Meeting Krishna on IRC
The Channel#KrishnaChat (formerly #Along_the_edge) is a channel on the Undernet serving as a meeting place for devotees world wide and whoever else has an interest for Krishna consciousness, ancient Indian culture, philosophy, Vedic scriptures, reincarnation, etc.
We try to maintain a friendly atmosphere with plenty of opportunity for questions, discussions and chilling out. Please keep in mind though that the framework of the channel is Krishna consciousness. We respect all other convictions and even if you do not follow or believe in Krishna you are still welcome to lurk around. ;-)
We don't mind discussing controversial matters as long as the matter and poser are reasonable. Pointless criticism, fanaticism and blasphemy are not appreciated and will result in a ban.
Internet Relay ChatThe following section is an introduction to IRC (Internet Relay Chat) based on the excellent IRC FAQ compilation for MS Windows users by Tjerk Vonck, who maintains the official mIRC homepage.
In this introduction it is assumed you have an Internet Provider and some experience with using WinSock programs. This intro file focuses on IRC itself. It will not go into details about installing or configuring the programs you need to use IRC, but if you ever managed to install and use programs like WS-FTP, Netscape, Eudora, WS-Archie, Mosaic, WinVN, FreeAgent or similar programs, you will not have any trouble understanding how to install and use an IRC program (client). Most IRC programs, especially the popular and better ones, are distributed with excellent help files on setup and installation.
>>>> AOL users! <<<< Before you get into IRC, read this AOL help text.
IRC stands for "Internet Relay Chat." It was originally written by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988. Since starting in Finland, it has been used in over 60 countries around the world. IRC is a multi-user chat system, where people meet on "channels" (rooms, virtual places, usually with a certain topic of conversation) to talk in groups, or privately. There is no restriction to the number of people that can participate in a given discussion, or the number of channels that can be formed on IRC.
As a user you run a "client" program which connects to a "server" in an IRC network. All servers are inter-connected and pass messages from user to user over the IRC network. One server can be connected to several other servers and up to hundreds of clients. Several larger and smaller IRC networks exist.
The largest one, called EFnet (Eris Free net), usually serves over 25,000 users at any given moment. User harassment and 'bots' are not allowed. However, due to it's size and setup EFnet does suffers from occasional Opwars, politics and a lot of lag and netsplits. Still it remains one of the most popular networks.
Undernet, with an avarage of 20,000 users, is the second largest network. It has grown explosively over the years. There are no internal politics. The IRCOps all know each other and work closely together to provide a stable and friendly network. 'Bots' are accepted by some servers and a channel service is available.
Smaller networks, like DALnet and IRCnet, with an avarage of 15,000 users, offer services and stability similar to Undernet.
An IRC client reads in the commands and text that you supply to it, and parses them. It filters them and performs the appropriate actions, and if necessary, passes them on to your IRC server. An IRC server can serve many other clients. The server holds information about the channels and people on IRC, as well as other pieces of information, and is also responsible for routing your messages to other users. The IRC network itself consists of multiple servers which are all connect to each other.
First, you have to make sure an IRC client is installed on your system. If you do not have one you should ask your local system admin to install a client on your PC or local area network. If you have a stand-alone PC with internet access you have to obtain and install a client yourself. (don't worry, its easy!)
Popular IRC clients (in no particular order) are: WS-IRC, mIRC, VIRC, ChatMan and Pirch. You can get an IRC client by anonymous FTP from several sites (use the one closest to you). If you are not familiar with anonymous FTP, ask your network provider for assistance. FTP sites are:
You can also visit the programs' World Wide Web pages to download the clients. This has the advantage of up to date information on the client and you always have the latest version to date:
All major FTP sites have some
Besides running MS-Windows you need to have a properly installed WinSock. If you can use FTP, E-mail, News or other Internet programs from within Windows already, you can safely assume you have a WinSock installed and it is working properly. If you do not have a properly working WinSock installed on your PC you should install one first. Information on WinSocks can be found in The Winsock FAQ by Michael Jason Mezaros.
Most programs on the internet are transported in a compressed form. The
better programs come in self extracting
The first time you run your IRC client program you have to fill in some
information about yourself, such as your Internet address and the IRC
server with which you want to connect. Your client may also have a
section for you to specify the port, password, real name, email
address, nickname(s), IP address and local host name. These options are
usually found under
It's usually best to try and connect to a geographically close server, even though that may not always be the best. Local (nearby) servers will normally work faster for you and will give you unrestricted access. You can always ask for suggestions on nearby server addresses when you log on to IRC.
In general, the port number to use is 6667. Some, but not all, servers listen to other ports (most commonly in the 6665-6670 range). When in doubt, select port 6667 (Dalnet usually uses port 7000). A port number should be seen as an entrance to a server. If you take the wrong entrance (port) the server will not understand what you are doing, and will disconnect you.
Normally you do not need a password to use an IRC server. Most servers allow anonymous access. If you do not have a password for an IRC server then leave the password entry field blank. If you are prompted for a login or password and you don't know what to type, try to connect to another server.
No, you do not have to give your real name. However, simply filling in nonsense will not make you anonymous. IRC is not intended to keep you hidden from your friends or enemies. Keep this in mind if you are tempted to behave maliciously. A fake "real name" can be a good way to mask your gender from all the nerds out here ;o) but the PC you use can always be traced, so you will never be truly anonymous.
Assuming you have an E-mail account somewhere and want to be reachable in that way you can put it there. In case you do not have an E-mail address, or do not want to be mailed, you can just fill in your name or anything else. Some IRC clients may require an actual E-mail address to be entered, though.
On IRC you are known to others by a nickname. You are free to choose any nickname you like, up to 9 characters long. Do not use spaces and avoid unusual ASCII characters in your nickname. It is also very common to find people that use the same nickname and you may be asked or choose to switch nicknames to avoid confusion.
In the past on EFnet, NickServ registered nicknames. On smaller
networks some nickname registration still exists (see below). It is
important to understand that there are not always enough nicknames to
have nickname ownership. If someone takes your nickname while you are
not on IRC, you can ask them to give it back. You cannot demand
it, nor will IRC operators
On EFnet NickServ was a nickname registration service run in Germany. It was a bot that told people who used a registered nickname to stop using that nickname. NickServ has been down since the Spring of 1994. It is not likely that NickServ will be back. Remember, nicknames aren't owned on most IRC networks. On the Dalnet IRC network a NickServ is still active. Dalnet's NickServ allows users to register and effectively "own" nicks. This version of the services is considerably more potent than it's EFnet predecessor since it has the capability of killing anyone who claims a nick registered by someone else. Therefore, it is not wise to simply ignore this one.
Your IP Address is the address your PC uses on the Internet. It is usually a set of 4 numbers or its equivalent IP Name. Some providers offer you a unique IP Address (static IP) or they assign a different one every time you connect (dynamic IP) to them. With dynamic IP addresses you have to make sure your client automatically looks up your current IP Address and your local host name each time you connect to IRC.
The local host name is the name you or your provider assigned to your PC. It can be a single word or a name equivalent to your IP Address.
First of all, always try some other IRC servers when you are unable to
access your favorite one. The server, its machine or the route to the
server may just be down or broken. When using a new server name you
should make sure a server with the specified name actually exists. The
server name you specified could be wrong. If the server exists, you can
then try the numeric address of the server rather than its symbolic one
(e.g. 18.104.22.168 for
A "Not enough user parameters" error will occur if you try to connect to a server but you did not have the local host name filled in, or had it filled in incorrectly. Check your entry in your client's setup menu. Also check if you supplied your client with a valid E-mail address.
