Dear mom and dad: I apologize in advance for this post probably not making any sense. Basically, there are some programs that I used back in high school that I still like and am going back to use again now. If you (or anyone else) have questions about the stuff I'm talking about here, please ask! A couple of potentially handy links: irssi, XChat, Linux, Thunderbird, quicktext, mutt, vim, emacs.

My first IRC client was irssi. I switched to XChat in college when I was helping friends get started with Linux because I wanted to dogfood the applications I was recommending to them, but the lure of always-on-ness with screen and the simplicity of the terminal was too strong; I switched back this week at Karsten's suggestion.

And I've got questions.

  • What plugins do people recommend? (I have none installed at present.)
  • Is there a way to make your terminal flash a notification in your taskbar (or otherwise somehow notify you visually outside the terminal window itself) when a message directed at you arrives? One of the nicest things about XChat was the flashing icon that would appear when I was working on something else while waiting for a particular urgent ping to interrupt me.
  • For those of you who use irssi in a terminal running in your window manager and regularly have more than 11 channels open at a time, what do you do about the alt-W through alt-T irssi channel-switching keyboard shortcuts being overridden by GNOME (or whatever) shortcuts for the Tools, etc. drop-down menus? Is there a way to override this, or a better one-shortcut way of getting to channels 12-15?
  • For those of you who regularly have more than 20 channels open at a time, is there an easier way of getting at channel, say... 31, than going to channel 1 and then ctrl-P(revious)-ing back until you reach it?
  • It seems like there is a way, based on highlighted messages and funneling them to one window, to capture only the stuff sent to you while you were out, so you can quickly read scrollback. I haven't played enough to figure that out yet. 
  • other irssi best practices (or rather, "handy habits that workforme and that I recommend")?

Heh - before you know it, I'm going to be using mutt and vim again instead of Thunderbird and gEdit. (The switch to mutt depends on finding a good way to replace Thunderbird's quicktext plugin, but I suspect there's some way to kludge a vim macro to do the trick; if not, there must be a way in emacs, and I can just learn that.)