This guide is to help you step by step get on the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and is designed for those who are new to the Internet as well as new to computers. For more info on how to prevent on-line attacks see #services page.

I also want to give you the opportunity to test the IRC so you'll have an idea of what it can do for you. IRC is a great way to talk to family members, friends, or even meet new friends.

First you'll need the proper software. As you surf through the net, you will find several different IRC chat programs, here we will discuss two clients for the PC and one for the Mac. As each client is discussed I will give you there home page address, alternate addresses where these (and many other programs) can be downloaded, refer to the end of this doc. These programs are still being designed (therefore they are called beta versions) and are free, although the authors will also tell you how you can register the software if that's what you want to do.

I apologize in advance for elaborating on PIRCH since it's what I use, I know more about it in detail :) Most of the information concerning the mIRC client is directly from there home page. For Mac users, I can only give you an address, but when you come online I can help more.

An important tool you will need is "pkunzip" or "winzip", since some programs come "zipped" these programs will allow you to unzip them. You can download Winzip for Windows95 by clicking here, or download the Windows 3.x version by clicking here

PIRCH is an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client for the Microsoft Windows® 3.x, Windows® 95 Platforms and Windows® NT.

If you would like to download PIRCH for Windows95 click here, if you would like to download PIRCH for Windows 3.x click here.

PIRCH is the most user friendly of the IRC clients (in my opinion), it also allows multiple connections for those that like to be on several servers at the same time (ok, I'm guilty). After you've reached there home page you need to decide which program version you need, that's easy. For Microsoft Windows® 3.x users, download PIRCH 0.87 beta (this is a 16 bit program designed for this platform). For Windows® 95 Platforms and Windows® NT users get PIRCH 0.92 beta (this is the 32 bit version). For either program, choose the "FULL" version.

Your web browser will save the file for you, either in it's directory, or in a directory you've told it too. In either case, once you have the program go to file manager and create a new folder called "pirch" and put the program in there. Next you will unzip it (using pkunzip or winzip) and end up with a program that is ready to be set up. Double click on install/setup (.exe), you can tell it to put an icon in your programs group. You can now use the program, either from your programs group, or from file manager (and during the install it will open the program for you).

Now, take a moment to pat yourself on the back, that hard parts over. You now have the program open, you'll see your tool bar at the top and a button tool bar underneath that. So, lets get you onto the IRC now.

First we are going to go to the "top" tool bar and click on "TOOLS", this will bring down a menu, click on "IDENT SERVER", when that window appears click on the box next to the word "Active" (a check mark will appear), then close the window.

Now click on the button that says "Login", another window will appear saying "server connections". The very first line will say "Server" and should already be hilighted, hit the back space key to delete the address there and put "" (without the quotes), now press the "tab" key to take you to the next line "Personal Information: NAME", you may use your real first name, I use my Nickname there (this assures me NO ONE knows exactly who I am, unless I tell them). Tab again to "e-mail", again you can use your nick@ (no need to put your full address, only put something@) you don't need to put anything after the @ sign. Now tab on to "Logon Nick Names". First box is the nick you would like to use, alternate nick is incase someone (how rude) is using your nick. Mine is LadyBear and my alternate is LadyB for example. Next to that you will see "Initial User Modes", if you choose any of those boxes I would suggest just the first one "invisible on Server [+i]", just click on the box and a checkmark will appear. Now you are ready to log on, click on the "Connect" button and now another window called "Server/Status" will appear. Click on "Connect", when connecting to the IRC sometimes the MOTD (message of the day) goes slow (especially on larger servers), but after it goes flying by it will say "You are now logged on. Enjoy - Your client mode is modified +i".

You did it, you are now on the IRC. You will notice that your status window now has three different areas, one for the motd, one for a list of channels currently in use (to see a list of channels, click on the "channels" button) and another box with a flashing | in it. This is where you type in where you want to go, or you can choose from the list of channels by putting the pointer on a channel name and double clicking on it. If you want to do it by typing, then type this "/join #channelname" (whatever the channel name is and without the quotes") and press the "enter" button. Yes, another window will appear, this will be the channel window and on the right will be a list of people who are also in that channel. Again that | will be blinking where you type your messages, then press enter and it will appear in the channel for all to see.

