As I was trying to fix my WordPress install yesterday, I attempted to connect to the #wordpress channel on irc.freenode.net. In case you don’t know, IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, an antiquated online chat system created in 1988. Think of IRC as an earlier version of AIM, Google Talk, or Jabber.
For a better introduction to IRC, check out this article from linux.com.
But I never could get connected. You see, the network administrators here at UGA have blocked the IRC ports from use, claiming that “there is too much abuse”. I would like to know how much abuse happens over IRC when the ports unblocked.
Anyways, I needed to find a way to get on the channel, as the WordPress forums weren’t providing me any answers. I next tried several online scripts that allow you to connect to IRC servers through your web browser.
First, I tried the PJIRC client, a java-based client. In fact, WordPress even links to a friendly install of PJIRC by Viper007Bond. Again, no luck. This implementation needs to use the same IRC ports as regular clients, so I couldn’t connect.
In all honesty, I don’t know why the IRC protocol is blocked by UGA administrators. I’ve read that it can be used to facilitate computer takeover, control bot computers, implement denial-of-service attacks. How often this happens, I don’t know. I think that the few on campus that know what IRC is are most likely nerds and pose little threat.
Disclaimer: This post is solely for informative and educational purposes, and the author assumes no responsibility and will not be held accountable if you are caught breaking your network policy or local law.