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Helpdesk test 2008 EGM

1. Most questions appear in the form of a hey/mail from a redbrick user
2. Answer as if you were replying to the user.
3. Write your answers on a separate page and number them for ease of
4. You can assume for the questions, that the user is using the following
programs (unless specified otherwise):
• Email: mutt
• News: slrn
• IRC: irssi
5. Unless otherwise specified, each question is worth 3 marks.
6. Some questions won’t have obvious answers, in this case you’ll get marks
for knowing what to ask the user next (i/e user:‘whats my username’ –
you:‘erm, what’s your DCU mail address and I’ll look you up?’)
7. ‘RTFM’ / ‘Just Google it’ is not a valid answer to most questions. It might
sometimes be acceptable, but you’ll need to be a little more specific than
8. Possible bonus marks for amusing answers. ASCII porn not accepted.

Best of luck 

1. (3 MARKS)
I just tried to log in to my redbrick account (luna) and get the access
denied message after entering my password. I am pretty sure I have the right
password, can you shed any light on this?

2. (4 MARKS)
My name’s Noel, I’m the chair of DCU Young Fine Gael (~finegael to you :)!
) and I was wondering, would it be at all possible to get the password and
the parameters I’d need to log in over FTP? That’d be great - hope it isn’t
too much hassle!
Kind regards,

3. (4 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 18:44 ...
       o hey man                                                        o
       o was just reading the news groups but it my laptop went to cack o
       o and when i logged back in i cant read’em. this is what it says o
       o                                                                o
       o slrn [2005-02-17]                                   o
       o                                                                o
       o Reading startup file /etc/news/slrn.rc.                        o
       o loading /etc/news/                                      o
       o Using newsrc file /home/committe/train/.jnewsrc for server     o
       o carbon.internal.slrn  fatal error:                             o
       o slrn: pid 23242 is locking the newsrc file.                    o
       o                                                                o
       o whats up?                                                      o

4. (4 MARKS)
yo dudes,
I was told I should learn how to make my heys a
little more personalised or something. any idea
about or pointers on how to do it.

5. (3 MARKS)
hey guys,
3yr project is coming up in a few weeks and i wanna be on the
ball. can i get you guys to setup a mysql account for me on
redbrick and let me know how i start it.

6. (3 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 15:28 ...
        x^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  -=’., ^newb^-hey ,.‘=-  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^x
        | hey                                                          |
        | i’m sick to death of those colours that on the command       |
        | prompt as default. any way to change em. someone told me to  |
        | look in the .zshrc file for them but theres nothing in there |
        | really.                                                      |
        | cheers.                                                      |

7. (3 MARKS)
Hey guys,
I was using bash as my shell and I found that when I ran ls the files were
all colouredy. How do I do this with other shells?
John Smith

8. (3 MARKS)
Please reset the password to my redbrick account. Username is

9. (4 MARKS)
I can’t login into my redbrick account and Im hoping it hasn’t been deleted.
I hadn’t used it in a while so its possible that renewal time came and went!
Could you have a look and see if my account is still there? My username is

10. (3 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 19:13 ...
                    x^^^^^^  -=’., ^newb^-hey ,.‘=-  ^^^^^^x
                    | hey bud,                             |
                    | is there anyway to edit posts        |
                    | in slrn after i post them.           |
                    | thanx                                |

11. (4 MARKS)
hey lads,
Just wondering, can you change the default text editor that opens when
you use mutt?

12. (3 MARKS)
I have a load of web pages already made on my hard drive, I was
wondering if there’s any way I could upload them to RedBrick?13. (4 MARKS)
Hi there,
Just a quick question. I want to back up my sql wordpress tables. How can i
do it. I tried mysqldump but got errors. is there a rbmysqldump that i can’t
Thanks in advance,

14. (3 MARKS)
A quick question,
meant to ask the last time, how do i send a message that only
one person will be able to see.

