Forums FAQ

Forums Explained

What is a forum?
A forum is just as the name suggests: a place of assembly for people for the purpose of discussion. People can leave comments (called posts), and others can respond to their comments (posts) or leave their own new comment (a topic).
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What is the structure of this forum?
This forum is divided into a number of categories, General, the various walk groups, such as the End-to-End 2 Walks, the End-to-End 3 Walks, the Trail Rambler/Walker Walks and Twilight Walks, and a category for Walk Organisers. Within each of these categories there are a number of forums. You could think of the Forums as being a building containing different rooms, in which a different topic (category) is being discussed in each room. The forums for each category can be different. For each of the various walk group there are forums for Forthcoming Walks, Past Walks, Catch-up Walks and Chat. For other categories there are different forums.
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Who can use these forums?
Anyone can use these forums, whether they be a member of the Friends of the Heysen Trail or just an interested local, interstate or international hiker. In most cases anyone can read the forums, however you must be registered and logged in to be able to contribute to the forum (make a post). Some forums are closed to general viewing, such as the forum for Walk Organisers. In fact, most users won't even be able to see this forum to know that it even exists.
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What happened to the FOHT Yahoo Groups?
This forum replaces the two previous Yahoo Groups that were operated for general Heysen Trail discussion and the specific End-to-End 3 group. The account you created at Yahoo Groups can not be transferred over to this forum. The two Yahoo Groups have been closed.
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How do I register to use this Forum?
It's simple! Click on Register on the menu on the right of the any Forum page. You will be asked to agree to some terms and conditions for your account. Once you have agreed with the terms and conditions, you will be asked a series of questions. Under Registration Information choose a user name, it could simply be your first name and an initial or a nickname, and enter the details as prompted. Your email address will only be shown if you choose to do so.

Under Profile Information you will be asked if you are a regular user of a chat program such as MSN Messenger, ICQ, AIM or Yahoo Messenger, if so you can enter your online name here. If not, leave these answers blank. You may then choose to enter a signature, which just like an email signature will appear at the bottom of each of your posts automatically.

Under Preferences you will be asked some yes/no type questions about how your posting will work. Most of these can be left as is. If you want your email address to appear with your posts, click yes to the first question. It is recommended that you choose no, to protect your identity and your email address from unneccessary spam. You can choose not to hide your online status, so other people will be able to see if you are logged in at the moment. The third question is a good feature: you can nominate to receive an email each time someone replies to a post of yours, making it easy to follow up questions you might have left. The questions regarding BBCode and HTML relate to being able to use some regular internet coding. If you don't know what this means it is recommended you leave it as it is. Smilies are the small facial expression symbols commonly used by many people in forums and emails. The timezone is automatically set to GMT + 9.5 hours, which is Australia's Central Standard Time. It is recommended you leave the date format as is unless you are conversant in the programming language PHP.

Press submit and an email will be sent to your email account, from which you can instantly activate your account. You can log in using the Log in link which appears on the menu on the right of the any Forum page.
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After registering when can I access the forums?
After successfully completing the registration an email will be sent to your email account, from which you can instantly activate your account. You can then log in using the user name and password you nominated. You can then start posting, however your posts will require approval by a moderator until you have become a Verified User.

