Tag Archives: tutorial

New to IRC? Here’s Some Clients For You, and How to Set It Up

Ever wondered what IRC was? You’ve probably realized that it’s some sort of chatting service by this point, hopefully. Essentially IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a protocol used to communicate with others through special servers, and while it seems complicated it is quite simple to set up!

So you wanna get started with IRC, right? Well first you have to pick your IRC client! There’s tons of them available, and you don’t even have to install one if you don’t want to. You may have even used IRC without realizing it, as some people embed chat rooms into the bottoms or sides of their web sites.

Anyway, here’s some awesome IRC clients that I’ve found to be very useful!

Colloquy (Mac OS/iOS)

I’m going to start off with Colloquy, as it is what I consider “the mother of all IRC clients”. The UI is arguably the most user friendly out of any existing client, and you don’t have to feel like you’re using some outdated piece of software inside the Windows ’98 terminal. While I do consider this the best IRC software I’ve used to date, it is currently limited to Mac OS and iOS only.

Colloquy Homepage

XChat (Windows/Linux)

Next up is XChat, one of the best IRC clients for Windows. While it does look rather unappealing, I have gotten past that aspect of it as I figured out that it is fully customizable within the program, from text color, to background, to font. The user interface isn’t quite as friendly as Colloquy, but it’s still very usable and likable. Give it a shot!

XChat 2 Homepage

Pidgin IM Client (Windows/Linux/Mac OS)

This is the Pidgin IM Client, which isn’t just used for communication over IRC. It supports pretty much any chat system, you name it: Facebook, AIM, Skype, Jabber, GChat, and more. Among most of the IRC clients for Windows, this is frankly the most customizable and good-looking one. There’s native plugin and theme support, and the program actually comes with a bunch of plugins you can play with. Although, if you are one to sweat the small stuff, you may not get that same feel with Pidgin. Personally, I’ve had some minor crashing issues with this program, but hey, might as well try!

Pidgin Homepage

Nettalk (Windows)

Although I’ve never personally tried this program out, it looks like a pretty powerful IRC client. There is plugin support, scripting support, and from the screenshots what appears to be simple theme support. You also have the ability to easily right click a persons name to run a command on a user, which most IRC clients have but this appears to be pretty straightforward. The user interface is simple and I’d like to compare it to XChat, but Nettalk appears to have its own special way of organization, which in itself doesn’t look that bad or hard to use.

Nettalk Homepage


Setting It Up

Okay! So now that you’ve chosen your IRC client (or at least I can only hope you have at this point), let’s get started on how to connect to a server and a channel. I will do two examples with Colloquy and XChat, but I think by seeing these examples you should be able to pretty much figure it out for the other two programs.
Colloquy
Enter your nickname at the top, you can choose whatever you like! Make sure server protocol is set to IRC, and now choose which chat server you’d like to join. This all depends on what chat room you want to go to and which server it is located in. Let’s use the example of trying to connect to the channel #Colloquy in the server chat.freenode.net. The server is the address where all these channels are located, and the channels are all the little rooms that you can join, hopefully this isn’t too hard to understand.
Upon hitting connect, you will be connected to the server, in this case it is Freenode. Now you can go ahead and join a room by clicking on the server and pressing “Join Room”, then type in a # sign followed by the name of the channel you’d like to connect to, in this case it is #Colloquy. Voila! You’ve successfully joined a chat room.
But wait! What if I don’t want to be in the Freenode server? What if I want to join an individually hosted IRC server, like PonyChat? It means that you just simply have to add the server to the list of other chat servers, but you must make sure you connect to that specific server (irc.us.ponychat.net) if you want to talk in PonyChat’s #20pc channel. Go to File > New Connection, and next to chat server, just put the server name, in this case it is irc.us.ponychat.net. Now connect, follow the steps for joining a room, and you are now connected to PonyChat’s channel! It’s that simple.
XChat

You’ll notice that the UI is a little bit different, but the functions are all exactly the same! This is the network connection box, where you can connect to the server of your choice. If it doesn’t exist, simply hit “Add”, and type in a name for the server. This isn’t specific, call it whatever you want. Then, hit edit and type in the address of the server. If you’re wondering what “/6667” is, leave those there! It is the port number, which is usually 6667, and it must be left at the end of the server address. Go ahead and connect!

Now, XChat will prompt you to type in the channel you want to connect to, let’s say #PonyChat again. Well, type it in and hit connect! That’s it! Also, just in case you accidentally close out of that and you’re hopeflessly confused, head to the server window, in our case PonyChat. It should have a bunch of text such as Message of the Day and such. The text box at the bottom of XChat could ALSO be used for commands. The only one you should worry about right now is “/join #[channel]”, with channel being the channel you want to connect to (without the brackets, by the way). Try it out, be amazed, have a party!

How To Fix uTorrent Causing Audio and System Stutter

For a while now, uTorrent has caused a really annoying audio stutter and performance hiccup that would occur about every 5 seconds whether I was in a game or just listening to music. I couldn’t figure it out for the longest time, so I just had to deal with it. Today I decided it was time to figure out why exactly this was happening, and here’s how you can fix it.

The problem is caused by firewall settings in either Windows 7/8, or in my case my anti-virus software.

If you have McAfee Anti-Virus, try this:

  1. Open McAfee’s interface, and click ‘Navigation’ on the right.
  2. Now, click ‘Firewall’
  3. Scroll down to ‘Internet Connections for Programs’, and search for ‘uTorrent’.
  4. Once you’ve found uTorrent, click it and hit ‘Edit’. Then set NetGuard to off.
  5. Enjoy, because the problem is GONE.
If you have Windows 7/8:
  1. Hit the Start Menu and type ‘Firewall’. Click the one that simply says “Windows Firewall”.
  2. On the top left, click “Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall”.
  3. In that list, find ‘uTorrent’. If it’s not there, click ‘Allow another program…”. search for it, and ensure that “Home/Work (Private)” and “Public” are checked off.
  4. The problem should be gone by now. If it’s not, you can mess with the advanced firewall settings, and set uTorrent to allow all incoming and outgoing connections.
I would love to help you fix this with other anti-virus software, but I currently have McAfee. If you do have different anti-virus software with firewall settings, look through the settings until you find an option that allows all traffic from a specific program. It will definitely fix the problem.

Install Chrome Extensions The Easy Way

I’ve looked everywhere on how to install Chrome extensions downloaded from sources other than Chrome’s certified extensions, and I couldn’t really find much. Honestly, it was a huge pain in the ass to find out, as I actually had to do it myself. Here’s how you can easily install Chrome extensions downloaded from the internet with the .crx extension (it’s very simple), no commands or other crap needed!
1.   Click the drop down menu on the top right of your Chrome browser and choose Tools > Extensions.

2.   Now find the extension you need and very simply drag it on your extension window!
3.   You’ll notice that the extension may say this:
As long as you trust where it’s coming from, don’t worry about it. You may also see “Installed by a third-party”, which means that a program outside of Chrome installed an extension (i.e. McAfee Site Advisor).
Hope this helped, it killed me for the longest time!