IGS is the internet go server. It always has hundrends of people online, playing the game go. This is the most popular out of many internet go servers. IGS allows free access to people out of japan, but blocks japanese ip addresses unless they pay for the priveledge. I think it's 3000 yen per month or 250 yen per game.
IGS broadcasts many pro games, and often has pros come on to play amateurs anonymously. It is fun to see one of these guys appear - they beat absolutely everyone, but no one knows who they are, although there is a lot of speculation.
IGS ranks run from 30 kyu to 9 dan In general, IGS ranks are stronger than any real world ranks.

IGS is run by a guy named tweet. For a long time when you logged on, there was a message saying "there is no expectation of privacy on this server". I didn't know what that meant until one of my friends got banned for mentioning another go server in a private message to another user. Apparently the administration of IGS greps all private messages for certain key words they don't like. They also ban people arbitrarily.
The address is igs.joyjoy.net 6969. It's a telnet protocol.

The official client program is panda-egg, which is pretty nice but is constantly having more ugly annoying features added.

IGS and tweet are also the central theme in a long running flame war in rec.games.go. The contention generally involves those that prefer NNGS to IGS, and spirals out of control from there.

More about IGS: Originally IGS ran on two servers, on in the US and one in France. The server in France was not as busy as the US server, for various reasons (Mainly due to critical mass of a group, i.e. more people draws more people.) Once the code was bought by NKD (a Japanese company) the server was moved and those in Japan had to subscribe while those outside do not.

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