VZones Forum & Newspaper Posts - Delphi Forums

From Reno Project

Here are reprinted forum posts and newspaper articles of note that were originally featured in the VZones Delphi Forums, both official and unofficial and are being reprinted here in their original form wherever possible.




Taken from the Virtual Planet article, Current Information Regarding Downtime - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 10, 2000

Delilah posted this in the DS forum

Dear Members,

As of 11:30 p.m. VZT, the worlds are still, as you know, down.  It has been determined that the soonest we will be back up and running will be late Monday evening, the latest Wednesday morning.

After the maintenance that Global ran early this morning, the hard drive that housed our operating system, the programs to startup the worlds, and the access to the disk system that contains the world data crashed and failed to reboot.

The drive has been replaced, and we are working on getting the back up information in place. Due to the recent changes in staff, this process will be more lengthy than anticipated.

The good news, at this point, is that there is no anticipated time warp of your belongings.
We apologize for the frustration and the lengthy downtime, and will continue to update you as we have more information.
- Delilah


From: Delilah (DELILAHCC) 1:00pm

Dear Members,
There is no update as of this morning (July 12, 10:30 a.m. VZT). We will post an announcement regarding the server tomorrow by noon VZT.

There is no information to give over the telephone, please do not continue to flood the switchboard with calls. There is no information to give at this time.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

- Avaterra.com, Inc.

Taken from the Virtual Planet article, New Updates On Downtime - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 12, 2000

We have some more information to pass along regarding the downtime. These 2 messages were posted by Delilah.

Dear Members,
    I apologize for not posting an update yesterday. As of this morning, we have no progress update on the server.

    Currently we have a contract engineer working on restoring the server. He has worked on our server(s) for several years, until a few months ago. During those few months, there were many changes to the server processes, which he was not involved in.

    The documentation of those processes has been sent to him as of this morning, and we hope to have a more detailed update by tonight. He has been able to restore several of the systems, however, the process that allows access to the worlds has been the most sizable change, and is not yet restored.

    I do apologize for the delay in keeping you all informed, and the lengthy down time.
- Delilah
Michael has computer problems, lost his fan, and is working on getting that replaced as soon as possible. This is why you don't see him around much.
    I am the person in the office that you will reach. Because we have no dedicated local customer support representative (since January of this year) we ask that your account issues go through support@avaterra.com. I apologize for not responding to every call that comes in. I am currently in the middle of a move.

    The engineer working on the server right now has worked on the server and our equipment for at least 5 years. He didn't have access to the documentation of the changes that have happened in the past several months. The engineers who made those changes were through a contract agency, and cannot be contacted to work for us directly after the termination of their contract for 12 months. (Common practice with contract agencies.) He did forward the location of the documentation for the processes this morning though.

    Its not the ideal situation, and how we got here is unfortunate, but we are still here. The problems are not insurmountable.  Its just timely. Those who are here are dedicated to getting this back up at full speed.

    I hope this helps clear up some of your concerns and questions.
- Delilah

Taken from the Virtual Planet article, Chat with Delilah - MoonGlow - July 13, 2000

From: Elberet (ELBERETSYSOP) Jul-12 5:05 pm



Alright, here goes folks...
Around 14:00 VZT, the moderated chat session with Delilah ended in the VZConnections forum. Delilah was answering questions from all members and here is the full edited / filtered transcript from the chat. Since this transcript is REALLY long, Delphi will truncate it. In order to get the full message, you will have to click the "View Full Message" link at the bottom of this.

Hope this answers all or at least most of your questions... :)
-- Elberet
Sysop, VZones Member Support


Delilah: ok, let me try to explain as best as I can. As you know, the hard drive that housed the server software to access the worlds crashed. we "thought" that our tech on contract could restore it, but as he got further into the restoral process, there were more and more processes that the techs who worked on it before him changed and did not get the assistance needed from those contractors, in order to get the info needed to restore fully. The tech working on the problem is an ex-employee of Avaterra, who's working on it part time. As we go into the 4th day here of down time, the projection of how long it will take is unknown so the board will be meeting this afternoon to decide on a plan for what we will do. we can all speculate what those ideas might be. There are several choices, but ultimately it will be their decision what happens. I don't want to give any false hope, nor do I want to give you the impression there is only one choice, I'd rather shut down for two weeks and take the time to fix it, if it was my choice

Elberet: Del, can you answer individual questions?
Delilah: Yes, if we can take them one at a time

Elberet: From Frenzy: Is there a chance vzones is gone for good?
Delilah: yes, that is one of the possibilities. It is only one of the possibilities though, please keep that in mind.

Elberet: From Elaindara: evem will we get an extension at the end of our account renewal period to make up for the multiple crashes and days we have misseed?
Delilah: There will not be an adjustment to accounts for the missed time, unless the downtime continues for another week. If we decide to wait out the server issue and shut down access for two weeks, then we will make adjustments

Elberet: From Nyangel_2: Delilah hun, why havent we been told anything concrete before now? doesnt it make more sense to keep the members informed to avoid all the ugly rumor spreading that haas been going on?
Delilah: despite the rumors that have been flying, which have been all speculation at this point. The information that I gave was the direction we were going. We hoped that our tech would be able to restore the worlds and avoid any further interruption. It wasn't until this morning when we realized that the tech working on it was not going to get all of the restoral information he needed, so, here I am.

Elberet: From Poison Ivy: roughly wot time should we expect an announcment tomorrow so i can make sure i'm here ?
Delilah: if the down time continues much longer, we will make adjustments. I'd say sometime around noon to 1:00 p.m., I will try to be here as early as possible once I know.

Elberet: From Angelinay: If VZ is gone...will we be refunded for anime purchases?
Delilah: Very good question, Angelinay. To be honest, I don't know. If there is a way to do that, we will. I can't say for sure.

Elberet: From Nyangel_2: is the possible demise of VZ the reason that checks sent in for renewal of accounts have not been cashed over the last month and a half ?
Delilah: I didn't realize those checks were not cashed, I do know that any checks that came in as of the first day we went down have not been deposited.

Elberet: From Velvet: is thought being given to preventing this in the future, ie running a redundant server to shadow the 'live' one?
Delilah: well, we had processes in place that were supposed to prevent this from happening. The problem was that those engineers who set that process up are no longer on contract with Avaterra and the tech who is working on it, does not have all the information needed in order to restore I can't say what the reasons are that we do or do not shadow mainly because I don't know ;)

Elberet: From David: is there a chance that Avaterra is being taken over ?
Delilah: No, as of right now, there is no one takig over Avaterra

Elberet: Again a tech quessie: From Wings: How could the world crash so hard that it cannot be fixed?
Delilah: that one I can try to answer. When Global shut down for their maintenance, our server is in their facility... When they went to bring back up our drive, it crashed. The drive died, the backup information on the tape drive for the restoral of the processes on that drive was not accessible or in the format that the tech working on it could restore from because of the fact that the engineers working on it before him did minimal documentation, and there are issues with versions, processes, etc. Its not like pop in the windows cd and restore

Elberet: From Jazmineds: Instead of VZ and DS going away for good could they just basically "start over" ie everyone is a newbie again?
Delilah: Hi Jaz, that is one of the options I'd opt for that one too :) but yes, it is a possibility as well

Elberet> From JamieGirl: Delilah. Im sorry if this has already been covered, i just got in, but can you confirm or deny the rumours of Vzones shutting down?
Delilah: Hi Jamie, can't confirm nor deny.... we are working on alternatives and a decision

Elberet: From Liebeth: No one has mentioned the fall of the Avaterra shares from the market, they went down to a few cents.That means in effect Avaterra is bankrupt. Anyone following the stock market must realise
Delilah: yes... but the stock price isn't the clincher. Our operations are the bottom line

Elberet: From Angelinay: OK, If other techs worked on the server, why can't those techs be brought in to fix what is wrong? Or update the other tech on what they did?
Delilah: the techs that worked on the server before were through a contract agency that we used in Canada who are now on another contract and we cannot contact them legally for support due to the contractual obligations. so that contract issue has us tied

