(started a new topic to avoid confusion - the channel name to use is #jeelabs)
There's now a registered channel on Freenode. Thanks to dspstv/alejo and EriSanHome for making this possible.
To repeat dspstv's note, to use the web, go to: http://webchat.freenode.net?channels=jeelabs or to embed it, use:
<iframe src="http://webchat.freenode.net?channels=jeelabs" width="647" height="400"></iframe>
I've only used IRC a little, and it's been a long time, but don't let that stop you from having some good discussions over there...