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Barliman's Chat Server IRC FAQ

Version 1.41
Last updated: September 29, 2004
Maintained by TheOneRing.net IRCops

Section 1:  
Chatting Basics
  1. What is IRC?
  2. What channels are available on TheOneRing.net?
  3. How do I chat on TheOneRing.net's IRC server?
  4. What are the advantages of a dedicated IRC client?
  5. How do I log on to TheOneRing.net's chat server?
  6. Who are the people with the @ things?
  7. What is Barliman?
  8. No-one is talking?!!
  9. What do all these abbreviations mean?
  10. Why does my mIRC Status Window keep saying "Ping? Pong!"?
Section 2:  "Why can't I?", "What is?" and other netiquette hints
  1. Why can't I use capital letters LIKE THIS all the time?
  2. Why can't I swear?
  3. Why can't I use scripts in the main channel?
  4. Why can't I have my own bot?
  5. What do you mean by "no innuendo"?
  6. Politics, religious discussion, etc.
  7. What is flooding?
  8. What do you mean by no advertising?
Section 3:  "How do I?"
  1. How do I do actions? (the text that's coloured differently)
  2. How do I join a channel?
  3. How do I change my nickname?
  4. How do I quit the server?
  5. How do I chat to someone privately?
  6. How do I order stuff from Barliman?
  7. How do I register my nickname?
  8. Why do you insist on me providing a valid e-mail address?
  9. How do I identify my nick once I've logged on?
  10. How long do nicknames stay registered for?
  11. How do I change my password?
  12. How do I set a kill on my nickname?
  13. How do I connect securely (SSL) to the server? (and other privacy issues)
  14. How do I send someone a memo?
  15. How do I forward memos automatically to my e-mail address?
  16. How do I become an Op?
  17. How do I find out when my friends were last on?
  18. How do I "ghost" myself?
  19. How do I introduce myself to Barliman?
  20. What extra IRC add-ons are available from TORn?
  21. How do I add my photo to the Regular's Gallery?
  22. But I want to know more!
Section 4:  "What do I do if?"
  1. What do I do if I've forgotten my password?
  2. What do I do if my nickname is suspended?
  3. What do I do if I'm banned from a channel?
  4. What do I do if I'm banned from the server?
  5. What do I do if I can't connect to the server?

Section 1:  Chatting Basics
1) What is IRC?

IRC stands for "Internet Relay Chat". IRC is a multi-user chat system, where people gather on a server to talk in "channels" - also commonly referred to as "rooms". This chat occurs in realtime, it's just like having a conversation with a group of people - except in text.

You could say that it is very similar to, but much more international than the chatrooms on AOL. Since starting in Finland in 1988, IRC has become one of the most popular forms of instant chatting in the world.

2) What channels are available on TheOneRing.net?

TheOneRing.net offers many different channels for people to discuss different Tolkien subjects. The main channel/room is #TheOneRing.net, affectionately known as Barliman's.

Other available rooms are:

3) How do I chat on TheOneRing.net's IRC server?

You need an IRC client to chat on an IRC server. There are several options. First - and possibly easiest - you can use our Java IRC chat (also known as jirc). This operates within your browser and should work on any type of operating system.

If you're slightly more experienced - or want to chat regularly - you should try a dedicated IRC client such as mIRC, our own TORnIRC or Trillian (all only for Windows) - XChat, ChatZilla, Blackened, Irssi, BitchX (for multiple platforms) - and IRCLE, Snak, AkwaIRC or AthenaIRC for the Macintosh.

4) What are the advantages of a dedicated IRC client?

Well, Java IRC is fantastic if you want to test the chatting waters, but for those chatting on a regular basis, a dedicated IRC client offers greater reliability and flexibility.

Just a few of the distinct benefits over Java IRC include:

  • Ability to chat in more than one channel at once
  • Ability to set up notifies to see when your friends come online
  • Ability to ignore annoying chatters so you don't see what they say

5) How do I log on to TheOneRing.net's chat server?

For Java IRC (using your normal web browser without the need to install additional software), go to Barliman's Java Chat page, select the channel you want to connect to, type in a nickname and hit connect. You will be logged in automatically and can begin chatting immediately.

For detailed instructions on connecting via a dedicated IRC client, go to our Instructions Page.

