Redbrick Helpdesk Exam: AGM March 2018

Lovingly (and speedily) crafted by thegirl and branch
  • This exam consists of 30 questions, each worth 3 marks, for a total of 90.
  • 40% (36 marks) is required to pass.
  • Attempt marks will be granted where appropriate.

A: General

  1. What is a shell? What one do we use on Redbrick?
  2. Somebody told me to use Vim instead of Nano. I opened it and managed to get some text written, but I can’t work out how to close it or save my work! Am I stuck in this scary editor forever now?
  3. What are Screen and tmux used for?
  4. I’ve been trying to run my Java project on Redbrick, and I keep seeing the following error: What am I doing wrong?

    Error occurred during initialization of VM
    Could not reserve enough space for object heap
    Could not create the Java virtual machine.
  5. I know that chmod 754 filename.txt will change its permissions, but what do the numbers 754 actually represent?

B: Redbrick Services

  1. What would you use each of the following for? (1 mark each)

  2. Does Redbrick provide VMs? What are VMs?

  3. Name 2 Redbrick servers.
  4. Where is all the knowledge of redbrick stored?


  1. What is IRC and what does it stand for?
  2. What IRC clients are available to Redbrick users?
  3. How can I change my nickname on IRC?
  4. Someone has told me to run this command, should/shouldn’t I and why? Should you generally trust what lobby tells you to do? /exec -o yes
  5. How can I join new channels on IRC?
  6. How can I start a new direct message with someone on IRC? What is a hey?
  7. What does “/disco” do?

D: Webspace

  1. I’ve loaded some html and CSS files into my public_html folder, but I get a 403 error when I try to visit my site. What’s going on?
  2. Where should I go to view my Redbrick website?
  3. What is Markdown? Can you provide an example of what it is useful for?

E: Email

  1. What options are available for accessing your Redbrick email?
  2. All of my Redbrick emails are being forwarded to my DCU email address! How can I turn this off?
  3. What is the correct etiquette for replying to emails sent to or
  4. What platforms do we use to allow people to contact committee/helpdesk?

F: Scenarios & Etiquette

Briefly outline how you’d respond to these scenarios/messages/emails!

  1. Help! I’ve forgotten my password!
  2. I’m setting up a new society, and I’ve been told I can get free web hosting and a mailing list from Redbrick. How should I go about getting these?
  3. Please unsubscribe me from this mailing list.
  4. I have a complaint to make about a talk/committee member/other member. This is a sensitive issue and I feel offended/worried/uncomfortable. Is there anything that can be done?
  5. What is the correct etiquette when handling questions about exams, lecture material, or coursework? Can you answer questions about these?
  6. “Hi I have this $software_job offer for no money/some money/too much money to be true, do you have anyone who’d be interested?” How do you respond to this?

b o n u s r o u n d

This round carries no marks but will make correcting your exam far less boring!

  1. Are there any talks or events you’d like us to organise? Any talks you’d like to give personally?
  2. Which helpdesk is your favourite?
  3. How many Redbrick servers can you name?
  4. How many Redbrick associates can you name?
  5. GPL vs MIT. Discuss.
  6. Who is Dade Murphy, and why should you care?
  7. Pineapple on pizza. Discuss.


Please explain on paper how you would bribe the current helpdesk.