The ACS Workbench may be used to install and upgrade ACS products such as control units, access panels, and so on, to reprogram ACS-equipped constructs, and to support all manner of roleplaying including maintenance, modifications, and repairs. This guide will help you explore what it can do.
Basic Workbench Controls
- Press the power button in the upper right hand corner to turn on the console.
- Press CLEAR to remove a unit from the workbench so you can work on a different one.
- Press REPOSE if the unit is moving inappropriately (say, because an animation overrider has taken over) to pose the unit properly.
- Press ROTATE to flip the unit from its stomach to its back and vice versa
- When an avatar is placed on the workbench while the console is activated, it will be scanned to determine:
- What type of avatar it is (Construct, Lifeform, or Other). For the most part, the Workbench is designed to manipulate constructs only; it can do very little with biological lifeforms.
- Whether it has a functional RLV relay active (only needed for certain functions).
- What type of core, if any, the unit has – for example, an ACS CCU, Cinis Power Core, or Nekobot Core. If the unit has a core that the Console can control, additional controls will appear in the CORE CONTROLS section of the console while the unit is on the workbench.
- Press QUICK SCAN if the console has not properly recognized the unit on the workbench.
To restrain the unit on the workbench, activate the Kinetic Field by moving the LIFTER control up. The Kinetic Field also has the ability to modify and manipulate the unit. It isn’t necessary to activate the Kinetic Field to use the Workbench’s functions, but we recommend it for roleplaying effect.
To release the unit, click the LIFTER control again to lower the bar and deactivate the field.
Install ACS Components
Click the INSTALL COMPONENTS control at the lower left corner of the console to install a CCU on a construct that lacks one, or, if the unit already has a CCU, to install compatible components such as Access Panels or Power Supplies. Note that this function will only work with newly-purchased items, which are delivered to specific locations in your #RLV folder. (Instructions for Buying ACS Components.) Follow the dialog prompts.
Redesign or Redress the Unit
The Workbench also provides general access to the avatar’s RLV folder, so you can attach or detach anything the avatar has available there. The interface is similar to the CCU or ArtCore Handle, except that the Replace option is not available (since that would remove EVERYTHING the avatar had attached or worn, which is unlikely to be what you really want to do.)
General Functions, a.k.a. Roleplay Support
We encourage roleplaying while using the Workbench. To help with this, both the operator and the unit being worked on have the ability to provide arbitrary text to be produced by the Console, the Workbench, or the Kinetic Field. These features do not rely on having RLV or a CCU installed – they will work equally well for any avatar.
As a Workbench operator, click the keyboard on the front part of the console. You will be given a dialog into which you can type any text you like. Once you click Submit, a second dialog will appear asking where the text should appear to be from. Examples:
- To have the Kinetic Field report that it is changing the unit, type something like, “/me alters the physical makeup of the unit.” Then click “Field”. A message will appear in public chat saying, The kinetic field alters the physical makeup of the unit.
- To have the Console announce that it is beginning a scan of the unit, type something like, “Scan commencing.” Then click “Console.” A message will appear in public chat saying, The workbench console whispers: Scan commencing.
You can also provide information that is presented only to the unit on the workbench, not to everyone nearby. To do so, precede your message with an asterisk (*). For example:
- To tell the unit what it experiences as you attempt to repair some damage, type something like, “*You feel your internal components shifting slightly as the kinetic field makes space for a larger replacement motivator.”
- These messages are presented in a dialog that allows the unit to reply easily. So you might type something like, “*/me scans your programming, looking for restrictions that block you from expressing your true opinion.” The unit could then easily reply by typing something like, “/me locates several restrictions, but lacks the necessary access codes to overcome them.”
As a unit on the workbench, the operator may give you the opportunity to reply as noted above. Type your response (start with “/me” to have it appear as a pose, rather than something whispered), click Submit, then choose the source of the message: Console, Workbench, or Field. If your message is shorter than 32 characters, you will have a fourth options, “Displayed,” which will cause your message to be displayed on the console rather than sent to public chat.
You can also initiate your own messages. Press the Up Arrow key to receive a dialog that works just like the one described above. Press the Down Arrow key to get a dialog that will ONLY display your message on the console; there will be no option to send it to public chat.
You can also use the PgUp and PgDn keys to roll onto your stomach or back – unless, of course, the Kinetic Field has been activated, in which case you can struggle a bit but will not be able to actually rotate yourself.
Operating Units with ACS CCUs
Six additional controls appear on the console when the unit on the Workbench has an ACS CCU:
- LOG IN: If you know one of the unit’s passwords, click this button to receive a dialog into which you can type it to gain more access to the unit’s programming. (New CCUs are delivered with a Level 5 password of ACSPassword and a root password of autonomycontrolsystemstech. Wise owners change these passwords to prevent unauthorized people from altering the unit’s programming.)
- OPERATE: Provides access to the unit’s controls, including Shut down/Activate, Freeze/Unfreeze, Silence/Unmute, and any custom modes or controls with which the unit has been programmed. You can also send direct orders, queries, thoughts, and messages, or cause the unit to speak, whisper, or emote any text of your choosing.
- HARDWARE: Provides access to the unit’s hardware functions, including:
- Bolt Down/Unbolt: Lock the CCU in place so it can’t easily be removed (or unlock it so that it can).
- Uninstall: Remove the CCU and all associated components.
- Upgrade: Upgrades the unit to the latest version of the CCU. You may want to read the CCU Upgrade Instructions.
- Individual components: You can also choose a specific component to uninstall it, move or rotate it, bolt it down or unbolt it.
- RULES: Reports the programmed rules that the unit is currently required to follow.
- PROGRAMS: Allows access to the programming of the unit’s CCU. Select any program module to which you have access to download a copy of it for review, or delete it. Select Upload New to upload a new or replacement program by dragging it into the Console. See below for more information about programming CCUs. Be sure to reboot the unit after making any changes.
- ANIMATIONS: Allows access to the poses available in the unit’s CCU. Select any animation to delete it. Select Upload New to upload a new or replacement animation by dragging it into the Console.
Programming Units with ACS CCUs
To upload new or replacement programming to a unit’s ACS CCU using the Workbench:
- Write or edit the program module (notecard) you want to upload. Make sure it has Copy and Transfer permissions.
- Click PROGRAMS.
- Choose Upload New.
- Drag the program module from your inventory into the Workbench. (A sound effect confirms that the notecard was properly dropped into the Workbench.)
- The unit will compile the program module. Progress is indicated on the Workbench display. You will be notified if any errors occur at this stage, and the program will not be uploaded. (The avatar’s player has the opportunity to review some of the programming as it uploads, and can generate an error.) If the program is accepted, a message to that effect appears on the Workbench display.
- To replace an existing program module, simply make sure the new one you upload has the same name as the old one.
- After uploading (and deleting) all modules you want to, be sure to reboot the unit. The new programming will not be effective until you do so.
For Experienced Workbench Users
If you’re accustomed to using the older Workbench (before February 2017), you’ll find several changes and improvements in this one:
- Much easier to upload programs and animations!
- Many fewer things that can go wrong.
- Purchasing components is now completely separated from installing them. Once a component has been purchased, it can simply be attached, or it can be installed using the Workbench. Both have the same effect.
- You now have full access to the unit’s shared #RLV folder.
- It has always been possible to make the Workbench system emit arbitrary text, but nobody ever knew how. Even the designer forgot. Now it’s easy.
- Using the Kinetic Field is now optional. If you want to roleplay standing over the unit with a multimeter and a screwdriver, or a paintbrush and hair dye, go right ahead.
- There have been a few cosmetic improvements in button pressing.