A Brief Introduction to IRC Bonnie Kroll, revised by Bob Reai
Ever wish you could chat with other St. Sammites? Well, come and visit us on our very own IRC channel, The #Anglican channel on IRC-Chat.Net & DALnet
For those who are already familiar with IRC, we're at #Anglican on the Dal.net.
For the rest of us: IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It's a way of communicating 'live' with friends who happen to be online at the same time as you. We at #Anglican gather in the evening (USA time) and on weekends, depending on who is around. Check us out!
First, you need an IRC client (i.e., software capable of accessing the network). There are two excellent programs for Windows available on the web: Pirch and mIRC. They're pretty much the same: mIRC has good bells and whistles, and Ircle is the common IRC client for Macs. For Linux, Xchat is a good visual client. It is also available for Windows and is about as friendly to use as mIRC. You can find them at:
mIRC (for Windows users
Ircle (for Mac users)
Xchat (for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X users)
For Windows users
Now some general instructions for those of you using Windows machines. (Click here for Macintosh instructions.) Once you've downloaded and installed your software, you have a big task: choosing your nick. This is the nickname you will be known by, and the challenge is that it has to be unique--there can be only one of any given nick on a server (I'll explain server in a minute) at a time, so it's best to have several choices to start out with, so that you can change it quickly if need be.
You need to set up your client with your nick and at least one alternative. You can do this in mIRC by clicking File and Setup and you'll find a blank for your nick. In Pirch you have to click on Login and you'll see the spaces for it there.
About servers and how to connect to them
Now to the server. A server is rather like a station on the network and, for #anglican, you want to be on the DAL.net network. The easiest way to do this is to log in to irc.dal.net:6667. This will connect you to a random server on the DAL.net. 6667 is the port number, a kind of door to the server.
In IRC clients there are servers already identified, you can usually just click on one of them.
In mIRC you need to go to the File menu, then Setup, then choose one of the DAL.net servers listed there. Once the server is chosen, you hit a button that says Connect, and when you are connected you'll see a whole bunch of messages from the server. (If the server tells you to choose another nick, this just means the name youíve chosen is already in use. You have to go to the edit box at the bottom of the screen and type: /nick [YourNewNick] )
The last thing to do is join the channel. You do this by typing: /join #Anglican. All IRC commands begin with a slash, and all channel names begin with a pound sign. You will see a new window, divided vertically, and in the left side you should get a message that says:
*** Now talking in #Anglican
*** ChanServ changes topic to "Behold, I make all things new. (BonnieK)"
*** ChanServ sets mode: +nt
That's really all there is to it. The right window will show your nick and the nicks of anyone else who is currently in the channel. Don't be discouraged if you are alone--we are trying to build up the channel at the present time. I try to log in evenings (US Eastern Time).
Here are some websites that give good basic information:
IRC User's Survival Guide
If you have difficulties or questions, send email
to Bob Rea at home or Bob Rea at work
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