I use IRC a lot for asking questions (and hopefully answering some as well) about Free Software projects, particularly Ubuntu-AU. Most of the time i use IRC from my laptop, which means that every time i shut the lid or disconnect from the wired network and reconnect via wireless, my IRC connection drops out. This results in disconnect/reconnect messages which inconvenience my fellow users, and sometimes even causes multiple accounts to be logged in. I've also had a few instances of flaky Internet access causing multiple disconnects/reconnects in quick succession. The solution i came up with for all this was to run an IRC proxy on my personal server. I found dircproxy a really simple, easy-to-use proxy server which just worked. Check out my wiki page for more info.