Although you may access the AudioAsylum chat room via the Java applet provided on the AudioAsylum chat page, because the room is being run on an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) network, it can only be taken full advantage of by using a dedicated IRC client program such as mIRC.
The purpose of this page is to help guide you step-by-step through the process of downloading and setting up mIRC and accessing the AudioAsylum chat room. It is recommended that you keep this page open so that you may refer to it as you are going through the setup process as this page includes actual screen shots of the various configuration windows you will encounter during the setup.
Downloading & Installing mIRC
First you must install mIRC. To do so, go to the mIRC Download Page by clicking on this link. Select a download site closest to your geographical area. If you're running under Windows 3.x, scroll down on the page and download the 16-bit version of mIRC. Please note that this help file only covers the installation and setup of the 32-bit version. However this file contains sufficient information that you should still be able to set up the 16-bit version without much trouble.
If you are using Internet Explorer, you can click on the "Run this program from its current location" radio button and avoid the intermediate step of downloading and then running the setup program. Otherwise, download the program to a suitable directory (for example, c:\temp). Once the file has been downloaded, using Windows Explorer, double click on the file to execute it.
During the installation, simply accept the defaults. Once the install is complete, mIRC will leave a program group window open on your desktop. Double click on the mIRC icon to run the program. Otherwise, you can run the program via Start/Programs/mIRC/mIRC32.
Setting Up mIRC
The first window you will encounter is the "About mIRC" screen:
Uncheck the little checkbox in the lower left of this screen. That will keep this screen from popping up each time you run mIRC. Then click on the X in the upper right corner of the "About mIRC" screen to close it.
The next window that will pop up is the "mIRC Options" screen:
At the top of this screen is a field called "IRC Servers:" which is defaulted to "All." Click on the down arrow and scroll down the list until you find "NewNet" and highlight it.
The next box below will then display "NewNet: Random server." Leave this as-is.
Below this is a button labeled "Connect to IRC server." DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON! At least not yet.
Below it are several fields for entering your name, EMail address, your nickname, and an alternate nickname.
You do not have to put your real name in the name field, although you can if you wish. The same holds true for your EMail address.
The nickname is the name you will show up with on IRC and subsequently in the AudioAsylum chat channel. Your nickname may be up to 9 characters in length and can include characters such as hyphens (-), underscores (_), and carets (^).
Try and make your nickname unique. IRC doesn't allow more than one person to use the same nick at the same time so if someone is already using the nick you chose, you will be prompted to enter a different one. Common first names are often already taken so if your name is Joe, or Bob, or Steve, either avoid using your first name as your nick, or use one of the characters above to make it more unique. Such as _Joe_ or ^Joe^. NewNet, the IRC network which the AudioAsylum chat is being run on, also allows users to register their nicks. A registered nick prevents anyone else from using it and forcing you to have to choose a different nick. More on this later.
The "Alternate" field allows you to enter an alternate nick in the event that someone is already using or has registered your first choice. You can use a different nick here or simply make the same nick more unique using the above mentioned characters.
Below the "Alternate" field is a small checkbox which says "Invisible mode." Invisible mode means that you are only visible to those who are in the same chat room as you are. This prevents unscrupulous users from getting a list of all the users on an IRC network and sending them unsolicited messages. If you wish to be "invisible" and avoid unsolicited messages from those who are not in the chat room with you, check this box.
Once you've got everything filled out, it should look something like this:
Of course the name, EMail, nickname and alternate fields will read differently. But make sure that "IRC Servers" reads "Newnet" and that the field below it reads "Newnet: Random server."
Now click on the "Connect to IRC Server" button.You will see a bunch of text scrolling by in the Status window. Ignore it. Once a connection to the server has been established, the last window to pop up before you enter the AudioAsylum chat room is the "mIRC Channels Folder" screen:
The AudioAsylum chat room will not show in the channel listings. That is just a list of some of the chat rooms on NewNet which have been included with this version of mIRC so it doesn't include every chat room on NewNet. To enter the AudioAsylum chat room, simply type "audioasylum" in the text field just below where it says "Enter name of channel to join" and press enter.
If all goes well, you should find yourself in the AudioAsylum chat room. If you have any problems, you may EMail Steve Eddy (AudioAsylum chat room nickname "Koyaan") or Steve Mackay (AudioAsylum chat room nickname "CheapStev").
Final step: Enjoy!