if you ever get:
"Unable to connect : java.net.SocketException : Software caused connection abort: Connect."
This message will appear in the chat window when security software or hardware, such as antivirus software or a firewall, on your computer or your network, is preventing your computer from talking to the IRC server. In other words, your security software or hardware is attempting to "protect" you from chat.
We commonly see this problem with the Windows XP firewall, Zone Alarm, McAfee, and some anti-virus software with built in firewall. Also, if you are accessing chat via a corporate intranet or some similar network, often times IRC traffic will be blocked by a network firewall.
We can provide tips for the following situations:
How to Configure McAfee VirusScan 8 for IRC Chat
(For Users of Windows XP)
The steps apply only to McAfee VirusScan 8 and may not work with other security software. These steps will "unblock" Port 6667 so that you can participate chat sessions.
1. Open your "Start" menu.
2. Choose "All Programs." (Choose "Programs" if you are using Windows Classic mode)
3. Select "Network Associates" - this is the McAfee software.
4. Choose "VirusScan Console."
5. A new window will open.
here is what it looks like
6. Under the listing of "Tasks," double-click "Access Protection."
7. A new window will open, with the tab "Port Blocking."
8. Under the heading "Rule," see two listings for "Prevent IRC Communication."
9. Uncheck the box for "Prevent IRC Communication, Ports 6666-6669, Outbound."
10. Click "OK."
11. Close the "Virus Scan Console" window.
12. Retry to connect to the Chat session.
How to Configure Windows XP Firewall for IRC Chat
Follow these instructions if you use Windows XP. These steps will "unblock" Port 6667 so that you can participate chat sessions.
1. Open your "Start" menu.
2. Choose "Control Panel." (Choose "Settings" and then "Control Panel" if you are using Windows Classic mode).
3. A new window will open.
4. Choose "Windows Firewall."
5. A new window will open; it will have three "tabs" listed near the top.
6. Choose "Exceptions."
7. On the next screen, click the "Add Port" button. A new screen will open.
8. In the "Name" textbox, you may type any name for this exception. We recommend "ircchat."
9. In the "Port number" textbox, type 6667.
10. Check that the "TCP" radio button is selected (green).
11. Click "OK."
12. Click "OK."
13. Retry to connect to the Chat session.
When I try to enter the Chat Room, I get a grey square, with a little red X (Applet not initiated), or the message "Missing Plug-in." Why?
This is because you may not have Java installed. Java is software that works with your browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape) so that you can participate in chat.
To remedy this, visit http://www.java.com
and download and install the latest version of the Java software.
IRC Clients for Macs
* IRCLE http://www.ircle.com/
* Snak http://www.snak.com/
* Colloquy http://colloquy.info/