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Installing OZ Virtual

What do I need to use OZ Virtual?

To use OZ Virtual, you need a PC with a Pentium processor of at least 90MHz. You must run Windows 95 or NT 4.0. A sound card and speakers will also let you experience the high-quality music in OZ worlds. A microphone will let you enjoy voice chat with other avatars. OZ takes up at least 20MB of disk space (OZ Virtual is about 4.5MB; ActiveX, DirectSound, and Java Virtual Machine will take the rest but users of Microsoft Internet Explorer will already have ActiveX and Java Virtual Machine). Note also that you will consume more disk space as you travel and download new OZ VRML worlds from the Internet.

Software and connection requirements

The OZ Virtual client software is all you need. This software communicates with an OZ server network, allowing you to explore worlds with other people. OZ worlds can be visited alone, but it is much more fun if you are in the world with other (human) avatars.

OZ Virtual, requires Microsoft ActiveX and Java Virtual Machine. OZ Virtual automatically gets these components for you. If you run into any problems, or would like to install the components yourself, you can download ActiveX directly from, or find all the components on Microsoft's home page at

You may also choose to download Microsoft DirectX, which will support 3D sound (DirectSound) in OZ worlds. This is optional. It can be found at

If you would like to download all the OZ Worlds to your PC (this will decrease loading time), you can get them from the directory at

In general, if you can use Netscape, you should be able to use OZ. You can't use OZ through Windows-based on-line services such as America Online, CompuServe, the Microsoft Network, or Prodigy, unless they support direct Internet access through the 32-bit Winsock. (Short for Windows Sockets, Winsock is a standard interface for Microsoft Windows applications and the Internet. Winsocks allow communication between Windows Web browsers, e-mail clients, IRC clients, or any other Windows Winsock applications and the TCP/IP). See, ìSetting up your on-line service to connect directly with the Internet,î in Appendix D. If you have further problems, contact your on-line service for help.

Getting started and a few disclaimers

OZ Virtual is free to use (you have to accept the terms of your free license during installation). You are not charged for the time you spend exploring or interacting in OZ worlds, but you could be charged for the hours you are online from your Internet service provider (ISP). Check with your ISP on monthly free hours and rates. Of course, you should remember that you are also charged by your telephone company for using the phone line.

More about the companion CD software

OZ Virtual is constantly evolving, and may have changed since this chapter was written. I placed the very latest version of OZ Virtual on your book CD, and it may be somewhat different from what is described here. These differences will not be major, and this chapter will still be a great guide to OZ worlds. If you see new features or changes, you should check for information under the Help menu in OZ Virtual.

Keep up-to-date on your favorite worlds; visit your Avatars! book Web site often

As a special service for readers of Avatars!, I have a home page on the World Wide Web devoted to keeping you up-to-date on your favorite worlds. Find news about software updates, social events held within these virtual worlds, and brand new worlds you might want to try at Bookmark it!

If you have questions or problems

If you have questions or problems installing or running OZ Virtual, consult Oz Virtual Frequently Asked Questions FAQ,î at the end of the chapter. If this does not help you, check the excellent OZ Web site at, and especially the support pages at These contain on-line manuals, FAQs, and technical support pages. Reporting a bug to OZ Interactive is simple. Simply fill out the bug report form on the Web site, or send an e-mail to OZ Virtual user support at

Oz Interactive and I appreciate your feedback on Avatars!, but we don't have the resources to provide technical support. We would be happy to hear about your experiences in OZ Virtual. Contact us through the Avatars! book Web site at

UNIX, and OS/2 versions

At this writing, there are no versions of the OZ Virtual client program for the Macintosh, UNIX, or OS/2. Check the OZ and Avatars! book Web pages for updates on new versions which might support these platforms. You also may be able to run the OZ Virtual client using a Windows emulation system on non-Windows machines. Note that if you are considering hosting a complete OZ world, the server software runs on Windows NT and Windows 95.

