The next thing you need is a direct-access provider, or company to connect you to the Internet. Roughly 30 such companies serve the Central Florida area. Not all are listed in the phone book, but AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe subscribers can search an online catalog of providers called The List. It's on the Web at the address: http://thelist.com Assuming you have a direct-access account, hooking up to IRC is a simple matter. Use the dialer program to link your machine to the provider, then launch mIRC. When the program appears on your screen, click the lightning bolt icon to connect with one of the IRC networks.