Now the good news: I resolved it.

For years I've been running a janitorial programme called System Mechanic. It's been good to me at times, in fact. Well, Iolo Technologies did a recent upgrade in which they added what they called "Active Care." Every hour the prog would go through a task list that included "Optimize internet settings." That's what was causing my momentary drop-outs. Applications like e-mail and web browsing wouldn't notice them but IRC, of course, did.

Last edited by Sirrah; 26/07/16 02:00 PM. Reason: though/through