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Zaurus Software Reviews: jIRC
09/16/02
By Steve Emms


jIRC is a port of Jpilot.com's java applet to the Sharp PDA. Installation was trivial. Click Settings tab, Add/Remove software, Install packages, select the jpilot-jirc file and install to either RAM, CF or SD. A smiley icon was placed in the Jeode tab, in the normal way.

Starting up the application takes you to a profile manager, where you select your nick name, default login channel, real name, server and port. I entered the details of a DALnet server (as shown in Screenshot 1) and clicked the Connect Now button. Annoyingly, the profile manager doesn't actually remember the settings; keying in the server and username each time you run jIRC is a bit of a chore.

Screenshot 2 shows a live IRC session on a #linux channel in progress. Text was perfectly readable on the left hand pane, although it did take too long to add the user names in the right hand pane, when there more than 50 in the channel. Definately room for improvement there.

Besides having your text displayed in the color of your choice, you can also make the text bold when you want to emphasise something in the conversation. In use the program coped quite well, scrolling was smooth, although I would prefer a much longer scrollback.

There are a number of sacrifices that have been made with jIRC. There are no DCC options. DCC lets you send and receive files from another user, which is a convenient way of sharing information with fellow irc users. Another significant ommission is the lack of the /msg command. This command lets you send a private message to a user. As it stands you must either create a separate channel to have a discussion with an individual, or broadcast it for everyone to see. Jpilot says these features are not there because of the small 240x320 screen display of the Zaurus.

There are lots of other things I'm used to on a standard Linux irc client that have also been removed, such as hotlinks, and aliases to name but two. This isn't terribly surprising though.

The more I use this client, the more I'm getting used to the limitations. After a while you get used to the lack of all the traditional features of an irc client. It still performs the basic functions of being able to communicate with fellow Linux users. The text is clear and the colors are well chosen. Another good application for the Zaurus!

Product Details:

Name: jIRC
Company: Jpilot.com
Price: Beta is free but will expire
Pros: Simple, colorful irc client
Cons: Limited feature set: only 1 channel at a time, no /msg, no DCC
Rating: 6/10

Back to Zaurus Software Reviews


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