Re: your experience in the channel

James Neeley (jneeley@alaska.net)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 23:43:31 -0900


>> Indicates that tschorer@mbl.edu wrote.

>>> or > indicates wcw@bga.com (Bill Woodland) wrote

>>>
>>>Try the Undernet Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel #CU-SeeMe. That's one of
>>>the reasons we created the channel. You can also get interactive technical
>>>help from others that way have had similar experiences. Interactive help is
>>>
>>>
>>I've visited this chat channel twice and most people there seemed to be just
>>general chatters, most of whom had never heard of cu-seeme...(?)

As a channel op, with cam, I can assume you that the majority of the people
on channel have cams. Most of the balance are people who are awaiting the
PC QuickCam fix so they can order this solution. As one of perhaps a dozen
ops who helps people every day get CU running per day, I can assure you the
technical expertise is there.

Do you have any idea how many people come onto channel each day and ask:
"Has anyone here ever heard of CU-SeeMe"? That's kind of like going to a
StarTrek convention and asking if anyone has ever heard of Captain Kirk.
The tenth time you are asked that in a day, it becomes difficult to bite
your tongue, but yes, I try. I have helped an amazing number of people who
had never heard or PKZip or File Manager (Come on, folks... a Windows user
who has never heard of File Manager), but still we walk the user thru
renaming a hosts file or help them find pkunzip on their hard drive.

>>>
>>Funny, when I went there (yes it was undernet, #CU-seeme, middle of the
day) it
>>was nothing but a bunch of morons playing irc "grab-ass". Kind of
embarassing...
>>to see supposed adults talking to each other like 5th graders." x *kisses*
y. y
>>sits on x's lap and says mmmmmmm". I asked a simple question about
reflectors
>>and was basically told to shut up while they *kiss*ed and *hugg*ed.
>>If you're an @perator there you're doing a bang-up job...
>>And if this is the caliber of discussion one can take part in on
>>CU-seeme...thanks but no thanks.

>Thanks very much for this info. First I must say that I am not there 24
>hours a day and cannot keep this kind of thing from happening. The people
>in the channel do tend to act somewhat like it's #netsex sometimes, and it
>is embarrassing to me, but I don't want to discourage them from having a
>good time there. I *DO* expect the operators there to try to help people
>that have problems.
>

I too think that a few people get carried away on channel, but everyone
needs to remember that the people there are not paid for their positions.
In fact I normally work late in the evening to make up the time I spend
during the day helping people get CU going. Many others there do the same.
As an extension of what Bill's comment, this is not a paid help-desk or a
900 number where people are billed for services, helping people with
technical problems is a service we endeavor to provide as we appreciate such
help from others.

>There is usually a "BOT" in the channel with the nickname of SQ_X. When you
>join the channel it should send you a notice saying to type /msg sq_x -info
>for more information about the channel. If you didn't get that notice, try
>again. The -info will send you a little basic information and offer some
>other 'dash' commands that you can do, like -cuseeme for some info on
>cu-seeme, -cuzip to have the latest PC version sent to you via DCC, -cumac
>for the MAC version, -mirc for mIRC (the best IRC client for the PC that I
>know of), -homer for the MAC IRC client, and -reflist for a list of public
>reflectors.
>
>If you got the notice and ignored it, then I'm not surprised if the people
>in the channel were somewhat rude to you. We get new people joining the
>channel all the time, and they all ask the same questions, particularly for
>a reflector list, and especially for "hot reflectors". It gets pretty
>annoying when SQ_X is there to offer it but people ignore the things that it
>offers. We do expect people to be able to read the notice and follow its
>directions. If you don't have an IRC client that is capable of doing DCC
>file transfers then visit the web page (URL is in my email signature at the
>end of this message) that I setup and get a copy of MIRC or Homer and go
>back to the channel for the /msg sq_x -reflist.
>
>
I'd like to underscore Bill's comment here. While my average time on channel
is perhaps only 50 hours per week, I see at least a dozen people per day
coming onto channel while the "BOT" is there and asking "What is CU?" or
"How do I get a list of reflectors?" or "How do I get the software?", or "Is
CU available for the xxxxx platform?", all of which are answered if the new
person enters the command given to them when they entered the channel.

Since Bill has gone to all the trouble of creating the "BOT" and programming
it to DCC file transfer a list of reflectors, give a background on CUSeeMe &
IRC (including where to find it), it is sometime difficult not to respond
with RTFS when the 10th or 12th person comes on that day and asks rather
that having read the info that was proactively offered to them.

The ops go to great length to help people with technical problems, even to
the extent of creating temporary channels so that a pool of ops can gang up
on a particularly difficult problem, but it is frustrating being asked to
help those who refuse to help themselves (we had 3 such people come on
channel at once last night).

>If you were in the channel and SQ_X was NOT there, then I can't blame you
>for being pissed at the way you were treated. As I said, I am not there 24
>hours a day, but will be glad to help you if you join the channel when I am
>there. Hopefully the other operators will be more pleasant and helpful to
>you next time you join.
>

I could not agree more. If sq_x was not there, you have every right to be
pissed. Please consider, however, that sq_x may have just pinged out and
the ops may not have noticed it (yes, we have to work for a living too).

>Bang up job, huh? Thanks, Tim, but at least I am trying. Besides, once you
>get CU-SeeMe working just how much more discussion do YOU need? Maybe these
>so called "morons" already know more than you do.
>

Bill, I could not have said it more clearly.

Jim Neeley
BigJim on IRC