Thursday, September 22, 2011

Help If You Get Stuck In Setup

It's not unusual for a first time customer to get confused or stuck when setting up their Pandorabot. This is especially true of the Actorbot and METAbolt Add-Ons as they are a little more complicated. I'll try to distill down the most common problems in setup here and in a "Help" notecard.

1. Read the Manual
The first thing I do when contacted for assistance in setting up a Pandorabot is to point out the PDF manual and make sure the user is following the step-by-step setup procedures detailed there. The manuals are included in the product as a notecard but are far easier to read in PDF format. Each Pandorabot model has its own manual but all of them include the Pandorabots Owner Manual V5. In addition to the base Pandorabot setup, if you have purchased either the Actorbot or METAbolt Add-On then there is a manual for that as well:
If you have one of the Add-On's then start with that manual and use the Pandorabot Owner Manual V5 for later configuration of your Pandorabot. If you have the Pandorabot V5 then ignore the Add-On manuals and start by reading the Pandorabots Owner Manual V5.

2. Read the Configuration Notecard
By far the most common error in Pandorabot setup is mistakenly thinking you have set a configuration in a notecard when all you really did was modify a comment. All of my configuration notecards are in the following format:

setting_1 = value_1
setting_2 = value_2
# Configuration notecard for the <whatever> script.
# Settings are specified in the format "<name> = <value>"
# DO NOT use "=" in either the <name> or <value>
# Place any uncommented configuration settings above the
# END_SETTINGS line above. Lines below END_SETTINGS
# will not be read and are here for information and help
# configuring.
# Comment describing setting_1
# setting_1 = default_value_1
# Comment describing setting_1
# setting_2 = default_value_2

You have to make your configuration settings above the END_SETTINGS line and delete the "#" character from the beginning of the line.

3. Isolate and Describe Your Problem
Know which step in the step-by-step setup process you are on. Be able to describe what you have done and what results you are seeing. How does that differ from the expected behavior ? It's hard to help when all I know is "I'm stuck!" or "It's broke!". I can provide assistance only if I know where you are, what you have done, and what you are seeing. So, take notes and follow the step-by-step setup procedure until you hit a snag. Then tell me exactly what you have done and where you are. This really helps. It's also often helpful if Actorbot or METAbolt users test their 3rd party text client first by logging the alt in with either Actorbot or METAbolt then logging themselves in with a standard viewer. Is the alt there ? Did it get successfully logged in with the text client ?

4. Send me an Instant Message or E-mail
I can see my Second Life IM's in my email even when I am not logged in to Second Life. I can also reply to IM's via email when not logged in to Second Life. You can IM me (Missy Restless) anytime. You can also send email to Because of timezone differences and scheduling conflicts I may not get to your message right away or even that day. Don't waste your time with a message like "Can you help ?" then wait a day for me to say "Yes" then another day for you to say what the problem is. Describe your problem, the steps you have taken, and the outcome you have observed in your initial request for assistance. Just assume I will help - I will. Do not hesitate to contact me if you are stuck.

5. Send me a copy of your notecard(s)
It often helps me to understand what you have done if I can review your configuration notecard(s). The Pandorabot base prim contains the Pandorabot V5 configuration notecard named "Configuration". If you have the Actorbot Add-On then there is another configuration notecard called "Actorbot_Config". If you have the METAbolt Add-On then the add-on configuration notecard is called "METAbolt_Config". The Greeter configuration notecard is called "Greeter_Config". To send me one or more of these notecards:
  • Login to Second Life as yourself using a standard viewer
  • Edit the Pandorabot prim - right click the prim and select "Edit"
  • Click on the "Contents" tab of the edit window
  • Click on the notecard you want to copy
  • Drag the notecard to your inventory
  • Open my Second Life Profile (e.g. search for Missy Restless)
  • Drag the notecard from your inventory onto my profile window
  • Send me an IM telling me what notecard(s) you sent me
I hope this helps a little. Let me know what other help tips I should add to this post and the Help notecard.

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