Basic information on IRC Chat and DALnet
I) Chat, and IRC
IRC stands for "Internet
Relay Chat" it is the primary means of direct personal conversation on
the net. essentially identical forms are AOL-chat and other services
specific chat environments. A related system involves JAVA clients
on webpages that either provide a local environment to anyone viewing that
page or that link you into an IRC network. There are actually hundreds
of IRC networks ranging from single server networks thru the 3 large worldwide
networks: EfNet, UnderNet and DALnet.
Each network has its own unique
personality. In all cases you will need a "client" program
on your computer in order to access the Chat environment and the network(s)
you want to try out. Below you will find information on the top 4 clients.
If you have netscape or MS Internet Explorer you have the JAVA client
built in and AOL and other services such as it have thier own built in
clients that work within their systems - but may not work when going outside
the service's private system.
With one exception these are
all SHAREWARE programs - this basically means that you can try the
program for 30 days and then if you like it you need to send the author
his fee - these fees are generally in the range of $20 - $45. They can
be downloaded directly from the internet in compressed form and then expanded
and installed on your computer. If you have a Macintosh you will need Stuff-it,
for PCs I recommend Winzip but there
are other similar programs available at Stroud's
Shareware site. With the exception of IRCLE
the clients listed below can be down loaded from Stroudís
shareware site - IRC Applications.
- This is the best client far an away if you are accessing the net through
a Macintosh system.
- the top program for PCs on the market today.
- MIRC's biggest competitor - essential equivalent.
- A new client that is FREEWARE - and if you have the hardware will
allow you to include not only chat but video and voice in your activities.
One of the three big worldwide
Chat Networks with client loads upto 20,000 at one time. It is unique among
the big three in having a set of nickname and channel services that handle
the control and registration of personal nicks and channel names so that
no two people can have identical channels or nicknames. This allows the
users to spend their time actually chatting with each other rather than
fighting for control of their nicks or channels. In addition it has a very
good set of help channels led by its services specific channel - #DALnethelp
where you can go and get help or directions to help for essentially any
A) nicknames and services
- the 3 services DALnet provides are:
The 5 main commands you need to
register and protect a nick are (type these exactly as shown here):
Chanserv - allows you to register
and control a channel
Nickserv - allows you to register
and control a nickname
Memoserv - allows you to pass memos
to other registered nicknames that can be viewed at a later time.
/msg nickserv info "nick" - put
the nick you want in place of "nick" and this will tell you if its already
/nick "nick" this will change your
nick to the one of your choice.
/msg nickserv register "nick" "password"
- again put the nick and password of your choice in where I have the quoted
/msg nickserv set kill on - this
will activate a security option that limits any one else from using your
nick for more than 60 seconds. After you have registered a nick you will
want to set it into your client setup so that you always use it - failure
to use it on DALnet for 20 days results in it being de-registered and open
for anyone else to claim and use.
/msg nickserv ghost "nick" (password)
- this will kill any other or older uses of the nick - you may need to
include the password at times.
DALnet has a JAVA client
built into its website at http://www.DAL.net
- you can join channels and register nicks etc from this client - the nicks
you start off with may be registered to some one else and you may be "killed"
if you fail to switch from them within 60 seconds. the nicks JAVA3 - JAVA10
have been registered just for your use and you will not be killed using
them. from there you can register a nick of your choice.
Channels and Help
DALnet has thousands of channels
registered covering every possible topic or nearly so. The main channel
you will want to know about first is:
- the network help channel - if your question deals with services or general
IRC questions this is the place - if not they will direct you to the approriate
1)To join a channel you simply
type: /join #channelname - all DALnet and most IRC channels start
with a # at the beginuing of the name.
2)To leave a channel you can
type /part #channel or simply close the window in your client
As with any human interactions
etiquette is the "oil" that lubricates the often rough rubbing of "parts"
together. Chat is a difficult place as the many visual clues and voice
clues are by and large missing so Net Etiquette (Netiquette) is extremely
important. The two main areas you need to pay attention to are:
A) language as in Real
Life (RL) cursing and foul language are not helpful
B) typing conventions:
because of the large amount of typing done in many cases typing conventions
have developed to allow you to talk faster some of these are listed below.
In addition please be aware that TYPOESE is the "official" language of
1) UPPERCASE - THIS IS
USED TO REPRESENT TAHT YOU ARE SHOUTING - please use it sparingly.
2) smilies - :) :> :<
:( etc are used for emphasis
3) k or K = ok
4) ROTFL - roll on the
5) RL = real life
6) brb = be right back
7) bbiam/f = be back
in a minute/few
and there are many many others
that you will run into.