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    Monday, October 16, 2006

    Memory monday and a recap of IRC

    A few days back I made a post regarding gripes with some venues I visit via my favorite way to pc chat...IRC. I was a lil surprised some had know idea what the hell I was talking about, and had to rethink. I often forget alot of people have no idea of some the older technologies started as extensions of the internet, completely independent of what we today call the "web". Technologies like Usenet, Gopher, Fido, and ofcourse, IRC.

    IRC simply stands for Internet Relay chat, and is the old dog of online chat services. Almost every IM you use today, be it AIM, MSIM, ICQ, has to some degree it's roots in IRC. Initially a simple extension of the telnet protocol, and meant for communication between college campuses, it's evolved heavily over the years. It's history is pretty amazing as it's had it share of civil wars...splits, and upstarts.
    It's an open standard, and not owned by anybody, unlike services like skype, AOL, and the like.

    If you'd like to learn more on how to access this silliness, mIRCis a good place to start.

    OK, primer aside, here is how I got initiated to the world of IRC.

    Around 93, there was no such thing as the internet here. We had a share of local bbs's, shortly there after....."LOUD SCARY MUSIC"..AOL. At the time, I was a part of a local BBS and we were a pretty tight knit group, but AOL was cooler. AOL was prettier to look at, AOL had "chat rooms", AOL was cool, AOL charged by the minute after 500 minutes per month.

    My wife at the time had decided to be a "stay at home mom" with the birth of the manchild ( I call her the Ex now ). Money was tight, I had to take on extra hours, but the 24.95 a month was within the budget. She liked AOL, she liked AOL alot. The ability to chat with people from all over the country, in real time was indeed, very cool.

    The 1st bill for 350.00 after adjusted for additional minutes......hurt. The next...was annoying. I suspect there were others, I stopped seeing the bills. Around the late end of 94, we got our 1st real ISP with local dial-up. A friend aware of my dilemma turned me on to IRC, it had the same features, the interface was graphical, it was a global network, and it was free if I had a dial-up account.

    I signed on for a local dial-up, we instantly had access to web pages, e-mail, and yes...IRC.....and it saved me hundreds of dollars a month at that time. Enough to fund my divorce..........:)

    Over the 12 or so years I've been yakking that venue, I've seen friends come and go, made some lifelong friendships, got laid, had my heart broke a time or two.

    I introduced IRC to my lovely wife Agrah when we were 1st dating, as a cheap way for us to chat while we lived apart, and long distance telephone calls hurt us. It failed miserably in that we'd call eachother anywho and yak about the other people in the

    We still yak on IRC regular. Met some great people, and aquired some amazing tales.

    Long live IRC......:)

    Comments on "Memory monday and a recap of IRC"


    Blogger Suze said ... (8:54 AM) : 

    That was a lovely and educational post. I like to use MSM but you can't beat face to face conversations.

    It bridges those miles though and helps me keep in touch with fellow bloggers across the pond. We just need to be in the same time zone now. lol


    Blogger Spitfire said ... (6:45 PM) : 

    hee hee...maybe the skype?


    Blogger ZigZagMan said ... (8:16 PM) : 

    Ya know....I have yet to try skype. I've tried similar services in the past....was a beta tester for a product called "firetalk" before they went belly up, but those were all back when I was on dial-up.

    We've talked about it, have mixed feelings as it borders on breaking some of our basic flirting rules here...still


    Anonymous Bubba said ... (8:15 AM) : 

    Like ya say hoss, I had tried all the VoIP (voice over IP) apps a few years ago. To say they were "cute" would have been generous. ;) However, I have been using Skype for over a year now. Actually, I spent some time talking to Andie on Skype last night while I am here in Portugal. Even in shared hotel internet, the performance is acceptible. With dedicate access, it's wonderful. Until the end of the year, they are making their in country PC to regular phone line calls free! But even the pay calls are not bad. I am paying .021 a min to call from Portugal to Canada. I paid $10 for like 10 hours of PC to PTSN (Public Telephone Switched Network) calls. Talked to Andie last night on her cell as she was walking home.

    I've used it from Denmark, Scotland, Australia and other corners of the globe. Even in most US hotels! As far as I can tell, Skype is one of the best out there for VoIP to PTSN.

    Yes, MSN, Yahoo, AIM and ICQ all have Voice PC to PC calling now. But if your call needs to get out on the public telco systems, Skype is hard to beat.



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