IRC Information.....

IRC Class - Tips and Tricks

The @ in Front of a Person's Nick
When you join a channel and see folks with the @ in front of their nickname, this means that they are an Op, or Operator of the channel. These folks help maintain order, and in #Beginner, we also are the helpers/teachers that welcome the newcomers to the wild and wacky world of IRC. Ops have the abilities to kick, and/or ban out a user that's misbehaving. Every channel has it's own rules, and the Undernet Administrators generally do not interfere with channel politics. You can check here for more information about being an Op in #Beginner.

Abbreviations used on IRC
If you spend anytime on IRC at all, you'll begin to notice letters strung together and not making any sense. As folks spend more time typing, they find ways to shortcut certain phrases, or sentences. For instance: bbl = be back later, brb = be right back, btw = by the way, np = no problem, lol = laugh out loud, rofl = rolling on the floor laughing, wb = welcome back, gmta = great minds think alike, focl = falling off chair laughing, j/k = just kidding, ttyl = talk to you later, ltns = long time no see...etc, etc. Check here for an Abbreviation Chart.

Channels are places that people go to for chat, help, to report problems, etc. There are many available, and once you find a group of people that you strike common bonds with, it's fun to keep up with them, and their lives. Channels operate much like a company. For every registered channel, channels with an X bot, there is a Channel Manager, Assistant Managers, Senior Ops, Operators and those with Voice. Note: a Bot = a program that helps to maintain order in the channel, and gives the channel operators the @. You can create your own channel by typing /join #channelname. If the channel is not registered or being used already, then you will have the @ (Operator) there.
We have put together a List of Helpful Channels. You may find something along your interest level there.

Sometimes as you're typing, you'll see folks use :), or ;), or ;-), or =^;^=, or maybe even :P. All of these signify a facial expression. For instance, the first few are smiley faces, this one: =^;^= is used by a person who's nickname is puddytat. The :P is someone sticking out the tongue. :( would be a frown, :0 would be "Oh my gosh!".....well, I think you get the idea. ;) Worth the click -- tons more Emoticon Listing.

There are certain rules of etiquette for chatting on IRC, usually called 'Netiquette', and if you'll follow a few rules of common courtesy, you'll find your stay quite enjoyable. TYPING IN ALL CAPS is usually viewed as shouting, and not recommended if you wish to continue to participate in a channel. Using foul language, or being rude to others is also discouraged on most channels. If you join a channel and find it offensive, simply leave, there are thousands of others to choose from. You can check here for a more complete listing of Netiquette Do's and Don'ts.

Ping? Pong!
Now, once you're logged on, and ready to chat, you might notice some strange looking things in your status window (the window you are in when you logon). The Ping? Pong! is simply your server sending a command (Ping?) to your client, and when your client automatically answers with a Pong!, it's just saying, "Yes, I'm here, don't disconnect me". :) When a server is unable to get a PONG! response, you will be disconnected since the server thinks you are not there. When servers are unable to keep alive the communiations with the other servers, then it will 'split', eventually rejoining the group again. This is technically called a netsplit, and is an all-too-common occurance on the Undernet.

I've been IRC'ing for almost four years (YOW!), and one of the things that I like best about it is that we can become friends with someone based totally on the written word. Over time, quite a bit can be discovered by watching how someone types, what their responses are, what kind of mood they are in, etc. After becoming friends with folks, it's a neat thing to then be able to see what they look like. Most of you have probalby heard of the term 'scanning' a picture. This means to have a computer scanner copy(scan) a picture onto a disk. These are typically called either a .jpg or a .gif file, and can be transferred from one computer to another computer with only the click of a mouse. Sending or receving a file through IRC uses the DCC option found on more IRC clients.

Chatting isn't the only thing we can do while using IRC. Folks can PLAY sounds that are in their computers already, or can GET sounds from someone else by requesting them. To play a sound, the command is /sound wavename.wav. There are literally thousands of wavs available, which is the term used to describe a sound file. Not all channels allow wavs to be played, so just hang out, or ask one of the ops what their policy is on the playing of wavs. You can find a Sounds Tutorial here.

For any terms or definitions we've not covered on this page, please check our IRC Glossary. You will find many more helful tidbits and definition of terms. If we've missed one, then mail it in, I'll gladly add it.

You are doing great so far. If you wish, we can continue with some Basic IRC Commands, or we can get right to work on setting up your client. Please choose one of the following clients you would like to learn: