Internet Relay Chat is actually what initially got me into all the things that I’ve been doing the past twentysomething years. In ‘96 I spent my senior year at a high school in California and through a classmate of mine I got a first introduction to irc at his house. Within minutes I was completely thrilled about the possibility to write in real time with people around the world. On the same afternoon I signed up with a local ISP in order to be able to access irc from the Macintosh at our house using ircle. It took me less than 48 hours to be totally hooked onto irc.
Ever since then I’ve been on irc.
The first couple years I wasmainly roaming around but since ‘99 I’ve been regular to a few channels and am still on one channel, where I’ve hung out all those years. While over the years I’ve met a many of the people that I initially know from some sort of online interaction (irc, usenet, mailing lists, …) some of my friends on irc, I’ve never met and still talk a few words with them at least every other day.
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on September 11th 2001? I bet you are - since that was one of the moments most people remember. I was hacking on some stuff in my home office when I read on irc that a plane hit the twin towers. On that day most of my news came in real time through irc.
Aside from mutt and other basic applications, irssi is one of those programs that I’ve likely used for the longest time in my IT life (and I still miss slrn - or actually: usenet when it was fun to use, but that is a different story) Initially at bytemine we’ve used silc - simply put: an encrypted type of irc for collaboration, before we switched to xmpp.
Over the years more and more stuff moved away from irc. The freenode network came and went away, lot’s of projects nowadays use slack (even I - who hangs out on a few slack communities has to ask: why?) and newer communities use for example matrix. I’m actually a very happy matrix user myself (so, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those, who stick to “the old stuff, because that’s how it is done” ;) - but there is a tiny nostalgic user in me, who enjoys to attach the tmux-session every morning to see irssi.