IRC: The Basics
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a text-only instant messaging chat system which has been in use in various forms since 1988. In its most basic form, an IRC network is a computer, or multiple computers which hosts an IRC server or multiple servers. An IRC network can be connected to by any user, anywhere using their computer, and using software called an IRC client.
IRC behaves like a terminal, you run commands to join channels, message users, and request information. IRC is often preffered over other instant messaging services by software developers, large corporations, and hacker groups. This is because IRC is an extremely safe, private, and secure method of communication, and is also highly customizable. With minimal effort, and the correct configurations, you can engage in fully encrypted conversations from the safety of a terminal on your computer.
Today, IRC is not as popular as it used to be, and has wained in the public eye for easier to use applications. However, the basics of IRC can be learned quickly, and once you are aware, you may find that you enjoy the simplicity of IRC!