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#Sinister ops

You're reading this because you've been asked if you'll be a channel op on the #sinister channel on Undernet (or you might be one already). It explains what W (you can call her Wendy) does and what comes with the job. Thanks for offering and please read this rather boring stuff carefully. In particular you need to do the kinky stuff under "Your First Time With Wendy" (mmm...) right now.

If you look at this and think "god I'm not reading that!" then please let me know if you've changed your mind and don't want to be an op.

If you look at this and think "I know all this, you patronising tart", then skip to "#Sinister opping" and read that, and maybe "Being an OP" before it if it contains anything you don't know.


This is a big document (sorry) because I'm trying to cover all possibilities and stuff you may or may not know. All you'll ever probably normally have to remember is:

  1. How to tell W who you are
  2. How to op yourself
  3. How to kick/ban people

Points 1. and 2. look complicated but they're dead easy and very quick once you set it up and understand what you're doing. 3. is something you will VERY rarely need to do: your job as channel op is simply to "be around" and know what to do if the channel gets hacked. This might occasionally happen on Undernet, but in many cases Wendy will take care of it.

Please remember one thing: being an op isn't anything to do with status - it's a constant drag to be asked repeatedly on IRC "can I be a channel op" as if it's something to do with being cool. It's not, it's just a job, like a traffic warden and they're not very sexy. All you have to do is "be around", and the criteria is simply that you, like me, waste too much time on IRC. Please help me out by explaining this to others, as I get an awful lot of people who feel left out somehow because they aren't ops - please do your best to not flaunt it, and explain to them what it's really about. All I'm trying to do is ensure there's enough ops so that most times of the day there's someone around to help out, and not too many to make the whole thing intimidating for everyone else, and too much work for me to keep up with your ISP changes.

All this doesn't mean of course you aren't dead sexy, but it doesn't guarantee it. You probably are though :)

Your first time with Wendy

Please reply to this mail with the information I need to add you to Wendy's op list: to do this, connect to IRC in the usual way and type

/whois yournickname

where "yournickname" is, um, your nickname. Mail me with what it shows, and I'll set it up. If you connect from different ISPs (work, home) I have to set these up separately - send me each one when you get it.

I'll add what looks like your ISP to Wendy so she can recognise you - but I may get this wrong so tell me if the stuff below doesn't work. Once I've done this I'll tell you your password - you use this to convince her you're you. But you should change this immediately to a password of your own. To do this first you send her a message to tell her you're you, with the password I've given you. Type this: (in any window):

/msg W@channels2.undernet.org login #channel oldpassword

/msg W@channels2.undernet.org newpass #channel newpassword

/msg W@channels2.undernet.org pass #channel newpassword

This is the only time you'll have to do all this, unless you disclose your password to someone else or say it in the channel (oops). If you do, please set a new password as above immediately, or let me know.

Every time you connect to IRC

You need to tell W you're you again - for this just use the first command above:

/msg W@channels2.undernet.org login #channel password

Normally this won't actually op you, it's just saying hello to Wendy. Please don't op yourself except at those times you're about to need it - like if there's some danger to the channel, or you need to set channel modes. Lots of ops in the channel at other times can be intimidating, and it's a good idea to spring it as a surprise on a potential intruder: if they see who the ops usually are, they might pretend to be them.

If you do need ops at a particular time, once you've logged in to Wendy as above, just type:

/msg W op yournickname

where "yournickname" is.. your nickname.

You'll have to do this every time you need to get ops. It looks long and convoluted, so see the section below "talking to Wendy" for some tips on how to make it much quicker. But you shouldn't need ops very often.

If you find Wendy refusing to authenticate you then you might be connecting from a different service provider than usual? She just won't recognise you if you do: see me and ask me to register an alternate address for you. It could be that your hostname doesn't resolve (do a /who on yourself - is it all numbers after the @?) in which case it's trickier, but I might be able to add it too.

Some notes on talking to Wendy

Three things: firstly you'll notice in the commands about, sometimes you need to talk to W in her long form i.e. "W@channels2.undernet.org". You ONLY need to do this when you're logging on to W, i.e. sending her your password to identify yourself (it's for security). All other times you can just type "/msg W command".

Secondly: /msg W is just the same as private messaging another user. So if you want you can just double-click her name in the room and talk to her like anyone else. So if you are opping yourself having sent her your password, you can double-click her (she likes it) and when the chat window opens, just say

op yournickname.

It's the same thing as /msg W.

Finally logging in to W when you connect to IRC is still a long line to type. If you're using mIRC, and usually on other IRC programs, you can set up an "alias" to abbreviate a long command into a short one. On mIRC click on the "/a" button near the top of the screen. A white screen will pop up; at the bottom on a new line type:

/hiwendy /msg W@channels2.undernet.org login #sinister $1

then OK and close the box. Now you can abbreviate the whole of that line by typing just:

/hiwendy password

everytime you connect to IRC. Remember you may well still have to op yourself after doing that as above. You can work out similar on your own IRC program of choice.

