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Maryn
11-02-2014, 01:42 AM
I'm not joking when I announce that I'm not very good with technology. For a time I was nearly up to speed, but then our teenagers left home and I was once again mired in the obsolete. It's sad and funny to realize how very long it took me to learn of the existence of some features here that many people took for granted and used all the time.

I'm going to assume that at least some of you are as non-tech as I am, so I gladly share some of what I learned over a period of years. Once you master something, please help the next person who doesn't seem to get it.

There's FAQs and then there's FAQs. The blue bar at the top of the page, with User CP, FAQ, Community, etc. is not the FAQ you are looking for. It's by the developer of the message board. The good FAQs specifically for AW are here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=35). Most recurring questions about AW have been asked and answered there, thoroughly and with good humor. It's the first place to turn when you're not sure how to do something.

The Search function included in the blue bar at the top of the page, the one that starts with User CP, FAQ, Community, is nowhere near as good as the Google Custom Search function available at the bottom left of every page. If you want to find something at AW, that's the one you want.

Want to know who's posted in a particular thread and how many times? Go to the board where that thread is listed and click on the number of replies. You'll get a pop-up which shows who has replied and how many posts, in descending order.

In a long or busy thread, you can read the posts made since you last logged into AW by going to the board where the thread appears and clicking on the down-pointing arrow to the left of the thread's title. Be aware that if you did not read the thread the last time you were here, you can miss some posts which would be new to you.

Many threads have star ratings. Users, including those who have not participated in a thread, can rate those threads. Click on Rate Thread and assign it stars based on whether it's useful, good, etc. Note that not all threads have this capability; there are many where it's inappropriate or makes no sense.

Users can post images here, but there are rules about the size and about where they come from. The size rule is a total image size of 160,000 pixels, a.k.a. 400 by 400, which is this big:


http://imageshack.us/a/img855/5682/400x400.jpg

Or, in something more book-cover-shaped, this big:


http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/6528/348x460.jpg

Each image posted here must be hosted at an image hosting site like PhotoBucket, Shutterfly, Flickr, ImageShack, etc. Linking to an image online is called hotlinking and is strictly not allowed. There's a great FAQ on images which explains how to put them up and why you can't hotlink, right here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258870).

It's easy to put every post you want to respond to in a single post. To the right of the Quote button at the bottom of each post is a button with " (close quotes) on a background of a printed page. Press it for every post you want to quote so you can reply to it. It will turn reddish-orange. On the last post of the many you want to respond to, press both the " and Quote. This puts the text off all the posts you want to answer in a single reply, in the order in which you clicked on their multi-quote buttons. (As a courtesy to those with limited time or slow connections, we routinely delete the parts of the quoted material which isn't related to the part we're replying to, often with <snip>, just to be clear something's missing.) Type your response right after each quote and there won't be any confusion about who you're talking to. (This took me a long time to figure out.)

If you have a slow connection--like every freakin' hotel in a large city which offers free internet--you can speed up the arrival of AW's content by removing avatars, images, and/or signatures, since images slow things down. Click on User CP (that stands for Control Panel, BTW) in the blue band at the top. Down the left side of the CP there are boxes labeled Your Profile, Networking, Settings and Options, and more. In the Settings and Options box, click on Edit Options. Scroll down to Thread Display Options. Visible Post Elements is first. There you can uncheck any or all of the boxes allowing signatures, avatars, and images to show. Just remember to change it back when and if you are again on a high-speed connection.

Visitor messages show to anyone who cares to look at them. If you'd prefer yours not be public, delete them. If you don't want to allow visitor messages (except from moderators and administrators), that same User CP to Settings and Options to Edit Options can take you to Messaging and Notification, where you can turn off Visitor Messaging, the last item, by unchecking it.

AW does not run on goodwill and best wishes. Running a website costs money. Your donation, large or small, really truly matters. The site owner understands dire poverty, students living hand-to-mouth, and other situations where there isn't any donation a person can spare. But most of us who come here can spare a little something, if not more. Please don't let yourself be one of the people who uses AW and its vast resources without contributing.

Maryn, listening to the rain

Siri Kirpal
11-02-2014, 02:05 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Thanks, Maryn!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

jjdebenedictis
11-02-2014, 05:02 AM
If you have a slow connection--like every freakin' hotel in a large city which offers free internet--you can speed up the arrival of AW's content by removing avatars, images, and/or signatures, since images slow things down. Click on User CP ...

And, for the sake of your sanity, remember to do this before you leave on your trip. (And while you're at it, download Flashblock and Adblock and get them set up too so you can access your &*$#!! Yahoo mail account without your computer doing its impression of walking through glue. Ahem. I just spent three weeks in Namibia; it was awesome, but the wifi was not. :) )

PS - Thank you, Maryn! This was really helpful and I learned something I didn't yet know. :)

Haggis
11-02-2014, 05:11 AM
Most excellent, Maryn. Thanks for putting that together and thanks for sharing it with us. :)

Lavern08
11-03-2014, 02:46 AM
AW does not run on goodwill and best wishes. Running a website costs money. Your donation, large or small, really truly matters.



Yeah, this ^




Most excellent, Maryn.

...And this, too ^


Vernie, showing off her mad skillz :D

Mclesh
11-03-2014, 04:45 AM
Thank you, Maryn. I've never known how to quote multiple posts and have always felt a little inadequate about it. ;)

And good reminder about donations. AW doesn't run on fairy dust and rainbows! :D

Chris P
11-03-2014, 05:15 AM
I've never used the Google search thing at the bottom; it does work lots better than the AW search.

For slow internet, you might do better to turn pictures off in your browser. Each one has a way to do this. I did this in Uganda, and AW works beautifully with no images. Facebook is kinda boring, though.

augusto
11-03-2014, 05:46 AM
Thank you, Maryn. I eagerly await "10 More Things You Didn't Know about Using AW."

Qui Amat Scribere
11-03-2014, 05:48 AM
Thanks for the info about multiple quoting! I thought I'd be stuck doing some complex cut-and-paste ritual dance every time, and this will help save my sanity.