Internet Relay Chat
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a multi-user online chatting system that allows users to talk to other users all around the world via the Internet. If you have an Internet Connection that is running TCP/IP and an IRC client application, you can join in the fun. My favorite IRC client application is mIRC. Even if you don't decide to use mIRC, you may want to visit their website and make use of their excellent primer on IRC basics and their excellent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) files.
Some good servers for IRC connections are IRC.COLORADO.EDU, IRC.IO.ORG, IRC.ESKIMO.COM, and IRC.MIT.EDU. The port number used by IRC servers is usually 6667.
IRC users are identified by nicknames of their own choice. Nicknames may be at most 9 characters long. The nickname is set via preferences or the NICK command in your IRC client. If you choose a nickname already in use, you have to set a different nickname. Some users have registered their nicknames with the NickServ database. If you get a message from NickServ that your nickname is in use, you will have to choose another.
Communication on IRC is done via Channels and Private Messages. Channels have names starting with # (public channels) and & (local) and usually up to 12 characters long. You can see a list of the channels currently in use via the /LIST command issued to your IRC client. As soon as you join a channel with the /JOIN command, everything you type is sent to that channel and seen by all other users on that channel. You will see what the others type, respectively. There are over 2000 IRC channels. Of interest to us is the #scouting channel. You can join the discussion by issuing a "/join #scouting" command to your IRC client or selecting #scouting when prompted by more sophisticated programs.
Each October Scouters use IRC to conduct what is known as Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI).
In 1997 several networks carried JOTI and were linked by a program called SL. This enabled all participants, on any net, to
converse with others. Here is a listing of the nets and channels that carried JOTI:
- Undernet - #scouts
- Dalnet - #scouting_around or #scouting
- IRCNet - #scouting
- EfNet - #scouting
- NewNet - #scouting
- ScoutLink - #linked
The next Jamboree on the Internet will probably be carried at the same time as Jamboree on the Air (JOTA - Ham Radio) in mid-October. If someone knows the specific dates, I'll post them here.
If you want to try using an IRC you may find the three help files listed below very useful. Please use the MacScouter FTP site to retrieve a copy of any of these files. You may reach these files at ftp.macscouter.com. If for any reason these files are not available, you may send a private e-mail to the author of the files, Scouter Jess Olonoff, at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the same by filename. Jess Olonoff will send files to you as soon as he can.
- An excellent IRC Primer perfect for first time users and those who would like to know more about IRC without paying for a book! 2,172 lines
- Frequently asked Questions regarding IRC - 439 lines.
- Info and World-Wide listing of servers - 204 lines.