IRC is Internet Relay Chat. Think of it like a yahoo chat room but more control, almost like yahoo chat is a windows or java app, and IRC is like going into DOS or command line in unix. Maybe bad analogy cause it\'s not tough, just more options.
There are different IRC providers. Efnet and Undernet being one of the more popular two.
To connect to these providers, you need to connect to a server. The IRC clients mentioned above has all the servers already built into them, you just click on one and click connect.
examples of servers...
as you can see, it\'s easy to see which provider you are going to connect to. Now that everyone has broadband, the server you pick doenst matter as much. Before it did because the farther the server is away from you, the more lag you might get. Lag being, if I say something like Hi, how are you? and you respond as \"fine\", everyone in the channel won\'t see what you said for sometimes minutes [if the lag is bad]
you can \"ping\" yourself to see how bad your lag is, you usuaully want to see a ping reply of 0 seconds to 2 at most [2 is still a ot in my book, well enough to be annoying].
I am on undernet right now in a channel called garritan.
if any of you guys get an irc client, stop by
connect to an undernet server, then join the channel #garritan
if you can type in a text field, just type in /join #garritan
I can explain more when you are on because it might be easier. They even have channels for newbies.