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Chatting with the Go Club

The Go Club runs an online chat system, so people can keep in touch when they're not in the pub playing Go together. It's also handy for asking questions about things.

How to connect

There are several options. If you've already got an IRC client installed on your computer, click here to join

If not:
1. Basic instructions for installing the chat client
2. Basic instructions for using the web client (not as good)
3 .Basic instructions for using a client on your smartphone
4 .If you already know what IRC is, instructions for connecting to the right server/channel

Once your client's set up, make sure you read through the General Use notes.

1. Basic instructions for installing the chat client

(Note - These assume you're using Windows. If you're using OsX or Linux the same instructions should apply, but this has not been tested. Let me know if you have any problems)

Download the latest version of HexChat - that's the top option, which will say something like 'HexChat 2.10.2' for Windows. Click on the x86 or x64 version depending on whether you're 32 or 64 bit.

When it downloads, run the .exe file. A window will appear which will guide you through installing it. Most of the options will be correct; you don't have to make any changes to get it to work. Just keep pressing Next. At the end, click on Install.

Once the installation is complete, a window will appear saying 'Completing the HexChat Wizard - Setup has finished installing HexChat on your computer.' Don't click on Finish - either deselect 'Run HexChat after closing the Wizard' (and then click on Finish), or just leave the window open until the instructions (below) say to run HexChat.

Download the following two files (right click, Save As) and save them in the HexChat setup directory. The setup directory is usually in %appdata%\HexChat\ (C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\HexChat on Windows 7).

The two new files (below) should replace any existing hexchat.conf and servlist.conf - if necessary, delete these two files first and then download the new copies. Make sure that you don't download the new versions as 'hexchat - Copy.conf' or 'hexchat (1).conf', for example. If you haven't run HexChat yet or before, the folder will be empty - if you can't find it, you may have to create the directory first.

File 1 - hexchat.conf
File 2 - servlist.conf

If you would like HexChat to run when you turn on your computer (recommended), make a shortcut in your Startup folder (in the Start menu) to hexchat.exe (normally in c:\Program Files\HexChat).

Finally, run HexChat. It should give you options for which chat room you want to connect to. Enter a name under 'Nick name' at the top. This can either be your real name (eg. Bob), or a nickname (eg. Joseki). The limitations are that it can't be too long, it can't be anything that someone else is currently using (if it's already taken it'll try using the name in the 'Second choice' box, then if necessary the name in the 'Third choice' box, so you can try various options to see what's available), and it's usually better to stick with the same name once you've been on before - you can change it later if you want, but it can get very confusing when the same person keeps changing their name!

Select the Go Club from the list, click on Connect, and a window will appear. (If you want it to always connect to the Go Club whenever you run HexChat, click on the Go Club, click on Edit, select Connect to this network automatically, click on Close, select Skip network list on startup, and click on Connect).

This window normally shows things that have been said on the channel. It'll start by saying that it's connecting; you can usually safely ignore this bit. It'll eventually connect, and the window will change (the window clears, a bar appears on the right, and the title bar ends '/#go'). If it doesn't change, this probably means you haven't connected. This is usually due to an internet problem; you can check if the server is working by trying the web client (below) and seeing if that works. If it does, try asking for some help with getting it to work.

The main part of the HexChat window shows what people are saying (at the top it'll start with 'Now talking on #go'). At the bottom is a bar where you can type things in - the things you type will appear in the channel when you press return, and everyone else will see them too. On the right is a list of names - this lists everyone who's currently connected to the channel, although they might not actually be around to talk at the time - see below for more about this.

Now that you're connected, read through the General Use notes.

2. Basic instructions for using the web client

There is a web client that you can use - it's not as good, however. It only runs while your web browser is open, so it tends to be easier to disconnect by accident. You can't set it to connect whenever you turn your computer on, say. It also has adverts. But it does work, and is quite handy when you're using a computer that you can't install anything on.

Go to tinyurl.com/hashgo.

Type in a nickname. This can either be your real name (eg. Bob), or a nickname (eg. Joseki). The limitations are that it can't be too long, it can't be anything that someone else is currently using (try it and see - it'll tell you if it's already taken), and it's usually better to stick with the same name once you've been on before - you can change it later if you want, but it can get very confusing when the same person keeps changing their name!

