I remember using IRC to download stuff >.>
I still miss X-Fire. Turned to shit after they got bought out, then they got bought out again and shut down and now I'm stuck with lower quality options
I was in college, was about 1992-6.
I was going to the "Computer Room" and wait for a TE-1001 or an IBM 3270 to be available. (just green characters on the screen, in both cases.)
Then going on the very first IRCs, the "forbidden ones", and downloading a file of a few KBytes, text file, that was some sort of Base64 encoding (was not exactly this one but similar concept), to then move the files to the shared folder, and wait for the single Windows 3.1 PM (because was the only one that had a floppy disk available.)
Then moving my files, going home, and decompressing these files that were image files (usually GIF, very low resolution, something about 320X250), and see them with my friends on an Amiga computer.
I didn't get into chat stuff til about 95-96 when the internet was first becoming widely available. Those were the days of Yahoo chat. Was 98 when I learned that you could pirate stuff over IRC, mostly on DALnet channels. Of course, that died around the time that Napster got busted and everybody was going "OH CRAP!" and Limewire came along :-P