User Control Panel
This is your "command center", from here you can arrange all the options your Administrator lets you set.How does it work?
When you hit the link on top of the page you're transported to the main page of the User Control Panel, and you can suddenly do a lot! So lets tell you what's what.
This is as it says an overview, not much you can do here.
At least, that's what you think! Have a look at the side:Manage subscriptions
As you can see you can manage all the notifications for watched forums and topics, and remove the ones you're no longer interested in.
You can subscribe to topics by hitting the Subscribe topic link in the top of the page, just above the first post, and unsubscribe to it by hitting the link when you are subscribed.Manage bookmarks
You can manage all your bookmarks, and remove the ones you're no longer interested in.
You can bookmark topics by hitting the Bookmark topic link in the top of the page, just above the first post, and remove the bookmark to it by hitting the link when you had the topic bookmarked.Manage drafts
Here you can view, edit and delete your saved drafts.
PMs can be saved for later finishing by hitting the button Save on the right of the Submitbutton under your PM. More about this later.Manage attachments
As you can see you can remove the attachments you've posted in topics, and remove them. Keep in mind though that if the topic is still active some people may want to still see your attachment!Profile
Several options, so in order of appearance:Edit profile
You may have filled in some options while registering, but you can always add, change or remove these. A very short description:
ICQ number: ICQ (I seek you) is a chatprogram same as with
AOL Instant Messenger
Yahoo Messenger and
Here you can fill in the website address of your website, on the condition that it is not a commercial site! If filled in a button will appear under all your posts and people can click through to your site.
Where you are located, but often used for little messages as well, like "Ten days till Kruger!".
Should explain itself.
Again, should be obvious.
Your birthday, and as you can see you do not need to fill in the year. Edit signature
This is a bit of text, which is displayed under all messages. As you can see there is a 255 character limit, this includes the codes!
Please keep signatures small and informative, without loud graphics/colours please!
As you can see the screen is not unlike the screen you get when posting, so I'll leave it with a screenshot only:Edit avatar
Avatars are the little graphics under your name, and in this screen you can submit or edit your avatar:
As you can see my current avatar is a fireworks display (International competition, Scheveningen 2008).
The options should be self explaining. In the Local Gallery you can find a host of avatars related to SANParks, but you can make your own. A few notes on creating avatars though:
Save them as .gif, not as jpg or png! The maximum filesize is easily reached, and .gif is the smallest while still giving good results.
You will need to have a program that can crop a photo to the 70x70 pixels size, Adobe Photoshop should do perfectly for that, but if you don't have that try this website
which resizes it for you. Remember to edit the value of 200 to 70 though!Edit account settings
Normally a screen you do not need to access, but then again.... The options:
The username you filled in when you signed on. This you cannot change! However, if you made a mistake, or feel that you do not want to use that name anymore you can PM a moderator with the request to have the name changed.
This you can change, mind you though that it has to be a valid address! You will be sent a confirmation email with a link, and until you have clicked the link you cannot log on!
If you do not receive the confirmation email first have a look in your spamfolder (of the new account), some providers think it is spam. If that doesn't work you can have it resent by clicking the link in the login screen, just under password.Board preferences
Here you have a few important settings, let start with the screen that you get when you click the link:Users can contact me by e-mail
If set to Yes this usually means that beneath all your posts a button is displayed:
Simply clicking on that button would open the email program with your address filled in. Not to worry what you fill in here, the button, or address is not displayed. So if you want to mail someone, you will have to ask their email address via PM first.Administrators can e-mail me information
The default setting (Yes) can be left set to that, in the extremely unlikely event that a mass mailing is done the information will be information you will want to read.Allow users to send you private messages
Switches on or off your private mailbox. As said there "Note that administrators and moderators will always be able to send you messages."
You can happily leave this set to Yes, the Private messages section below explains how you can block PM's from people you do not want to receive PM's from.Hide my online status
This hides you from the Who's online list, and the lists showing who is visiting the forum they are in. The indicator above your avatar does however still indicate that you are online... Which is not very logical to me to be honest.
