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Detailed Instructions Page Index
How to use IRC
Dealing with obnoxious users
What are SFF Net Chatrooms?
SFF has one major chat system - SFF Net IRC.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is the standard real-time chatroom system evolved over many years of global usage on the Internet. It is highly scalable and can support many hundreds of thousands of users in simultaneous conversation using global networks of many different servers. Dozens of IRC client software packages are available to make real-time messaging easier-to-use. Any standard IRC client will work with SFF Net's IRC server.
What's a private IRC?
For this reason, SFF Net runs a private IRC server that does not participate in any public IRC network. As a result, the "signal-to-noise" ratio on our server is very high. The IRC server is open to SFF Net Members, Guest and Friends with no restriction.
You'll need an IRC client to access IRC. Download one of our recommended IRC clients for your system or use one of the dozens of freeware or shareware IRC clients available elsewhere on the net, for every hardware platform and operating system in use. Any of them will work with SFF Net's IRC server. You can find many of these additional IRC clients at Yahoo.
Client Port Settings
I'm coming from AOL, what about me?AOL currently blocks access to port 6667 of machines outside of AOL, so you have to use port 7777 instead.
Here are simple steps to getting started in your first IRC session. We'll use the Windows mIRC client for our examples, but other clients will have similar functions.
What's the difference between the Channels List and the Channels Folder commands?
The Channels List always shows you only currently active channels (ones with people in them). The Channels Folder (yellow folder
with a "#+" sign icon, third from the left) is more like a permanent address book. Once you've listed the active channels using Channels
List, they're automatically added to the Channels Folder so you can easily return to a channel without having to list the active
channels each time.
This is very useful if you want to easily return to the #Lobby or to another room that you usually visit. Simply double-click on the Channel name in the Channels Folder list that pops up when you first connect to the IRC server, and you'll be whisked into the room (if it doesn't already exist it will be re-created).
The Channel Window
When you're in an active channel, you'll use the Channel Window to read and reply to conversations. There are four main parts to the window.
How to Chat privately
If you wish to have a private conversation with someone, you can request a DCC chat. DCC (Direct Client-to-Client) is a way for your IRC
client to talk directly to another person's IRC client without going through the IRC server. This allows for truly private conversations, and
also allows you to transfer files to someone else (caution - many IRC viruses use DCC file transfer to pass themselves along. Be very
suspicious of DCC file transfers).
To request a DCC chat, pull up the DCC Chat box from the menu - DCC -->Chat.
Type in the nickname (including the "@") of the person you wish to chat with. They'll be asked if they wish to join you in private chat. If they agree, a new Channels window will open with just the two of you as users. To exit private chat, close the Channel chat window.
Once you're comfortable with these basics, there are a number of other helpful and fancy features you can use. Feel free to explore on your own, the mIRC help files have a lot of information on other options and commands.
Some Common IRC Commands
These commands and their resulting messages are usually entered in the Status window of your program (although some work from an active chat channel as well).
IRC commands are always proceeded by a "/" - for example, to see a list of what channels are active on the server, you'd enter:
Here are some common commands: You can find a more comprehensive list at IRChelp.org.
example: /join #Lobby
Entering this command will have you join the #Lobby general discussion/help channel. If the channel you specified doesn't exist, a new channel with that name will be created.
Some private channels may also require a password, which you need to specify when using the /join command.
example: /join #PrivateStampCollectors philologist
will allow you to join the #PrivateStampCollectors channel using "philologist" as the password.
example: /part #Lobby
example: /quit That's all folks!
/AWAY [away message]
example: /away Be back in a few minutes - the dog ran after the postman!
/INVITE nickname #channel
/QUERY nickname message
/MSG nickname message
Until you're accustomed to the way conversations appear in Chatrooms, it may be a bit confusing to follow at first. Don't worry, you'll soon be getting the hang of how messages appear simultaneously and sometime in no discernable order. It's a good idea to simply observe conversations for a while until you're sure of the flow and tenor of the conversation. Just as in face-to-face communications, it is considered rude for someone to abruptly elbow into an existing conversation exclaiming "Just let me tell you about MY day!"
It is, however, considered polite to say hello to the room when entering and goodbye when leaving. Also, as in other facets of life, the simple pleasantries of "Please," "Thank You" and simply listening and responding kindly are invaluable.
Don't forget that Chatrooms are NOT private. Anything that is said can be recorded without your knowledge by anyone in the room - in fact many people make a habit of logging every conversation for their own reference. Don't say anything you wouldn't want to have repeated on the evening news.
Be very careful revealing personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, etc. in a chatroom.
Dealing with obnoxious users
If you are ever threatened or harrassed in any session, please write an email to email@example.com detailing the identity of the person, date/time you were online and any other pertinent details of the conversation. Any such behavior is NOT tolerated. Read more in General Policies and Procedures.
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