Often people find the #!Parentsroom Homepage through a web search or other means, and don't know how to get on IRC to chat in the #!Parentsroom. Hopefully this page will help answer some of the questions we are asked most often.
If you have a question not addressed here, please let us know and we will be happy to answer it for you.
What is IRC?
IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It is a world wide chat that almost anyone with an Internet Service Provider can access. However, at the moment, not all the large on-line commercial services (such as Prodigy) have access to IRC. Check with your provider to see if you have access, and if you don't, think about switching from a commercial service to a true Internet Service Provider (ISP). Under most circumstances, you will have access to more things and save money too!
I have NO CLUE how to get on IRC. Do I need special software?
Yes, most likely you do need special software. Some of the big on-line services will provide you with IRC software, but it is highly recommended that you get on the Web and get yourself a copy of the latest version of mIRC software. mIRC is generally agreed upon by avid irc chatters to be the best and easiest software to use.
Once you have downloaded the mIRC software, read its faq and instructions, and getting on IRC should pretty much be a breeze!
Once I am on IRC, how or where do I find the #!Parentsroom channel?
Once you have connected with an IRC Server and are on IRC, you then need to specify a channel to join. You can simply type /join #!Parentsroom in your status window, (don't forget the #! in the title, all channels have to have the # sign), or if you are using mIRC there is a folder that stores your frequently used channels. You can enter #!Parentsroom in there and push the "join" button and you'll be in!
A new window will open up saying #!Parentsroom at the top. A list of other people in the room will be on the right hand side of the window.
I have figured out how to get on IRC and even gotten in the #!parentsroom channel, but no one is there. What did I do wrong?
There are a number of reasons why this could happen:
I've gotten on IRC, on the Efnet, in the #!Parentsroom Channel, and see other people's names there, yet no one seems to be talking. Why would this be?
Most likely this would happen due to "lag." Often times on IRC, the different connecting servers become out of sync and this causes a lag between servers. If the people on the channel are on a lagged server, or you are on a lagged server it will appear that they are not talking. What actually is happening is they are talking, but you won't see their words until the servers catch up with one another. (This explanation of lag, etc. is not the true technical explanation, I'm sure...but for us laymen...it'll do!) Sometimes lag can be as much as a ten minute difference between servers. The best thing to do if you suspect a bad lag, is to change servers.
Another reason this could happen is if the people in the channel are also talking privately to other people. They may not realize someone else had entered the channel and therefore are not talking. The best way to tell if it's lag, or just people not talking in the channel is to "ping" the others in the channel. With mIRC software there is a CTCP Ping command that can be clicked on a person's nickname. This will give you a ping number in seconds as to how lagged you or they might be. If you "ping" someone and don't see a ping reply in your status window for awhile, then lag is most likely the culprit. Change servers, and try again.
Hope we've covered all the questions you might have regarding accessing IRC. If anyone has any others not addressed here please feel free to e-mail us. We are always available for answering these questions, as we want as many people to be able to chat in the #!Parentsroom as would like to!