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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 75
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 9:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

As of March 11, 2008, we are having a problem with the board that is causing some users to be banned. This is a result of our upgrade, and we are working to solve the problem. If you have been banned since Sunday, March 9 or after, please let us know your email address.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 72
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 1:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Please note that the board will be closed for maintenance on Sunday afternoon, March 2, 2008, for about 2 hours. You will still be able to read it, but it will not be possible to post anything during that time.

The maintenance being done involves background issues and will not result in any visible changes, lost posts, etc.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 125
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 8:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Hi everyone,

I needed to make some additional configuration changes to the board this evening. These changes will probably end up causing posts you have already read to be marked as unread. This should be the last time I'll need to do this.

My sincere apologies for the inconvenience.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 123
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 11:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I made a change to the board tonight that significantly improves the performance and usability of certain board operations. For some users, the "new" indicators may have been reset, resulting in all topics and all threads being flagged as unread.

I apologize for any inconvenience.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 94
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 9:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Use care when replying to PM's

When you receive a Private Message from another board user in your email inbox, be sure to read the instructions for replying carefully. Whether or not you have selected to suppress detailed PM instructions in your profile, each PM arrives with a link you should use to reply.

If you simply reply to the message as you would your normal email, the reply goes to me and not the intended recipient. It's an easy mistake to make, but one that is also easily avoided by reading carefully.

Every PM you receive from the message board will look, more or less, like this:


Congratulations! You have received a private message from the following discussion board user: Some Board User

-----------------------------------------------------------

Hi, this is my message.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Reply privately to this user with the following URL:

http://www.unknowncountry.com/cgi-bin/discus/board-profile.cgi?action=sendmsg&to =admin&db=1
-----------------------------------------------------------
To: admin, From: Some Board User


Use that link to reply or I'll get your message instead of the original sender.

Thanks!
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 90
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 2:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Double check your Profile before using the PM system

Just a friendly reminder... If you don't want your email address to be displayed to the person you PM, double check your profile preferences.

To check your profile, click on the "Edit Your Profile" link, then scroll down to "Preferences". If you don't want your email address to show up in your PM's, check the box labeled, "Do not display my real e-mail address with my profile". If you do want your real email address to be displayed, leave the box unchecked.

Thanks.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 85
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Send private messages to other users!

The private messaging feature allows members to hold discussions off the forum by facilitating the sending of email messages. It also ensures privacy, by allowing members to receive messages without ever revealing their email address to the sender (unless they choose to do so).

To send a private message to another board user, view the profile of the member to whom you wish to send the message. (User profiles are linked from many places, including the user list and as a link under the author's name in posts.) On the user profile page, an icon and link allow the private messaging system to be accessed.

The subject line as chosen in the private message form becomes the subject line of the e-mail message, and the text entered into the box becomes the text of the email. The "From" address will display your username and, if you so choose, your real email address. The message is sent to the email address listed in the user profile.

There are a couple of important points you should keep in mind while using the system.

These messages are not truly private. Moderators and admin-level users can, and will, review private messages from time to time to be sure the system is not being abused. "Abuse" in this context refers to anything that would violate the general message board Terms of Use, as well as any behavior designed to cause anyone a headache.

A user may opt-out of receiving private messages by choosing the "Do not send me "Private Message" e-mails from other board users" option within the profile editor.

There is a limit to how many messages you can send/receive per hour, per day and per week. Right now, the limits are somewhat restrictive while I monitor the performance of this new feature. If it doesn't appear to be a problem, the limits will be relaxed.

Also, there is a limit to how long private messages can be, roughly 750 words.

This private messaging system may be disabled at any time without notice. The last time I gave it a try it was taken advantage of pretty badly and I needed to shut it down.

There may be a few bugs here and there, but generally, using it should be self-explanatory. If not, post in the The Board topic and we'll sort things out.

I hope you guys find this to be fun and useful.

