Help with the Obscure Password Error

One of the more frustrating errors you can get on GeekShed asks you to use a “more obscure” password. In most cases, when people comes to #help to ask about this error, they have tried a strange and random password, but still get this error:

Please try again with a more obscure password.  Passwords 
should be at least five characters long, should not be something 
easily guessed (e.g. your real name or your nick), and cannot 
contain the space or tab characters.

This error is almost always an indication that the command to register a nick is not being entered correctly. The clue in that error message is that you cannot use your real name or your nick as your password. Be sure that you’re entering the command in this order:

/msg nickserv register supersecretpassword

You do not need to include your nick or real name in the command at all. If you’re looking for information on how to choose a good password, check out the suggestions in How to Protect Your GeekShed Password.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Featured Channel: #mIRC

#mIRC focuses on helping people use the IRC client mIRC, a Windows client with support for scripting. The channel was founded by Zetacon on August 14, 2011.

What happens in the channel?

We are a small community that helps people with mIRC coding issues, same as #Bots and #ReaperCon. Occasionally Peer helps out with TCL issues in the channel as well. You are welcome to bring in your bots for testing and development. Just ask your question—don’t ask to ask!

What are the channel policies?

To get voice in the channel, you have to polite and help when others haven’t. Halfops and Ops will be selected in turn by Zetacon and Peer/GrimReaper via a discussion in a secret channel.

Use pastebin for long lines of text (like snippets of code).

Anything else you want folks to know?

If there is a specific type of mIRC coding that you would like, the mIRC team in #mIRC will try their best to accomplish it.


Want to have your channel profiled on the GeekShed website? Check out the requirements and use the online form to apply.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Automatically Voicing Users in Your Channel

You can automatically voice all users or all registered users as they join your channel. Some people use this command to help manage their channel. With everyone in the channel voiced, it’s simple to set the channel to moderated (/mode #channel +m) and devoice any troublemakers. Using the setting that voices only registered users can keep trolls and flooders from interrupting your channel.

There are important limitations to note however. Since the Autovoice command voices everyone who joins, someone you devoice can simply part and rejoin the channel to regain voice. It’s generally more effective to ban and kick the person instead.

Here’s how to use the Autovoice command. To voice everyone in the channel:

/msg chanserv autovoice #channel all 

For example: /msg chanserv autovoice #topgear all. In your status window, you’ll see something like this:

 -ChanServ- Autovoice option for #topgear set to ALL.

For other autovoice options, you change the last word in the command to the setting you’d like, as these examples show:

Purpose Command
To voice registered users only:
/msg chanserv autovoice #channel reg
To see the autovoice status:
/msg chanserv autovoice #channel status
To turn off autovoice:
/msg chanserv autovoice #channel off

If you are using Access Levels in your channel, you have another way to automatically give voice to all users who join your channel:

/msg chanserv levels #channel set autovoice 0

For example: /msg chanserv levels #topgear set autovoice 0. Access level zero (0) is the level for regular users.

To remove the command, use the disable command, as in this example:

/msg chanserv levels #channel dis autovoice


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


A Tip for Connecting with Mibbit

Mibbit is a free, Javascript-based IRC client that can be embedded on a web page or used from the Mibbit site to connect to GeekShed. To connect properly, Mibbit needs to pass the correct information to the GeekShed server.

If you type out a server name for Mibbit , your personal information (like your IP address) can be revealed to everyone. To protect your privacy, please be sure to choose GeekShed from the list of networks on the Mibbit site. Do not click the “Server” link to enter a server name.

Here’s what that part of your screen will look like:

Mibbit Server Choice

If you have any other questions about using Mibbit, check out the documentation on the Mibbit site.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Featured Channel: #247Fixes

#247fixes is the online chatroom for 247Fixes, a site dedicated to combating spyware. Their goal is plain and simple: to help you stop spyware from infecting your PC. The channel was founded by therock247uk on October 24, 2009. The channel was previously known as #killspyware, before the network migrated to GeekShed. 247Fixes has been helping people beat malware and spyware since 2004.

What happens in the channel?

#247fixes welcomes discussions on anything tech-wise. We also help with PC problems and have many staff on hand to help you—including members and graduates of the 247 Academy, an Anti-malware school run by therock247uk.

What are the channel policies?

Please no discussion of politics. If you were banned from #247fixes and think it was in error, feel free to contact therock247uk on the 247Fixes Forums.

We don’t provide malware help in the channel itself. 247Fixes staff need diagnostics from your machine and some standard information about the problem you’re seeing, so malware removal help is only offered through the forums. Asking your questions on the forums also ensures that you’re talking to a member of 247Fixes staff (and not just someone hanging out in the channel). Just follow the Posting Guide if you need help with malware or spyware please!