Elberet: From [name lost]: Some of us invested much time and money into the worlds. What will hapen with that?
Elberet: From SifuJJ2: If VZones shuts down, can I receive a full refund of monies sent, or do I need to pursue legal avenues to do so?
Delilah: right now, until we know if it is shutting down, there really isn't an answer for either of those remember, it's only ONE of the possibilities and we're trying to avoid that

Elberet: (Rephrasing Jewel2866's question:) We now know two of these - shut down, or start over. Can you tell us any other alternatives yet?
Delilah: well... these are purely options that we would consider of course shutting down, starting a new world all over or we can shut down for a few weeks, to restore the worlds as is if we shut down, then I'd imagine we would adjust the bill dates I mean if we shut down for a few weeks we'd adjust bill dates

Kashmir: from selena fire, what happens to the anime already paid for?
Delilah: anime: it will depend on what the final decision will be as to how we will handle that

Elberet: From David: where is Michael?.. is he still involved?
Delilah: Michael: he is still involved, although he's had laptop problems, we've been in touch

Kashmir: Slither, I just want to know how long we can expet to wait and if we can't get Avatarware stuff will we be refunded
Delilah: We will make an announcement tomorrow afternoon once the decision(s) are made, we'll have a better idea of what we will do and how we will handle these issues

Elberet: From Schmike: if avaterra shuts down, will you be releasing the server software as freeware ?
Delilah> no, we license the technology from Fujitsu

Elberet: From Twilightsky: If you start the new world over,,can you just give everyone already in world 200k or more each?
Delilah: If we started over, we'd have to work out some details for the current members. I'm sure it would be a big consideration. we'd do something similar if we start over

Elberet: From robin57: if the worlds are restorable then whya re they considering shutting down for good?
Delilah: the timeframe that involves restoring it, as well as the cost past a certain amount of time and cost, it would be beyond our resources to keep it open, should that be the case

Elberet: From Gawain100: If we're down for another week and my billing period comes up during that time, will I be charged? I dont wish to be charged for a service if I have no definates if it even exists
Delilah: if we're down for another week, I am sure we will adjust your billing dates we will not runn billing during this downtime

Elberet From Jungledream: adjust the billing dates HOW? and shouldn't that also apply to shutting down for a few weeks..that will make it a month or more lost....
Delilah: yes, if we shut it down for a few weeks, or if we are down for another week, we will set the billing dates to a later date

Elberet: From Cptdialtone: Let's get to the point, is there anything we can do to save VZ?
Delilah: can we all come up with a couple hundred thousand? that's not the only alternative, but it is the biggest. the alternative is that we run slowly at the pace we are running at, trying to up our revenue to maintain operations

Elberet: From Wings: Will you give us a definite answer tomorrow as to which option you decide on at your meeting?
Delilah: yes I will and I'll give it everything I have to keep us going

Elberet: From Jungledream1: I just do NOT understand what takes weeks... when my office had a hard drive failure, and no one knew how to fix it, a tech person NON related to anything in our company was called to
Delilah: I think what the problem is here with why people think it shouldn't take so long there are a few things. one, the tech working on it, is doing it part time, he is very experienced with our processes... two, our software on our end isn't a simple installation. three, the engineers who worked on it during the past 6 months did many changes to the original processes that the tech who is working on it now does not have the proper documentation on

Elberet: From Frenzy: Is it possible to run a newbie world for us while working on restoring the data? or is that possible?
Delilah: it probably would be possible, but the time involved in getting that up would take away from the time to restore or rebuild. I'll see if we can reopen access to the old beta world if possible

Elberet: From WertPGumby: do you really think starting over would be wise? Many will probably just give up rather than start over, look at the realm and the "wipes" it did which caused many to not return.
Delilah: I don't know, Wert... if we can avoid that, I'd prefer that, if it's the only alternative to shutting down altogether, I'd opt for that. Although I would hate to lose one single member, I'd prefer to keep those who can and will come back to a new world, rather than lose everyone altogether. none of the options are optimal unfortunately

Elberet: From Angel_in_sky: If we start over, will the billing be 9.95, or will we still have whats' left of our six months, that is already paid?
Delilah> if we start over, we haven't talked about how or what we would do up front. alot of the questions you have are understandable, but until we have the specific decision on what we will do many of them, I can't give direct answers to, until that decision is made

Elberet: From Cleocatme: When will we know what the final decision will be?
Delilah: we should know the final decision tomorrow morning. I will post here and come in to take your questions

Ange: carmel: why is it so hard for mangment to keep the users posted on their work?
Delilah: I have been here posting, just not 24/7 so I'm not sure I understand the question

Ange: SHELLY3510: how long would it take to start over verses weeks restoring old world?
Delilah: I am not sure of the time frame involved for setting up a new world

Ange: Leshana: I think I'd rather see the worlds stay down while restoration was in progress, rather than go the quick route and start over.
Delilah: I would agree, Leshana

Ange: LadyD: what about the people that have had an account made recently, what is going to happen?
Delilah: Hi Lady D, until we know which route we will take, I'm not sure, but I can venture a guess... if we open a new world, all accounts will need to be signed up all over, we would make an adjustment to the time when billing would beging if we wait to restore, all accounts "should" remain active, and adjust bill dates accordingly (if it takes another week)

Elberet: From Toonarmy: question is this the start of the rumour that DS would be closed by christmas so they could concentate on VZ
Delilah: Hi Toon -- that rumor is and was false... and this has nothing to do with that VZ and DS are both affected by this issue, as well as Pride

Elberet: From Amethyst Moon Dancer: what will happen to the UFO turfs that were won as a drawing?? Will they be gone??
Delilah> if we restore, they should not be gone. if we start from scratch, everything will be gone, but we'd work on some kind of ideas to "attempt" to make up for everything that everyone would lose... more than a moving box :|

Elberet: From Victoria: So in other words..it's less expensive to start over...a wipe so to speak, than to restore or repair what we have?
Delilah: yes, it would be less expensive

Elberet: ESSEXVZ: what about the the money we paid for Anime heads and things, why did u all do this knowing this was going to happen?
Delilah: we didn't "know" this was going to happen if we "knew" it was going to happen, we would have taken steps beforehand. we were trying to generate revenue to get to a level where we could support problems like this immediately and not part time contract help. unfortunately, the crashed hard drive didn't wait for us to reach that

Elberet: WINGS2GO: Thanks Delilah for "throwing yourself to the wolves". It is good that someone is finally speaking for the company. We sincerely appreciate what you are doing here.
Delilah: <F7> Wings... I wish there was more that I could do or say. we owe you all alot, all of you, and I don't mean membership fees :)
Elberet: :-)

Elberet: JURPLEJEM: I would like to know if the membership would be allowed to vote on waiting patiently for a restore compared to closing & starting over?
Delilah: Jem... although I can understand the desire to vote what the members want with this decision... I truly think at this point it is a business decision, that it must be the least costly of the choices which I am not confident weighing all of the things that will be affected, which that would be. it's a decision that will be made by the Board of Directors

Elberet: TREVAYNE: would starting the world from scratch be the most likely way to assure DS's existance ?(financially speaking)
Delilah: wiping and starting from scratch would involve completely rebuilding the worlds, both VZ and DS. I don't know what the impact would be financially for either zone

Elberet: YEAGER3: i would like to know why you are stalling? If the company does'nt have the money to stay afloat, just admit it to us now.
Delilah: I'm sorry but I am giving you the information that I have, the decision has not been made and professional or not, as understandable as it is, this is not some grand conspiracy and I'm really sorry there isn't more satisfactory information to give. I've already covered alot of these issues, and to continue to assume that I know more than I am telling is wrong. you know guys, I am just as upset as you are about all of this, we all are. contrary to rumors or belief, we're not sitting around having a chuckle about this. for me its not just my job, its as much a part of my life as it is the rest of you so, at very least, if you can't show respect, then don't expect me to continue to answer. Hang me on the line for that statemtnt if you want.

Elberet: Kayray: are Mac users going to be able to get into this rebuilt world?
Delilah: if thats the choice to rebuild, they will be able to access just as they do now

Elberet: Bond, BrookLyn> can we do as members to let the board know how we would like to see them proceed?
Delilah: Brooklyn, I would say to prepare a statement by the members, to be ready by 5 tonight and I will forward that to the Board members. I'd make it one clear statement, with solutions, not just what we want. I'll be happy to help, btw.

Elberet: Violet Rose: Will there be 2 worlds if there is a reset?
Delilah: Violet, I don't know right now, I would say ideally yes, there would be 2 separate worlds

Ange: Rita: How will all of this affect Pride?
Delilah: the same impact Rita, they are connected to the same server process that we are

Ange: Del, can you run a quick recap ?
Delilah: sure. Due to the problems that we have encountered with this past hard drive crash coupled with the financial and staffing problems we have experienced in the past few weeks/months, the process to restore the worlds to their former status has been determined to be more lengthy than originally anticipated. Our part time contractor continues to run into problems with the restoral of service. Avaterra will have an announcement to make tomorrow afternoon regarding the future of the worlds. at this time, there is no final decision. Possible options: Waiting two weeks or so, for restoral to full operation of the existing worlds; scrapping the harddrive and the affected processes, and rebuilding this server and worlds from scratch; or the closing of the worlds altogether. I will be available in chat tomorrow after the announcement is made to field questions regarding that decision.

BadNFluence: I just want to know how we close account if that's what we decide to do? I have received credit card statment with billing from yourselves and not happy about it.
Delilah: if we close, you won't need to close your accounts, that will happen automatically. If we open a new world, your old accounts will also close automatically, we will not bill. If we wait for restoral, we will bill, but we will adjust the billing dates. If you have paid in advance via check, I don't know how we will handle that, I haven't thought that far in advance, but before we make any announcements, we'll address all of those issues as best as we can.

Elberet: Ms.Melinda: How long will it take to build the world from scratch?
Delilah: the main issue for rebuilding would be the server process and billling, which could take about a week -- my best guess. We have many locales that are saved off on disk that we could put up. We could build it as we go, once it was open. That part is a one day job to get locales ready to open

Elberet: Fuj: If the world gets back up like before, i think there should be a way to save our avies incase this happens again
Delilah: I'd hope so, Fuj -- we have back ups of the data, meaning your avvies, the locales and belongings. It's the access to that data that is the problem

Elberet: jungledream: if we end up starting from scratch, will previous avi's get a preference in names? I could NOT be anyone but Jungledream :o)/
Delilah: Jungle, would be a matter of if you could get it in time, we'd have no way to reserve names

BadNFluence: ok, what input will management have?
Delilah: I've made my recommendations, it is now in the hands of the Board of Directors. there are a lot of things to consider, weighing the revenue that we can gain, against what we owe and what will cost to continue to operate.

BadNFluence: KIRI26: if they close worlds alltogether will we be refunded?
Delilah: I don't know about the refunds until we discuss the final decision

BadNFluence: from FENWAY: Clarification if a rebuid will take a week and a restore two, does it then become a bottom line decesion? Logic tells me the manpower hours involved in a rebuild would negate any cost factors
Delilah: Fenway... rebuilding against restoration, the cost would be less due to the available processes and information. The person who could rebuild would not have to work on someone elses processes or decipher them.

Delilah: Ok, guys, I'll be back in for sure tomorrow when the announcement is made and I might be around later this evening. Keep good thoughts
BadNFluence: what time should we start looking for the post ? and numerous thank you's for Del <S>

Delilah: thanks again for all the SysOp help and for the members' patience. The post should be made some time around 1 p.m. VZT tomorrow if it's not ready by then I'll contact someone to post a delay. Sorry guys, will try to come back tonight to answer more questions. Huggs all, you hang in there too!


(Personal note from Elberet: Thanks to Guide TheCat for the big help with this log since I arrived too late to log everything completely. Thanks also to Delphi who have a hardcoded, non-resetable population limit of around 250 members per chatroom and for the smooth blue lettering. <G>)


Taken from the Virtual Planet article, 2nd Chat with Delilah - MoonGlow - July 13, 2000

From: Lindy, VZ SysOp, Member Support (LINDYVZ) 3:32 am

Here is the informal chat with Delilah tonight. It took us a while to get Delphi to cooperate in setting up the controls to make it more structured and get questions answered. We apologize for the messy reading. LOL
(Logging at 13-JUL-2000 01:20)
(Missing the very first part)

.Delilah> we have about 9000 paying members altogether
CATMEL4> 9000? no way
.Delilah> if 1000 thousand..
PUTYPAT11> sifu plz behave
.Delilah> Sifu >:_<
SIFUJJ2> putting self on ignore now
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> shhhhhh....please let Delilah talk
.Delilah> one thousand of those members were willing to invest, or in groups...
CATMEL4> Lindy is this really her?
.Clio> It's Del..type /rname delilah
CHERRYPIESV> I checked it ouy guys...it's Del
.Delilah> $250 each... in return we could work something like a public locale specifically thiers
.Delilah> its me its me, the rude CS manager :(
SIFUJJ2> lol Delilah
LADIESINN> so only 250 per person?
.Delilah> or, in a 6 room turf, rent ree, customlized, that would include a builder to
.Delilah> tool
GENE255> but there arent 10oo locals lol
QALIFORNIA> And the return would be?
CHERRYPIESV> Lindy...can you do a queue?
GENE255> 1000 even
ANGELYZ1000> Ill do that....I will
.Delilah> that you could use to fill paint cans in your turf, paint your turf or the items in that turf
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Set one up
CHERRYPIESV> I do not know how....could you please?
.Delilah> we're trying to find out a way to make the $250 a good investment, not just for opening the doors again
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> I set it up, CP
QALIFORNIA> How is Mivo holding up through this?
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> But I've never done it either <g>
.zombiechic> so whoever doesnt pay doesnt get the turf right???
LADIESINN> where can we get the info on it?
SKEPTIK2> would we be buying stock?
SIFUJJ2> Lindy.../mode +q
SIFUJJ2> or q+
SIFUJJ2> I forget
CHERRYPIESV> I will see if ican get Ange to do it
.Delilah> Mivo's hangin in there, he's as concerned and upset as the rest of us
.Delilah> buying the stock will not directly go into the company
.Beverley> so you only need 1000 memembers to do this then
.Kaiserfuchs> Hi Delilah
.Kaiserfuchs> sorry, was lost in the internet <g>
.zombiechic> hehe
.Delilah> yes Beverly
.Delilah> Hi KF
.Moon Dancer> YES YES YES
GENE255> hmmm but i doubt alot of people will pay 250$ just to have a local all theirs of a turf they could coustomize
.Kaiserfuchs> for ow long will 250 000 be sufficient?
.Wicked Witch of> I would
.Piper> i think people would
LADIESINN> i will pay 250
CATMEL4> if I had $250
.zombiechic> i cant afford it but
QALIFORNIA> I would rather have the shareholders reports.
.zombiechic> i would if i could
ANGELYZ1000> I will
.Victoria> well, she did say it was going to take about 200K
DAYCE> I will do it, just give me the info of where to send it
.Delilah> in the turf, they'd not have to pay rent
.Victoria> and thats about it
CHERRYPIESV> it is at best a stopgap measure Kaiser...i am sure we all realize that...
GENE255> i have a suggestion if ya want to hear it?
.Delilah> they'd also get the tool tht let them fill paint cans to their specific colors
.Kaiserfuchs> CP: yes, I am trying to get some information though <g>
CATMEL4> So.. you can pay $250 to be a CT? <g>
.Delilah> the locales would be in an investor area of th world(s)
.Kaiserfuchs> Delilah: do you know about the average traffic that is caused by the worlds?
CHERRYPIESV> sorry Kaiser...did not mean to sound like a bitch..<G>
.Delilah> with specific access and privileges
SKEPTIK2> I pay 500 to be Oracle with robe<g>
.Delilah> ok, hang on, to many questions to keep up
GENE255> but wouldnt that give people more of a chance to act like they own vz and act like they run the joint
.zombiechic> k
QALIFORNIA> What were you saying about the codes? In your message, you mentioned that the former engineer exercised a right to hold them?

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> From Amazon2U1: But investors could go anywhere in world?

.Delilah> Ok, Gene, not sure which idea you're referring too
.Delilah> this scroll is confusing the discussion
CATMEL4> I dont like the idea of investors taking over the world
SIFUJJ2> of course it will Gene, but in essence, that is the point...the people who are able to invest will be in part responsible for the continuation of VZones
.Wendy Risk> plz everyone shhhhhhh it is there rw money let be a damned king so we can get in
ANGEVZONES> everyone please que your questions by typing /queue
.Delilah> KF... explain what you mean please
.Kaiserfuchs> Delilah: I mean the amount of traffic the worlds are causing
.Delilah> QAL -- the engineer isn't "holding" the documentation, the documentation was given, but not thorough
SKEPTIK2> lol wendy
GENE255> well if people pay to have a local all thiers they might later on start trouble inworld because they might act like they are better and therefore cause trouble
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Folks...please hold your questions and let Delilah talk first.
.Delilah> we have about 1000 simultaneous users in the worlds combined at a given time, is that what you mean?
.Wendy Risk> hmm does giudes NOOOOOO
.Delilah> they wouldn't have powers Gene....
LADIESINN> i would put money in to keep goin not about some damn turf tool
.Delilah> only the tool that would allow them to customize their speciic turfs and paint cans they have bought
.Wendy Risk> just my repect for sure
GENE255> i got a small suggestion to make when yer done delilah
.Delilah> I think many would contribute, but they deserve something in return
.Victoria> exactly...$250 i would gladly give..i dont need anything in return but world up
LADIESINN> how about free world?
.TexasBlzrd> Hmmmm I deserve the title of Caretaker ROFL
.Delilah> that's to be expected Skeptik
.zombiechic> but what if we cant donate and we feel not as good as them and they have the good turfs and we dont ???
PUTYPAT11> how do we get a moderator in here
.zombiechic> not that we wouldnt want to donate but just cant afford to
.Delilah> which is why we'd need even with the volunteer work on the server, a dedicated sys admin to be sure it doesn't happen again
CHERRYPIESV> Mel...can you do a queue?
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Delilah, please let me know when you can take some questions that I have queued.
WEBDUDETM> Count me on with the $250.00 with the zones down, we ass the people never want it to go away again
CATMEL4> me??
CATMEL4> nbo idea how <g>
.Melissa T> I am getting the que.
.Delilah> zombie... it's a matter of what we can all do to keep it alive
CATMEL4> oh her lol
.zombiechic> well its true :)
.Delilah> I have world manager powers, and would invest my own in it to help
.zombiechic> id rather see it live and stay with my good friends :)))
LADIESINN> so will they let us enter world free if we invest?
ANGELYZ1000> is 250 for DS VZ and Query?
.Wicked Witch of> its a matter of getting the world back Zombie..not a popularity contest

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Delilah: From from BEVERLEY36:Beverley> a couple of us club together to buy one $250
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> share??

SKEPTIK2> thanks Del for trying hard to save our World....count me in if we get enough supporters....even though Im relatively poor<g>
.zombiechic> ooooh i know that
GENE255> but surely you could get some big name companies to invest money in return for some kind of advertizements in world ...
.Delilah> we talked about that... and although it seems fair trade, that would reduce the monthly revenue coming in
.zombiechic> my mom wanted me to ask that hehe .... i understand i wish i could contribute
.Delilah> wb KF
LADIESINN> ahh i see
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Please, golks! Be quiet so we can let Delilah talk and answer the queued questions.
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> folks, even LOL
SKEPTIK2> hehe
.Karen Ellis> Letting us in here free will not help because it cuts future income
.Delilah> we'd love to have big name companies advertising
.Delilah> however, it costs $$ to get those companies to sponsor advertising
ANGELYZ1000> has anyone asked DisneyWorld?
SIFUJJ2> yes everyone, please allow Delilah to answer the questions before her...if you have a question, please type /queue and then your question and it shall be answered in its turn
QALIFORNIA> I wonder why they call Lucas the Prince of Darkness?
WEBDUDETM> the people, we should all be stockholders, and we can be the first online democracy
.Delilah> Our Sales staff approached the months ago, again, it costs big bucks to use their name
.C.C.> Sif..icq me love i need to know what i've missed
.Delilah> its an idea Web, the honest to goodness problem with that is the support issue
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> People, if you need to say something to somebody in here, please type /send and their name

(Commands finally worked here!)

.Delilah> ok... partners
.Delilah> we have 3 partners -- AOD, Delphi, and PLD
.Delilah> but there is no income in those, other than memberships they bring to us
.Delilah> Amazon, as soon as we make the announcement tomorrow with the details
.Delilah> We haven't met with our partners about this yet

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> A couple of related questions: UEUE from BEVERLEY36:Beverley> a couple of us club together to buy one $250
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> share??
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from PIEPURR:Piper> so if a group, of say five got together, we could
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> invest $50 each?

.Delilah> Yes, Piper, that would get you either a turf or a sponsored locale
.Delilah> we haven't made the final decision on that, we need to know there will be enough interest in doing that
.Delilah> we can't ask much more
.Delilah> No, Proph... SA
.Delilah> the idea to invest up front is so that we can get where we need to be financially so that the membership fees aren't sucked up and we can stay afloat
.Delilah> the membership fees alone at this point are not enough for us to continue
.Delilah> which is why we added the anime
.Delilah> if this works, I do think the best alternative is to start with new processes

.Melissa T> QUEUE from ZOMBIECHIC17:zombiechic> will it restart or recover?? if this
.Melissa T> actually works :)

.Melissa T> MIZOON:Karen Ellis> What about AvatarWares?? Isn't that providing
.Melissa T> income?
.Delilah> AvatarWares is providing income, but it was not there long enough or up long enough to recover from this kind of situation that we're in -- the crashed drive was in all essence the nail
.Delilah> had this not happened, we were looking at a more clear future in about 2 to 3 months of avatarware sales and membership fees

.Delilah> next question?
.Melissa T> VZMEGSTER> If you bring the world back up,whats the paying plan?
.Melissa T> like for the people who still had a part of there six months left,do they
.Melissa T> get those back? or do we have to pay the 9.95 a month when we
.Melissa T> VZMEGSTER> If you bring the world back up,whats the paying plan?
.Melissa T> like for the people who still had a part of there six months left,do they
.Melissa T> get those back? or do we have to pay the 9.95 a month when we
.Melissa T> VZMEGSTER> If you bring the world back up,whats the paying plan?
.Melissa T> like for the people who still had a part of there six months left,do they
.Melissa T> get those back? or do we have to pay the 9.95 a month when we

.Delilah> if we are able to recover, we can extrapolate who has time left on their payments
.Delilah> if we cannot recover it, or the choice is to not,we'd have to come up withan alternative
.Delilah> most are on the monthly payments now, it's not a big number who have time remaining

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from VSEBASTIAN:Victoria> What exactly will be done with $250K?

.Delilah> that would cover the license fee, the system admin, the ISP mainly

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from 1WICKEDWITCH:Wicked Witch of> How much is monthly expences to keep
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> the worlds going?

.Melissa T> Del?

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> A log will be posted of the previous questions and comments later.

.Delilah> trying to figure, I don't have the table with me
.Delilah> sorry... but a guesstimate would be about $110k
.Delilah> that is with barebones staffing

.Melissa T> LADYDRACUL2:LadyD> what about radio stations? didn't that work in
.Melissa T> the past?

