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IRC Undernet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (Part 1 of 2)

This posting contains useful information regarding IRC and an alternative network to the EFnet - the Undernet IRC network. Please read this before posting to alt.irc.undernet, alt.irc.questions, alt.irc, or alt.irc.ircii
Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: irc/undernet-faq/part1
Version: $Id: undernet-faq, v3.2.0 1995/08/07 13:23 mandar Exp $


      Undernet IRC FAQ [Part I] (updated 9th August 1997) - Weekly Repost

             Version 1 By Paul Grant (Grant)

             Version 2-3   -   written by Mandar Mirashi (Mmmm)
       Revised by:  Undernet Documentation Team  (

The FAQ consists of answers to several frequently asked questions on the
IRC newsgroups. Please don't ask these questions again, they've been
answered plenty of times already - and please don't flame someone just 
because they may not have read this particular posting.  Thank you.

The FAQ consists of the following sections.

I)       IRC for the newcomer
II)      The Undernet (for the newcomer)
III)     The Undernet (for the EFnetter)
IV)      The Undernet (how can you participate?) 
V)       Acknowledgements/References
VI)      Undernet IRC server list

This article covers section I, and includes answers to:

1-1)  What is IRC?
1-2)  Alright, now how do I get onto IRC?
1-3)  Are there any IRC telnet sites?
1-4)  Hmm..I'm confused. What does a client do?  What's a server?
1-5)  What do I do next, once I'm connected to IRC? Is there a way to get
      online help? Why won't /help work for me?
1-6)  Okay..can you describe what a channel is? How do I join/create one? 
      How do I join multiple channels?
1-7)  How do I find out:
         * Who's on a channel? (What do H and G mean?)
         * Who's on IRC itself?
         * Who's on IRC from the same site as myself?
         * more info about a person?
1-8)  What's a channel operator? How do I become one?
1-9)  Help! Someone kicked/banned me from a channel. Whom do I complain to?
1-10) Okay..can you tell me a little more about general etiquette
      (netiquette) over IRC? What do terms like "re", "brb", etc. mean?
1-11) What's a mode change? What are modes?
1-12) How do I perform an "Action"?
1-13) How do I "scrollback" in ircII? Are there any special key bindings
1-14) How do I make the output of a command in ircII pause after each
      screenful? How do I "cancel" further output from a command?
1-15) Ugh..all my messages seem to appear on a single status line. My term
      settings seem to be messed up. Help!
1-16) What are the funny characters that I see at times in channel names or
      nicknames over IRC?
1-17) Why do I get "No text to send" when I talk on a channel? How do I
      get rid of this?? Please help!
1-18) irc session froze up :( Is there some way that I can get rid
      of my old nick/session?
1-19) How do other people change the text that appears in the parentheses
      () after their names?
1-20) How do I read my "irc" mail?
1-21) How do I find out when someone was last seen on IRC? How do I leave a
      message for someone not on irc?
1-22) How do I get "special effects" such as bold/reverse/underline when
      using ircII?
1-23) Someone on IRC asked me to type in a certain command that I do not
      understand. What do I do?
1-24) How do I save my ircII settings (such as nickname, default server,
      etc) so that they are in effect the next time I sign onto IRC?
1-25) How do I drop to the Unix prompt temporarily?
1-26) When I try connecting to a server, I get "Connection refused" or
      "Connection timed out" or "Unknown host". What do I do now?
1-27) What does the message "Ghosts are not allowed on IRC" or "You are
      banned/not welcome on this server" or "No authorisation" mean?
1-28) What is a netsplit? What's "lag"? How do I avoid either?
1-29) Why do I get that annoying ~ which shows up in front of my address
      on IRC? How do I get rid of it?
1-30) Hmm..what are all these "power scripts" that I keep hearing about?
      Do I need them? Why do people call them risky?
1-31) Oh, I see. Now what's a bot? Why do people have a love/hate attitude
      towards bots?  Can I make a bot?
1-32) Help! This extremely obnoxious person keeps harassing me with
      messages/flooding me. What should I do?
1-33) Hey..I heard that you can exchange files over IRC - how is that done?
      What's DCC?
1-34) How can I "register" my nickname? What's Nickserv?
1-35) Where can I find pictures/gifs of people on IRC?
1-36) Where can I find an IRC manual? Where can I find more information
      on IRC?

If you're looking for the answer to, say, question 1-5, and want to skip
everything else, you can search ahead for the regular expression "^1-5".
(/1-5  in case you use vi). 

While I have tried my best to keep the FAQ updated, there may be 
inadvertent mistakes or omissions. Is there a question that you find
frequently asked, but not mentioned? Please send all suggested additions/
corrections/deletions/comments/etc. to and

This FAQ (both parts) can be obtained via anonymous ftp from 
or under  /irc/docs, or from under 
/pub/usenet/alt.irc/    If ftp does not work from your site, then try
the mail server: send email to with

send usenet/news.answers/irc/undernet-faq/part1
send usenet/news.answers/irc/undernet-faq/part2

URL's on the World Wide Web for this FAQ are:

and, the latest version can always be found at:

P.S. : This FAQ widely refers to the Unix ircII client (especially questions
       1-13 to 1-25) and many commands might not work the same way if you 
       aren't using ircII. I highly recommend contacting your client author 
       in this case, and encourage him to make his client "ircII compatible".

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-1)  What is IRC?

      IRC stands for the Internet Relay Chat. It is a much better, multi
      user implementation of the rudimentary 'talk' program. On IRC,
      several persons can simultaneously participate in a discussion
      over a particular 'channel', or even multiple channels. 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
      over IRC. 

      All conversations take place in *real time*. That's one of the fortes 
      of IRC, and IRC has been used extensively for live coverage of
      world events, news, sports commentary, etc. It also serves as an
      *extremely* inexpensive substitute for long distance calling. People
      from all corners of the world can be found over IRC.

      IRC was developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in Finland in the late 
      eighties, and was originally intended to work as a better 
      substitute for 'talk' on his bulletin board. Of course, since
      then, it attracted overwhelming popularity, especially after
      the Gulf war when IRC was used to carry live coverage of events,
      and its growth has been exponential after that. Since then, reports 
      of the Russian coup, and the California earthquake have been
      carried *live* over IRC, with people located in Russia and California
      bringing in the eyewitness reports.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-2)  Alright, now how do I get onto IRC?

