What are some alternatives?
When comparing Textual and ZeroChat, you can also consider the following products
irssi - Irssi is a terminal based IRC client for UNIX systems.
mIRC - mIRC: Internet Relay Chat client
HexChat - HexChat is a fork of XChat with bug fixes and new features.
Pidgin - Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once.
Quassel IRC - Quassel IRC is a modern, cross-platform, distributed IRC client based on the Qt4 framework.
KVIrc - KVIrc is a free portable IRC client based on the excellent Qt GUI toolkit.