There are few facts of Palace life more frustrating than the absolute certainty that somehow, some time, you are going to lose all of your props.
It will happen.
You can get them back.
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There are a few different ways you can get them back, and we're going to take a swipe at them all.
The image at right gives you an overview of how the Palace handles props. Each
of the green circles represents an individual user, and user has their own prop
file (the rectangle), called "Palace.prp" on their own
computer the central server
(i.e., the palace itself: The Palace Inc., Cybertown, Finchy's, or your own
personal server) also has its own prop file, called "PServer.prp,"
that resides on the server computer.
Each time that a user changes or displays props, the following chain of events occurs:
If everybody already has a copy of all the new props, nothing gets
sent across the net but the prop ID numbers each client just yanks-out
its own local copy. This can really reduce lag, even in rooms where
lots of people are using (and changing) large props. As long as the
props aren't new to anyone in the room, the whole affair goes pretty
quickly it's just a grab from your local disk.
The significant (and surprising, to many people) ramifications are these:
- Any server where you have used a prop has a copy of that prop in its master prop file
- Everyone who has ever seen your prop also has their own copy of that prop, hidden-away in their own prop file.
Normally, we don't see those hidden props because our individual prop files are internally split into two parts: the "favorites" part and the "hidden" part. Only the faves are displayed when you open your prop satchel window. A good indication of the existence of hidden props is when your prop file blossoms from one to eleven megabytes and you never use more than a couple of simple props for yourself (BTW, when you press the "Delete" button in the satchel window, all it really does is move the prop from the favorite to the hidden part of the prop file when you "purge" you are actually deleting (hidden) props).
Each prop has two ways of being identified: either by name, which you can set (via the name box in the prop-edit window), and by an internal number ID, which is set automatically by the software. Palace itself uses the number id for building macros and so forth. Multiple props may have the same name (particularly "NewProp" and "" i.e., no name at all), but props will almost never have the same near-random prop ID number. Names are handy for people and script tools like "setface" so here's Emergency My-Backup-Is-Gone Rule #1:
So the props are in the Palace.prp file. We know that. You should make regular backups of this file. Use the method you like best, but keep a backup it's by far the easiest and fastest way to get those props back (Personally, I use Stuffit Deluxe, but you can use any archive/backup utility).
You should always make a backup whenever:
- You're upgrading your client software
- You're making significant changes to your Cyborg.ipt
- You're about to purge big-time
- You've added a lot of new personal props
- You're bored
/ [ "Thunbd2-1" "Thunbd2-2" ] setpropsand boing! you pal has dressed in your supposedly-lost-forever prop, retrieved from their .prp file! A prop they can now handily give back to you. Of course, this would never have worked if you hadn't had the foresight to (1) make friends and (2) carefully name both halves of the Thunderbird prop "Thunbd2-1" and "Thunbd2-2," Mr. Tracy.
Copy Your Faves to Your Own Server
By running your own local copy of the server, you can drop copies of
all your faves in almost any room and use it as a warehouse. The
server will keep track of any dropped prop, and writes it right into
the mansion.script, (aka "PServer.dat" on some machines) like this:
PROP PROPID 0xAD527B51 CRC 0x76077F6C LOC 76 ,171 ENDPROP PROP PROPID 0xAD527B32 CRC 0x64B2C1DB LOC 123,124 ENDPROP PROP PROPID 0xAD827B24 CRC 0xECC755A5 LOC 74 ,124 ENDPROP PROP PROPID 0xAD328D19 CRC 0xAC13F95B LOC 106,314 ENDPROP
(a handy tool for saving props this way is the botbot "hang" script...)
We don't have to really decode all these internal ID numbers, but here's an important thing to remember you can shut down the server for a minute, make a tiny backup copy of the mansion.script along with PServer.prp, restart the server and then go back into the palace and "clean" the room you can always restore the mansion.script if you need to get the props. Now that's a hidden treasure chamber.... so hidden, the treasure's not even there except when you call for it.
Further thought will tell you that since entering such a room ensures that you have seen all of these props, they will automatically be present in your Palace.prp file, even without dragging them back into the satchel. So once you've entered a prop room that contains your missing props, you should be able to use any scripts or macros that use those props instantly.
Copy Your Faves to Other Servers
You can do the same thing by dropping props into (possibly hidden)
rooms on other peoples' servers, but you run a couple of risks that way
risk that people might either take the props or accidentally clear the
props, and the risk that the remote server's mansion.script or
PServer.prp might be purged without your knowledge. It's a working
solution for some folks, but a riskier one than just using your own
The Downside of Prop Names
Scripts that use prop names can be "spoofed." Since many props can
have the same name, there's no guarantee that when you call up a prop
with a generic name like "heart" that you'll really get what you
expected. For this reason, it's always a good idea to name props with
pretty obscure labels, that only you (and your cyborg) know.
So what does all this have to do with cloning? It's simple, if you
read the above description of the prop-transmission process. Every
time your client sees a prop, your client has a copy of that prop,
already tucked away in your .prp file. All a "cloner" does is figure
out which of those props to wear. That's every prop every prop
you see is in your local file, and every prop your wear that is seen
by anyone else is now in their local prop file.
This is important to remember because it means that cloning cannot be stopped by a server operation. Cloning is a local operation. The cloner isn't really taking your props, the cloner has already been given the props the moment he sees you wearing them. The only thing the cloner has done is identified them and worn them himself.
Of course, this is unethical. And the "cloner client" found in obscure places on the web and traded-around by some snert feloows is an illegal hack that will get you kicked off any site run by Communities.com and can even get the distributors in a pile of legal trouble. But that's not a technical issue, so I'll leave it at that.
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