Try sending a private message to yourself first, just to get the hang of things, and to double check that your email is not displayed (if that is your wish).
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 59
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 9:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Printing posts

I added a new feature to the board tonight. New posts will now have a "print post" icon available in the upper right of each message. Of the four icons present, the print post is the one farthest to the right and, hopefully obviously, the one that looks like a printer. Clicking it will open up a print friendly version of that post and send it to your default printer.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 313
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 3:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Cookies and anti-spyware software

I get a lot of email from people having trouble with the board remembering that they are logged in, or forcing them to re-enter their username/password frequently. I hope this will help you understand how the board operates and how you can adjust your anti-spyware software to work in conjunction with our message board.

Cookies

A "cookie" is a special text file the message board writes to your PC. This cookie helps the message board "remember" who you are, which threads you have or haven't read yet and other similar preferences. Generally, cookies are harmless. The cookies from the Unknowncountry website, including those from the message board, are entirely harmless and will actually improve your experience here.

If you run software that deletes or blocks cookies, like Pest Patrol (though there are many others), the following functions on the board may not work correctly:

1.) Your username and password may not be remembered by the board, forcing re-entry of this data every time you try to post. You might even be forced to log in upon each click.

2.) The "new" icons that tell you what topics contain messages you have not read may not work correctly either if you block cookies from Unknowncountry.com. They may always show up, never show up, or show up inaccurately.

There are a host of other issues that could crop up, but these two are by far the most common complaints.

If you are experiencing these kinds of problems, and I know many of you are because you've written to me about them, I strongly urge you to crack open the manual for your anti-spyware program. Most anti-spyware applications allow you to add websites to a "whitelist" or list of "ok" sites. Consider adding the Unknowncountry.com domain to that list, or the message board cookie specifically.

I assure you, the cookies from Unknowncountry.com are not harmful to your computer or your privacy.

In fact, if you have the technical know how, feel free to open the cookie files yourself in a text editor and see for yourself. The data inside is innocuous and goes a long way toward making your experience here better.

Please take a moment to learn how the anti-spyware software you use actually works. I get more than a few letters from well-meaning people telling me that either the message board or their PC has been hacked. In 99.999% of these situations, the problems they report stem from the board cookie file being disabled or deleted. I have not heard one credible account of someone's PC or user account being "hacked". It could happen, but given the myriad of things that can go wrong with a PC, it's far more likely the cause is a bit more prosaic.

Spend a few moments with the help file or manual for your anti-spyware software.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 308
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 8:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Spell Check added

While doing some maintenance this evening, I also added an optional spell-check feature. If you choose to use it, the board software will highlight words on the post preview page it thinks might be misspelled. Unfortunately, it will only flag misspellings, not correct them. I plan to customize the dictionary at some point to include some of the jargon used on the board, but for the time being it consists of roughly 900,000 American english words.

If you'd like to use the spell-checker while posting click on the "Edit Your Profile" tool and scroll down to "Preferences", then check "Spell check my posts", and then "save profile changes".
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 279
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

How to edit links so they don't break the board layout

Because this is a recurring issue and because I'm often finding and fixing threads that have links in them that break the layout of the board, I thought I'd post this somewhere permanent in the hope that people will start doing this themselves.

What's the problem?

Posting very long links to other websites (URLs), like those at Amazon.com, will cause the board layout to squeeze together in a very unappealing way. This "problem" stems from how HTML works and isn't something that can be easily corrected in the software without causing other, more serious, problems. The easiest solution is to spend the 5 seconds it takes to learn how to edit a URL so it won't change the board's layout.

Here's how to do it

When you have a link you want to share in a post, copy the URL (the http://www.whatever.com address). After you've copied the URL, click on the button in the posting area that looks like a small globe with a chain link beneath it, immediately to the right of the Underline feature and to the left of the smiley face button.

A new window will open, asking you to paste the copied URL into it. Do so. It will write some code to your post in the form of "{URL,URL}" where the URL is the address you are linking to. By default, the description will initially be identical to the URL. Everything after the comma is the link description.

Simply replace the second URL with "Go here" or whatever your description is.

For example, if you were linking to amazon.com:

1) Copy the URL of the web site you are linking to (http://www.amazon.com)

2) Paste the URL into the window that appears when you click on the link button in the posting area (looks like a globe with a chain link below it).

3) edit the resulting code, after the comma, so it has the description you want. Change "{www.amazon.com, www.amazon.com}" to "{www.amazon.com, go here}".

