Secure Internet Live Conferencing, or SILC in short, is a modern conferencing protocol which provides rich conferencing features with high security. One of the main design principles of the protocol was security. Many of the SILC features are found in traditional chat protocols such as IRC but many of the SILC features can also be found in Instant Message (IM) style protocols.
SILC combines features from both of these chat protocol styles, and can be implemented as either IRC-like system or IM-like system. In fact, SILC removes the need to make such distinction between these two protocol styles. Some of the more advanced and security features of the protocol are new to all conferencing protocols. SILC also supports multimedia messages and can also be implemented as a video and audio conferencing system.
Silc is accessible, even as a new protocol it is available in package form on many operating systems. (there is also a client installed on toad.. so if your a member and have access to ssh then.. You can use silc.)
from the command line
sudo apt-get install silc
Works in pidgin as well
cd /usr/ports/net/silc-client make install && make clean
pkg_add -r silc-client
sudo port install silc-client
May be worth looking at colloquy (unstable?)
Pidgin should do the trick for you here
cd /usr/pkgsrc/chat/silc-client make update
then run (first time you will be prompted for a password)
silc /server toad.hackspace.ca /j VHS
Create a redundant network with other hackspaces.