[EDIT] This is an Instructable intended as a starter for those who do not yet understand Internet Relay Chat, or IRC. This project is not intended to cover the entire scope of IRC and each individual client's capabilities, but is targeted to the windows user who is new to IRC, and this project aims to help those users to get started with IRC as a superior form of communication over IM clients such as AIM or YIM, which require installing software already proven to be a security-risk. Even if you do not choose to use Chatzilla or Firefox, some information here may be useful to new IRC users with general commands supported by most IRC clients. If you are looking for help with a specific client, see FAQ's related to your client specifically.

If you have more wisdom to add, please post it as a new comment. For those new to IRC, please read this project and it's comments anyway to make sure you know the basics. You are a user until made an operator, so don't try to kick ops from public channels or your client will laugh at you. All IRC addresses and/or examples are valid and accessible for the purpose of learning how to use the system, to the best of my knowledge. Screenshots were made from actual logons and were not "doctored" in any way, so you can join any channels, public or hypothetical, displayed in any screenshot here.


Internet Relay Chat is much like your instant messengers, but is devoid of spam or general security risks that other IM services not only allow but are built to accept. Typical IM services such as YIM, MSN-chat, AIM, and many others are specific targets due to their accessibility and ability to silently upload files to your computer and execute them on command without you even knowing what happened, from someone not even showing up in your chat window.

IRC is not only secure in multiple ways, but you cannot hide behind an application. If someone's there, you'll know it, and you must accept all file transfers before they are actually received. Below, I'll explain how using IRC is just as easy, far safer, and much more functional than your bloated n00b IM-client-for-dummies. For those smart enough to use Firefox, this can't be easier. For those still using IE for anything, there may be no saving you, but I'll try.

Step 1: Learn to Use Firefox, or Download a Suitable IRC Client Such As MIRC

You can find Firefox here

Get the Chatzilla addon here

For those so stubborn not to try the best, you can get mIRC here

I'll focus on those who know better to use Firefox than IE. Downloading the Chatzilla extension and incorporating it into Firefox is easy, simply download it and it knows where to go. You may be asked to restart Firefox or your computer, if you are not asked, restart your computer just to assure a correct install anyway. Windows likes to corrupt itself and blame properly-coded software.

Now that you have it installed, you can find chatzilla from the top by dropping down the "tools" tab in the menu-bar.
You can also use ThrashIRC I doubt there is easier software than ThrashIRC for IRC.
What is it for Instructables chat room?
It can be anything you want....for an example here, let's call it the following (click the link in Firefox <strong>after</strong> you get the chatzilla add-on to automatically connect, or copy/paste into your address bar):<br/><br/>irc://efnet/instructables<br/><br/>irc = protocol, like http or https<br/>efnet = network name. You must choose from available networks before you can join a channel.<br/>instructables = the channel (or chat-room) name. This name is determined by the first person there, and they become operators of the channel. The name can be anything so long as it is without spaces (underscores will replace spaces). Others wishing to join the same channel must be on the same network, and join the channel exactly as it is spelled, or you'll just make a new channel.<br/><br/>If efnet has problems, you can use any other network you want. The &quot;room name&quot; (channel) is only what you make it. No room name is invalid as long as it is spelled with normal characters. Already used channel names will just join you to that channel.<br/>
Ok but I ment the chat room in the forum
I'm not sure what you mean, if you follow the project step-by-step, you should already be in one. Tell me what you are hung up on and I'll try to help the best I can.
Forgot to mention bash.org
I personally love mIRC with NoNameScript. It's pretty bloated I suppose, but I like it. I also use FireFox btw :P<br/>IRC is not 100% devoid of spam btw, it's still there. I probably get more spam on DALnet than I ever have on AIM, unless you count the ads built in.<br/>If you want to chat with your AIM or MSN or what ever friends, you can try BitlBee, it acts as an IRC gateway to IM thingy. It's really kewl, but you lose some of the functionality of the regular IM clients, but I never use those anyway.<br/>I didn't read your entire Instructable, because it's a lot to read for stuff that I either already know or is specific to Chatzilla, but I did read the first couple steps and I commend you for trying to get more people on IRC, cause it's 10x better than anything else on the Internet at the moment ~_<sup></sup><br/>
The idea is to get people to know IRC instead of going to IM clients that are nothing but trouble. I've been on IRC nearly a decade and have not seen one remote attempt of spam. Making your own channel is a great way of having the same results, but personally I have never seen any spam unless it was perpetuated by a user who was soon kicked. By running your own channel, you have the power to boot anyone who even considers spamming...<br/><br/>The rule is: If you are on your own channel, never give operator status unless you know them and that can be verified. A quick check is to type /whois (followed by a space; e.g: /whois Gozer ) and their details will show. If their details are different and you are not sure they are who they say they are, ask them something only your intended acquaintance would know. Imposters should be kicked immediately once found.<br/><br/>You can also use the /whowas to locate the last user after they just left, but don't wait too long to do so. A new user joining could remove that history on some clients. See the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.hacksrus.com/~ginda/chatzilla/faq/">FAQ</a> for more details.<br/><br/>/deop anyone right away should you accidentally give them status and you haven't verified who they are first. In most cases you'll know it's them, but use the /whois feature if you need to, they won't know you did it, and you can customize your details in the Chatzilla preferences/options anyway.<br/>
Yeah, some of the listed commands are Chatzilla-specific. I prefer freenode, and I try to hang out in the #instructables channer there. A tutorial on utilizing their ChanServ & NickServ could be in order...
Chatzilla is far from being the best irc app xD It's main use is being able to go on a thumbdrive with portable firefox :p You should give some recommendations beyond just 'mirc sucks because everyones used it since 1995'; kvirc for OSX or linux, x-chat for people that can code for realz, colloquy for OSX, trillian/pidgin/adium for people that don't want to install new software, etc. Does chatzilla even have scripting? xD This may be an intro guide, but you gotta think about when they're wanting to step it up a notch too.
This guide is intended to be a &quot;startup&quot; to IRC, and chatzilla happens to be the easiest to start with. When readers get savvy with chatzilla, they can move on to more specific clients that cater to individual needs.<br/><br/>For what it's worth, I think Chatzilla is the best client in terms of economy, useability, and simplicity. It may not have every little feature possible on IRC communications, but it has the most generally useful ones while still remaining simple.<br/><br/>Chatzilla doesn't require new software at all BTW, it is only a plugin for Firefox, and a very well-made one. As I said before, this is a startup, and to get into every command available on IRC would be excessively-verbose, even for me. For those wanting to do scripting, you should already be familiar with other IRC clients, so this is not aimed at you. The target demographic of this project is those using AIM, YIM, and even G-chat (gmail chat).<br/><br/>If Chatzilla does not hold the features you need or want, you are already IRC-savvy and should know how to find a client to meet your needs, or you still don't know how to use Chatzilla's features. Look again at the /commands list before you judge, and then use a standalone client if you feel you need one.<br/><br/>P.S. You can get more detailed info from the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.hacksrus.com/~ginda/chatzilla/faq/">FAQ here.</a><br/>
irssi FTW!!!
Devoid of spam?! You've never been on Undernet :P
I have, and that's why I didn't mention it lol...

About This Instructable



Bio: jack-of-all-trades hobbyist/inventor/fabricator Specialties in automotive. cycling, power-transmission (electrical and mechanical), old-school fabrication/tooling.
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