Anything else you want folks to know?

Pop in our channel and see. Anyone is welcome to join in!


Want to have your channel profiled on the GeekShed website? Check out the requirements and use the online form to apply.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Planned Maintenance for Tyrol, Sunday, November 11

Techie Bunny keeping your servers servingThe data center for Tyrol, one of GeekShed’s servers, will be completing planned maintenance from 6 PM PDT (2 AM UTC) on Sunday, November 11 to 12 AM PDT (8 AM UTC). There will be sporadic interruptions in service of approximately an hour during the maintenance window.

We’ve removed Tyrol from the network’s round robins to allow connections to the server to naturally decrease over the next few days.

If you connect directly to Tyrol, please choose another server or use one of the round robins (e.g., until the maintenance is completed.

We’ll have things back up and running as soon as possible after the maintenance is completed. If you have any questions on Sunday, you can check in #help.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Barebones Commands for New Users

There are certain basic commands that are handy to know if you are new to GeekShed and helpful to pass along if you’ve just invited a friend to join you here on the network.

First, you need to know that all commands use the same basic format. They all begin with a / and then include the specific key term for what you want to do.

Second, in most cases, no one else will see you type a command. Most commands that begin with a / will not be visible to anyone else. I’ll note the exceptions.

Third, the client you use may have buttons or menus (at the top or on right-click) that will execute some of these commands for you. Check your documentation to learn more about what your client can do. For the purpose of this barebones guide, I’m going to assume you want to type your commands out.

For all these commands, my example username (or nick) is LordBacon and the example channel is #TopGear.

Command What It Does
/nick NewName
/nick LordBacon
Change your nickname to something new. Note that your nick has to be unique. You can’t use a name that belongs to someone else.
/join #channel
/join #TopGear
Join the specific channel.
/list Gives you a list of all the IRC channels, how many people are in the channels, and the channel topics. Your client may pop up the list in a new window.

You can also check out the list of channels on the website.
/me action you want to do
/me passes out bacon
Everyone in the channel sees a statement about you. For the example, people would see this:
* LordBacon passes out bacon
/part Leave the channel.
/whois nick
/whois LordBacon
Gives you some basic information about the person whose nick you use.
/msg nick text
/msg LordBacon hi!
Sends a private message (the text) to the person you indicate. If someone asks you to PM, this is the command they want you to use. The message will usually pop up in a new window or a new tab. Exactly how it works depends upon your client.

In the example, the private message "hi!" is sent to the user LordBacon.
/notice nick text
/notice LordBacon hi!
Sends a private message (the text) to the person you indicate, without opening a new window or a new tab.

In the example, the private message "hi!" is sent to the user LordBacon.
/ignore nick
/ignore LordBacon

Blocks messages from the person whose nick you indicate. You will not see anything else that the person types. This example ignores LordBacon.

For more information, see How to Use the Ignore Command.

/help Gives you some online help or documentation. The way the command works will depend upon your client.
/quit Off to buy more bacon!
Disconnect from the network. In some clients, you can include a message that will display after the command. For the example, people would see something like this: LordBacon has quit IRC (Quit: Off to buy more bacon!)

For more information on commands, you can check out our documentation pages or search the pages on our site. If you want to stay on the network, you can register your nickname and even register your own channel.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Featured Channel: #LordKaT

#LordKaT is the community hangout and IRC parallel to LordKaT’s video gaming, geek, and tech content site, which streams 24/7 as a Twitch.TV partner. The channel was founded by LordKaT on September 1, 2008. (Yes, that’s the right date. #LordKaT is a channel that migrated over from WyldRyde, so the channel is older than the GeekShed network.)

What happens in the channel?

In chat, we participate in scheduled live broadcasts, available at after the show as videos or audio podcasts. Our current lineup includes these shows:

Apart from shows, our community chat and unscheduled live streaming is a variety of gaming and community tech talk. From our mafia playing Team Fortress 2 at our own server to hard-core geek programming of a MUD server or adding new features to, there is often hilarious commentary from the stream regulars and casual small talk in the chat—all of which might sometimes go one step too far, leaving you laughing and feeling a part of the fun.

What are the channel policies?

We welcome everyone, but our content and discussions are intended for mature audiences. Visitors to are free to speak their minds, even in dissent, as long as their comments are honest, human, and respectful of others.

Active members of the community are recognized as friends and members of the LordKaT Mafia. Our community recognizes those who stand out through old-fashioned personal networking and contributing to the community. There is no application process for rank in channel. We get to know everyone through the time we spend hanging out together.

Anything else you want folks to know?

