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In addition to its Mailing lists, SOWN uses Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as one of its main mechanisms for communicating with each other outside of meetings and/or Workshops. Automated messages from our monitoring services ([Nagios]]) are also sent to the channel so people can quickly notice a problem.


If you're interested or stuck with something wireless, or maybe just bored feel free to pay us a visit in #sown on

There's usually somebody around at most times during the day to talk to.


There are numerous IRC clients available. Below are some of the clients used by members of SOWN. If none of these suit, irc client - Google Search may be able to find you something better.

  • Windows:
    • mIRC is one of the most popular GUI clients available.
    • IceChat is also another good GUI client.
  • Linux:
    • Irssi is a powerful shell text based client that can be run in Screen (so you never miss a minute of conversation!)
  • Mac OS:
    • Colloquy is an open source GUI client for Mac OS X.
  • Cross Platform
    • ChatZilla! is a good extension to XUL based applications, such as FireFox
    • XChat is a GUI client that can be run on Linux, Windows (for a fee) and Mac OSX as well.
    • Pidgin is a universal chat client that supports IRC on Windows and Linux platforms
    • Mibbit is a web-based client


So that our important technical discussions don't get lost we log our IRC channel. These logs are indexed so that you can search for a particular conversation. We use various colours to highlight different messages.

Someone joining the channel

Someone leaving the channel

Someone performing an action in the channel

sown-bot speaking. Usually to report a problem or recovery of a node or a response to someone's query of a node's status.

As well as providing a search box. If you want to go to a certain time in a day's log you can append a #HHMM, (e.g. to go to that exact time in the conversation.

... more about "IRC"
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