The Dark Side of the TRaM

TRaM technology was apparently pioneered on FurryMUCK, but one day it just stopped working. The story as I originally heard it was that someone had taken up an idea suggested on this site (which does not necessarily mean they got it from here!) and made a TRaM device that turns the user into an independent TRaM device. (So that if, for instance, Yip looked at a device he would not only be transformed, but others who then looked at him would be transformed too!)

It sounded like a nifty and relatively harmless idea, then I got the full story from one of the other TRaM owners (after I sent all of them a note about what seemed to have happened). Names have been withheld to protect the guilty.

Yeah...  blame xxxxxxxxxx for that.   His action didn't just act like a virus,
it was a freaking pain to get rid of.  The timer was set to an hour, reset back
to an hour automatically if you logged off and on before the hour was up, wiped
out your Morphhammer list, and screwed with a *lot* of your root props.  The
desc, by the way, was absolutely not appropriate outside an adult area.  People
who didn't know the dbref for the detram were stuck that way, and they usually
started trying to redesc themselves and use the other @ commands to get back to
normal.  But it didn't work (every time they looked at themselves the tram
reset for another hour, the important stuff was outside the list call that
editplayer uses), and using @ commands usually permanently wiped the root
props.  It was nasty.
Anyway, yeah... it was really best to pull it, since it wasn't hard to do.  All
he did was use the tram on props that no sane person thought to use it on, and
put an mpi call in the new desc.  It's just that no one intelligent had been
that malicious before.  The worst part was that he thought everyone should pat
him on the back for being so clever.  Yeah, it really pissed me off, can ya

So there you have it. And I thought people who called it a virus were just referring to the distribution method...

The latest news is that they seem to have fixed the program and it's available again. The big question is of course how many of the original devices are still left...Oh well, you can always build a new one.

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