.Delilah> the radio stations were not successful in generating revenue
.Delilah> which is what we need

CHERRYPIESV> Ragady Anne> Who do we make the check out to, and where
CHERRYPIESV> do we sent it?<g>

.Delilah> Hi Rags, I will post all of that in the morning :)

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from TRISTIAN00> would it be possible to raise the price of membership
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> to say $19.95 to keep Worlds up and running, I'm sure alot of ppl would pay
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> it to keep it up?

.Delilah> I don't know, it would help, but at this point, I'd like to think that the members should decide what they are willing to pay
.Delilah> we want you all to feel that you're getting the value you are paying for
.Delilah> there has been alot of conjecture that it isn't

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from MOONDANCER2:Moon Dancer> Del is it possible for you to do a formal
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> proposal to email or post in Delphi so all can consider it?

.Delilah> Yes, Moon

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from VSEBASTIAN:Victoria> Was this an option that was presented today,
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> brought back to us for feedback, and the board will make final decision
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> tomorrow based on the feedback from this evening?

.Delilah> well... when I met with you all this morning, the 3 ideas that I posted
.Delilah> brought alot of feedback, concern and offers from the membership
.Delilah> David and I both have received alot of positive ideas and concerns
.Delilah> so, the decision will hold for now while we get information from all of you as to whether or not overall we can pull it off

.Melissa T> AMAZON2U1:Scribe> Scribe here: If the worlds go back up, will the
.Melissa T> "Bring a Friend" program be instituted so that the membership grows enough
.Melissa T> for this to never be a problem again?

.Delilah> Scribe... that will take technical development, so if we get back in place, we can invest in adding that option again

.Melissa T> VZONEADDICT:'inner> Is there a possibility of merging the two
.Melissa T> worlds, DS and VZ into one so that the server only has to deal with one
.Melissa T> world? I would think this would cut down on lag, downtime ect. <shrugs>

.Delilah> we haven't discussed that option Inner
.Delilah> would probably be faster to get one world up, and then introduce another with varied content

.Delilah> thanks Web :)
.Delilah> I've gotten alot of really touching appreciative emails today, and I really want to thank you all for your sweet thoughts

.Delilah> next question?

.Delilah> any more questions tonight? or you all want to wait for tomorrow to talk about details?

.Delilah> Compu...
.Delilah> quick recap:

.Melissa T> ANGELEYES723> Will we still be billed on regular date even tho ds
.Melissa T> is down?

.Delilah> after alot of feedback and ideas from members
.Delilah> volunteer offerings, donation offerings, etc...
.Delilah> one of the hottest ideas to get get 1000 members (at least) to invest $250 up front
.Delilah> and we'd figure out what we could provide in return for that
.Delilah> that would not detract from the monthly revenue from membership fees
.Delilah> we'd need to know that at least 1000 members would be interested in doing this
.Delilah> before we'd take anyone's money
.Delilah> but some of the ideas were locale sponsorships, in an investors zone... with specialized returns
.Delilah> other ideas for locales, building tools, customized, etc.
.Delilah> and/or give you stocks in return -- not sure on the legality there, so don't quote me until we have full information

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from SKEPTIK2> can the Worlds be brought back with our possesions or we
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> all be newbies?

.Delilah> Skeptik, from what we have seen it would be less expense to open new worlds
.Delilah> so everyone would be newbies

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from GENE255> why repair a server that will in no doubt break down
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> again why not just get a new one

.Delilah> and just to clarify one of the rumors going around...
.Delilah> Robert, although he registers many of our websites for us...
.Delilah> and we are thankful for all of his efforts in maintaining those
.Delilah> has not been transferred any kind of ownership or exclusivity rights
.Delilah> to existing worlds, or the much discussed Adult World :)
.Delilah> he's a remote assistant, who happens to give A LOT of technical support where we can get it
.Delilah> lighten up on the guy

.Delilah> Gene, that is the other reason for having the server built from fresh start
.Delilah> not an option Web... not a "big" option, I guess anything is at this point

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> A log will be posted of this meeting later

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Question from Lindy: If we stay, will they mirror the hard drive so we don't have this problem again?

.Delilah> we could ask that be one of the specifications from whomever builds it

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from PUTYPAT11> i want to know if this is a one time investment or a
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> yearly one

.Delilah> would be a one time investment

.Melissa T> VSEBASTIAN:Victoria> Once money is received from the members, how
.Melissa T> long would it take to get world back up

.Delilah> we'd have to set the schedule with the sys admin

.Melissa T> ANNA7077:anna7077> may i ask who the vistor was you had this
.Melissa T> evening?

.Delilah> I wasn't in the office, and I'm not sure she wants to be revealed

.Melissa T> JANASC> how many members are currently in vz & ds ?

.Delilah> approx. 9000 total paying

.Melissa T> V1OLETB> But could we be assured that our investment would not be
.Melissa T> taken and the worlds close down anyway?

.Delilah> that is why we wouldn't take the investment up front until we knew it was "doable"
.Delilah> we have been planning to add in addition to Dreamscape and VZconnections...
.Delilah> and Adult world
.Delilah> which would add dto the monthly revenue to keep the zones up

.Melissa T> VAMPMYSTERY:Vampyre Mystery> What kind of harddrive would cost so
.Melissa T> much, and take so long for someone to install? An answer to this, would
.Melissa T> answer a few Qs on my mind. Thanks. :-)

.Delilah> Vamp, I have the emails from the engineer, I couldn't tell you specifics
.Delilah> but I could tell you which issues he was hung on
.Delilah> I will probably know more tomorrow night, will be going down there

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from JANASC> one again....... how many members are currantly in vz &
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> ds?

.Delilah> about 9000 paying members altogether

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from MOONDANCER2:Moon Dancer> do you still have the facility to recieve
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> secure credit card info so investment could be made in that way?

.Delilah> I believe Lindy is going to post a transcript
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Yes, I will

.Delilah> actually, the billing system is not accessible right now, we'd have to set up an alternative, which we have one in the works

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from TRISTIAN00> Delilah what about local advertising for the Bay Area
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> - your company is based out of one of the hottest areas in the country -
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Silicon Valley, why not do some ad's in some of the papers or

.Delilah> that's a great idea, if we had someone in marketing to do that, or the funds for the ones that cost for advertising

.Melissa T> V1OLETB> From a marketing standpoint, I feel that this kind of
.Melissa T> world is a gold mine, why hasn't more agressive advertising been
.Melissa T> implemented to try to bring in additional revenues?

.Delilah> I agree, Violet... several months ago, we made an attempt to do aggressive marketing,
.Delilah> however the direction we took wasn't successful
.Delilah> our marketing departmente dwindled during that time... so we didn't have the resources to continue pursuing other directions

.Melissa T> ARONED> is it not better to have less worlds and give us better
.Melissa T> ways to earn tokens instead of being on line forever.. that must be hard
.Melissa T> on server?

.Delilah> Sure, Aron, but a hot selling point on the web are minutes on line
.Delilah> and so to change that at this point, again involves development that we don't have resources for

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Question: What about selling the software via the internet and stores like CompUSA like other services do? They also then charge monthly fees after trial.

.Delilah> Not a bad idea, Lindy, I'll bring that up tomorrow
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Okies

.Melissa T> PUTYPAT11> what if we the members did some knocking on doors in
.Melissa T> and around our areas
.Delilah> that was a big part of it Vamp

.Delilah> our members are our biggest resource, most have come here through the words of friends

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from V1OLETB> Has the use of Internet Banner advertising been
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> considered? It is a low cost way of getting the word out to your target
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> audience. If the worlds are rebuilt from scratch, I think this would be

.Delilah> we did banner ads for awhile, they were somewhat successful, but again <sigh> at this point, it is a cost that we can't expend right now

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from MOONDANCER2:Moon Dancer> another promotion idea the CD's that come
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> with computer magazines, with free nad demo software

.Delilah> the main issue right now is getting the funds to cover the license, the ISP, and a sys admin to get us back up
.Delilah> once we cover that hurdle, we can begin working on marketing and/or othe much needed improvements

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from TRISTIAN00> also Delilah I'm sure some of us local peeps in the
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Bay Area would be interested in volunteering as far as advertising, like
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> posting ads at the local colleges etc

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> QUEUE from PATMCKROTCHX> So are you saying your in a no win situation? You
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> cant attract more users for more revenue and the revenue you have now isnt
.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> enough?

