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C&G IRC Introduction

Before major updates, C&G had a chat function that was great for our members to communicate in real time about anything be it topics on the forum, or just shooting the breeze. It was especially handy if you need to give directions or ask/answer quick questions. However, that function was unstable, and caused plenty of problems.

However, there is a way to talk with members using Internet Relay Chat which is a tried and true method for e-talking over the the large series of tubes called the Internet. All it requires is a 'client' and a little finagling to get set up and running. Many IRC clients exists, and they all do the same things but have various quirks and differences. For simplicites sake, I will be demonstrating using the "Chatzilla" client because it's easy, and accessable, but requires the use of the FireFox browser.


This program is a 'plugin' for Firefox, so if you already have FF installed, you're in for an easy installation. If you do not have FireFox, I recommend using it because it's safer and a more complete experience. For those that do not wish to use FF, I will try to offer a guide for another IRC client that doesn't need FF to operate.

Installing Chatzilla

#1: With FireFox, simply head to this address: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/16

#2: Click the big green button 'Add to Firefox' and a dialog box will pop up asking if you'd like to install the software. Simply click 'Install Now' , and let FF work it's magic. Another box will pop up, with Chatzilla installed, and asking you to restart Firefox.

#3: Once restarted, a box will appear with all sorts of buttons, words, and tweaks. Simply disregard all of those options, and exit the box. You've now installed Chatzilla, and the hard part is over!

Using Chatzilla/Accessing IRC/Nicknames

#4: With FireFox open, head to the top toolbar and click 'Tools'. In the drop-down menu will be 'ChatZilla,' which you simply click, and wait for a window to show up.

#5: The window that appears will look somewhat similar to programs like AOL Messenger or MSN Messenger with three boxes for text and names. The biggest box will have a splash page complete with links to help, IRC commands, and other means of support. The box to the left will contain the names, and the statuses of the people in the channel. At the bottom is the box where text is entered!

#6: You're almost there! On the screen that Chatzilla displays, a series of networks are shown in blue. If you look, you'll notice the name 'freenode.' Click it, and you should see a wall of text appear in seconds; none of it will concern you.

A problem may occur during this process. In many cases, it is likely due to your name being taken.

"This nickname is registered. Please choose a different nickname, or identify via /msg NickServ identify <password>."

Because hundreds of thousands of people are using the network, there's a good chance that your name is being used. If that is the case, simply click the button to the left of the text box, and a menu will pop up. The first thing on the menu is an option to change your nickname, so simply click it and a box will appear that will let you do it. You may need a couple attempts to find one that can be used.

Be forewarned that you may use a nickname that is registered by someone else, but is not in use. If that is the case, your nickname will become a garbled mess of numbers or letters within a few minutes, or you could be even booted off the network.

A good suggestion is to use the initials CG in front of your nickname, like CGCaptain or CGDodgefan.

#7: Now that you have your desired nickname, it's time to join C&G's channel. This is the easy part.

In the text box where you type, all you need to do is punch in:

/join #cheersandgears

...and press Enter. If all goes to plan, Chatzilla will send you into the channel! At the left, you should hopefully see some familiar names. You're now in! People might be 'in' there, but not necessarily at their computer, but if you hang around, you'll be gabbing.

Edited by TheCaptain

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IRC Tips & Tricks/Shortcuts

Wanna be l33t at IRC? Here's a few common tips to know.

You can join the IRC Server and #cheersandgears automatically! Follow these simple steps to log you in every time:

Right after you access the 'freenode' server, but before you enter #cheersandgears channel, go to the toolbar at the top of the Chatzilla window, and click the IRC button. The drop down menu will appear, and go down the list until you see the option to 'Open This Network at Startup' and click it.

Next, /join #cheersandgears , and then head to the IRC menu in the Chatzilla toolbar again. This time, the drop down menu will have an option to 'Open This Channel at Startup' which you need to click on.

That's it, now whenever you want to chat with C&G, the process is simplified. 8)

IRC Channel Tabs: In between the text boxes are tabs that show the channels you are on. The first two, 'client' and 'freenode' are not of importance. A tab with #cheersandgears indicates the chat channel.

Addressing people directly in the Channel: A good IRC channel will often have a couple conversations going at a time. If you need to talk to someone directly, all you need to do is type the first couple letters of their name, hit the 'Tab' key which will autocomplete their name, and then what you need to say. They will be dinged, and the channel tab will have red lettering. This is useful if you're asking someone questions or providing important answers.

Addressing people privately in the Channel: Sometimes people need to talk outside of the channel. If you want to speak with someone in private, simply find their nickname on the left, and double click it. A new box will open, where you can type privately to them. You may alternate between your private chat and the main chat channel by using the tabs.

'AFK': Away From Keyboard. If you gotta head out or do something but want to still idle in he channel, simply put [AFK] beside your nickname. (CGCaptain[AFK])

'BRB': Be right back. Type it in to let people know you're leaving for a short period.


Change your name quickly by doing: /nick <new nickname> in the text bar, without the brackets and hit enter.

Typing /away and hitting enter will show you as away. Typing /back will say you've returned.

Edited by TheCaptain

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If you have any questions about the use of the program or if you encounter troubles in its use or want tweaks done to the instructions, simply post in here and let us know. A troubleshooting section will be made as problems arise. Also, I aim to have a guide for those of you who do not wish to use Chatzilla up in the next couple days. I hope the guide so far is easy to understand and gets you rolling fast.

We invite you to come and join in, even if there may be few to no people in the channel. If you idle in there while doing other things on your PC, people will likely be more likely to hang around which will help fill it up.

Edited by TheCaptain

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[ERROR] Command “join” must be run in the context of an attached server.

Did you click the 'freenode' link before doing /join #cheersandgears?

Try this out:

Type /server irc.freenode.com on the first screen, and see if it accesses freenode.

Edited by TheCaptain

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Cool, I'll probably try it this evening.

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We've had a few of our members join up, and not report any issues! We invite you to hop in, and join our current discussion about Extended K-Cars and Dreamcast's. :P

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OK, I was able to do it. I'm in.

Are you sure? A few of us are in, and there's no sign of you. :P

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Couple people on right now. It's easy to get on, and there's always stirring, thought provoking discussion. :P

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