If you are an advanced user with concerns about privacy, you may wish to investigate TORn's SSL connectivity options.

6) Who are the people with the @ things?

They are channel operators, affectionately called Ops, (also called moderators). They help run the various registered channels (those listed above) - making sure people abide by TORn's chatting guidelines. They will also help you with any problems you have running your IRC client and try and answer questions that aren't answered here. A list of the current op complement can be seen on the TORn Staff Roster and similar pages.

7) What is Barliman? 8) No-one is talking?!!

People often chat and do other things at the same time. They might even be chatting in other channels. Be patient. If you hang around, someone will greet you eventually. Or you can try another channel on the server, which may be busier - although #theonering.net is usually busiest and has conversation pretty much 24 hours a day. Alternatively, simply come back a bit later on.

9) What do all these abbreviations mean?

IRC has a rich history dating back to 1988, and an appropriately diverse array of jargon. Here's a brief table of the most common acronyms and abbreviations that are common usage on the server. Whilst capitalised here, these terms are often used in lower case for convenience (and to make them look less like shouting).

Outside of the technical spectrum, there are also a plethora of colloquiol abbreviations - a few unique to TORn, others not.
  • LOL: Laughing out Loud. (The somewhat unintuitive near-universal expression of appreciation of fine humour)
  • ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing.
  • BRB: Be Right Back
  • BBIAB: Be Back In A Bit
  • BTW: By The Way
  • ISTR: I Seem To Remember
  • IIRC: If I Remember Correctly
  • TORn: TheOneRing.net
  • LOTR: Lord Of The Rings. (duh)
  • FOTR, TTT, ROTK: We really shouldn't need to explain those ;-)

10) Why does my mIRC Status Window keep saying "Ping? Pong!"?

All IRC servers have to send a PING token to their users every few minutes (every 120 seconds on our server) so as to detect when users' connections have silently disappeared in to the void, typically due to their computer or internet connection crashing. If the server didn't do this, the user's ghost would persist on the server indefinitely until the server next tried to send something to them (e.g. relaying a new line of text from a channel). If you don't like seeing the Ping? Pong! messages under mIRC, then you can disable them under File Menu: Options: IRC: Options: Hide ping? pong! event.

Section 2:  "Why can't I?", "What is?" and other netiquette hints
A note about etiquette.

Just like any community, TheOneRing.net's IRC server has developed its own guidelines and etiquette of behaviour. Some key points about this are outlined below. They will help you avoid irritating the channel moderators and your fellow chatters.

1) Why can't I use capital letters LIKE THIS all the time?

Firstly, it's annoying and rude. It's the internet equivalent of shouting, and is thus frowned upon in IRC. After all, we're here to chat, not shout at each other. And imagine if everyone did it. You don't need to use capital letters to get your point across, and we would prefer if you didn't. Thanks.

2) Why can't I swear?

We get a huge range of people and cultures on our IRC server - it really is an international site. Therefore, to provide everyone with a pleasant chatting environment, we are obliged to stick to the lowest common denominator.

We also see a lot of young kids coming on, and as an organisation, we want to set a good example - and not annoy their parents who might be a little disturbed to see potty languange littering a chat. Finally, it's simply more enjoyable to have an IRC server to go to where people aren't swearing every second word.

What constitutes swearing? Because Barliman is a robot, he has a very strict rulebook to go by. To give you an idea, he will issue warnings for words such as "damn" and "crap". If you have any question in your mind as to whether a word might be considered obscene or offensive, then you should almost certainly consider rephrasing your thoughts less crassly.

Extreme forms of swearing can - and most likely will - result in an instant ban. All we ask is that you abide by this when you're on the TORn IRC server. If you disagree, and don't think you can avoid swearing in channel, perhaps you should find another place to chat.

3) Why can't I use scripts in the main channel? 4) Why can't I have my own bot?

Only official bots are permitted on the server. Badly configured bots pose a security risk to the server and therefore we make no exceptions.

5) What do you mean by "no innuendo"?

Because we basically run a family (G-rated) channel, innuendo and sex-talk isn’t permitted. We will warn, kick, and ban as appropriate to discourage such behaviour.

6) Politics, religious discussion, etc.

Discussion revolving around politics, religion, etc. is generally okay — as long as people don't get upset. Unfortunately, this seems to happen in 95% of the time. So, if you're asked to stop by one of the moderators, please do so immediately.

