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I use a graphical IRC client for OSX (Textual to be specific). Since I am not connected 24x7 (it being a portable macbook), I don't know what happens in my favourite IRC channels during the times I'm not connected (eg: at night).

Is there a way to stay connected (in order to view channel logs later) to the IRC server, and yet be able to use my graphical IRC client sporadically?

Is there a middleman IRC server that I can use for keeping persistent connections even though the graphical client may not be connected to it all the time?

I don't want to complicate things; all I want is to keep myself aware of what is happening in my favorite channels all the time.

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I recommend using ZNC. You can set it to playback anything you missed, up to a certain number of lines. It also comes with features to log channels. It will also playback PM's.

It is known as an IRC Bouncer. It stay's connected to a server and channels 24/7 (or whatever you want) and keeps you signed in. You login to ZNC as you would an IRC server. It's like a personal relay server. You can set it so it marks you away, or change your name, so signify you are away.

It's highly customizable, and easy to use, I HIGHLY recommended using it, and currently use ZNC to stay connected to 4 IRC servers.

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Grab some hosting and you can set up a log bot without too much trouble (and just a bit of money).

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Some channels prohibit bots by policy. –  Sridhar Ratnakumar Aug 18 '11 at 22:11
    
@Sridhar But alas, what is your chat client but a bot that represents a human? –  digitxp Aug 18 '11 at 23:02
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