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page.gif (79 bytes)Section 1

Getting Hooked up

Ok, here's a little bit of the technical information that really will come in handy for understanding a lot of the concept of IRC. IRCis based on what's known as a Client-Server protocol. Now, for those of you scratching your head saying "what in the hell is this guy TALKING about??",it isn't really all that technical.

IRC is composed of a set of between 10 and 100 REALLYpowerful computers that are the "servers". Each of these servers takes on "clients", which are the IRCusers. So you can imagine a set of servers that take in what the clients send and spread it through to the rest of the network, and receives what the network is sending to it and sends it to the users.

Here's a quick example. We'll go easy, with 4 people on two servers. Let's say me and my friend Chris are on one server and our friends Tammy and Sharon are on another. When I type something, it is sent to my server, which sends it to Chris, and out to the other server. The other server takes that information and sends it to Tammy and Sharon since they are connected it. Hopefully this makes SOME semblance of sense. It really comes in handy in understanding the concept of things like lag and netsplits.

Now, to connect yourself to one of these servers, you need special software that speaks the same language (or protocol in computerese). These are the IRC clients (IRCsoftware for non-computer people). You can download one of these clients that suit your operating system. Run setup.exe or install.exe. Once the client is installed you can proceed to the next section where we will show you how to connect to a server.

Section 2

Related Links The South African IRC resource site go!
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