There are four different ways to get in the HOL channels on IRC:
1. IRC Client: Get an stand-alone IRC program like mIRC for the PC or Snak for the Mac. This is the most recommended way to get on IRC, as it is fastest, most reliable, and has the most options. For playing Quidditch you will most probably need an IRC program, as everything else is just too slow.
2. Main HOL Page: Use the 'HOL Chatrooms LOGIN' form on the main HOL page. Enter your nickname and change the channel if needed, then click on 'Login'. The House areas on the main HOL site also offer a login form directly to the house channels.
3. Blitzed CGI:IRC: Recommended for logging on from a library or internet café: Enter your nickname in the first field, and change the Channel to '#hpgalleries' or any other channel you want to join.
4. Java Chat: Many people prefer the Java chat applet to CGI:IRC. Andy (Fraggle) made this spiffy portal for HOL, where you can access the major HOL channels with a simple mouse click.
Most HOL students and faculty use mIRC (http://www.mirc.com) for the PC or snak (http://www.snak.com) for the Mac (or Pirch or IRCle). It doesn't matter what you use as long as it will log you on to the same server with all the rest of HOL people. However, if you do choose to go with a client other than the above, then we may not be able to help you configure your IRC client as we're more familiar with the above. For a list of other clients, access a shareware depository such as tucows (http://www.tucows.com) or other site and type IRC in the search engine.