People usually tend to say that IRC is for more advanced computer users where in fact anyone could use IRC. The myth of IRC being overly difficult makes it kind of repulsive to normal people.
So how to connect to IRC server and receive messages you ask? It's actually fairly easy you either download already written client or write one yourself. I've been playing with IRC all day yesterday. Read more to see how to connect and receive messages in console application in VB.NET.