What is c-hey ?

c-hey is a unix terminal based Instant Messaging Utility. In conjunction with the standard unix utility "write", it allows shell users to send messages to each other conveinently, easily and more personally.

It's buffers the message, and adds customisable titles and borders. So heys (that's what we call a message you receive with c-hey) are highly personal, and in effect "skinable". As far as we know, hey is the earliest example of skinable instant messaging.

Some examples of heys:
Message from pooka on prodigy (pts/165) [ Mon 22/Apr/2002 22:36:13 ] ...
                                  * Groovy. *

        Message from c-hey on prodigy (pts/9) [ Mon 31/Dec/2001 00:31:49 ] ...
                             O a boring bland hey O
And here's a hey being sent and received:
colmmacc@prodigy (~) $ hey colmmacc
colmmacc 1> a rather more interesting hey, displaying the fact that hey will automatically
colmmacc 1> word-wrap your message,  and if you look to the left, you can see the prompt
colmmacc 1> 
colmmacc is logged on more than one place. Using (pts/220).
hey: colmmacc - groovy

        Message from colmmacc on prodigy (pts/220) [ Mon 31/Dec/2001 00:34:12 ] ...
     ======================= [ illegal operation ] =======================
       a rather more interesting hey, displaying the fact that hey will  
       word-wrap your message,  and if you look to the left, you can see  
       the prompt                                                         

With c-hey, you have full control over the title, border, word-wrapping, prompt style. It uses the readline library for composing heys, so all your handy command line editing skills still work, and even if you've never edited you're command line the arrows (up,dowm,left,right) and keys like delete and backspace all work as you would expect them.

There are more details on the features of c-hey in the
using c-hey section.
Getting c-hey

You can always get the latest c-hey release from:
If you're feeling like you would like the absolute latest version, a nightly CVS snapshot is built, available in that directory as "c-hey_cvs_latest.tar.gz".

You may browse the sources from: and browse the CVS repository via cvsweb:
Installing c-hey

c-hey uses the GNU autoconf "configure" method for installation, for a system wide installation just do:
gunzip c-hey[version].tar.gz ; tar -xvf c-hey[version].tar
cd c-hey[version]
make install
replacing [version] with the version number of c-hey that you downloaded. If you do not have root priveledges on your system, you can install c-hey for your own use by skipping the make install and simply copying the c-hey binary to a directory in your PATH.
Using c-hey

Basic Use:
To use c-hey, simply run it as:
hey [username]
where [username] is the username of someone who is logged in on the same system as you. You can find out who is logged in by running "w","finger" or "users". If the user is not logged in, or not accepting messages, hey will tell you about this. Actually, I'm telling a small lie, you can hey as many people you like in one go, just by addoing usernames.

Next, type in your message and when it's ready to be sent, hit ctrl-d, that's ctrl and the letter d, at the same time. That's it! message sent, hey will inform you if there were any problems sending the message.

Realistic Usage:
You can change the borders,titles, success message, prompt style and word wrap limit. All of these can be set on a per-hey basis using command line options or in the environment, lasting between heys. Most users use a mixture of both and alias common combonations.

Rather than replicate content already done elsewhere, here's a
tutorial, by bubble@rb.
Contact Details

If you have any problems using , installing, configuring, or modifying c-hey, feel free to mail c-hey @ redbrick.dcu.ie.
colmmacc @ redbrick.dcu.ie