IRC do's and don'ts follow at the end of this letter.

mIRC 5.02 for windows

You can download mIRC for Windows 95 by clicking here, or you can download mIRC for Windows 3.x by clicking here. Which have NewNet servers listed.

A widely used IRC client for Windows machines, this program is noted for its powerful scripting capability. For a copy of mIRC already equipped with NewNet features and much, much more, get NewNets very own UserScript. Its written for NewNet and has all of the features NewNet has to offer written right in. And best of all, Its free!

Slightly easier to do. Once you have downloaded mIRC, you are ready to install mIRC in windows. During the install procedure mIRC's files will be automatically extracted and all necessary steps for starting mIRC will be taken. Open the File Manager. You can find its icon in the Main group in Windows. Locate the mirc 5.02 which you just downloaded and saved to your harddisk. It is either named mirc502s.exe (16 Bit) or mirc50t.exe (32 Bit). To start the installation process just double click on the exe. The installation program will be started automatically. Determine the place on your harddisk where you want mIRC to be installed. Normally the proposed c:\mirc will do fine. If you want the installer to add a mIRC program group to windows and set up the mIRC icons, keep the "Add icons" option selected. Select 'OK' and you're done! The installer will take care of all the work. Now that mIRC is installed on your PC and the program group and mIRC icon are available in the program manager, this is what is required to set it up: Pick local host should be checked, fill in your nick just like with pirch, check ident too.

Ircle IRC Client for Mac's: To download Ircle click here
Also a good tool to have on hand is Stuffit Expander 3.5.x or higher, you can download Stuffit by clicking here.

There is a ton of info at that site and new beta versions come out all the time. When you get on the IRC and need help you can ask me or ask pagh who is a Mac user (and Mac tech support for our local ISP) and uses this program. for pirch for mirc it will have the 6667 in another location for the Mac, the 6667 will be in another location

I am usually on , to reach me for help type /join #services or message me by typing /msg LadyBear and if I'm on and around I will respond (believe it or not, I do walk away every now and then for a few minutes or so) :) Or, if you want to try a larger server (EFNet), try (beware, I have only been able to log on using my user name and user@ for e-mail on this server), just remember your manners and read the do's and don'ts first!!!

IRC do's and don'ts

When you join a channel, always be polite, say "hello" to the people there, they will probably be saying hi to you as well. Just because you are now a "newbie" is no excuse to be rude. If you announce that you are in fact a "newbie" right away, people will be more forgiving (should you make a mistake) and more willing to help you. Take notice of the names at the top of the list, the ones with an "@" next to there name (example: @LadyBear), these people are in charge of that channel, they are called "operators". Should you become unruly, they will kick you out of the channel and can prevent you from ever returning there too. They are there to help protect the channel and you, but if you get into a channel of not too friendly a group (some can be very rude to you) just leave and try another channel. You can create your own channel "/join #mychannel" and you will be the operator of that channel.

Now you've said your "hi's" and maybe announced that you are new to the IRC. If you want you may just watch the chatting going on until you see what is being discussed (always saying hi to new people as they join the channel) and then join in. If you are really lost, don't ever be affraid to ask questions. As long as you are polite, people are willing to help. NEVER USE ALL CAPS in a channel, this is shouting and a good way to be ignored by everyone. Mistakes do happen and sometimes we hit the caps lock by mistake, immediately say "oopps, sorry didn't realize I hit the cap button", and being a newbie, most will forgive you.

People will generally start asking new people all kinds of questions (what irc program are you using, where are you from, what do you do, etc.....). It may feel like you are being drilled, but it's mainly an icebreaker to help get you chatting. As time goes on, and you discover who else is using the same program you are, then you can ask them questions about it. There are just too many things to learn about these programs to go into detail here about.

Helpful hint: if someone has this added to there nick, bbl or brb (example LadyB-bbl or LadyB-brb) that means this: bbl= be back later brb= be right back. If you join a channel and some people don't talk, then it could be they said they'd brb an didn't change there nick, just wait awhile or try another channel.

Alternate address for the above IRC programs: tucows they have a lot of programs there for other things as well as for the IRC.

Good luck and happy IRC'ing :)

#services page for more irc help

Laura M. Phillips , 1997© Copyright
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