7) What is flooding? 8) What do you mean by no advertising?

We generally regard advertising as blatantly promoting a commercial site such as: "Buy my stuff at www.buymystuff.com !!". Generally a guaranteed way to annoy the moderators. Pasting links to your own private website or something tolkien related is okay, as long as it's within the context of the current channel conversation - and it's not done over and over again. Joining the chat solely to plug a URL (or similar) is guaranteed to result in your discreet removal from the server.

Section 3:  "How do I?"
1) How do I do actions? (the text that's coloured differently)

You can create actions by typing: /me someaction

For example: /me waves at everyone would typically produce: * Catherine waves at everyone (were your nick Catherine, of course.)

Note that all IRC commands are preceded by a slash and you must use that to make them work.

2) How do I join a channel?

You can join a channel by typing: /join #channelname

So, if I wanted to join #thehalloffire, I'd type /join #thehalloffire. Note that if you're a Java IRC user, this will cause you to leave the channel that you're currently in. Users of other IRC clients, however, will discover it typically opens a separate second channel window and lets you monitor both channels at once.

3) How do I change my nickname?

If you want to change your nickname whilst chatting on the server, type: /nick newnickname swapping newnickname for the nick by which you now want to be known.

4) How do I quit the server?

You can leave the server at any time either by closing the program with which you're chatting - or by using the /quit command if you wish to leave a message to the room as you leave. This is called a Quit Message. To demonstrate, typing: /quit perchance to dream yields something like: *** Catherine (~catherine@c14546.rochd2.qld.optusnet.com.au) Quit (Quit: perchance to dream) for the remaining users' benefit.

5) How do I chat to someone privately? 6) How do I order stuff from Barliman? 7) How do I register my nickname?

Registering a nickname allows you to reserve a nickname for your own exclusive use. This is invaluable for maintaining your identity on the IRC server. To do this, choose the nickname you want to be use, and change to it. Then mentally choose a password. Note that passwords are case sensitive!

Then type: /msg nickserv register password e-mail

However, you must swap your chosen password for password, otherwise your password will actually be 'password'! You must also swap a valid e-mail address for e-mail

For example, I might want to register the nickname Catherine. If I chose Try40Times as my password, and demosthenes@theonering.net as my e-mail, I'd type: /msg nickserv register Try40Times demosthenes@theonering.net while using the nickname Catherine.

Now, to ensure that your e-mail address is valid, you'll receive a message containing a nine-digit authorization code at the E-mail address you gave. You then type: /msg nickserv auth code Simply replace code in the above command with the nine-digit authorization code given in the E-mail message. For example, if I was to receive an auth code of 923560279, I would type: /msg nickserv auth 923560279

If you follow these steps, your chosen nickname should now be properly and completely registered. This authorisation process is a once-only thing that you do not need to repeat unless your nickname becomes unregistered for some reason. Also, should you choose to register other nicknames, you will have to do this for them as well.

8) Why do you insist on me providing a valid e-mail address?

The software that we use to power our IRC Services (IRCServices v5) requires that all registered users submit a valid e-mail address in order that very useful and exciting functionality such as memo-forwarding and password-retrieval can be used.

If you do not wish to submit an e-mail address, you have no obligation for you to register your nickname. Needless to say, TORn treats all the private data of its users (e-mail addresses, memos, etc.) with the utmost privacy and respect - we will not disclose your e-mail address to outside entities.

9) How do I identify my nick once I've logged on?

You must identify each time you log onto the IRC server and tell NickServ that it is really you rather than somebody trying to steal your nick.

You do this by typing: /msg nickserv identify password

Again, you would substitute your password for password. So if I were Catherine, and identifying for my nick, I'd type: /msg nickserv identify Try40Times

If you've set kill protection on your nickname, you'll need to do it quickly - usually within one minute of logging on - or nickserv will forcibly change your nick.

N.B. On most IRC clients (e.g. mIRC, xchat) the phrase /msg nickserv identify can be abbreviated to /identify - and /msg nickserv can be abbreviated to /ns. Likewise, other services (Memoserv, Chanserv) can be talked to with /ms and /cs respectively. This functionality is provided by custom extensions to the server and does not rely on any particular client to work (although some clients may ignore the unrecognised custom commands).