This is a server message to you, it has nothing to do with registering
or paying for your IRC client. If you receive this message or if you
get disconnected very quickly, your local host name or IP address may
be wrong, or not filled in at all. Look in your client's setup dialog
and check if the local host is correct and if the IP address is filled
in correctly. An easy way to solve an incorrect IP address is to set
"Ghosts are not allowed on IRC" means that you are banned from using that server. You cannot be completely banned from IRC. Banning exists only on a per-server basis (being banned on one server does not mean you are automatically banned from another). When you're banned you can not use a server. Alternatively IRC servers can accept you under restricted access only. Banning is in one of three forms:
Some servers restrict access to local users and might therefore close or not even accept a connection from you. Bad behavior by you or your friends, customers from your provider or an entire country may also be restricted from using certain servers. In each case, an attempt to connect will result in a response similar to the following:
*** Attempting to connect (irc.network.net) Local host: cheops (22.214.171.124) Catch22 You are banned from this server Closing Link: Catch22[student.uni.nl] (K-lined) *** Disconnected
Getting disconnected with the "No authorization" message occurs due to a similar reason. The server does not give your site access. A server administrator can choose which sites can connect to his server via "I-lines" (called invitation lines). Many servers only I-line local sites so you should try to use a server close to you.
Yup, that is very well possible... At the moment I only know of
mIRC as being a Windows based IRC client that is
Servers can give you restricted access (usermode +r) if you're far away from them or if you or somebody from your site messed up. When you have restricted access you can not be channel operator, you can not do mode changes and you can not change nickname but you can chat normally! Read more on the servers info page. The only way to get unrestricted IRC access is to find another (more nearby) IRC server. Being restricted has nothing to do with what IRC client you use or with paying (or not yet) for shareware IRC clients like mIRC and Pirch.
It's probably best to take a look around and see what you want to do
first. All IRC commands start with a "/", and most are one word. Typing
#hack 21 We are your worst nightmare! #Nippon 53 Speak Japanese here please? #nicole 3 #hottub 76 Come in for a friendly chat. #mIRC 27 mIRC Homepage http://sunsite.nijenrode.nl/ftp/pub/mirc/ #IRChelp 17 Ask all your IRC questions here.
There are sometimes thousands of channels, this is just a small example. In this example 'hack' is a channel name and '#' is the prefix. Following the channel name you will see the number of people on it as well as its topic. All channel names start with a '#' or '&'. In the same way there are thousands of nick names. Listing all channels or nick names may take a long time and even cause you to be disconnected (see below).
A channel is a 'place' on IRC where group conversations occur. People can join the same channel and see each other. Depending on its topic and time of the day a channel can be very crowded or pretty dead. Channels can also be quite chaotic or calm. Channels can be open to everyone or closed and private, or even secret. On the large IRC networks (EFnet) as many as 2000 channels can exist, on smaller networks (corporate or even one-node-nets) there will be fewer channels. Channels on IRC are dynamic in the sense that anyone can create a new channel, and a channel disappears when the last person on it leaves. Once connected to an IRC server, type /list to see all existing channels. All channel names start with a '#' or a '&'. The '#' channels are globally available while the '&' channels are restricted to users on your local IRC server. For this moment you can forget about the '&' channels. If people speak of 'the IRC' they refer to the use of the globally available channels with names starting with a '#'. Whenever you want to refer to a channel's name, it should be prefixed with a '#' or '&'. You also need to use the name, including the '#' or '&', to join a channel, to leave it, to set its parameters, etc.
To join a channel, type
*** Now talking in #teenchat <Meniscus> GHAAAA!!! I just spilled hot coffee over my wi... *** Joins: XaViOs (email@example.com) <Tall_Bear> Anyone going to see Die Hard tonight?? * Meniscus is yodeling. <JaMzka> Have a Good Day :-) Think Spring... <LaZYSMuRF> girlz plz message me! :))) *** Quits: ovErDue (Leaving) *** Parts: Fuj (firstname.lastname@example.org) <Barron> backhaul those DS3s to Virginia ;) <Barron> buy a farm *** Joins: Xpresso (Xpresso@126.96.36.199) <FlashPYR> so is .us going to start charging $50/domain, too? <Barron> or something <Tolim> Tall - I'll be going! Wanna see that stuff!
Note that you will often come somewhere in the middle of a
conversation. Unless you're familiar with the channel you may want to
sit and watch it for a minute or two to see what the conversation is
about. This is called lurking. Often the channel name (for instance,
#Twilight_Zone) has nothing to do with what
conversation goes on on the channel
(#Twilight_Zone does not have to deal
with discussions on the TV show "Twilight Zone"). So if you join #baseball, don't be surprised if you hear about
the Super Bowl picks or even the Rock'n'roll Hall of Fame Museum. To
start talking, just type. And when you're done saying what you have to
say, just hit the [return] key. You could start with something simple
With most windows IRC clients an extensive help file is included. Don't
hesitate to try the
Important note: All IRC commands start with a "/".
The forward slash is the default command character. Commands on IRC are not case sensitive, and can be abbreviated to their first letters. Anything that does not begin with "/" is assumed to be a message to someone and will be sent to your current channel, or to a person you are chatting with in a private chat (see below).
/LIST [[<flags>] <channel mask>]
/join #windows *** Now talking in #windows
/part #windows *** You have left #windows/QUIT [reason]
Exits your IRC session. (Also
/quit Lunch Time!
/nick Guru *** Newbie is now known as Guru/AWAY [away message]
Sets your status as away with a message explaining that you are not currently paying attention to IRC. Whenever someone sends you a
/away Gone to get a cup of coffee. *** You have been marked as being away /away *** You are no longer marked as being away
/whois Guru *** Guru is email@example.com (Nuclear free) *** on channels: @#Windows @#Windows95 #mIRC *** on via server irc.server.net (The best server) *** Guru is away (making dinner) /whois Newbie *** Newbie: No such nickname
/INVITE <nickname> <#channel>
/invite Friend #windows *** Inviting Friend to #windows
If you receive an
/KICK <#channel> <nickname>
/kick #windows lamer *** lamer has been kicked off channel #windows by Guru
/TOPIC <#channel> <topic for channel>
/topic #windows Lets discuss OS/2 *** Guru has changed topic to "Lets discuss OS/2"
/ME <action description>
/me slaps Newbie around a bit with a large trout. * Guru slaps Newbie around a bit with a large trout.
The same goal can be achieved towards a specific nickname or channel using:
/DESCRIBE <nickname|#channel> <action description>
/MSG <nickname|channel> <text>
/msg Kreet This message can be read by you only. *Kreet* This message can be read by you only.
In Kreet's screen an icon will pop up with the message you typed; "This message can be read by you only."
If you cannot wait for a reply for someone to message you to open a private window you can use the query command to force your client to open a private conversation window.
/QUERY <nickname> [test]
/NOTICE <nickname|#channel> <text>
/notify wug marl *** Added wug to Notify list *** Added marl to Notify list /notify *** wug is on IRC *** resi is on IRC *** marl is not on IRC *** kreet is on IRC
/ignore lamer *** Added lamer to Ignore list /ignore *!*fishy@*.interaccess.com *** Added *!*fishy@*.interaccess.com to Ignore list /ignore *** Ignore is ON *** Ignoring: *.*@*.unicomp.net *!*firstname.lastname@example.org lamer *!*fishy@*.interaccess.com /ignore lamer *** Removed lamer from Ignore list
The most widely understood and spoken language on IRC is English. However, as IRC is used in many different countries, English is by no means the only language. If you want to speak some language other than English, for example with your friends, go to a separate channel and set the topic to indicate that. Similarly, you should check the topic when you join a channel to see if there are any restrictions about language. On a non-restricted channel, please speak a language everybody can understand. If you want to do otherwise, change channels and set the topic accordingly.
It is not necessary to greet everybody on a channel personally. Usually
Channel operators (ChanOps or Ops) are those with a
@ in front of their nickname in a channel's
names list, or a @ before the channel name
A channel is automatically created as soon as the first person joins it. If you join a channel and you find your name as the only one there, you just created that channel. Channels on IRC are dynamic in the sense that anyone can create a new channel, and a channel disappears when the last person leaves it.
