It's not always possible for people to be in front of their computer the whole time they are connected to IRC. Often, people will tell mIRC they are away and mIRC will field private messages to you. It's also a good idea to write an alias which will change your nickname so that everyone else in the channel can see you are away. For example: /danaway /away $$1- | /nick Dan_Away $$?="Why are you away?" /danback /away | /nick Danny The first line will prompt you for a reason why you are away from the keyboard. It will then mark you as away and change your nickname. The second line will cancel your away status and change your nickname back. ban People can get themselves banned from a channel by a channel operator for various reasons, most of which are because the person being banned is abusive, insulting, unreasonable or an idiot. Remember, the channel operators effectively 'own' the channel and they can do whatever they please. When people are banned from the channel they usually remain banned until the channel ceases to exist, although bans can also be lifted by the channel operators, usually after five or ten minutes.