10) How long do nicknames stay registered for?

Nicknames expire after 30 days of non use. After that, they become publically available once more and anyone may use and register them.

11) How do I change my password?

After you've identified yourself to NickServ (see above question), choose a new password and then type: /msg nickserv set password newpassword

Now, the trick is that you replace newpassword with your new password, but do not alter password for this command. Presto, you have a new password.

Again, using the example of Catherine, if I chose to change my password to Try50Times, I'd type: /msg nickserv set password Try50Times

12) How do I set a kill on my nickname?

When you first register, NickServ does not set a "kill" on your nickname. You must set this yourself. In this instance, a "kill" means that anyone who uses your nickname, but does not identify to NickServ within a certain time period (usually one minute) has their name forcibly changed to one of the form 'Guest1085141660' where 1085141660 is a randomly selected number. They are then subsequently forced to use a different nickname.

You can enable this option by typing: /msg nickserv set kill on (after having identified to nickserv under your nickname.

Note that if you are slow in identifying, it will also 'kill' you! NickServ makes no distinctions and will not know it is you until you identify! You will also notice that you cannot change back immediately iof you are nickchanged in this manner. This is because nickserv holds your nick under its protection for roughly 30-60 seconds before releasing it for re-use.

13) How do I connect securely (SSL) to the server? (and other privacy issues)

In a normal IRC connection, your client talks over the internet to our server in what is known as 'plaintext' - completely unencrypted text. The server likewise relays your conversation in a channel to all the other users who are joined on that channel (or to whom you're talking in PM) as plaintext by default. This means that anyone with whom you share your internet connection can potentially eavesdrop undetectably on your conversations, steal your passwords, etc. Likewise, anyone with access to any network between your computer and irc.theonering.net can eavesdrop. This concern is most relevant for those who chat from untrusted networks of any kind:

  • Wireless networks, where any member of the public could potentially eavesdrop on your private conversations after trivially compromising the wireless network's security (WEP), if any is enabled
  • Shared home networks, where broadband or dialup is shared between multiple computers, who require privacy from siblings, etc.
  • Large communal networks, such as at university or the workplace, where other users/administrators of the network cannot be trusted to not eavesdrop.
The solution to this problem is to connect to irc.theonering.net on port 6697 using a SSL (secure socket layer) connection: a cryptographically secure method of encrypting the conversation which flows over the network between your computer and the server. This provides protection against undetectable eavesdroppers - and if configured correctly will also warn if someone attempts to intercept the conversation. Connection to the server over SSL is directly analogous to the difference between browsing a website using http:// and https:// URLs - with HTTPS or SSL'd IRC, any member of the public can connect to the server and be guaranteed a certain level of privacy in their communication.

Currently, the only IRC clients which provide native support for SSL are mIRC (v6.15 and later), X-Chat (v1.5.6 and later), irssi (v0.8.6 and later), and BitchX-SSL (v1.0a1 and later). Of these, X-Chat, irssi and BitchX support SSL 'out of the box', whereas mIRC requires special installation. Instructions for installation and use are as follows:

  • mIRC

    The official instructions for installing SSL for mIRC may be found at the mIRC site. The key points for TORn, however are:

