Hack and / - What Really IRCs Me: Twitter
tircd works with a subset of traditional IRC commands, so it is pretty intuitive if you already are familiar with IRC. Your last Twitter status shows up as the topic of the #twitter channel, and if you want to update your status, all you have to do is type a message in the channel. If you want to send a direct message to other users, simply send them a private message. Likewise, if they send you a direct message, it shows up as a private message in IRC.
There are two different ways to follow or remove users. First, you can follow or remove them from the Twitter site or from any other Twitter client, and you will see those users join or leave your #twitter channel. Second, you can use the /invite IRC command followed by the users' Twitter user names to follow them. To remove them, all you have to do is /kick them from the channel. If you want to block users completely, just use /ban, and use /unban to unblock them. If you want to get information about a user, you can use the standard IRC /whois command.
One of the more interesting aspects of tircd is that you can set up multiple channels with only certain users in it. This can be useful if you follow a large number of accounts and want to organize them. Simply /join a new channel on the tircd server, and use /invite to add those particular users to that channel. Now, whenever those users update their status, it appears both in #twitter and in this new channel.
You also can use new channels for custom search queries. Again, /join a new channel of any name, and then use the /topic command to change the topic to the Twitter search query you want to use. All of the results of your search then appear in the channel.
Okay, I admit it, Twitter isn't so bad when you can access it inside IRC. I still think it's easier and faster to chat with people over IRC, but with tircd, I can find out what Larry King and Oprah had for lunch in my localhost #twitter channel and chat with all the great people in the official #linuxjournal channel all from the same client.
Kyle Rankin is a Senior Systems Administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area and the author of a number of books, including Knoppix Hacks and Ubuntu Hacks for O'Reilly Media. He is currently the president of the North Bay Linux Users' Group.
Kyle Rankin is a VP of engineering operations at Final, Inc., the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal. Follow him @kylerankin.
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One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
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Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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