Online chat information

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("I seek you")

ICQ is software that alerts you in real time when friends and colleagues sign on to the Internet. You can chat, send messages and files, or even play games using ICQ.

For more information or to download the ICQ software, go to the web site of Mirabilis Ltd.

Another chat/messaging software-server combination

AOL Instant Messenger

The old Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Info available on the Web
The IRC Help Site Run by EFnet folks
An old IRC primer Ancient (1993) but helpful
Dalnet Web site Lists Dalnet servers by location
Ensor's IRC Extravaganza!
Ensor's General Information links

Bare-bones Basics
by Barb Laufersweiler, spring 1997

What you need to get started depends on your situation.

Do you have software for "chatting" on IRC?
If not, then for Windows machines I would suggest getting Visual IRC or the text-based mIRC, two highly rated shareware programs available over the Web. Try Stroud's Windows applications site or the mIRC home page. I've heard that the Mac software to get is pIRCh.

Does your software have some servers already listed?
Make sure you use a Dalnet server for #dec95; the Undernet and EFnet are separate IRC worlds, and there are others as well. You'll find a current, complete list of Dalnet servers at

If you have software for using IRC, and successfully connect to a Dalnet server with it, just try typing /join #dec95 to enter a "channel" or "room" called #dec95. Or my other favorite, #stitch, where folks who like do needlework hang out.

Once you're in a channel, anything you type without a / at the beginning will appear to everyone else on the channel as soon as you press return. That's how the chatting happens. For instance, if I type: hi everyone! it will appear as: [sunSmilla] hi everyone!

These are the ultimate bare-bones basics, but you don't need much to get on and start chatting. Here's one more tip.

Refused by a server? One thing you might try is connecting to a different port at the servers. I'm told that connecting on a port other than the standard 6667 (ie, use 6660-6666, 6668, or 6669 instead) will usually provide a faster connection and may let you in when 6667 gives the message "no more connections." My software (VisualIRC, and, once, mIRC) lets you edit the servers in its list, and that's where you can tell it to try a different port. The default is 6667, which naturally is the busiest.

Fun kid stuff  |  Web resources  |  Mailing lists  |  [Online chat info]  |  Members-only page  |  Dec95 main page

This page created August 1997
Last updated 29 May 2000

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Copyright 1997 - 2001 by Barbara K. Laufersweiler