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How-to: Use IRC!


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The SFN chat room is a great place to get quick answers for questions. Usually there are several of us in the chat room at any given time. This is an under used feature of these boards and we would like it if some of you new users gave it a shot.


There are three ways to get chatting to us, the simple(but not very good way), the slightly more complicated way(but useful and more feature rich way) and the way for those who are blocked by schools or work.


Seeing as most of you will just be wanting to ask a quick question and probably not be on that often the simple way will be the best for you.


1/ The Simple Way


Click "Chat" on the bar at the top of this page (the one with "Forums" and "Blogs"). That should be you set.


You can also bookmark http://chat.scienceforums.net/?channels=sfn&prompt=1 for use whenever you want it.


2/ The better way


For those of you who find yourself using the chatroom often then this will be the better choice for you. It's not too difficult and you only have to do it once.


This way uses the 'X-Chat' program. To get the X-chat program, Click here. (Windows only)


Linux users should check their distributions repositories.


Mac users can get it here.


Once this is installed there are a few bits of configuration to go through.


When you first open this program you will see a screen similar to this: (without the SFN and Ubuntu bits along with the user information i added those later, you can ignore the rest of the networks)



First click fill out your user information. Nickname is what you'll appear to everybody as. User name and Real name do not have to be your proper name but the fields must be filled.


Click the "Add" button and type in a name, i chose "SFN", and hit enter.


Then, with the new network selected click on "Edit", you should see this screen:



First change the server from "newserver/6667" to that seen in the image, use the edit button and hit enter to finish otherwise it will not save.


For the rest of the settings copy the image. Remember, unless you have registered with the server(I'll get on to that later) you will not have a Nickserv password.


If everything has went as it should, you should see this window when you click connect on the first window with SFN(or whatever you called it) highlighted:



Non-Essential Bits, Tips and Tricks.


1/Getting Someones Attention


Now, even though it may appear like there are a few people on, they may not actually be paying any attention to the IRC window at that moment in time. For instance i may appear to be online but not be anywhere near my computer just because I forgot to close the window.


All is not lost however as you can attract someones attention by typing their username(to get a hold of me you would type "insane_alien" without the quotes). This causes the entry in the taskbar to blink, if the person is there but is doing something else on the computer(perhaps being productive by playing solitaire?) they will see and check it out.


Don't feel shunned if nobody responds imediately, we all have otherstuff to be getting on with and might not have noticed yet. It helps if you hang around for more than a couple of minutes to wait for a response, someone will be on eventually.


2/ Using Commands


There are a few commands you can do that provide extra funtionality, for this example we will use the /me command.


To use a command you just type it into the same place you would type to talk to someone.


The /me command changes the way your text appears. It is usually used to describe emotions or what you are doing. For instance,


/me has cake.


would produce an output of(using me as an example):


insane_alien has cake.


3/ Registering With The Server


Registering with the server has a few advantages:

1/Nobody can steal your nickname(if they try you can force them to disconnect)

2/You can kick your 'ghost' if you are having connection problems(this is where it appears as if you are logged in twice)

3/You get 'voice' which means if the channel is being selective of who can talk(usually when we have an annoying troll) you can still talk, although moderators would likely give you voice anyway if that were the case.


To get this, when in a session(the window where you can talk to people) type the following:


/msg nickserv register password example@email.com


Where password is your desired password and example@email.com is your email address.


To get voice using this in the java client you need to type:


/msg nickserv identify password


X-Chat user can put it in the 'NickServ Password' field shown earlier in the configuration stage.


4/Kicking your Ghost


If you are a registered user, you can kick your ghost.(Getting registered and ghosts are discussed above)


To kick your ghost, use the following command


/ns ghost username password


Where username is your ghost and password is your NickServ password.


5/ Getting Some Privacy


If you want to talk to someone in particular and not let anybody else see what your typing then you can have a private chat with them.


To do this, right click on the users name and then select 'Open Dialog Window' this will allow you to have a private conversation.


That's all for now folks, if you have another tip i haven't included/don't know about just post it and i'll add it on or get a mod to do it.

Edited by Cap'n Refsmmat
update to IPB
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If someone reads this who hasn't been on the channel yet I'll stress that IRC is not a "helpdesk", and you won't probably get a response immediately when you join. Many people have IRC on whenever their PC is on and some might have highlights that alert them if you mention their nickname. We've seen so many people just join, say "hi" or "anybody there?" and then quit right afterwards, probably because they expect an instant response.


Character - jesus
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People who stay on IRC all the time are supercool and never get hit by bolts of divine wrath!
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