Alternate Universe

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Server and Website News

The latest information about the game server and website is published below:

Minor server update: Friday 29th March 2013
Operators can now reset passwords of other players.
Up-to-the-minute stock market data now being published to (for the benefit of some of our 
  players who are impressively writing python scripts to automate share trading).
Some other small server-side changes.
Minor server update: Wednesday 27th March 2013
The replace command shouldn't go into an infinite loop any more.
The trading terminals should no longer cause players to go zombie when they disconnect while still trading.
In-browser Flash-based terminal! Saturday 23rd March 2013
Added a flash-based terminal for playing the game in a browser. Uses the excellent flashterm by Peter Nitsch.
Accounts restored from backup, and minor server update: Thursday 21st March 2013
Horrible server crash wiped out all accounts.  Everything restored from previous night's backup.  Affected players should MUDmail duncanj to resolve any issues.
Ticket machines now support purchase of return tickets.
Minor server update: Tuesday 19th March 2013
Corrected website/email address to:
Minor fix to operator command 'messageall'.
Pi-dotted! Wednesday 6th March 2013
Alternate Universe has been front-page news (for a while) on the the Raspberry Pi website! The server is hosted on a Raspberry Pi, which is coping marvellously with the sudden influx of new players. We did have an internet connection failure for a short time, but the Pi is handling everything with grace and efficiency.

Back online! Saturday 9th February 2013
Alternate Universe is back online, running on a Raspberry Pi. The current version of the server is 0.15.0.
New edition of the Sigma Signal Friday 6th February 2004
A new copy of the sigma signal is now online!
New edition of the Sigma Signal Tuesday 9th December 2003
The latest copy of the Sigma Signal is now online, featuring interviews and the latest gossip from inside AU!
New edition of the Sigma Signal Tuesday 28th October 2003
The latest copy of the sigma signal is now online.
New edition of the Sigma Signal Monday 11th August 2003
The latest copy of the sigma signal is now online.
Update: Recent Downtime Sunday 3rd August 2003
The game server is now back to 24/7 uptime.
Server update: 0.11.19 Wednesday 16th July 2003
*** Version 0.11.19
Editor moveto implemented - cursor can be moved to a particular location on screen.
Editor class notes created.
All emails logged to a file, otherwise we could not track them.
Initial database integration experiments.
"Transport" is now an operator-level command, not superuser.

*** Version 0.11.18
MAXSHARES now configurable on a per-user basis (for Jeremy).
setmaxshares command for superuser
watchlogs introduced.

*** Version 0.11.17
Telescope now loads objects from an xml file.
Added init command on telescope terminal for operators/superuser (reload object file).

*** Version 0.11.16
Slightly extended the time it takes to login.
FIXED BUG: Bots don't acknowledge you when you're the only person and they're the only bot in the room
Refactored telnet handler code slightly.
Started development of editor terminal
MUD address change Tuesday 8th July 2003
As of today, the connection address is now instead of the old
Recent Downtime Tuesday 8th July 2003
Apologies to players for the current offline periods from 23:00 GMT to 08:00 GMT. This cannot be avoided at present, but a hardware reconfiguration should solve the problem within a few weeks.
New edition of the Sigma Signal Sunday 22nd June 2003
The latest copy of the sigma signal is now online, featuring a great poem by scribe.
Server Update: 0.11.15 Monday 19th May 2003
A fairly major update. Here are the most important changes since version 0.11.8:
* Spaceball bug fixed
* Actions/take/drop on multiple objects are now resolved by a choice.
* New commands 'ggb' and 'ggl' = "gotta go, boss is here" and "gotta go, real life is interfering".
* New commands: Take all/drop all.  Also can use plurals to take drop groups of items (e.g. drop tickets)
* Ticket implementation changed - all players will lose any tickets from their inventory.
* Hostess/GenericDockingHatch relationship changed - hostess now ejects any players without valid tickets.
* 'Examine Grille' for the jail shows who's in there.
* Improved wanderbot{patrol robot, cleaning robot} algorithm a bit.
* The patrol bot can now send players with a criminal record to jail
* Notification when you msg/say to a person using a terminal.
* Many minor bugfixes
* Code refactoring
New edition of the Sigma Signal Saturday 10th May 2003
The latest copy of the sigma signal is now online, featuring some hot gossip and an interview with tickenest.
Change to Player Account Management Policy Tuesday 6th May 2003
To reduce the amount of unnecessary load on the game server, all player accounts that lie unused for more than three months will be deleted. If you wish your account to be reinstated, please send an email to Please note that we do not guarantee that it is possible to fully restore a deleted account.

