Undernet FAQ

Version 1 By Paul Grant (Grant)

Questions to be dealt with:

1-1 What is the undernet?
1-2 Why does it exist?
1-3 How do I get to it?
1-4 Why is it so quiet? (!)
1-5 The future?

Here we go...

Question 1-1: What is the undernet?

Undernet IRC is an alternative to the current EFnet IRC system, but
is just in its early days. Created just before Christmas it is, with respect
to commands and conventions exactly the same as EFnet. It differs however in
its size. The undernet is much smaller than the EFnet, in fact only 10% of its
bigger brothers size, due of course to its youth. This however is a Good
Thing (tm), on the undernet all the Opers know each other, people are more
friendly and there are (as yet) no unsavoury characters.

The undernet, follows the IRC protocol, i.e. it is _another_ irc.
To grasp what the undernet is you need only look at the IRC itself, all the
features of the IRC protocol are represented in the undernet. Therefore the
undernet can simply be described as a forum for international communication,
and chat, via the computer networks. Nothing more, but nothing less!

Question 1-2: Why does it exist? (Or do we need another IRC?)

Why not? At the moment the IRC is overloaded with users. There are
frequent netsplits involving not just the odd servers, but in increasing
cases a significant number of servers. Too much pressure is put onto the
IRC due to the (unforeseen) explosion of users it has gained. Many people
people don`t ask _if_ the irc will survive, but when will it go...

For this reason the undernet stands out as a Good Thing (tm). It can
help take the load off of the IRC and prolong its day of judgement, hopefully
for long enough that a solution to its problems can be found. The Undernet
consists of some very highly motivated and dedicated people enthusiastic to
make a success of their venture.

There is another reason why the undernet is here. IRC is becoming
more and more politicized, day by day. With various IRC admins forming
groups against one another, the amount of co-operation between them has
become almost nil. The time which they could spend in serving you, the user,
is instead spent in endless bickering.

Haven't you ever been treated like dirt by people who claim they
know everything and who will abuse you because you know less (read "clueless").
It was another reason behind the formation of the undernet, a net where the
operators are friendly easy going folks, and are always happy to help the
users as far as possible. Abusing users is *highly* frowned upon, and opers
follow a certain "undernetiquette". Feel free to ask any questions that you
may have, and though you may not always be guaranteed of an answer, we will
surely do our best to help you in any way whenever possible, and in making
your stay more comfortable.

Moreover, the Undernet has evolved with time and intelligent routing
makes it swifter. Transatlantic ping times of one or two seconds are the
norm rather than the exception. This implies lesser lag, and lesser netsplits
as well. Furthermore, most undernet servers now follow the timestamp protocol,
which disallows "netsplit ops" (if you know what I mean) or "channel desynchs".
All this is to help *you* the user have a better time on the undernet.

Question 1-3: How do I get to it?

This is in fact easier than most people expect. Due to the undernet
being of the same protocol to IRC it means you use exactly the same client,
and just need to change the network of servers which you are connected to.
This being facilitated by a simple /server your_nearest_server command.

eg. /server t3h.cs.man.ac.uk (that being my nearest server)

If a port number is specified, then the syntax is simply:

/server servername port#

In case you are not on a Unix system, the "servername" may not work for you,
and you may need an IP address (a string of numbers) in its place.

Listed at the end are all the current servers, along with their ip address,
and ports wherever relevant.

Question 1-4: Why is it so quiet? (!)

Its not through choice! The userbase of the undernet is growing
slowly and steadily, if a little too slowly, this is compensated by the
fact that people usually come back after visiting once!

There are a number of reasons for the undernets lack on user-
base, the biggest being its relative obscurity. Very few people actually
know what the undernet is, never mind how to get to it, hence the exist-
ence of the document you are reading.

The other reason, which really is the fault of the former is the
lack of a userbase. If there were a large number of users on the under-
net then it is likely that people would stay. However there is not, but
there is on the IRC so people go there. There is also the fact that most
people have friends on the IRC, and to join the undernet renders them
unreachable via messages. This has been fixed via Tonto's bot 'ul', which
allows you pass messages back and forth between both nets, amongst other

But for the most part, the Undernet is yet caught in a Catch-22
situation. Users don't visit often because there are few users, and there
are few users because users don't visit often. This deadlock will be broken
once we start off with a certain critical regular userbase, which in turn
would lead to a domino effect as more and more people make new friends here
and start visiting us more often.

Question 1-5: The Future?

The undernet is slowly making progress, and needs just one thing,
users! And that means YOU! Spare the time to change from IRC to the undernet,
we are a nice friendly bunch and will make you feel welcome in no time!