Installing OZ Virtual from your Avatars! CD

If you have a CD-ROM drive on your PC, you can install OZ Virtual directly from the book CD-ROM. If you don't have a CD-ROM drive, skip to the following section, ìInstalling or upgrading OZ Virtual from the Internet.î In Chapter 20, I provide a step-by-step example of how to install any virtual worlds software from the CD-ROM. I suggest you refer to this chapter and follow the same steps for OZ Virtual. Once the installation program on your CD-ROM has started, you can go to the section, ìRunning the Installation,î in this chapter.

Installing or upgrading OZ Virtual from the Internet

If you want the very latest version of OZ Virtual, or were informed that you had to upgrade the version found on your Avatars! CD, then you must download files from the Internet.

If you don't have any versions of OZ Virtual on your system, you need to download the initial program from the Internet. When you start the program, it will prompt you to download all the components you will need (the rest of OZ Virtual, ActiveX, DirectSound, Java Virtual Machine). If you haven't done this before, don't panic, it is easier than you might think!

  1. Connect to the Internet (dial up with your modem, or make sure your Internet connection is active).
  2. Start your Web browser, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.
  3. In the top of the browser window, you will see a long area called location, where you can enter text.
  4. Click in this area, delete the text inside, type, and press the Enter key.
  5. After a few moments, the home page for OZ Interactive should appear. If nothing comes up for a long time, check to see that you are online.
  6. If the OZ Interactive home page is not available for some reason, try entering the location for the Avatars! Web site, which is This page may contain more up-to-date links for OZ Interactive.
  7. Once you are at the OZ Interactive home page, follow the instructions for downloading or upgrading the OZ Virtual software. At one point, you will click on a link and be prompted for a place to save a file. In response to the dialogue box, click Save to Disk (Netscape) or Save As (Internet Explorer), and save the file to a folder or a place on your desktop. You must choose a folder where you will remember to find the new file, and note the name of the file. You can use the folder that your Web browser gives you or move back up and select another. I put all downloaded files in a folder I call C:\Download. Wait patiently while the download progresses (about 200KB). You can work in other applications, but be careful not to interfere with the connection. Try not to do more on-line work (such as Web surfing) while the download is progressing, and if you are using your regular telephone line for the modem, don't try to make a telephone call.
  8. After the download is finished (less than a minute for a 28.8 kbps connection, and about a minute for a 14.4 kbps connection), open the folder into which the file was downloaded and double-click on the file (which should be named ozvirtual.exe) to start the installation. Go next to the section, ìRunning the Installation.î

Running the installation

Whether you are running the installation from the CD-ROM, or from the file you downloaded from the Internet, use this section to guide you through the installation. Note that if you downloaded OZ Virtual from the Internet, the installation process may have changed. If this has happened, refer to instructions on OZ Virtual Web site.

1. The installer setup program will run and prompt you at each step. First, read and accept the license agreement terms.

2. Next, you will be prompted for the folder into which to install OZ Virtual. The default folder is \Program Files\OZ Interactive\OZ Virtual. You can change this or accept the default (recommended).

Figure: 13.2 Oz1f.jpg
Initiate the download and installation process.

3. Next, you will be prompted to download and install the components of OZ Virtual from the Internet. This process (carried out by the OZ Installation Gizmo) will obtain the needed components and updates for OZ Virtual. As these components are about 5MB to 10MB in size, this will take some time. I downloaded OZ Virtual in 30 minutes on a 28.8 kbps modem. The other components (ActiveX, DirectSound, and Java Virtual Machine) would have taken another 30 minutes, but since I had Internet Explorer 3.0 installed, I already had most of these components. The OZ Installation Gizmo is smart enough to sense what you already have, and will not download it again.

Figure: 13.3 Oz1g.jpg
Download a component of OZ Virtual.

4. After all the components are downloaded, the installation will commence. If you have enough disk space, and all other necessary components are present the installation should complete normally.

Files created by the installation

A shortcut to OZ Virtual will be placed on your desktop. All other files created by the installer should be found in the folder called \Program Files\OZ Interactive\OZ Virtual.

Clean up after installation

If you downloaded the OZ Virtual installation file from the Internet, you can delete it after the installation is complete. Do not delete the OZ Virtual program in \Program Files\OZ Interactive\OZ Virtual by mistake as this is your running version.

© Copyright Bruce Damer, 1997, All rights reserved.