If you will be off-net for longer than three months, or you wish your account to be made permanent, email duncanj in-game to request that your account be protected from deletion.

These changes are effective immediately.
Major Bugfix Tuesday 15th April 2003
Apologies to all new players that could not use the emergency button in the crashed spaceship near the beginning of the game - this bug has now been fixed.
Timezone Change Sunday 30th March 2003
The UK, where Alternate Universe is based, has now switched from GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) to BST (British Summer Time), which means that MUD time is now 1 hour ahead of where it was before. This means that things like the treasure hunt will happen an hour earlier than last week, relative to your clock.
New edition of the Sigma Signal Wednesday 19th March 2003
The latest copy of the sigma signal is now online, featuring an interview with jeremy.
Server Update: 0.11.8 Wednesday 19th March 2003
This is another minor update. Main changes are as follows:
* Automated treasure hunt (and automatic html page generation and upload)
* Tickets to/from Isis now cost $500
* Code refactoring
Java Telnet Client Wednesday 5th March 2003
Thanks to John Montgomery (coding) and barnoid (testing, suggestions), the first (and experimental) version of the Alternate Universe Java Telnet Client is now online.
Server Update: 0.11.7 Wednesday 5th March 2003
This is another minor update. Main changes are as follows:
* BUGFIX: Use of cursor keys no longer crashes telnet session
* Cleaner server shutdown process, ensuring no threads are left dormant
* Telnet applet server integrated into mud server, with superuser commands for start/stop/restart/status
Server Update: 0.11.6 Thursday 27th February 2003
This is a minor bugfix update. Changes are as follows:
* CuppaRust waiter now responds to a slightly wider range of insults (due to Wedgefreak's heckling)
* PlayerPortals are now reconfigurable on-the-fly by the superuser
* Last-login date bug fixed (linux/windows representation issue)
* Small changes to telnet handling
* Faster key response times (by increased thread sleep)
* Minor changes to live HTML pages
* Bug with Odysseus fixed (logging out during the trip, a server restart, then logging back
  in caused the player's docking hatch to remain shut)
* Much code refactoring, to make it easier to understand.
Player mailing list Monday 17th February 2003
For open discussion about AU, player polls, and the latest news, please visit our Yahoo group at (caveat: you may need to register with Yahoo in order to use this, but it's worth it)
New edition of the Sigma Signal Thursday 13th February 2003
The latest copy of the sigma signal is now online, featuring an interview with scribe.
Site update Monday 10th February 2003
As avid observers will have noticed, the layout of the Alternate Universe website has been undergoing some changes over the last couple of weeks. All server news has been moved onto this page and updates will be posted here when a new version of the game server is brought online.
Downtime Monday 30th December 2002
Due to social constraints, Alternate Universe will be offline for a couple of days around New Year. Also, a couple of bugs have been reported, and I will be endeavouring to fix them just as soon as time permits.

A happy new year to everyone!

Population statistics Monday 16th December 2002
A rough view of the geographic distribution of the population of players of Alternate Universe is now available as a selection from the 'live data' links near the top of this page.
Server crash Sunday 15th December 2002
Oops, the server lost some of its user accounts yesterday - thankfully I've managed to restore everyone from the backups. You may find that your position, share portfolio and other details have reverted to their state of a few days ago - if you have any problems, please contact me.
Live data! Thursday 12th December 2002
This website now features live (near real-time) data from Alternate Universe.

Links to these pages can also be found at the top of this webpage.
New Issue of the Sigma Signal Wednesday 11th December 2002
A new issue of the Sigma Signal is available, with further news from inside Alternate Universe.. (Thanks again to Tregina)
Milestone passed Tuesday 12th November 2002
At 12:44 GMT today, Alternate Universe welcomed its 1000th player, savaget. I reckon this is pretty good going, considering that AU hasn't been advertised anywhere - so thank you to all the players that have helped me by testing it thus far.

A few things are going to happen on Sigma Station over the next month, so keep your eyes peeled..

Server update Saturday 9th November 2002
A major behind-the-scenes rewrite of part of the server has just been completed. Objects are now handled differently, so please let me know if anything seems out of the ordinary..

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