To get a list of all available channels with their names and topics,
There are, literally, millions of possible channel names, so if someone
is on your usual channel, just go to another. You can
Another option is to register your channel. Some networks offer such a service, like CService on the Undernet and ChanServe on DALnet. After registration is granted, your channel will be permanent and manned by a special 'bot' (see below) that protects your channel from unauthorized use and abuse. These service 'bots' always gain control, even with channel takeovers.
More information on the Undernet CService can be found at:
More information on the DALnet ChanServe can be found at:
The answer to this question is the current channel operators, and them alone. Given the dynamic nature of channels, channel operators do not need to have a reason to kick you off. They decide what goes on in the channel. Complaining either to IRC operators or to the system administrators about being kicked or banned from a channel is considered extremely childish, and will not result in any action. IRC operators do not meddle with channel politics -- that's the job of channel operators. Proper IRC netiquette is to keep IRC issues within IRC, because system admins have little time to deal with IRC issues and many would rather shut it down than deal with problems arising from it. If you should get banned or kicked from a channel, you are always free to start your own channel and decide what is appropriate content there. Imagine channels as houses. The owner of the house can decide to share ownership with someone else and can decide to prevent any individual from entering his house. In your own house, you have got the bullets. :-) Feel free to create your own channel, and set up your own rules for it.
Channel operators are the owner(s) of their respective channels. Keep this in mind when giving out channel operator powers. Do not give out channel operator status to everyone. This causes the possibility of mass-kicking or other harassment by unknown Ops and the channel be left without any channel operators (except when the channel is registered). However, always make sure to give ops to enough people so that all of the channel operators don't unexpectedly disappear and leave the channel without any operators. If all Ops on your channel have gone there is only one option left. You can ask everyone to leave and then you first rejoin the channel. This is a good way to get channel operator status back. This does not work on large channels or ones with bots, for obvious reasons.
"Bot" is short for "robot". It is normally a script run from a client
or a separate program (in PERL, C, and sometimes more obscure
languages). Bots are normally not needed on IRC. A bot generally tries
to "protect" a channel from take-overs. It is important to know that
many IRC servers (especially in the USA) ban all bots. Some
IRCops ban domains if you run a bot on their server (See the segment on
K-lines). On IRC you will find a lot of people with a love/hate
attitude towards bots. Some bots do good work as file- or info-servers.
Some will even entertain you with funny or brain teasing games. These
bots can be useful and desirable. Contrary to these bots, you will
find lots and lots of bots performing useless 'care keeping' of
channels, harassing and boring people and sometimes created with the
sole purpose to produce garbage. You can imagine that these bots are
disliked by the IRC community. In this context it is good to advise you
to never take bot code,
If you use the
In the setup of your IRC client simply state a fake real name.
Netsplits are (unfortunately) a routine part of IRC life. The above message means that NickName, who was on a channel with you, was on a different server from you and this server split off from the part of the net you are on.
A -------------- B ---- C | | D E
Lets assume a small IRC network where A, B, C, D and E are servers. Let's say that you are on server D, and server A splits from server B. In this case, you will see all users on the servers B, C and E, "sign off". On large IRC networks and crowded channels you will see a huge amount of people 'quiting IRC'. When A and B rejoin, you will see users from B, C and E "rejoin" the channel you were on.
Note that netsplits are all from the point of view of the user. After a netsplit rejoins people might ask where you went -- because from their perspective, you split off. The only thing you can do during a netsplit is wait for the net to merge itself. Changing your server during a netsplit is a Bad Idea, because you are likely to have your nickname collided. A "split" often occurs due to faults in the underlying physical network. It can also occur due to other reasons, such as if the machine on which the IRC server runs crashes, or if it is too overloaded to handle connections as happens on bigger nets, or if an IRC operator willfully disrupts the connection between two servers to achieve better routing (server - server connections).
After a netsplit, a net-join begins and on both halves of the merging network, and people that existed with the same nicknames can be killed. This can happen frequently with popular nicknames. This phenomena is called a Nick Collision. As soon as a Nick Collision is detected (in general) both persons involved will be disconnected (killed) from their IRC servers. Nick Collisions can be caused on purpose by people who just want to harass others or try to take over their channel. In general, this behavior is considered very abusive and can easily lead to a K-line.
After a netsplit, during the net-join process, servers on both sides of the split try to update all kinds of information they may have missed. New users, their nicknames, the channels they are on and most of the channel settings are exchanged. The servers involved in the split will also make sure on both sides of the split on all channels the same channel operators are set. This process is called server-opping. Server-ops show like :
***irc.server.net sets mode: +ooo Nick1 Nick2 Nick3
Server-ops are famous for its use in malicious behavior. People can use net-splits to get operator status on a channel on one side of the split and on the moment of net-join de-op the rightful channel operators. The Undernet has an improved server-server protocol which prevents server-op abuse as well as channel desynchs and intentional nick collides.
An ident server normally is maintained by the Unix machine of your
network provider. It is a kind of nameserver that guarantees your
Identity. Since most standalone windows machines are not correctly
backed up by an ident service, you sometimes have to run your own ident
server. Several windows based ident servers exist but some IRC clients
also have such a server built into their code to help you. Examples are
WS-IRC and mIRC. IRC servers can do perform an Ident
request to your Ident server and then expect a standardized response.
More and more IRC servers require you to be identified in some way, and
they will disconnect you if you are not identified! Also if you don't
react, or do so in the wrong way, they can decide to disconnect you.
You can check if you're properly identified by doing a
Channels can have additional constraints, which can be set by the
/MODE <channel|nickname> [<+|-><modechars> [<parameters>]]
Channels can be moderated, secret, private, with a limited number of users, anonymous, invite-only, topic-limited, with a list of banned users...
/mode <channel> +b <nick|address>
/mode <channel> +i
/mode <channel> +l <number>
/mode <channel> +m
/mode <channel> +n
/mode <channel> +p
/mode <channel> +s
/mode <channel> +t
/mode <channel> +o <nick>
/mode <channel> +v <nick>
/mode <yournick> +r
/mode <yournick> +i
/mode <yournick> +o
/mode <yournick> +s
/mode <yournick> +w
Public is the channel default. Anyone can notice a public channel, see its users and join the conversation. In a list of channels you can see a public channel's topic. When someone is on a public channel, he can be easily found by all other users as long as his personal user mode is not set to invisible (see below).
Invite-only channels can only be joined if you are invited by one of their channel operators.
Private channels turn up normally in the channels list. People
can see you are on a private channel somewhere, but they can never find
out on which private channel you are unless they search all
(private) channels by brute force. With the names command your nickname
will not show up, but it will with the
Secret channels do not show up in a channels list and you cannot find out its topic unless you join it. If you are on a secret channel, someone who is not on the same channel can't see that you are there, regardless what your personal user mode is set to. Your name does not show up in a names list of people on IRC if you are on secret channels only.
Invisible user mode means that other people cannot find you by
searching on IRC unless they know your exact nickname. No (wildcarded)
search on you by the
Restricted user mode means that you do not have the power normal
channel operator have on channels (you cant use
Try to choose a server that is close to you. As a rule of thumb, servers that are close geographically are also close network-wise (which is what matters) but this rule of thumb is not always true. If in doubt ask some people from the same neighborhood what servers they use. The larger the distance to the server the larger the chance it refuses you or gives you only restricted access.
All people in need of a list of servers for EFnet, Undernet and DALnet and more information follow the following URL's:
An up-to-date server list for mIRC can be downloaded from:
This IRC Intro file focuses on situations a typical user on a Windows
based IRC client may face. This restriction eliminates a lot of hassle
the average IRC user on UNIX has to cope with. In this file you will
not find info on the UNIX command
You can also visit some Windows IRC clients World Wide Web pages to get more info :
|© 1997 BBTI, Inc.||Feedback @|