.Delilah> anything else before I wrap up tonight?
.Melissa T> lol
.Delilah> oops lag time

.Delilah> Pat... its kind of a no win situationi right now
.Delilah> until we're able to get the new world off the launch pad
.Delilah> that would bring us back up to par where we could begin to invest in marketing
.Delilah> which would in turn bring us more revenue, to reinvest in the support and the product
.Delilah> its not insurmountable
.Delilah> its getting back on the right track

.Melissa T> V1OLETB> From a cost standpoint, I would think there would be many
.Melissa T> companie that would be willing to do an advertising trade, Avaterra
.Melissa T> advertised on their site, and vice versa.

.Melissa T> SKEPTIK2> is it realistic to expect 1000 investors if you wipe out
.Melissa T> thier 3,4 and 5 year old collections to save a few dollars over retrieving
.Melissa T> the old World?

.Delilah> I don't know Skeptik, that is up to all of you
.Delilah> its not a decision I think we are in a position to make

.Melissa T> There will be a logged transcript posted in the forum of this meeting for those just arriving.

.Delilah> ok, no more questions, I'm goig to do a small recap then head out for the night
.Delilah> after a lot of feedback and offers from members to help to keep us open
.Delilah> we are considering to put an investment offer on the table to the members
.Delilah> we would need 1000 members to invest $250 (or the equivalent)
.Delilah> in order to recover
.Delilah> at this point it is a consideration
.Delilah> and after the staff meets tomorrow, we'll post the details and the proposal in the forum
.Delilah> thank you all for your really sweet letters today
.Delilah> and I'll be back tomorrow with more details

.Lindy, VZ SysOp,> Thank you for coming here, Del!

.Delilah> Huggs all
.Melissa T> Thank you Del.


Taken from the Virtual Planet article, Chat with Delilah 7/14 - MoonGlow - July 15, 2000

From: Wings (WINGSSS) 8:35 am
To: ALL (3 of 19)
617.3 in reply to 617.2 prev next

I was in the chat room and Del was not able to get in because it was full so she went to overflow room and this was all I was able to get she was not there long but hope this helps a little:
july 13,00 8:30 pm

.Delilah> now, before I take questions, we will not shut down
.Delilah> I won't have any timefram on when the server
will be back up until I'm able to get in touch with the person who will be taking over the restoral
.Delilah> We will not proceed with the idea of "passing the hat" to the members
.Delilah> David is preparing something for the members, and plan to have that available sometime tomorrow
.Delilah> as it stands, we will not close down, any other information beyond that is not available until we're able to talk to the person who will work on restoring the server
.Delilah> as soon as I log out of here, or crash, I will try to call him and schedule time to meet and the details he will need
.Delilah> I realize this isn't the information you were all waiting for
.Delilah> we talked about alot of different options, but until we have an assessment on the server problem
.Delilah> thosse options will be on hold
.Delilah> I apologize for getting here so late, our meeting ran over a few hours,
.Delilah> when I got home, my laptop crashed after 5 minutes and couldn't get ahold of anyone
.Delilah> for those who don't know I'm living in a motel, and all of my phone numbers are stored.... ON MY LAPTOP :(
.Delilah> I'm very sorry I wasn't able to get here sooner, and am sorry you all had to wait so long questions
.Kashmir SysOp, V> Madness> So does that mean that we *MAY* get our avies
.Kashmir SysOp, V> back and not go thru the newbie thing again?
.Delilah> that is a possibility yes, depending on the server
.Kashmir SysOp, V> mel take mod pls
.Kashmir SysOp, V> Del can we get a recap pls?
.Delilah> recap: I haven't been able to get on line until now
.Delilah> Avaterra is not closing
.Delilah> we're waiting for the assessment on what can be done to help us get the server back up and running
.Delilah> as soon as I get out of here, I'll get in touch with the person, and schedule a time for the information he needs
.Delilah> any options discussed are holding until we can assess the server situation
.Kashmir SysOp, V> PARTYGIRL4U> someone said that your trying to get the world to
.Kashmir SysOp, V> run by tommrow. Is this true?
.Kashmir SysOp, V> hmm...thought inworld lag was bad
.Delilah> I doubt the world will be up by tomorrow, I haven't even talked to the person who will be working on it
.Kashmir SysOp, V> MysticHeart> are prices going to go up?
.Delilah> I'm sorry, there is no more information available until we can assess what will be able to be done for the server
.Kashmir SysOp, V> WildBill> are you asking who I think you are asking?
.Ange> Please be patient the chat is lagging horribly
.Delilah> Mr. Andrews will have more informatio to post in the next 24 hours, I'm sorry you've all had to wait so long
.Delilah> yes WB... when my laptop died earlier, lost your number
.Kashmir SysOp, V> oh good you knew what he meant <g>
.Kashmir SysOp, V> NYANGEL_2> so does this mean we are no better off than we were
.Kashmir SysOp, V> before ? we're still in a watch and wait situation
.Delilah> I really hate that you're all having to wait so long through all of this
.Delilah> with not much information, but until we are able to assess the situation, the options we have to keep the worlds open are moot
.Kashmir SysOp, V> Dr. Pepper> so the plan right now is for restoral...
.Kashmir SysOp, V> unless that is impossible... and we won't know that till the techie knows


Dear VZones members,

 Over the last few days we have had by far the worst experience in our history. On Sunday, a scheduled maintenance shutdown resulted in a failed hard drive.  Worse, the hard drive was the controller drive that points the server to all of your data which is on a large number of other drives. In other words, we lost the map.

 Our back-ups are intact and up to date, but unfortunately, our engineering management had failed to enforce our rules on documentation. We had very little in the form of instructions as to how to restore and reconfigure the required software.

 At this time we are working on restoring the data, but I do not hold out much hope of completion within the next few days, and frankly, it could take a week.

 Some members have offered help and I am very willing to accept, and in fact welcome it.

 Over the last few months we have experienced several setbacks, all beyond our internal control, and some engineered by outside forces. I'm sure that you are all aware that Avaterra.com, Inc., is not in the best of health.

 When I joined WorldsAway, the progenitor of Avaterra.com, I was immediately captivated by the technology, and the people who used it daily. In the early part of 1999, the team and I worked very hard to bring the company and the technology out of Fujitsu, and frankly, this is a struggle that could fill a novel. We managed to raise seed capital in a very short period of time, because in all honestly, that was all the time we were allowed. If I had failed then, the Worlds would have vanished.

 As I occasionally glance at the forums I see that some anonymous members feel that I am equal to (or could actually be!) the Devil incarnate. I understand that they are venting their frustration and really have no clue as the real situation. However, the underlying truth is that this kind of venting has damaged us greatly. It has colored the view of new investors, has set off internal conflicts, and overall is destructive, not constructive.

 All this leads me to my point. The entire team, with very few exceptions, have tried there best to take what is still an emerging technology into the mainstream. I have devoted over two years of my life to this, and it has been a labor of love. I am still trying my best to find ways to keep it alive and to help it move to a secure footing. At this point, it does not look promising as the financial obstacles loom large.

 I read in the forum the other day that someone had put forward a request that members send us $250 to help. I would like to make it clear that this was not approved by me or any other member of our staff or board of directors. I believe that although this could have a very beneficial effect on the company, it would not be ethically or legally right. I also read today that someone had been billed by their credit card company. This should not happen as we do not intend to bill until we are up and running. Please notify your credit card company if this happens and ask for a refund.

