The "vast right wing conspiracy" exists only in the fevered brain of Hillary Clinton, her admirers in the media, and anybody foolish enough to believe whatever someone with an authoritative demeanor tells them. In fact, I suspect that Hillary herself is perfectly aware that there is no such thing, and I think that most of her media friends know it as well. It's my opinion that they're cynical enough to think that most people will believe them if they simply speak with conviction and authority, and they're evil enough to take advantage of that. Whatever. This board isn't funded by some cabal of right wingers intent on imposing some dark dictatorship on America.
This web board is funded and maintained by me, personally. I'm just a working guy. I provide this board at no cost to its users. But, since I'm footing the bill, I expect you to follow some rules. Read them carefully. If you don't like them, don't post here.
So, I'm not going to ask you for your real name, your address, or a credit card number. The only thing I want from you is an E-Mail address that I can use to contact you. And, I agree not to publish that without your explicit permission. If you apply to post here, you're making the following contract with me, personally:
On the main page, a logged in user sees a User Options button. Click this to go to the user options page, where several goodies are available.
Who's on displays a list of other registered users who have been active within the past hour. This is the default "User Options" display.
Mark all messages "read" causes the board to update its record of the messages you've seen, changing all messages to "read" status. This is handy if you've been on vacation or just don't feel like wading through some long thread that doesn't interest you. Note that the display for each message contains an option to mark the rest of a given thread as "read". If it's only one thread you want to ignore, consider using that instead.
Your personal messages displays a list of personal messages sent to you by other users. These are to you and you alone and don't appear on the board itself. The board lets you know if you have any outstanding personal messages. A personal message remains outstanding until you delete it, which you can do from the Your Personal Messages dialog. You can optionally EMail yourself a copy before deletion.
Send a personal message allows you to select a user by his handle and send him a personal message. Follow the instructions. Please remember that this is a message board, not an EMail system. It was purposely designed to be a little cumbersome to discourage long conversations. If you want to converse with somebody privately, consider getting a chat client (like an instant messenger), or send each other EMail.
Block/Unblock other users. "Blocking" allows you to make another user's postings (and any responses to them) invisible and prevents that user from sending you personal messages. Unblocking reverses the effect of that.
Change your background. By default, the board allows your browser to set a background image. If you like, you can specify a background image for the board to provide for you. There are several available in the background dialong, or you can point to anything on the web.
Change your password, etc. allows you to change your password and board preferences.
Change your nickname allows you to change your nickname.
Change your EMail allows you to change your EMail.
Successful changes to your EMail, nickname, or your "public/private" EMail state are propagated to all messages on the board.
When you log in or enter as a guest, the main message board is displayed. There is some banner stuff, some buttons, and then the main page list of threads. The board is sensitive to who you are. If you're a guest, you won't see some of the things that a user will see. This part of the document is largely intended for users, but guests might learn something here as well.
As users post messages, those messages are recorded on the server and the subject of the message is presented on the main board as a clickable link. A typical entry might look like this:
This is a typical message entry Posted by: some-nickname on date and time
If you want to read the message, click on the title. If the nickname shows up as a link, then clicking it will bring up your browser's mail function so you can send an EMail to the owner of the nickname.
You might decide to respond to this message. So might any number of other users. All of the responses to a particular new message are considered part of the message thread. The main board indicates that messages are related by indenting and ordering the responses. A message thread might look something like this:
This is a typical message entry Posted by: some-nickname on date and time
These responses are called "follow-ups". When you click on a message, you be presented with the text of the message, with any follow-up messages presented below the message text. That's presented on a "follow up" page, which looks something like this:
- This is a response to the first message Posted by: some-nickname on date and time
- This is a response to the response Posted by: some-nickname on date and time
- This is another response to the first message Posted by: some-nickname on date and time
Submitted by: some-nickname on data and time
This is a response to the first message Posted by: some-nickname on date and time
At the bottom of the follow ups, there's a place where you may post a follow up to the message you're currently looking at.
If you want to start a new message thread, go back to the main page, and click on the "Post a New Message" button, or scroll to the bottom. Fill out the message form and submit it.
The internet is a dynamic place. The most common behavior (and the one used by this message board) is:
So, the board is designed to manage your "state" by making notes to itself in files on the server and then reading those files when it receives a request.
This particular board establishes something called a "session". When you log in, the board creates a session for you (which is represented in a file on the server). Each session has a unique identifier. When the board sends you a page, it includes your session identifier as part of the data on that page. When you click on something (make a request from the board), that session identifier is sent back with the request. The board uses that to validate the request.
Of course, if you close your browser, the session record is still sitting on the server. Then again, maybe you didn't close your browser. Maybe you're reading a message and composing a response. Maybe you went to the bathroom, walked your dog, and had a snack.