Come and see us on #wasteland, I hope it won`t be a wasted journey...

We are always trying out new changes to code, etc. to make the net a better
place for *you*. Looking forward to see you on the Undernet sometime soon!!

P.S. : If you are using ircII on Unix, it is possible to even be on both
nets (EFNET and UNDERNET) simultaneously. Try the command :

/window new server servername

This will split your screen into two windows, with each window on different
servers. If you specify a server on a different net, then you will be on
different nets. You can use Ctrl-x p (hit ctrl-x, release, then hit p) to
flip between windows. (if that doesn't work, you may try /window goto 1 &
/window goto 2) Type /help window to get more extensive help.

Another possible difficulty you may encounter (you may have encountered
this already on EFnet), is the incompatibility of an old IRC client with the
new version 2.8 servers. When talking to a channel, you may observe the "No
text to send" error. A temporary fix is /query #channelname. But you are best
advised to upgrade to the latest client version. You can ask us over #wasteland
for help in upgrading your client. See you soon! :)

Appendix: Server List

Updated: June 4, 1993

Explanation of entries
line 1: server name and port number
line 2: machine name and IP numeric
line 3: location

Undernet server list

server: aiken.info.polymtl.ca 6667
machine: aiken.info.polymtl.ca
location: Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal-Montreal, Quebec, Canada

server: aspen.che.sdsmt.edu 6667
machine: aspen.che.sdsmt.edu
location: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, SD, USA

server: cancun.caltech.edu 6667
machine: cancun.caltech.edu
location: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA

server: curie.ualr.edu 6667
machine: curie.ualr.edu
location: University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, USA

server: elm.circa.ufl.edu 6667
machine: elm.circa.ufl.edu
location: Gainesville,FL

server: essex.ecn.uoknor.edu 6667
machine: essex.ecn.uoknor.edu
location: University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA

server: falcon.lhup.edu 6666
machine: falcon.lhup.edu
location: Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, USA

server: goren1.u.washington.edu 6665
machine: goren1.u.washington.edu
location: University of Washington, Washington, USA

server: hermes.acm.rpi.edu 6667
machine: hermes.acm.rpi.edu
location: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA

server: imageek.york.cuny.edu port 6667
machine: imageek.york.cuny.edu port
location: York College Chemistry, Jamaica, NY, USA

server: inga1.acc.stolaf.edu 6667
machine: inga1.acc.stolaf.edu
location: St. Olaf, Minnesota, USA

server: newton.ccs.tuns.ca 6667
machine: newton.ccs.tuns.ca
location: Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia

server: next210.nodak.edu 6667
machine: next210.nodak.edu
location: North Dakota State University, North Dakota, USA

server: piaget.phys.ksu.edu 6667
machine: piaget.phys.ksu.edu
location: Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

server: pv1628.vincent.iastate.edu 6667
machine: pv1628.vincent.iastate.edu
location: Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

server: sci.dixie.edu 6667
machine: sci.dixie.edu
location: Dixie College, St. George, Utah, USA

server: shadow.acc.iit.edu 6667
machine: shadow.acc.iit.edu
location: Chicago, Illinois, USA


server: cca.pue.udlap.mx 6666
machine: cca.pue.udlap.mx
location: Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico


server: anatsg1.unil.ch 6667
machine: anatsg1.unil.ch
location: University of Lausanne, Institute of Anatomy, Lausanne, Switzerland

server: cyprus.csd.uch.gr 6666
machine: cyprus.csd.uch.gr
location: University of Crete, Computer Science Department, Greece

server: hplyot.obspm.circe.fr 6666
machine: hplyot.obspm.circe.fr
location: Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France

server: irc.informatik.uni-rostock.de 6666
machine: irc.informatik.uni-rostock.de
location: University of Rostock, Dept. of Computer Science, Germany

server: ismra.ismra.fr 6667
machine: ismra.ismra.fr
location: Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Ingenieurs de Caen, France

server: need.hgs.se 6666
machine: need.hgs.se
location: Gavle/Sandviken University, Sweden

server: pellava.uta.fi 6667
machine: pellava.uta.fi
location: University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

server: sg.tn.tudelft.nl 6667
machine: sg.tn.tudelft.nl
location: Netherlands

server: t3h.cs.man.ac.uk
machine: t3h.cs.man.ac.uk
location: UK

server: viminale.enserb.u-bordeaux.fr 6667
machine: viminale.enserb.u-bordeaux.fr
location: ENSERB, Bordeaux, France


server: yamabico.cs.uow.edu.au 6668
machine: yamabico.cs.uow.edu.au
location: U of Wollongong, Dept of Computer Science, Wollongong, Australia

EOList. Thanks for using da undernet!