Our community extends well beyond our chatroom. Be sure to check out these additional resources:


Want to have your channel profiled on the GeekShed website? Check out the requirements and use the online form to apply.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


I’ve Been Banned from a Channel!

On GeekShed, channel moderators are free to ban anyone from channels they control for any reason at all. They do not need to explain the reason, and they do not have to be “fair.” Since every channel is different, you need to look at the situation and figure out the best approach:

  • Check your ban and/or kick message for details on what went wrong. When someone bans you from a channel, you may find the reason in that message. If there are appeal instructions there, you can follow them if appropriate.
  • In some channels, you can just wait the ban out. In channels where basic bans are only 3 hours, waiting is probably the best solution.
  • Look at the Channel Appeals page for an appeal process for the channel.
    • Follow the instructions if the channel is listed. Wait for channel staff to reply.
    • If the channel isn’t listed, they have no appeal process. If you are in another channel with the person who banned you, you can ask him if you can talk to him privately.
  • When you post an appeal or ask about a ban, be polite and respectful. Apologize if you have broken channel rules, and calmly explain why you think the ban should be lifted. You might review the guidelines on Manners and Polite Behavior on GeekShed as well as any rules posted for the channel itself.
  • If the ban stands or cannot be appealed, just accept it and move on. Don’t try to force your way into channels where you are not wanted.

And a few don’ts:

  • Do not complain or ask about the ban in other channels (that includes #help).
  • Do not PM network staff. Opers will not get involved in channel bans.
  • Do not post complaints or arguments in the GeekShed network forums. You’ll just get yourself banned from the forums as well. It’s okay to post in a channel forum specifically for appeals, if one exists (for instance, as in the case of #chris or #ericjess).
  • Do not rejoin the channel until the ban is lifted. Do not use a BNC, a new connection or alternate nick to rejoin. These actions are ban evasion and you will be banned from the entire network, not just the channel.

If you happen to be looking for information on a ban from the GeekShed network (rather than from a channel), please check the Ban Appeals page.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Setting More Specific Channel Bans

Last week, I explained how to set a simple channel ban that takes care of most situations. Occasionally, you need a stronger or different kind of ban. This week I’ll explain the more complicated channel bans that you can use. Check the Extended Ban tutorial for additional options.

First, you need to understand the different parts of a person’s connection information, which you can find using the WHOIS command. This is the way that information is included in a ban:


Here is what that information means, with examples from the WHOIS information for LordBaconCheeseburger, which is

  • nick = the user’s nickname
    LordBaconCheeseburger in our example

  • ident = the user information, either set by the client or set by the user in the client’s settings
    TFlash in our example

  • specific-hostmask = the unique part of the person’s network connection information
    protectedhost-BACONYUM in our example

  • domain-info = the more general information about the network connection in our example

You can set a ban using any of this information. The basic format stays the same. You simply vary the unique information necessary to identify a person. I’ll provide examples for several options below:

To ban someone who uses a specific nick: /mode #channel +b nick!*@* For example, to ban anyone using the nick LordBaconCheeseburger from the channel #topgear, you would use this command: /mode #topgear +b LordBaconCheeseburger!*@*

To ban someone whose nick changes slightly: You can also use the * as a wildcard in the nickname. Say the person has a habit of adding endings to the nickname (like |away, |home, and |work). Just add a wildcard at the end of the nickname to ban all the different versions. Your command would look like this:
/mode #topgear +b LordBaconCheeseburger*!*@*

To ban someone who always has the same ident: /mode #channel +b *!ident@* Because this information can by set by the client, be careful with these bans. In the case of web-based clients like GeekShed’s Flash client or Mibbit, the ident is the same for everyone. For example, this command: /mode #topgear +b *!TFlash@* would ban everyone using GeekShed’s Flash client from the channel #topgear.

To ban everyone who uses a specific network connection: /mode #channel +b *!*@*domain-info. You can make this ban as specific as you like. Here are some examples, using the information for banning LordBaconCheeseburger from the channel #topgear:
      /mode #topgear +b *!*@* bans everyone using Comcast
      /mode #topgear +b *!*@* bans everyone in Georgia using Comcast
      /mode #topgear +b *!*@* bans everyone using the Comcast hsd1 server in Georgia

To combine bantypes: You can also combine these different banning techniques. For instance, you have had a lot of trouble with people using the GeekShed Flash client who connect from Georgia using Comcast. To ban them all from the channel #topgear, use this command: /mode #topgear +b *!TFlash@*

Before you try any of these bans, of course, be sure to check the information against others in the channel to avoid accidentally banning someone. Be sure that you have set the appeal information for your channel, so that people know what to do if they are banned accidentally.

Finally, for more details on how these bans work, check out the Bans & Mask Type Definitions from the Undernet website.

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny