A little over three months ago, Jeffrey Thompson announced on ITdiscuss that he had started an IRC channel on Freenode for the Church IT RoundTable folks. I had really just began getting involved and interested in the world of Church IT and since I was already a lurker in #wordpress, I thought I might as well hop in there and chat it up a bit with the guys. It didn’t take long for the “regulars” to form a unique friendship and within just a week or two, these guys had talked me into opening up my personal wallet and traveling to Kansas City for the Fall 2007 RoundTable.
Well, here we sit, the day after Christmas, and the Church IT RoundTable IRC chat is going full-steam ahead. Most of the guys are on vacation, but yet, are still in the chat hanging out. The camaraderie that we have amongst each other is really very cool and we are always helping one another out. Here’s a quick (and by no means fully accurate and exhaustive) rundown of the regulars in the format of “Name – IRC nickname” and a link to their blog where applicable:
Tony only recently started participating after we ribbed him a good bit about it, and Jeffrey supposedly sent him some screen shots of me saying that Tony was too old for IRC, but I really don’t remember saying that – I promise Tony!
In addition to the regulars, we also have occasional appearances from some other Church IT rockstars like Jason Lee (no not that one) and Dean Lisenby. Among this list, there is a vast amount of knowledge that has been gathered through our past experiences. From VMware Server and ESX, storage and backups, networking, programming, web development, Windows stuff, Linux gurus, even a guy who used to do Novell! I can guarantee you that if you have an IT related question, we can help.
In addition to that great group of guys, we also have our own bot. Any IRC’er worth their salt knows a channel can’t be considered legitimate until they have a bot, and Jeffrey has provided us with rtbot (RoundTable BOT). rtbot is funny, witty, insulting, and even helpful from time to time. He provides us with Chuck-isms, weather reports and forecasts, whois information, Google search results, Digg headlines, insults, excuses, and larts. All in all, rtbot is a perfectly good, self-contained reason to be in the channel. He can really help you do your job!
I know by now you’re all just dying to know “How can I get in on all this fun?” – so here’s how. All you need is an internet connection (guess what – if you’re reading this – you probably have that part taken care of already) and an IRC client to connect to irc.freenode.net and join the #citrt channel. I prefer Xchat under Linux, but there is a non-free Windows version if you have $20 to spare. I really do think it’s the best! However, there are loads of others available as well. Jeffrey listed some other clients for other platforms in that initial post to ITdiscuss and just recently created a really cool screencast that shows you how to download and install Chatzilla for Firefox and get connected to the channel.
I’ll follow up this post sometime soon with some more specific things about what to do once you’re in the channel, such as how to change your nickname and get it registered with freenode so that no one can highjack it and some of the cool things you can do with and to rtbot.
I look forward to seeing you in #citrt!