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Registering / Signing in / Searching

Working with User Preferences / Private Messages / Subscription / Address Book

Reading Messages

Posting Messages

Why do I need to register?

Registering gives you access to all of the features of the forums.

  • Post and reply to messages
  • Edit your posts
  • Edit your profile
  • Receive email notification of replies to posts and threads to which you subscribe
  • Send private messages to other members

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How do I register?

To register, click the Registration / Sign Up button that appears on the Forum homepage just underneath the Welcome message. You will be asked read and agree to the FORUM AGREEMENT before you can continue. Click the "I Agree to the FORUM AGREEMENT" checkbox and then click "Next Page." You will be asked to create a username (the user name must be unique for any other user on the forum), enter a valid email address and create a password. You will also be required to enter the four-character "Verification" code before you can proceed.

You will receive a notification email immediately after you register. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your registration. Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be able to log in, view, post, and use other features in our forums. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam folder. If it is not there, please contact You may also request your validation email again by selecting the "Request Validation Email" link at the bottom of the page when you click the "Log In" button.

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How do I sign in?

Sign in using the Log in button that appears on the Message Board home page just underneath the Welcome message. When you click the button, you will be asked for your email address and password. You must also enter the four-character verification code. If you cannot read the four characters, click on the characters to generate another set. Once your credentials are verified you will be signed in.

At the bottom of the Sign in page is a checkbox labeled "Save my credential in a cookie?". If you check the box, your browser will store your log-in details so that you don't have to enter them manually every time you come to the forum.
Note: Do not use this feature if you are using public terminals to read the forum.

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Why can't I sign in?

You must register before you can sign in.

If you have registered but still cannot sign in, then you might be entering the wrong username and password, or you might not have activated your account. If you have recently registered and have not activated your account then please activate your account by using the email that we sent you upon registration. Another possible reason for not being able to login could also be that you have been banned by the forum administrator (if so, you will see a message to that effect).

If you are having sign-in problems, contact the forum administrator.

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Why do I get signed out automatically? Can I sign out manually?

If you do not check the Save my credentials in a cookie? box when you sign into the forum, the system automatically signs you out 20 minutes after you close the browser. This prevents misuse of your account by anyone else.

To stay signed in, check the box during sign in. However, if you read the forums from a shared computer, e.g. library, internet cafe, university cluster, etc., do not check the box.

To sign out anytime, simply click on the Log out button at the top of each page, and the forum will erase your session information and bring you back to the homepage of the Web site.

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Can I search the board, or do you have Full-Text Index search?

You can search for specific posts based on words or phrases in the subject or message body. You can also search by author name or date range, search within a particular forum or within an entire category. In order to perform a simple search hover your mouse over the Search Forum button in the top menu section, underneath the header. This action will reveal a search box. You should be able to type in your phrase in this box and search the forums. If you would like to perform a more granular search, click the Search Forum button and the Advanced Search window will be revealed.

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How do I change my user settings?

To change your personal information, click the "User Control Panel" button or just hover your cursor over the button to reveal a drop down menu. You can change basic profile information by selecting the "Profile" option under the drop down menu. Be sure to click the “Save” button at the top or bottom of the window to save your changes

Under the "User Control Panel"option is where you can also manage your forum filter (to hide certain forums), manage your subscriptions to certain forums, read your private messages, manage your Contacts / Friends, create an Avatar and setup your personal signature. Back to top

What is the signature for?

A signature is a piece of text or phrase that you want to have inserted at the end of all of your posts. You can reset your default signature under the "User Control Panel" at any time and can choose not to use a signature at all. To have the signature appear on every post, click the "always attach signature to post" option.

You can also manually turn the signature on and off on a per-post basis by checking the Attach my signature checkbox when you post/reply/edit your messages.

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What is the Private Message feature?

The Private Message (PM) feature allows you to send messages to other members in the forum. They are private because they remain within the forum and are only available to registered users.

All Private Messages are stored in your private messages inbox. Private Messages work just like your everyday email system, but is limited to registered members. You can send and read messages, create/edit/delete folders, move messages between folders, and delete unwanted messages.

You can send private messages to multiple recipients at once by adding their user names (separated by comma) in the recipient box, with a limit of 10 recipients at once.

Please note that some members may disable the private message system. In these cases, you won't be able to send a PM to them.
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What is the PM Status?

The PM Status box at the top of the Private Messages Inbox page lets you know how many messages you have stored and whether you have reached the storage limit of 10 messages. Once your PM folders are full, you won't be able to receive PM anymore. If this happens, simply delete some old PMs to free up space. You can also archive your private messages under the "More PM Options" button. Archiving allows you to save them to a folder on your computer as a webpage.

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Can I track whether a PM has been read by its recipient or not?

When you are sending private messages, you can check the box labeled Save a copy to my sent folder. This function allows you to store messages you sent, and to check whether your messages have been read by the recipients or not.

You can also choose to Always save sent PM in the Private Message Preference section under User Control Panel, Preferences so that you don't have to check the Save a copy to my sent folder every time you send private messages.

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How can I subscribe to a forum or thread?