If you apply to be a member of a group, such as the Walk Organiser's forum, the approval to access that forum may take several days, however you can still post everywhere else.
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Can I use my login details from the Yahoo Group?
You can choose to use the same user name and password, provided no-one has already used the user name. However, using the same user name and password will not combine both your FOHT Forums account and your FOHT Yahoo Group account as the two programs are separate.
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Which categories can I make posts in?
There are no restrictions on where you can contribute to, however only registered users who have applied to do so can view and contribute to the Walk Organisers forums. We ask people who are discussing matters to do with specific walk groups (such as the End-to-End 2 Walks, the End-to-End 3 Walks, the Trail Rambler/Walker Walks and Twilight Walks) to contain that discussion to those specific categories.
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I'm organising a walk. How do I access the Walk Organiser's forum?
Access to the Walk Organiser's forum is only open to those people who organise offical walks for the Friends of the Heysen Trail, generally those that are published on the Walk Programme. This could be one walk you are organising, or several. To apply for this group, and if you are organising a walk we would encourage you to do so, select the Usergroups link which appears on the menu on the right of the any Forum page. Here you can choose to view the Walk Organisers group. If you are logged in, you can select the Join Group option. Your inclusion in this group is then pending approval from the group moderator. Once approved, you can access the Walk Organiser's forum, which appear in the list of categories (such as General, End-to-End 2 Walks, End-to-End 3 Walks, Trail Rambler/Walker Walks and Twilight Walks) on the main forum page.
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What is a Profile?
A profile is the information you entered when you initially registered to join these forums. You can edit this information at any time. The information that you entered under the Profile Information heading will be viewed in any posts you make, as well as in the memberlist.
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What are Private Messages?
You can send people private messages, which functions like an email. It is however not delivered to their email account, but rather to their forum Inbox. They will know you have sent them a private message next time they log in to the forums, and select the You have X new messages link which appears on the menu on the right of the any Forum page.
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Are there any rules governing this forum?
Please respect the following rules when posting to the forums. Posts that breach these rules may be deleted. Serious repeated breaches may result in account deletion.

Advertising: Unless stated otherwise, advertising of commercial products and services is not permitted.

Flaming: Flaming is attacking a person rather than their ideas. Any material which constitutes defamation, harrassment, or abuse is strictly prohibited. Just be polite.

Offensive Content: This is a child-friendly environment. Material that is sexually or otherwise obscene, racist, or otherwise overly discriminatory is not permitted.

Cross-posting: Posting the same thread in more than one forum is annoying. Please post it once in the correct place.

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Can my account be deleted by the Forum Administrator?

Yes, if you register and fail to make a post within the first 7 days after registering, or if you contravene the forum rules.
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What's the difference between a New Topic and a Post Reply?
When you use the Post Reply button your post will appear under the post you were reading. When you use the New Topic button, your post will appear first (at the top of the page).
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Who are the Administrators and Moderators of this forum?
The Administrator of this forum is Paul Davill and Jeremy Carter.

Moderators include Paul Davill, Julian Monfries and Jeremy Carter.
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Login and Registration Issues

Why can't I log in?
Have you registered? Seriously, you must register in order to log in. Have you been banned from the board? (A message will be displayed if you have.) If so, you should contact the webmaster or board administrator to find out why. If you have registered and are not banned and you still cannot log in then check and double-check your username and password. Usually this is the problem; if not, contact the board administrator -- they may have incorrect configuration settings for the board.
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Why do I need to register at all?
To contribute you must register. Registration will give you access to additional features not available to guest users such as definable avatar images, private messaging, emailing to fellow users, usergroup subscription, etc. It only takes a few minutes to register so it is recommended you do so.
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Why do I get logged off automatically?
If you do not check the Log me in automatically box when you log in, the board will only keep you logged in for a preset time. This prevents misuse of your account by anyone else. To stay logged in, check the box during login. This is not recommended if you access the board from a shared computer, e.g. library, internet cafe, university cluster, etc.
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How do I prevent my username from appearing in the online user listings?
In your profile you will find an option Hide your online status; if you switch this on you'll only appear to board administrators or to yourself. You will be counted as a hidden user.
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I've lost my password!
Don't panic! While your password cannot be retrieved it can be reset. To do this go to the login page and click I've forgotten my password. Follow the instructions and you should be back online in no time.
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I registered but cannot log in!
First check that you are entering the correct username and password. If they are okay then one of two things may have happened: if COPPA support is enabled and you clicked the I am under 13 years old link while registering then you will have to follow the instructions you received. If the problem persists try contacting the board administrator.
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I registered in the past but cannot log in anymore!
The most likely reasons for this are: you entered an incorrect username or password (check the email you were sent when you first registered) or the administrator has deleted your account for some reason.
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User Preferences and settings

