IRC Information.....

IRC Class - Basic Beginnings

IRC - Internet Relay Chat

IRC is a tool for communicating with folks from all over the world. It's similar to talking via the telephone, only we type and read each other's messages through our computers. It's a wonderful medium for those who are homebound, or going through difficult circumstances in life, or simply looking for a hobby. Chatting can be helpful if your spouse and/or children are out of town as a means of cutting long- distance phone bills. IRC can be many things to many people, and it's up to an individual to determine how much enjoyment this can bring you.

Caution: Just as there are seedier sides to the Net, IRC can also expose the user to some unpleasant behavior. Just remember that with any internet exposure, it's important to monitor your children's activities.. Once some guidelines are established, and certain skills are mastered, then it's onward and upward towards making and meeting new friends from all over the world.

Brief History of IRC

IRC originally started in Finland by a fellow names Jarkko Oikarinen While having too much time on his hands, he looked into writing a better communications system than what was already in place through USENET news, or BBS groups. IRC was born in 1988, but didn't really take off until 1991, when during the Gulf War updates from around the world kept people glued to their computers and IRC channels, hanging onto the latest happenings. It was also a way for military personnel to keep in contact with family members.

In fact, when Princess Diana's death stunned the world, news of this was instantly being relayed through IRC channels, and a specific channel for only this discussion was started for all those wishing to hear more.

Okay, enough of the history, let's get onto the basics. :)

Browsing the net requires a mouse, an Internet connection, a Web browswer such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, and a bit of information about how to manuever yourself around.

What You Need for IRC...

  • a mouse
  • an Internet connection
  • a client (program) that allows you to join up with others.

Most people with computers have the mouse and Internet Connection, so that's the easy part. To log onto IRC you'll also need a client, which is a program that allows you to chat. There are many different clients available, but by far the most widely used is called mIRC. (m - the name of the fellow that wrote the program, Khaled Mardam-Bey, and you'll recognice the IRC) You may wish to download either mIRC or PIRCH to get started. (clicking on those links will take you to their respective homepages)

Once you have decided on which client to use, you will need to do some initial 'filling in the blanks' with some information. But FIRST -- there are some basics we can cover that are applicable to most all IRC clients. Let's go to the IRC Tips Section.