Some folks have asked me how they can join in the Transneptune IRC channel. What follows is a guide for those new to IRC.
IRC is not quite like the chat you know. It’s a wild and woolly frontier from the early days of the internet.
- Anyone can run their own IRC network; the first thing you need to know is whose server you’re connecting to. The next thing is what channel(s) on that server you want to join.
- Identity is not stable in IRC; you need to use an identity service (running on the server) if you want to claim and protect an identity.
- Anyone can write their own IRC client; there are a bazillion to choose from, and many can be configured within an inch of their life.
So, for Transneptune, you’ll be connecting to Freenode (one of the largest and
best known IRC networks out there) at
means: the hostname is
irc.freenode.net, the port is
6697 (the default for
secured IRC) and the protocol is IRCS (IRC:IRCS::HTTP:HTTPS; it’s IRC wrapped
in SSL. So, you might need to make this happen just by checking a box that
Then, you’ll connect to the channel
#transneptunegames. Except you can’t! The
channel is set to only accept users who are registered with IRC’s identity
NickServ. So you’ve gotta do that first. (A note: usernames in IRC
are referred to as “nicks”, short for “nicknames”. Traditionally, before
identity services, it was common to change them fluidly, as and where you
NickServ. Dealing with
NickServ is like messaging a user, except it’s
not a human, of course. So, you can type:
/msg NickServ help
And that’ll start a private conversation with
NickServ where you begin by
saying “help”. At which point,
NickServ will reply with basic help. READ. IT.
One lesson from IRC is that many of your existing mental categories don’t
apply, so you have to take the time to read and learn how the system works.
You’re gonna want to then send:
to learn more about the register command. That should guide you the rest of the way to reserving your nick.
Once you’ve registered and identified yourself, you can join
And then, let’s talk!
(One addendum: you can usually configure your IRC client to auto-join certain
channels, and auto-identify with
NickServ. It’s really helpful. My client of
choice is IRCcloud, which also maintains a persistent connection, so I can see
logs of all the conversations that happen when I’m not actively on. But there
are many other ways to skin that cat.)