      The irc program that you need to get onto irc is called an 'irc
      client'. First, check if your system already has an irc client 
      installed by entering "irc" at your system prompt. If you're 
      lucky, it could have been installed already on your system, and
      you may skip the remainder of this answer. If you do not have
      an irc client installed on your system, then you need to install

      Irc clients have been developed for a variety of platforms, and
      the Unix ircII client is by far the most popular one. There are
      also several emacs and x11 clients that run under Unix. Irc
      clients have been developed for MS-DOS / MSWindows, Macintoshes,
      (assuming that the PC/Macintosh that you use is connected to the
      network, i.e. you can't use a MS-Windows client if you dial in via a 
      modem to a Unix system, although you may be on a PC - unless your PC
      is on the network with its own ip address (e.g. runs slip/ppp, or 
      has TIA) VMS systems and  VM/CMS systems as well. A major repository 
      for IRC clients of all kinds is the site Another site 
      that you may want to try is You will need to FTP the 
      code for the clients (or binaries as may be the case) from these 
      anonymous ftp sites. A popular VMS client is the ircdough 'ircII-for-vms' 
      client which has a lot of good features. WSirc is a good MS-Windows 
      irc client.

      ircII on Unix
      If you're on a Unix system, and aren't familiar with the nuances
      of ftp, uncompress, untar, the concept of Makefiles, etc. you may
      wish to try the auto-magic install which will do it for you. The
      foll. command at your Unix prompt will auto install an ircII client:

                   telnet 1 | sh
                   telnet 1 | sh

      The unix ircII client takes up about 1.5Megs of disk space (including
      the help files). If you do not have enough diskspace, or have problems 
      in compiling a client, you may try a precompiled client for your system, 
      which is usually just 400K or so. To find out what Unix system you're 
      on, use the command 'uname -a'. Once you do that, ftp the appropriate 
      precompiled client from 

      If you cannot spare even 400K for an irc binary, you may want to
      try the smallirc client which can be found at
      under /irc/clients. This takes about 100-150K.

      ircII under VMS (ircdough)
      Here are the sequence of steps I took to install the ircII for vms
      client (you need about 1600-1800 blocks for installation. After
      deletion of unnecessary files, the client takes up about 500 blocks):
      $ create/dir [.ircii]
      $ set def [.ircii]
      $ ftp
      Connection opened (Assuming 8-bit connections)
      <Welcome to the Dixie College Center of Excellence FTP server.
      < FTP server (Version wu-2.4(1) ....ready>
      Username: anonymous
      <Guest login ok, access restrictions apply.

      SCI.DIXIE.EDU>cd irc/clients/vms/ircII-for-vms
      <CWD command successful.

      SCI.DIXIE.EDU>confirm off
      [All transactions are implicitly confirmed]

      SCI.DIXIE.EDU>mget *
      [...  multiple file gets deleted...]


      This will put you onto the main installation menu.
      You may exit this menu by holding the "Ctrl" key down and pressing 
      "Z" (or by choosing selection "X").

      Installation is very simple, just start with the first option 'P' and
      set the installation directory.  Next select option 'C' and begin 
      compiling the program.  If that completes successfully you can then 
      try and run the irc program with the next option to see if it compiled 
      correctly.  If it has, then you need to type in 'I' to install the
      client into the proper sub directories. You can then proceed to the 
      next step and type in D to delete all the non-essential files to 
      conserve your disk quota (type in 'Y' - {capital Y}, when it asks if 
      you've done the installation step).
      After this, you can exit and edit your to have  
            $irc :== $disk:[username.ircii]irc.exe  
      For example:


      In case you're unable to compile a client, or wish to have a directly
      precompiled "VMS ircII" (ircdough) client, follow these steps:

      i)  ftp to and look under /irc/clients/vms/binaries
            for the right binary for your type of VMS system. Make sure you
            ftp it in *binary* mode (type 'bin' within ftp). Also ftp the
      ii) Next, look under /irc/clients/vms/common_files and ftp all the 
            files in *ascii* mode (type 'ascii' at the ftp prompt).

      IRC under Windows 3.1 / Windows 95
      Windows 95 users, go to step six.

      First, you must be running MS-Windows. IRC and WINSOCK.DLL are 
      MS-Windows based software.

      Second, you must use an implementation of tcp/ip for MS-Windows which 
      is called WINSOCK.DLL (it is actually the name of the file, but we refer 
      to the protocol by the same name).

      Third, you must either be connected to a TCP/IP LAN or a modem. When 
      you use a modem, you must subscribe to a SLIP/PPP account with your 
      Internet Service Provider. You must ask them: your username, your 
      pchostname, your permanent ip address , their DNS ip address. These will 
      be required for WINSOCK.DLL configuration setup.

      Fourth, there is a configuration setup you need to do with WINSOCK.DLL, 
      the specifics are covered by each vendor's documentation. Commercial 
      WINSOCK software costs US$ 199.- to US$ 299.-. Shareware WINSOCK 
      software costs US$ 20.- to US$ 40.- (Peter Tattam's WINSOCK.DLL is US
      $ 20.- has an internal SLIP driver and works very well). FTP sites
      for the complete WINSOCK distribution are:
         File: /pub/pc/win3/winsock/
      You can also fetch various winsock stacks from under

      Fifth, assuming all of the configuration works. Dial up your internet 
      service provider to your SLIP or PPP account (a script file can automate 
      this process) if you're on a modem.

      Sixth, you can download windows irc clients from under 

      * ircII for Windows
      ircII is pretty much the de facto irc client across many platforms
      (Unix, VMS, Windows). Most users  prefer the power and flexibility
      of ircII and not so much the GUI. The port of ircii
      to Windows, is still a bit buggy at the time of writing but is
      highly recommended since a lot of people are familiar with it. This
      FAQ refers widely to ircII, although efforts are made to cover other
      clients where possible.

      * WSIRC for Windows:

      WS-IRC was the first Windows IRC client written by Caesar Samsi
      ( It remains one of the good Windows clients.
      Here's some additional info, after you download WSIRC.
      Start up WSIRC. Open up the Options | Server dialog box and enter all 
      information in the boxes provided. For server names, browse the list 
      of servers in the appendix of this FAQ. Do not use the actual ip 
      address (e.g, use the human text name (
      Use port 6667. Use the username and pcname provided by your SLIP 
      provider. Use nicknames that are NO LONGER than 9 characters. Use no 
      spaces in between for anything (except for the email info, but that's 

      Click on the connect button (or use File | Connect). If it 
      doesn't connect, try another server. If 11004 error occurs, either your 
      DNS ip address is wrong or you entered an invalid server name, enter a 
      valid server name. If 10060 or 10061 occurs, either the server is down, 
      busy or otherwise not responding, try another server. If the server 
      says "Nickname in use", change your nickname on the fly with /NICK 
      mynick. The server should then display its MOTD (message of the day) 

      * mIRC for Windows:
      mIRC is one of the best Windows IRC clients available. Read more about 
      mIRC in the Frequently Asked Questions list at ::

      Or join #mIRC on IRC to get all remaining questions answered. Or even 
      get the newest version there if your DCC works properly..

      * Visual IRC (virc) for Windows
      This is another recently released client which is still in beta testing.
      It implements most features as well as interacts with web browsers. You
      can find the latest version at:


      * Pirch for windows: 

      This new client has quickly become very popular and gives mIRC a
      run for its money.

