Troubleshooting
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Snak Manual

Introduction
Quickstart
Connecting to a server
Joining channels
Sending messages
Actions
Keeping track of people
Customization and settings
Using DCC
IRC commands
Scripting
Troubleshooting

 

I can’t connect to server X

When you click the Connect button in Snak there is a whole lot of things that must work perfectly very quickly for the connection to be established.

Almost all of those things are entirely out of the hands of the Snak developer to influence. Once the request is sent out, it either works or it doesn’t. If you can’t connect to a particular server there are only a few things you can try:

  • Try again later – the server may be too busy to respond to requests
  • Increase the timeout for the server. (See the chapter on connecting)
  • Double check the server name if you have entered it manually
  • Make sure that your connection is set up to allow the IRC server to connect to the Ident service in your IRC client (see next subject)
  • Try a different server on the same network.

The server keeps saying something about "Ident problems"

Ident is an identification service that most IRC servers require in order to let you connect. When you connect to the IRC server, it will immediately try and establish a connection back to you in order to verify that you are where you say you are.

This is called an "incoming connection" as opposed to the normal "outgoing connections" you make when you connect to an IRC server. The only other time where you make outgoing connections in Snak is when you initiate a DCC file send. The problems getting Ident and DCC send working are the same. The DCC chapter has additional explanations of the problem.

The ident service is present but disabled on OS X before 10.3. On 10.3 and 10.4 the built in support was removed so Snak comes with a tool to install it again.

To install ident please open the folder "Enable ident (optional)" and use the tool that matches your operating system version. There are read-me files in the folders with additional information.

If the servers continue to give you the ident message after you have a installed the ident service, then it is necessary to perform some additional configuration of your connection.

On an AirPort, Cable modem or ADSL or NAT connection then the problem is probably that the connection is set to block for connections on the port that Ident requires. This is port 113 and you must make sure that your connection passes connections on that port on to the machine running Snak.

The instructions for doing this are too varied to attempt to describe here, but usually the function to use is called portmapping or something similar. If you are using the OS X firewall it should also be configured to let port 113 through.

How do I make Snak open a URL when I click on it

Snak will automatically detect if the word under the cursor is an URL. The cursor will change to a hand and your default browser will open when you click the link.

The tab key steps through the names in the user list

In Snak the default use for the tab key is the nick completion. You can get the old behavior where it steps through a list of nicks you have sent private messages to by going to the General preference panel

Why do I have a ~ in front of my nick

The tilde (~) signifies that the IRC server was not able to connect to an Ident service on your machine. Please read the information about Ident problems and what you can do to enable the Ident service.

I can’t send files with DCC

This problem typically happens if you have an AirPort, Cable modem or ADSL or NAT connection. The way DCC sending works is that your client tells the other side to establish a connection to it by sending the IP address and port that the other side should attempt to connect to.

Unfortunately if the AirPort, Cable modem or ADSL or NAT device isn't configured to let the incoming connection through, the DCC send never completes.

To correct the situation, configure the device to let connections on a specified range of ports through to the machine running Snak. Then in Snak you need to configure it to only use those ports for sending. By default Snak will use the ports from 44000 to 44010 for DCC. This range is chosen randomly and you can change it in the DCC preferences. The range should be more than a single port because of limitations in the TCP/IP standard. A port cannot be reused until it has been idle for several minutes.

The number of ports to open depends on the number of simultaneous transfers you expect.

DCC panels clutter my main window

To have all DCC panels in a separate window please go to the main preferences window and choose the windows panel. In the popup called "Place new panels" select the "With panels from same group".

All the panels from one connection (channels/queries, filters etc.) belong to the same group, all the list is another group, and the DCC panels is also a group.

In order for this to do what you want a DCC panel must already be in a window by itself. Snak will by default place new panels in the front window so the first DCC panel will go to the front window (since there are no other panels in the DCC group). So, click and drag in the dotted gripper area in the left side of the topic bar and drag the panel out into its own window. Subsequent DCC panels will be placed in that window.

The preference option does not change existing windows, only what happens when new panels are opened.

The nicknames are truncated

The main text area is where Snak display the incoming messages and the nickname of the sender.

