IRC Information

Introduction to IRC

[  Intro  ] [  Brief History  ] [  First Step  ] [  Tutorials  ]

IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is probably what brings most of us together through this website. We use IRC to chat with people from all over the world. Some of us use IRC to keep in touch with family members, without the costs of a long-distance telephone call. Still others use IRC to increase their knowledge about particular subjects. Internet Relay Chat and #Beginner are responsible for me learning HTML, and doing this Website -- which has opened up some business opportunities for me as well. Pretty kewl :)

As an example of just how popular IRC is, one of our Ops, Energy^, has put together a #Beginner Stats Page, which shows us a variety of things about our channel. -- items such as an hour-by-hour breakdown of when we have the most visitors, which people say the most lines, and as of January 9, 2001, the lastest stats showed us that we had over 5,000 visitors in the past 7 days, and we are but one channel on the Undernet! The use of IRC is exploding world-wide, and probably numbers in the millions. Take a few minutes to see how our numbers stack up, it's really very interesting.

Brief History

Internet Relay Chat was first started in August of 1988, when Jarkko Oikarinen, an employee of the Department of Information Processing Science at the University of Oulu, had some spare time on his hands and tried to figure out a means of communication based on BBS (Bulletin Board System). As we can see, this has outgrown all of his expectations. IRC really gained a lot of popularity (and public exposure) during the Gulf War. People would gather around their computers to hear the latest news updates -- often before any World News Headlines had hit the airwaves. Family members would gather around their computers and be able to keep in contact with loved ones. Once IRC got rolling, it simply gathered momentum until it became the huge success it is today. If you'd like to read more about the history of IRC, please check here.

First Step to Using IRC

To use IRC, folks need to select a client (program) that will allow them access to the IRC Network. Most folks chose either mIRC, or PIRCH. Both are excellent programs, and you'll have a lot of fun learning how they work. If you'd prefer to read through a basic IRC Tutorial, please click here -- this is a sumamry from an Adult Education Class I've helped with in our area.

Please follow the links below (or to your left) to learn more about what interests you the most. And always, throughout this website, if you'd like to offer a suggestion, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to write me. I am bossmom, Channel Manager of #Beginner, and have strived to make this site as user-friendly as possible, while keeping a wide variety of information available for our visitors, regulars, and of course, the Ops and Voices that keep #Beginner monitored so effectively.