      IRC on all other platforms (Macintosh, VM/CMS, amiga, OS/2, etc)
      Check the subdirectories under:

      WWW to IRC

      The Undernet Web to IRC Gateway can be found at:
      This is a good starting point for newcomers until they are able
      to install their own client, which of course will offer many more

      IRC behind a firewall

      The Unix ircII has been made SOCKS compliant and the modified client
      can be found at
      You will need to download this, gunzip and untar it,  and compile it 
      yourself for whatever Unix platform you are on. This package assumes
      that you already have libsocks.a on your system. If not, download
      the socks package from 
      and follow the instructions in the README.* files and Makefile.
      Compile the clients with "make clients". This will also build the 
      libsocks.a library under the lib directory. When compiling the ircII 
      socks version, add the full path to the socks library to the LIBS 
      line (e.g. if the original LIBS line in the ircII Makefile is 
      LIBS=-lcurses, and your libsocks is under /usr/lib, then the 
      correct Makefile line would be LIBS=-lcurses /usr/lib/libsocks.a).
      The latest version of mIRC for Windows also includes proxy/socks

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-3)  Are there any IRC telnet sites?
      This question pops up with frightening regularity on the irc 
      newsgroups. IRC telnet sites are absolutely not recommended except
      as a *last ditch* effort when compiling a client doesn't work for
      you, or if you are simply unable to use a client for lack of an
      account/diskspace/etc. Before answering this question, you should
      consider the following *disadvantages* of using a telnet client site
      for IRC:
      * It is much much slower than using your own client. In cases, you
        may be connecting all across a continent to use IRC.
      * It is usually limited by a maximum number of users allowed on it.
      * It is not possible to send or receive files over irc when using
        a telnet client.
      * It is not possible to customise and tailor the client to suit your
      * And finally, a telnet client site may simply stop providing service
        due to the huge abuse that often results from the client. This is
        more often the case than the exception. So, you are left stranded
        and have to hunt for new telnet sites.
      In short, GET YOUR OWN CLIENT. Under Unix, a client can be installed in
      as little as 150-200K of free diskspace. At best, telnet client sites 
      should be used as a temporary solution until you are able to get your 
      own client. Every time you use one, you should remember that 
      *  You are using tremendous resources on someone *else's* system
           which are being provided out of sheer goodwill.
      *  Each time you use one, you deny many others who haven't tried
           irc at *all*. Think of it as limited supply of lifejackets for 
           people who cannot swim. Some thoughtless people have the capability 
           to swim but don't wish to learn how to do so, and insist on using 
           this limited supply, meant for others. Please be considerate and
           setup your client as soon as possible. Telnet clients should
           be used only as a *temporary* measure.

      It is with this goal in mind that the foll. list is provided:
 6677               or 6677 6677     or 6677 6677        or 6677
         (obelix also runs on ports 7766, 6969 and 6996) 
      *Tip* -> An easy way to remember telnet sites is:
                and so on..
               The same convention applies for European sites 
                (, etc)
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-4) Hmm..I'm confused. What does a client do?  What's a server?

     An irc client reads in the commands that you give it, and parses
     them. It filters them and performs the appropriate actions, and if
     necessary, passes them on to a 'server'. An IRC server can serve
     many other clients. The server holds information about the channels
     and people on IRC, amongst other pieces of information. It is also
     responsible for routing your messages to other people on IRC. The
     IRC network itself consists of multiple servers which connect to
     one another in a 'tree'-like fashion (as an undirected acyclic
     graph to be precise).  

     It is usually best if you select a server close to the site that
     you irc from. Here's a partial list of servers to try:

          - Central USA   - West coast USA East coast USA
          - Europe
          - Canada
          - Australia

      Usually, a  should get you to one of the
      servers in your region. If not, you can try one of the servers listed
      above. To find out which server is closest to you once you're on
      IRC, use the /links command to get a list of servers. To switch to
      the closest server, try  /server servername. Usually you can view the 
      official Undernet Server listing at the User-Com website,

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-5)  What do I do next, once I'm connected to IRC? Is there a way to get
      online help? Why won't /help work for me?

      Thumb rule: All ircII commands must be preceded by a /

      Thus, typing /help gives you a list of available ircII commands.

      [If you're using ircII, and /help won't work for you, it's quite
       possible that your local help files have not been set up right.
       Try   /set help_path <path-to-helpfiles>
       and if that won't fix it, try  
             /set help_service ircIIhelp
       You will need to ftp ircII2.2.9help.tar.Z from
        /irc/clients, and uncompress and untar the help files, and point
       the help path appropriately if you want /help to work efficiently] 

       If you're a newcomer to IRC, you may try /help newuser and 
       /help intro   for more information on irc commands. To get you

       /LIST               Lists all current irc channels, number of
                           users, and topic.  This may flood you off if
                           you use it on a large network, therefore you
                           may want to limit your search to /QUOTE list >10
       /NAMES              Shows the nicknames of all users on each
                           channel (except secret channels)
       /JOIN <channel>     Join the named channel.  All non-commands
                           you type will now go to everyone on that
       /MSG <nick> <msg>   Sends a private message to the specified
                           person.  Only the specified nickname will
                           see this message.
       /NICK <newnick>     Change your nickname
       /QUIT               Exits irc.
       /HELP <topic>       Gets help on all IRCII commands.
       /WHO <channel>      Shows who is on a given channel,
                           including nickname, user name and host,
                           and realname.
       /WHOIS <nick>       Shows the "true" indentity of someone
                           Use this often to make sure you know who 
                           you are talking to, because nicknames are
                           NOT owned so any number of people could
                           use a nickname.
       /PART <channel>      Lets you leave the specified channel.
       However, once you have joined a channel, you need not precede your
       lines with a /. Whatever you type, simply goes to the entire
       channel. Precede your lines with a / when you wish to execute an
       ircII command and when you do not wish the text to be sent to the
       entire channel.

       When you're connected, your Unix login name is usually taken as the
       default 'nickname' for yourself. You may wish to change this with
       a /nick newnick   command.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-6)  Okay..can you describe what a channel is? How do I join/create one? 
      How do I join multiple channels?

