IRC is a great way for a lot of people to come together to chat. However it is often seen to be, for want of a better description, “geeky”. This tutorial is for those people who see it that way. I’ll show you how easy it is to set it up with Pidgin, a great piece of open source software.
In IRC, chat rooms are termed as “channels”. Channels are identified by the pound(#) symbol that can be found in front of the channel name, and an IRC server can host many such channels. In this tutorial we will join the #test channel on the “irc.foonetic.net” server.
1) Download and install Pidgin.
2) Create a new account:
- Click on Accounts -> Manage
- Click on Add. You should get to the following screen. Fill in the details as given in the screenshot below. You can leave the password field blank for now.
3) The account should connect automatically. If it does not, click on Accounts -> <username>@<irc_server> -> Enable.
4) Time to join a chat room! Go to Buddies -> Join a chat in the Pidgin menu.
- Select your IRC account from the drop down
- To join the #test channel, fill in #test in the Channel textbox.
- Leave password blank for now.
- Hit Join.
If the chat room doesn’t exist, it is created. See how easy it is to create your own chat room?
5) I didn’t really need this step. I didn’t want to edit the title again. So here it is.
Your screen name is called your “nick” on IRC. Some chat rooms can only be joined by those who have registered their nicks with the server. This is to prevent identity theft, because registered nicks are password protected.
To register your nick:
- Type /msg nickserv register <password> (Replace <password> with your actual password :D)
- After this, to log in to your nick, send /msg nickserv identify <password>
- To avoid manually logging in each time using the identify command you can specify the password in the Accounts dialog as in the screen shot above.
Voila! See how easy it is? There are a bunch of cooler and more advanced stuff to do on IRC. Explore with Google!
For those interested, there is an #aucse channel on irc.foonetic.net. Do drop by!