You want to chat but this java-applet is crap? No problem, there are many other IRC-clients for nearly every platform and OS. From Amiga to Macintosh, for every system is at least one IRC-client available! If you have a windows-computer there is for example mIRC.

Ok, here is a little list of the most popular OS's and IRC-clients..

Windows: dIRC, Klient, mIRC, pIRCh, ViRC, XiRCON.
Linux/Unix: ircII, BitchX, ScrollZ, X-Chat.
Macintosh: Ircle.
Amiga: amIRC.

After you have downloaded and installed a client, start him and connect to one of the IRCnet-servers. Than type "/join"..