Connecting to Telnet Worlds: Using Microsoft Telnet
Telnet -text based virtual worlds, or MUDs, MOOs and MUSHes as they are collectively known, require a TCP capable text client to interface with. Many different clients at a range of different prices with different addon features are available. However, each takes time to aquire, even if that is just the time to search in google and download.
There is a telnet client included with just about every major operating system. They are basic, but they are functional, and enable you to start exploring textual worlds immediately, if not in the best way possible.
Loading the program
Microsoft Telnet works with any version of the Microsoft Windows® operating system. To load it, is as simple as:
Click on Start
That's it, the telnet client will now open, and will look blank and unfriendly, at least to the new user. It will look a lot like figure 1.
As this is a bare-bones telnet client, it will never get friendlier than this, and it is strongly recommended you download a better one than this if you intend to visit text worlds regularly.
We will start off by viewing the available commands. To do this, type:
at the prompt. Something similar to figure 2 will be displayed, showcasing all the commands available for MS Telnet.
Most of these parameters are irrelevant for the purposes of this tutorial, however, as you can see, telnet is a very basic, simple interface, that simply connects to a given port on a remote machine, and enables two-way data transfer.
To use telnet to connect toa textual world - MUD, MOO, MUSH or Mux - you require two things
In figure 3 (below) we are attempting to connect to MordorMud, a Multi-User Dimension (MUD) based on the DIKU codebase. We could however, be connecting to any telnet world, as the procedure is the same.
ModorMud has its own demain, mordormud.com, and the world itself is accessible through port 4000. We know this, as in the advertisment listing where we found the mud, it had this information plainly spelt out.
so to connect, we open a connection, to that server and that port thus:
> open mordormud.com 4000
Notice there is no www. prefix on the url. This is because the world wide web uses port 80, and we desire port 4000 not port 80, so you always leave the www. off.
Telnet will now attempt to connect to that world. If it is successful, the screen will scroll, and the entrance credits for the world will appear, thus:
If there is no connection, or the server times out (waits too long) then telnet will tell you it failed to connect, and you can try another connection, or wait and try the same one again later. Remember the port number has to be exactly right to connect. In the case above, 3999 would not work, nor would 4001.
Once you are connected to the world, just type and follow the instructions the world gives you,and think back to the text adventures of the 1980s - just massively multiuser.
Going from here
Microsoft Telnet is not a very good program for exploring telnet worlds with, it is extremely basic, and lacks anything beyond the simplest functionality. If you find you enjoy these environments - and many do - then it is well worth thinking about downloading one of the free, or shareware MUD clients.
If however, you are just starting out, or using a computer other than your own, MS Telnet can be a handy tool to get you to connect.