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Ahhh, yes – webcams, the blessing and curse of online chatting. There's something about being on cam that is ridiculously addicting, which is why webcams are one of the first things any IM or chat service looks to if it wants to increase its number of users. The only exceptions to this are MySpace amd mIRC – but even here, there have been numerous attempts by people to integrate webcams into those services. People are continually developing applications to allow users on sites like Facebook and MySpace to integrate a webcam into their user pages (the most infamous and popular of these is Stickam); whereas in mIRC, the simplest and most efficient webcam app I've found so far has been ByteCam.

What's ByteCam? It's simply a program that inserts a webcam into your mIRC command options, of course. After installing the software and clicking on your Commands, the option to select ByteCam is right there. Turn it on, and voila – your webcam is streaming through mIRC, and any other user with ByteCam can click on your username and look at your cam! ByteCam has two options for webcams, "public" and "private." "Public" means you have to get a username and password at ByteCam's own community, just like many other services; ByteCam then hosts your cam feed and allows people to connect to it over the Web. But the "private" option is neat because it lets you make your very own webcam server at your PC – just as with other IRC applications, viewers are connecting to your own PC and watching you on cam without interference from anyone. This means that if you set up your own private IRC channel (or one-to-one chat) with ByteCam, the users there are completely independent and free of censorship…or being shut down by prudish moderators who don't like the things people do on cam.

(And for those of you who use Linux, there's Webcam Studio for GNU/Linux at .)

Naturally, the makers of ByteCam (and this Web site, for referring you to it) assume that you'll only use this app to do things on webcam that are LEGAL…