Don't know what IRC is? Read the Wikipedia article! You should also notice that mIRC is a Windows only program. Should you use another operating system, read the Wikipedia article.
1. Head over to http://www.mirc.com and click the "Download mIRC"-link located in the left navigation bar.
2. Choose a mirror and start your download. As this how to is for a geek community I will not offend you by holding your hand in the steps concerning downloading and installing a program. Both should be relatively straightforward.
3. Fire up mIRC. The first window you see is an annoying little welcome screen, which will disappear if you choose to register your copy of mIRC for a $20 fee. Although mIRC is shareware, it will continue working after the 30 day period unregistered. It will nag you with the popup everytime you open the program, though.
4. Close the welcome screen and you should see an options screen pop up. If not, click the second button in the toolbar or use the keyboard shortcut alt+o. Now, fill in the blanks:
- Full Name: This will be shown to your fellow chatters, so if you don't want to reveal your real name, feel free to bang your head against the keyboard to name yourself sdfgdfggriorg.
- Email Address: Doesn't need to be legitimate. I have never found any use for it. email@example.com should work fine.
- Nickname: The name which will appear in the chat room. Trying to make it appear ~^aZ_1337_4z_p0ss1bl3^~ is not required.
- Alternative: Your nick if the one you chose above is in use.
5. To choose your network and server, click the little flowery button nex to the "Connect To Server". It will throw you to "Servers" window. (Can also be located in the treeview on the left, second from the top)
6. Choose a network from the "IRC Network" list. There are a plenty of networks, but The Big Four is EFnet, IRCnet, QuakeNet and Undernet.
7. Select a server. Doesn't really matter which, but the closer it's located to you the better.
8. Click "Connect To Server". If it takes a long time to connect, choose another server. If the server works, a long list of creepy and geeky text should fly by. If mIRC scolds you that both of your nicknames, main and alternative, are in use, write "/nick [your new nickname]" without the quotation marks.
9. When you have successfully connected, "mIRC Favorites" window should pop up. You can save your favorite channels here. There are many channels added for you and they can be good places to start your chatting. To join other channels just type "/join #[channel's name]"
You can find more channels with /list command or just /whois other people (/whois [nick]).
10. And there ya go. Keep on chatting and get to know people. If you encounter any problems you can check Wikipedia, mirc.com and mIRC's own help file. Or just google, you probably aren't the only one with the problem.
This has been an entry for [Geeks Are Sexy]'s "How to" contest