How do I change my settings?
All your settings (if you are registered) are stored in the database. To alter them click the Profile link on the menu at the top right of any forum page. This will allow you to change all your settings.
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The times are not correct!
The times are almost certainly correct; however, what you may be seeing are times displayed in a timezone different from the one you are in. If this is the case, you should change your profile setting for the timezone to match your particular area, e.g. London, Paris, New York, Sydney, etc. Please note that changing the timezone, like most settings, can only be done by registered users.
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I changed the timezone and the time is still wrong!
If you are sure you have set the timezone correctly and the time is still different, the most likely answer is daylight savings time (or summer time as it is known in the UK and other places). The board is not designed to handle the changeovers between standard and daylight time so during summer months the time may be an hour different from the real local time.
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How do I show an image below my username?
There may be two images below a username when viewing posts. The first is an image associated with your rank; generally these take the form of stars or blocks indicating how many posts you have made or your status on the forums. Below this may be a larger image known as an avatar; this is generally unique or personal to each user.
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How do I change my rank?
In general you cannot directly change the wording of any rank (ranks appear below your username in topics and on your profile depending on the style used). Most boards use ranks to indicate the number of posts you have made and to identify certain users. For example, moderators and administrators may have a special rank. Please do not abuse the board by posting unnecessarily just to increase your rank -- you will probably find the moderator or administrator will simply lower your post count.
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When I click the email link for a user it asks me to log in
Sorry, but only registered users can send email to people via the built-in email form. This is to prevent malicious use of the email system by anonymous users.
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Posting Issues

How do I post a topic in a forum?
Easy -- click the relevant button on either the forum or topic screens. You may need to register before you can post a message. The facilities available to you are listed at the bottom of the forum and topic screens (the You can post new topics, You can vote in polls, etc. list)
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How do I edit or delete a post?
Unless you are the board admin or forum moderator you can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post (sometimes for only a limited time after it was made) by clicking the edit button for the relevant post. If someone has already replied to the post, you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic that lists the number of times you edited it. This will only appear if no one has replied; it also will not appear if moderators or administrators edit the post (they should leave a message saying what they altered and why). Please note that normal users cannot delete a post once someone has replied.
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How do I add a signature to my post?
To add a signature to a post you must first create one; this is done via your profile. Once created you can check the Add Signature box on the posting form to add your signature. You can also add a signature by default to all your posts by checking the appropriate radio box in your profile. You can still prevent a signature being added to individual posts by un-checking the add signature box on the posting form.
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How do I create a poll?
Creating a poll is easy -- when you post a new topic (or edit the first post of a topic, if you have permission) you should see a Add Poll form below the main posting box. If you cannot see this then you probably do not have rights to create polls. You should enter a title for the poll and then at least two options -- to set an option type in the poll question and click the Add option button. You can also set a time limit for the poll, 0 being an infinite amount. There will be a limit to the number of options you can list, which is set by the board administrator.
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How do I edit or delete a poll?
As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster, a moderator, or board administrator. To edit a poll, click the first post in the topic, which always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote then users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if people have already placed votes only moderators or administrators can edit or delete it; this is to prevent people rigging polls by changing options mid-way through a poll.
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Why can't I access a forum?
Some forums may be limited to certain users or groups. To view, read, post, etc. you may need special authorization which only the forum moderator and board administrator can grant, so you should contact them.
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Why can't I vote in polls?
Only registered users can vote in polls so as to prevent spoofing of results. If you have registered and still cannot vote then you probably do not have appropriate access rights.
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Formatting and Topic Types

