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IRCjr – An IRC Client for DOS

There are IRC clients for every platform and every OS – wait, really every platform, every OS?


Lets see:

Windows? More than you can handle..

OS X? Sure

Linux/UNIX? Of course


…and more – i’ll spare you listing every platform there’s an IRC client for.


But.. what about DOS you say? Yes, yes – there is one: IRCjr.


It’s not only a proof-of-concept but is a fully-featured client. It supports CTCP messages such as /me and /version, has timestamps, logging to disk, a user-configurable scrollback buffer and supports every display from MDA/monochrome up to VGA resolutions and colors.


DOS IRC Client IRCjr running in DOSBox

DOS IRC Client IRCjr running in DOSBox


As you can see from the screenshot it sports a split-screen layout and according to its website it’ll run even on “the oldest 8088 based systems” from DOS 2.1 and newer.


Being in multiple channels and private messages at the same time is no problem – IRCjr is even compatible with multiple monitors, although it can only use one at a time.


Since DOS is pretty much obsolete these days and being asked about the reason why he wrote a program for a dead platform the programmer, Michael  Brutman, said that he had rediscovered the fun in retro computing and since all TCP/IP stacks for DOS sucked, he wrote his own and the first application he developed for it was IRCjr.


One of the main concerns while programming was stability and according to Michael Brutman it’s really stable and can be left running even in very busy channels such as #ubuntu on freenode without problems.


On the feature-side he said that he’s looking to bring multi-server support and maybe mIRC color codes into the client but sadly Unicode support is pretty much ruled out as most of the old hardware can’t load fonts.


So if you’re a retro computing enthusiast and addicted to IRC – give it a go and let us know what you think about it in the comments!


More details about the setup, configuration and capabilities of IRCjr can be found on the IRCjr website.

Anope releases v1.9.6

Anope has officially released v1.9.6 as of Feb. 3rd, 2012. This release has some major changes. Not only adds and fixes but some interior changes as well.

As of 1.9.6, Anope has changed some of the configuration, so it is recommended that users upgrading should start with a fresh configuration file.

There is also a new database format, so therefore the old db_plain has now been depreciated. It is recommended that users upgrading should read the example configuration on how to upgrade your databases.

Users using MySQL with previous versions will need to export their databases to flatfile first before importing into 1.9.6.

There have been some significant changes in this version, they are as followed:

  • Added ability to configure emails sent by services
  • Added chanserv/up and chanserv/down
  • Added m_proxyscan
  • Added more configurability for what vhosts are valid
  • Added chanserv/log
  • Added ability to configure ChanServ privileges
  • Added a new database format
  • Added SQLite support
  • Added more verbose messages on start up
  • Added ability for chanserv/suspend and nickserv/suspend to take an expiry time
  • Added no nickname ownership config option
  • Added m_rewrite
  • Added akill IDs
  • Fixed crash in clearusers
  • Fixed crash in /os oper info
  • Fixed eventfd Config check to work properly on OpenVZ

To download this version from the source, Click Here.
To download this version for Windows, Click Here.


lightIRC v1.2.3 Build 101

As most already know, lightIRC is one of the most popular and most used Flash Clients used on IRC to this date. It has support for multiple languages, css styling, and even a webcam!

The newest version of lightIRC, recently released on Feb. 16, 2012 has added the following features:

  • Added Arabian (ar) translation
  • Parameter showVerboseUserInformation (default false) adds ident and host information for joins, parts and quits
  • Parameter targetFrame (default “_blank”) lets you specify the target frame for clicked URLs in the chat area
  • Fix: Focus did jump to channel input if identify password popup was open
  • Fix: Space key did accept webcam requests while typing a message
  • Fix: Errors occured if having webcam enabled without rtmfp parameter
  • Fix: webcamVideoOnly/webcamAudioOnly bug

lightIRC can be used for both personal use, as well as commercial use, which requires a special license. It can be easily used by all users no matter how IRC savvy they are. It can also be hosted either by yourself, or by using the lightIRC servers.

The most recent version can be obtained Here.

For more information regarding lightIRC, Click Here.

Freenode is still growing

In the past five years, many networks have seen their user count decrease. Very few networks are bigger today than they were during The Great Times (2004-2005). One of the networks that actually have grown, and that in a tremendous speed, is Freenode.

As a network, Freenode is quite unique. It relies on hosting companies, universities and other organizations to support them with servers and bandwidth. In return they don’t get any special privileges on the network, although a few of the sponsors are members of staff. The network primary targets people who want to discuss free and open source software (FOSS) and it was among the pioneering networks when it comes to using namespaces for distinguishing between different channel types.

Freenode’s Head of Staff, christel, says they’re constantly trying to make sure the network will not suffer from the continuously increasing user count. One way of doing this is by actively working with the round-robin (DNS rotation). That’s an efficient way of controlling how many users a server will take, without having a negative or visible impact on the users.

In January 2010, the Hyperion ircd was taken down in favour for ircd-seven; an IRCd that had been carefully chosen and designed to make sure it could handle the growth. One of the problems that Freenode has experienced while growing is that “more users are finding Freenode without necessarily being familiar with our philosophy or purpose, and as such don’t really fit within the scope of us providing services for free and open source projects and other peer-directed projects”, christel says.

Despite, or perhaps thanks to, this, Freenode is still growing today. In August 2007, they reached 40 000 simultaneously connected users. Only about a year after, that number had grown to 50 000. In 2009 the user count increased to 70 000 and in 2011 it was on 70 000. Right now there are 73 000 users connected and a peak of 79 600.

This suggests that Freenode is still one of the few fast-growing IRC networks, but it doesn’t grow in the same speed as it did a few years ago. has measured user and channel statistics about Freenode since 1999, and the curves in the graphs show and reflect the constant growth. According to their figures, Freenode is, together with OFTC, the only three of the major networks that are growing and have been doing so for quite a lot time. Both EFnet and IRCnet are facing a decline in users.

Quakenet, Undernet and Rizon have all faced a decrease in users the past five years, but they’re all slowly recovering now. It might just be temporarily and it’s just very recently that they (re)started, but they are growing.


Perhaps IRC is on its way back to glory, or maybe it’s just the calm before the storm?

Mac OS X IRC Client Textual Version 2.1 Hits AppStore

The OS X IRC client Textual just got released as version 2.1 in the Mac OS AppStore.


What has begun as a fork of LimeChat has quickly evolved into something very distinct and usable, which was a main point of critique with the original.

Textual Mac OS X IRC Client

Textual Mac OS X IRC Client

Textuals’ feature-set is really complete: themes, plugins and an extensive range of configuration options.

One neat feature is the inline display of graphics and YouTube video thumbnails so you know what you’re going to click on even before you click.

What really sets Textual apart from other clients on OS X is its stability – crashes and lockups are really far and few between, if any. Attaching to a bouncer with log-replay doesn’t take longer than a few seconds even for a channel # in the high double-digits.


Textual is a fully Lion-compatible and also supports fullscreen IRCing so you’re no longer distracted by work when you’re chatting with your buddies ;)


Since 2.1 it now supports SASL plaintext auth, IPv6, regular expression support for highlights and it already complies with Apples’ new sandboxing requirement for Apps distributed via the AppStore.


The client is a paid-for app and costs $4.99, is available as a Trial version and even can be built by yourself from source.


AppStore link: Textual