Once you've familiarised yourself with IRC, you can use your .ircrc file
to personalise your client to taste, as well as save typing the same things
every time you enter the system. Your .ircrc file is an ircII "script"; it
contains commands which are run by the client every time you enter IRC.
The commands don't have to have the command character '/' that you would
use to enter a command while using IRC, thus you could begin your file
with "nick jane" instead of typing "/nick jane" each time you use IRC.

An example file follows; the text after a '#' character on a line is
a comment, and is just included for explanation. 

^set display off	# silently turn off the display so we don't have
			#   to watch all this stuff happening every time
nick Mermaid		# set your preferred nickname
join #chat		# join your usual channel
set display on		# turn the display back on so we can see to chat

The "set display" lines should come first and last; they simply tell
the client program not to print the results of any commands in between,
so that you don't see the same sequence of automatic commands performed
each time you enter IRC.

Some slightly more advanced .ircrc commands might include:

set novice off		# some example variable settings, read the online
set auto_unmark_away on	#   help for SET for descriptions, and others

bind ^I switch_channels
bind ^V quote_character # and some key "bindings"; ^I is the "tab" key

alias ? help		# some convenient aliases to save keystrokes
alias l leave *		# leave the current channel
alias m msg
alias , msg ,		# reply to the last person who sent you a message
alias . msg .		# send again to the last person you msg'd

ircII is pretty customisable, so if you don't like something, go ahead
and change it in your .ircrc file. Read the help files on "alias", "bind"
"on" and "set" for more information on the commands used to customise
different aspects of the client.