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Palace Presents Viewer

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What is PalacePresents? This Palace Plugin allows you to take part in large-scale networked events such as conferences, guided web tours, slideshows, live interviews, lectures and other "one-to-many" interactions. The PalacePresents software creates a multipurpose "stage" which is hosted on an existing Palace site. This stage appears in a separate window from the Palace software. The interesting thing about this stage is that once you're connected to it, you can always see it -- no matter what room you move to in the host Palace. The PalacePresents software consists of two Plugins: a Moderator Plugin (which is used by Palace operators to set up and moderate events), and a Viewer Plugin (which you use to participate in the event while it's "on the air"). The PalacePresents Viewer allows you to view all events transpiring on the stage, and to ask questions of the moderator and others on the stage. You can also keep a log of the event, and may even be invited onto the stage yourself!

The PalacePresents Viewer

  This section describes the PalacePresents Viewer and has the following sections:

    * What is PalacePresents?

    * Launching the PalacePresents Viewer

    * What you need

    * Setting preferences

    * Joining an event

    * The PalacePresents interface


What you need

To participate in events via the PalacePresents Viewer, you must be running the Palace software for Windows 95/NT (version 3.0 or newer). You must also be a Palace member to participate in an event. Note that membership is free.

The PalacePresents Viewer Plugin is installed automatically by the Palace software. The name of the Viewer Plugin file is PalacePresents Viewer.dll. By default this file is installed into your \\Plugins\Startup folder, which causes it to load automatically whenever you start the Palace software. If you would prefer to load the Viewer manually (each time you use it), you can move it to the \\Plugins folder instead. Note that the file must be located in one of these two places to operate correctly.

Launching the PalacePresents Viewer

The following steps will get you started with the PalacePresents Viewer:


  1. From the Plugins menu, select PalacePresents Viewer.

  2. The PalacePresents submenu displays. If the PalacePresents Viewer has not already been loaded, the only entry on the submenu is Load. Click this to load the plugin. This toggles to Unload once the plugin is loaded.

  3. Your PalacePresents Viewer is now loaded and active. Whenever you launch the Viewer while an event is running, or if an event goes "on the air" while you are running the Viewer, the Event Notification Dialog Box will appear, as shown in the following picture. Note that you will only be notified of events transpiring on the current Palace site.

Click Yes to participate in the event. The next thing you'll see is the interface of the PalacePresents Viewer itself, which is described in the section

Joining an event.


Setting preferences

Select Preferences from the PalacePresents submenu to display the PalacePresents Viewer Preferences window, where you can customize your PalacePresents.


Joining an event

If you launch the PalacePresents Viewer while an event is running (or, conversely, if an event goes "on the air" while your Viewer is running), you will only be notified of the event and given a chance to join the audience automatically. However, if you decline the initial invitation notice and then change your mind later, you can still get in.

Selecting Join an Event from the PalacePresents plugin submenu displays the Select Event to Join window.

Here you can select which event you want to join, and browse any web pages associated with the event. The first column of this list displays the names of all PalacePresents events currently running at the Palace Server you're on. You can join an event in progress simply by double-clicking on its name in this list. Other features of this dialog box include:


The PalacePresents interface

The PalacePresents Viewer is easy to operate. It contains a few basic elements, including the Stage, the Textbox, three viewing Frames and a special Toolbar.

As indicated in the illustration above, the PalacePresents Viewer allows you to see the avatars of anyone currently onstage. This includes the event presenter (or presenters, if there is more than one), as well as anyone else who has accepted the moderator's invitation to come onstage. Note that the moderator does not directly appear onstage. Moderator speech appears in a standard cartoon balloon in the upper-left corner of the stage area.

Avatars can move around on the stage just as they can in a Palace room, and everyone who is connected to the event will see them moving. While onstage, you can wear props, even animated props, but you cannot change your avatar without leaving the stage again.

NOTE: While you are onstage you also remain in the Palace room you were invited from, and a special "on stage" prop is automatically added to your avatar there. While onstage, you can continue to chat and move around in the Palace proper, and can also "broadcast" by typing into the viewer. You really can be in two places at once!

Talking to the stage

Whenever you're not on the stage (and that's most of the time, for most of us), the label above the Viewer's Input Box reads Submit Question. Type your question, and submit it to the moderator by pressing the Enter key. If selected by the moderator, your question will appear onstage, just as you typed it. Note that the moderator not only has control of which comments are selected, but can also delay or shuffle comments, and may even preload a series of "simulated" comments prior to (or during) the event.

NOTE: To submit questions to the moderator, you must be a Palace member. Guests can view the PalacePresents stage and read the flow of chat taking place there, but they cannot participate in the event directly.

The viewer's input box allows you to use special balloons just as you can in the Palace client itself. See the section for more information.

The Viewer Toolbox

To the left of the stage you will notice a column of five buttons. These buttons comprise the Viewer Toolbox, which provides shortcuts for the most commonly-used functions. This section describes these buttons and their use.

Invite Me

While you are watching an event (i.e. not onstage), clicking on this button means "Invite Me" (while you are onstage this button is disabled). Clicking here sends a message to the moderator, requesting an invitation to the stage. Note that if you have Always Accept Stage Invitations Without Prompting checked in the Preferences dialog box; you will be pulled onstage as soon as your request is accepted. Otherwise, you will see the following dialog box, which serves as your official invitation:

Off Stage Button

While you are on the stage, the "Offstage" button becomes enabled. Clicking here causes you to leave the stage. A prompt will appear to make sure you really intended to make your exit.

Preferences Button

This button displays your PalacePresents Preferences window; it is the same as selecting Preferences from the PalacePresents plugin submenu.

View Event Info Button

This button launches your web browser, taking you to the Event Information web page that has been set up by the moderator. It is the same as selecting View Event Info from the System Menu. Note that if Show Slide Show URLs in the Viewer window is selected (under Preferences), all web pages visited will be displayed in the Browser Frame (beneath the Transcript window). If unchecked, your web browser will be launched separately to view these pages.

NOTE: To view the Slide Show within the Viewer window, you must have Microsoft's "Internet Explorer" installed on your system (it does not need to be your default browser, however). If you don't have Internet Explorer, you should leave this option unchecked.

Save Transcript Button

This button causes an ASCII transcript file to be saved on your hard disk. It is the same as selecting Save Transcript from the System Menu.

The System Menu

You can access a number of special PalacePresents features and settings through the PalacePresents System Menu. To access this menu, click the system menu icon in the upper-left corner of the Viewer.

Most of the items on the System Menu are standard, and will be familiar to all Windows users: Restore, Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize, and Close. There are also a few items that are specific to PalacePresents:


Select this option to display the PalacePresents Preferences Dialog; it is the same as selecting Preferences from the PalacePresents plugin submenu, or clicking on the Preferences Button in the Toolbox.

Join an Event...

This menu command displays the Event List.

Info About Current Event

This menu command launches your web browser, taking you to the Event Info page specified by the event moderator. This is functionally identical to selecting the View Event Info button in the Toolbox.

Save Transcript

Select this option to save a transcript of the event to a text file on your hard disk. By default, this file is named MM-DD-YY.LOG, although you can change the name and path to whatever you want. This is functionally identical to selecting the Save Transcript button in the Toolbox.

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