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Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

The worldwide IRC networks offer a virtual meeting place where people from all over the world can meet and talk. Don't confuse IRC with Instant Messenger services or the slow Web chats you might have seen. IRC is specially designed for chatting and works very fast.

General Information

IRC is a multi-user online chafting system that allows users to talk to other users all around the world via the Internet. Scouts and Guides can use Scoutlink servers by connecting to chat.scoutlink.net.

IRC users are identified by nicknames of their own choice. Nicknames consist of letters, numbers and underscore (_). The nickname is set via preferences or the /NICK command in your IRC client.

Communication on IRC is done via Channels and Private Messages. Channels have names starting with #. You can see a list of the channels currently in use via the /LIST command issued to your IRC client. You then use /JOIN to access that channel.

With IRC, you type messages on your keyboard and when you hit the enter key all others immediately see what you've typed. Thus, by typing short sentences or phrases you can communicate.

See IRCHelp.org for information about IRC in general.

Safety on the Internet

One thing about the Internet is that you never really know for sure who is sitting at that other computer. Someone who seems like a 12 year old girl might be a 40 year old man.

Do not give out any personal information such as your name, phone numbers, email addresses, home address or school.

Guidelines and Rules for use of the Scoutlink chat servers can be found in the Rules for JOTI. You can read more about how to be safe online at sites such as:

IRC Clients

Just like you need a Web browser to surf over the Web you need an IRC client to chat on IRC.

As a user you run an IRC client on your PC and you connect to a "server" in an IRC network. All servers are interconnected and pass messages from user to user over the IRC network. One server can be connected to many other servers and thousands of clients.

There are many different IRC clients.

mIRC is a popular IRC program for Windows. mIRC attempts to provide a friendly interface for use with the IRC networks. Read the mIRC Quick Start notes. The mIRC home page is www.mirc.com.

HexChat is a graphical IRC client for Linux. It is derived from XChat, a graphical IRC program. HexChat is included in the repositories for most popular Linux distributions. Read the HexChat Quick Start notes. The home page is gitthub.com/hexchat.