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Welcome to MacIRC

This readme gives basic information about using MacIRC, however it doesnt attempt to explain IRC. There are many documents on the nature of IRC available on the web, and it's a good idea to some before you start, so i advise taking a look at the information on

IRC stands for 'Internet Relay Chat'. MacIRC allows you to connect to IRC using your mac and talk to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. On IRC, you are known by your 'nickname' and can talk to people who are in the same "channel" as you (each channel is like a virtual room, and each has its own topic - you can be in more than one at once.)

If this all sounds confusing, you
really need to go to the above web site and do some reading.

Connecting to IRC, the first time around

Launch MacIRC
Choose "File: Connect Toš" to create a new IRC connection.

MacIRC will create the connection (visible in the connections palette) and display an edit window for the connection.

Nickname: A name that you want to be your 'alias' on IRC. The first character must be a letter, the rest can be either letters or digits. Some networks restrict your nickname to 9 characters, and will truncate it if you use a longer name. Your nickname can be changed while you are on IRC. Locking your nickname causes it to reset back to your setting when you leave IRC.

Username: A second name, much like the nickname except used less often.

Real name: An area where you can put your full real name, email address, or some other info for others to read.

Server: The address of the IRC Server to which you wish to connect. If you arent allowed to connect to the server you choose, or you mistype the server address, you'll get an error message when you try to connect.

Some servers to try out (there are hundreds to choose from):

Password: Rarely used, leave this field blank.

Automatic: Used for advanced users - You can type commands here to have them used for you when the connection begins. Leave it blank to start with.

"Save Default" will cause your settings to be used for all new connections you create.

"Connect" when you have all the settings as you want them and MacIRC will connect to the specified server. (Once MacIRC is connected, the button will change to "Reconnect" and pressing it will cause MacIRC to close and then reopen the connection.) Once the connection process begins, MacIRC will close the edit window. If at any time you wish to reopen this window, double click the connection (in the connection palette.)

Problems connecting?

The IRC connection will not be ready for use immediately. The connection status icon will turn orange and spin while the connection is being established, then a green when the connection is ready for use.
The first time you connect to a particular server, the server's "Message of the Day" will appear in its own window. Read through this window and then close it off. Its usually a legal disclaimer. (The motd will show up again if it is changed.)

If MacIRC is unable to connect after about a minute, an error will be displayed in the Server window. If this happens you've probably got something wrong with your setup, or you're not allowed onto this particular server. Double click the connection to edit it, fix the information, then press "

Once you're connected to IRC

A topic that's well beyond the scope of this document, however, here's some tips:

If you're trying to meet up with a friend on IRC, you'll need to know what channel they are going to be on.
Type /join #channel and press return to go to that channel (a channel window will open) and then type.. every time you press return, what you've typed will be sent to everyone else on the channel.

If you're just exploring IRC, try one of the following:
/join #IRCHelp
/join #Macintosh

If you're looking for a specific topic, then you can try going directly to that channel. For example, if you want to talk to people about goldfish, try #goldfish or #fish. There's no guarantee that there'll be anyone else on the channel (look in the names palette to see if there's anyone apart from yourself) or that they'll be interested in talking to you.

Finishing up for the day

To disconnect from IRC, click on the status icon for your connection. It will return to the grey color to signify that you are no longer connected to IRC. This connection will stick around so that you can use it again (click on the status icon to turn it back on, or click and hold to get a popup menu of options.) If you no longer want the connection, select it and click on the trash icon at the bottom-left of the connection palette.

You can Quit from MacIRC at any time. If you do this, your connections will be closed automatically.

Multiple connections

It is possible to create multiple connections and use any or all of them at the same time. You can select which connection you're using by clicking on the connection icon on the top of the input palette. When you swap to a particular window, the connection that the window belongs to will be selected automatically.

It is strongly recommended that you
do not have more than one connection to the same IRC Server (or even, IRC network) at the same time. There is usually no reason to do so, and you are liable to get your ISP banned from the server or network in question. If your ISP is banned from a server, you'll have to use a different server.

Having connections to different IRC Networks at the same time is fine, but get used to using one connection before you try more.

Updates and registration

Updates to MacIRC are available online at and several mirror sites. If you've got MacIRC from somewhere else, it is recommended that you check for updates (which you should also do one a month or so) at this web site.

MacIRC is not limited in any way for un-registered users. However if, after trying it out for a week or so, you decide to keep MacIRC, it is your legal obligation to pay for it. A "single user license" costs US$20/AUS$20. This is a once-only fee; that is: all updates are free.

Bug reports and feature requests can be sent to Please read the web site and check the known bugs before you send a bug report.

Please support shareware

To register MacIRC, send US$20 / AUS$20 to the address below, along with your email address (so i can confirm your registration, and notify you of updates.) Payment will be accepted in US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Cheques or Australian Money orders.

MacIRC is Copyright ©1995-1997 Chris Bergmann
26 Coombell St. Jindalee Brisbane QLD 4074 Australia