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[at-l] IRC explanation

I'm in a hurry today but because the tentative IRC meeting is tonight at 
9PM eastern time, I thought I would post a brief explanation of the IRC 
to the list.  I don't know a whole lot about it, so this will be a 
simple, functional explanation.

The Internet Relay Chat is a 'place' (in the metaphorical sense) on the 
net where people talk in channels, not unlike 'chat rooms' (ala America 
on Line and such).  It is in real time, so that people on the channel see 
each other writing pretty much at the time they are doing it (you post 
text by the sentance or so) so it is really interactive (notice the 
buzzword there...) but everybody 'talks' to each other and it is a lot of 
fun.  You can get into things you just can't do on e-mail.

A couple of things you should know - there are parallel IRCs, we are 
going to be on EFnet (not undergroundnet or anything), and channel names 
are preceeded by the # sign.  We will be on #AT
Also, everybody has a 'nick' or nickname, when you sign on you should 
have one, usually up to 8 characters or so (trail name or trail name 
abreviation might be good here?).  If one you want is already taken, try 
adding a ' or ~ or some character to it.

Commands to the irc are preceeded by a / sign (because when you type 
normally it is posted to the channel, the / makes sure that the IRC 
regognizes you are talking to it)

some commands are:
/nick NICKNAME   - sets your nickname to whatever you put in for NICKNAME
/join #Channelname - join the channel you specify (in our case, /join #AT)
/part #channelname - leave the channel you specify
/msg OTHERNICKNAME - send a private message to ther person you specify in 
                     OTHERNICKNAME that the other people won't see

As far as I can tell, the most popular IRC software client is mirc.  It 
can be found at http://www.mirc.co.uk, or you can go to any software 
archive (www.search.com. www.tucows.com) and look under 'chat' or 
Internet Chat' or something like that.  Someone here suggested Pirch a 
while ago which I found really good, but for some reason didn't run well 
on my machine.

I hope that covers it - hope to see you there tonight.  On the net I am 
known as mosey (or some varient), and Needles is known as syn.


PS - If people have more specific questions I can try and answer them 
today (tho I might not have time).  For faster reponse, e-mail me at 
jmose@spc.uchicago.edu, thanks.

Jeff Mosenkis            MAPSS Student          University of Chicago
              *Freelance Joking Avunculate For Hire*

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