Guidelines for #help

Why visit #help?

#help welcomes discussion of GeekShed IRC related help—whether it’s related to the GeekShed network, your client, a script, or IRCD. Anything goes, as long as it’s related to GeekShed IRC.


Looking for something else?

  • If you’re looking for a place for general discussion, please try #TheShed (/join #TheShed).
  • If you’re looking for help with your computer, you might try a channel like #247fixes, #atribune, #geekstogo or #bleepingcomputer.
  • If you’re looking for another channel, try typing /list to see all the channels on the GeekShed network. Note, though, that the /list command does not work on all clients.
  • If you’ve been banned in a channel on GeekShed, please talk to someone from the channel where you were banned. You can also check the GeekShed forums, since some channels have special ways for you to appeal. The network staff in #help cannot remove bans for other channels.

Is there any special way to ask a question?

Not really. Just ask whatever it is you want to know or say what you need help with. There are lots of people in the channel, and any one of them can help you. Don’t worry about finding the “right” person. Everyone is in the channel to help, so there’s never just one “right” person!

It’s true that some questions will require a GeekShed network operator (like IRC password resets), but go ahead and ask your question. Once you ask, we’ll know to go find who you need.


What if it’s an emergency?!

If you have an emergency, like a botnet flood in your channel, and no one responds to your request for help, you can type !911 in any channel on GeekShed. This will be caught by the spam filter and will instantly alert network staff. Just like prank calling the fire brigade, misuse of this command will carry severe repercussions.


Are there any special rules for #help?

Generally speaking, please be polite and patient. There is usually someone around in #help to answer your questions, but you may need to wait a few minutes.

We also ask that you follow these basic guidelines:

  • Use nice, family-friendly language. Save the censored words for another channel.
  • Just ask your question once, and be patient. It may take a few minutes for someone to be able to help. If a lot of time passes (say 30 minutes), it’s okay to ask again. Usually though, you don’t need to repeat your question.
  • Follow the rules of polite online discussion. That means, for example, that we ask that use all caps sparingly and that you don’t flood the channel.

My question is complex. Can I paste something in #help?

If you’re getting an error message, sure, it’s fine to paste the message into the channel with your question.

If you need to share something longer though, like part of a log from your channel, please use pastebin, and just give us the URL to the information. That way you won’t be kicked accidentally for flooding, and the information will be easier for everyone to read.


Should I just jump in and help if I know an answer?

Everyone is welcome to help with questions in #help. Be sensible though. If someone else is already answering a user’s questions, try not to interrupt. It can be very confusing when more than one person is telling someone with a question what to do. If you are not 100% sure that the answer you are giving is correct, it’s probably best to stay quiet.

In particular, if a member of the GeekShed staff is already helping someone, please stay quiet and let the staff member take care of the question. As the topic in #help says, “If something doesn’t concern you, keep quiet or be banned without warning—yes, really.”

What are the limits on GeekShed?

GeekShed has a number of limits imposed. Some of these are to ensure our servers are not overloaded, and others are to ensure that we comply with the IRC protocol and make the network accessible to all IRC clients. These limits are as follows:

Limit Type Maximum Limit
Number of channels you can be in 100
Number of bans (+b) on a channel 60
Number of excepts (+e) on a channel 60
Number of invite excepts (+I) on a channel 60
Length of a channel name 32 characters
Length of a topic 307 characters
Length of a kick message 307 characters
Length of an away message 307 characters
Number of simultaneous mode changes 12
Number of simultaneous users/channels (targets) per PRIVMSG 20
Number of nicks in watch list 128
Number of nicks in silence list 15
Days before an unused nickname drops 60
Days before an unused channel drops 60
Number of nicks in a single nickname group 60
Number of entries in a nickname’s access list 32
Number of channels registered to a single nickname 20
Number of entries in a single channel’s access list 1024
Number of entries on a single channel’s akick list 64
Number of memos a user may store 20
Number of entries on a single channel’s badwords list 32
Number of connections from a single IP address 8

If you need clarification on any of these limits, please come and see us in #help on

Nick Prefixes Explained

Nick prefixes are the symbols which you see at the start of some people’s nicknames. GeekShed uses 5 different prefixes for nicknames.

  • ~ for owners – to get this, you need to be +q in the channel
  • & for admins – to get this, you need to be +a in the channel
  • @ for full operators – to get this, you need to be +o in the channel
  • % for half operators – to get this, you need to be +h in the channel
  • + for voiced users – to get this, you need to be +v in the channel
  • Users with no status in the channel will have no nick prefix

These prefixes let you better understand who owns a channel and who the senior admins and other moderators are.