It's divided into the nick column, which makes up the left part of the main text area, and the message area that takes up the rest of the area. There is a divider between the column and the text area that you can drag to resize the column. Depending on your settings, the divider may or may not be visible but it is always there. Just slowly move your mouse around the area to the right of the nicknames. When you find the spot, the cursor will change shape to a symbol that indicates that you can click and drag to resize the column.

How do I use color

The input field supports colored and formatted text. The Format menu is used to apply formatting like bold, underline and color. Because the IRC specification does not support font or size information in outgoing text any font and text size changes will be local only.

To apply color to the text that you are about to send, go to the Format menu and choose "Outgoing text color". This will display a submenu where you can select the color you want. Each channel has a setting that controls if it will use PC or Mac style color codes. This should be set to correspond to what the majority of channels members use.

You can also enter the color codes for colored text directly by typing control-c followed by a number.

The meaning of the number in the message depends on the channel it's sent to. The PC and Mac clients encode colors differently. Snak will use the Mac encoding if the channel name contains "Mac" and the PC encoding in all other cases.

In the Mac encoding control-c followed by 1 gives black text. 2 gives red text, 3 is orange, 4 is yellow, 5 is green etc.

The server keeps timing out

Some servers take a long time to respond for various reasons. They may be overloaded, or they may be waiting for an ident response from the client that never comes (see previous topics for ident problems)

By default Snak will wait 40 seconds for the server to respond but if you find that a particular server needs more time you can increase the timeout for individual servers.

To increase the timeout, open the server list (Cmd-E) and select the network and server you want to change. Then press the Edit button and enter a new value for the server timeout in the dialog.

How do I change my username from "abc"

By default your username will match your nickname. The abc comes from the ident tool (see above). If your username is abc that means your ident service is working. It is not easy to change the username that the ident service uses, but it can be done through the terminal.

The Ident service is implemented with a small text file located in the /usr/local/bin folder, called identd. Editing it requires administrator access. To edit it open a terminal and move to that directory by typing "cd /usr/local/bin". Then type "sudo pico identd". That will then ask you for the administrator password, and open the file in a primitive text editor. You can now use the cursor keys to move to the "abc" string. Delete it and type something else. Then press control-O to write out the changes, and control-X to exit the editor. After a restart the ident service should use your new string.

Can I prevent my real email address from showing in the user list

It's not actually your email address. When you connect to the Internet you do so through your ISP. That gives you an address on the Internet that the IRC server displays when you connect to the channel.

The server then combines this address with the username that is set up in the IRC client. The client has nothing to do with making the address, but you can change your username (see previous topics) to remove any resemblance to your email address.

How do I assign commands to the function keys

You need to do this in one of the script files that is found in the Scripts folder. If you open the file basical you will see some lines starting with "Alias F5" and "Alias F6" in the top half. These lines assign certain commands to F5 and F6.

When you edit the script files you must make sure not to use a word processor like Microsoft Word or similar. You must use a simple text editor like BBEdit or SimpleText in order to ensure that the script files are not made unusable.

I don’t want the server messages tabs in my windows

In that case you can simply close each unwanted tab by pressing cmd-W or by pressing the red close dot in each panel. If you find you need a particular panel at a later date you can press go to the windows menu and choose the panel you want.

Logitech scroll wheel mouse doesn’t work right

Based on user feedback, please update to at least version 4 of the drivers.

How do I open a window for private messages to someone

The command to use is the query command. It can be called in several ways in Snak.

Under the general preference panel you can check the "Open query on private message". You can also use the "respond" menu item in the tools menu to open a query window to the last person that messaged you. You can use a contextual menu click in the user list by holding down the control when you click on the user and then you can select the Query item in the menu that comes up. Lastly you can type the /query <nick> command to open a query window manually.

My action isn't working

If the action is set up to respond to a particular word in the message please check that the wildcards are set right. A wildcard is a character that serves as a placeholder for some other text. For example if you want to make an action that responds to the message "the report is ready" you can enter that string in the message field for the action.

The trouble is that the action will then only respond to that specific message. Something like "the report's ready" will not activate the action. You can use the "*" wildcard as a placeholder and set the action up to respond to the string "*report* to make it accept both messages.

If you leave a field empty or put in "*" then every message is accepted.

  • "*abc" will match any message that ends in "abc".
  • "*abc*" will match any message that contains "abc" somewhere in it.
  • "abc*" will match any message that begins with "abc".
 

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