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Welcome to #osho Chat!, the first installment of a regular Osho Heartbeats feature. In this issue we'll be focusing on the most popular type of chat on the internet today--Internet Relay Chat (or "IRC" for short), but in future installments we hope to introduce you to some of the non-IRC approaches to chatting over the internet, including so-called Web-Chat services.
IRC was originally developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988. IRC is a multi-user chat system where people can meet online in virtual meeting places, typically called "channels" or "rooms," which are often devoted to specific topics or interests. While it is possible to meet and converse in groups, one can also speak privately, one-on-one. It is also possible to be on several channels, and even completely different networks, at the same time. What's more, you can do more with IRC than just type cute little phrases at one another. Through IRC one can exchange files electronically, be they pictures, sounds, programs, etc.
While it's a little intimidating for some people at first, it really doesn't take all that long to "get the hang of it." And like anything worth putting energy into, the rewards increase through time and experience. The nice thing about channel #osho is that you'll be sure to find helpful people there (when there are people there--it's often quiet these days--a condition I hope will change in response to these articles).
In order to get started, you'll need a connection to the internet (which you may safely assume you have if you're reading this on-line). The next thing you'll need is the right software, and there are literally dozens of IRC programs (also called "clients") out there for a wide range of computers and operating systems. Then you will need to connect to an IRC server, which in turn is linked to other servers on the same IRC network. The Undernet IRC network is the choice for #osho because it is well-maintained, stable, and widely accessible. Once connected to a server, you'll be ready to join #osho and start chatting.
Before going any further, I must confess that I'm a Windows 95 user with a strong preference for the program mIRC. While I have had some experience with other programs, this is my background. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate you Mac, OS/2, LINUX, Amiga, UNIX, etc. users to feel free to e-mail me with your suggestions and corrections.
Now...let's get started, shall we?
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Copyright © 1997, Vipal Prem
Revised: May 5th, 1997