Monday, November 28, 2011

How to use our IRC channel

The first IRC server, A Sun-3 ...
The world's oldest IRC server (EFnet) in its birthplace, Finland. Image via Wikipedia
To facilitate a better participation in organizing, we are simultaneously augmenting some of our planning meetings on IRC.

The Internet Relay Chat (IRC) was in the past very popular, before the advent of instant messengers, social media and more advanced platforms such as Skype. It is still the best choice because it is non-proprietary, open-source and cross-platform -- and is decentralized. Many "hacktivist" groups as well as open-source programmers still actively use IRC for this reason.

Network: Newnet -- List of servers is or simply use the main server address

Channel: #opdxigc (all channel names must precede by #)

How to get on IRC: There are many IRC client software available for computers of all platforms. Go to and

For iPad, iPhone, Android and other mobile devices there are also many IRC apps. The best-reviewed one is called Colloquy (for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), which sells for $2 at the Apple app store. For Android, try

For mobile phone handsets that can run Java apps (JavaME), there is jedirc available at (normal data use plan is required).  This is a small Java-based software and it also works on your computer if you can run Microemulator (on Linux).

You can also use this web-based IRC from your browser:

For visual learners: Everything except for Username and Password (optional) should look like this.

Help with commands: IRC tutorial

All IRC commands start with / (forward slash).
To connect to a server -> /server 6667
To exit -> /quit
To join a channel -> /join #opdxigc
To establish/change a nickname (whereas foobar is your desired nick) -> /nick foobar 
To register your nickname so no one else can use it (Newnet specific), after having established your nickname (see above) -> /nickserv register password emailaddress
To privately message someone specific (e.g. say "type your message here" to user willowfairypdx) -> /msg willowfairypdx type your message here

If you need any help, email or privately message Sarah (willowfairypdx on Newnet).

Help! I logged on and it seems like no one is there (or I saw everyone just disappear at once!): You may be experiencing a net-split.  A net-split occurs when one of the servers affiliated with the IRC network (such as Newnet) disconnects from the rest of the network abruptly.  Try another server on Newnet, for instance:
/server 6667

Nickserv?  The Nickname Server (NickServ) is a service provided by NewNet to help ensure that no one else is pretending to be you.  When you register, you simply change your nickname to what you would like to register (for example, "quirkyquark")

/nick quirkyquark

then in the next line type in "/nickserv register" followed by your password and email address.  The email address is important as NickServ will send you a validation code, which you will need to complete registration.

/nickserv register tH1s1smyP@ssw0rd!?

Then check your email.  Type exactly as instructed in the email.
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