Irssi

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irssi is a popular ncurses based IRC client.

When in irssi, two commands to get you started are:

/help

and

/set

and if you see an option in /set you'd like to modify:

/set autolog
[log]
autolog = OFF
/set autolog on
[log]
autolog = ON
/save

I've now set autolog on and saved my changes. You should be able to find these changes in ~/.irssi/config unless the default path for your configuration has changed.


Freenode

Edit ~/.irssi/config and under servers, add:

{ address = "irc.freenode.org"; 
   port    = "6667";
   chatnet = "freenode";
   autoconnect = "no";
 },

and under chatnets:

 freenode = {
 type = "IRC";
 autosendcmd = "/msg nickserv identify $PASSWORD; wait 2000; 
 },