      A channel is a place on IRC that people can meet and participate
      in a discussion. 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. To get a list of channels you may
      try the command /list  mentioned earlier. You may also *limit*
      the listing by the use of optional arguments as follows:
         /quote list >3  - shows channels with at least 3 people on them
         /list #a*       - shows channels whose names begin with the
                           letter a.
      A channel name begins with a # or a & (# channels are global, &
      channels are restricted to the local server). To join a particular
      channel use:   
           /join  #channelname
      If a channel with the particular name doesn't exist, then a *new*
      channel is created with that name. The person to first join a channel
      also becomes the channel operator (see 1-8) by default.
      If you wish to join multiple channels, make sure you type in :
           /set novice off
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-7)  How do I find out:  

         * Who's on a channel? (What do H and G mean?)
                As mentioned earlier, the command /who #channelname  
            will list all users on the channel. This will show an output
            of the form:
         #wasteland Macro H*@ (the one and only...Macro.)
            The channel is #wasteland. Macro is the nickname of a person
            on it. The H stands for 'here'. (persons who mark themselves
            away will show up as G for 'gone') The @ stands for channelop,
            the * stands for IRCop. is his email 
            address, and what appears in the parentheses is his customisable
            IRCNAME.  You may also use /names #channelname for a more compact 

         * Who's on IRC itself?
                The command /names will list ALL users on IRC. Use this
           with the -min  argument as discussed with the /list command,
           to limit the listing. (A /names output can be very large)
         * Who's on IRC from the same site as myself?
                The command /who *yoursitename* or  
           /who -host *yoursitename*  should list people from the same site 
           as yourself. (the asterisks (*) are needed)

         * more info about a person?
               The commands  /who nickname-of-person   or  
           /whois nickname-of-person    will give you further information
           about a particular 'nickname'. A slightly more advanced command
           is  /ctcp nick finger, which returns finger information on the
           given nickname. Once you know the user@host, you may even do
           /exec finger user@host   which does the standard Unix finger.

         * Someone's nickname given their real name?
              Most people on IRC do not include real information when 
           connecting to a server. You're more likely to find someone
           if you know their email address. Use the /who -host *site*
           command mentioned earlier, if you know the email address as
           user@site. You may also try /who -name *user. If by some 
           element of chance, the person uses his/her real name in the
           IRCNAME variable (see question 1-19), you may be able to 
           find him/her with /who *firstname* or /who *lastname*.

         NOTE: The /who and /whois command switches described here will not 
         work on invisible users (see 1-11 and 1-32) not on the same channel
         as yourself. They will work with a specified nickname ONLY for
         such users.
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-8)  What's a channel operator? How do I become one?

      When you do a /names #channelname, the persons with a @ prefix before
      their nickname are channel operators for a channel. A channel
      operator can decide who can be allowed to stay on a channel, and
      the various settings for the channel (such as whether the channel
      can be made secret, or invite only, etc). A channel operator can
      pass on the operator status to another person. By default when
      someone creates a new channel (by simply /join #channelname) he gets 
      to be the channel operator. A new channel is created by specifying 
      one that doesn't exist in a /list.  So, to become a channel operator
      yourself, you can either (i) create a new channel or, (ii) ask
      an existing channel operator to op you.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-9)  Help! Someone kicked/banned me from a channel. Whom do I complain to?

      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 over the channel.  Complaining either to IRC operators or
      to the system administrators about being kicked/banned from a channel
      is considered extremely childish, and results in no action. Irc
      operators do not meddle with channel politics - that's the job of
      channel operators.  Another 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 rather 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 over it. Think of channels as houses. The owner of
      the house can decide to share ownership with someone else or decide
      to disallow any individual he chooses into his house. In your own
      house, *you* call the shots. :-) Feel free to create your own channel,
      and set up your own rules for it.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-10) Okay..can you tell me a little more about general etiquette
      (netiquette) over IRC? What do terms like "re", "brb", etc. mean?

      * Language: The most widely used language over IRC is English.
        However, it is by no means the only one. When you join a channel,
        try to use the language that most people on the channel understand/
        use. Most channels frown upon obscenities or profanity. Better to
        play safe and find out what's the accepted norm over the channel.

      * Greetings:  Using IRCII's /ON facility to automatically say hello
        or goodbye to people is extremely poor etiquette. Nobody wants to 
        receive autogreets. They are not only obviously automatic, but even 
        if you think you are being polite you are actually sounding insincere 
        and also interfering with the personal environment of the recipient 
        when using autogreets. If somebody wants to be autogreeted on joining 
        a channel, they will autogreet themselves.

      * Lingo:  On IRC, communication speed often matters when talking to 
        others, and as a result, many "shorthands" have been developed by 
        IRCers to convey the most amount of information in the smallest amount 
        of keystrokes. Here are some common shorthands:

          "re" - repeat hi, used when you have left a channel and rejoin it
         "brb" - be right back!
         "bbl" - be back later
        "bbiaf" - be back in a few minutes
        "ttyl" - talk to you later
        "rtfm" - read the f* manual
        "rtrfc"- read the f* RFC
         "oic" - Oh, I see!
        "afaik"- As far as I know
        "imho" - In my humble opinion
        "rotfl"- rolling on the floor with laughter
        "focl" - falling off the chair laughing
         "nfi" - no f* idea
        "ayfq" - ask your f* question
         "wtf" - who/what the f*?
         "afk" - Away from keyboard
           "u" - you                               "y" - why
           "2" - to                                "b" - be 
           "r" - are                               "c" - see 
        Another common 'emoticon' in use over IRC is the "smiley", which
        is  :-)   (look at it sideways), but is often abbreviated to :)
        There exist many variations to smileys and "frownies" :-(

      * Discussion: When you come to a new channel it's advised that you 
        listen for a while to get an impression of what's discussed. Please 
        feel free to join in, but do not try to force your topic into the 
        discussion if that doesn't come naturally.
      * The NOT's: The following is a list of "do not do's" on most
        channels and over IRC as a whole:
        o Do not flood the channel with text. This can be extremely
          frustrating for people over slow modem connections, and is likely
          to get you instantly kicked.
        o Do not use beeps in your messages. 
        o Do not use colors or highlights in your messages. 
        o Do not use profanity in your public messages. 
        o Do not harass another user with unwanted messages/comments etc.
        o Do not indulge in *destructive* behaviour which reduces the
          functionality of IRC. (such as running clonebots/floodbots/nick
          colliders - this can lead to your system admin being notified).

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-11)  What's a mode change? What are modes? 
      Every user and channel on IRC has a set of "modes" associated with
      him/it. Here's what the help page on the mode command says:

       Usage: MODE *|<channel> [+|-]<modechars> [<parameters>]
              MODE *|<channel> [+|-]b [<nick>[!<user>[@<host>]]]
              MODE <nick> [+|-]<umodechars>

      The mode command is quite complicated and it allows channel
      operators to change channel mode, or any user to change
      their personal mode. For a channel mode, <modechars> is one of 
      the following:
        i           - channel is invite only. A channel operator must/invite
                      users that wish to join.
        k <key>     - Adds join key <key> to the channel.  Keys can added or
                      removed (MODE <channel> -k <key>), but not changed.
                      /join <channel> <key>    to join a +k channel
        l <number>  - channel is limited, where <number> is the
                      maximum number of users allowed
        m           - channel is moderated (only channel operators and users
                      with a voice [+v] can talk.  Users with a + sign next
                      to their nickname in a channel are voiced).
        n           - No MSGs to the channel are allowed
                      from someone outside the channel.
        o <nick>    - Makes <nick> a channel operator
        p           - channel is private
        s           - channel is secret. Channel will not show up in channel
                      listing, and you cannot get information about the 
                      channel except for general modes unless you are on it
        t           - topic limits, only the channel operators may change it
        v <nick>    - Gives someone a voice to talk on a moderated channel. 
      A + or - sign determines whether the specified mode should be
      added or deleted.
      If you supply * as channel name, modes will apply to your current

      The second form of the MODE command allows you to ban
      somebody from a channel. This is done by specifying
      a sting of the form nick!user@host. For example:
        MODE #MyChannel +b *!*@gus.*
      bans everybody from the channel who is on IRC from any
      machine whose name is gus.
        MODE #MyChannel +b netw1z
      bans anybody using the nickname netw1z.
        MODE #MyChannel +b *!merklin@*
      bans anybody whose user name is merklin.
        MODE #MyChannel +b jerk!
      bans the user from the channel whenever he
      is using the nickname "jerk".

      If you are channel operator, you can list the bans in effect on a 
      channel by:
          MODE #MyChannel +b
      To find out the existing modes on a channel try 
          MODE #MyChannel

      The third form of the MODE command allows you to modify your
      personal parameters. You can precede any combination of the
      following with + or - (+to switch that mode on, - to switch it off).

        o        - IRC operator status. You may not turn this on
                   with mode. To assert operator status, you must use OPER
        w        - Receive WALLOPS (messages directed at all operators.
                   see WALLOPS.
        s        - Receive server notices. This includes KILL notices
                   and notices about what is happening with links
                   to the local server.
        i        - Render yourself invisible. This prevents you from
                   being seen in WHO and WHOIS information, unless
                   somebody specifies your exact nickname with WHOIS.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-12) How do I perform an "Action"?
      Whilst on IRC, you may often see messages of the sort:

      *** Action: Muffin hugs everyone!

      or on other clients:

      * Muffin hugs everyone

      You can do the same via the /me command. /me action  will send the
      action to your current channel. For example, try /me dances. If you
      wish to send a private action to someone, rather than to the channel,
      use the /describe command.  /describe nick action will send the 
      action to the specified nickname.
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-13) How do I "scrollback" in ircII? Are there any special key bindings
      To "scrollback" under ircII, use /lastlog command. The /lastlog
      command keeps track of messages that appear in your ircII screen.
      However, it holds a limited number of messages in its buffer. To
      change the size of the buffer use  /set lastlog <n>   where <n>
      is some number. By default, the lastlog buffer is of size 44.
      /help lastlog  for more information on the lastlog command.

      ircII can also scroll back and forth (through the lastlog) using 
      Esc-P (for Previous 1/2 screen) and Esc-N (for Next 1/2 screen).  
      Esc-E returns instantly to the last line (back to the current 

      Besides this, ircII provides for several in built default key
      bindings (emacs style) which are very useful:

            ^P      recalls previous command line
            ^N      recalls next command line
            ^F      moves forward one character
            ^B      moves backward one character
            ^A      moves the cursor to the beginning of the line
            ^E      moves the cursor to the end of the line
            ^D      deletes the character under the cursor
            ^K      kills from the cursor to the end
            ^Y      reinserts the last stretch of killed text
            ^U      clears the whole line
            ^L      redraws the screen
      The caret (^) stands for the control key on your keyboard. Thus, ^P
      is interpreted as pressing the control key and the 'P' key together.

      On a related note, you may also try the help pages on the HISTORY
      command and the ! metacharacter. (/help history   and  /help !)

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-14) How do I make the output of a command in ircII pause after each
      screenful? How do I "cancel" further output from a command? 

      To make your output pause in screenfuls, use the following command:
          /set hold_mode on

      To cancel further output from a command (for instance if you 
      accidentally did a /names when you hadn't intended to) use

      * Warning: /flush flushes all output sent to the client so far from
        the server. This means that you may end up losing some public/private 
        messages too.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-15) Ugh..all my messages seem to appear on a single status line. My term
      settings seem to be messed up. Help!

      This information holds for unix users. For some reason, the environment 
      settings which reflect your term type haven't been set right.  If
      you're using a vt100 compatible terminal, you may try:

            unsetenv TERMCAP
            setenv TERM vt100
      from your Unix prompt. The above commands will work if you are a csh
      or tcsh user. (To find what shell you use, try "echo $SHELL") If you
      do not use these, try:


      You may even use the 'stty' command to tell the system how many rows
      your display holds. For example,

               stty rows 24

      Another command which can be used to reset terminals is the 'tset'
      command. Try:

           tset -s -m ':vt100'

      You are advised to read the man pages on the tset and stty commands
      for more information.  ("man stty"  and "man tset" from your Unix
      prompt) You should also check your modem emulation software and 
      associated documentation and find out which term it emulates, in
      case you're on a modem.

      Under VMS, do a SET TERMINAL /INQUIRE so it will set the terminal it 
      expects to match your terminal emulator.   If this doesn't work, do a 
      help on the SET TERMINAL command to find out how to directly command 
      the VAX to go to VT100 mode.

      Lately, many irksome users have been exploiting a well known bug
      with the talk facility to mess up your screen settings. Remember
      to type the foll. command if you're on Unix, before starting irc:
                  mesg n
      If you're on VMS, try:

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-16) What are the funny characters that I see at times in channel names or
      nicknames over IRC?
      Many people on IRC may use certain ASCII characters  instead of their
      Scandivanian counterparts to convey the same. For instance:

      [, {       'a' with two dots over it
      ], }       'a' with a small circle above it
      \, |       'o' with two dots over it, or a dash ("/") through it
                 ("[", "]", and "\" = upper case)
      In addition, IRC supports the ISO Latin-1 8-bit character set. 
      Thus, Japanese  IRC'ers  use special ANSI escape control sequences
      to transmit their Kanji alphabet.

      However, destructive individuals often use clone processes to connect
      to IRC servers and spew garbage. If you see a lump of funny looking
      nicknames, please report them to an IRC operator. 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-17) Why do I get "No text to send" when I talk on a channel? How do I
      get rid of this?? Please help!

      This message is often seen when you use an old client which is no
      longer compatible with the current series of IRC servers. To get
      rid of it, get the latest version of your client! Look up 1-2) 
      for more information on obtaining a new client. A temporary solution
      is /query #channelname.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-18) irc session froze up :( Is there some way that I can get rid 
      of my old nick/session?
      Occasionally, you may suddenly get disconnected from the IRC network
      and find yourself still "logged in" on IRC. In this case, you need
      to find the orphaned process and kill it, so that you can regain your
      nickname. Go back to the Unix shell and try  "ps -ux" or "ps -f".
      This should show a listing similar to:

       /u/sodeep%> ps -f
          UID   PID  PPID  C    STIME  TTY      TIME COMMAND
       sodeep 12501 12344 14 09:46:27  p22      0:00 ps -f 
       sodeep 12498 12344  0 09:46:18  p22      0:00 irc 
       sodeep 12344 12342  1 09:42:55  p22      0:02 -tcsh 
      Identify the irc process and the process identifier (PID). Then,
      all you need to type is  "kill -9 <PID>". Thus in this case, I
      would have typed in "kill -9 12498".  To get more information
      on the Unix ps and kill commands, refer the man pages ("man ps"
      or "man kill").  

