I don't use AOL, but instructions for getting to irc from AOL are on the web.
The basic things you'll need to know as far as connecting from AOL are:
There are two different kinds of chat available to CompuServe Users:
conferences in CompuServe forums and IRC. There are "Due South" chats available
on both. To get from CompuServe to IRC, you need to use the winsock from the CompuServe
Internet Dialer (CID) - just check the Winsock Connection in the CID. Then, you need to
download an IRC client -
several are detailed in this FAQ and further installation
instructions are included here. It is possible to be in both IRC and the CompuServe
forum at the same time. The CompuServe forum meets at 9PM Eastern Time (New York City/
Toronto) on Friday nights in the ETV Forum, Room 3.
Unknown as of 9 January 1997. It appears, however, that Prodigy is affiliated with something called "Access Net Direct" which will allow a direct Internet connection for the rate of $1/hour. Contact Prodigy and/or Access Net Direct for more information ( http://www.and.net/prodinfo/prodinfo.htm ).
To access IRC though the Microsoft Network, you need to make sure you
have an account with full Internet access. To check whether or not you have full access,
do the following: Click on the MSN icon, Click "Setup", Click "Dialing
Properties", make sure that the selection says Microsoft Network and the Internet.
Once you have a full Internet account (this is not available in all cities), you can use
any regular IRC client. Some
are described below and instructions for
client installation are included here.
Unknown as of 9 January 1997.
Unknown as of 9 January 1997. However, it appears that GEnie does not support IRC at this time. It does, however, support telnet. See the Internet Service Providers section of this FAQ to find out about gaining access to a shell account through telnet in order to get on IRC.
These include traditional commercial Internet Service Providers as well as Universities, businesses, etc. who maintain Internet access for their users. The easiest way to access IRC on most of these is to set up a PPP or SLIP connection to your service provider and then find an IRC client program that you like (instructions on downloading and installing a client are available) in order to chat. Clients come in various flavors, though it is easiest to find Windows or Mac clients. If you do not have this connection already set up, consult your provider on the protocols necessary to do so.
If your ISP doesn't allow IRCing from where you are, there is the alternative of getting a UNIX/shell account. In order to use this, you must be able to telnet from your existing setup. Some shell account options are: