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You don't even know what it does and what it is about? You only heard that it exists and want to try it out? Well then this document will give you the answers you need. Click on "read more" to read the whole article.

 

Table of contents:

1. What is IRC?
2. The IRC Client mIRC
3. Nickserv and registered nicks
4. Finding a channel
5. What you should know about channels
6. Basic commands
7. What is SSL

1. What is IRC?

The Internet Relay Chat (short IRC) is one of the most popular and interactive chat services on the internet. If you think this website is the "IRC" then you are mistaken. This site is just an online portal for our visitors to view news we provide and to share information, which can't be shared in the fast living world of IRC. Usually the IRC service consists of several servers, which are linked to a network. Everyone in the world can connect to one of the servers and chat with other users who are connected to the same network. If you want to use our IRC service you need a IRC client. There are many different like: mIRC X-Chat Zirc irssi HydraIRC BitchX and many more.

2. The IRC Client mIRC

The most popular IRC Client used by Windows users is "mIRC". And for that reason this HowTo will explain what you have to do if you want to connect to IRCHighWay using the mIRC Client. First of all: "Where do I get mIRCThis is easy. Visit http://www.mirc.com and download it from the download section there. The link to the download section is: http://www.mirc.com/get.html The download and the use of mIRC is free for the first 30 days. Then a startup screen appears to remind you to register it. But you will still be able to use it. Install and run it. On startup you should see a dialog called mIRC Options after a short startup screen, which appears only on the unregistered version. If this dialog doesn't pop up or you accidentally closed it then you can (re)open it by pressing the keys ATL + O or clicking on View-> Options Highlight the very first category Connect like you see in the link below: Nick settings The fields have the following meaning:

  • Full Name: Don't use your real name here. Add something fake there but don't just smash your keyboard and add a bunch of random letters. There are no restrictions so you can use any chars (including spaces).
  • Email Address: As in the full name don't add your real email address here - use your imagination. There are restrictions on what you can use on this field. You can use "a-z A-Z 0-9 - _ .". You can use other chars there since mIRC will allow this but you won't be able to connect to IRCHighWay.
  • Nickname: Well this is kind of self explaining. Your nickname should not be longer than 30 chars and may contain the following characters: "a-z A-Z 0-9 _ - [ ] ` { } | ^ \"
  • Alternative: If the Nickname you choose is used by someone else mIRC will try to log on using the alternative nickname you specify here.
  • After this you need to specify the network you want to connect. Click on the category ServersServer settings Do the following settings there:

    • IRC Network: IRCHighway
    • IRC Server: IRCHighway: Random server
      The next part is optional. Select the category IdentdIdentd settings The Ident needs a closer explanation. You don't actually need to enable this feature but in some cases it is better if you have enabled it. When you connect the IRC Server sends a ident request on port 113. If you have enabled the Identd server and this port isn't blocked by any firewall or router then your mIRC will reply to that request. On some few IP ranges you might need, due heavy to spamming, a working Ident. Do the following settings:

      • check Enable Identd server
      • check Show Identd requests
      • check only when connecting
      • check Use ID from email address

  • User ID: This will be ignored if you have checked Use ID from email address so you don't need to set anything here. Leave System and Port untouched. The other categories should be ok for now and the settings there should fit your needs. Close the mIRC Options by clicking OK. Then let's try to connect by typing /server or /server irc.irchighway.net or just by clicking the connect button located in the top left of the mIRC Window (see picture below). Connect Button After this a lot of text should appear in the Status Window and the mIRC Favorites should pop up (see link). mIRC Favorites You can safely uncheck Pop up favorites on connect and close this window by clicking OK. If that worked you are connected to IRCHighWay. Before I proceed in navigating on IRC we should have a look at Nickserv.

3. Nickserv and registered nicks

You may see some notices from Nickserv that the nick you use is already taken by someone else. The notice looks like this: Nickserv notice Well in this case you need to choose another nickname. You can do this easily by typing

/nick nick_of_your_choice

       e.g. 

/nick john_doe

    .

Nickserv will keep telling you this notice until you found a nick, which is not registered by someone else. If you want to use the same nick every time when you connect you may register it. The service called Nickserv handles the nicks of all registered users of the Network. The nick registration is free and you just need an email to confirm that you are a real person. To register the nick you currently use type

/nickserv register password email

       e.g. 

/nickserv register supersecret This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: Your email address will be kept confidential. We will never send you spam mails or mails were we request private data (like passwords, banking accounts, etc). After this you will see a notice from nickserv telling you this:

- NickServ - A passcode has been sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., please type /msg NickServ confirm <passcode> to complete registration

Check your email account for new mails. Some email providers like hotmail may drop our mail sent by our services into your spamfolder. Open the mail and you will find a text like this:

Hi, You have requested to register the following nickname some_nickname. Please type " /msg NickServ confirm JpayrtZSx " to complete registration. If you don't know why this mail is sent to you, please ignore it silently. PLEASE DON'T ANSWER TO THIS MAIL! irchighway.net administrators.