      If nothing works, try "kill -9 -1"  which will kill ALL processes
      owned by you.

      If you are on VMS, use the command:

            show user/full <username>

      This will display a list of processes and a list of process ids. Next
      choose the ghosted process, and type in:

            stop/id= <pid of process>

      If you're using a later version (>2.4) of ircii-for-vms, a /ctcp
      ghosted-nick PID  returns the process id directly, and you can use
      that directly with  stop/pid.

      If  your  machine  crashed,  and  your nick is still in use on the 
      IRC network,  you'll have to wait 4 to 5 minutes for your server to 
      recognize the fact. Getting an Operator to kill the ghost is almost 
      never necessary,  just  sign  on  as  another  nickname  and wait for 
      the "Ping timeout" or "Error 0" message, then you can change your nick 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-19) How do other people change the text that appears in the parentheses
      () after their names?

      If you use the Unix csh or tcsh shells (to find out what shell you're
      on, try "echo $SHELL" from your Unix prompt), try the following: 

            setenv IRCNAME "what you want here"
      If you don't use csh/tcsh, try:
           export IRCNAME="what you want here"

      If you want the setting to be the same each time you login, you need
      to put that line in your .login (for csh/tcsh users) or your .profile
      (for other shell users). If you don't use csh/tcsh, you will also
      need to add the line "export IRCNAME". Edit the .login or .profile
      file using your favourite editor (vi/emacs/joe/pico/etc)

      If you use a VMS ircII client, edit your and put the line:

           define ircname "what you want here"

      NOTE: If you are a WWW user, it is becoming common practice to use
      a homepage URL in the IRCNAME variable. 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-20) How do I read my "irc" mail?

      This is yet another common question from newcomers using ircII. There
      is no mail over irc. The mail notification that you see is the number
      of mail messages in your Unix mailbox. To read this, exit irc, and
      type "mail", or "pine", or "elm", or your favourite mail reader. 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-21) How do I find out when someone was last seen on IRC? How do I leave a
      message for someone not on irc?

      The command /whowas can be used if the person in question has signed
      off recently (this depends - usually not more than 5-10 minutes). 
       /whowas Mmmm       for example, will tell you if a person with 
      nickname Mmmm was on irc recently. If you wish to be notified when
      a certain person signs onto IRC, you can use the /notify command.
       /notify Mmmm    will notify you when Mmmm signs on.

      To leave a message for someone who's not on IRC currently, you can
      use the /note command. However, /note is highly server dependent 
      (works on some servers, doesn't on others) and if it works on a 
      server, it may be taken off without warning if it's found to affect
      the server's performance. The syntax for sending a note is
         /note send nickname!user@host message
      You are recommended to use email since it's much more reliable. To
      achieve the same under ircII using email, you can do:
           /exec echo "message" | mail user@host 
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-22) How do I get "special effects" such as bold/reverse/underline when
      using ircII?

      The special effects that can be produced depend on the capabilities
      of the terminal. If your terminal supports the control sequences,
      you will be able to see messages highlighted/underlined/bold. The
      foll. control characters achieve the effects:

            ^B     -  Bold
            ^_     -  Underline
            ^V     -  InVerse
       (on old ircII clients, ^b - inverse, ^v - underline, ^_ - bold)
      The caret (^) stands for the control key on your keyboard. Thus, ^B
      is interpreted as pressing the control key and the 'B' key together.

      It is quite possible that some of these control keys may have been
      bound already. For instance, ^B is usually bound to
      BACKWARD_CHARACTER. To get around the default behaviour of ^B, try
        /bind ^B self_insert
      The ^B in the line above needs to be typed in as a caret(^) followed
      by B (not as control-b, since this hasn't been unbound as yet, and
      hitting control-b will simply move your cursor back).

      * Warning: Lines with special effects in them are considered annoying
          by most people, so be frugal in their usage. 

      *  You can also use this with the mIRC client for Windows users.  For 
         this hit CONTROL-<character> to start the effect on the text, and 
         hit it again to end the effect.

             b -bold
             u -underline
             r -reverse

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-23) Someone on IRC asked me to type in a certain command that I do not 
      understand. What do I do?

      One word. DON'T. If you do not know what the command does, you should
      not try it. It is often the case that unscrupulous persons fool
      newcomers to IRC into typing cryptic commands. Some of these commands
      can affect the security of your account, and even your system as a
      whole. Never try the /exec command if you do not know what it does.
      Contact your server administrator if you were asked to execute a
      cryptic command (/admin will reveal the server admin), and get more
      information on what the command does.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-24) How do I save my ircII settings (such as nickname, default server,
      etc) so that they are in effect the next time I sign onto IRC?

      A file named .ircrc (use "ls -a" from your Unix prompt to check if
      you have one) in your home directory can be used to store settings
      that you would like to have each time you sign on. The lines in the
      .ircrc file are interpreted as if you were actually typing them in
      when you're on IRC. The / character before commands is optional
      however. Thus if you wish to join a certain channel each time that
      you sign on, you could put in the line:
               join  #channelname
      in your .ircrc file.
      Unix users also can play with the following shell variables:

      HOME            where your home directory is
      IRCNAME         (text that appears between parentheses in a WHOIS)
      IRCNICK         your default IRC nickname
      IRCPATH         a directory path to LOAD scripts
      IRCRC           a file to use instead of your $HOME/.ircrc
      IRCSERVER       a default server list for ircII
      TERM            your terminal type

      See the answer to question 1-19) for help on setting a specific 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-25) How do I drop to the Unix prompt temporarily?

      It is possible to suspend the ircII process temporarily by first 
      typing the following command 
           /bind ^Z STOP_IRC
      (the ^Z needs to be typed in as a caret ^ followed by Z)
      Then, just hit control-Z to momentarily suspend ircII and to drop
      to your shell prompt. Beware that the irc server checks to see if
      a particular client is alive by pinging it every once and then. If
      you suspend ircII in this fashion, you may "ping timeout", and hence
      be cut off from the server. You should be able to return to the
      ircII process by typing "fg". Note that this feature may not work on
      all shells.

      If you wish to prevent being ping timed out, you must install
      ircserv (compile ircserv.c which came with the client, and move it
      to the same directory as the irc client), and start up ircII with
      the command "irc -S".

