Especially for freshers…
There is a technology called Internet Relay Chat, which for many years was one of the few ways of interacting with your friends and colleagues around the world on the internet. Now we have lots of IM clients and protocols, but the cool kids all still use IRC.
There is a long and colourful history behind IRC at Aberystwyth, but to summarise (you can read the gory details in other places) bitternet is dead.
IRC is alive and well at irc.aberwiki.org.
Get yourself onto a Sun machine, start up a terminal window and type the following…
*** Connecting to port 6667 of server change.this.to.a.server
*** Unable to connect to port 6667 of server change.this.to.a.server: Unknown
*** Use /SERVER to connect to a server
… lots of joining stuff here…
Hello I am a newbie
You may find yourself in a quiet empty channel, or it might have other folks around. If you feel really brave you might want to try joining #aber, but beware, here be dragons and *shudder* graduates of the department. You need to have a well developed sense of humour to survive for long on #aber, but it is worth the effort getting to know the regulars.
You may want at some point to graduate to another client with different features, but before using scripts, beware they may get you kicked or banned.
Also, get aquainted with http://www.aberwiki.org/ it is a fount of useful (and pretty useless) information.
Enjoy, and see you around