This is the text of a short presentation given by Amazing in #Townhall on 12 July 2002 to provide some information about the network and the staff of StarLink-IRC

StarLink-IRC came into existence on Jan 1st, 1997
The reasons WHY it came into existence can be found at http://www.starlink-irc.org/sldocs/SLhistry.html

That is the history but there was actually more to it than just the political side of things. That's part of what I'd like to get into tonight and also give a refresher on how SLIRC is run for the users who have been here for a while and let the new folks know how some things are handled here. We call StarLink-IRC 'slirc' so thats what I'll use :)

PLEASE don't leave the channel because you think this is going to be boring. I think it'll help you understand what slirc is all about :) A small aside - you are on a 'network' (Starlink-IRC) which is made up of ten 'servers'. Also, a 'channel' is the same thing as a 'room'. Now that the techie stuff is out of the way...

The main reason slirc even exists is because a number of us wanted to have a nice, safe place for people to come and chat. We also wanted kids to be able to chat without being harassed by predators or lamers. We REALLY do try our best to accomplish this -- and of course, like anyone else, we occasionally make mistakes. All of us here are volunteers, not paid staff, who also like to enjoy a chat once in awhile - after all, that's how we got here in the first place. First above all, we are users on this net the same as anyone else :)

We all had to learn commands and net etiquette and, as it happens, some of us are more adept at certain things than others. For example, I might not know the answer to a certain question but another staffer will ... or at least will try to find an answer. That's what I think has made us a GREAT team .. including YOU, the users! Having good staff on slirc would mean nothing alone because it's the users that make a net, whether it's a good net or a bad net not only depends on the staff but on the users as well.

Now for a bit about how slirc is 'run' :

1. Some staff are server administrators. Server admins are those who have donated a server for people to connect to... the name of each server and server admin can be found at http://www.starlink-irc.org/index.servers.html
2. IRCops (IRC Ops not IRC COPS as some might think) are those who help to keep the servers connected to the net and also help deal with attacks, advertisers, obscene nicks etc.
3. CService, as most of you know, is here to help with the registering of channels, help with CStar use, and generally assist channel owners, ops and users.

As a rule, Admins and IRCops can be found in #Terranova and CService in #channels .. although most of us are in both channels a lot of the time anyway.

We have Ombudspersons too .. these are Kimbers and ellegon. They are 2 users who have volunteered to be contacted if someone feels they have a problem they can't approach a staff member about (for example, a problem might be about a staff member's behavior).

We have a newsletter for folks to subscribe to at http://www.starlink-irc.org/slreg.html#MailingList. Lois is the editor and it comes out once a month to the general mailing list and, a few days later, it is posted on our website at http://www.starlink-irc.org/slnews/newsletter.html along with back issues. Everyone is invited to send in articles for the newsletter to [email protected] .. read the back issues for an idea of the things we are looking for.

Now -- for channel owners :
Channel owners register their channel and get our channel service (CStar) installed during setup after approval of the application. All Owners are sent 2 documents, chanfaq.txt and csuhelp.txt to help them with CStar commands and with the running of their channels. Anyone can get these 2 documents at http://www.starlink-irc.org/index.docs.html

Owners are added to CStar at level 500 and they can add others to CStar if desired. Once the channel is set up it BELONGS to the owner. It stays owned until either the owner asks for it to be deleted or hasn't authenticated in it (to CStar) for 45 days.

After 45 days, the owner is sent a reminder email (owners, please make sure cservice always has a current email addy for you) and asked to come online to authenticate in the channel if they want to keep it. The owner/s are given a few days to come online and, if they don't, the channel is deleted. However, even after the channel is deleted the owner can still come online and ask for it to be reinstated if there was a good reason for not being able to make the 45-day window. Channel owners, if they know in advance that they won't be able to come on to auth, can let someone in #Channels know or send email to [email protected] and ask for an extension.

StarLink-IRC Services :
There are 3 services on slirc. There is CStar, the channel service bot, which most of you are familiar with. CStar is in all registered channels and it is set +D which means it is 'deaf' to all channel traffic. It cannot 'see' what is said in any channel.
There is Deathstar (DS) which is the oper services. It shows to the IRCops any illegal channels that are joined (illegal meaning porn/sex/warez etc.) G-lines (global k-lines) which are bans from the entire net, are also set thru DS.
There is Tristar which is the security service. When you connect to slirc you will see the message "TriStar Attention: By joining this network, you agree to have your system periodically checked for known vulnerabilities. For more details visit our website @ http://www.starlink-irc.org/security - thank you." It's a good idea to check that page so you'll know that slirc is NOT trying to get into your computer.

Lastly, there is NO single 'owner of StarLink-IRC, there is a team of MANY volunteers who make it what it is. Many who give lots and lots of hours of their time to make this the kind of a cyber-town people can be comfortable and safe in.

There are many other things about the net that you may want to know and we are glad to answer questions. We believe we are not your average IRC network .. but something very special .. giving those who otherwise wouldn't have a place to chat and meet others with a little help and a bit more safety than you find elsewhere on the net.

Thank you from all of us for your time.