An IRC primer for CB Fans

Submitted by: DMFH

So, you've been all over AltairBoy's web site researching your interest, gleaning information and wondering if somehow you can join this community of people. Maybe if you could talk it over with some like minded people you'd get the answers you needed and connect with people who understand fantasy and find a way to live it in a safe, sane, consentual way.

You can.

It's called IRC, and many chastity belt wearers, keyholders, and enthusiasts are hanging out on a channel where we talk about our common interest.

"What's An IRC"?

IRC stands for (I)nternet (R)elay (C)hat. It's not new, in actuality, it's over 10 years old. In the early 1980's circa 1984-1985 a group of Scandinavian programmers wanted a better way to chat across a young Internet than the classic UNIX "talk" utility that was primitive - a split text screen that allowed two people to chat simultaneously, and a later version called "ytalk" that allowed up to eight people to join. IRC was born and eventually the concept took off from it's original concept of a single machine that many people could connect to. IRC servers began to pop up around the world on the original "IRC Net" uplinking to each other and moving users' conversations efficiently around the globe. Users could talk privately amongst each other or join collections of users usually with a similar interest in a "channel", not unlike a SIG (Special Interest Group), Compuserve CB channel, or an AOL chat channel.

As the network grew in size, operators of the IRC servers began to disagree on how to run the network. An effort was made to standardize the source code for IRC server and client software, create a system for adding new servers and create an administrative team to handle day-to-day operations and dispute resolution. All were, and still are volunteers. There is no central, government or "official" entity that runs any IRC network. Not all human disputes can be resolved amicably and the first split of the original IRC network came in 1988, when the operators of most of the IRC network were unhappy with the policy the operators of the machine known as ERIS.MIT.EDU, which allowed anyone to uplink or connect as a server. A new network was born without ERIS.MIT.EDU, called EFNet or the Eris Free Network. Many of you are familiar with this oldest of IRC networks.

More networks were born in this time, mostly to address the problem of mischievous users that enjoyed harassing other users by exploiting weaknesses in IRC client and server software to take over channel areas and force users to find another piece of cyberspace in which to communicate. The first network to embrace improvements in client and server software to stop this problem was the UnderNet. UnderNet is still running strong with a large global presence. UnderNet attacked the problem by writing an automated user, or "Bot" (short for robot) that ran -with- the server. This automated user was the final word in channel authority and made abuses of IRC software deficiencies and bugs much less common.

] DALNet refined the idea even further and created a system that reserves nicknames and channels for users. Once you registered, no one else can use your personal nickname unless you want them too. Once a channel is registered, no one else can control that channel.

Because EFNet runs free and open and has no inherent control, many of us have moved down to DALNet where anonymity, security, and stability are ensured.

"How Do I Get Online?"

Depending on your operating system, you'll need to pick up a copy of IRC client software. For the Windows V3.x, Win95, & WinNT crowd, pick up a copy of mIRC16 or mIRC32, or VIRC and install it. If you're under UNIX, a copy of the latest software can be found at major public archive FTP sites. Once installed, point your client software at a specific DALNet IRC server such as or (Europe). If the network is busy, it may take a few attempts to get on. Once on, you can join us by joining the "#chastitybelt" channel. Note all channels on all IRC networks are prefaced with the "#" or "pound" sign. Once your among us with a nickname that doesn't conflict with one that is already registered - if you receive messages that your nickname is in conflict - don't panic! Simply choose another one - register your nickname to yourself. You can do this by private messaging the Bot NICKSERV - the command looks like "/msg nickserv register password" where "password" is a one of your choosing.

That's all there is too it. There are many technical IRC issues such as the CTCP and DCC protocols that are beyond the scope of this writing, such as also the specifics of how IRC servers link to each other, channel, server, and user "modes".

If you're interesting in joining us, but have some technical queries, feel free to write us at We can't always help everyone, but we can sure try.

Regards, and Welcome!


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