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The Internet

Basic Questions and answers about how to use some of popular Internet Services like IRC chat and detailed answers about how to solve common problems you may run into on the Net.

Question: What is IRC?

Answer:

What is IRC?
IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. IRC is a network of machines across the Internet that are setup to let users gather in "chat rooms" or "channels". IRC is a text-based system. Anywhere from 2 to 100 people gather together in a room. IRC is actually a generic term for a number of different networks.
Does HiWAAY have an IRC server?
No, but you can connect to a large number of public IRC servers. Several major IRC networks maintain web pages with up-to-date lists of servers and other IRC info, try www.efnet.org or perhaps www.undernet.org
Which server should I connect to?
There are MANY IRC servers out there ... and quite a few of them are public servers. The best approach is to simply try several until you find one you like that works well for you.
What do I need to connect to IRC?
You need an IRC client. There are 2 main options for this: You can telnet to home.HiWAAY.net and use the Unix IRC client. Simply go to the "command shell" and type "irc". This is the most efficient method for many people, and has the advantage that it can be done from any computer with a telnet client. You can install an IRC client on your personal computer. There are MANY clients, but for useability we recommend the latest release of mIRC for Microsoft Windows (mIRC comes with both a 16bit and 32bit version). For Macintosh users we recommend downloading the IRCle client.
Can my IRC behavior get me in trouble?
As with any other social activity, there are certain rules everyone is expected to follow. Beyond what is explicitly stated in HiWAAY's Acceptable Use Policy, there are a few things that can get you in hot water (and possibly removed from our system entirely) ... to avoid any hassles:
  • Do not run any Bots if you are using home.HiWAAY.net for your IRC client.
  • Do not run any Bot (even from your own computer) or script that can damage the IRC network or cause problems for other IRC users. Running "Clone" Bots is especially bad. HiWAAY WILL revoke your account if you are discovered to be running Bots on a server that does not allow them.
  • Observe and comply to the rules set down by the individual server you are connected to.
  • Never harass any IRC user.
What is a "Bot"?
A bot is a program that will run by itself. Some bots such as HelpBots or FileBots serve a useful purpose. Many other bots/scripts are written by individuals whose only purpose is to cause trouble for other users or IRC itself. Most public servers will not allow Bots. Even if your server allows bots we do not allow bots to be run on Fly.HiWAAY.net (though you may or may not be able to run one from your PC). The most common (and one of the worst) bots are "Clone" bots. These bots make it nearly impossible to kick a user off of a channel/server and can cause massive disruption to the entire IRC network if allowed to go unchecked. There are NO servers that allow clone bots, and if you are shown to have been using one (even from your -own- computer) your HiWAAY account may be revoked.
Why am I banned from server ?
Often the ban is because another user was caught running a Bot. Since HiWAAY uses "dynamic IP" your address changes every time you dial in. In many cases the people who run the IRC server (called "Ops") will ban the entire set of IP addresses so that the offending user can't use a different address to get back in. If your address is banned you have 2 options: Find another server Use the client provided on fly.HiWAAY.net In some cases, irc server networks now co-operate and a ban from one server will rapidly propagate to all servers on that network. If you try many different servers and find they are even banned from home.HiWAAY.net then please send an email to support@hiwaay.net.
What is identd?
"Identd" is a special program that allows IRC Ops to track down malicious users and ban just that user. In general only Unix machines can run "identd" (which is why Fly is usually not banned even when all the dial-up IP addresses are), however some clients like mIRC now contain the identd protocol.


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