New Staff Member – Stuzilla

Over the past few weeks, we at GeekShed have been working to identify the areas of service which are lacking, and any changes that could be made in order to improve your experience on GeekShed. We have noticed that the number of trolls (someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response) is on the increase.

Because of this, we have identified the requirement for the appointment of a public relations consultant to head up the team whose primary role will be to combat the effects of trolling on GeekShed.

Stuzilla has been on GeekShed for many years and his appointment was provoked by his extensive experience and the friendly rapport he creates with many users. In a recent user spawned petition named “Make Stuzilla an Oper” he received over 1000 signatures of support. This is truly overwhelming and we cannot ignore this.

EDIT: For those of you who didn’t notice (this includes most people) this was an April fools Joke. Have a nice day.

IdleRPG Contest!

Calling all chatters!

Are you pondering how you could possibly earn a gift card for doing nothing more than just chatting like you already do?

If so, #IdleRPG is for you.

Corey from CoreyRants.com is sponsoring a contest involving our #IdleRPG game and room.

The basis of IdleRPG is to see who can idle the longest in #IdleRPG without parting the channel, quitting the network, changing your nick, or chatting in #IdleRPG.

For your chance to win a gift card, check out CoreyRants.com for the complete details, registration information and rules of the game.

Please Note: The Contest starts April 1st, 2010, and goes until June 1st, 2010

Can I Make A Private/Secret/Restricted Channel?

At least twice a month, someone will come into #help asking about private channels or how they can secure their channel to prevent anyone except those they want in it. Since there are probably those that would like to know, but don’t ask, here is the quick and dirty guide to private/secret channels.

Every channel is able to be either private (+p), or secret (+s). The two modes are similar, but it is possible for people to find out about a channel that is marked private (+p). Therefore, if you want a channel nobody will be able to find out about unless they’re told, it is recommended that you mark it as secret, +s. Unless you are in the channel or an IRCop, the server will pretend that the channel doesn’t exist.

There is also channel mode +i, which will let people in only when they have been invited. If the channel is registered with chanserv, those on the access list can /msg chanserv invite #channel, and chanserv (or the botserv bot, if the channel has one) will invite the person into the channel. Standing invites can also be set using channel mode +I, which takes a nick!ident@host mask as a parameter. If the person is not on the access list, and does not have +I set for themselves, they are able to “knock” on the channel by doing /knock #channel optional_message.

You can also set a “key” on the channel using channel mode +k, which takes the key to use as a parameter. If I wanted to set a key on my channel, I would do /mode #serenity +k Kaylee. In order to get in the channel, someone would need to specify the key when they try to join – /join #serenity Kaylee. Alternatively, they can also be invited into the channel and will not need the key.

If the channel is registered, those modes can be mlock’ed, so that they will be reapplied when the channel is recreated (i.e. is empty and someone joins). It is important to note that if the channel is empty, needing a key or an invite is not necessary to join the channel. That is where the next item comes into play.

It is also possible to set a channel to have restricted access. When this option is set, only the people you add to the access list will be able to join. When someone that is not on the list attempts to join, they are kickbanned by chanserv (or the botserv bot, if you have added one) with the reason “You are not permitted to be on this channel”.

Since when you set your channel to restricted access you normally don’t want people to know about it, it is recommended to also mlock it +s. To set both the restricted access and mlock, you need to enter the following two commands, replacing #channel with your actual channel:
/msg chanserv set #channel mlock +s
/msg chanserv set #channel restricted on
Note: If you already have some modes set with mlock, you will need to respecify them when you add +s. So if you have +n (no external messages) set with mlock, you would need to do /msg chanserv set #channel mlock +sn.

Should you have any questions concerning setting your channel to restricted access, feel free to stop in #help and ask.

What is SSL? What Benefits Does it Offer, and How do I Use It?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and is a method of encrypting data being transmitted over the Internet that is used by e-commerce sites and other sites that require sending and receiving sensitive information.. This means that when you give your credit card or bank information to PayPal or Amazon, to name two, your information is protected. The same can be done for your IRC connection.

The main benefit of connecting to IRC via SSL is that all content you send to the server is encrypted, as well as all data the server sends you. This is useful if you are connecting from a public hotspot and want to protect your passwords. If you are worried about the content of the messages in the channels you’re in, you’ll be protected on your end; however, unless everyone in the channel is also using SSL, the copies of the messages sent to them are in plain text, and could be read by anyone sniffing packets between the unencrypted user and the server. To ensure that everyone in the channel is using SSL, you can apply channel mode +z.

