This article is from the Bob Dylan FAQ, by Adam K. Powers and John Howells firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
If no one in the same room as you wants to chat about Dylan 24 hours
a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year you might think you have an
insatiable desire. But there is relief! IRC! Internet Relay Chat. On
irc there is always an international live real-time Dylan conference -
usually in English - waiting for you to join it.
Before joining irc, I recommend checking out several sources for
info: http://www.doxx.net/html/links.html and
http://www.ben2.ucla.edu/~nate/frames/index.html These pages contain
several links to different irc resources, including an explanation
of the various networks that make up irc. I strongly recommend
looking at these sites first if you've never been on irc before.
It can save you a lot of headaches later. With that said, you will
need a special program to access irc called a client. For UNIX, I
recommend ircii, available at ftp://ftp2.undernet.org/irc/clients/unix/.
For Mac users, the client of choice seems to be Ircle, available
at http://www.xs4all.nl/~ircle/. Windows users should grab a copy
of mIRC, available at many different sites around the world including
http://pebbles.axi.net/mirc/. Once you have a client installed,
log onto a server and type "/join #bobdylan" or "/join #dylan" to
join the Bob Dylan chat room. Lets say you join though and find to
your dismay that there's no one there? Never fear, just keep looking.
Maybe try a different irc network perhaps. I recommend checking
out #dylan on efnet.
What you type after that will be seen by all the others on that
channel. If all is quiet simply wait until the lull ends or learn how
to invite others in (/invite), change the topic (/topic) and so on.
Many arrange to meet at the channel by prior arrangement through
e-mail, setting a time to rendezvous. Bear in mind the time zones
- discussion tends to ebb and flow with New Zealanders and Australians
starting the day, as they begin to flag Europeans join, and Americans
are last to come in, though some #dylan people keep very odd hours
indeed. It is important to keep the various irc networks in mind
here as well. Telling someone you will meet them on #dylan at 0400
GMT isnt enough. If your friend joins newnet while you log into
Dalnet, you wont be able to talk to each other.
Unlike email or usenet, irc is real time information more akin to
a conversation. Resources can be shared, files can be transferred,
and addresses can be swapped. In other words, irc is a tape traders
dream come true. If you are looking for that copy of Milwaukee 97
or Des Moines 90, you may just strike gold on irc. It is not uncommon
for people to trade unreleased dylan material on irc in mp3 format.
(mp3 is a sound compression format that is a much smaller file
than a .wav file yet retaining all of the quality) Even if you
don't find that tape you're looking for, you might find a future
Treat irc like a Paris street cafe. If you want to be certain
that stimulating, interesting people are there when you are there,
bring them with you.
If Bob Dylan is performing in a country you can try to see who is on
from that country, such as Japan:
And then use /invite to invite in unsuspecting irc-ers and ask them
about media coverage, whether they are going to the concerts or know
anyone who is, will they be taking a DAT recorder with them, etc etc
As with all esoteric computer matters, if the command irc is not
available on your computer, simply ask a local computer guru how to
ftp and compile what you need.
So long as you have full Internet access something should be
possible, and you can join in on the Dylan discussion via irc...
The standard #dylan teatime in London meeting in irc is daily at:
Kangerlussuaq Fairbanks 13:00 Reykjavik 07:00 16:00 Petropavlovsk Trondheim 04:00 St John's 17:00 13:30 Helsinki Charlottetown LONDON 18:00 Hibbing 12:00 16:00 Moscow Irkutsk 10:00 19:00 00:00 Greenwich Paris San Francisco Village 17:00 08:00 11:00 Lisbon Bombay Kyoto 16:00 21:30 01:00 Gallup Monrovia Singapore Honolulu 09:00 16:00 00:00 06:00 Lagos Perth Quito Rio de 17:00 00:00 11:00 Janeiro Harare Adelaide 13:00 18:00 01:30 Santiago Hobart Dunedin 12:00 02:00 04:00