and a
tar'red and compressed version of the directory will be kept as the
file ~ftp/public/virtual-worlds/faq.tar.Z (usually.  Right now it is
faq.tar, because the compress process does not decrease the size much.)

Here is a list of the current contents of the faq directory:

citations/	commercial/	conf/	other/
papers/		publications/	rsrch/	schools/

3D.optical.tracker	3D.sound	Eye-tracking
Force-feedback	HCI.bibliography
Head-tracking	W.industry.papers

3d.digitizers		AGE			Alias
Ascension		Battletech		Broderbund
CrystalRiver		Dimension		Division
EXOS			Evans&Sutherland	FakeSpaceLabs
FocalPoint		FutureVisions		GoggleVox
Gyration		Haitex			ISCAN
Interlink		Kynar			LEEP
Logitech		MaK			Matsushita
Mattel			Megatek			Polhemus
README.3dsound		README.displays		README.gloves
README.hardware		README.other
README.trackers		Reflection		Sega
Sense8			ShootingStarTech	SimGraphics
Spaceball		StereoGraphics		StrayLight
Tektronix		Telepresence		Teletact
TiNi			Transfinite		VPL/
Virtex			VirtualResearch		VirtualS
Virtus			VividEffects		WIndustries/
Worldesign		Xtensory

EyePhones		VPL.MicroCosm		VPL.MicroCosm2

Visette.size		W.addr			W.descrip
W.descrip1		W.descrip2		W.descrip3

CyberConf1.proceedings	CyberConf2.CFP
CyberConf2.review2	CyberConf2.review3	CyberConf2.review4
CyberConf2.review5		Cyberarts.91.announce
HITL.91.announce	InCyberspace.91.announce	Meckler.91.announce	Meckler.91.proceedings
Nikkei.91.addr		Nikkei.91.announce	Nikkei.91.announce2
Nikkei.91.announce3	Nikkei.92.CFP
SRI.91.announce		SRI.91.review2
Siggraph.91.CFP		Siggraph.91.CFP2

3D.renderer.PC		ALIFE			ALIFE.2
ALIFE.Tierra		BIX			BlipList	INGRAFX			MUDs
Meckler.videos		Neural.interface	Neural.interface.2
Neural.interface.3	Neural.interface.4	Senate.hearing.summary	Stereoscopy.bulletin	Tech2000.DC
UserInterface.92.announce			VR.Consortium

Andersson.Scenario.Z	Barlow.BeingInNothingness.Z
Barlow.CrimeAndPuzzlement.Z			Bricken.DirectionsOfGrowth.Z
Carlson.VirtualMars.Z	Farmer.GettingThere.Z
Jacobson.TowardsGlobalInitiative.Z		Jacobson.trip.reports/
Norskog.5D.Z		Norskog.VRNeeds.Z	Pausch.5DollarsADay.Z
Taylor.VisualizationSarnoff.Z			VR.paper.tar.Z			Walser.CyberspacePlayhouse.Z
Wells.Overview.Z	Wolff.InsideVR.Z

Bob.Europe.1.Z		Bob.Europe.2.Z		Bob.Europe.3.Z
Bob.Japan.1.Z		Bob.Japan.2.Z		Bob.Japan.3.Z

ArtificialRealityII	Azimuth.newsletter	CyberEdge
EccentricSpaces		Graphics.hacking	HITL.tapes
HumanScale		MakingThemMove		Mondo2000
Presence		Random.magazine.articles	Theoretical.and.General	VR.Index
VR.Monitor		VRsourcebook		VirtualReality

Boeing			Boeing.Alabama		DEC
HITL			IBM			Intel
JTTAS			NASA			NASA.3d.sound
RMIT			SFI			Sarnoff

Banff			CMU			Cal.Arts
Columbia.U		National.U.Singapore	Naval.Postgrad
Naval.Research.Lab	README			RPI
Stanford		Syracuse		Syracuse.2
Syracuse.3		U.of.Alberta		U.of.Alberta,MRToolkit
U.of.Central.Florida	U.of.Geneva		U.of.Illinois.U-C
U.of.NorthCarolina	U.of.NorthCarolina,3dm	U.of.NorthCarolina,Siggraph
U.of.Southampton	U.of.Tokyo		U.of.Toronto
U.of.Virginia		U.of.Washington		Utah


The Glove-list Archive:

The Mattel PowerGlove, which was designed to be plugged into a
Nintendo home video game unit, spawned off a large discussion of how
to interface the unit to computers for simple movement in virtual
worlds.  This discussion was eventually moved to a mailing list, and
is now archived on (, in the directory
~ftp/pub/VR.  Also available there is the source code for interfacing
the PowerGlove to various computers.

The Glove-list still exists-- to subscribe to it, send mail to with a body of:

subscribe glove-list

<replace with a valid e-mail address>

The PowerGlove itself has been discontinued, but lucky bargain-hunters
may be able to find some still available in Toys 'R Us stores or
remote stores that sell Nintendo equipment.