    • Check that you're running mIRC 6.15 or later - and upgrade if necessary (6.14 had several SSL bugs which TORn reported to Khaled and have been subsequently fixed)
    • Install the Windows distribution of OpenSSL from Shining Light Productions and install it as per the defaults in c:\OpenSSL.
    • Download the CAcert.org root certificate from http://www.cacert.org/cacert.crt to c:\Program Files\mIRC (or wherever your mIRC is). CAcert.org is the 'Trusted Authority' 3rd party who vouches TORn's identity when you connect to us.
    • You may wish to confirm that the cacert.crt file has not been tampered with by comparing its cryptographic signature with the fingerprints listed on the CAcert page and public keyservers, if you know how.
    • Optionally, doubleclick/execute the cacert.cer/.pem/.crt file to add it to Windows/IE's native trusted authority registry - this will allow other SSL applications such as Internet Explorer to trust CAcert signed sites without eliciting security warnings, unless of course security is compromised.
    • Restarting mIRC - SSL functionality should now automatically be detected and enabled.
    • Tell mIRC to use cacert.crt (which IE may rename to cacert.pem) as your Trusted Authority file by selecting it in Tools: Options: Connect: Options: SSL: Trusted Authorities File
    • One should now be able to connect securely to the server by typing: /server -e irc.theonering.net 6697 (or using the alternative syntax:) /server irc.theonering.net +6697
    If you experience a popup warning dialog box at this point, you have most likely...
    1. Not configured cacert.pem as your trusted authority file correctly
    2. Not connected to the correct 'canonical' name for the irc server: /server -e theonering.net 6697 <<-- WRONG Abbreviating irc.theonering.net to theonering.net in this manner (for instance) when connecting via SSL will prevent SSL from confirming the identity of the server, for fairly obvious reasons.
    3. Have another problem of some kind. If you are feeling especially paranoid you should mail Arathorn and complain bitterly about the error and confirm that the server has/has not been compromised.
    If you have correctly connected securely, you should see -irc.theonering.net- *** You are connected to irc.theonering.net with TLSv1-DES-CBC3-SHA-168bits in your status window during the connection sequence - and on having connected, if you /whois yourself, you should see: Arathorn is arathorn@arathorn.net * Arathorn
    Arathorn using irc.theonering.net TheOneRing.net IRC Server
    Arathorn is a Secure Connection
    Arathorn has been idle 0min 26secs, signed on Wed Apr 07 14:44:50
    Arathorn End of /WHOIS list.
    And if you check your usermodes by typing /mode Arathorn (replacing Arathorn with your current nick): Arathorn +iz where respectively the +z usermode and the "is a Secure Connection" whois line indicate that you are indeed securely connected to the server.

    Finally, the StunTour SSL Enabler for mIRC provides an alternative method for tunneling mIRC traffic through SSL - but with even less support for trusted certification.

  • X-Chat, irssi and BitchX

    To connect using X-Chat via SSL, you can either use the menu options or connect from the commandline. Using the menu options, one should set up a TheOneRing.net Network entry in your Server List (Ctrl-S) which connects to irc.theonering.net/6697 - ensuring that you check "Use Secure SSL" and "Accept Invalid Cert.". Unfortunately, X-Chat under Windows currently appears not to support using local Trusted Authority certificates to verify servers' certificates, so certificate verification will always fail with unable to get local issuer certificate.? (20), which has to therefore be ignored. If anyone can work out how to add certificates to a local certificate store which Windows X-Chat's OpenSSL will reference, please let me know!.

    To connect from the commandline in X-Chat, irssi, BitchX or similar, the standardised syntax is: /server -ssl irc.theonering.net 6697 although many also support /server irc.theonering.net +6697 /sslserver irc.theonering.net 6697 When connecting from the commandline, all three clients appear to ignore invalid certificates by default - it's in your interest to discover how to enable invalid certificate warnings.

    To inform your client of CAcert's root certificate in order to verify irc.theonering.net's identity, you have to download CAcert's root certificate from http://www.cacert.org/cacert.cer. Irssi supports explicitly referencing the trusted authorities' certificate at the commandline as of version 0.8.7: /server -ssl -ssl_cafile /path/to/cacert.cer irc.theonering.net 6697 However the other clients require the certificate to be installed in OpenSSL's default certificate store. Under Windows, it is unclear how to achieve this as the Windows build of OpenSSL sets openssldir to be /usr/local/ssl, which is not a valid Windows path (unless perhaps run under Cygwin?). Under most unixes however, this is very well defined: one should place the certificate (having confirmed its authenticity using the techniques decribed at CAcert's download page) in /usr/local/ssl/certs (or /etc/ssl/certs, depending on the filesystem layout of your installation) - and run the c_rehash script (bundled with OpenSSL) to rebuild the structure. Depending on the version of c_rehash, you may need to name the file with a .pem extension (e.g. /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem) - and edit the script to change the ssl path it looks under for certificates. Subsequently, xchat, irssi, and bitchx should be able to verify irc.theonering.net's identity on connecting. Under OSX other techniques may be required in order to integrate with OSX's KeyChain - please mail me if you work out how to do so.