15. (3 MARKS)
hey guys,
I was wondering if it’s possible to send the same hey to multiple
people and if so, how?

16. (3 MARKS)
Is there anyway for me to setup mail folders/filters
in redbrick. how do i setup a folder so that all mail that comes
in forwarded from my gmail account gets filtered to it.

17. (3 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 08:54 ...
    x^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  -=’., ^newb^-hey ,.‘=-  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^x
    | oh yeah...... i’ve another procmail question                         |
    | what sort of rule would i need for filtering my CA mail.             |
    | it can come from a few different lecturers but it always has “CA103” |
    | somewhere in the subject                                             |

18. (3 MARKS)
Well lads,
I decided that since I’ll have a few weeks off over the hols, i’m
gonna give a webpage a tackle. I made a HTML page using this website i
found but i can’t for the life of me get it visible on site. you can
take a look at

19. (4 MARKS)
I noticed how everyone stayed logged in all the time and when I asked
about it I was told about screen, what is this?

20. (4 MARKS)
I want to upload some stuff to my public_html directory, I was
wondering if there’s a way to chmod all the files at once instead of
one by one?

21. (3 MARKS)
I got screen working after your help, but I still have a small
problem. Whenever I receive a hey it crashed into my chat window and I
lose it, how do I fix this?

22. (3 MARKS)
Me again,
I fixed that problem with heys crashing into chat, but I was wondering
if there’s any way of finding out who sent those heys that I missed

23. (3 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 13:28 ...
               x^^^^^^^^^^^  -=’., ^newb^-hey ,.‘=-  ^^^^^^^^^^x
               | dude i know that you i asked you a while      |
               | back about getting a mysql account set up     |
               | but i’ve come to the conclusion that mysql    |
               | is shit. can you set me up a postgres account |
               | instead. thanx                                |

24. (3 MARKS)
Hey guys,
Just Feeling Lazy and i could be bothered looking up the site, but what
are the names of the machines that redbrick has had over the years.


25. (3 MARKS)
Whats the handiest way to cut and paste in nano. I’m getting pissed of using
the mouse to drag select stuff and then right click to paste.

26. (3 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 13:28 ...
                   x^^^^^^^  -=’., ^newb^-hey ,.‘=-  ^^^^^^x
                   | on second thoughts. to hell with nano |
                   | how do i use vim. apparently its a    |
                   | million times cooler* :)              |
*this may be a lie

27. (4 MARKS)
Entirely my own fault here, I suspect, but I’m having issues logging
into Redbrick.  I had my account renewed and went to log in without
checking the renewal mail to see my password had been reset.  So I
had a number of failed logins.  At this point, while I get the login
prompt, entering the password as supplied by you guys makes my putty
screen disappear in a puff of logic.  I’m reasonably sure it isn’t an
issue with putty, so could my password be reset and I will try again
(after reading everything carefully, of course!)?

28. (3 MARKS)
Message from newb@minerva on pts/999 at 13:28 ...
              x^^^^^^^^^^^^  -=’., ^newb^-hey ,.‘=-  ^^^^^^^^^^^^x
              | dude.... I’ve been using chat a lot more lately |
              | I was just wondering how do I join places other |
              | than #lobby, or how do I find out what other    |
              | rooms there are? Or can I make my own?          |
              | Thanks                                          |

29. (3 MARKS)
hey guys,
more curiosity, I know what chmod does. it gives people different
permission to view or run files. but what do the numbers 755 or 644 actually
mean... in a nutshell.

30. (4 MARKS)
Guys bit of a problem
I accidentally set my shell to /usr/local/shells/disusered/ and now when I
log in I can’t do anything.

Surprise Bonus round!1!11!!/
(??? Marks)
1. Zyox heys you asking for the RedBrick bank account details, what do
you do?
2. Someone set their shell to /usr/local/shells/disusered/, what do you
3. Describe what RedBrick is and does in 10 words or less
4. Nano or vim?
5. Your fellow helpdesk members suddenly quit, what do you do