The definitions which are listed here are not meant to be *the*
canonical definitions of VR technology. They are instead a list of terms
which are commonly used and the intersection of many people's personal

Cyberspace: in short, the information space which we all operate in.
	Radio waves are as much a part of the cyberspace "matrix" as
	are the means by which you are currently reading this article.
	Anything which is a means of communication or a communication
	itself could arguably be considered part of Cyberspace.
Virtual Reality (VR): Virtual Reality as a concept essentially deals
	with convincing the participant that s/he is actually in
	another place, by replacing the normal sensory input received
	by the participant with information produced by a computer.
	This is usually done through three-dimensional graphics and
	I/O devices which closely resemble the participant's normal
	interface to the physical world.  The most common I/O devices
	are gloves, which transmit information about the participant's
	hand (position, orientation, and finger bend angles), and
	head-mounted displays, which give the user a stereoscopic view
	of the virtual world via two computer-controlled display
	screens, as well as providing something to mount a
	position/orientation sensor on.
Virtual World: a Virtual World is a scene or experience which a
	participant can interact with using computer-controlled I/O
	devices.  Most virtual worlds attempt to imitate physical
	reality, but virtual worlds are not strictly tied to physical
	reality-- any set of information that can be visualized can be
	made into a virtual world that the participant can experience. 
Artificial Reality: unlike the term Virtual Reality, Artificial
	Reality has come to mean something a bit more specific, due to
	Myron Kreuger's books "Artficial Reality" and "Artificial 
	Reality II".  Artificial Reality is like VR in that the 
	participant's experiences are manipulated/enhanced by a 
	computer, but the Artificial Reality experiences are not as
	intrusive-- they usually don't require the participant to 
	don goggles, or wear a glove, and they often involve full-body
	motion without any extra interface whatsoever.  Read the book
	"Artificial Reality II" for more details.  


VR Tool Index:

	Jim Kramer
	Virtex Technologies
	P.O. Box 5984
	Stanford, CA 94309
	Phone:	(415) 497-1204 (599-2331?)
DataGlove II
	VPL Research Inc.
	950 Tower Lane	
	14th Floor
	Foster City, CA 94404
	Phone:	(415) 312-0200
	Fax:	(415) 361-1845 (?)
EXOS Dextrous Hand Master
	EXOS, Inc.
	8 Blanchard Road.
	Burlington, MA 08103
Mattel PowerGlove
	Discontinued-- Check Toys 'R Us.
Teletact Force-feedback Glove
	Advanced Robotics Research Ltd
	National Advanced Robotics Research Centre
	University Road,
	United Kingdom.
	Phone:	44-61-745-7384
	Fax:	44-61-745-8264

Stereo Displays (for LCD shutter glasses and other displays, see FTP site.)
BOOM (Binocular Omni-Orientational Monitor)
        Fake Space Labs
        935 Hamilton Avenue
        Menlo Park, CA 94025
        Phone: (415) 688-1940
        Fax:   (415) 688-1949
Cyberface II
        LEEP Systems, Inc.
        241 Crescent St.
        Waltham, MA  02154
   	Phone:	(617) 647-1395
	Fax:	(617) 899-9602
EyePhones (various models)
	VPL Research 
	656 Bair Island Road, Suite 304
	Redwood City, CA 94063
	Phone:	(415) 361-1710
	Fax:	(415) 361-1845
Flight Helmet
        Virtual Research
        1313 Socorro Ave.
        Sunnyvale, CA 94089
	Phone:	(408) 739-7114
        W Industries Limited
        Virtuality House
        3 Oswin Rd
        Brailsford Industrial Park
        LE3 1HR
	Phone:	(0533) 542 127
	Fax:	(0533) 548 222

2D/6D Mouse (Red Baron)
        Logitech, Inc.
        6505 Kaiser Drive,
        Fremont, CA  94555
	Phone:	(415) 795-8500
	Fax:	(415) 792-8901
3Space Isotrak
	Polhemus Navigational Sciences
	P.O. Box 560
	1 Hercules Drive
	Colchester, VT 05546
	Phone:	(802) 655-3159  
	Fax:	(802) 655-1439
ADL-1 Mechanically-Coupled Tracker
	Shooting Star Technology
	1921 Holdom Avenue
	Burnaby, B.C. Canada
	V5B 3W4
	Phone: 	(604) 298-8574
	Fax:   	(604) 298-8580
The Bird / Flock of Birds / Big Bird
	Ascension Technology Corp.
	P.O. Box 527
	Burlington, VT 05402
	Phone: 	(802) 655-7879
	Fax:	(802) 655-5904
Evil Eye eye-tracker
	125 Cambridgepark Drive
	P.O. Box 2076
	Cambridge, MA  02238
	Phone: 	(617) 868-5353
	Fax:	(617) 868-9231
Flying Mouse
	SimGraphics Engineering
	1137 Huntington Rd., Suite A-1
	South Pasadena, CA 91030-4563
	Phone: 	(213) 255-0987
GyroPoint 6D Mouse
	12930 Saratoga Avenue
	Building C
	Saratoga, CA 95070
	Phone:	(408) 255-3016

