Internet Relay Chat

Lois has passed on ... on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, she left us, and went to join her husband (Howard Culver) in the Big Broadcasting Booth in the Sky. Her obituary is here,

Her departure left the #OldRadio chat channel without a leader. She will indeed be missed, not only for her reminisces of old-time radio shows, but for her active participation in many other areas.

I'll leave this "ad" for Lois' chat channel as a memorial to her good works.

Past visitors to #OldRadio might also remember "Itsy", one of the StarLink Admins, who passed away Tuesday Jan,17 2012


The internet now offers Old-Time Radio fans yet another way to communicate with folks having similar interests. IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, allows people to enter and read messages to each other, nearly in "real time", much as an old telephone party line did.

As a service to fans of old-time radio, Lois Culver has set up an IRC Channel available via the StarLink-IRC servers. This WWW page will answer some of the questions you might have about this service. It is NOT an exhaustive description of IRC, but will give you enough info to get started, and see if you like the concept. For more information, see the documentation contained in your IRC software bundle.

Click on the question to get the answer:

Lois Culver in 1943 at KWLK
Lois, at KWLK, in 1943

Return to Program Schedule ... What the rest of the Old-Time Site offers.

Each conversation area or chat room at a chat server is called a "channel". Folks can join one or more channels, and discuss whatever seems appropriate to the topic of that channel. The channel for old-time radio topics is #OldRadio. Note the # in front of the name. That symbol identifies the name as a channel rather than as something else.

#OldRadio topics can be just about anything appropriate to the hobby of enjoying old time radio programs. Past topics have included critiques of various series or episodes, hardware or software used to listen to or improve old radio audio, how to build a database to track one's collection, who to contact for specific shows, and many more. Much of the time we just ... chat ... about whatever topics come up.

We don't condone abusive or inappropriate language, or attempts to impair the enjoyment of participating in the group. Wildly off-topic discussions are discouraged as well. These simple rules are enforced by channel operators (a channel operator can be identified by an @ in front of her/his nickname).

As with any internet communications, however, take everything you see with at least one or two grains of salt, until you can validate the expertise / authority of the sender.

#OldRadio meets every Thursday night, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, on StarLink-IRC

In addition to this regular meeting time, folks often stop by just to see if anybody is there, or to say "hi" to visitors. You can be assured of a host on Thursday nights, and there is a good chance you will find fans at other times too!

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Your internet service provider (ISP) may already have the necessary software for you to enjoy IRC. If you have a shell account, simply log in, and type IRC at the command line. If your provider has installed the IRC software, you will soon be linked to an IRC network, in which you can chat to your heart's content.

There are many IRC networks, with many chat topics, some with very similar names. There is an excellent chance that the default network for your ISP does not have the #OldRadio group. To see if this is true, type /LIST #oldradio in the little window at the bottom of your IRC screen. Things will happen on your screen. If you soon see a line that says something like

#OldRadio Chat about radio programs broadcast when radios had tubes. 8 PM Thurs ET

you are in the right place. The #OldRadio channel is on your net, and you can join it by typing /JOIN #OldRadio. CAUTION: If you type /JOIN #OldRadio, and you are on the wrong network, you will create a new channel called #OldRadio, but be very lonely. Insure that the channel exists before joining!

If you don't see a message similar to the above, you are on the wrong network. Starlink-IRC is available worldwide, and has servers at the following locations. To go to one of those sites, copy one of the lines below, and paste it into the little text entry window in your chat software, or add it to the list of IRC Servers in your IRC software.

StarLink-IRC For more info, click on the Starlink-IRC button.

Click Here For A Current List of Starlink-IRC Server Full Names and numeric IP addresses

Once the new server loads, type /JOIN #OldRadio to enter the chat channel.

After you arrive in the chat channel, simply watch your screen for messages, and type your replies or questions as appropriate. You can even get help on the various commands by typing /HELP. Note that all commands are preceeded by a slash (/), and the command must be the first thing on the line. Anything that you type that isn't a command will appear on everybody's screen.

If your provider does not have IRC set up, or if you do not have a shell account, or if you want a more graphical interface to the IRC, find mIRC or Pirch (PC Programs) or Ircle (MAC program) at your favorite shareware site, and follow the instructions contained therein to install it. Some sites that have mIRC and more help files are:

Once your new IRC software is installed, check the "Servers" window. New IRC software already has Starlink-IRC included. If it is not there, add one or more of the server sites listed above. Use the existing server information as a template. After this is done, you can click on the appropriate server, and be transported to the #OldRadio site. Simply type /join #oldradio once you get there, and join in the conversation!

If you are running mIRC, Pirch, Ircle (or other some other IRC software), in addition to the general messages for everybody, you can also have private chats with other folks in the channel. If you are running mIRC, just double-click on the nick to enter into a private chat. You can also send and receive files. Some visitors exchange RealAudio® compressed programs or WAV files in this manner. (Read your documentation for more info).

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Visitors to IRC channels can assume a nickname by typing /NICK somename in the message entry window (substitute a nickname for "somename"). All messages from that nick are prefixed by the nick, so you will know who said what. Nicks are not reserved, and anybody can assume any nickname, so don't assume that you know somebody because you recognize the nickname. Remember, when a @ appears in front of the nick (in the IRC nickname screen), that person is a channel operator.

Visitors' experience level ranges from "just barely" to "WOW!", so you will probably fit right in! There may be a surprise or two, and there is always good, entertaining and educational discussion for any age group!

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Lois & Howard Culver Here is a picture of Lois, as she is carried into Ray Kemper's sound stage by her new husband, Howard Culver, in 1950. Howard played "The Straight Arrow" and many other OTR roles. 

Very few famous personalities from radio's past are connected to the internet, but Lois is continually trying to have "Guest Appearances".

Harry Bartell
Harry Bartell
Although Harry Bartell may be well known for his interviews of "Dr Watson" (and his Petri Wine commercials) on the Sherlock Holmes series, he either announced or acted in many OTR shows. John Dunning, in his Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio gives Mr Bartell three lines in the index alone!

Mr Bartell made an appearance in #OldRadio on Sep. 24, 1998. You can download and read the transcript of that night's conversations. (The text was slightly edited to improve ease of reading).

Mr Bartell graciously volunteered for another grilling on Oct 15, 1998. Some 56 visitors attended the session. Here is the edited transcript of some of the visitors asking Mr Bartell questions about old-time radio and the 7,500 - 10,000 shows in which he appeared.

Mr Bartell passed away during the afternoon of Feb 26, 2004.

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