Technology


IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The Canadian Dog Judges Association has a registered IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel on the "StarlinkIRC" server. For those of you unfamiliar with IRC it is a 'real time' text chat system where you can type a conversation in real time with other IRC users. The channel is called #CDJA and it is in operation 24 hours a day. The channel is kept open by Cstar. The channel is used for meetings but in between can be a place to drop in for some idle conversation. Drop in some time and you may run into dear friends or someone you have been hoping to talk to.

To access the chatline you will need an IRC client (program) and this can be downloaded from many areas. If you are interested in trying out IRC but aren't sure how to get there please continue on to the section below on "GETTING ON #CDJA".

IRC INSTRUCTIONS - Getting on #CDJA

For those experiencing difficulties in getting on the Canadian Dog Judges Association channel on IRC the following is basic "how to" from the downloading of the program to the mechanics of actually getting into the chatroom. Please try this first but if you continue to experience problems email irc@dogjudge.com with as much information about the problem as you can and we will attempt to solve your issues.

The Program

I recommend mIRC as the best available client for accessing IRC. It is by no means the only one available and some others are close to it in terms of ease of use and features. You may want to have a look at some of these and you will find a listing of the better ones at the Tucows site <http://download.cnet.com>. Once there you will want to look at software related to your platform (ie; Win 98, Win 95, Windows XP, Mac etc). Clicking on that takes you to an index of available software and you will be looking specifically in the "Communications" and then in "Chat - IRC". Again, I recommend mIRC but its your choice. mIRC is free to download and you are welcome to use it for a 30 day evaluation period but after that you are expected to pay the author $20.00 to register it. The program is not timed in any way and paying for it is between you, the author and your conscience. Registered or not it will remain fully functional. As an alternative there is a freeware program called Virc available at the Download site. I have tested it and found it to be nearly as good as mIRC though perhaps a bit over complicated. Can't argue with the price however.

Whichever you choose you now have a IRC program on your system. These instructions are specific to mIRC though the information is for a large part generic and you may find it useful even if you have elected to use a different client (program).

Download mIRC

Alternatively you can go to Tucows (above) and select any program you would like to try. mIRC is an executable program, meaning that you simply double click on the file you have downloaded once the download is complete and it will instruct you through the installation phase. Virc is in a 'Zip' format which means you will have to extract the files onto your system using Winzip or a similar compression program.

  • Once the program is installed it will ask you to provide information so that it may run and connect you to the IRC servers.
  • On the first dialogue interface you see you will be asked for your real name. You may put your real name or you may put 'Joe Blow', mIRC has no idea what your name is.
  • It requests your email address. Fill this in properly only if you want people to be able to access that information as anything you put there can be read by others on IRC. If you don't wish this then use an alias.
  • Next you will be asked for a nickname. This is who you will appear as to others on IRC. Most of the people in our chat room use nicknames though it is certainly not a requirement. Equate this to the 'handle' of the old CB radio days. You may be hard to identify if you simply put "Bill" in here even though that is your name. There are a few Bills out there. However if you choose a nickname like "Bill^" or "B_ll" this is much more likely to be unique and since only one Bill can exist at one time on any server you stand a much better chance of being allowed to use the nickname you have chosen if it is unique. (You will note on our website that we have listed most of the executive members of the CDJA and the nickname they use online). Next you will fill in an alternative to this nick which mIRC will default to in the event that your first choice is taken.
  • If you look in the folder "connect" on the left side of this dialogue box you will see a heading called "identd". Click on this and fill in only the 'user ID' area and then click on the box on top to enable the identity server. Now return to the main 'connect' heading. Everything else that mIRC needs to connect you it will fill in itself. Now you must choose a server.

SERVERS

Each group of servers on IRC hosts a unique and autonomous group of channels. The big boys of IRC are Efnet, Undernet and Dalnet. Typically these servers host thousands of channels at any given time. We have elected to go with a small server that averages about 200 channels and has far fewer problems in keeping their system functional than the big boys do.

You must now choose the server you wish to be on. On the dialogue box where you filled in your real name etc. you will see a pull down box (IRC Networks) that lists some of the more popular servers available. We are on STARLINK-IRC. To confuse the issue there are two groups of servers called Starlink. One is Starlink-IRC which is where you want to be, the other is Starlink.org which is NOT where you want to be. Not a bad place but there is no channel on there called #CDJA. So be sure to select STARLINK-IRC. Accept the default "StarlinkIRC:Random Server". This will automatically search the Starlink system and connect you to the server which has the most room and is operating at the highest efficiency at that moment. Once you have the name of the server you have chosen in the window of the drop down box hit the "Connect to IRC server" button. The next process will take anywhere from a few seconds to as much as a minute depending on the quality of your connection and the traffic on the server at the time. You will have a 'status' window appear in the main area of mIRC. The "motd" will scroll through this window. This is basic information about the server as well as their do's and don't's. You will know when it is done as a line will appear saying 'end of motd'.

Congratulations you are on the server! But where is everyone you ask? Well now you must type in the text box at the bottom of the status window, /join #CDJA. It must be exactly as you see there, spaces and all

/join #CDJA

Once you type that and hit enter you will see another window open on your desktop. Welcome to the CDJA channel on IRC!! The box on the right of the channel lists all people who are in the room at that time. If it is only Cstar don't waste a lot of time trying to talk to him. Its a robot who's sole function is to keep the channel open 24/7. Anyone else listed there will be a real person. To communicate you simply type in the text box at the bottom of the channel window (not the status window) and when you hit enter what you have typed will appear in the main window and anyone on the channel will be able to read it.