IRC channel #riscos created: We look at the RISC OS chat scene and the infamous #acornBy Chris Williams. Published: 1st Dec 14:51:52 | Permalink | Printable
Currently, in the mysterious lands of internet chat, there exists a room where RISC OS users meet and talk about computers and life in general. This channel is refered to as #acorn and has over time expanded beyond RISC OS computers and the discussions have spilled into the realms of Unix, TV and who is the most popular on the channel. Below the concept of IRC, (internet relay chat), is explained for users who are oblivious to IRC and want to know more: basically, while in a channel you broadcast messages to the people present in the channel who can respond and write back right there and then.
#acorn is a lively place and, despite feeling a little crowded, quite a lot goes on in there. While the Drobe editors are not heavy IRC users, we have come to accept that not everyone on IRC is helpful and amiable. Bearing this in mind, IRC can open up connections to new friends and solve any problems you might have.
As previously mentioned, the discussions on #acorn can sometimes be totally irrelevant to RISC OS computers- not that this is a bad thing, talking about computers 24/7 messes with your head.
John, a regular user of #acorn, has decided to therefore create #riscos, a new channel aimed at new users seeking help or competent users looking for advice.
"The channel has mainly been set up to allow users to ask questions about RISC OS and its related computers' hardware", writes #acorn user johnd in an email announcing the channel creation, "..without the distraction of arguments on off topic subjects such as Linux, and fooling about." A harsh comment maybe but it does outline the frustrations of a few users. This move to create a new channel is hoped to alleviate the 'signal to noise' ratio of the discussions held on IRC. Looking through the channel's 'charter' reveals, to an extent, the aim of the channel. The channel maintainers intend to operate a minimal operator policy. This means that most of the time, there will be no human operators, (see below for what an 'operator' is). If the need arises for a user to have ops, that user will be someone responsible enough not to start kicking or banning people just because of a differing opinion. John stressed that it is unlikely you will ever be kicked from #riscos, unless you are abusive towards others or flout these guidelines even after being warned.
To join #riscos you need to connect to the server using an IRC client such as LIRC (available at the end of this article). Once connected to IRCnet, type...
..into the writeable icon which appears. Once you have done that you will be able to get help from the channel members. LIRC contains full documentation if you get lost along the way. A list of channel helpers has been put together which is available from the #riscos website. If you are new to IRC and you want to try it out, we suggest you start with #riscos before progressing into the deep waters of #acorn. Have fun.
What is IRC?
IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a feature of the internet that is unused by the majority of normal internet users. The media like to get their claws into IRC and fuel public concern. As an IRC user myself, most IRC users are harmless. All IRC servers are linked together into one big network. In this network, there exists hundreds of channels, a channel being a room a group of users are in. Users are free to move from channel to channel. Each user has there own nickname, (Drobe editor Chris uses drobe_cj), and each channel has several users called 'ops'. Ops have the authority to kick people off channels if they misbehave; generally most Ops do possess a good level of responsibility and rarely abuse this power. Generally, the best way to learn about IRC is to use itand find out for yourself. Alternatively, a link to the #acorn IRC help guide is given below.
John Duffell, maintainer of #riscos: firstname.lastname@example.org
#riscos website: www.riscos.cjb.net
LIRC IRC client: www.riscos.mine.nu
To use IRC you must use a client application which acts as a go between for you and the IRC network. LIRC is highly regarded by most RISC OS users and features full help documentation.
#acorn IRC guide: www.pilgrim.demon.co.uk
This site was created and maintained during the early days of #acorn. Even so, it still provides an excellent guide to #acorn and IRC in general.
Web-based IRC: www.missingu.com
missingu.com provides IRC access through a web browser. You will need a good Java enabled browser to cope with the applet that connects you to the IRC network. Great for IRC from work ;)
Drobe on IRC: In a fairly regular basis, you can talk to Chris ('drobe_cj') on #acorn, or email us instead.
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