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I'm looking for a portable (does not need installation and saves settings in its own directory) IRC client for Windows XP, with rudimental scripting (authenticating, automatically joining channels, reconnecting upon disconnect) and log support (so it can be left in the background, so I can read the transcript later).

Anyone know of such?

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There is a portable install option for XChat-WDK. I think that should fit your requirements perfectly, as it has logging, scripting, and plenty of options. It's very user friendly for the most port. It appears to store everything in a single directory, as requested.

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In your network settings, there is an option to add in Nickserv authentication, or auto commands. It should also automatically reconnect. It does for me by default at any rate – Simon Sheehan Dec 10 '11 at 1:23
you'd be better off getting it from the xchat-wdk site itself The installer has a portable option. I've gotten it to authenticate and reconnect the same way i would on a regular system – Journeyman Geek Dec 10 '11 at 1:40
@JourneymanGeek Fixed my link with that one, thanks for it – Simon Sheehan Dec 10 '11 at 1:57
Yup, xchat definitely changed in the meantime (for the better :))) – Rook Dec 10 '11 at 3:12
one of the confusing things about xchat on windows is there are three different versions - the shareware official version, silverex (which has good theme support with a theme switcher, but is outdated) and WDK, which has the best support for plugin languages, portable support, but a PITA way of switching themes and some missing plugins.I use WDK with a modified silverex theme, and plugins off silverex – Journeyman Geek Dec 10 '11 at 5:04

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