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<h1>COM is not IRC</h1>
<hr />
<li><a href="#whatis">What is COM?</a></li>
<li><a href="#gettingStarted">Getting started</a></li>
<li><a href="#faq">FAQ</a></li>
<li><a href="#commands">Common COM Commands</a></li>
<br />
<h2><a name="whatis" />What is COM?</h2>
So you type '<code>irc</code>' at the command prompt hoping to join
your favorite channel and instead find yourself in this strange
world where you have to press space to talk, the commands you expect
don't work, and you can't even figure out how to quit (hint: try
'<b>q</b>'). This is 'COM' (aka, 'COMMODE' or just 'com').
COM is a chat program which is unique to SDF. The original version
dates back to 1994 and it has been developed and used on the SDF
servers ever since. Together with the '<code>bboard</code>' BBS it
is one of the primary ways SDF users communicate with each other.
Some features may be familiar to you from other programs, but many
will be new to you. Most notably, COM is command-driven, meaning
that you are in &ldquo;command mode&rdquo; by default and must hit a
key (spacebar or enter) before you can talk. See below for
additional <a href="#commands">commands</a>, all of which are simply
typed in from command mode.
So why did you get COM when you expected IRC? For reasons of
security and concerns about abuse, IRC access is not allowed unless
you are an ARPA member or higher. If you are reading this then it
is likely you are not. For this reason when you type
'<code>irc</code>' at the shell, COM will be launched instead. This
allows new users an opportunity to interact with other SDF users and
hopefully answer some of the questions they might have. Unlike IRC,
COM is not network-based and only users who are currently logged
into SDF can use it.
Basic rules of etiquette to keep in mind:
<li>Many people idle in com. You can check idle times with
'<b>I</b>'. If the room has been quiet for a while, say hello but
give people time to respond. If you have not read the tutorial
you may get some coarse replies, and you might end up here,
now, reading this. Welcome. :)</li>
Things <i>not</i> to do:
<li>Ask how to 'hack'.</li>
<li>Attempt to use any IRC commands (they won't work and will make you look foolish).</li>
<li>Repeat the same question over and over.</li>
<h2><a name="gettingStarted" />Getting started: a walkthrough</h2>
COM is based around 'rooms'. The default room you enter when you start
the program is 'lobby', SDF's Welcoming Room.
Type <code>com</code> at the command line to start com. When
com starts, you will be placed in 'lobby'. A list of users will
be displayed. You will also be in <b>command</b> mode. In
<b>command</b> mode, all you will see the cursor; there will not be
a prompt. Command mode allows commands to be run such as seeing a
list of users.
In <b>command</b> mode, type <b>w</b> to see a <b>list of users</b>,
the name of the room you are in, as well as the
<p>The output will look something like</p>
[you are in 'spacebar' among 1]
Now, type <b>l</b> (lower case L) to see a list of rooms. The
output will look something like
room-name # created time topic
spacebar 16 22-Aug-16 08:49:32 there is life out there
lobby 1 09-Sep-16 08:49:13 SDF's Welcoming Room
anonradio 19 09-Sep-16 04:11:06 DJ Kumata!
There seems to be a lot of users in the room "spacebar". Let us join
in on the fun, shall we? Type <b>g</b> and the name of the room to
:goto> spacebar
When entering the room, a list of users will be displayed. Now, let
us say hello to the room.
Enter <b>a space</b> to enter input mode. When entering input
mode, <b>a prompt of your user name</b> will appear. Say "hello" to
the world and end the line with an enter key.
[wliao] hello world!
The next thing you'll probably want to know is what people talked
about before you entered so you can join in the
chatter. Type <b>r</b> to get a short 18 line "r"eview of what was
said last. If you want more context, press <b>R</b>. You will se a
prompt like this:
Just type the number of lines you are interested in and finish with
return; you'll get a scrollable history of said lines length.
When you are ready to quit, type <b>q</b> to leave com. You will see
an <b><code>Unlinking TTY ..</code></b> message appear.
<h2><a name="faq" />FAQ</h2>
<dt>How do I use backspace in com?</dt>
<dd>Try <b>-</b> in command mode in com to toggle behavior. Or,
use stty or 'bksp' to set the backspace correctly.</dd>
<dt>How can I be in com multiple times?</dt>
<dd>The basic rule is to be on a different server when entering
com. Some common ways of doing this is to use screen, run ssh
twice, etc.</dd>
<dt>How do I send private messages?</dt>
<dd>Use the <b>s</b> command in command
mode: <b>s</b>user@host. Please note the @host portion; this is
a required element of the command. If the user is in another
room, add an optional host parameter to send the
message: <b>s</b>user@host room.</dd>
<dt>How do I see what happened in the past?</dt>
<dd>Use the <b>r</b> key to review. Use <b>R</b> followed by a
number to control how many lines of history to review. The
<b>p</b> key can be used to see the history of another room:
<b>p</b>roomname. The <b>p</b> command can also take an
optional number of lines to display: <b>p</b>roomname
<dt>How do I see who is in another room?</dt>
<dd>Use <b>W</b> (upper case w) to see who is in another room.</dd>
<dt>I see <code>&lt;wliao@iceland DUMPs in 22 characters of 2
words in 3 lines&gt;</code>. What does that mean?</dt>
<dd>Use the <b>r</b> or <b>R</b> command.</dd>
<dt>I see <code>&lt;wliao appears&gt;</code>. How do I do that?</dt>
<dd>Use the <b>e</b>mote command in command mode. Use <b>e</b> followed
by the action at the prompt: <code>:emote&gt; tests this out</code>.
<dt>Why do I have to keep pressing the spacebar to talk?</dt>
<dd>Other keys can be used to enter input mode. Try the
<b>h</b> to see what keys are not being used such as the enter
<dt>How do I erase a line?</dt>
<dd>Use ^u (control + u) to erase the line. ^w (control + w) will erase
a word.
<dt>I accidentally ignored somebody! I didn't mean to do that :(</dt>
<dd>'i'gnore the same user again to remove from the ignore list.
<dt>Why isn't anybody talking?</dt>
<dd>That's life. Harden up.</dd>
<h2><a name="commands" />COM Commands</h2>
Here is a list of commonly used COM Commands. It only covers the
basics, so refer to the online help (with '<b>h</b>') or man page
for more information. Some of the commands will not be available to
pre-validated users.
<li><b>e</b> - emote</li>
<li><b>g</b> - goto a room</li>
<li><b>h</b> - command help</li>
<li><b>I</b> - user idle query</li>
<li><b>l</b> - (lowercase L) list open rooms</li>
<li><b>L</b> - post a link to com</li>
<li><b>p</b> - peek into room</li>
<li><b>q</b> - quit commode</li>
<li><b>r</b> - room history</li>
<li><b>R</b> - extended history</li>
<li><b>s</b> - send private</li>
<li><b>w</b> - (lower case w) who is in the current room</li>
<li><b>W</b> - (upper case w) who is in a different room</li>
<li><b>-</b> - (hyphen) key in command mode will fix your backspace (use this if your backspace keeps showing up as ^h or ^?)</li>
<li><b>+</b> - tell you utc</li>
<li><b>U</b> - (capital u) will tell you how long other users have been members and if they are ARPA or Meta-can-validate you</li>
<strong>Note:</strong> <em>Although you type '<code>com</code>' to
start com, the man page is accessed with '<code>man
<hr />
$Id: comnotirc.html,v 1.17 2018/04/30 13:20:33 wliao Exp $