Welcome to the A2 Home Page for Apple II Internet Relay Chat!
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a multi-user chat system, where people log into "channels" (usually centered around a specific topic) to talk publicly -- in groups -- or privately.
IRC is like a huge, international yak-fest going on 24 hours a day. In each part of the room (channels), smaller groups of people are talking about a different topics. There are literally thousands of channels for you to choose from, but finding what you want isn't always the easiest of tasks. For starters, take a look at Yahoo's listings of IRC channels, which can be found at http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/Chats_and_Forums/Internet_Relay_Chat__IRC_/Channels/. Of course, you are can wander from group to group, listening to the various discussions, and if you wish, you can join in.
Typically, when you choose IRC from a menu you are automatically connected to a public computer like irc.virginia.edu. By giving the /list command you will be able to see a VERY LONG list of all the individual channels by name. You then choose which channel you want to join and start chatting to the other people on that channel simply by typing your comments and pressing [Enter]. More information about IRC and the available commands can be found at the official IRC hompage, from the organization that originated IRC, at http://www.funet.fi/~irc.
For the Apple II aficionado, the channel of interest is #appleiigs. But, forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes. #appleiigs is not for the faint of heart, and can, at times, be rather brutal. Many of those who hang out in the #appleiigs channel are very fluent and conversant in IRC lingo specifically, and computer technology in general, which may or may not include Apple II technology. You may even find yourself "talking" with someone who treats #appleiigs as their private party channel, and who may resent your taking up their bandwidth. As such, if you wander in and start asking questions of a basic nature like, "Why can't I see jpeg pictures on my Apple IIc?" then you may very well find yourself being dumped on with a torrent of textual abuse, or worse. My best advice to anyone wanting to try their hand in #appleiigs is to simply go in with low expectations. That way you won't end up being disappointed, and if you are pleasantly surprised, then all the better...
How Do I Get On IRC?
With the above caveat in mind, and if you are still determined to try out IRC, then read on. If you have shell access from your ISP, or if you are a subscriber to Delphi, you are nearly there already! Go to your shell account and get to the prompt. Where you go from there depends upon your particular ISP - many have a menu option that you may use, or have a list of unix commands you can input at the command line to connect to IRC. Delphi subscribers have it easy - you can telnet directly into Delphi from this page, and when you get there, enter these inputs at the prompts (after you log in, of course).
MAIN>What do you want to do? internet
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
The Internet SIG has moved and changed its name.
It is now the Navigating the Net Forum on the
Computing & Technology menu.
Type GO COMP NAV to get there.
Internet SIG Menu:
About the Internet IRC-Internet Relay Chat
Conference Lynx (VT-100 Web Browser)
Databases (Files) WebCentral Development SIG
Forum (Messages) Utility (finger,traceroute,ping,whois)
Guides (Books) Usenet Newsgroups
Who's Here Help
FTP-File Transfer Protocol
Internet SIG>Enter your selection:
You then type: [irc]
Now you will see:
Internet Relay Chat Menu:
About IRC - READ FIRST!
IRC>Enter your selection:
That's it! Just type [irc] again and you are off to the races!
Getting to the IRC by "other means":
The user runs a "client" program (usually called 'IRC') which connects to the IRC network via another program called a server. Servers exist to pass messages from user to user over the IRC network.
From the prompt in the UNIX SHELL, enter:
...or, for a faster connection, if you know the server you want to connect to, you can type:
If you normally use a name other than your "real" one, you can set a nickname by typing:
irc nickname servername
There are also IRC clients that you can use with your PPP connection. Ninjaforce has released an IRC client for the Apple IIgs called Samurai - you can read more about that here. Those who want to try IRC clients for Windows or Macs can try the following:
iChat Plugin - client software for Internet Explorer and Netscape, Mac or PC.
Ircle - A $15 shareware IRC client for the Macintosh.
pIRCH - IRC client for Microsoft Windows 3.x, Windows 95 Platforms and Windows NT . $10 shareware.
mIRC - IRC client for Microsoft Windows 3.x. $15 shareware.
Basic IRC Commands
Here are the basic commands needed to conduct an IRC chat session:
/list This will list ALL the chat groups by title. There is no way to stop the the list scrolling off the screen. One way to shorten it is to ask for a list of only those channels with a minimum or maximum number of participants. To do this, add -min or -max and a number to the list command. For example, /list -min 10 will display only those chat channels with a minimum of 10 people.
/join The channel names are all preceded by the # symbol, which must be included in the name when you elect to join a channel. For example, /join #fishing will allow you to join a channel by that name and, presumably, talk about fishing.
/who * You can use this command at any time to see who is on this channel with you.
/nick This displays your current nickname. To create a nickname you can type, /nick nickname. Use whatever name you want to be known as in place of "nickname"
/msg nickname message This is a way to send a private message to another person in your channel. The words "nickname" and "message" should be replaced by the nickname of the person you want to send the message to and your private message respectively.