Getting a Channel in the List of Chat Rooms

If you’re looking for a channel to join, all you have to do is visit the Chat Rooms page here on the site. The automatically generated page lists channels, their topics, and the number of users currently in the channel, listed from the channel with the most users to the channel with the fewest users.

To get your channel to show up on the list:

  • Make sure that your channel is not set to +s (secret) or +p (private). Private or secret channels do now show up on the list.
  • Maintain more than 5 people in the channel. The list is limited to channels with 6 or more users.

That’s it. If you have a public channel with 6 or more users, it will show up in the official list on the website. The channel doesn’t have to be registered, but we always recommend that you register your channel. It’s free and gives you better control over your chat room.

How do you determine if your channel is public?

Just use the command:

/mode #channel 

For example: /mode #topgear. In your status window, you’ll see something like this:

Mode for room #topgear is "+ntrS"

The Channel Modes page will help you decipher that response, but for our purposes, notice that there is no “s” and no “p.” That means the channel is neither secret nor private. Note that case matters. The channel #topgear is +S (strips color codes), but not +s (secret).


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

Learning More About A User

If you were on Facebook and wanted to know more about someone, you’d go to their profile and click the Info or About link (depending upon whether the person has set up the Timeline). We don’t have profile pages in IRC, but you can use some basic commands to learn a little bit more about someone.

For Someone Logged On Now

If you are chatting with someone or see the nick connected in a channel, use the /WHOIS command to learn more. To use the command, type:

/whois nick nick

There’s no mistake there. Type the nick twice to get complete information on the person, as in this example:

/whois LordBacon LordBacon

In return, the server will give you this information (with line numbers added):

1 LordBacon is * TFlash NextGen
2 LordBacon is using modes +iRx 
3 LordBacon is a registered nick
4 LordBacon on #theshed 
5 LordBacon using Sponsored by Phil
6 LordBacon Ruler of all that is the glory of bacon
7 LordBacon has been idle 13secs, signed on Thu Feb 16 21:31:58
8 LordBacon End of /WHOIS list.

Here’s what the info means:

  • The first line gives you the hostmask and the name entered in the client (TFlash NextGen, in this case).
  • The second line tells you the user modes.
  • The third line (obviously) tells you that the nick is registered. You won’t see that third line if the nick is not registered.
  • The fourth line tells you what channel(s) the person is on. The server will add extra lines here if the person is on a lot of channels.
  • The fifth line indicates what server the person is using.
  • The sixth line gives the SWHOIS for the person, if one is set. Most people will not have this line.
  • The seventh line tells you how long the person has been idle. Note that if you type the nick only once, you will not get the idle time for the person.

For Someone Who Recently Logged Out

The /WHOIS command will only work for people who are online. If the person just logged off, try the /WHOWAS command. To use the command, type:

/whowas nick

Here’s an example:

/whowas LordBacon

In return, the server will give you this information (with line numbers added):

1 LordBacon was * TFlash NextGen
2 LordBacon using Sponsored by Phil

You may see more information if the person was logged on more than once recently. This command is especially useful if you want to ban someone from your channel and they leave before you can check the hostmask you need to ban.

For General Info on Someone

For general information on someone who is registered, you can use the nickserv INFO command. To use the command, type:

/msg nickserv info nick

Just swap in the nick of the person you want information for, as in this example:

/msg nickserv info LordBacon

In return, the server will give you this information (with line numbers added):

1 LordBacon is TFlash NextGen
2 LordBacon is currently online.
3 Time registered: Feb 17 02:46:36 2012 UTC
4 Last quit message: Quit: Off to find more bacon
5 URL:
6 For more verbose information, type /msg NickServ INFO LordBacon ALL.

Here’s what the info means:

  • The first line gives you the name entered in the client (TFlash NextGen, in this case).
  • The second line tells you if the person is online. This line is skipped if the person is not online.
  • The third line tells you when the nick is registered.
  • The fourth line tells you the person’s quit message (if there was one).

You may see additional information if the person has set details for the nick with the NICKSERV SET command. In this example, the person has added a URL, for instance.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

How to Protect Your GeekShed Password

Yesterday I witnessed this little series of events (and the names have been changed to protect the innocent):

* Joins: HarryLime (
<HarryLime> msg NickServ IDENTIFY passw0rd
* HarryLime is now known as Unidentified1337
* Quits: Unidentified1337 ( ) (Quit: 
         Unidentified1337 )
* Joins: HarryLime_ (
<HarryLime_> hmm
* Quits: HarryLime_ ( ) (Quit: HarryLime_ )
* Joins: HarryLime (
* Quits: HarryLime ( ) (NickServ (GHOST command 
         used by HollyMartins) )
<HollyMartins> lol
<HollyMartins> it was his real password...
<HollyMartins> lol
* Joins: HarryLime (
<HollyMartins> HarryLime, change your password
<HollyMartins> and don't identify in the channel
<HollyMartins> you posted this: <HarryLime> msg NickServ IDENTIFY passw0rd
<HarryLime> not my best day today O.o
<HollyMartins> obviously not

Now in case you don’t follow, let me explain what happened there. The user HarryLime logged on and accidentally typed the command to identify in the open channel. Everyone in the channel saw HarryLime’s password. Harry’s friend Holly decided to test out the password and used the GHOST command to log Harry out. [Warning: Ghosting someone’s nick as Holly does may well end up in a ban from the network so don’t try it!]

That situation inspires me to share four pieces of advice with you:

  1. Use the identify command in the status window (the tab or window that welcomes you to the server and tells you to follow the Terms of Service) and no one will ever see your password. It’s best to use that status window anytime you’re typing something you might not want everyone else online to see if something goes wrong.
  2. Change your password immediately if you do type your password in an open channel accidentally. You are at risk. Anyone can take over your nick, and gain access to everything you have on the network. Use this command:
    /msg nickserv set password supersecretpass123
    Replace “supersecretpass123” with your new password.
  3. Choose a strong, unique password. Harry’s password of “passw0rd” is not a good choice at all. Follow these guidelines for strong passwords to make your choice.
  4. Store your passwords in a secure place. Software like LastPass can keep track of all your passwords and even generate unique passwords for you. You can learn more about LastPass below by watching the video from Jupiter Broadcasting.
  5. Even the most secure password can be lost or exploited. In case you think you won’t ever have this problem, read this post on The Myths of Password Security by GeekShed staff member and security expert Allan Jude. No one is immune. Be sure you do what you can to protect your GeekShed login!


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny