Smarter than a toaster.
Tavoletta (plank) was the longest software I worked on, since it started while I was still developing Luigi's Script and I continued working on it even after I stopped updating GNirc. Tavoletta is a general purpose IRC bot, an automated tool that connects to an IRC server and performs actions either automatically or after receiving a command.
At the time, Tavoletta was one of the few bots to allow administrators to authenticate through a password, and after doing so, Tavoletta would store the user's address as authenticated, both allowing authorized users to switch their nick after authentication and preventing other users from misusing the both by temporarily using an authorized nickname. Additionally, Tavoletta sported a rudimentary ACL, that allowed different user roles to be allowed to perform different commands.
With time, what started as a simple channel-management bot, evolved including games such as UNO, scrabble, scratch cards, slot machines and more. It also started to pick up a variety of features that didn't really make sense on their own, so they got added to the bot. One such example is a system to validate GoogleWhacks and record them. The list of GoogleWhacks gathered by Tavoletta was published on a issue of Hacker Journal.
One of the games that got added to Tavoletta was a text-based role-playing game, that users could play on IRC. Tavoletta kept a list of all registered users, their stats and abilities, their inventory and also arbitrated turn-based player vs player fights.
Tavoletta was requested on a few channel, since it was a good bot to have around to kill some time. It would also count how many messages a user would write, awarding them achievements for their eloquence, so it encouraged discussion. However, this conflicted with some new features that were being added, that made sense just on the channels that I owned or administered. This prompted the creation of two new bots: Panda and Bans3rv.
Subsequently, I added to Tavoletta a tiny FTP interface, that allowed it to updload some channel stats to a web hosting space I had, enriching them (for the channels where they were available) with stats coming from my other bots, that it gathered by directly contacting them.
Tavoletta also got a MSN module, that allowed it to connect to MSN instant message service, allowing the bot to connect the IRC channels it was in to the MSN service and allowing the users to get some of the bot services from the MSN chat window.
Tavoletta was steadly connected to the Azzurra IRC network until 2006, and with some ups and downs until 2008, when it was finally retired.
Tavoletta is the Italian name of one of the minor characters of the Ed Edd n Eddy animated series. In this cartoon, one of the kids has an imaginary friend named Plank (Tavoletta, in the Italian translation) that is just a wooden plank with a hand-drawn face.
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