ICQ and other new-fangled chat applications may get most of the press, but Internet Relay Chat (IRC) remains the Wild West of real-time online conversations. Populated by the most diverse collection of characters this side of the Mos Eisley cantina scene in Star Wars, IRC will keep you up late chatting with people all over the world. The environment can be intimidating to newcomers, though, so Alex Charalabidis has written The Book of IRC, a fine guide to the products, procedures, and customs you need to understand in order to participate in IRC.
The book is marvelously comprehensive, touching on aspects of IRC technology (such as IRC assistance for vision-impaired people and IRC clients for the Amiga computer) that have to do with only small parts of the community. He emphasizes things you'll want to do (selecting and connecting to a server, kicking out unwelcome users, and managing your own channel) and the tools and procedures you'll need to get them done. He's also big on commands (common and obscure), so if a task can be accomplished in IRC, you're likely to find out how in these pages. Though he doesn't really explain how to program your own bots, Charalabidis documents a few of the popular ones that already exist. --David Wall
Topics covered: Using and enjoying Internet Relay Chat (IRC), with emphasis on the software you need to get connected from a variety of platforms. Lots of space goes to IRC commands and their appropriate use, plus the ins and outs of IRC safety. There's coverage of more technical stuff too, including Client To Client Protocol (CTCP) and Direct Client Connection (DCC).
Addicted to IRC? Just getting started? This book is the ultimate guide to chatting over the Internet using Internet Relay Chat. It gives you everything you need to know about IRC--from the basics to the most cutting-edge commands.
Whether you're a new user or an IRC junkie, The Book of IRC will teach you tricks and techniques that will help you use IRC more effectively.
Choose an IRC client and find the right servers and channels
Follow IRC etiquette, send public and private messages, and interpret notices from users and servers
Find people on IRC and hide from others
Use commands for all levels of expertise
Create and manage an IRC channel, keep unwanted users out, and secure your channel against interlopers
Install, run, and operate an IRC server
Use bots and scripts to customize clients like mIRC and ircII
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