Just copy and paste the part /msg NickServ confirm JpayrtZSx into your status window of you mIRC. Then press the enter key. A text like:

- *NickServ* confirm JpayrtZSx - 
- NickServ - Nickname some_nickname registered under your account: *q@*.1413884c.some.isp.net -
- NickServ - Your password is supersecret - remember this for later use.
- * some_nickname sets mode: +r

should appear after this. This means you finished your registration and the nick can only be used by you or you can force someone else if he/she uses your nick to give it back to you. If you disconnect then you need to tell nickserv that the nick is yours. you can do that by:

/nickserv identify password e.g. /nickserv identify supersecret

if the password is correct it should look like this:

* some_nickname sets mode: +r - 
- NickServ - Password accepted - you are now recognized.

In mIRC you can do the identification process automatically so you don't have to care about this anymore. Open the mIRC Options by pressing he key combination Alt + O then select the category Options and click on Perform you will see this dialog: Perform window

Check Enable perform on connect and add: if ($network == irchighway) { /nickserv identify password } in the edit box called Perform commands Close the options by clicking OK. Now your mIRC will automatically identify you every time you connect to IRCHighway.

4. Fining a channel

Well now you have your nick registered and have identified for your nick but you don't see much of the actual IRC because you are in no channel right now. Channels are the rooms of a IRC network. Imagine if there are 15000 people connected and everyone see the text of each other.

Well now the question may come up: How do I find a room? You can list the names of all rooms by typing /list. After you send this command a Window should pop up showing you the following information: for example: #help 55 :: IRCHighWay Helpdesk :: This is an IRC related ONLY help channel :: where:

  • #help: the name of the channel
  • 55: the actual number of visitors of that channel
  • :: IRCHighWay Helpdesk :: This is an IRC related ONLY help channel :: the topic of the channel where you can get a short information of what the channel is about. If you do just /list then a very long list will be shown and it would be a pain to find the channel you are searching for. Therefore you can search for a specific pattern in the channel name. For example if you look for a help channel type /list help. After this all channels with "help" in the name will pop up. You can join a channel by double-clicking on it's name or by typing: /join #channel-name e.g. /join #help.

5. What you should know about channels

Lets use the example with the channel #help. Type /join #help. A window pops up and you joined our official network help channel. The channel window looks like this: Channel window After you joined a channel you should always read the topic which you can find in the 2nd line after you joined a channel and maybe welcome notices like the one you see in our example sent by the nick "IRCHighWay" (the brown text). Topic and welcome notices usually give you information about the rules of the channel. On most channels you might be banned if you violate a rule which is shown in the topic. The nicknames you see at the left side of the channel window are the users which are currently in the channel. You might have noticed that some of them have tags like !, @, % or + in front of their nicks. This is the status of the nick in the Channel.

  • ! = channel admin
  • @ = channel operator
  • % = channel halfoperator
  • + = voice

The difference between these tags is the access the people have on the channel. But you can say for sure that all people with !, @ and % are somehow responsible for the channel.

6. Basic commands

I think the question of how to send some text to the channel is not relevant. You might have figured that out yourself by now. But there are several ways to send some text to another person besides the chat in the channel where other people can see what you type. These are called notices and private messages. As the name already says - these forms of messages can only read the person you sent it to. To send a notice do

/notice nick text

If you want to chat with someone in private then the "private message" would be the better choice. Just double click on a nick you want to chat with and a private message window will pop up. There you can chat with that person in private. However, if you don't have a nick to click on this will be a bit complicated so there exists a command for that. To open a private message window (short query) just type

/query nick

You might notice that if you double click into the query some weird information pop up in your status window like:

  1. Borg is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. * Borg
  2. Borg has identified for this nick
  3. Borg on #idlerpg @#vhost @#script !@#middle-earth !@#irchighway !@#help !@#abuse
  4. Borg using irc.irchighway.net The IRCHighWay Network
  5. Borg is using a secure connection (SSL)
  6. Borg is a Network Administrator
  7. Borg is a Services Administrator
  8. Borg is available for help

Well this is called a /whois. A /whois nick shows you more or less useful information about a nick. There you can see:

  1. the hostmask of someone
  2. if the nick has identified for a registered nickname
  3. in what channels the nick joined
  4. what server the nick uses
  5. if the nick uses an encrypted connection.
  6. The last 3 lines have only people who are running the Network (IRCops). If you use our example of the #help channel then all admins / operators / halfoperators are IRCops. Well I think these commands are all you need for now but if you have questions about some specific things you can always ask patiently in #help.

List of basic commands:

/list: list all non secret channels which are currently in use
/list pattern: list all non secret channels which match the pattern
/join #channel: join #channel
/part #channel: leave #channel
/notice nick text: send a notice to a nick
/msg nick text: send a private message to a nick
/query nick: opens a private message window for the nick Actually one question might be already there and because this comes up relatively often.

7. What is SSL?

If you connect to IRCHighway like it's described above then the link to the server is a plain text connection. This means the data connection isn't secure and everyone who may be sniffing on your connection to the server may be able to read what you write. Therefore we provide a secure connection to our IRC Network. You can read how to set up SSL on your mIRC here

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