Not gonna waste much words, it is THE means of instant communication if you want to speak with multiple people at once. One of the oldest, simplest and most efficient.
IRC runs on IRC networks composed of several servers. Which server you join on a specific network affects the latency/lag/lagspikes you experience, but generally does not affect who you see online. [In some cases it does, when several servers of the same network are out of sync. This is called a netsplit]. The different IRC networks are separate.
On each network there are thousands of channels. Each channel is owned by one or more persons with a common interest, this can be anything from a clan, to people into cybersex, to filesharing groups, to a gamedev group. In each channel there are some operators, or ops. They have the power to change the channel's topic (a central subject, welcome message or point of interest for that channel), kick or ban people.
Most networks also have certain channel services in the form of bots that perform certain tasks like auto-opping operators that join. Oh yeah, opping or giving ops is giving someone operator power.
Together with this forum, IRC is the main channel of communication for our members and regs. MSN and xfire are used, but irc is the beating heart of the clan. iD have had an IRC channel for as long i can remember (about 3 years), and probably much longer than that. #invisibledanger is our channel; Quakenet is the network we're on.
k k, enough theory. Let's talk some practice.
1. Get mIRC. There are other clients, but this guide is for mIRC (by far the most used). mIRC is shareware, although some people use keygens to bypass this; we of course do not endorse such kind of action, and under no circumstances is anybody to ask me for either a keygen or a key .
2. Get NoNameScript . There are other scripts, I'm not experienced in them, but personally I like nnscript. It is an addon to mIRC that will give you plenty of cool options, add some themes, has built in (outdated)game and mp3 support and so on. Install NNScript in the same dir you installed mIRC in. It should be automatically loaded when you next start mIRC.
1. Setting up your Details. The first time you run mIRC with NNScript installed it will automatically setup a theme, and then popup the NNScript settings box. If this is the first time you have run mIRC, with or without NNScript, i recommend you ignore this and close it for now. Instead got to Tools -> Options to bring up the mIRC Options window. Click Connect and enter a name, email, and two nicks.
2. Connecting to Quakenet. Still on the Connect section of the menus, click on the yellow and orange sun/star/led/flower to take you to the Server screen. From the IRC Network dropdown menu select Quakenet, and in the IRC Server dropdown select Quakenet: Random UK server (assuming you are from the UK. If not then select the most relevant to you). Now you just need to click Connect To Server and youre away.
Things to do when you're dead in IRC-land
1. Joining a Channel. In IRC, all channel names begin with "#". To join any channel you simply need to type "/join #channelname". e.g. to join the iD channel simply enter "/join #invisibledanger".
This section will give some basic pointers on the frequent usage of mIRC.
2. Perform. Perform is a set of commands you can let your mIRC execute when it starts up or joins certain servers. If you frequent a certain channel *cough* #invisibledanger *cough*, you have to put it in your perform once and never worry about it later. You wil find your perform list under View->Options->Connect Menu->Options->Perform button. Enable the perform list and type commands in the perform box as you would execute them, eg:
Next time you start up mirc, watch the magic happen.
3. Q. Q is Quakenet's Big Bot, and L is his little brother. For all you care Q and L do the same, only Q is assigned to bigger channels than L. You have to register with Q once like this :
/msg Q HELLO email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Q will generate a password for you and mail it to you. You don't register with L; even if you use L you register with Q.
Once you have registered, each time you start up irc you can make yourself known (authing) by typing:
/msg Q@cserve.quakenet.org AUTH email@example.com generatedpassword
If you do have half a brain, you know this is something for the perform, however there is a built in functionality within NNScript (NoNameScript ->Setup->Auth Settings->Q) to simply enter you username and password and the script will do the rest.
n.b. if you use this do not add the /msg Q@... to your perform, you only need to auth once.
If you are authed with Q, you can be given auto-op and similar privileges in certain channels by the channel's masters.
An idler is a person who stays on IRC in a channel or in several channels even when not active or when AFK. A lot of iD's members who use IRC idle in the channel for most of the day and several overnight too. Idlers who are not AFK will periodically check the channel for activity, so you will rarely be without company for too long a period of time.
In channels on Quakenet there are 3 levels of users. Normal users are shown with nothing special on their name, voiced users are shown with a + in front of their name, and channel operators have an @ symbol.