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The IRC - the Internet Relay Chat - is a real time, multi-user chat network.   Numerous people can participate in the real time discussions, and the number of subjects covered on the IRC is endless.   It is similar to our email list, in that many people can 'discuss' a topic; but the difference is that - after you type and send your thoughts - the others in the channel see what you have 'said' immediately!   It is real time - happening as you type!

To join us on the Labrador Chat channel, you need to have an IRC client (software/program), but it's easy and relatively quick to download (for free: shareware!). For the PC user I recommend the "mIRC" client - their URL is http://www.mirc.co.uk. If you are a Mac user, the "IRCLE" comes recommended, their site is at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ircle .

The newer versions of mIRC and pIRCh support colors, pop ups, and .txt files - which make 'conversation' fun! It's pretty easy to learn how to do them, too, and there are good instructions with the clients when you d/l them, so do read them.

After you have down loaded the program, it should've created an icon for you (you can create a 'shortcut' and put it into a special folder "games" or "dog stuff" or whatever): double click on that , and it will open the program.

There are a few places to set up when you first open the client. Many (if not most) of the areas are done or will fill in themselves. But there are some places that it asks for information. It's pretty simple, but if you don't understand what it is: go to the help file, the help website, or write to me.

Where it asks for your name.... put initials in: "mpj", or "MPJones", or your nick - but not "Miss Mary P. Jones" - there's no reason you need to give too much information away. Where your email addy goes you can put your real addy in, or you can put something misleading in such as "nunuvyer @buznis.com". Think safety; I don't mean to scare, just caution.

As for a "nick"?? That's the nickname that you will use while online, the moniker people will know you by. it can be either your own name, or something else that you like. Many people use an actual nickname (I'm "Rustee" !!), others use their kennel name. You can use eight or nine characters. If someone else on the undernet was to use my nick, I could add an something, such as an underscore, to change the characters, and still be "Rustee_". So, you can get creative!

To find the Lab channel you must choose an "Gamma.Net" server. There should already be several servers in the "mIRC setup" box. Left click on any one of them, then click on "connect" (or double click on it for the same result). It can take a time or three to get connected to a server at peak times (eg: friday and saturday nights), so try a different server if you don't connect right away. Usually it only takes 10 - 30 seconds. Gamma.net servers would be any address with "Gammanet" in it, such as: Pluto.CT.US.Gamma.NET   Mlink.QC.CA.Gamma.Net   Galaxy.CT.US.Gamma.NET Venus.IL.US.Gamma.NET )

Once you are connected to a server, you will see a "status" window, and that shows your status - you can minimize that after you've checked it out, as you don't really use it often. A "mIRC channel folder" window will pop up, asking which channel you want to be in. Type in the channel name: #Labrador_Retriever (just like that, you need the prefix # and the under score between Labrador and Retriever), then click on "join". OR, you can type this in the status window: /join #Labrador_Retriever and press "enter" - it does the same thing.

A three part window will appear, and it will be the lab channel, yay! The left (and largest) section will show the dialog of the participants; the right section lists the 'nicks' of the people in the channel; and the small bottom part is where you type what YOU want to say. After you have typed what you want to say, tap "enter", and it sends your words to the entire room. And the conversation is real time... pretty neat!!

Give it a whirl, and write back with questions (if you have any!) I hope that I have covered everything to get started, but if you need help, please write to me, and I'll get back to you as fast as I can! Hope to see some new faces on Wednesdays and Sundays!! (the schedule right now is: starting at 7:00PM Eastern / 4:00PM Pacific, and on into the evening until the dogs beg to be let out, or dawn's early light... nono, not that long!)

And, as always, if anyone should have any questions please write to me (Sandra) slrl@teleport.com ; or Roger rbanster@FOX.NSTN.CA ; or Mary lawns@earthlink.net ; or Tony cdridge@inreach.com .

We will answer you as soon as we're able to.

* "Rustee" * S. L. Reiley-Lince * slrl@teleport.com *
Channel Owner/Manager: Gamma.Net channel #Labrador_Retriever
* 1997 All rights reserved *
Sandra is also the author of the above infomation!



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