Subscribing to a forum or thread allows you to track the activity of a thread or a forum. When you subscribe, the system sends you email when the forum or thread has a new post. The notification email contains a link to the newly posted message, and you can just click on it to view the new message.

To subscribe to a forum or thread, simply hover your cursor over the User Control Panel button then click "Subscription". Select the forum or forums you wish to subscribe to (you can select more than once by holding down the Ctrl button on your keyboard then clicking on the forum name) then click "Subscribe to the selected forum" link. The forums you have selected will then appear in the "Forum Subscription" box below.

To turn off your subscription, click the name of the forum(s) to which you wish to unsubscribe then click on "unsubscribe" below the panel. You can also control they types of notifications you get for forums to which you subscribe be clicking on the forum name in the "Forum Subscription" panel then clicking "edit."

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How do I use my Contacts / Friends list?

The "Contacts / Friends" option under the User Control Panel stores all the forum members you have added as a contact. When you click to view the public profile for that member then click "Profile Options," you will see an option to Add Member to Contact. This will add that member name to your address book.

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How do I add members to Contacts / Friends list?

You can add members to your personal address book in two ways:

  • When you are reading a message, beside the member name is a small blue icon. Click on it to add the member to your address book.
  • In a member's profile, below the member photo is a Profile Options link. Hover your cursor over this link to reveal the option to add this person to your contact list.
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Can I block someone because I do not wish to receive any private messages from him/her?

The Block list allows you to specify members from whom you do not wish to receive private messages. When you add members to your block list, they cannot send a PM to you. Messages posted by these people will be hidden from you as well. To block someone, you can hover your cursor over the "Profile Options" link when viewing their public profile to see the "Block Member" option. When you select this option, you will see the icon next to the Profile Options for that member appear with a "stop" signal.

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Can I add a photo to my profile?

Yes you can. When you are in the User Control Panel, there is an option for Avatar / Profile Photo. You can upload a stock Avatar (one already designed from which you can choose) and choose to use this photo for your profile as well. Please limit your photo to 20kb in size. Once you've uploaded the photo, if someone clicks on your profile, your photo will appear. For an explanation of the difference between and Avatar and Profile Photo, see "Is my profile photo the same as my avatar?" below.

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Is my profile photo the same as my avatar?

Actually they serve two different purposes. Your profile photo only shows up on your profile. The avatar shows up on the message board when you post and reply to messages. You do have the option to use your avatar as a profile photo. All you have to do is under Set up profile photo, select the option for "Use your avatar as Profile Photo". The avatar will now show up on your profile and on the message board.

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I have heard of threaded and plain discussion boards. Which formats do you support?

You can view this forum in two different formats: Tree Style (Threads can be expanded and collapsed to show the posts within the thread; this is the default) or Flat Style (Posts are laid out in plain format). You can can switch between these two styles in your profile under the Preference section under User Control Panel.

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Do you support other message sorting methods?

In the message list, you can click on the "Last Update" column to sort messages in header ascending or descending order by date. A drop-down list at the bottom of each page also lets you jump to a different topic.

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How can I print out the message I want?

To print a page, click on the Message Options link that appears at the beginning of the message string once you click on the message topic. Under the Message Options button, you will see an option "View Printable Page." Click this option then print the window using your browser's print option.

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How do I edit or delete a post?

The following options are available when working with your own posts: reply, quote, add to quote, edit, forward.

Please note that in some circumstances, forum moderators or administrators may edit your post. Whenever a post has been edited, an indicator at the bottom of the edited post will be displayed.
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What are the fields located below my profile name?

If you select an avatar, this picture will be posted below your name on all posts you make. If you do not select an avatar in your profile, it will not be displayed. Below the avatar are "joined," (the date you joined the Message Boards), Reward Points (not used in these forums), and Status (indicates if you are currently off or online).

Note: When the Message Board was upgraded in Nov. of 2008, any joined dates from the previous system may not have been converted. Therefore you may see a default 01/01/0001 date in this field.
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What are locked topics?

Locked topics are topics to which you cannot reply. Forum moderators or board administrators lock them for various reasons.

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What happens when I edit one of my message board posts?

Each time you edit a message, a revision note will also be included at the bottom of your new message. It includes who revised it, the date and the time of revision.

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How do I post a topic on the message board?

To post a new thread, click on the Post New Thread button located at the top left of the message list. The new topic page will appear to allow you to post a new topic. If you don't see a post link, you may have forgotten to sign in to the message boards. You can also create a new message within a topic. Once you open the topic, hover your cursor over the "Reply to Message" button and you will see a drop down option called "Post New Thread."

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How do I add a signature when composing my post/reply?

You need to create a signature in the "Signature and Comment" section under User Control Panel before you can add a signature to your posts. You can then choose to include a signature in your post by clicking on the attach my signature checkbox when you are composing the message.

To automatically add your signature to all posts, under the Signature and Comment section of User Control Panel select "always attach signature to post" check box and click on Save.

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Can I preview my post before submitting?

To preview your message before submitting it, click on the Preview button below the text edit box. After you finish previewing, click on OK to submit the post or Cancel to go back to where you left off in the posting window.

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