[NOTE: This IRC FAQ has been modified to be particularly useful for #DeepPurple participants.)

Internet Relay Chat FAQ

What is IRC?

     IRC stands for "Internet Relay Chat". It was originally written by Jarkko Oikarinen (jto@tolsun.oulu.fi) in 1988. Since starting in Finland, it has been used in over 60 countries around the world. It was designed as a replacement for the "talk" program but has become much much more than that. IRC is a multi-user chat system, where people convene on "channels" (a virtual place, usually with a topic of conversation) to talk in groups, or privately.

     IRC gained international fame during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, where updates from around the world came accross the wire, and most irc users who were online at the time gathered on a single channel to hear these reports. IRC had similar uses during the coup against Boris Yeltsin in September 1993, where IRC users from Moscow were giving live reports about the unstable situation there.

Is IRC the same as the AOL chats?

     No. The IRC network is open 24/7/365 while the AOL chat (as far as I know) is only open on certain times. But for people who want to be sure there are people on the Deep Purple channel we try to get together on sunday evenings/afternoons at 7PM GMT (8PM CET, 2PM ET, 11AM PT). But usually there's somone on the channel on most days so feel free to drop in anytime you want.

I don't want IRC, I want AOL!

     OK, here's how you get into the AOL DP Chat (thanks to Dana AKA ZosoBabe for the info):

It starts around 10PM eastern, 7PM pacific time and lasts a few hours or so.
It is in the chat room area, or "People Connection" area. Go to the chat area and click on the "List Chats" button. Then, click on the "Private Room" button. Type in the words Deep Purple (upper or lower case...it doesn't matter) and there you are.
Any and all topics are discussed, even some DP-related ones. Come on by, the regulars are a friendly bunch of lunatics. See ya there.

How is IRC set up?

     The user runs a "client" program which connects to the irc network via another program called a "server". Servers exist to pass messages from user to user over the irc network.

How do I use a client?

     IRC clients can be quite different from one system to another. Download a client for your system below and have a look at the help/README files provided with the clients. Some of the basic commands that are common for all clients such as the commands to join and leave a channel is described below.

Where can I get an irc client?

Here. Just click on the links below.

For UNIX clients go to Yahoo.

     You can also use anonymous ftp to any of the following sites closer to you if you think they might be faster than this server: (If you don't know what anonymous ftp is, ask your local systems people to show you)

Microsoft Windows

cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/pc/windows ftp.demon.co.uk /pub/ibmpc/win3/winsock/apps/wsirc (for WSIRC) ftp.demon.co.uk /pub/ibmpc/win3/winsock/apps/mirc (for MIRC)


cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/pc/msdos ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/msdos


cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/macintosh mirrors.aol.com /info-mac/comm (info-mac mirror)/A> ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/mac ftp.ira.uka.de /pub/systems/mac


cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/pc/os2

UNIX client

cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients ftp.acsu.buffalo.edu /pub/irc ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc coombs.anu.edu.au /pub/irc ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/comp/networking/irc/clients

EMACS elisp

cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/elisp ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/Emacs ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/comp/networking/irc/clients cs.hut.fi /pub/irchat

X11 client

catless.ncl.ac.uk /pub ftp.aud.alcatel.com /tcl/code

VMS client

cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/vms coombs.anu.edu.au /pub/irc/vms ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/vms ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/net/irc

REXX client for VM

cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/rxirc ftp.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de /pub/irc/rxirc ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/net/irc/VM coombs.anu.edu.au /pub/irc/rxirc ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/rxirc

If you don't like to use FTP you can go to www.download.com and do a search for irc client (PC) or just irc (Mac).

Which server do I connect my client to?

     It's usually best to try and connect to one geographically close, even though that may not be the best. You can always ask when you get on irc. You need to connect to a server connected to the IRCNet to join the regulars on #DeepPurple. Here's a list of servers avaliable for connection:

     This is, by no means, a comprehensive list, but merely a start. Connect to one of these servers and join the channel #DeepPurple
For more servers check out this list or this list.

What is the port to use to connect to IRC?

     In general, the port to use is 6667. Some servers listen to other ports (most commonly in the 6660-6670 range), but *not* all. When in doubt, use 6667.

Can I connect to the IRC from AOL?

     Some AOL'ers has been able to join us via an AOL account. Keep asking the AOL support about this and if you find out something mail me the details and I'll include it in this FAQ. If you are using a PC all you need to do is download the windows client (available above) and use the server ircnet.irc.aol.com.

OK, I've got a client and I'm connected to a server? Now what?

     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 /help will get you help information. /names will get you a list of names, etc.

     The output is typically something like this-> (Note there are more channels than this, this is just sample output).

#DeepPurple @_Dave @swepett @DPLizz @tord @CtC Ritchie
#hack       zorgo eiji Patrick fup htoaster 
#Nippon     @jircc @miyu_d 
#nicole     MountainD 

(Note there are LOTS more channels than this, this is just sample output -- one way to stop /names from being too large is doing /names -min 20 which will only list channels with 20 or more people on it, but you can only do this with the ircII client).

     "DeepPurple" is the channel name. "#" is the prefix. A "@" before someone's nickname indicates he/she is the "Channel operator" (more info here) of that channel. A Channel Operator is someone who has control over a specific channel. It can be shared or not as the first Channel Operator sees fit. The first person to join the channel automatically receives Channel Operator status, and can share it with anyone he/she chooses (or not). Another thing you might see is "Prv" which means private. You will only see this if you are on that private channel. No one can see Private channels except those who are on that particular private channel.

