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Welcome to ScaryNet's Help. Help is important, and we know this. A lot of users use IRC for the first time and don't know how to do things. On this page we will try to explain as simple as possible what you need to know in order to have a nice stay. Let's start with some (probably boring) historic information.

What the heck *IS* IRC ?

IRC is an abreviation for Internet Relay Chat. It's a method of enabling a lot of people to chat on a so called network. The best way to describe it in a way you probably best understand is to compare it with a form of enhanced Instant Messenger (MSN/ICQ/AIM and all the others). With most IM's you can have private chats between you and another user and invite others to that chat as well. With IRC it works the other way around. You join a group conversation that contains maybe hundreds of users, and can chat with other users in private.

One of the main benefits of IRC vs IM is that you do not need to wait for someone else to invite you in order to join a group chat. Simply connect and join (unless the managers of that channel have applied certain restrictions). Ok, the benefit of an IM is that it enables you to use voice and video chats and that you can display your profile picture, send irritating buzzers and are able to send winks or other animated figures. Another benefit of IRC is that compared to IM's, you do not need to ask someone for his email in order to add him to a list. This adds a great deal of anonimity. Also IRC is more mature then IM's and advertising free !

How does it work ?

An IRC network consists of one or multiple servers that are linked together, a user can choose to pick either a random or specific server within that network to connect to. You preferably want to connect to a server that has the lowest load and the nearest and most stable connection with you. In the background, the server will relay your messages to the opposite site you are talking to.

How do I connect to it ?

There are several programms that enable you to use IRC. One of the most popular ones for windows is mIRC. Other well known programms that support IRC are: Xchat, BitchX, IrcII, Pirch, Trillian, Gaim and many many more. IRC already existed ages before IM's started to exist so there are plenty of programms for almost every OS on this planet available for your use.

The first thing you need to do is configure your identity, and the most important detail being your nickname. A nickname consists, depending on the network of 8 or more characters, scarynet currently has a nick length limit of 15, which should give you more then enough names to choose from.

The second important detail in your identity setup is your real name. You could enter your real name here, but anything else is fine as well. But I strongly suggest to use something more then 1 word, for the reason that most spambots and drones use a single word as realname and thus are suspicious, and you do not want to be disconnected because of being considered a drone. Also I suggest not to put an advertising in there, that could also result in being considered a spambot.

A lot of those programms already provide you with a list of servers and networks you can choose from, on others, mostly console based applications, you need to specify those in the command line. Please check the documentation of the programm you are using in order to figure out how to connect. In most cases all you need to do is type:
/server : , for example: /server irc.scarynet.org.

I'm connected. What's next ?

Please check the menu for the available options and take your time as these documents might help you use our network the best way possible for you.

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