Fixing chat and name problems

Quick troubleshooting

If you cannot send messages in local chat, try the following solutions, in sequence:

  1. Ensure that chat forwarding is turned off in the cortex menu. Also known as "gag mode," this should only be used with certified devices such as the NS Ballgag or Remote Console. This is usually accompanied by the tone marker sound effect, even though no chat is produced.

  2. Did you have speech filters active when you were last able to chat? Try clearing them with @vox probe. Vox filters can sometimes crash or freeze. Under 8.4 and earlier, they must be re-installed using special maintenance packages available from xcentral:0 in Eisa or any diagnostics bed; see manage > software. With 8.5 and later, it is possible to reset the vox filters directly (try @reset fm_standard or @reset fl_polyglot).

  3. Have you been damaged recently? The glitch filter may be active. Even if you are not intentionally using speech filters, controllers equipped with ATOS/E will automatically use them to add text effects to your output. See the instructions above to clear the glitch filter. The glitch filter can be activated even by accidental damage due to crashing into walls and furniture while flying.

  4. Is your controller stuck in 'working' mode? This usually indicates a speech filter problem. See above.

  5. Can you access the menu on your controller? If not, it may no longer be attached, or you may have teleported into a no-script area. Try re-logging. Firestorm users may also try Avatar > Avatar Health > Refresh Attachments in the viewer's main menu to check for lost attachments. If you still can't access the menu after re-logging and ensuring your controller is attached, try typing @reset exhibition-tty to reset the menu system.

  6. Do you see a message when when you type?
    • "Silenced." means either the RLV relay is blocking speech output or your output volume is set to 0%. Try disabling the relay with @restraint off, then re-enabling full power with @profile full, and if neither of those actions resolve the issue, reset the speech pipeline entirely with @reset cortex.

    • "Actions forbidden." means that your ability to emote has been blocked by the RLV relay. Try @restraint off, and if that fails to resolve the issue, @reset cortex.

    • "Mind is disabled." means that the mind subsystem has been turned off or is otherwise not working. This can occur due to interference or user choice. Try @power mind.

  7. Ensure that there are no other speech-capturing devices attached, such as renamers, gags, etc. with strict settings enabled. These options are designed to impair the use of systems like the controller. You can recognize such devices by inspecting their active restrictions under the RLVa menu; if they have any active restrictions ending in "_sec", they are designed to override other attachments, including the controller.

  8. Can you see the names of avatars around you? You may be turned off, or running on auxiliary power. See battery installation instructions to ensure you have a power cell correctly installed, and then type @boot to power on.

  9. Are you having trouble touching objects far away? Your controller may be stuck in a charging state. Type @reset bonds and then @reset power to proceed. As the power module controls battery usage, the system will shut down after it is reset. Simply turn it back on afterward with @boot, or by touching the controller. If you have access to a diagnostics bed, the "reset SSM" button in the "advanced" menu can accomplish this for you.

  10. Did you type a very long message with many quotation marks, and none of the commands above worked properly? It is possible (although unlikely) that the cortex module crashed. This is usually accompanied with an message like "[_cortex]: Stack/Heap Collision" in the SL script debug/error window. Reset it through the manage > modules menu.

  11. Did it happen after a teleport? You may be stuck in low power mode. This usually comes with losing the ability to teleport, touch far away objects, and more. Try the instructions in step 6.

  12. Is chat forwarding enabled? Check under the cortex menu for 'chat forwarding', 'gag mode', or 'output pipe' options and ensure they are disabled, then reset the cortex module per the instructions in step 10. This is a compatibility feature for NS gags and other special chat-capturing devices, but it is not foolproof.

Vox filters and key caching problems

Under Companion 8.5 and later, certain problems with the filter chain can cause chat to revert to a stuck state. This typically becomes apparent after logging in and teleporting, but unlike older versions it does not go away after an SSM reset. To clear the configuration settings for your speech pipeline:

  1. Type @conf delete vox
  2. Type @reset compliance
    Then, wait ten seconds for the module to reload its configuration.
  3. Finally, type @vox clear
    This will instruct the cortex module to stop using any vox filters.

If you notice that certain filters repeatedly cause chat output to fail, the command @vox probe will allow you to ensure that the system recognizes the filters correctly. If @vox list no longer reports the filter as present, its script may be frozen or have crashed completely. Reset the script (e.g. by typing @reset fm_standard) to restore normal operation. Under 8.4, it is necessary to reinstall user scripts if they crash; diagnostics beds come pre-loaded with packages to assist with replacing the default system chat filters.

Chat redirection

By default, the controller redirects the local chat you send through a redirect using RLV. The channel this uses is based on the last three digits of your serial number, e.g. the serial number 999-54-5620 is redirected to channel 620. The serial number is based on your avatar's UUID, to reduce the likelihood of a conflict. If the last three digits result in a channel number less than 100, then 100 is added to get the final number, so all redirect channels fall in the range 100 .. 999.

By redirecting your chat in this manner, it is possible to perform a variety of alterations, such as the filtering provided by vox and the preset messages used by cortex bypass commands. It also allows the system, users, and installed applications to generate messages indistinguishable from your own, alleviating much of the need for manually roleplaying detailed interaction messages.

Disabling the redirect

In certain situations when interfacing with very old input scripts, it may be necessary to send a message from your avatar's key on channel 0. The cortex command !release (typed by the unit) disables the chat redirect. This can be canceled at any time by sending a message manually on the redirect channel, or by sending capture on channel 1, i.e. typing: /1capture

Disabling the redirect is not recommended when the mind subsystem is disabled, as you will be unable to speak at all. (When the mind is turned off, you are only allowed to use bypass commands.) However, releasing chat can be used to avoid the effects of unwanted vox filters. To prevent the unit from using release, turn off the appropriate option in the cortex menu, or run the command vox release off with a remote console.

Gag compatibility mode (the output pipe)

The output pipe is a feature for advanced users with special redirect devices, such as the NS Ballgag or the NS Remote Console. Like other RLV gags and the controller itself, these apply their own chat redirects and listen for chat on special channels. They differ from normal gags in that they also listen to chat from any of your attachments, not just you.

When the output pipe is enabled, the controller tries to prevent double-chat by suppressing your ability to speak on other channels, and then sending your chat to these other redirect channels on your behalf. However, with incompatible gags, the chat will be ignored, resulting in a situation where your messages are lost.

To control the output pipe, use the vox pipe <on|off> command, or the 'gag mode' setting under the cortex menu.

The name

The unit's display name (that is, the name shown in local chat) is comprised of two parts, the prefix, indicating the model or vendor, and the nominal designator, which is the unit's name, historically also called the callsign. If no name is set, the unit's serial number is used instead.

To change the unit's name at any time, use the manage > identity > name menu, or the @name command. This must be an ASCII value (i.e., it must consist only of characters that can be typed on a standard US keyboard without using Alt, AltGr, or Compose combinations) and due to SL limitations, the controller object's total display name (prefix, space, and nominal designator) cannot exceed 63 characters.

Changing the prefix

The prefix is defined in a notecard called _oem, which is stored in the root of your controller. To save changes to this notecard, you must have safety bolts unlocked (controlled with the 'bolts' option under the manage menu). Look for the line prefix <string> and replace <string> with your desired prefix. To remove the prefix entirely, use the special string NONE. To apply the changes on older controllers (8.4.5 and earlier), reset the foundation module under the manage > modules menu.

Important: Do not change the model line in the controller's settings. It will affect the behavior of the screen and/or power gauges on your controller.