What’s a Netsplit?

If you’ve been on an IRC network any length of time, you’ve seen something like this scrolling up your screen:

Quits: ted (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )
Quits: Max (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )
Quits: otter (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )
Quits: Meg (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )
Quits: Twitter (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )
Quits: PB (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )
Quits: Roman (ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net Neptune.GeekShed.net )

I’ve edited that list to remove personal information, and I’ve only listed about a few of the Quit messages that appeared. Typically after all the Quit messages appear, someone asks, “What’s going on?!”

What you’re seeing there is a netsplit. It’s essentially a sudden disconnection for the entire network. Just as the name suggests, the NETwork SPLIT as one of the IRC servers lost contact with the rest of the network. In the case of the Quit messages above, the server Neptune.GeekShed.net lost its connection to the server ScaleEngine.GeekShed.net (and the rest of the network). There’s a very complete explanation of what happens during a netsplit on Wikipedia.

What Should You Do When a Netsplit Happens?

When there’s a netsplit, network staff will work to reconnect the servers. Staff will see the server split. You don’t need to alert anyone.

Depending upon the server you were connected to when the netsplit happened, you may either find yourself on the split off server (where you’ll notice that the channels are much emptier than they were) or on the rest of the network. The best thing to do is just be patient and give staff time to fix the situation.

If the netsplit seems to last more than a few minutes, you may want to try connecting to a different server. Be warned, however, that when the split server reconnects, the network will see that your nick is on the network twice (once on the previously split server and once on the unsplit server). In this case, you may be disconnected again with the message “Nick Collision” or your nick may be set to Unidentified. Just log back in again, use the Ghost command, or change your nick and identify if this happens.

NOTE: It’s not helpful to ask staff to explain the situation while they’re also trying to fix it. If staff are explaining things to you, they can’t work on fixing the server.

 

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

 

Updates to Website Command Pages

You may not notice it right away, but we’ve been busy making the website a little easier for you to use. We’ve added details on the Fantasy commands, and we’ve added the capability to link directly to a specific command on the website. Keep reading for the details.

Fantasy Commands

First, if you use Fantasy commands in your channel, we have good news for you. We’ve added a complete listing of the Fantasy commands to our online documentation. Now you can browse through the commands and easily find additional information on everything from !AKICK to !TKB.

Remember that you have to turn on the Fantasy option to use Fantasy commands. Find all the details on the new page.

Link Directly to Specific Commands

Second, we’ve added internal links to the commands on all of the documentation pages so you can give someone the address of a specific command.

Here’s an example. Previously, if someone asked for the command to add ops to permanently to their channel, you could send them to the ChanServ page and tell them to scroll down to the AOP command. Now you can send them directly to the AOP command.

These naming conventions were used to set up the internal links:

  • The link is the command name as listed in the bullet item (so, for instance, AOP).
  • The link for Fantasy commands does NOT include the exclamation point (so, for instance, TKB).
  • The link will show as one word with no spaces (so, for instance, SETGREET).
  • The link is always in all caps (so, for instance, BADWORDS)

To give someone the link to a specific command, use this general format:

http://www.geekshed.net/commands/[Kind of Command]/#[Command Name]

Just replace the info in the square brackets with the pertinent details and remove the square brackets too to get address for the command. Here are some examples to give you the idea of how the system works:

If you know the general command, this system should make it relatively easy to figure out the links you need if you’re trying to help someone find details.

 

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

How to Block Private Messages (PMs)

Private messages (PMs), as the name implies, pass only between two users on the network. any registered users on GeekShed can use the commands /msg, /query, and /notice to send PMs to each other.

There are times when you’re just not up for conversation or a troll is bothering you with lots of private comments. One simple solution is to block your private messages (PMs). The command to block all PMs is easy:

/umode2 +D

If you use mnemonics to remember commands, the “D” stands for Deaf. Enter that command exactly, and you should no longer receive PMs from other users on the network. Note that IRCops (network staff) can still PM you.

When someone tries to PM you, they will see a message like this from the server:

Message to '<your nick here>' not delivered: User does not accept private messages 

TIP: This command is not persistent (or permanent). You have to enter the command every time you connect to GeekShed. If you’re using a client that can perform commands when you connect to a network, you can use that capability to make sure PMs are always blocked.

How to Unblock Private Messages

To reverse the command all you have to do is change the plus to a minus, like this:

/umode2 -D

Private Messages with Unregistered Users

Private messages from unregistered users are automatically blocked on GeekShed. This default setting helps protect everyone against spammers. If you don’t want these message blocked, just follow the instructions to receive Private Messages with Unregistered Users.

 

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

How to Choose Staff for Your Channel

Once you register your channel, you can add staff to help you keep order or enforce any rules you have for your channel. The commands for making someone a permanent admin, operator or half-operator are relatively simple. You can even add someone as a founder (though we don’t recommend it).

The harder part is choosing people who will make good staff. Promoting someone in your channel gives them control over what happens there. To make sure your channel stays YOURS and that it’s run the way you want it to be, you need to be cautious about choosing your staff.

Before you make someone an op or hop, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know the person well?
  • Do I trust the person?
  • Does the person have good judgment?
  • Is the person polite, helpful, and knowledgeable?
  • Is the person cool under stress?
  • Will the person follow my instructions?
  • Does the person follow the channel and network rules?
  • Has the person been in my channel for a while?
  • Is the person active regularly?

If you can honestly answer “Yes” to all those questions, then the person could make a good member of your channel staff. If you answer “No” to even one, you should probably choose someone else.

The worst people to choose are the people who ask to be staff members. Anyone who demands, begs, or continually asks to be network staff does not have the patience for the job. Worse yet, some trolls will ask for ops in a channel only to cause trouble. Save yourself a lot of trouble, and just don’t make these folks a member of your channel staff. You’ll have a lot less drama to deal with!

 

[If you ended up on this page because you were looking for information on becoming a member of GeekShed network staff, visit Can I be an Oper on GeekShed?]

 

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

 

Welcome to Felicia Day and Geek and Sundry!

Felicia Day of Geek and SundryHave we got a great April Fool’s Day present for you! GeekShed got a lot geekier today.

Join us in welcoming Felicia Day of Geek and Sundry to the network, along with the cast and crew of the great Geek and Sundry shows.

The Geek and Sundry Subscribathon is underway today, and the official chat is taking place in channels across GeekShed. You can see what’s going on by checking out their related Google+ Hangout.

How can you welcome the Geek and Sundry crew? Visit their site, subscribe to them on YouTube, and check out their channels!

Did you know that when you look up “GeekAndSundry” in Wikipedia, it asks if you meant “gunfoundry”? Someone needs to make them an official Wikipedia page.

 

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny