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The IRC / Chatroom: Wot am?

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I know there's quite a lot of people who either aren't aware of the chatroom, or who don't understand what it is, so I thought I'd write a quick FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) thread for you.


What's the chatroom?


The chatroom is an IRC-based area where you can meet and talk with a motley crew of various other individuals from around the world who, like you, have been afflicted with the airsoft bug. Unlike the forums there is no different sections and threads - imagine a pub with everyone talking and having their own little conversations. There is also the ability to PM one another, but let's move onto that in a minute...


The main advantage over the chatroom is that when you talk, if people are around, they will respond, almost immediately. This enables you to have a conversation quickly with other users, whereas on the forums this sometimes can be harder to achieve.


IRC? What the heck is that?


IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It is one of the oldest forms of synchronous online communication that was produced for the Internet, and remains hugely popular, particular with hobby, game and lifestyle communities.


IRC is based around individuals connecting (using a program called a client) to a server (like you use your web browser to connect to this forum). On the server are hundreds of 'channels', which are different rooms for various topics (like the different sections on this forum).


The Official Arnies IRC community is currently housed on a public IRC server network, irc.quakenet.org in a channel named, imaginatively enough, #arniesairsoft. We do hope eventually to secure private hosting, but at the moment we're glad for what we do have. :)


Okay, so how do I get on this IRC Chatroom doohicky?


Amazingly, by following on the 'Chatroom' link visible in the top right of any Arnies Airsoft webpage. Alternatively click here. This will take you to the Arnies Java client, a built in IRC client which you don't have to download or set up to use. This is excellent for people wanting to quickly pop on for any reason, such as if you're at work, school or on holiday, or at a friend's house. To use it simply log in and you'll automatically appear with your forum nickname.


I don't want to use the Java client. How else do I connect?


Instead of using Java you can use an IRC client. This is an actual program you'll have to download to your PC. One of the traditional, no-nonsense (and in my opinion best) clients is MIRC, available from www.mirc.com.


Once you've downloaded and installed the client, you'll need to set up the client to connect to the server, which is irc.quakenet.org, and then join the #arniesairsoft channel, by typing '/join #arniesairsoft'


Okay, I'm connected...And people are doing things like changing their name, leaving and rejoining, and so on. How do I do this?


There's much better guides than mine here on this, but just to get you started:


/nick 'X' - Sets your name on the Chatroom to 'X' (replace as appropriate). Please note that being on a public server means that sometimes your name may already be in use by another. In these cases, you may have to pick another name.


/msg q hello This is a Quakenet-specific command which starts the registration process for your username on Quakenet. Use this to register your nickname so that others cannot steal it. Please bare in mind however that Quakenet is used by hundreds of thousands of users from around the globe, and so it is entirely likely that your username is already in use / registered.


/me yourtexthere Use this to write without your nickname appearing before your text. People use this typically to describe actions.


/Leave Leaves the current IRC channel.


/Join #arniesairsoft Connects to the named channel (in this case #arniesairsoft). If you get jokingly kicked by an operator, type this to return. Many clients support auto-rejoining - check your client's documentation for this.

/Quit Disconnects from the server.


What the heck? Nobody's talking about airsoft!


Ah yes, the main criticism of the chatroom. Please be aware that you enter the channel at your own peril - we can't be held responsible if it's so off-topic at first that you can't figure out what's going on.


You'll often find because the channel is frequented by people from all around the world, and who are ranging from being there their first time to being chatroom regulars, that all manners of weird and wonderful things are being discussed. This can lead to some very bizarre conversations, quite often totally unrelated to airsoft.


When joining please bear in mind that, like someone visiting a pub, you can't go barging into other people's conversations, then demand that they talk about what you want to talk about.


Instead, the best thing to do is join, say hello, get a feel for the place, and join in when you can. People will feel much more keen to participate in what you want to discuss if you show yourself to at least be willing to humour theirs...


Anything else?


I think that's all that comes to mind for now. Feel free to add extra questions you feel a lot of people will want to know here, and I'll add them as I go. Thanks. :)

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