Click on Connect. The main window will appear, showing things that have been said on the channel. Beneath this is a bar where you can type things in - the things you type will appear in the channel, and everyone else will see them too. On the right is a list of names - this lists everyone who's currently connected to the channel, although they might not actually be around to talk at the time - see below for more about this.

Now - read through the General Use notes.

3. Basic instructions for using a client on your smartphone or tablet

There are a small number of clients that can be used on your smartphone. Disclaimer: I've not used many of them, and I've only used Android options, but there'll be alternatives for your iPhone/iPad (try searching the app store for 'IRC client'). If you have any recommendations, let us know and we can update these instructions!

These instructions use HoloIRC.

Download HoloIRC, and run the program. Swipe sideways to show the list of servers on the left, if it isn't already shown.

Click on the + button at the top, and enter the following details into the 'Server Settings' page:

Server title: Go Club

Server URL: irc.durge.org

Server port: 6667

Nick Names - This can either be your real name (eg. Bob), or a nickname (eg. Joseki). The limitations are that it can't be too long, it can't be anything that someone else is currently using (if it's already taken it'll try using the name in the 'Second choice' box, then if necessary the name in the 'Third choice' box, so you can try various options to see what's available), and it's usually better to stick with the same name once you've been on before - you can change it later if you want, but it can get very confusing when the same person keeps changing their name!

Real Name - Your actual name, if you want people to be able to find out who you are

Auto-join channels - This brings up a blank window. Click on the + in the top right, and enter #go. Press the back button on your phone to go back.

The other settings should be fine to leave as defaults; press the back button on your phone to go back.

Click on the Go Club entry on the servers list. It should give you a page with text starting 'Connecting to server', and 'Go Club / Connected' at the top.

Swipe left to get the server list again, and you'll see #go has appeared at the bottom. Click on this.

The main window will appear, showing things that have been said on the channel. Beneath this is a bar (marked 'Message') where you can type things in - the things you type will appear in the channel when yuo press return, and everyone else will see them too. The 'Users' button at the top gives you a list of names - this lists everyone who's currently connected to the channel, although they might not actually be around to talk at the time - see below for more about this.

Now - read through the General Use notes.

4. If you already know what IRC is, instructions for connecting to the right server/channel

If you already know about IRC, point your client at irc.green-dragon.org or irc.durge.org (or compsoc.dur.ac.uk if inside the University firewall) port 6667, and head to channel #go.

You probably know it all already, but glace through the General Use notes, just in case.

General use notes

'I connected, and there were people around, but no one said anything! So I gave up and left' - This is something that several people have said when they first tried connecting.

It's quite normal for it to be quiet sometimes - say Hello and wait to see who replies.

People are usually online, but they might not actually be at their computers at that moment - they might be asleep, or in the pub, or busy doing something else.

Don't just leave because it's quiet for a while! People are likely to come back later, so hang around - leave the client running while you do something else, and see what happens.

Make sure you say something when you go onto the channel (if you want to talk) - someone else might be around, but they probably won't notice that you've arrived if you don't say anything, and they'll not talk to you if they don't know you're there!

I would recommend (if you're not using the web version) setting it to connect when you switch on your computer. That way when people talk you'll know about it, and you have a chance to respond. Don't worry - lots of people lurk on the channel, often not saying anything for ages.

If you talk in the main channel, then everyone can see what you've said. You can also talk to people individually, if you want to send someone specific a message. To do this, click on their name - a new tab should open. You can then type into this and it will appear on just their client.

There's a lot more that you can do with IRC (the system that this runs on), but this should be enough to get you started. If you want to find out more then the internet has a lot more information, or alternatively ask on the channel - someone should be able to point you in the right direction.

Other channels

Other societies have channels on the same server - to join them, type in the command '/join #channel' (without the apostrophes), where #channel is the name of the channel you want to join.

These include:

This list is probably incomplete, and others have existed in the past. It's easy to set one up for your society or group - if you need help with this, get in touch.


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For more information about the club, please email the Exec.

For questions, comments and suggestions on this site, please email the current maintainer, Andrew Ambrose-Thurman.