Have you ever wanted to talk with other computer users in other parts of the world? Well guess what...You can! The program is called IRC, Internet Relay Chat, and it is networked over much of North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. This program is a substitution for talk, and many other multiple talk programs you might have read about. When you are talking on IRC, everything you type will instantly be transmitted around the world to other users that might be watching their terminals at the time - they can then type something and respond to your messages - and vice versa. I should warn you that the program can be very addictive once you begin to make friends and contacts on IRC, especially when you learn how to discuss in 14 languages...

Topics of discussion on IRC are varied, just like the topics of Usenet newsgroups are varied. Technical and political discussions are popular, especially when world events are in progress. IRC is also a way to expand your horizons, as people from many countries and cultures are on, 24 hours a day. Most conversations are in English, but there are always channels in Russian, German, Japanese, Finnish, Bawel and other languages.

IRC gained international fame during the late Persian Gulf War, when updates from around the world came across the wire, and most people on IRC gathered on a single channel to hear these report.

If you are having trouble finding people to talk with, popular channels you may wish to check out include: #new2irc, #cafeole, #cybersex, #partyparty, #music, #love, #hottub. If none of those interest you, here is a list of all channels sorted by amount of users/group taken at 4pm, Saturday February 17.

Regarding IRC servers, we seem to have good luck with irc.ais.net (port 6665), irc.neosoft.com (port 6665), and irc.portal.com (port 9998), so you may wish to select one of those.

In this class, we will be using Homer for the macintosh, and ViRC for Windows. Each will be introduced during office hour sessions but can easily be mastered with the below information.

Getting Started

Here are a few commands you should know before getting started on the road to a total loss of productivity, aka IRC.

Basic Commands

Message Commands

Channel Commands

Client Commands

Good Luck!!!

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