That's it! The explanation might sound confusing, but if you give it a try you'll see what I'm referring to. It's very easy.

You can also refer to a screenshot Ryan created that shows, visually, how this is done. Pay attention to the differences between the first and second examples in the graphic. The red arrows indicate the comma that separates the actual URL from the link description. Further, the red arrow has been added for emphasis only and does not actually show up in the message editing area.

Additional information about how to link to other websites correctly can be found under the formatting link, located off to the left under "Documentation".

Let me know if you have any questions about this. Fixing your links takes only a moment of your time. Please do it.

Thank you.


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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 265
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

I've added some new topic areas tonight and separated the board into broad groups for similar discussion themes. The emphasis on climate/superstorm topics does not necessarily represent a new focus for the site or any specific agenda on behalf of Whitley Strieber. It's more of an experimental reaction to what we perceive to be a topic of active interest. We may add to or scale back the section later, depending on interest and activity.

As with the Politics, News & Current Events topic, I realize there are clear and strong divisions when it comes to global warming. Make the extra effort to keep from letting the discussions turn into liberal/conservative bashing. Aside from being boring and pointless, the sheer obnoxiousness of it keeps those who honestly wish to discuss the topic from being able to do so. Before you post something out of anger, I'd suggest taking another look at the Board's Terms of Use policy.

Please make a better effort to stay on topic and post in the most relevant topic area. For example, If you are posting in the Superstorm / Climate Change category, your post should be related to one of the subtopics in that area. There are enough topic areas now that just about any conceivable position or concept should have a relevant topic area somewhere on the board. So no more posting about Whitley's latest journal in The Board subtopic, ok?

That's it. Enjoy the new topics. I hope it helps promote thoughtful, focused discussion. As always, I welcome your thoughts and advice. If you have some ideas you think could make the board a better, more interesting place, please let me know.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 108
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

A reminder - The board maintains "no advertising" policy. Threads containing overt advertising of any kind will be removed.

Please do not start new threads devoted to books you have written, business-oriented web sites you maintain, or products you sell. However, if such a post would be germane to a discussion, a single, simple link and description is probably fine. Remember, this is a forum for discussion, not a place to advertise your goods and services. If you are interested in advertising on the Unknown Country web site, please contact webmaster@unknowncou ntry to discuss rates and conditions.

What constitutes advertising will be at the sole determination of the board administrator and board moderators. Threads containing advertising will be removed without notice. Repeated attempts to post such material will result in a permanent banning of the offending account.

If you are unsure as to whether or not your post might be considered an advertisement, please write to board@unknowncountry .com and ask.

Thanks everyone.
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 105
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Acting upon what I thought was a good suggestion from a board member, I've made it so that new threads under any given topic will appear at the top of the list, instead of at the bottom. The thread indexes may be a bit confusing for a few days while the new rules filter down, but after that I think it should make it easier to scan a topic for new material.

Let me know if you see anything funky happening.

Thanks,
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Board Administrator
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 69
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post

Board Re-opened To New Membership

The message board is once again open to new membership. To apply for an account on the message board, click on the link marked, "Register For Free", located to the left of your screen.

The registration process is slightly different than it used to be. Guests will no longer be allowed to register themselves. Applications for new user accounts are put into a list which must then be reviewed and approved or denied.

There are really only two criteria for which an application might be denied:

1.) You are a known troublemaker. If you've been a problem on the board before, you will not be given another user account.

2.) You are trying to register using a free or suspicious email address. We can no longer allow users to register for accounts with free email services, such as Yahoo or Hotmail.

I realize and regret that this policy will be inconvenient for some people. This change is due to the continued and frequent abuse of the board and its members by other users with such email addresses. Too many people have used the relative anonymity of such email accounts to become problems for the board, its members, and its guests. We now require your application come from a genuine email account at your internet service provider. We do this to help ensure that our members take a small amount of responsibility for their conduct here.

We understand that people who use this message board are concerned about their privacy and may be reluctant to provide a "real" email address. As a reminder, Unknown Country does not sell, rent, loan, trade, give away or otherwise share our board members email addresses with anyone.

Thanks for your understanding, your patience and most of all, your participation.