IRC

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The PAX Community IRC channel is a place for PAX community peeps to gather and chat about whatever. We have members from all over and on all schedules, so regardless of the time of day (or night) there are always people on to chat with. Remember, this is an unofficial channel with no sanctions from PA or anybody else. We run this channel because IRC is our preferred form of synchronous online communication. It also gives us a place to chat on matters that aren't explicitly related to PAX (though as PAX gets closer, the topic invariably turns towards PAX more and more often).

What's an IRC?

IRC is the grandfather of all modern real-time chat protocols. Created in 1988 by a Finnish programmer, IRC is currently used by over a half-million users concurrently. Used in 1991 to report on the attempted Soviet coup and again during the Gulf War. Today, we use it to talk about PAX, video games, internet and dicks.

Server/Channel Info

If you already know what you're doing, here's the basic info

Server:

irc.slashnet.org:6667
irc.slashnet.org:6697 (for SSL)

Channel:

#pax


IMPORTANT: If you are attempting to connect to SlashNet over Verizon 3G, you will NEED to set up a bnc, as Verizon blocks certain (read: most) IRC networks over their service. Please scroll down to the bnc section at the bottom of this post for more information about setting up a bnc.

Registering with Nickserv and Getting voiced in the #pax channel

To prevent spamming/troll attacks, the #pax channel is moderated. What this means is that you must be registered with NickServ and added to the access list to get voice (and thus be able to speak in the channel). People can only be added to the access list if they are registered with NickServ, hence requiring both steps. Once you are registered with NickServ, you must send BigRed, MoeFwacky, and zerzhul a PM in IRC to get added to the access list (in most clients you can double-click our nicks to open a query/PM window). Only BigRed, MoeFwacky, and zerzhul can add people to the access list. No other Ops have this ability.

In the mean time, you can PM the halfops to get "temporary voice" until you can be added to the access list.

If you do not log in and identify with NickServ every 60 days, your nick will become unregistered and you will have to re-register.

NickServ Registration Instructions

Go to the server window (depends what client you use) and type this:

/msg nickserv REGISTER password email 

password = what password to register your nick under
email = your email addy to recieve a confirmation #
it will then ask you to do this:

/msg nickserv AUTH code 

code = the code you got in your email
Then when Every time you reconnect to slashnet you will need to type this:

/msg nickserv IDENTIFY password 

password = the password you used to register your nick with
Then you are all set. Just be sure to PM MoeFwacky or BigRed on IRC (whichever you see active) to get added to the access list.

Using Multiple Nicks

Some people log in from multiple locations. If you don't use a bnc (see below), you may end up logged in twice over multiple nicks. Do not PM Ops asking them to add multiple nicks to the access list for you. NickServ supports linking nicks together, so if you ask them, they're going to tell you to do this anyway.

Multiple Nick Instructions

When you are logged into SlashNet (and your nick is identified) all you have to do is type this:

/msg nickserv LINK nickname

nickname = the other nick you want linked After you link a nick, when you login to slashnet, you will have to identify with the same password as your registered nick.

Linked nicks will expire after 60 days just like regular nicks. If you want to keep a nick linked, change to it at least once every 60 days.

To see your list of linked nicks all you have to do is type this:

/msg nickserv LISTLINKS

Setting up Auto-Identify and Auto-Join

These settings are for mIRC (because that's what BigRed did the directions in, and we're not taking a new set of screenshots), however, through a little of poking around with your own client, the setup shouldn't be too much different.

MIRC

IRC Clients

Everybody has their own preferred IRC clients, and there are different clients for different platforms. This is a short list of a few that we use organized by platform. If you have suggestions for others to add to this list, please post them and I will edit them in.

IRC Client List

Multiplatform

  • kvirc - This client is a modified version of XChat. It has a bunch more options than XChat, but many of the same limitations. Runs on Windows, Linux, Mac and FreeBSD.
  • Pidgin IM - This is a multi-IM client that is quite popular. It supports many chat networks, including IRC, and runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Windows

  • mIRC - Perhaps one of the oldest Windows IRC clients. 15 years ago, this was the go-to client. Today, not so much. Some people still like it, and so might you.
  • Miranda IM - Miranda is a plugin-based IM client that also happens to support IRC. The Miranda UI is very minimalist, but allows for full customization of the visual look. It takes time to customize to get the desired result. There are also plugins for just about every chat client that exists.
  • XChat 2 - A free Windows port of the popular XChat client. Similar to both kvirc (multiplatform) and XChat (Linux).

iOS/Mac

  • Colloquy - This is a popular iPhone and Mac client.
  • X-Char Aqua - This is a OS X native port of X-Chat. It has not been updated in many years but closely resembles the Windows and linux versions of X-Chat.

Linux

  • XChat - XChat is packaged in several Linux distributions (such as Ubuntu). Chances are, if you're using Linux, this client, or another one is already installed. XChat has been ported to windows, but not as a free client. In response, several groups have compiled free Windows binaries from source (like XChat2).
  • irssi - Most anybody who is going to use this client already does. Billed as the client of the future, it's actually the client of the past. Irssi is a terminal based IRC client for UNIX systems. It has recently been ported to Windows, but most people who use irssi tend to install in Linux, then SSH in.

Android

  • Android IRC - This is an easy to use, fairly straightforward client for Android phones (and tablets as well, it is presumed). Available from the Android marketplace.
  • YAAIC - Yet another Android IRC client. Exactly what it sounds like. An alternative client to Android IRC for your Android devices.

Windows Phone 7 Mango

  • IRC7 - It features smart encoding, link highlighting and multi-server support , and also an enthusiastic developer.
  • WPirc - This is just the second Windows Phone 7 IRC client to be released for Windows Phone 7 Mango (the first being IRC7). The app features: Multi-channels (with pivots); "Landscape" mode; Nickname highlighting in channel; "Pin to start" a server and connect quickly; Multitasking: automatically reconnected on application switching

Browser

  • Mibbit - Mibbit is a web-based client. It's free and you can use it from just about any modern web browser. So, if your workplace blocks IRC ports, you can log in through Mibbit since the connection is made from Mibbit's end, and not directly from your PC.
Mibbit has many features, some traditionally IRC and some unique. It supports nickname tab auto-completion, an input history for each tab, aliases, user menu commands, saving of user preferences, and chatlogs which save to Mibbit's servers and can be accessed anywhere (for registered users). Mibbit can parse smilies, links, channels, nicks, and mIRC color codes, and can automatically create thumbnails for image links and URLs. In addition, Mibbit offers an integrated pastebin, an upload service, and can minify URLs. Mibbit offers some less common features in its UI, such as highlighting one user's lines via hovering over a user's nick, and a range of customize-able skins. Because the client–server design allows for a centralized Mibbit client server, Mibbit is able to offer extended functionality which is not present in the standard IRC protocol, such as a typing notification for other Mibbit users, device identification icons for other Mibbit users (Wii users as a joystick, iPod touch as an ipod, etc), a recent chat buffer for IRC channels when other Mibbit users are already on the channel, and extended whois information with user profiles. Mibbit also supports the Google API which allows the client to support a number of Google Services such as translation and youtube embed.
  • IRC Cloud - A new, cloud-based, always-connected client, IRC Cloud is currently in beta and free, but it may cease to be free once they are out of beta. The advantage of this client is that, much in the manner of a bnc (see below) it stays connected all the time and can be connected to from anywhere. Unlike a bnc though, it allows you to connect from the browser, requiring no software to be installed.
  • Chatzilla - An add-on for Firefox. Unlike the other browser-based IRC clients, this one isn't accessible from anywhere, as it is installed into your browser.

What is a BNC and why should you use one?

A BNC is a bouncer or proxy for IRC traffic. Actually, IRC is only one use for a BNC, but it's the one we're concerned with here. By running a BNC on your home machine or external server it allows you to stay connected to IRC, even when your client is off. You can point any client towards your IP and it will connect you to IRC, give you a user-defined number of lines of scrollback (stuff you missed while not logged in) and allows you to connect from multiple places but only have one login on the server itself. Also, if want to connect from your Verizon phone over 3G, you will need to set up a BNC, as Verizon blocks most major IRC networks (including SlashNet), but for some reason doesn't block the ports (allowing you to connect to your own BNC which then routes the traffic).

The preferred BNC software that several of us use is called ZNC. ZNC can run in either Linux, Windows, Mac or FreeBSD. Multiple accounts can be set up on ZNC for you and your friends. Be aware, however, that SlashNet enforces a session limit of no more than 4 connections per IP. You can get an exception added by heading on into #help and asking the guys in there for an exception on your IP. They're pretty good about helping out with that kind of thing, but you may have to be patient, as they aren't always watching the channel, even though they are in there.