It seems an eternity ago that many of us 80s kids’ social life was spent on mIRC (Internet relay chat). Well – if you consider virtually slapping people with trouts and arguing over whether rock or rap is the better music genre ‘socialising’.
Here are a few sweet, sweet mIRC memories that might even bring a tear to your eyes.
1. Telephone Line VS mIRC
It’s 7PM; the time you’ve been waiting for all day – mIRC o’clock! (For some reason phone line usage was cheaper after 6pm in Malta) however, your parents decide this is the opportune moment to call that estranged zija Doris in Sydney.
Why?! Sure, it wasn’t fun having to fight with your parents over the telephone line in order to connect to the internet, but the whole ‘Will it connect?‘ was part of the excitement buildup.
During mIRC days, ‘nicks’ were basically your identity. There were the users who couldn’t be arsed and just used their actual name – followed perhaps by a few ^^ if they were feeling adventurous (^Amy). Then there were the narcissists (xxCuteGurL16xx), the misunderstood goths (^BlaCkMoonSHadow^), the fanatics (KING^GiGiBuffon), the rockers (^SLAYER^) and of course, the alcoholics (SpritZerTa’JonnyHeXa).
An mIRC channel is a ‘room’ where group conversations occur. The channels you join are basically who you are – not unlike the places you hang out in the ‘real’ world. Back then, hashtags were used to join channels, a few popular ones being #malta, #killazz and #metalmalta.
The use of # on IRC inspired a similar system to be used on Twitter, as a way to categorise messages which then extended to other social media platforms such as Instagram and annoyingly, Facebook (#mybae #thisgirl #sundayfunday #lovehim #nomakeup #wokeuplikethis).
4. mIRC Art
Before gifs and emojis, IRC was all text so we had to get pretty creative in order to express ourselves. While there was some lame-ass stuff which looked something like ( . ) ( . ), the more complicated, sophisticated users created art like waving bears and marijuana plants using just their keyboards…while the rest of us copied and pasted and took credit for it.
‘Imnalla mlejtli page bil-weraq.’
5. The OP
The Op (channel operator) rules and moderates the channel, which means having the power to kick people out of the group. This authority is represented by an @ before one’s nick and is basically the crown of mIRC.
6. Kicking People Out
Whether you kick a user out because he is typing Britney Spears lyrics and thus, totally deserves it, or simply because he called you fat at school earlier on in the real world, kicking someone out of a chatroom serves more as a little humiliation that it does a punishment, because he can join right back.
Then, of course, there was the dreaded /ban command, which as the name implies, bans the user from joining the channel again. #MakeThemBegBro
‘Qażżiżtli u illagjajtli post b’dak il-waving teddy bear.’
Everyone is ignoring you and for a full thirty seconds, you come to the conclusion that everyone hates you and maybe it is time to reconnect with estranged zija Doris from Sydney after all. Suddenly, mIRC unfreezes, the screen comes to life and you receive 500 messages all at once. So screw zija Doris.
‘Uwijja, kemm ħa ndum nisma fuq il-kangaruwn!?’
8. Fishy Business
Have you ever looked at someone and thought : ‘Illa x‘wiċċ tad-daqqiet ta’ ħarta‘? I know right!? Some people have that face you just want to smack. And let’s face it, life’s too short to fight that urge.
Slapping people with a large trout was one of mIRC’s most popular commands. Anyone could do it and you didn’t need a reason to.
/X slaps Y with a large trout’
The original private chat intro line which nurtured many a friendship. A/S/L (Age/Sex/Location)?
10. Disconnecting and Reconnecting
To get your crush’s attention.
^CandyFlo$$17^ has joined #killazz
^CandyFlo$$^ has left #killazz
^CandyFlo$$^ has joined #killazz
Bonus: The Bot
(Short for robot). We always wondered who @X was. He was everywhere.