All IRC clients ask you to enter personal information. You're on your
honor to be truthful. The only caveat I would add is that there are quite a few pests and
perverts on IRC (though not on #duesouth, of course). When I listed my first and last
name, I had creeps hitting on me every time I connected. Since changing it to K.
Cleveland, I have not been bothered. Another thing to make sure that you do, regardless of
the client that you use, is to enable identd for that client. Some servers require that
you have identd running before they will let you connect. All of the nicks I have used in
this FAQ are actual nicks used by people who frequent #duesouth; kindly refrain from using
them yourself as this would be inconsiderate to the "owners" of these nicks.
Once you are connected to a server and have joined a channel, you can
join in the conversation. Simply type text in the editor window at the bottom of the
channel window and hit the RETURN/ENTER key. Everything you typed will then appear on
everyone else's screens.
mIRC is a very good IRC client program for beginners. It runs under
Windows (both 3.x and Windows95) and is very user friendly if you are unfamiliar with irc.
Pros: You can run 2 instances of mIRC simultaneously with the 32-bit
version (useful when there is a lot of lag on some sites or during frequent netsplits).
You can run 2 intances with the 16-bit version, but you need to copy and rename the file
mirc.exe first (so that you have one copy called mirc.exe and one copy named mirc2.exe).
It has both 16-bit and 32-bit versions - the 32 bit version runs very well under
Windows95. Several channel and server commands are only a right-click away. You can
customize pop-up menus that appear with a right-click (to make often used commands easier
to run). Chat text is color coded to allow for differentiation of various types of
input/output. It's freeware.
Cons: Slightly limited customizability in the appearance of channel and
server windows. Limitations and difficulties in designing and implementing automatic
responses to channel, user, and server events - which does not become troubling until some
degree of familiarity and competence with irc is acquired. No other limitations of any
- mIRC homepage:
- Consummate Winsock Apps list:
- Internet Relay Chat (Ashley Pirovich):
Many commonly used commands can be reached using a right-click. A
right-click in the channel window gives you channel options. A double-click in the channel
window gives you a channel setup display. Selecting and right-clicking on a nickname from
the nickname list gives you an array of commands that can be performed on the nick.
WS-IRC is another Windows IRC client. It works under both Windows 3.x
and Windows 95. You can be up and running with WS-IRC using just the commands in this FAQ,
and it's perfectly functional if you don't want to try any fancy stuff. If you want to
customize your IRC connection with Windows-type shortcuts at the click of a mouse or
automated scripts, go with a different client.
Pros: Very clean appearance with a large channel window and smaller
server window easily viewable at the same time.
Cons: More command line based than mIRC, so a little more difficult for
first time users.
- Homepage of WSIRC Classic and WSIRC Video:
- Complete Winsock Apps List:
You will sometimes encounter "gakking" with WS-IRC. This
occurs when some text refuses to scroll up and off of the screen. To fix this, /part from
the channel that you're in and then /join it again. WS-IRC comes in both a shareware and
freeware version. After a short period of use, the shareware version will expire, and you
will be greeted with a message that looks something like this "You have used your 60
day evaluation period, concluding on 30 March 1970". The freeware version can do a
little less than the shareware version, but you probably won't notice the differences
unless you use IRC a lot.
Netscape Chat is another Windows client that works in conjunction with
Netscape Navigator. I wouldn't recommend using it because of its limitations, but it could
be used as a user-friendly first client - once you know your way around, get another
client with more flexibility.
Pros: Seemingly idiot-proof. Few options, so little confusion about
what something does. It's basically a program to get connected and get in a channel to
Cons: Only works if you have Netscape Navigator set up on your machine.
It won't recognize some IRC commands.
- Complete Winsock Apps List:
To tell you the truth, I know little about the specifics of Netscape
Chat simply because it is so limited, and even complete neophytes will get frustrated with
PIRCH bears many similarities in interface to mIRC, making for an easy
transition. It runs under Windows. This is the client I use because of its flexibility,
ease of use, and power for customizability for beginning and advanced users. I have
included detailed instructions on installing pirch with
this FAQ. Among its more interesting features are easily constructed autoresponses, the
ability to have pirch pipe screen output through a voice synthesizer, and the capacity to
log into several servers from one instance of pirch.
Pros: You can run sessions on several servers at the same time. Pop-up
menus are almost identical to mIRC. Tags are placed on lines identifying text as actions,
notifies, etc. Channels and servers can be accessed using a file tab interface at the
bottom of the window. There are dialog windows to configure protection and client options.
A huge number of commands are supported as well as a scripting language allowing for
Cons: It takes about 3 steps to connect to a server rather than just
one command or dialog window. It is shareware and costs $10 if you decide to continue to
use it, though it is fully functional and will not disable itself after a given period of
time (you're completely on your honor to pay).
- PIRCH homepage:
- Complete Winsock Apps List:
To connect to a server, you need to select "Login" from the
button bar at the top of the screen. Then choose a server from the dialog window and
select "Connect". When the server window appears, select "Connect"
from the button bar at the top of the server window. This is another program that provides
pop-up menus with a click of the right mouse button.
Another Windows IRC client. This one is almost as easy to use as mIRC.
It's a good first client if you're feeling a little bit adventurous.
Pros: Quite possibly the fastest program for listing all open channels.
It displays a "lag meter" that keeps track of how much lag you are suffering
Cons: Some commands have been replaced by nonintuitive buttons or menu
options and are nonfunctional through text input. It sometimes refuses to connect to a
server for no particular reason.
- Consummate Winsock Apps List:
Visual IRC appears to be a little buggy as it sometimes wouldn't let me
connect to a number of servers for no apparent reason. Just keep trying, and it'll find
one that it agrees with sooner or later.