  • Connecting using stunnel with an SSL challenged client

    Finally, if your client does not support SSL or SSL certificates correctly, you may want to investigate connecting to irc.theonering.net using stunnel - a utility which will allow you to encrypt traffic between your computer and the server by exposing a non-SSL interface to the server on your local computer. Install stunnel for your operating system of choice from stunnel's download site, and then run stunnel -c -d -A /path/to/cacert.cer -r irc.theonering.net:6697 at your commandline. One can then connect to the server using this SSL tunnel with: /server localhost

N.B. Like all technology, SSL is not a perfect solution, and the security it provides is only as good as the commmon sense which is applying it. Specifically:

  • SSL only encrypts data between your computer and the server. This means that your privacy can easily be violated by someone gaining access to your computer physically or electronically and reading your logs, installing a keylogger to record everything you do, sabotaging your SSL client, or looking over your shoulder whilst you type (be it using eyes or a TEMPEST device of some kind).
  • Likewise, all IRC conversation is decrypted (and then potentially reencrypted) at the server itself. You are obliged to trust the security of the server and its system administrators regardless of how you use the system. Needless to say, we take security and our users' data privacy very seriously indeed, and would consider ourselves worthy of trust. :)
  • Even if one encrypts conversation between your computer and #theonering.net with SSL, it will then be relayed to any number of people on the channel who most likely not be connected using SSL. All it takes for an 'eavesdropped' is to join the channel to see what you're saying, after all ;) If you want end-to-end encryption, it is up to you to ensure that the person/people you are chatting to are also connected via SSL. The server makes this easier by means of the +z channel mode: /mode #channel +z acts to enforce that everyone currently present in a particular channel must be connected via SSL. This mode cannot be set whilst any person on an insecure connection is present in the channel.
  • SSL using DES is secure - but can be trivially compromised by brute force, assuming of course you have a big enough computer at your disposal.
  • Finally, if one chooses not to trust our server, there are options for encrypting DCC chat conversation, which by definition communicates directly between clients, bypassing the server. However, there are ways by which a determined eavesdropper can intercept the DCC conversation as it is established - and obviously, ways in which IP's can be spoofed etc. Protection from all of these is outside the scope of this FAQ - although a correctly implemented signed-certificate scheme (as used when connecting to irc.theonering.net via SSL) should provide the most comprehensive protection.

SSL is a new feature on irc.theonering.net and should be considered an experimental trial - we would be interested to hear feedback from anyone using it at ircservices@theonering.net.

14) How do I send someone a memo?

What's a memo, you ask? A memo is a message you can leave on the server for someone to pick up when they log onto the server. You can leave a memo for anyone who has a registered nickname as long as your nickname is also registered.

You can do this by typing: /msg memoserv send nickname message

Simply replace nickname with the nickname of the person you want to send the message to, and message with whatever note you wish to send them.

For example, I could send Jincey a memo like this: /msg memoserv send Jincey Hi! Missed you!

15) How do I forward memos automatically to my e-mail address? 16) How do I become an Op?

The short answer is that you can't.

The post is only by invitation from jincey. You must have a great deal of knowledge about how IRC works. You need to be a person who can provide help our guests with installing and using IRC clients. You need to be mature and get on well with people. You must be well known and trusted by the people who run the server.

Very few people become ops; and they are only appointed as required. Please don't ask, as refusal often offends.

17) How do I find out when my friends were last on? 18) How do I "ghost" myself?

A "ghost" is a when you're not actually connected, but the IRC server believes is still online for one reason or another. Typically, this happens if your computer crashes or your Internet or modem connection goes down while you're on IRC.

To terminate your ghost type: /msg nickserv ghost nickname password

For example, if I was disconnected while using the nickname Catherine, but the IRC server still thought my ghost was still online, I'd type: /msg nickserv ghost catherine Try40Times

19) How do I introduce myself to Barliman?

If you want Barliman to recognise you, so that others can run /nickserv seen commands and check when you were last in channel, type: /msg barliman hello

20) What extra IRC add-ons are available from TORn?

A collection of extensions to IRC can be seen at the Barliman's Extras page. Amongst these is TORnIRC, a customisation of the popular mIRC IRC client for Windows, which includes many 'scripts' for use on the IRC server - although preferably not in the main channel (see above). Scripts and Popups are automated responses, often spanning several consecutive lines, which your chat program can automatically generate.

Also within the extras page include Sound Packs, with which you can acoustically enhance your Barli's Experience - and an excitingly ancient precursor to this FAQ.

21) How do I add my photo to the Regular's Gallery?

