As I'm a total IRC newbie but have found the #ptp channel to be quite useful I'm listing information that I've found useful here as I learn it. Hopefully others can learn from it. -- AdamShand
I use Linux so the two IRC programs I use are bitchx (console) and SourceForge:xchat (x windows).
For Windows (and Linux) a good client is Chatzilla and it comes inside Mozilla. http://www.mozilla.org/ It is free and open source software.
For Windows a good client used to be mIRC (and may still be, I have no idea).
Don't want to install anything? Use this Java IRC client: http://www.jpilot.com/java/irc/demo1.html
Connect to the server: /server irc.personaltelco.net
Join a channel: /join #ptp
Talk to someone: hi, my name is adam! ima newbie :-)
Send a private message to noodle: /msg noodle whaazzzzzzuuuuuppppp!
Change your nickname: /nick m0n5t3r
In a console client (like bitchx) talk to just one person without having to use /msg all the time: /query <nick> (exit with /q talk to a channel with /msg <channel>)
Register (reserve for the future) a nickname: /msg nickserv register MyPassword firstname.lastname@example.org
Log in with reserved nickname: /msg nickserv identify MyPassword
Unregister a nickname: /msg nickserv drop adams
Add a homepage to your nickname: /msg nickserv set url http://www.personaltelco.net/index.cgi/AdamShand
More nickname info here: http://www.irc.cg.yu/nickserv.htm
Lots of info on IRC commands of all sorts here: http://www.student.uib.no/~st01369/ccosmos/