gGoncçalomb Baltazar.compt

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I'm back on IRC... yes, Internet Relay Chat

2021-04-30T22:47:15+00:00 • goncalomb • irc,nostalgia

Around 2005/2006 I used to play a game called Omerta, a browser-based text MMORPG where you played as a gangster doing gangster things. Some aspects of the game required collaboration and timing, and IRC was essential. This was around the time of IRC's peak. Omerta had a dedicated IRC server and channels for anything, planning heists, trading, and even selling image editing services for profile pages.

I remember this being my first experience with IRC, and one of my early introductions to programming, using mIRC scripting. Good times. I still have some chat logs from that era.

Now 15 years later, I'm back on IRC.

It all started with me buying a particular HDMI over IP extender (LKV383)... The fact that this device can also be used as a HDMI capture card has created a small community dedicated to decoding the protocols and hacking the hardware, with a channel on freenode.net (#lkv373a).

This led me to install an IRC client to share something that I was working on (more info here).

My IRC setup

I'm using a Weechat client, running 24/7, on screen session, on one of my RaspberryPi servers, and using Tor as a proxy.

I have a script to start and maintain the screen session.

And a cron job restarts the session if something happens (I have Weechat configured to reconnect automatically and join the channels).

* * * * * cronic ~/dotfiles/bin/irc

Locally I'm just using an alias to SSH into the RPi.

alias irc='ssh -t goncalomb@x.x.x.x ~/dotfiles/bin/irc'

I can even access it using Termux on Android.

To leave, I just detach the screen session.

One thing missing are mention notifications. Weechat is quite extensible, and there are some tools for that, but ultimately it may not be worth the time setting it up... this is just for fun, and some nostalgia.

Conclusion

Is IRC going to replace modern chat programs? No.

Am I going to continue to use it? Y.. Well... at least it's there, and some projects still host IRC channels (nodejs, python, ffmpeg, ...), so maybe there is some value in that.

If you are crazy and want to try IRC, Weechat's quick start and user guides are a good start.

And yes, I assure you that I will not try to sell you square wheels next.

I'm @goncalomb on freenode.net.