Jarkko Oikarinen

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Jarkko Oikarinen
Born (1967-08-16) August 16, 1967 (age 49)
Kuusamo, Finland
Other names WiZ
Known for Internet Relay Chat

Jarkko Oikarinen (born 16 August 1967, in Kuusamo, Finland) is the inventor of the first Internet chat network, called Internet Relay Chat (IRC), where he is known as WiZ.[1]

Biography and career[edit]

While working at the University of Oulu in August 1988, he wrote the first IRC server and client programs, which he produced to replace the MUT (MultiUser Talk) program on the Finnish BBS OuluBox.[2] Using the Bitnet Relay chat system as inspiration,[2] Oikarinen continued to develop IRC over the next four years, receiving assistance from Darren Reed in co-authoring the IRC Protocol.[3] In 1997, his development of IRC earned Oikarinen a Dvorak Award for Personal Achievement—Outstanding Global Interactive Personal Communications System;[4] in 2005, the Millennium Technology Prize Foundation, a Finnish public-private partnership, honored him with one of three Special Recognition Awards.[5]

Having received his Ph.D. from the University of Oulu in 1999,[3] in areas of computer graphics and medical imaging, his efforts in the latter field focused on telemedicine, volume rendering, signal processing and computed axial tomography.[6] He is also partner and chief software architect at an electronic games developer called Numeric Garden (Espoo, Finland). His earlier positions include Chief Software Architect of Add2Phone Oy (Helsinki, Finland), Head of R&D in Capricode (Oulu, Finland) and General Manager in Nokia.[3]

Oikarinen and his wife, Kaija-Leena, were married in 1996 and have three children: Kasper (oldest), Matleena, and Marjaana (youngest).[3]

Oikarinen is currently working for Google on the Google Hangouts project in Sweden.[3]


  1. ^ "A Decade of IRC". undernet.org. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b "IRC History by Jarkko Oikarinen". IRC.org. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Oikarinen, Jarkko. "Curriculum Vitae: Jarkko Oikarinen" (PDF). personal homepage. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "4. Personal Achievement – Outstanding Global Interactive Personal Communications System". 1997 Dvorak Award Winners. Rancho Cucamonga California. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  5. ^ "Three People-centred WWW Projects in Oulu Win Special Recognition Awards". Millennium Technology Prize Foundation. March 17, 2005. Archived from the original on March 17, 2005. 
  6. ^ Oikarinen, Jarkko. "Research". personal homepage. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 

External links[edit]