An IRC Primer

IRC is a multi-user, multi-channel chatting network which allows
people on a computer network to "talk" to one another in real-time.
Each IRC user is identified by a unique nickname, and users can create
and join "channels"; all communication is directed either to another nick
(user), or to a channel (and all the users on that channel). All ircII
commands begin with a '/' character. Anything that does not begin with a '/'
is assumed to be a message that is sent to everyone on your current channel
(most chatting is done this way). A valid command will take the form
"/command arg1 arg2", where "args" are the possible arguments to the command,
separated from the command and from each other by spaces.

A list of basic commands follows (the case is unimportant when you enter
a command):

    /NICK <nick>	Change your nickname to something meaningful,
			so that people won't see your messages coming
			from a freenet userid like <aa382>. You'll want
			to do this first. Also good in an .ircrc file so
			you don't have to do this every time you enter IRC.

    /LIST		Lists all the current IRC channels, with the
			number of users and topic for each.

    /NAMES		Shows the nicknames of all the users on each

    /WHO <channel>	Shows who is on a given channel,
			including nickname, userid and host,
			and realname. Use /WHO 0 for all channels,
			or /WHO * for your current channel. Typing
			"/WHO 0" on the Freenet's local IRC is a good way
			to see everyone currently using IRC and what
			channels they're on, so you'll know who to
			/MSG or what channels to /JOIN.

    /JOIN <channel>	Join the named channel.  All non-commands
			you type will now go to everyone on that
			channel. This is also how you create a new
			channel. Note that channel names begin with
			a '#' or '&' sign, ie. #chat.

    /PART <channel>	Leave the named channel. Unless you set the
			"NOVICE" flag to OFF ("/SET NOVICE OFF"), you
			will only be able to join one channel at a
			time (probably best to begin with).

    /MSG <nick> <msg>	Sends a private message to the specified
			nickname. Only that person will see the message,
			as: "*yournick* Hi there!"

    /WHOIS <nick>	Shows the real name and userid of a nick,
			as well as some other semi-useful information.

    /HELP [topic]	Gets help on ircII commands. Use "/HELP ?"
			for a topic list.

    /QUIT		Exits IRC, if you feel you must.

These commands should get you started on IRC.  Use the /HELP
command to find out more about things on IRC, or ask questions of
people...most would be happy to help you out (and show off a bit
in the process).

This document is available within ircII by typing "/help intro".