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I remember the first time I saw IRC in action: I was about 10 years old and an older cousin, a computer engineer who lived with us, would log on to chat rooms to play Acrophobia, Trivia and MadLib. We were on a US Robotics Sportster 9600 baud modem and didn’t know too many other people in India who had an internet connection. Back then, it blew our minds.

IRC or Internet Relay Chat is a form of instant messaging with millions of users worldwide that dates back to 1988. One would log on to a server, pick a chat room called a channel, and then get talking. IRC hasn’t changed very much in all these years – it was meant to be basic and stays true to its roots (which aren’t exactly as described on Numb3rs). However, it was built by geeks for geeks, and so has undergone some development, which you can see in IRCCloud. This still-in-beta app brings IRC to your web browser and lives in the cloud. It offers a contemporary interface and some new features for advanced users. Let’s take it for a spin, shall we?