Full version of Campus article from September 2009.
"What is RedBrick?" - this is the age-old query which has plagued the DCU Networking Society for years. RedBrick is such a diverse society that a million monkeys working on a million typewriters for a million years might reproduce the works of Shakespeare, but they'll never come up with a concise explanation as to what RedBrick is.
Simply put, RedBrick is a rather big social society with a slant on computers and technology. We host a plethora of techy events designed to entertain and educate anyone and everyone, including cinema trips, pub nights and tutorials and workshops on programming, web design and graphic design. Expect to see the return of the annual RedBrick Freshers' Ball (booze! booze! booze!) and the table quiz; last year, the quiz saw members having prizes practically thrown at them, with Sega Mega Drives, portable hard drives, Lucky Charms cereal and plenty of spot prizes being won. We also raffled off a brand new Eee PC laptop.
At the start of 2009, over twenty Brickies went to Finland - birthplace of the Linux kernel - to mess about in massive technology museums, employ stealth and cunning in a battle to snow each other into our cabins and feast on reindeer and mead in a Viking restaurant (all while being quite drunk).
RedBrick isn't just about events though; we are lucky enough to own our own servers on which we host the services used daily by our members: IRC (Internet Relay Chat - our most popular service, as it's great for putting off assignments until the last minute, waffling about whatever's on your mind and meeting new people),webspace (host your own website with massive amounts of storage space), forums/message boards, the photo gallery and your own @redbrick.dcu.ie e-mail address. We also have our own wiki site (wiki.redbrick.dcu.ie), where all members can create/edit/vandalise pages on whatever you feel like. You can access all of these services from any computer connected to the Internet.
Networking societies are to be found all over the country, and RedBrick
So, if you want to make new friends, talk about anything that's on your mind, or just get twisted because you have nothing better to do with your time, RedBrick has something to offer you.
Illustrious Chairman, Justin/Cain, originally joined redbrick to write an article for An Tarbh.
Just to correct this. I initially joined because a cute girl in my class joined up. She never renewed after her first year as it happens. I was bored one day, logged on and thought to myself, 'I could write a poorly written and amateurish account of this evening's entertainment'. And so.... - Cain
There are many despised sub-cultures clinging to existence on campus. From the DBES to CS students, these groups, ostracised from normal society, carry on their lives away from public scrutiny. One of these groups, perhaps the most secretive of them all, are those whose only interaction with society is on the BBS. I'm sure you've seen them, huddled over their monitors in the computer rooms talking and laughing to themselves as they send off another hilarious missive to their fellow nerds across campus. Therefore in the interests of investigative journalism, and to alleviate the boredom of a rainy afternoon, I donned the sobriquet 'Caine' and went undercover on the BBS to discover just what it is that is so funny.
The first thing I noticed as I logged on was the warm reception I got. Despite not knowing what was going on I was warmly welcomed into their society. I spent the first few minutes in observation, trying to follow their conversation, which seemed to centre on one user called 'Rabbit'. Bored to tears I changed the topic to the proposed November 14 SU walkout in an effort to find out if anybody was angry. Instead, I got an alternative plan that the SU would do well to consider, "kidnap Danny O'Hare and hold him to ransom".
It was at this stage that I was approached by another user, 'Thalia', with whom I spent the next fifteen minutes arguing about the Union and why it never did anything, etc. This conversation challenged my perceptions that these people knew nothing about what happened outside of the computer rooms as I was roundly thrashed before Thalia departed leaving me alone as all others had voted with their e-mail and slipped away from politics to another chat-room. Not knowing how anything worked, I spent the next five minutes trying to find the group again, which leaves me to thank 'Dauphin' for letting me in. Unfortunately, before I could press my advantage Dauphin had been stolen away by Mulder, from the Grattan building so I didn't get to experience what this cybersex is all about, but I did watch with interest as Dauphin and Mulder fornicated like rabbits over the next few minutes.
Meanwhile a fight had broken out between Jacques and Ericc that seemed to be covering up a mountain of sexual tension between them. Egged on, however by Bernice and Poster, Jacques found it difficult to be honest with Erricc and she took refuge in vague insinuations about the size of Ericc's equipment ( which is rather small by her accounts). In the end, of course, love won out and in a bizarre menage a quartre with Poster, Bernice and Jacuques and with me looking on interestedly, Ericc did the business and departed pronouncing himself well satisfied with the nights work. Dauphin and Mulder continued to exchange poetry and smoke the proverbial cigarette for the next few minutes before they too departed leaving me alone with Poster, Jacques and Bernice. Needless to say I quickly departed the hormone filled chat room and scurried home.
So the $64,000 dollar question, does it beat the bar? On the downside there is no alcohol, a point which cannot be under-emphasised, and it is very difficult to meet members of the opposite sex for anything more than fevered typing. On the upside the inhabitants are friendly and they talk the same bullshit sober that most of us need alcohol to talk. They also talk about the same things we do, politics, sex, genital size, Jacque's astonishing knowledge of sexual innuendo and the power rangers. I would highly recommend a look if any of the said topics interest you. But be warned, it may be sad but it is addictive. Thanks to everyone I mentioned in this article and the few I didn't.
At phaxx's suggestion, Campus (the weekly students' union magazine) found a RedBrick virgin and asked them to join up and write about their experience. It was published on April 9th, 2007.
There are a lot of fun or even scary things that you could be dared to do in life - a bungee jump, an open-mic night or even sword fighting - so when I was asked to live my life through redbrick for a few days I have to say I was hugely under whelmed.
First off, for me Redbrick in DCU meant the outer walls of Hampstead not a second dimension where computer students seem to spend all their time. Redbrick is in its own words: a computer network in DCU, run by students for the students.Basically, hundreds of students log on everyday to chat, put up pictures and podcasts and to have good gossip it appears.
Now its not that I'm a technophobe, I just get bored with the whole computer thing. My college house has a grand collection of a Nintendo 64, PS2, Wii and the latest addition of a PS3 but I'd be hard fought to get engrossed in any of them so starting out redbrick proved a bit of a logistical nightmare. To be honest I didnt even know what tbh meant.
Admittedly, I had preconceptions of the type of people who sit around all day on what I would best describe as a super advanced and less colourful version of Bebo. I had images of a nerd.com style society where people discussed the finer points of Pythagoras' theorem while reflecting on some show about gigabytes they saw on the Discovery channel last night.
That was mistake number one. Mistake number two was not being armed with a pseudonym when the ever helpful Charlie in clubs and socs set up my account. Put on the stop I opted for kevd only later to discover that nobody operated under an identifiable name, instead choosing alter egos like phaxx, munky or duke. Nevertheless, I eventually logged onto Murphy, the central server where the action happens.
The busiest part of life on Redbrick is the chat room where people seem to stay all day discussing just about anything that crosses their minds and generally people have no problem speaking their minds. I'm guessing from a general reaction that my sudden presence on Redbrick caused a few to questions as to my motive, suggesting that as an online community it has a number of cliques and it wasn't long before I was told "Union hacks out". But people mostly just wanted to discuss dinner plans, the true meaning of OH (thats hydroxide not water as was established after some debate!) and even where to get fairtrade Easter eggs.
But if my couple of days of red- bricking have taught me anything its that redbrick is gossip central and has no shortage of bitchiness. At 1:24pm on Tuesday, theycould tell me that exactly 542 people had voted in the SU elections. Apparently, short skirts get votes, if the candidate is decent looking, because SU elections are according to redbrick a beauty contest. And if you've ever wondered what happened to former president Paul May I can officially tell you that he did the Blackrock triathlon in June last year, followed by the Chicago one in August and he spent New Years in Berlin. Bebo wouldnt have half of it!
However, while Redbrick does seem to be at the pulse of everything happening in DCU (as I write a discussion is brewing as to why Lord of the Rings music is playing in the Hub - "coz it's full of nerds") I do worry a little that many of its users have never heard of 3 euro Tuesday or Desperate Housewives. After several drinks in the Hub I discover that 53 people are still online at 4am in the morning. Most may not be active but they are still logged in - mistake number three.
Kevin Doyle, Victim