Shannon's Top 4 IRC Clients
4. Irssi is a command line Unix program for IRC, also open source and started in 1999. One cool thing about irssi is there is a plugin available to add encryption to your chats. Irssi also includes a handy documented tutorial on their website to start using it. While I do think command line IRC clients are a little more complicated for day to day users, they're still a couple of my favorites for a quick chat. I had to install irssi with Aptitude, and connecting was a piece of cake after that. The tutorial on their website is also extremely helpful if you're unfamiliar with the irc commands. http://penguin-breeder.org/silc/ http://www.irssi.org/documentation/manual.
3. ChatZilla is a Mozilla Firefox plugin extension that works in Windows or Linux. This one serves up an easy GUI for new IRC users and is super easy to install. http://chatzilla.hacksrus.com/.
2. mIRC is what I used to use before I discovered XChat. It's only for Windows, but also has a great interface making it easy to connect and save your favorite channels. It feels similar to XChat on the graphical side and is extremely popular, but again, this one is just for Windows. (easter egg: click on dev's nose) http://www.mirc.com/install.html.
1. XChat is my favorite because of it's easy to use interface, availability on all of my operating systems, although Windows version requires a 30 day trial. It's available as a command line or graphical version, and is GNU licensed. XChat has a really easy guide to get started here: http://xchat.org/docs/start/. I set up an automatic connection to the hak5 IRC so everytime I open XChat, it logs straight into the hak5 IRC channel.
Not all! Plenty more available for all OS's. Great Wikipedia link to several of them in the shownotes. What are your favorites? Send them to email@example.com and I could do another roundup with your picks!
Jared from ShareBrained.com shows off the Chronulator.