11.3 IRC Commands
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

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Note: Hit enter after each command.
/away         When you're called away to put out a grease fire
              in the kitchen, issue this command to let others know
              you're still connected but just away from your terminal
              or computer for awhile.
/help         Brings up a list of commands for which there is a help
              file. You will get a "topic:" prompt.  Type in the
              subject for which you want information and hit enter. 
              Hit enter by itself to exit help.
/invite       Asks another IRC to join you in a conversation.
                        /invite fleepo #hottub
              would send a message to fleepo asking him to join you on
              the #hottub channel.  The channel name is optional.
/join         Use this to switch to or create a particular channel,
              like this:
                        /join #hottub       
              If one of these channels exists and is not a private
              one, you will enter it.  Otherwise, you have just
              created it. Note you have to use a # as the first
/list         This will give you a list of all available public
              channels, their topics (if any) and the number of users
              currently on them.  Hidden and private channels are not
/m name       Send a private message to that user.
/mode         This lets you determine who can join a channel you've
                        /mode #channel +s
              creates a secret channel.
                        /mode #channel +p
              makes the channel private
/nick         This lets you change the name by which others see you.
                        /nick fleepo
              would change your name for the present session to
              fleepo. People can still use /whois to find your e-mail
              address.  If you try to enter a channel where somebody
              else is already using that nickname, IRC will ask you to
              select another name.
/query        This sets up a private conversation between you and
              another IRC user.  To do this, type
                        /query nickname
              Every message you type after that will go only to that
              person.  If she then types
                        /query nickname
              where nickname is yours, then you have established a
              private conversation.  To exit this mode, type
              by itself.  While in query mode, you and the other
              person can continue to "listen" to the discussion on
              whatever public channels you were on, although neither
              of you will be able to respond to any of the messages
/quit         Exit IRC.
/signoff      Exit IRC.
/summon       Asks somebody connected to a host system with IRC to
              join you on IRC. You must use the person's entire e-mail
                        /summon fleepo@foo.bar.com
              would send a message to fleepo asking him to start IRC. 
              Usually not a good idea to just summon people unless you
              know they're already amenable to the idea; otherwise you
              may wind up annoying them no end. This command does not
              work on all sites.
/topic        When you've started a new channel, use this command to let
              others know what it's about.
                        /topic #Amiga
               would tell people who use /list that your channel is meant
               for discussing Amiga computers.
/who <chan>   Shows you the e-mail address of people on a particular
                        /who #foo
              would show you the addresses of everybody on channel foo.
              by itself shows you every e-mail address for every person
              on IRC at the time, although be careful: on a busy night
              you might get a list of 500 names!
/whois        Use this to get some information about a specific IRC
              user or to see who is online. 
                        /whois nickname
              will give you the e-mail address for the person using
              that nickname. 
                        /whois *
              will list everybody on every channel.
/whowas       Similar to /whois; gives information for people who
              recently signed off IRC.