What is IRC?
IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. Basically, it’s a pretty old chat protocol mainly designed for large group conversations.
Click here for an example of precisely what IRC isn’t.
How do I access IRC?
You can access IRC by downloading and installing an IRC client or accessing a web client such as Rizon’s qchat.
Common IRC clients are mIRC, Xchat, and irssi. The former two require a one-off payment of $20, but the latter is free. However, irssi has no GUI and is not recommended for people new to IRC.
Below is a guide to access the main anime-related IRC network (Rizon) and UWAnime’s channel using Hexchat, a 100% free and legal build of Xchat.
Accessing IRC 101 (Using Hexchat)
Download Hexchat here. Make sure to select the right version depending on your operating system (people using a 32-bit operating system get x86 and 64-bit users should download the x64 version).
Install the version you’ve downloaded. Don’t worry too much about the plugins and so on, just use the default settings. You can always install them separately if you need them later.
Open Hexchat. You will be greeted with a grey screen and a dialog box.
Fill in the Nick name box with the name you want to go by on IRC. It’s not recommended to use your real name, for obvious reasons.
Likewise, fill in the User Name and Real Name boxes. These don’t have to be the same as your nick name, but they can be if you like. They’re not very important for Rizon, but Hexchat won’t let you connect unless they’re filled in so just pick something random.
Scroll down the Networks list until you find Rizon. Click to highlight it and then click Connect.
A lot of text will appear. These are the server rules of Rizon and some useless stuff. It’s recommended that you read this at least once, but they’re all pretty self-explanatory.
On the rare occasion you may find that your chosen nick name is already registered. If that is the case you will get a warning about it when you join. To change your nick name to something else, simply type /nick followed by your new nick name. (eg. /nick UWAnime2)
Now type /join #uwanime to join the UWAnime channel. The /join command can be used to join any channel, as long as you know the channel name. All channel names are preceded with a #.
Now just type into the box and press enter to send your message.
Registering your Nick Name
Registering allows you to permanently reserve your nick name. It also allows you to do a lot of other cool stuff that I won’t talk about in here. Ask me in IRC if you want to know.
To register type /ns register <password> <email>
and replace <email> with a valid email address and <password> with your preferred password.
You will be sent an email with directions on how to confirm your email address.
After you’ve confirmed your email address, click on Xchat on the top menu and go to the Network List. Make sure Rizon is highlighted and click on the Edit button.
Type your password into the Nickserv password box and click Close. Close the Network List box as well.
You are now all set up with a registered nick name.
If you want you can also type #uwanime into the Favourite Channels box as shown in the picture above. This will make Hexchat automatically join the channel when you connect.
Note: Hexchat has nick highlighting turned on by default. This means that if anyone says your name in a channel you will get a notification. This is very useful, so don’t turn it off.
So, that’s a basic guide to accessing IRC. There’s much more you can do that I haven’t mentioned here, but what you see here should be enough to have you connected and talking with us in no time. Feel free to ask me (Enura a.k.a. ryuu_zer0) in the channel or in the clubroom if you want to learn more.
Hope to see you all in the channel!