If you do not have the automatic login set (in the login screen) you can decide to stay visible or invisible for that session.Notify me on new private messages
This will send a mail to you that someone has sent you a PM. As you can see I have set it to No.Pop up window on new private message
This pops up a window stating you have a PM, as you can see I have set it to No, I check the top of the page as I browse around.Preferred syndication method
Atom or RSS2.... Now if I knew what the best was I would tell you.... Sage-Too in Firefox works quite well (technical problems aside) with either. I'll get back on this....My language
You have a choice of 1...My board style
You have a choice of 1...My timezone
This you can set to the zone in which you are, so the clock (Top of any page, above View new posts | View your posts) shows the correct time.Summer Time/DST is in effect
A simple yes/no question, but you have to change it yourself when you go in and out of summertime. Note that at the bottom of the above screenshot you can see that I have it on.My date format
The dropoutbox will probably have the format you need, but with the option Custom you can set it like you want, check the little link to the left.
Even this is possible:
It is currently 1224685444 (Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT)Edit posting defaults
This is a screen where you should not change anything. If set as above it fine. But just in case, here's what they do:Enable BBCode by default
BBCode is the code used on the forums for things like quoting, bold, hyperlinks etc. Switching it off will show the codes in your message, but not the effect wanted.Enable smilies by default
This means that you can use smilies, it is not a switch with which you can show or not show them in posts!Attach my signature by default
This is not the signature you set on a bankslip of course, but a short message you can attach under all your posts. If you don't want it to show for just one post you can untick the "Attach a signature (signatures can be altered via the UCP)" under that post.Notify me upon replies by default
Unless you want a lot
of email coming your way, keep this set to No!
If you want to keep notified of replies to your post there is a "Notify me when a reply is posted" tickbox under your post which you can use.Edit display options
Now here is a screen with options which people with dial-up or other slow internet connections can do something with! People on ADSL or other highspeed connections may find it a little less usefull.
The options:Display images within posts
Set to no, you will not see the photos posted in the topics. But it saves you an awful lot of loading time. Instead of a photo you see this: [ img ], which links to the photo. When clicked you do get to see the photo, so it is actually a very good option to use when reading for instance the tripreports.Display Flash animations
Set to no it will not show flash animations. However, as flash is not enabled on this site you will not notice any difference.Display smilies as images
Set to no smilies like
will display as a code only, in this case
Set to no avatars will not display, speeding up the loading of pages.Enable word censoring
As abusive language is not allowed on the forums there should be no noticable difference between the settings.Display topics / posts from previous days
I think these options explain themselves?Private messages
Private messages (PMs) can be sent to any member of the forum. It can be to inform a moderator about something wrong on the forums, just chatting with a friend, or passing along information which is not allowed on the forums. The latter would for instance be places to stay outside one of the parks and such.
Rules do exist for PMs, spamming, abusive language and such are not allowed of course, and such PMs should be forwarded to one of the moderators.Update:
Since we went to the newer version of the forum software you can report PM's as well.
Just like at posts there is a button on the left:
If you hit that the moderators will be able to take action, like against spammers.
Keep in mind that if you report the PM we will
be able to see and read it though. With spam that is of course no problem, but with PM's from normal members that can be less atractive to you.
A screenshot with bits you want to keep private greyed out will of course work in that case.
Quite a screen to explain as you can see, and I even left off a bit. Most of the functions are obvious, so I'll skip those.
As you can see there is a difference between Sent messages and Outbox. If you have sent a message to someone and you don't get an answer eventhough you expected that check your Outbox first. As long as your message is there the other party has not picked it up yet!Rules, folders & settings
Here some explanation is needed, so from the top:
Rules are easily made, in the above pic you can see there is a dropdownbox with choices. Pick the one you need, and hit next. And in the new screen do so again, etc until at the last step you get the Add rule button. Check, hit the button, and on the next page you'll get the "Rule successfully added." message. The rule is activated from that moment.
Even the example below is possible, but not advised!
Now to quickly delete that rule....
This should be fairly clear. Two bits do need to be pointed out though:
As you can see you can remove folders, if you check the option "Delete all messages within removed folder" they are gone forever, and no one can retrieve them! (Just in case you are wondering, Private Messages are just that, moderators can not read them.)
The other thing is the Default option (in most cases set), "Do not accept new messages (New messages will be held back until enough space is available)". This means you will not receive any PMs while your inbox is full! As you can see I have set it to delete the oldest message, making my inbox leak at the bottom. Mind you that you save or print important PMs, as that old one could be one you still need....Usergroups
As you can see there are only 2 groups, which are closed, so for the moment nothing you can do here.Friends & Foes
The text above the screens should be enough explanation. Note however that the term "foes" may be changed on this board.
With the foes it says "Personal messages from foes are still permitted." If you really do not want PMs from that person / those persons you can create a rule as explained in Rules, folders & settings.