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IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It's a pretty primitive chat program 1). Essentially, an IRC network hosts text-based chat rooms where people can hang out and joke around. The CS Department hosts an IRC server at
irc.cs.nmt.edu:6697, and it's open for anyone to connect to.
#cramer is a channel, and a lot of CS majors/alumni like to chat in the channel
To connect to the IRC, you'll need to install an IRC client. A good client is Hexchat, which has a nice graphical user interface, and is generally easy to use. You can add our network to the network list as
irc.cs.nmt.edu/6697, select “Use SSL” and “Accept invalid SSL certificate”.
You'll also need to set your Real name and your Nick name. Your “Real” name (or User name) will only be displayed when someone inspects you with the
/whois command, and doesn't actually need to be your name. Your Nick is your handle. You need a handle, man. You don't have an identity until you have a handle2)! So try to come up with a nick that shows off what kind of 1337 h4ck3r3) you are!
The IRC protocol responds to certain commands that all start with a
/forwardslash. Many clients have point and click ways to do most things, but many don't. As you start using text based tools more and more, you may find that typing commands can actually be a lot easier than using your mouse. Here are just a few commands to get you started:
/connect irc.example.com [port]Connects your IRC client to the given network; the port is optional, the default is 6667.
/listTo list the channels available on the server
/join #channelAdds you to a given channel, or chat room on the current network, or creates a new channel if it doesn't already exist.
/partExits the current channel
/quitDisconnects you from the server
/msg nickname <message>Sends a private message to the person in the chatroom with the given nick
/me <does a thing>Sends a message to the channel that looks like this:
* username does a thing
For more info, you can google around for a longer list.
The department hosts an IRC Bouncer (ZNC) at https://znc.cs.nmt.edu. An IRC bouncer can keep you logged on to an IRC server even when your computer is off, or your client is closed. You connect to the bouncer in the same way that you would connect to IRC normally, but first you have to set yourself up on the ZNC server.
First, you can login to the department ZNC server with your CS credentials. Click Your Settings in the sidebar to the right. The first thing you'll see is the Authentication form. You can use that form to change your password to anything you want. If you're security conscious, you should be aware that many IRC clients store your network password in plaintext, so you might prefer to use something other than your CS credentials.The Allowed IPs field should normally just be set to
*, unless there's some reason you need to restrict where you're using the bouncer from.
When you're happy with your authentication settings, move to the IRC Information form. Fill out the
Alt. Nickname fields with whatever handle you want to go by in chat. This is the most important step. You don't have an identity until you have a handle. Leave the
StatusPrefix fields as they are. You can fill out the
RealName field to allow people to more easily identify you, and the
QuitMessage field to change the message displayed when you leave the server, but these fields are not strictly necessary.
Now, move to the Networks menu. This is how you actually set up the bouncer to log you in to the IRC servers you would like to connect to. The CS IRC server and freenode should be added here by default. You can add more networks here later. For now, click “Edit” next to the
NMTCS entry. On the next page, scroll down to Channels. This menu allows you to set the channels on the network that you will join automatically. If you need to add a channel to this list, click
Add, and on the next page, fill in the channel name, i.e.,
#ktek, etc. Click
Add channel and return after each.
When all of your auto-join channels have been added, scroll down on the Network page and click “Save and Return” to finish adding the network to your bouncer setup.
Now you must configure your IRC client to connect to ZNC rather than directly to IRC. In your IRC client, add a new server. Set the Connection Name to
NMTCS, the Server Address to
znc.cs.nmt.edu, and set the Port to
6697. Check the box labeled
Connect Using SSL, or something similar. Now, using the username of your CS account and the password you set in the Authentication step (or your CS password, if you didn't bother to change it), set the Server Password to
If you did everything right, you should be able to connect through our ZNC server. It will keep you logged in when you disconnect from the bouncer, automatically mark you as being away, and when you open your client again it will replay messages that you missed.
Welcome to NMT the hacker illuminati!