 I have waited to post this message as I did not have all of the facts, and wanted to be sure not to misinform all of you. I'm sorry if you are frustrated by my delay, but it was done for the right reasons.

 I will update this message daily to help everyone know the situation as it unfolds.

 I would like to thank you all for your devotion to the VZones, and want you to know that I really hold the interests of the company and all our loyal members and contributors at heart.



Taken from the Virtual Planet article, From David Andrews 7/16/00 - MoonGlow - July 17, 2000

Dear VZones Members,
Thanks for the healthy encouragement I received yesterday after my announcement. And thanks for the criticism which with a few exceptions was constructive.

A few people voiced the opinion that my message was too vague and should have arrived earlier. Please understand that I have a responsibility to provide accurate information when I’m sure that it is accurate. I can’t guess or jump to conclusions, it’s unfair and unprofessional. The information I announced yesterday was accurate and that’s the best I can do.

I would like to also address the issue of the $250 donation idea. When I posted yesterday I did not know where the topic had originated in the forums. I now know that it was expressed as an Idea by Delilah after a conversation with me. As with all of Delilah’s contributions it was done so with the very best of intentions and meant to help the situation. She and I were unaware of any legal implications at the time we discussed the idea and I feel it necessary to make it clear that it was not an offer or request from the company, that’s all.

Delilah and the rest of the inZone team often get lambasted unjustly, but they devote large amounts of time and energy into the nurturing of the VZones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all once more.

We continue to try to solve the technical problem and reestablish the VZones. I will have more information tomorrow and will make another announcement. There is nothing of any consequence to add today.

While we are in this state of hiatus I would like to gain some specific feedback that could help us. I will send all the registered members a question or two each day for the coming days, and ask you please to kindly respond via email, to aid in my analysis. If you have multiple accounts, just respond once. Multiple responses from one person skews the results. We will send out the first questions tomorrow.

Again, thanks for your encouragement and support. It isn’t wasted on me.



Taken from the Virtual Planet article, Message from David Andrews - 7/17/00 - MoonGlow - July 18, 2000

Dear Members,

Over the last few days it has become evident that recovering
the crashed drive is a bigger problem than we thought. The
process is slow and cumbersome, but we are contacting
experts to learn how it can best be done. We continue to work
on it and will keep you informed on a daily basis.

Yesterday I said that I would ask you a few questions, and so
here goes. Could you please respond to my email account:
dandrews@avaterra.com. Remember, if you have multiple
accounts, please just respond once.

Please select from the following, and delete all others

1. The main reason I visit the VZones is:
a. the technology
b. the people I meet
c. the things I can collect

2. The subscription to VZones is:
a. fine by me
b. too much
c. value for what I get
d. too low

3. The look and feel of the VZones is:
a. old fashioned
b. too cartoon like
c. just right

If you have VZone friends who do not monitor the forums.
Please send these question on to them. I will past another
announcement tomorrow, when we have more information.
Plus I will ask a few more questions.

Thanks for your patience! I'll speak with you tomorrow.



Taken from the Virtual Planet article, David Andrews - D3 - MoonGlow - July 20, 2000

Dear Members,
The responses to my questions have come in thick and fast. I have over 1,000 so far, and I still have not been able to get to all of them. Thanks for your feedback. I am reading every one, so be patient and I will give you some highlights ASAP.

As to the status, we are still working on the problem and I am focusing on agreements which will help. We seem to be progressing slowly, but we are progressing.

I was contacted by one ex-member today who asked if I was interested in her opinion, and the opinions of other ex-members. My response is a wholehearted YES. Many ex-members were with us for years, and it’s good to learn what they wanted, but didn’t get. We can’t please everyone….that’s the pragmatic view, but it’s easier to please more people if you know what they want!

I have one long question today, and I’d appreciate it if you could respond as you have over the last two days. Please make sure to put "D3" in the title of your email as it speeds things up a lot.

Please rank the following in the [ ] marks, 10 being most important, 1 being least important:

How important are the following…..

A. The chat component of the Zones [ ]
B. The apartments [ ]
C. The ownership of objects [ ]
D. The capability to customize an avatar [ ]
E. The tokens you can collect and use [ ]
F. The fact that you can page a live guide when you need to [ ]
G. The very large number of locales or rooms in the Zones [ ]

Thanks, and speak with you tomorrow.



Taken from the Virtual Planet article, David Andrews - Update - MoonGlow - July 21, 2000

Dear Members,
Today I’ve been meeting with some potential partners who would like to work with us, and so I have not been able to prepare an update, nor construct any questions.
Last night and for a short time today, I read many of your answers and I can see that there are some interesting areas where we should make changes, and others where we seem to be doing well. I have had many positive messages and good wishes, and I would like to thank everyone who responded.

Just a quick note on the questions. I have seen that there have be questions as to why I’m asking them now. The reason is simple…the information matters as we intend to add to the VZones soon, and this is a good opportunity to have all the most active members concentrated in one area….the forums. There was also a comment that what we need is better servers and better management, not sponsors or cat heads. I can’t comment about the management, as I may be biased (lol), but we made an investment over last year of over $1million in software upgrades and infrastructure. The original server software was designed in the late 80’s and as the more technical amongst you know, we’ve come a long way since then. We added the latest Sun hardware, and updated a wide range of other components, so the criticism does not really hold water.

Tomorrow I am meeting with more contacts and will give you an update.

Speak with you tomorrow.



Taken from the Virtual Planet article, More News From David Andrews - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 22, 2000

Dear Members,
  Some better news today. Wild Bill and the Technical Swat Team of member volunteers has told me that they think they’re close to solving the technical issue. We’ll know over the next couple of days, so keep your fingers crossed. The Swat Team are a wonderful group of people.

  I’ve been working on the partner issue I mentioned yesterday and we are progressing well. I’ll have more on this on Monday and Tuesday.

  I have some help in tabulating the questions I asked, so we can start to look at future VZones.   Again, I’d like to thank my tabulation helper!

  I was told by several people that I missed Games from the last set of questions. They’re right, and I had planned to hit this issue in one separate questionnaire. So, maybe now’s the time.

  Again, as before, please answer the following and send your responses to me ASAP.

    Send replys to dandrews@avaterra.com

  PLEASE, oh PLEASE make sure you put D4 as the title of the email so I can be sure which questions you are answering. I  wasted many hours over the last few days opening many emails, only to find that they were from a previous day. Also, I really like the comments, but answer the question too. Put then at the top or bottom of the email, but please realize that I am reading all the emails and editorializing in the answers just confuses me!

  Also, some members interpret my questions as an indication that I want to change Dreamscape or VZconnections. That’s not true. I’m trying to generate input for new Zones, not to change those we have.

  Here’s the question for today:

  Please answer Yes or No to the following:

  Would you be interested in …..
a. Playing more “real world” games, such as poker, roulette and blackjack [ ]
b. Would you prefer more games, even if you had to give up apartments to get them [ ]
c. If you could win real world prizes, would it be of interest [ ]
d. A true shopping mall in a VZone where you could buy products via electronic commerce [ ] e. A place where you could have an office for meetings and daily work [ ]
f. A place where you could attend classes and seminars [ ]

  Thanks again. I speak to you tomorrow.


Taken from the Virtual Planet article, Update From David Andrews - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 23, 2000

Dear Members,

  The volunteer task force is still working on getting the worlds up and running and I’m hoping to get some solid information soon. Right now there’s nothing new to report.

  I have had some meetings with potential partners and things are moving along quickly. More next week as things evolve.

  Thanks for answering the questions yesterday. I had a record number of answers in a record time. The extra comments were good too.

  I’d like to clarify the fact that I’m not asking how you would like to CHANGE the existing worlds, but what your preferences are for future Zones. So don’t panic.

