Finding and Using Help Channels on StarLink
StarLink has a variety of 'official' and 'unofficial' help channels available for all levels of users. Knowing where to go for help saves you time and energy.
There are some basics which will serve to get you the help you want without a lot of hassle.
Know where to go for the help you need. Bouncing from channel to channel is a waste of your time and annoying to users. Type /list to locate channels that might have your answers. If you are a pIRCh user, you aren't going to want to ask in a mIRC channel.
Be prepared with specific questions.
Watch what is happening in the channel before jumping in with your question. You might accidentally confuse someone else who is having a question answered.
Do not send your question in a private message. If a person at ops wants to work with you in a private session, he or she will initiate it. Other individuals in the channel may benefit from the answers to your questions, and it lets everyone else know that you are receiving assistance.
Ask for clarification if you aren't sure about what you have been told. You're there for help, so you might as well take advantage of the expertise of those in the channel.
Log your help session so you can go back for the information in case you need your memory refreshed. Nobody can remember everything. We remember what we use..
Lurking... or sitting quietly... in a help channel is a good way to learn things. Please remember that extra chat when someone is asking for help might confuse the issue. Do not offer advice unless you have been asked to do so by someone at ops.
StarLink Official Help Channels
There are two official help channels present on StarLink, and one channel designed to assist new IRC users.
#Channels is the official home of the Channel Service Committee(CService), the people who help register channels and handle problems with Mars and his commands. The ops in #channels are especially trained to assist users with the problems of their individual channels. Go to #channels to register channels, to get help with Mars commands, and if you are having problems with obtaining ops in a channel.
Know Your Helpers
It is best to take advice from those individuals who have ops in the help channels, especially in #Channels. IRCops and Channel Service Staff have a special category in Mars which lets a user know whether he or she is actually qualified to help. If you are wondering if the person with whom you are speaking is an IRCop, you can find this out by doing a /whois. If the person is an IRCop, it will say so in the whois. You can also use the Mars command:
/msg mars ISOPER nick
Mars will respond with verification that the person is, or is not, an IRCop. Don't just take someone's word for it. When in doubt, always check. Some lame users think it's funny to pose as an IRCop and threaten other users.
When asking for help in #Channels, speak with the people at ops. If you suddenly get advice from someone who isn't an op, you can check to see if they are really a Channel Service Staff member by using the Mars command:
/msg Mars VERIFY nick
Channel Service Staff are especially trained to help users with Mars and Mars commands. It's best to deal with them.
Help is easy to find on StarLink if you remember a few brief points.
If you want to register a channel, or are having problems with AUTH or Mars commands, this is the place to go. Channel Service Staff are trained to assist in these matters. There are also several documents available to help you with Mars, especially MeetMars and the Channel Manager's Manual.
Know your helpers
In most help channels, it is a good idea to rely at the people in the ops position for advice. If you question whether someone helping you is an IRCop or CService Staffer, there are ways you can find out.
Sitting quietly in a help channel and watching the answers to questions is a good way to learn. Avoid participating in the help unless asked to do so by someone at ops, however. Some channels have more chat than others, so get a feeling for how much general conversation goes on in each channel.
The more information you can get and use, the more comfortable you will feel within the family of StarLink and IRC in general.