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Introduction: Hacks #95-100

If you're testing out your earlier hacks, you may find it convenient to perform the tests locally, using your own IRC server. Setting up your own IRC server gives you ultimate power over how it behaves, and you can even let other people connect to it from the Internet.

If you already have a server up and running, you may find it useful to add Services to it. This lets you add NickServ and ChanServ features to your network, which are welcomed by users who wish to protect their nicknames and stop other people from stealing them.

If you want to expand your IRC network, you can also find out how to link two IRC servers together. This is the secret to the success of IRC, with several servers connected to form a network, providing greater resilience and the ability to allow more users to connect.

As you near the end of this book, you may be getting accustomed to the look-and-feel of IRC. If you really like it, you can find out how to set up the unique BitlBee program to combine all of your MSN, ICQ, and AIM contacts into an interface that is transparently presented as a single IRC channel. The final hack in this book then shows you a neat way of combining BitlBee with the IRC proxy described in Chapter 14.

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