Chatting on the
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is to
the high-tech 90s what the telephone party
line was to the 80s. Anyone with the right equipment and a
telephone connection can participate in affordable real-time communication,
and meet people without stepping outside the front door.
The IRC multi-user chat system was created in 1988 in Finland by
computer-guy Jarkko Oikarinen, and today allows people from all over the
world to talk to each other by simply typing on a computer keyboard.
All that is needed is a computer, IRC software, and an Internet
The IRC system is made up of a
number of computer networks from all around
the world. They are run by people, such as universities, some Internet
Service Providers (ISP) and the occasional IRC-fan, who has decided to create a
network by running IRC server programs.