This is a good page for information on connecting: http://oreilly.com/pub/h/1963
I would highly recommend NOT using telnet to connect to IRC. It might work, but you won't get anything but the raw chat messages. That means, no channel tabs, no user lists, and it's very hard to keep track of that in your head (probably impossible on geekshed). Also, you will have to manually type back all PING messages you receive this can be difficult if lots of messages are scrolling, plus it will get annoying after a while.
While this is possible, I would HIGHLY recommend using either a web-based IRC client. Some IRC servers will ban web-based clients like Mibbit, but its worth a try. Even better, check out mIRC, its the best client you will find. If for some reason mIRC doesn't work, take a look at xchat.
answered Aug 23 '11 at 02:38