Class 2: IRC, Wiki Basics, Shell Basics (DRAFT)

Table of Contents


Last time was an overview of the general topics that we will cover in the class. Today we will dig into actual material. Time to get the computer working for you. We will start by setting up a group communication channel over Internet Relay Chat (IRC). After that, we will take a look at basic wiki editing using the CCOM internal wiki, which uses the same wiki software as Wikipedia. We will then learn how to securely log into a Linux server setup for the class. If you are outside of CCOM, see if you can find a Linux computer that you can an account on.

NOTE: This lecture assume that you are sitting at a Windows 7 computer at CCOM. If that is not the case, you might have to do a little extra work.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

We will now join a open group chat. Please remember that IRC is not a secure service. Anything you type can be logged or seen by clever people not in the chat room. Be careful what you type into IRC!

ChatZilla in Firefox

Firefox 6 on Windows 7 comes up in a different mode than it has in the past. Plugins are not directly available. Click the "Firefox" label on the top left of the Firefox window. Under "Options", turn on the "Menu Bar". You should now see a menu across the top that contains:

"File Edit View History Bookmarks Tools Help"

Under "Tools," select "ChatZilla" at the bottom.

ChatZilla will use your login name (often referred to as you "shortname") by default. You can pick anything you like, but if you don't use something related to your name, people may have trouble which user in a chat is you. For this class, make sure to use the same short name as your CCOM account - please do not change your alias.

We need to now sign into an "IRC Server" that hosts chat rooms. There are many thousands of servers in the world and we will even setup on at CCOM later in the semester. For now, I have created an unofficial channel on http://freenode.net. FreeNode supports free and opensource software and this class is primarily about just those topics. Type this command right into the bottom window of ChatZilla:

/attach irc.freenode.net

It will take a few seconds to log into their server. We can now join the class server. Select the IRC Menu, Join channel, and type "unhresearchtools". Click "Join". You can also run a command in the lower text bar.

/join #unhresearchtools

Now, when the "#unhresearchtools" tab is selected, what you type into the bottom window will go out into the channel.

REMEMBER: what you type is not private. In fact, select the "ChatZilla" menu, then Preferences. Under "General," you can turn on logging. This way, you have a copy of everything that was said in the chat room while you are logged in. Having these notes can be really useful when you are working on the same material later and want to go back to old discussions.

If you prefer to use a different IRC "client," you are most welcome to switch. ChatZilla is just an easy default in that it is available on Mac, Linux, and Windows (anywhere that Firefox is available).

Freenode even has a web based IRC chat client: http://webchat.freenode.net/

Why did I pick IRC over some other group chat?

IRC is biggest hang out location for open source software developers and users. You sometimes actually chat in real-time with the person who wrote the software you are using and you can find other users who are potential collaborators. Working together in the global community, we can get more accomplished that working by ourselves.

Remember to be nice to everyone you talk to on IRC! There is unwritten etiquette that you should follow on each channel. All channels are not alike. Here are some begging guide lines:


Introduce yourself!

Please introduce yourself on the channel and then say a real hello to the class.

Too much text for IRC? Use a "paster"

There are many services on the web that let you paste text and share the URL (web address). One I frequently use is http://pastebin.com. You should also consider anything pasted on pastebin as public. Do not paste anything that you would not otherwise tell to anyone. Even if you are not logged in, the IP address (the address of your computer or network router) is logged. You can be found. Don't post anything outside of the CCOM acceptable use policy!!!


A look around

  • What kind of material is available on the wiki?
  • What are some of the special pages?
  • Create an account for yourself. Please DO NOT edit without being logged in.

TODO Homework DUE Tuesday Sept 6th 2011-09-06 Tue

Author: Kurt Schwehr <schwehr@ccom.unh.edu>

Date: <2011-08-30 Tue>

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