You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.

10 KiB

The hey program is one of RedBrick's most popular services. It lets you send instant messages to other users over the Redbrick network. It was developed and is maintained by RedBrick members and has since spread to various other servers including other college netsocs.

Hey is rather unique as instant messaging systems go. They're heavily customisable, highly personal and altogether different to IRC or the bigger instant messengers like MSN or AOL. They remain more popular among older generations of brickies but are still used by a lot of the newer ones too. Heys have a sense of humour all of their own and it is not uncommon for Redbrick users to make "heyfiles" which may contain humourous and/or incriminating heys.


Here's a tutorial on how to send and customise heys:

Sending heys

Sending a hey is very simple. From the command prompt, type "hey" followed by the username you want to send the message to and hit return, like so:

undone@murphy (~) -> hey phaxx

This will start hey and let you write a message to "phaxx" or whoever you'd like to talk to. You can then start typing your message on the next line:

undone@murphy (~) -> hey phaxx
I think it's about time we updated the tutorial on how to send and receive heys and moved it to the wiki, don't you?

When you're done typing your message, hit return to move onto a new line. Then hold ctrl and press d to send the message. You should get a confirmation message telling you that the hey was sent successfully (the default confirmation message is "groovy") and then you'll be returned to the prompt. Then when phaxx checks his terminal, he'll see the message like this:

Message from undone@murphy on pts/489 at [ Fri 15/Dec/2006 18:43:20 GMT ] ...
| I think it's about time we updated the tutorial on how to send and |
| receive heys and moved it to the wiki, don't you? |

Receiving heys

When someone sends you a hey, it will appear in your terminal similar to the above example. The name of the user who sent it to you as well as the time and date appears up top. "EOF" stands for "End of file", meaning simply that it's the end of the message.

Heys will automatically be sent to the terminal you've used most recently. This can be a little annoying as a hey may appear on top of something you were working on, or in the middle of an IRC session. Pressing ctrl and l together will clear the hey from your screen, but you can also decide what terminals you want to receive heys on through the 'mesg' command.

Type 'mesg' at your prompt to check whether or not you're currently receiving heys in that terminal.

undone@murphy (~) -> mesg
is y

This means that the terminal is set to receive heys, otherwise, it would be n. To change it simply enter either 'mesg n' or 'mesg y' at the prompt. Many users will set up a terminal simply for the purpose of receiving heys.

Customising Heys

Heys can be configured in many different ways.


One of the most common features of hey that Redbrick users customise is the appearance of the border around the message. The default border when a user sends a hey looks like this:

Message from undone@murphy on pts/489 at [ Fri 15/Dec/2006 19:32:12 GMT ] ...
o This is what the default hey border looks like. o

You can change this by adding the '-b' option when sending a hey. After the -b, you enter 9 characters in quotation marks that determine which characters go where. The So for example if you were to use it like this:

undone@murphy (~) -> hey -b "123456789" phaxx
This is a test.

You'll see this:

5 This is a test. 4

Each of the numbers the in the string corresponds to a different area of your border as follows:

1 = default

2 = top

3 = bottom

4 = right

5 = left

6 = top left

7 = top right

8 = bottom left

9 = bottom right

So if you try something like this:

undone@murphy (~) -> hey -b "o--||<><>" receive
This is also a test.

you'll get a hey border like this:

| This is also a test. |

You can send heys to yourself, so try experimenting with different characters in each position.

You can add a title and a footer to a hey using the -t and -o options when heying someone.

undone@murphy (~) -> hey -t "title" -o "footer" revenant
Hey, look at my title and footer!

creates a message like this:

-============= title ===============-
| Hey, look at my title and footer! |
-============= footer ==============-

Other options

There are a few other options you can play around with too, here's a list:

-wSpecifies what column to wrap words at.