3D Sound
	Crystal River Engineering
	12350 Wards Ferry Road
	Groveland, CA 95321
	Phone: 	(209) 962-6382
	Fax:	(209) 962-4873
Focal Point
	Gehring Research, Inc.
	189 Madison Avenue
	Toronto, Ontario
	Phone:	(416) 966-3139

Complete VR Systems
Division "Vision"
	Division Ltd.
	Quarry Road
	Chipping Sodbury,
	Bristol, BS17 6AX
	United Kingdom
	Phone: 44-454-324527
Sense8 "WorldTool DS"
	Sense8 Corp.
	1001 Bridgeway, PO Box 477
	Sausalito, CA  94965
	Phone: 	(415) 331-6316
	Fax:	(415) 331-9148
VPL "RB1","RB2","MicroCosm"
	VPL Research 
	656 Bair Island Road, Suite 304
	Redwood City, CA 94063
	Phone:	(415) 361-1710
	Fax:	(415) 361-1845
WIndustries "Virtuality"
	W Industries Limited
	Virtuality House
	3 Oswin Road
	Brailsford Industrial Park
	Leicester, LE3 1HR
	Phone: (0533) 542 127

Other VR-related Software Products
Body Electric, Isaac
	VPL Research 
	656 Bair Island Road, Suite 304
	Redwood City, CA 94063
	Phone:	(415) 361-1710
	Fax:	(415) 361-1845
	Vivid Effects
	317 Adelaide St. W.
	Suite 302
	Toronto, Ontario
	Canada M5V 1P9
	Phone:	(416) 340-9290
Virtual Reality Studio
	Virtual 'S' Ltd.
	The Limes
	123 Mortlake High Street
	London SW14 8SN England
	Phone: 081-392-9000
	Virtus Corporation
	Cary, NC
	Sense8 Corp.
	1001 Bridgeway, PO Box 477
	Sausalito, CA  94965
	Phone: 	(415) 331-6316
	Fax:	(415) 331-9148


Other Businesses:
	(some important businesses whose addresses are not listed in
	 the VR Tool Index)

Meckler Publishing
	11 Ferry Lane West
	Westport, CT 06880
	Phone:	(203) 226-6967
	Fax:	(203) 454-5840
MIT Press
	55 Hayward St. 
	Cambridge, MA 02142
	Phone:	(617) 253-5643
Telepresence Research 
	635 High St.
	Palo Alto, CA 94301
	Phone:  (415) 325-8951
	Fax:    (415) 325-8952
	27 Gate Five Road
	Sausalito, CA 94965
	Phone:	(415) 332-4335


VR Research in Schools:

Detailing what each of these schools are doing would take up a LOT of
space in this post.  Interested parties would be better off checking
the FAQ information on the FTP site-- for a pretty reasonable list,
check the listing of files on the FTP site, listed above. 


Suggested Reading List:

	Artificial Reality II, Myron W. Kreuger.
		Reading MA: Addison-Wesley, 1991.
		ISBN: 0-201-52260-8.
	Virtual Reality, Howard Rheingold.
		New York NY: Summit Books, 1991.
		ISBN: 0-671-69363-8.
	Cyberspace:First Steps (CyberConf I papers).
		Michael Benedikt, editor.
		Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1991.
		ISBN: 0-262-02327-X.
	Neuromancer (fiction), William Gibson.	
		New York NY: Ace Books, 1984.
		ISBN: 0-441-56959-5.
	more to be added...


Other Sources of Information on Virtual Reality:

	CompuServe has a Virtual Reality section in the COMART (Computer
	Art) forum, Room 13.  It is moderated by John Eagan.  For
	more details, contact him at
	Echo of sci.virtual-worlds, at least.  Contact J.ANDERSON71
	on GEnie, or (Joel Anderson)
	Virtual-Reality Conference: If you are into the man/machine
	interface concept; virtual-reality design, programming, and events;
	virtual reality and computer interface gaderty; and related matters,
	take a stroll through BIX's new Virtual World conference.  Type "join" to join in extended discussions of all aspects of
	virtual reality, from entertainment to fiction to hardware.  Moderated
	by Dan Duncan (dunc), the conference is a good source of information
	on meetings and other events of interest to virtual-reality buffs.
	CyberEdge Journal is a bi-monthly newsletter which covers
	Virtual Reality and related subjects.  For more information,
	contact Ben Delaney, editor, at
	ISSN# 1061-3099
Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
	Presence is being advertised as "the journal for our field".
	The editorial board contains members from the HIT Lab, JPL,
	NASA, UNC, Telepresence Research, VPL, MIT, IBM, EXOS, Apple,
	and many other groups doing VR research.  For more
	information, contact MIT Press Journals, at (617) 253-2889.
	ISSN# 1054-7460
Whole Earth Review
	ISSN# 0749-5056
Mondo 2000
VR Monitor

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