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IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (Multi User Talk) on a BBS called Oulu Box at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science.

Jarkko intended to extend the BBS software he administered, to allow news in the Usenet style, real time discussions and similar BBS features.

The first part he implemented was the chat part, which he did with borrowed parts written by his friends Jyrki Kuoppala and Jukka Pihl.

The first IRC network was running on a single server named fi.

For the latter purpose, the Undernet implemented timestamps, new routing and offered the CService—a program that allowed users to register channels and then attempted to protect them from troublemakers.

The very first server list presented, from February 15, 1993, includes servers from USA, Canada, France, Croatia and Japan.

In fact, software implementation varied significantly from one network to the other, each network implementing their own policies and standards in their own code bases.

During the summer of 1994, the Undernet was itself forked.

DALnet quickly offered global Wall Ops (IRCop messages that can be seen by users who are w (/mode Nick Name w)), longer nicknames, Q: Lined nicknames (nicknames that cannot be used i.e.

IRC clients are computer programs that a user can install on their system.

These clients communicate with chat servers to transfer messages to other clients.

In Europe and Canada a separate new network was being worked on and in December the French servers connected to the Canadian ones, and in the end of the month, the French and Canadian network was connected to the US one and the network that later came to be called "The Undernet" was born.

The "undernetters" wanted to take ircd further in an attempt to make it less bandwidth consumptive and to try to sort out the channel chaos (netsplits and takeovers) that EFnet started to suffer from.

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