This guide (and this companion video) will show you how to use an IRC client to connect to your Discord channels on a vintage Macintosh. This essentially allows you to chat on discord from your vintage computer which can’t use discord.
Since this is just using IRC, this will likely work on other non-Macintosh computers as well, but I haven’t test it.
To accomplish this we’re using a bridge / gateway of sorts that is setup via the MacintoshGarden IRC server. This does require you to type in your discord login credentials and provide your Discord token to this IRC server that sits between your computer and Discord. So if you are not comfortable with that, then you’ll need to find your own bridge server, solution, etc.
I didn’t invent this method, I didn’t set up this server, I’m just showing you how it works. Use this tutorial at your own risk!
This guide and video will cover the following:
1) Setting up and registering username on the MacintoshGarden IRC
2) Adding your Discord account and joining a Discord chat room
3) Saving your settings so it’s easy to connect once you quit the IRC
This tutorial is possible thanks to Christian from MacintoshGarden.org. Thank you kindly for all that you do for the community!
Macintosh Compatibility and IRC Clients
The video tutorial was recorded on a Power Macintosh running System 7.6.1. However, I successfully got this working on System 7 on my Quadra 800 68k based Mac. These instructions should also work fine on other vintage computers and non-Macintosh IRC clients.
I found that the MacIRC client seems to work well. There are 68k and PowerPC versions available.
I did find that Snak worked well on System 7.6, however under System 7.1.2 I ran into some issues of the chat windows not showing all the information and conversations. But when I switched to MacIRC under the same system it worked fine. So your mileage may vary!
Before we get started, you’ll need the following handy:
- Your Discord login credentials (email address and password) along with your Discord token. Follow this video here for how to get the token, do NOT share your credentials or token with ANYONE!
- You’ll need the appropriate software to get your Mac online via either MacTCP or TCP/IP. This can be tricky on systems below 7.5 or 7.6, so I advise you to try your internet connection with a web browser before you continue trying out IRC. The website AppleFool.com has some excellent information to help you get your old Mac online.
- You’ll also need to understand that you’ll be giving up any links and images, they won’t be easily accessible on these older IRC clients.
These instructions are pretty terse, so please use the video to follow along.
- Open your IRC application and setup a new connection. You’ll need to provide a username, nickname, and connect to the server at this address: chat.macintoshgarden.org
Leave the password field blank for now.
- Once you’ve connected, type in the following to test the connection to the server, you should get a response.
Type: /msg root help
- If you get a response, the connection works!
Now you’ll need to register your IRC username with the IRC server. This will make things a lot easier because it can remember your chat rooms and other connection details.
To register this, type in: /msg root register YOURDESIREDPASSWORD
If this worked, you should get a response saying “Account successfully created”, or something along those lines.
- Now you are successfully connected to the MacintoshGarden IRC server. This is the gateway or bridge, so you’ll now need to enter in your Discord information so you can get to the chat rooms that reside on Discord.
Quit your IRC application, or disconnect from the server to modify your connection profile. Now enter in the password to your connection profile and select Save or Connect. This will ensure that your username (which we just registered with a password) now has the appropriate password saved to authenticate you on the IRC server. This will also save our Discord details and chat rooms our IRC account.
/msg root account add discord YOURDISCORDEMAIL YOURPASS
You should get a response saying “Account successfully added with tag discord”.
- Now we need to add your Discord token to authenticate the connection. If you don’t do this, you’ll get an error about a captcha not being valid. Again, you can find out your token details by using a desktop web browser and following the steps in this video here.
/msg root acc discord set token_cache YOURTOKENGOESHERE
You won’t get any confirmation except a line added in the Server log.
- Now that we have our Discord details entered, we’ll need to turn on the Discord function. To do this, type:
/msg root account discord on
You’ll get a response saying “root account discord on”.
- Now let’s add a chat room. Type in:
/msg root chat list discord
This will display a list of every chat room / channel that is connected to your Discord account. This may take a long time to load on your system and you may not be able to interrupt this process.
You’ll notice each chat room has an ID number assigned to it. This number is important. You’ll basically need to find the ID number of your desired room so you can connect to it. For example, the room I want to connect to is 196 and is named #68k-ppc-challenge.
To add this chat room to an IRC room, I type in the following command:
/msg root chat add discord !196 #MyCustomRoomName
(Note: You can name that channel whatever you want! You do NOT have to name it the same as the Discord channel’s original name. You can use an abbreviated name, or whatever you want.)
You’ll get a response saying “Chatroom successfully added, join with /join #68kChallenge”
8. Now the chat room is created, but it does not automatically join you into the room. To manually join the room type in
For example, I typed in: /join #68kChallenge
A new tab or window will display with the chat room and you will get a list of participants. You may also see people join and exit the room, or go idle.
9. We can optionally have our IRC client auto-join us to this room upon logging in to the IRC client application.
To do this, we can setup the room to auto-join by typing the following:
/msg root chan #MyCustomRoomName set auto_join true
You should get a response back saying auto_join = ‘true’. Be careful not to add too many chats to auto-join, as this may slow down your vintage system.
Remember, you can ALWAYS manually join chat rooms.
Now that everything is set up that is it! Since we have our IRC connection and username details saved, we do not need to re-enter our Discord details. Enjoy using IRC on your old machine!