Since the directions for connecting over SSL differ based on the client and operating system you are using, please refer to your client’s documentation on that. The port GeekShed uses for SSL is 6697, and every server can host SSL-based connection.

Should you require assistance, feel free to leave a comment here, or ask in #help.

Related: GeekShed Certificate Authority · Login Service

Grouping a Nick: Why and How?

So you’ve registered your nick, but have more than one computer/device that you join IRC from. You might be wondering “do I need to register a new nick and have people add that nick to access lists as well? Certainly there must be an easier way.”

Well luckily for you, there is. You are able to group nicks together so that permissions and other data are shared among accounts. Some of the items that are shared include (but are not limited to): channel ownership, permission levels (owner, halfop, etc.) on channels, group info that was provided when you registered, password, and virtual host. Pretty much anything your single nick has associated with it will be associated with the group of nicks that you have registered.

Here’s how to group a nick to one that you already have registered:
  1. Switch to the nick that you want to group
    • NOTE 1: Before you enter the next command, make sure that you are using the nick you want to add to your existing group. Do NOT be using your main nick. Example: if I wanted to group JayneCobb to my account, I would /nick JayneCobb.
    • NOTE 2: If you use a registered nick when the next step if performed, it will first be dropped, then grouped to the main nick. Example: if I try to group JayneCobb (which is registered) to my main nick MalcolmReynolds, Services will first drop JayneCobb, then have it join the MalcolmReynolds group. By being dropped, any permissions JayneCobb had will be gone.
  2. Enter the following command in the server/status window: /msg nickserv group main_nick password, where main_nick is your primary nick, and password is the password belonging to the primary nick.
    Example: I want to group JayneCobb to my primary nick, MalcolmReynolds, and the password for it is S3reni+yV@ll3y (you do use something secure for your passwords, right?). I would type the following as JayneCobb: /msg nickserv group MalcolmReynolds S3reni+yV@ll3y
  3. Look for nickserv to either tell you that you have joined the group of your primay nick or give you an error message, such as “you must wait at least 60 seconds before using the group command again”.
And just to give you the commands again, they are, in order:
/nick theNewNick
/msg nickserv group main_nick password


Now what if you want to delink a nick, i.e. remove it from the group, is there some way to do that? Yes there is, you just drop it by switching to the nick, and doing /msg nickserv drop. Doing that will make nickserv completely drop the nick – it will no longer exist, have any permissions, etc.

Is there someway to delink it without dropping, or without it losing the permissions and other information? Not currently, although I suppose it is possible that it could end up in a future version of anope, or someone could create a module that could drop a nick and register it using the credentials of the former group and preserving permissions, etc.

Should you have any questions about grouping nicks, feel free to leave a comment here, or to join #help and ask in there.

Can I Link Two Channels?

One question that is routinely asked in #help is how a channel owner can forward users from one channel to another. They usually ask this because they have changed channel names, and there is no other method available to regular users (as opposed to those with access to the IRCd configuration files); however it is also useful if the group that the channel is used by is hosting an event, and to keep the main channel manageable, want to limit it to only X amount of people, and have users that join after that go to an overfill channel.

In any case, linking two channels together is very easy, as it only involves setting two channel modes – the first sets a limit of X people that can be in the channel, and the second sets the channel to send people to after X people have joined the main channel. Also, you are not limited in the number of channels that can be linked together, with the exception that a channel can only forward users to one channel. #Chan1 can forward to #chan2, which can forward to #chan3, etc.
l = Channel may hold at most of users [o] (This mode is a lowercase L, not a capital i)
L = Channel link (If +l is full, the next user will auto-join ) [q]
So if I wanted to forward my channel #Inara to #Adria, I would do the following: /mode #Inara +lL 1 #Adria. If I wanted to always have the channel set like that, so that nobody could change it, I would use chanserv’s mlock option, and do: /msg chanserv set #Inara mlock +lL 1 #Adria.

If you are linking an old channel to a new one (i.e. you’ve moved channels), the number must be 1, and there must be someone in the channel for it to work (note: botserv bots do not count. It can be a bot that you run though). If you have linked a primary channel to an overfill one, the number can be anything equal to or greater than 1.

NOTE: Linked channels do not share the same permissions, you will need to add people to the aop/sop/hop/vop lists in each channel.

Should you have any questions about linking channels, feel free to leave a comment here, or to join #help and ask in there.