You may request to have a photo and/or picture added to the Regular's Gallery by e-mailing madmax@theonering.net. Attach your picture and be sure to include your nickname as well! Max is usually quite busy, so be patient since it may take a few days for him to put it up.

22) But I want to know more!

Well, if you insist... The entire command reference for the current version of the IRC Services solution we run (IRCServices 5) can be read here - and likewise the reference manual for the current IRC server software (UnrealIRCd 3.2) can be read here. Be aware that much of these documents is only relevant to administrators and developers of the software rather than normal users.

Section 4:  "What do I do if?"
1) What do I do if I've forgotten my password? 2) What do I do if my nickname is suspended? 3) What do I do if I'm banned from a channel? 4) What do I do if I'm banned from the server? 5) What do I do if I can't connect to the server?

The reasons for being able to connect to the server are legion - the most common will be that your computer has been permenantly banned because of someone's misdemeanours (see previous entry). However, if your connection never gets as far as informing you that you have been permenantly banned from TheOneRing, e.g.: * Connecting to irc.theonering.net (6667)
* Unable to connect (Connection refused)
or * Connecting to irc.theonering.net (6667)
-irc.theonering.net- *** Looking up your hostname...
-irc.theonering.net- *** Found your hostname (cached)
-irc.theonering.net- *** Checking ident...
-irc.theonering.net- *** Checking for open socks server...
-irc.theonering.net- *** No ident response; username prefixed with ~
-irc.theonering.net- * Connection Reset By Peer

Then you should mail Barliman's and tell us what your problem is. Be sure to copy and paste the problem from your client of choice (i.e. the text similar to that which you see above), and describe the problem in as much detail as possible.

Alternatively, you may be running into our new Open Proxy monitoring system. We are currently trialling BOPM from Blitzed.org to intercept and ban incoming connections from clients whose machines are running open proxies (or are connecting by means of an insecure open proxy). If you are, you will see something like this happen when you connect:

* Connecting to irc.theonering.net (6667)
-irc.theonering.net- *** Looking up your hostname...
-irc.theonering.net- *** Found your hostname (cached)
-irc.theonering.net- *** Checking ident...
-irc.theonering.net- *** Received identd response
-irc.theonering.net- *** You are banned from irc.theonering.net (Open Proxy found on your host pc1-oxfd1-9-cust134.oxfd.cable.ntl.com, user arathorn. Please visit http://opm.blitzed.org/proxy?ip= and http://www.theonering.net/barlimans/faq.html#bopm for more information.)
Closing Link: Arathorn[pc1-oxfd1-3-cust164.oxfd.cable.ntl.com] (User is banned (Open Proxy found on your host pc1-oxfd1-9-cust134.oxfd.cable.ntl.com, user arathorn. Please visit http://opm.blitzed.org/proxy?ip= and http://www.theonering.net/barlimans/faq.html#bopm for more information.))
* Disconnected

What this most likely means is that your computer is running some software called a proxy which has been incorrectly set up so as to potentially behave in an exceptionally malicious manner. Such misconfiguration, known as an open proxy, can be used by anyone on the internet to abuse your computer to send spam, or launch attacks on an IRC server or network. Often, this software will have been installed as a result of your computer being infected by a virus or malicious software. BOPM scans connecting clients for presence of such software, and if it finds it it has no option other than to immediately permenantly ban them from the server - and potentially hand their details over to a centralised blacklist. To regain access to the server, you *must* remove this software by installing up to date antivirus software & definitions and scanning your machine for adware. There is a chance that your network administrator may be to blame for running an open proxy on your IP address - if you are sure your machine is not infected, you should complain vigorously to him/her.

For more information on what Open Proxies are, and how to get rid of them - and how to remove yourself from the Black List (or test yourself to see if you are inadvertently running an open proxy, please visit the OPM Proxy FAQ. In general, it is fair to say that if your computer is behaving at all strangely, not running antivirus software, running an old WinGate server - or is behind a poorly installed corporate or home network, there is a high chance that your system could be abused in this fashion.

In order to regain access to TORn, you will have to remove the misconfigured proxy software in question from your computer, or the firewall that it's running on. Then visit the OPM Proxy Lookup website and Mail us, and we should be able to arrange for your return. Alternatively, If you were trying to access through an open proxy relay in the first place, you'll have to find a less dubious route in.

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