I’ve mentioned IRC here before a few times; well, the network that Leigh and I setup a few years ago is growing ever so slightly. I installed a different services package, and we just changed server programs as well (to Charybdis since Hybrid seemed to be going nowhere and this has some nice features). We’ve also picked up another link, making three servers in the network. Why bother, you might ask?
Initially the “network” was just the two of us, and only because I’d been playing with IRC servers for a long time and thought it would be fun to link to the one Leigh already had setup. After running it for a while, we realized having more than one server was handy – if one of us had some kind of outage, we could congregate on the other server until it came back. We’ve never really “advertised” the servers, though I’ve posted about them here a few times, and picked up the occasional additional person now and then. But I’ve wanted to expand things for a while and make a bigger network – not necessarily thousands of users, but more than the handful of us who chat.
I checked out a couple websites that list IRC networks, and one of them had an interesting bit on their registration page: What does your network do that others don’t? What reason would users have to choose your network over some other one? Honestly, there wasn’t one. But reading through a lot of the posts on the site showed many people who don’t have a clue about how to run a networking service of any kind. They download the server code, compile it, run it, and think that’s the hard part – though sometimes getting the server configured can be quite difficult. So I thought, “What about a network that teaches people how to do this?” It seemed to be a good fit, after all – most of us are technically inclined and do similar things for our work, so we do know what we’re talking about. And too many people get the response of “STFU noob” if they ask questions which some might consider “newbie” questions about linking and networking. Of course they have to learn somewhere, why not here?
So that’s it. irc.srhuston.net (and the srhuston.net network) exist, at least in part, to teach people about networking and server administration. I’m sure there will be other channels and other things that go on there, but you’ve got to start somewhere and that seems as good a place as any. For now at least, this page will serve as the network’s “home page” as well; at some point in the future I may get fancier with DNS and have a separate page for irc.srhuston.net since I wouldn’t want to lose my homepage for it. But in the mean time, those who come here to learn about IRC might learn a bit about me, and those who know me might learn a bit about IRC. Seems like an even trade, no?