For newbies to IRC (Internet Relay Chat), here are some instructions that I hope will help. First, go to www.mirc.com
and download the software.
After you download and install mIRC, you'll see a screen that wants some information ...
First, let me thank channel owner Chris Paterson for making these updated screen captures
The Nickname blank is the only one that means anything since it's the nick you'll end up with on IRC. However, if the nick you choose is already in use, it'll default to the "alternate" nick you chose.
Under the connect menu, choose servers and from the choices of servers, choose the "Undernet" category of servers. That's simply because the #lanekent channel is on an Undernet server. Once you pick one, click "okay" and you're ready to connect.
When you connect successfully (sometimes you'll have to try more than one server) you'll see all kinds of weird stuff scroll by fast on your status window. That just basically lets you know that you've made it to the UNDERNET. In the space at the bottom of the status screen type /join #lanekent, or there's the mIRC "favorites" window (above picture) and just type the channel name #lanekent as shown and click "join" and voila, you're part of the conversation!
The names on the right are the nicks of the people on the channel. As you can see when you type something, your nick automatically appears on the channel in front of what you type so that everyone will know who said what.
If you have any other questions, just ask. Thanks again for the pics, Chris.