February 23, 2007

IRC Clients for ROM 2.38

Posted in Hunting for Software, Zaurus Trials and Tribulations at 5:57 am by sdjf

NEiC has always worked superbly for me at irc.freenode.net, enabling me to join several channels at once using my registered nick, and cut-and-paste any information I need to save, into whatever application I wish to save it with.

So, I like NEiC a whole lot, but ran into trouble with it the other day when I tried using it for channels at irc.webmaster.com.

I kept getting “Received unhandled numeric command” messages, and it would then automatically change the nick it had logged me in with, my very own nick, to a Guest nick. Very annoying, as the channel ops and members kept insisting that I identify myself, and telling me to enter commands that just didn’t work.

So, although I prefer NEiC, I dredged up and reinstalled Zic. I just plain don’t like zic-0.2.ipk. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t let me add channels or do anything else on the server once I join a channel. And maybe I’ve been spoiled by all the options I have with NEiC.

However, I do have to say that, with a bit of tweaking that didn’t work using NEiC, I was able to log on to channels at webmaster and have a nick remain intact. I couldn’t record the exact sequence of IRC commands I entered because I wasn’t able to retrieve Zic’s server screen when I tried to cut-and-paste the sequence after successfully joining a channel.

The one thing that is clear is that irc.freenode.net and irc.webmaster.org use very different chat server software, and what works using one client doesn’t necessarily work using the other client. Neither client enables me to retain my registered nick at irc.webmaster.org, but at least Zic will let me enter a similar nick, using ‘/NICK mynick1’, and I haven’t been able to get that to work at all at webmaster, using NEiC.

I still prefer NEiC as it lets me scroll back up my history and enables me to color-code entries, and Zic will not. I think those are essential features, so I hunted around for an updated NEiC. And, in the process, I noticed that the zic-0.2.ipk I was using appeared to be a different package than zic_0.2_arm.ipk. Look:

bash-2.05# ls -l programs/zic*ipk
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 51147 Dec 21 2001 programs/zic-0.2.ipk
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 104396 Apr 8 2003 programs/zic_0.2_arm.ipk
bash-2.05#

The bad news is that there is no difference in the binaries for these two Zic ipks. It’s hard to believe, but all those extra bytes must have gotten taken up by the way the second ipk was made. All that work with no difference in functionality. Oh well.

I did find a few other IRC clients that may or may not be compatible with ROM 2.38. The ipks I found out there which I haven’t tested much, if at all, are:

irssi-text_0.8.4-3_arm.ipk

neic_1.0.1-2_openpma.ipk

opie-irc_0.9.1-20020923_arm.ipk

I’m kind of interested in irssi, which I would
hope could enable me to save chat output instead of wildly scurrying to cut-and-paste information, getting frustrated when the target data keeps flipping out of sight because the channel is busy. But I think a friend said I’d have to
install Perl to run it. More work. Sigh.

The openpma version of neic might be crazy to try, as it’s for a different device. And it looks like the opie IRC client probably requires running an opie ROM. I did try installing opie-irc, and it doesn’t seem to work at all on my 2.38. Too bad.

So, for the time being, I’ll keep using NEiC as my primary IRC client at irc.freenode.net, and use Zic at irc.webmaster.org.

If you’re having trouble finding NEiC, then check out the NEiC page at sourceforge here.
sdjf

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