Now I've picked out a nice channel. How do I join that channel?

     And what do I type once I get there? And when I'm done, how do I leave a channel?

     To join a channel, type /join #channelname. That's it! Once you get to the channel, you will see people talking. It will probably look like this:

<_Dave> Whazzup?
<swepett> Huh?
<DPLizz> LOL
<Tord> Kffy!
<_CtC> I have to go to a meeting. I'll BBL
<Ritchie> What's new?

     Note that you will often come in 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. Often the channel name (for instance, #DeepPurple) has nothing to do with what conversation goes on on the channel at that particular moment. On #DeepPurple we are a bunch of people who all like Deep Purple but that doesn't mean we don't discuss other things. Like beer. Or computers. Most likely lutefisk. Or something completely different...

     To start talking, just type. And when you're done saying what you have to say, just hit the [return] key. You can start with something simple like "hello!". You don't have to type hello! because IRC will insert before all of your channel messages.

     When you choose to leave a channel, just type /part #channelname

What is a channel operator? What is an irc operator?

     A channel operator is someone with a "@" by their nickname in a /names list, or a "@" by the channel name in /whois output. Channel operators are kings/queens of their channel. This means they can kick you out of their channel for no reason. If you don't like this, you can start your own channel and become a channel operator there. The operators on #DeepPurple are generally quite nice though so don't be scared away by this! It can be good to have in mind if you decide to join another channel though.

     An IRC operator is someone who maintains the IRC network. They cannot fix channel problems. They cannot kick someone out of a channel for you. They cannot /kill (kick someone out of IRC temporarily) someone just because you gave the offender channel operator privileges and said offender kicked *you* off.

What is a "bot"? How can I get one?

     "bot" is short for "robot". It is a script run from an ircII client or a seperate program (in perl, C, and sometimes more obscure languages). StarOwl@uiuc.edu (Michael Adams) defined bots very well: "A bot is a vile creation of /lusers to make up for lack of penis length". IRC bots are generally not needed. See below about "ownership" of nicknames and channels. A bot generally tries to "protect" a channel (it should be noted that all bots will fail at some point, so relying on them to keep a channel is not a good idea) from takeovers. We are currently not using any bots on #DeepPurple.

     It should be noted that many servers ban ALL bots. Some ban bots so much that if you run a bot on their server, you will be banned from using that server (see segment below on K: lines).

Someone is using my nickname, can anyone do anything about it? Someone is using my channel, can anyone do anything about it?

     Even while NickServ registered nicknames, there are not enough nicknames to have nickname ownership. If someone takes your nickname while you are not on irc, you can ask for them to give it back, but you can not demand it, nor will irc operators /kill for nickname ownership.

There aren't any channel operators on my channel, now what?

     Channel operators are the owner(s) of their respective channels. Keep this in mind when giving out channel operator powers (make sure to give them to enough people so that all of the channel operators don't unexpectedly leave and the channel is stuck without a channel operator).

     On the other hand, do not give out channel operator to *everyone*. This causes the possibility of mass-kicking, where the channel would be stuck without any channel operators.

     You have one option. You can ask everyone to leave and rejoin the channel. This is a good way to get channel operator back.

What was NickServ? Is NickServ ever coming back?

     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.

What does "*** Ghosts are not allowed on IRC." mean? What does "*** You are not welcome on this server." mean?

     On IRC, you cannot be banned from every single server. Server-banning exists only on a per-server basis (being banned on one server does not mean you are automatically banned from another). "Ghosts are not allowed on IRC" means that you are banned from using that server. The banning is in one of three forms:

     The most general answer is "use another server", but if it bothers you, try writing to the irc administrator of that site --> /admin server.name.here -- plead your case. It might even get somewhere!

What is a netsplit?

What does it mean when I see: ***Signoff NickName (*.bu.edu eff.org)? Why does NickName keep signing off?

     Netsplits are (unfortunately) a routine part of IRC life. What the above message means that NickName, who you were on a channel with, was on a different server from you. This server split off from the part of the net you were on.

     Note that netsplits are all from a point of view of the user. After a netsplit rejoins people might say to you "where did you go?" -- because from their perspective, *you* split off.

     The only thing you can do during a netsplit is wait for the net to mend itself. Changing your server during a netsplit is a Bad Idea, because you are likely to get nickname collided. By changing servers, you may also be contributing to the lag.

     As long as you don't quit your client, any DCC chat or send will still work, even during a netsplit (unless the netsplit is because of a specific rare hardware problem).

Where can I find GIF archives of #DeepPurple people?

     Some of the regulars on #DeepPurple can be found in the "fans" section of the image archive.

Where can I get the original copy of this FAQ?

     This FAQ is available from several sources:

  • cs-ftp.bu.edu:/irc/support/alt-irc-faq
  • ftp.kei.com:/pub/irc/alt-irc-faq
  • You can also look at this FAQ on the web, at: http://www.kei.com/irc.html or http://www.deep-purple.com/rosas/faq/irc-faq.htm.

    What do I do if I'm still confused or have additions to this posting?

         Email me, Svante, and I'll try to help you.