The History of IRC


1. Some information on IRC
2. Some information on IRC Networks

1. Some Info on IRC

IRC or Internet Relay Chat was originally written by Jarkko Oikarinen in the year 1988. Since it's birth in Finland, IRC is in use in over sixty countries worldwide. IRC was originally designed as a replacement for a program called "Talk". "What is IRC?" you may ask. IRC is a multi-user chat system that connects 'servers' around the world by means of a 'cable' of sorts. These servers form a gigantic web that allows you to connect to a given server. You can then join 'chat rooms' or 'channels' that don't really exist. They are virtual meeting halls of sorts. This allows anyone with an internet connection to participate in live chat. During IRC's relativly short history it has quickly shown it's superiority over other chat systems like those owned by America On Line. This is because of several reasons. Firstly, IRC is free. There is no charge to use IRC or and there are no prerequisets to join.

Internet Relay Chat was propelled into the spotlight during the gulf war in 1991. During this period information was relayed from around the world. Family's could communicate from thousands of miles away. IRC was a meeting place and an information clearinghouse for those who needed information that was both up to date and reliable.

IRC has also been used during the Los Angeles Riots, the bombings in Israel,the Presidential Elections in the United States, and of course, Monica Lewinsky's deposition. The BBSnet IRC Network believes strongly in free speech and freedom. As will be stated below, IRC is supported by individuals who gain no profit from their support of IRC (ISPs excepted).Therefore, many IRC networks including BBSnet do not allow the trading of so called 'kiddy-porn.'

It is important to remember that Internet Relay Chat is free and is supported not by a conglomerate company but by a small group of generous Sysops (System Opeators), Admins (Server Administrators) and IRCops (IRC Operators). None of these people are paid for their support and generously provide a safe environment for you, the user.

2. Information on the IRC Networks

The largest IRC network is called EFnet (Eris Free Net), which has over fifty-thousand users and eight thousand active channels. Unfortunatly it has many troubling downsides, such as being one of the slowest networks. There is often a lot of lag time because of overwhelming users, bad server routing and connections and also hacking.

Undernet, though smaller, has servers in the United States, Canada, Australia and in Europe. The Undernet attempted to do away with the high consumption of bandwidth and channel chaos that was created by a large number of users running bots (programs that perform a certain task). These bots were usually intended to protect channels from takeovers or were used to takeover channels themselves. The Undernet offered the CService-a program that allowed users with W or X type bots to register channels and protect them from troublemakers. The Undernet hit major stumbling blocks in the areas of customer services and care, but the one area of service that the Undernet excelled at was in innovations. The Undernet allowed for new commands to be installed in the IRCd and new channel modes to be used. It also allowed for greater security for channels and channel modes aswell as users.

The summer of the year 1994 dawned a new age for the users of Internet Relay Chat. During this time the BBSnet IRC Network was formed using a modified version of the DalNet IRCd, which in turn was based on the UnderNet IRCd. This IRCd was edited cheifly by Alexei "Lefler" Kosut. Some of the innovations included: global WallOps (IRCop messages that can be seen by users who are +w (/mode NickName +w)), longer nicknames, Q:Lined nicknames (nicknames that cannot be used i.e. ChanServ, IRCop, NickServ, etc.), global K:Lines (ban of one person or an entire domain from a server or the entire network), IRCop only communications: GlobOps, +H mode showing that an IRCop is a HelpOp also and many, many, many more features. DALnet's unique services were originally coded in early 1995 by Brian "Morpher" Smith and allow users to own nicknames, channels, send memos and do much, much more. These services are superior to the X and W bots because they are omnipotent and invisably reside in every channel. Because of this channel bots are not needed. ChanServ's automatic channel registration eliminates the lengthy processes of Undernet while still being extremely easy to use and also very secure.

DALnet also provides users with the ability to 'own' one's NickName. The /msg nickserv register PASSWORD command is all that is needed to own your own nickname an ensure that it is always there for you when you come online Note: PASSWORD is your own password that you MUST remember or write down for future use). DALnet users can also send Post-It type 'memos' to eachother if both user's nicknames are registered. More info on services is available on our services page.

BBSnet is based on the DALnet IRC technology, using a simular set of services to protect channels and nicks (ChanServ and NickServ) as well as memos (MemoServ) . You can get help from any of these services while on line by typing "/msg NickServ help" or "/msg Chanserv help" for example.

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