Lucas Nuss­baum has posed an eeri­ly famil­iar ques­tion: what is the best way to main­tain a sin­gle and con­stant IRC pres­ence, acces­si­ble from mul­ti­ple loca­tions? After some exper­i­men­ta­tion with dif­fer­ent solu­tions (includ­ing Irssi + Irssi-Proxy), I final­ly set­tled upon a com­bi­na­tion of Bip IRC Proxy, an SSH tun­nel and my favourite GUI IRC client. I was plan­ning to write a guide, but I came across an excel­lent one which explains the whole process. Man­ag­ing the SSH tun­nel is easy with gSTM.

Now I can use the same nick from mul­ti­ple sites at once. It is com­plete­ly trans­par­ent to oth­er peo­ple, so it does­n’t mat­ter where in the world I am pro­vid­ed that I have an Inter­net con­nec­tion with an SSH and IRC client. I am not forced to use a par­tic­u­lar IRC client, and I don’t have to give up a GUI. I can even stay logged in at both home and work at the same time.

My pri­ma­ry fea­ture request would be for Bip to have the capa­bil­i­ty to set myself as Away when I have no IRC clients con­nect­ed. At present, it only pro­vides the option to change my nick in this cir­cum­stance, which is too heavy-hand­ed and pol­lutes the chan­nel with announce­ments.

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