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-26) When I try connecting to a server, I get "Connection refused" or
      "Connection timed out" or "Unknown host". What do I do now?

      This usually happens due to one of the following reasons:
      * The server name you specified is wrong
      * Your nameserver is having problems and can't understand the name
        you gave it and can't translate it into a numeric address.
      * The server or the machine or the route to the server is down.

      When you see this occuring, you should check up whether a server of
      the specified name actually exists. If it does, you should then try
      the numeric address of the server (e.g rather than its 
      symbolic one (e.g. A good thumb rule is to
      note down the numeric addresses of your three favourite servers. 
      Sometimes, you may for some reason not be able to connect on the 
      standard irc port 6667. In that case, you may try alternate ports
      7000 and 7777 via 
                /server numeric-address-of-server  port#
      Keep trying different servers (and/or ports) using their numeric 
      addresses, until you're able to connect. If you're still unable to 
      connect, then your local network is probably having problems and you 
      should contact your system admin.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-27) What does the message "Ghosts are not allowed on IRC" or "You are
      banned/not welcome on this server" or "No authorisation" mean?

      You may get either of the first 2 messages when your site or you have 
      been denied access to a particular server. The technical term for it 
      is being "K-lined". If you find that you have been K-lined from a 
      particular server, you can switch to another one. K-lines for entire 
      hosts are sometimes put up by IRC admins for one of the foll. reasons:
      * Your site is not close to the server and you'd be better off using
        a different closer server.
      * Someone from your site has been running destructive clone processes
        over IRC, which used forged ids. The only way to counteract them was
        to k-line the entire domain. If you want the K-line for the host to
        be lifted, you will need to talk to your system admin and get
        identd installed at your site (RFC1413, /src/network/
      If you wish to ask why you were K lined from a server, you can write
      to the server admin for that server. His or her email address can
      be obtained via the command  /admin servername.

      The "No authorisation" 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 I-line only local sites. You should
      try to use a server close to you. A list of servers can be obtained
      in the appendix of this FAQ (part 2).

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-28) What is a netsplit? What's "lag"? How do I avoid either?

      As mentioned earlier, IRC servers are arranged in the shape of an
      acyclic graph. Let's say a sample snapshot of connections looks like

            A  --------------  B
            |                  |
            C                  D

      where A, B, C and D are servers. Let's say that you are on server C,
      and server A splits from server B. 

      This "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 server runs, crashes, or if it is too overloaded to handle 
      connections (happens on bigger nets), or if an IRC operator willfully 
      disrupts the connection between two servers (happens when operators 
      reroute servers to achieve a better routing). 

      Then in this case, you will see users on B and D, "sign off". Voila! 
      That was a "netsplit". When A and B rejoin, you will see users from B 
      and D "rejoin" the channel you were on.  To cut down on the mass
      signoff and rejoin messages that you see during netsplits, you might
      try the "netsplit" script that comes with the ircII client. Use the
      command /load netsplit    to load it.

      The term "lag" refers to the delay in messages reaching their
      destination. You might often see a bunch of messages from a certain
      user all together. In this case it's quite possible that the user
      is "lagged". If you see a flood of messages from *everyone*, then
      no messages for a while, then a flood again, etc., it is quite
      possible that *you* are lagged. To find out how well you are doing
      with respect to others, use the  /ping command.  /ping #channelname
      forces a response from others on the channel, and you can compare
      response times.   

      Lag can occur if you are not connected to a server close to you, or
      if you are on a telnet client, or due to faults in the *physical*
      network, or if the machine on which the server runs is slow. 

      There's not much you can do to avoid netsplits. They're a part of
      the way ircd was designed, and also a part of the way the Internet
      runs. To avoid lag, always use the server closest to you. The /links
      command lists all IRC servers. Use /server servername  to switch

      Both lag and netsplits are much much lesser on the Undernet, but more
      on this later. There is also a lag FAQ at:

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-29) Why do I get that annoying ~ which shows up in front of my address 
      on IRC? How do I get rid of it?

      On IRC, it is often difficult for the server to verify the userid
      of a particular client. Malicious users often use this to their
      advantage by using forged userids and harassing other users, or
      starting destructive clone processes which flood the network with
      garbage. To better authenticate userids, later versions of irc
      servers check to see if an IDENT server runs at your site. If it
      does, the correct userid is queried from the IDENT server and used,
      and the userid given by the user ignored. A server administrator may
      choose to make the server tag users whose machines do not run IDENT
      with a ~ before their name, signifying that they may not be under a
      verified userid. This way, they can also deny access to troublesome
      sites that do not run IDENT. 

      If you see the ~ before your email address in a /whois, and wish to
      get rid of it, you will need to talk to your system administrator,
      and ask him to install ident. The relevant RFC (request for comments)
      which gives more information on ident is RFC1413. The IDENT package
      for Unix systems can be found at:
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-30) Hmm..what are all these "power scripts" that I keep hearing about?
      Do I need them? Why do people call them risky?

      The ircII client supports a scripting language which allows you
      to program useful macros, functions, etc. /help ircII programming
      will help you get started. 

      Most of the scripts that you see advertised are unnecessary. No
      one needs a script that does mass mode changes for instance. (If 
      you're wondering why, each mode change is transmitted to each and
      every server on the net. A mass of mode changes thus eats up a lot
      of unnecessary bandwidth. Think about this the next time you do
      a mode change.) The scripts which come with the client are more
      than sufficient to help you get by. Notable scripts that come to
      mind are the 'tabkey' script, which allows you to flip between 
      people whom you sent messages to before by a press of the tab key,
      and the 'netsplit' script which cuts down on the mass signoffs and
      rejoins that you see during netsplits. 

      When someone offers you a script, do not /load it without going
      over it with a fine toothcomb. Even a simple /load scriptname can
      cause you grief, if you do not know what the script does. Read each
      and every line in the script, and get a general idea of what the
      script does before loading it. Several scripts are known to have
      'backdoors' put there intentionally or unintentionally by the
      authors or distributors. Loading a script which you haven't gone
      over is a BAD idea. To repeat, *never* load a script without reading
      it first. If you do not understand it, DO NOT load it. Yes, it might
      have "worked" for others - let them dig their own graves.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-31) Oh, I see. Now what's a bot? Why do people have a love/hate attitude
      towards bots?  Can I make a bot?

      The term "bot" is short for "robot". You can often come across these
      on IRC. A bot is a detached irc process which simulates another irc
      client. Some bots serve as repositories for files, or useful data,
      or conduct games. Dumb bots only do mode changes. Harmful bots
      fork clone copies of themselves or flood the irc network with
      garbage (clonebots/floodbots).  These are almost universally hated.
      Most bots on IRC are a nuisance, even though their owners find their
      invention "cool". To quote guidelines for bots from the IRC primer:

      * automatons should be clearly identified as such, having "bot",
        "serv" or "srv" in their nickname.

