IRC is a multi-user chat program that allows registered Freenet users to talk to one another in real time. Using IRC, you can chat with anyone else on the Freenet who is also using the IRC program. Currently IRC here is local only (ie. not connected with the international IRC network).
If you're not familiar with the use of the ircII client program, read the menu selections below on use and etiquette. Select "Enter the chat system" when you're ready to join the conversation. If you're not able to use a terminal emulation such as vt100, you can use the menu option to run IRC on a "dumb" terminal. If you're unsure about terminal settings, read the help files for new users available elsewhere on the Freenet. Generally you should only use the "dumb" terminal choice if your terminal doesn't have the capability to run the full-screen client. The best terminal type to use for IRC (and elsewhere on the Freenet) is vt100, with second-best being vt52. An "ANSI" terminal is *not* ideal for IRC or other screen- intensive applications; in particular, if you have a problem where text is only displayed on one or a few lines at the bottom of your display, it's probably your terminal settings (make sure your terminal program is set to vt100 or higher, not "ANSI").