Begin by going here and download the latest version of mIRC, then install it (duh). By the way, mIRC is a Windows client. If you need help with a chat client for another platform, ask around in chat.
After installation, open the program, and a large registration window will pop up: X (close) that sucker out (but don't forget to pay the shareware fee if you decide to continue using it after the try-out period). Another window will open. This is the Connect Options dialog box used to specify user information.
For purposes of getting started quickly, fill in the first four boxes, starting with "Full Name:", with the same thing: a nickname you want to use in chat. Provide a variation on this name in the "Alternative:" field (e.g., if your nickname is deranged, make the alternative something like deranged-one.)
Next, click on Servers in the Category column on the left. The following window will open:
Click on the Add button under the second drop-down menu, and you'll see this dialogue:
Complete the fields as shown in the picture, then click on Add to return to the Servers dialogue. Click on the Connect Category, then click the Connect to Server button, and the window will disappear as you begin logging in to IRC.
Now a new window will open (if it doesn't, find the word "Status" on a button on the mIRC task bar and click it). This is the Status window. You will see various messages scrolling by as the log on sequence progresses, including the "Message of the Day" (MOTD) from the server, containing the network policies. You may see a window appear (mIRC Favorites) listing a bunch of channel names. You can uncheck the box at the bottom, then close it. Once the Status window finally stops scrolling, click on it once, then on the command line at the bottom (where you see the flashing "|" cursor), type:
and press ENTER.
Presto!! Welcome to the world of mIRC. Trust me, it's a lot better.
After you've typed a few lines in #wota to confirm you really made it, we can do some things to make your life easier. Returning to the Options window (using the menus: File>Options), click on Options in the Category list:
Fill in the window as shown above.
Next, click the Perform button, then click the Add button:
Select "Asylumnation" from the list, click OK, then fill in the remainder of the window as shown, making sure to check the box on top to enable it. Click OK to complete this step.
Finally, look for Display in the Category column, then click on Options beneath it. Click on the Windows button on the right, and you will see this:
Click on the four boxes shown, then click OK at the bottom of the window. Click OK one more time to close the Options window.
As you use mIRC, you'll find reasons to go exploring more and find several other options to enhance your chatting experience. As always, there are several people available in the channel to answer your questions...
So now you're ready for the world of mIRC!
You may see messages like *alcoholfiend sekZ0rz slappy. Wondering how he did that? Very easily, my friends. Just type /me <your action>. You can do this in Java also, but you see the annoying *alcoholfiend ACTION humps JoeyCats leg. Kinda ruins it, huh?
To change your nickname is just as simple: type /nick <new name> and PRESTO! You have a new name.
Some nifty features:
If you want the message you just typed displayed again, press the up arrow on the keyboard. Voila! It's there again (and pressing the up arrow more will show successive lines in the buffer.)
Instead of tediously retyping a person's name in the channel, type the first letter(s) and press TAB. If there are more than one person whose name begins with the same letter, simply press tab until their name comes up.
Guidelines for new users:
Do not change the channel modes. If you don't know what I'm talking about, good. Just don't do it, I have been banned from the channel for doing this. The admins and IRCops are quite adamant about this. TRUST ME.
No flooding or scrolling the channel text. This is typing the same thing over and over again for many lines. For example:
(no offense tack)
Don't type in CAPS LOCK ALL THE TIME. THIS PARTICULARLY ANNOYS OUR ADMINS (AND OTHER USERS). SO JUST DON'T DO IT!!! I HAVE BEEN KICKED FOR DOING THIS!!
Don't advertise your web page in the channel. This is called spam. If you want us to see your site, put it in your signature in the forum. If we want to visit it, we will of our own accord.
Well hopefully I have taught you the basics of the wonderful world of mIRC. There's much more we can add here, but some of the fun is finding things out yourself. Hope to see you in #WotA soon. I am in there all the time. Trust me.