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Internet Relay Chat

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) provides a way for people from all over the world to communicate real time (in the moment, without delay). IRC is a collective term to mean a type of software that follows a prescribed IRC protocol.

The concepts can be confusing at first. However, we'll use the analogy of going to college. To say that you go on IRC is like saying you go to a college. But just because you go to a college doesn't mean that you know Fred's sister's kid, Jenny, who goes to Berkeley. Even if you go to Cal Berkeley, you may not know Jenny. There are many programs of study, and there are many different buildings that those subjects are sorted into, and in any one building there are many classrooms. To go to a specific classroom, you enter a building. On IRC, there are server entry points (doors to a building) and channels (rooms). The Cal campus has many buildings, but no matter how many of them you enter, you won't end up at Stanford. With IRC, if you connect with EFnet, you will not be able to be in the same channel with a friend at DALnet. The system, although similar, is made up of a totally different network of servers.


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