  I have to say that I’m still astounded at the few venomous individuals who seem to find it necessary to spew out insults via the forum while skulking under the cover of anonymity. I know that what I’m saying is not “Politically Correct”, but the heck with it. I’d be happy to meet any of those individuals in person at any time to discuss their comments. I wonder if they have the gumption to come out into the open and address me personally? I doubt it.

  I think everyone knows that I’m trying my best to make sure that Dreamscape and VZconnections survive, regardless of my role. I have a great respect and liking for the vast majority of the members, and the warmth and good feeling you have sent to me over the last few days has been inspiring.  The Swat Team, the inZone team and I want the worlds to continue.

  I will not ask questions tonight as we are still trying to catch up with the literally thousands of responses so far. I would like to thank Greg (ironicboy22) who has taken on a vast amount of tabulation work with enthusiasm and skill. I’m proud of this young person and the effort he has put in.

  So, I’ll check in tomorrow and try to give you some substantial input.

  Until tomorrow…


Taken from the Virtual Planet article, SWAT Team Report - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 23, 2000

Sorry for the late update...

  First the bad news, there is a problem connecting the worlds application to the user database. This prevents logins for all but Ibill accounts, that uses another database. This is a matter of hunting down the right script and running it and/or fixing it. We expect to complete that tomorrow(well really, later today given the hour)...

  Now for the good news, worlds are running and appear to be in the condition they were in when it went down, it does not appear that we are in for a time warp or a "do-over" and any of the other, ugly, probable outcomes.

  I am very glad that Del spilled the beans about Lambert, he is a tech that used to work for Avaterra and volunteered to help at Del's request, and also want to say what a substantive contribution Delila made in responding to the offer of help, getting it cleared, and connecting the SWAT Team with Lambert.

  Lambert was the point man, he knew the systems, but it had been awhile since he had worked on them, filling in the missing pieces were Crasholyte Drago who is a total guru on the Sun/Unix systems, as well as SuBtle and JeffsBike. These folks pulled a 14-hour shift on this today in addition to analysis all last week.

  We started around 10:00 am, and the inital assessment was not pretty, OS was throwing errors on boot, the RAID disk array was not working, and none of use had ever used the tape system to do a full restore. On top of that we did not want to hose the 3 worlds databases.

  For the next few hours we reinstalled the Solaris 7 (SUN Unix) and started checking things out. Over the next several hours we got the RAID system working, and then got it all the boot properly.

  A this point we restarted the servers from disk (prior boots were from CD) and we got a good boot. Now time to start the worlds, there were many bumps on the effort, one of which we are not over. The worlds started fine, but would not allow logins. We were able to create and login on IBill Accounts, as I mentioned before, this uses another method.

  By this time it was after midnight and Lambert knew that for the most part we were down to figuring how to get the last database connected right. There is no doubt the team will nail this last issue, but that is not a good task to take on after 14 hours so we decided to break off and the night, lets some clean-up routines run and hit it fresh in the morning.

  It is unlikely that we will have a new status prior to 12:00 Noon PST, and no we are not sleeping in until lunch time, but we know it's going to take so time to find the missing link here and I did not want folks looking starting early in the morning. I will try to do a status by or at noon pst tomorrow.  Also please note that the lack of often status messages is that the team had to stay very focused, we know it was/is frustrating, but assume getting to worlds back up was your first priority and it was certainly ours.

  I personally want to thank the engineers on the team, these guys were from all over the world and jumped in, stuck with it, and formed a great team. I have been in the biz for a long time and can say that they are a class act and true professionals.

  To all who wished us well, thank you so much, nothing like a ton of postive vibes to make things go right! Your support has been outstanding and very much appreciated.

  Tomorrow, with a little luck and a lot of skill, we hope the worlds will be up and available to all.




Taken from the Virtual Planet article, More Information From David Andrews - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 24, 2000

Dear Members,

  The SWAT team has succeeded in solving many issues….they were at our server location this morning until past 3:30 am, and then back at 10:00 am. Great dedication!

  They have just informed me that they have restored Queery Universe, the world that is licensed by our partner Pride Universe. That’s one up, two to go. They are currently working on some tricky scripts to get the other worlds up and running.  They have a team from around the world working on this, so hats off to them.

  I’ve spent a good portion of the day working on analysis of the data we have gathered, and reading all the excellent comments. There are literally thousands of emails, so it’s a lengthy job, but really interesting. I feel, more than ever that I understand things that you feel are important and those that are not.

  So, no questions today. Depending on the status of Dreamscape and VZones, I may continue tomorrow. If the worlds are up, you’ll be too busy to bother with surveys, so I shan’t trouble you.

  I seem to always be saying this, but let me say it one more time. Thanks for your patience, involvement, excellent comments and suggestions…and your loyalty to our worlds.

  Speak with you tomorrow.


Taken from the Virtual Planet article, More News From SWAT Team - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 24, 2000

Again great progress was made, Pride, which is a small world by comaprison to VZC ot DS is 100% operqational and on the air, login works now for Pride folks.

  All three required the database be indexed after a crash last night, Pride is small so this finished quickly, VZC and DS are huge and the database reindex is taking hours.

  We think the problem with login is resolved but we can't test it until the database jobs finish. It is still possible that you may see DS and VZC tonight or tomorrow morning, but if there are issues then it will be longer.

  We are sorry this is taking so long, but things have to be done right or the worlds will just crash again and perhaps do even more damage to the systems.

  As I said before, we have remote access to the systems, so work will continue into the week if necessary. We had not anticiapated having to rebuild the databases, but after the crash we did not want to take any risks with the worlds data, so we been stuck (Lambert & I) in this cold and noisy datacenter all day monitoring the jobs and cleaning up loose ends.

  I will continue to keep you posted. Again, the good news is that the servers and worlds are fine, there is just a little more work to finish, please bare with us in these final moments.




Taken from the Virtual Planet article, Message From David Andrews - Shawnee Chance 2 - July 25, 2000

Dear Members,

  Well, we’re up and running at last!

  Thanks to everyone who was involved in restoring the worlds.  There were several wonderful people on the SWAT team that did not sleep for long periods. Lambert Ma and Wild Bill did far more than anyone could ever expect. Sairath (aka Drago, aka Gotz), SubTLE, Jeffsbike were key to the success, and several past employees chipped in and helped.  Eva (Delilah) and the entire inZone staff were really key to the solution. In addition, a vast number of members were eagerly sending offers of help and encouragement. For me, the experience was inspiring.

  I’ll keep this short as there’s probably nobody to read it as you’re all in Dreamscape and VZconnections!

  Thanks for your patience,





Dear Members,

    Member Support, the Forums ops and In World Staff have been repeatedly asked for detailed information regarding the ongoing service downtimes, Avaterra.com Management and the current status of VZones.

    Member Support would like to give all our members more information on all these matters but the truth is we have no information which to give the ops, in world staff or members.  We are not Management, we do not have access to the technical, financial or corporate areas of Vzones or Avaterra.  All we have is member accounts information, the ability to create new accounts and a pager number to call when worlds go down.

    Vzones is akin to a rental property with an absentee landlord at the present time. The building superintendent and maintenance staff, in this case Member Support and WM's, can "maintain" the building but they cannot authorize structural repairs, hire qualified workmen, pay property taxes or negotiate any financial issues. All of these can only be done by the owner/landlord. "Rents" are collected automatically and directed according to the owner/landlord's banking instructions.

    We have directed members to the remaining officer of Avaterra with the  access and information regarding technical, financial and corporate areas, David Andrews. We are sorry, but he is the only person who can respond on any of these matters.   Mr. Andrews is the listed contact for our host/router service, our banking and collection services and is the only person at this time with the authority to contact Global.

    Robert Dunbar continues as a consultant to Vzones and owner of Avaterwares, a service he provides to the Vzones communities as time permits due to his real world job and obligations.

    We do appreciate your frustration with the current downtime and concerns regarding VZones future. We are working to get any information regarding the current situation. As soon as we have received any new information we will post it to the Official Forums.

  Thank you,
  Vzones Member Support