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IRC Not Newbie Friendly

Posted 10-01-2007 at 10:34 AM by mowestusa

Most of you Internet savvy people will just laugh at me for this one. I will freely admit that I'm a little slow in adopting new technologies or old technologies that I have never used. I understand email. I understand forums. I understand static HTML sites. IRC or chat in general is not something I know or understand. Today proved how frustrated a newbie can become when exposed to technologies which they have never used or been taught.

I just got back from the Ohio Linux Fest which I will blog about later. I heard the exciting news that one of the best places to get help on Fedora is through its IRC channel. This concerned me some, because every time I have tried to use a chat client or put in a new irc channel, I have struggled. To this day, I haven't figured out the right way to add an irc channel to Kopete. I have figured out somethings in Konversation which I use to get on the The Linux Link Tech Show IRC on Wednesday nights.

The Fedora channel adding a new challenge that I never encountered. You have to register your "nick" or your "nickname" before you can join the channel. From the directions I thought it would be simple. In Konversation I simply used the following command.

/msg nickserv register <yourpassword>
Now here is the issue, which I have run into a number of times, and perhaps shows the lack of uniformity in doing documentation. For my examples I will use the following password, foopassword. When the documentation says <yourpassword> do replace those characters with foopassword or <foopassword>? Those of you who have used IRC frequently already know what I tried to do. I replaced those characters with foopassword. This gave back the cryptic answer, "-NickServ- Please wait 120 seconds before using REGISTER again". Well, not knowing that I had failed to format the command correctly, I assumed that I had succeeded in registering my nickname. Now if I had done this operation before successfully, I would have known that the cryptic answer was actually telling me that I had failed to register my nickname and I had to wait another 120 seconds before trying again. I assumed that I had registered my nickname correctly and would have to wait a 120 seconds to change the password.

You can see where my frustration is going. At this point I could not figure out why every time I tried the command in Konversation "join #fedora" it would answer back, "You need to be identified to join that channel".
By the way, the correct version of the command to register my nickname is exactly what I have below, except I used my own special password.

/msg NickServ REGISTER <foopassword>
Notice the <, > marks?
We need to find a way especially in Linux where we are always asking for passwords to write our documentation so it always means the same thing. When I use characters or symbols around the word "password" is documentation, do they need to be there or not? I have see documentation tell you to put in your password in a number of different ways, and sometimes the characters or symbols like quotes, greater then, less then, and pluses, need to be there, other times not. I'm sure that I'm making a bigger issue out of this than needs to be done, since I have now seen the error of my ways.

So go ahead and laugh because now that I have it working, I'm starting to giggle just a little at my own bumbling.
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