      * they should use NOTICES to communicate with the rest
        of the world, and not reply to NOTICES they get.

      * they should be able to always be killed (craziness is a
        frequent disease among robots).

      * they should be able to be killed remotely by their owner via IRC.

      * they should not give access to their owner's real files, (bandits
        have already been able to crack people's accounts through
        their robots).

      * they should not send messages to channels (unless the channel
        is dedicated to that robot).

      * they should not flood channels with MODE changes.

      Please do not make yet another bot which disregards any of these. IRC
      has more than its share of disruptive bots. *Never* ever take bot code
      from someone and run it without understanding what it does. This is
      a common mistake amongst newbies. Security issues come into play
      again, not to mention that users doing this are often clueless about
      controlling them, and the bots become a big nuisance. If you *must*
      run a bot, learn ircII programming, or even better, C/perl & network
      programming, and make sure that your bot serves a useful purpose
      rather than "ops you on your channel and keeps it open when you are
      not there".
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-32) Help! This extremely obnoxious person keeps harassing me with
      messages/flooding me. What should I do?

      One of the first commands that a newcomer to IRC must learn is the
      magic /ignore command. With this command you can ignore people 
      flooding you or your channel, or harassing you, or whatever. The
      syntax of the ignore command is:

              /ignore user@host ALL

       To find the user@host for a person, do a /whois nickname, or a 
       /who nickname. If you just wish to ignore messages from the person 
       you may do a /ignore nick MSG.  /help ignore  will give you more
       information on this command. You can use wildcards (* and ?)in the 
       user@host. Thus to ignore everyone from a *.com site, 
        /ignore *@*.com all
       On the Undernet, you can also use the "/quote silence" command to 
       counter people flooding you. This cuts flooding at the *local*
       server unlike /ignore where your client continues to receive
       messages even though you may not see them, and causes your client
       to ping timeout in many cases. The syntax is:

               /quote silence +user@host
        or     /quote silence nick

        Ocassionally, malicious users may hack their userid or use
        different accounts to get around your /ignore. Do not despair. You
        can still evade people like these by going invisible and changing
        nicks as follows:
              /mode yournick +i      or alternatively,   /umode +i
        followed by,
              /nick newnick
        Once you're invisible the harasser cannot see your new nickname
        unless s/he's on the same channel as yourself. Simple make your
        channel secret and invite only (/mode #channelname +sni) for you
        and your friends, for a foolproof cure.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-33) Hey..I heard that you can exchange files over IRC - how is that done? 
      What's DCC?

      If you have a client that supports DCC (direct client-to-client),
      you can take advantage of it to exchange files, and even hold secure
      conversations with your friends. To send a file via DCC to another
      person, use:
           /dcc send nickname filename
      The other person who's offered the file via DCC, will need to type in
           /dcc get nickname filename
      You will see establishment of a DCC connection. Now wait patiently,
      until the transfer is completed.

      You can also use DCC to have a more secure conversation with another
      person. DCC opens a direct connection which means that apart from
      the initial requests to establish the DCC connection, further
      exchange takes place directly between 2 clients without involvement
      of intervening IRC servers. To use DCC CHAT, try
          /dcc chat nickname
      Then, to send a message via dcc to the person, use 
           /msg =nickname  message    (note the '=' sign which is required, 
      otherwise the message will not go over the dcc connection). You may
      also try /dmsg nick message.  /help dcc should give you more information 
      on DCC.

      To close a previously sent DCC connection, use the command
             /dcc close <type> <nick>
      For example, if you had sent a file called sample.txt to Mmmm, and 
      wish to terminate the send, use
             /dcc close send Mmmm
      To list current DCC connections in use, try the command
             /dcc list

      You can also find a FAQ about CTCP and DCC information at User-Com's
      documents section at
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-34) How can I "register" my nickname? What's Nickserv?

      Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that you can use the
      same nickname when you're on IRC. Although it is considered extremely
      impolite to use someone else's nickname, it does happen occasionally
      on IRC. This can cause confusion, and hence you're advised to make
      sure that your friends recognise you by your user@host. 

      However, all is not lost. There does exist a service call Nickserv
      which will register nicknames and warn other users who attempt to
      use the same nickname that the nickname's registered by you. On
      the Undernet, Nickserv's still in an experimental stage. Use
        /msg help        
      for more information. Remember that it is not a guarantee that your
      nickname will not be used. Steps are underway to strengthen the 
      undernet Nickserv, if possible. To repeat, Nickserv cannot be
      guaranteed to be even present all the time. In fact, it is absent
      most of the time, since it is only in an experimental stage. Do
      not depend on its existence.
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-35) Where can I find pictures/gifs of people on IRC?

      You can find pictures of people who use IRC at the following FTP
      sites: (NORDUnet only) /pub/comp/networking/irc/RP
      If you have a web browser, you may try the following URLs: 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-36) Where can I find an IRC manual? Where can I find more information
      on IRC?

      You can find an ircII manual at under /irc/clients.
      This manual is basically all the help files concatenated into one
      big file. If you'd prefer each in separate files, ftp ircII2.2.9help.
      tar.Z, and uncompress and untar it (uncompress ircII2.2.9help.tar.Z
      | tar -xf -).

      For more information on IRC, you can download the IRC primer and
      tutorials from under /irc/support. For a technical 
      overview, you can try reading RFC1459.  You can also join the
      Undernet mailing lists - user-com (general irc help) and wastelanders
      (discussion of server routing/protocol/etc). To find out how to 
      subscribe, send mail to (or
      or with "help" in the body.

      If you use Mosaic, good URLs to try are:

      Good IRC books to try are:

      * "The IRC Survival Guide" - Stuart Harris. $17.95 U.S. Addison-Wesley
        ISBN 0-201-41000-1

      * "Using Internet Relay Chat" - Marianne Pyra. $19.99 U.S. Que
        Corporation (Macmillan Publications). ISBN 0-7897-0020-4

      * "Internet Chat Quick Tour" - Donald Rose. Ventana Press.
        P.O. Box 2468 Chapel Hill, NC 27515. 919-942-0220
        ISBN: 1-56604-223-2. $14.00

      * Interactive Internet: The Insider's Guide to MUDs, MOOs and IRC
        - William J. Shefski Publisher: Prima ISBN: 1-55958-748-2
        Price: US $19.95; Can, $29.95; UK 18.49 net

      * Person to Person on the Internet - Diane Reiner and Keith Blanton
        Publisher: AP Professional (an imprint of Academic Press, Inc.,
        a division of Harcourt Brace & Company) Paperback, 490 pages 
        $19.95 ISBN: 0-12-104245-6 Sales: (800) 321-5068, (800) 3131-APP,
        or email to APP@ACAD.COM. Web:

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version: 2.6.2

Mandar Mirashi            
Maintainer:, Undernet IRC FAQ.
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