At some point, the server decides that you're really gone, and gets rid of your session. The time this board uses is about an hour.
Why do you care about all this? Because, if you sit idle on the board for an hour, your session authorization is removed. If you make a request after that, it fails with a message saying that your authorization was not found. That means you have to log in again. To prevent this, read a message or post a message, or go see who's on before an hour passes.
Hitting RELOAD, BACK, or FORWARD on your browser isn't reliable for this. That's because your browser is designed to give you quick response, and it won't go out to the internet if it doesn't have to. Instead, it keeps pages on your machine (in a place called the cache). When you hit reload, you're likely to get the page back from your browser's cache, which won't result in any activity over on the server (where it needs to be).
Sometimes composing a message can take a long time. Maybe you're engrossed, or maybe you're distracted. Whatever. If you let the board timeout on you, you could lose that message that you just sent so much time working on. If you think you might have taken too long, there's only one thing to do: Use your computer's cut and paste capability to save the text of your post before attempting to submit it. If you get an error trying to post, then open up a text editor and paste your message into it. At least you still have the text.
A better practice is to use the message preview function. As
you compose your message, periodically preview it. There's a Preview
Submission button - use it. It not only shows what your message
currently looks like (handy for you HTML jockeys), but it also "tickles"
your session at the server and gives you another hour.
The new graphic is a different matter. Every message has a unique number, and that number goes back to 1 after about 10,000,000 messages have been posted. The server keeps track of every message you've read, and manages both the new graphic and the color of the link for you. Why? It's a security thing, trust me. The result of this particular behavior is that you may notice that the new tags (and the colors of the posting titles) don't behave quite the way you'd expect.
When you click on a link in most applications, your browser remembers that you've done this. The next time you see that same link, it shows up a darker color. Your browser may not do that in this application, because this application doesn't link directly to uniquely identified documents on the web. So, if you read a message and then click BACK, you'll notice that the color of the link to that message hasn't changed, and the graphic still appears.
On every page, there's a "Back to Main Page" button, which acts as an
"express" button to get you back to the main page (DUH!). On the
main page itself, there's an Refresh Messages button. If
you use these, then the server sends you a fresh copy, complete with the
updates to your new graphics and link colors. However,
clicking these buttons reloads the main page, which can take some time. It's your browser, and your time.
To give you some perspective, I posted the entire text of one of the
longer Federalist Papers as a test. It took 16K. If you have something
really big, link to it, don't post it. You can code HTML into your
message text, or use the handy "link" builder at the bottom of each page.
As you type your post, remember that you don't have to hit enter unless you really want to. The area in which you enter text is setup to "wrap" as you type, so just type. Hit enter to start new paragraphs or for other output formatting considerations. Don't hit enter just because you're near what looks like the "end of the line". If your browser doesn't wrap this text, consider another browser.
There are no content filters on this board. I expect each of you to respect the fact that you're "on my dime", using my resources. As long as you do, there won't be a problem. That's not to say that I won't disagree with whatever you may choose to say, but I won't be editing your POSTings. Unless...
This site does not tolerate deliberate acts intended to provoke a response by the use of ridicule or disrespect, or the posting of views intended to bring ridicule upon another board member by disparaging their right to express their opinions or facts. This is not to be confused with acceptable satire or even gentle mockery, but rather that which in my opinion or the opinion of those I appoint as auditors, is clearly antagonistic and offered in a spirit of ill will. Such behavior may result in action ranging from the deletion of the offending messages to the termination of the offender's rights to participate - sometimes (but not always) subject to a warning issued by the webmasterYou might note the slight stress on the phrase, "in my opinon" above. The problem that usually goes along such behavior is disrespect for my authority. I try to address what I see as problems, in as non-confrontational a manner as I can. Sometimes people see things as problems that I don't see as problems. Sometimes people don't like the way I handle certain problems. In either case, it's fine to point things out to me. But there are limits. This board is my personal property, run and maintained at my personal expense. When all is said and done, my decisions are the ones that stand. And I do not take kindly to people nagging me about them, and I will not tolerate my authority being undermined with constant complaints about "fairness" or any other such nonsense. Do this repeatedly, and you'll be invited to go elsewhere.
Bitter personal experience has obliged me to sound harsh and arbitrary here. Actually I'm pretty lenient, but sometimes folks get a little out of hand.
Here are some of the things that constitute unacceptable posting content:
Banning means more than "you can't post here anymore". Anyone who is banned has, in my estimation, violated my trust and has quite likely caused me to spend time and resources correcting problems. In short, if someone gets banned, they've failed to respect our contract. As a consequence, the contract is considered null and void. If you are banned, then you'll discover a couple of things.