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|Date of Birth:||1967.08.16 in Kuusamo, Finland|
|Date of Death:||Still alive|
Jarkko Oikarinen is the inventor of the first Internet chat network, called Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
While working at the University of Oulu in August 1988, he wrote the first IRC Daemon and IRC Client programs, which he produced to replace the MultiUser Talk (MUT) program on the Finnish Bulletin board system (BBS) OuluBox. Using the Bitnet Relay chat system as inspiration, Oikarinen continued to develop IRC over the next four years, receiving assistance from Darren Reed in co-authoring the IRC Protocol.
Brief history of IRC
IRC was born during summer 1988 when Jarkko "WiZ" Oikarinen wrote the first IRC client and server at the University of Oulu, Finland (where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science). The first IRC server was named Tolsun.oulu.fi.
Jarkko intended to extend the BBS software he administrated at tolsun.oulu.fi, to allow news the usenet style, real time discussions and similar BBS features. It was initially tested on a single machine, and according to the words from Jarkko himself "The birthday of IRC was in August 1988. The exact date is unknown, at the end of the month anyways.". The first IRC server was named tolsun.oulu.fi.
Jyrki Kuoppala pushed Jarkko to ask Oulu University to free the IRC code so that it also could be run outside of Oulu, and after they got it released, Jyrki Kuoppala installed a server which later became irc.cs.hut.fi.
Jarkko got some friends at the Helsinki and Tampere Universities to start running IRC servers when his number of users increased. Other universities soon followed.