When Wendy has problems

Wendy is just another user of IRC and sometimes she'll get horribly lagged like we all do. All you do at these times is be patient and wait for her replies. Sometimes she might disappear from the channel completely (during a "netsplit") but she'll return. Just occasionally you might even have to log in to her again after a netsplit too - just something to bear in mind.

Being an OP

OK so Wendy's given you ops, what can you do. You can kick people directly either via /kick command, or using menus on your IRC program (in mIRC right click the user and find the "kick" menu). You can ban people from the channel, which means they can't rejoin when they're kicked, via /mode commands, menus, or most usefully by asking W to ban them, because she remembers who's banned and for how long, and she constructs the complicated commands (including the "userhost" for you - where you connect from and your IRC program setup). To do this you would type:

/msg W ban nickname

Note that banning this way via Wendy will kick them immediately too. The unban command is pretty obvious. If kicking isn't obvious on your IRC program and you want to do it that way, get another: I'd recommend mIRC if you're using Windows.

The ban above is a quick fix: to do banning more effectively you'll have to read up I'm afraid, and use the /mode +b commands. Kicking on its own can be done via the /kick <nickname> command. For complex banning, for those of you who know a bit already:

To set up a proper ban on someone, you'll need to make it independent of the dialup they're using, else they can just dialup again and get straight back in. So if someone's /whois information is:


then to properly ban them you should type

/mode #sinister +b *!*evildead@*.iinet.net.au

/mode #sinister +b *!*@*.iinet.net.au

because that would ban the whole ISP and be unfair on innocent visitors, the wee lambs.

You remove bans with "-b". Banning doesn't really work if you know what you're doing, but don't tell the others that :) The key thing to remember is that the threat of banning is much more powerful than actually using it. And a geeky hacker will only be encouraged by a ban to show you how great he/she is at getting back in.

So it'll be VERY rare when you have to ban someone: if you do tell me as soon as possible why, just so I know what's up. Even kicking will be a very rare occurence, and if you do PLEASE log what happened, so we can see and maybe pass on to the IRC policeman plod. Please record a /whois nickname of the person you're kicking to and mail it to me.

If the channel gets deluged by people talking crap who are clearly trying to trash it, you can set it into "moderated" mode. You should only have to do this once every geological aeon. To do this type

/mode #sinister +m

Then no-one but ops can talk. To give non-ops voices, type

/mode #sinister +v nickname

where nickname is the person who you're voicing. The idea is you only allow true children of the Sinister faith to talk, the others get bored and leave.

Sometimes hackers who can't get ops try and trash the topic by changing the channel so rapidly that everyone gets flooded, or joining/leaving rapidly so you can't ban them quickly enough. Your protection against this may be to "limit" the number of users the channel can take for a very short period, so they can't rejoin, e.g.

/mode #sinister +l 20

if there are 20 proper users. Only do this for a minute or so if you really have to, to save the universe, as innocents won't be able to join later.

Finally, always leave the channel in modes +n (no private messages from outside) and +p ("private", not listed in channel listings), except when we're protecting it especially for some reason. On occasions we may have to set the channel "secret" (+s) so that no-one outside it can see anyone inside, but generally it's +p. +t will occasionally be used so that non-ops can't change the topic, if we have to pass an important message around. And remember if the channel isn't +s and you aren't set invisible, other people will be able to see you're there, and may come in and whack #sinister if you whack them elsewhere.

Remember you can create your own channel to play with these things. Also remember that your IRC program may well have buttons and menus to allow you to change channel modes, voice/devoice people easily.

There are some other things you can ask Wendy about: try the "status", "access" and the "chaninfo" commands for instance. See the URL below to learn more about these if you want.

#Sinister opping

Few golden rules for being an op in #sinister:

Naughty Wendy

If Wendy ever does things that you're not sure about, please record a log of it and send it to me. She has several protection mechanisms (such as "flood protection") and may occasionally stop people who do crazy things like sending millions of lines to the channel at once, or changing nicknames too fast. Just let me know what she's up to.

Oh and - if you're in the habit of changing the "user", "ident" or "email" field of your IRC program DON'T! Wendy won't recognise you and I'll have to change your login.

If you ever get really stuck and I'm not around, you can try the Undernet channel #cservice, where there are people who can help. It's very busy though and you should wait for replies. Only ever trust replies there from someone who's an op in #cservice. Never ever hand out your password to anyone, if someone asks for it they aren't genuine and want to steal your baby and eat it.


Please take a look at the Cservice "ChanOP" guide at:


It contains the stuff above plus lots more - please read it before asking me stuff as I'll get swamped! All people receiving this messages will have been added at "userlevel 100" for reference in reading these pages. There are some other docs at


you can take a look at too.


That's it really - let me know if you've read all this and are still confused. But please have a good read first. And if you ever decide you don't want to be an op and can't be bothered with all this please let me know.

Honey xxx

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