“A nearly impenetrable thicket of geekitude…”

Cap'n Ahab's Helper Application


If you’re hunting for the elusive There_Monitor or some of the There_Test_XXX avatars, this application may be able to help you out. You run it in the background and if you come within range of your selected prey, you will hear an appropriate announcement made in my best nautical voice.

Running this application requires you to install a recent Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and operate your There client in debug mode. If you’re not happy with either of those, please don’t download or install this application.


First thing to do is make sure you have a recent enough version of the Java runtime. I am using 1.4.2_02 for development, so that would be ideal, but any 1.4.x should be sufficient. 1.3.x JREs and the Microsoft JRE are not sufficient to run this application.

To find out which version of the JRE you have, open a command prompt window. If you can find this in the Windows menus, that’s great; otherwise, type Windows+R then type “command” in the field provided. In the command prompt window, type “java -version”. The result on my machine looks like this:

java version "1.4.2_02"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.2_02-b03)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.2_02-b03, mixed mode)

If you don’t have a decent runtime, go to http://www.java.com/ and press the “get it now” button. Re-check the version once that has downloaded (you may need to close the command window and open a new one).

Download this zip file and unpack it into a directory somewhere on your machine, say C:\ahab. You will find that it contains a single file called ahab.jar.


Start your There client and then start debug mode using Ctrl+Shift+L.

Flip back to the command prompt window and use the CD command to get into the same directory with the .jar file. Then type this:

java -jar ahab.jar

You should see that all is well when you see the following text appear:

Logged in to client.
Pilot: 196772622 = iay
Starting thob engine
Avatar: iay

Of course, you will see your own avatar name and doid there, not mine. The “Logged in to client” implies that the application was able to talk to the client. If you get a connection error instead, you probably didn’t start debug mode properly. In this case just flick back to the client and type Ctrl+Shift+L and try again.

Now get in your hoverboat and cruise the seven seas of Thereia. When you come in range of There_Monitor or one of the There_Test_XXX avatars, Cap’n Ahab himself will announce the fact.

If you want to look for something else, just add a parameter that is a regular expression for the avatar or avatars you’re looking for. The default case is equivalent to:

java -jar ahab.jar "there_(monitor|test_\d+)"

The regular expression is not case significant. Note also that it represents a complete match: if you want to match some characters inside the avatar name, you need to fill the expression out. For example, the following will match White_WhAle as well as The_Whale_Hunter.

java -jar ahab.jar ".*whale.*"

You can stop the application by typing Ctrl+C in the command window. Alternatively, click the close widget on the little window it pops up. The little window is mainly there so that you can also start the application by double-clicking the .jar file if you want.