What is BBCode?
BBCode is a special implementation of HTML. Whether you can use BBCode is determined by the administrator. You can also disable it on a per post basis from the posting form. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML: tags are enclosed in square braces [ and ] rather than < and > and it offers greater control over what and how something is displayed. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be accessed from the posting page.
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Can I use HTML?
Yes, but you will probably find only certain tags work. This is a safety feature to prevent people from abusing the board by using tags which may destroy the layout or cause other problems. You can disable it on a per post basis from the posting form.
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What are Smileys?
Smileys, or Emoticons, are small graphical images which can be used to express some feeling using a short code, e.g. :) means happy, :( means sad. The full list of emoticons can be seen via the posting form. Try not to overuse smileys, though, as they can quickly render a post unreadable and a moderator may decide to edit them out or remove the post altogether.
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Can I post Images?
Images can indeed be shown in your posts. However, there is no facility at present for uploading images directly to this board. Therefore you must link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. http://www.some-unknown-place.net/my-picture.gif. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor to images stored behind authentication mechanisms such as Hotmail or Yahoo mailboxes, password-protected sites, etc. To display the image use either the BBCode [img] tag or appropriate HTML.
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What are Announcements?
Announcements often contain important information and you should read them as soon as possible. Announcements appear at the top of every page in the forum to which they are posted. Whether or not you can post an announcement depends on the permissions required, which are set by the administrator.
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What are Sticky topics?
Sticky topics appear below any announcements in viewforum and only on the first page. They are often quite important so you should read them where possible. As with announcements the board administrator determines what permissions are required to post sticky topics in each forum.
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What are Locked topics?
Locked topics are set this way by either the forum moderator or board administrator. You cannot reply to locked topics and any poll contained inside is automatically ended. Topics may be locked for many reasons.
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User Levels and Groups

What are Administrators?
Administrators are people assigned the highest level of control over the entire board. These people can control all facets of board operation which include setting permissions, banning users, creating usergroups or moderators, etc. They also have full moderator capabilities in all the forums.
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What are Moderators?
Moderators are individuals (or groups of individuals) whose job it is to look after the running of the forums from day to day. They have the power to edit or delete posts and lock, unlock, move, delete and split topics in the forum they moderate. Generally moderators are there to prevent people going off-topic or posting abusive or offensive material.
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What are Usergroups?
Usergroups are a way in which board administrators can group users. Each user can belong to several groups (this differs from most other boards) and each group can be assigned individual access rights. This makes it easy for administrators to set up several users as moderators of a forum, or to give them access to a private forum, etc.
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How do I join a Usergroup?
To join a usergroup click the usergroup link on the page header (dependent on template design) and you can then view all usergroups. Not all groups are open access -- some are closed and some may even have hidden memberships. If the board is open then you can request to join it by clicking the appropriate button. The user group moderator will need to approve your request; they may ask why you want to join the group. Please do not pester a group moderator if they turn your request down -- they will have their reasons.
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How do I become a Usergroup Moderator?
Usergroups are initially created by the board administrator who also assigns a board moderator. If you are interested in creating a usergroup then your first point of contact should be the administrator, so try dropping them a private message.
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Private Messaging

I cannot send private messages!
There are three reasons for this; you are not registered and/or not logged on, the board administrator has disabled private messaging for the entire board, or the board administrator has prevented you individually from sending messages. If it is the latter case you should try asking the administrator wh
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I keep getting unwanted private messages!
In the future we will be adding an ignore list to the private messaging system. For now, though, if you keep receiving unwanted private messages from someone, inform the board administrator -- they have the power to prevent a user from sending private messages at all.
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I have received a spamming or abusive email from someone on this board!
We are sorry to hear that. The email form feature of this board includes safeguards to try to track users who send such posts. You should email the board administrator with a full copy of the email you received and it is very important this include the headers (these list details of the user that sent the email). They can then take action.
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phpBB 2 Issues

Who wrote this bulletin board?
This software (in its unmodified form) is produced, released and is copyrighted phpBB Group. It is made available under the GNU General Public License and may be freely distributed; see link for more details.
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Why isn't X feature available?
This software was written by and licensed through phpBB Group. If you believe a feature needs to be added then please visit the phpbb.com website and see what the phpBB Group has to say. Please do not post feature requests to the board at phpbb.com, as the Group uses sourceforge to handle tasking of new features. Please read through the forums and see what, if any, our position may already be for features and then follow the procedure given there.
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Whom do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?
You should contact the administrator of this board. If you cannot find who that is, you should first contact one of the forum moderators and ask them who you should in turn contact. If still get no response you should contact the owner of the domain (do a whois lookup) or, if this is running on a free service (e.g. yahoo, free.fr, f2s.com, etc.), the management or abuse department of that service. Please note that phpBB Group has absolutely no control and cannot in any way be held liable over how, where or by whom this board is used. It is absolutely pointless contacting phpBB Group in relation to any legal (cease and desist, liable, defamatory comment, etc.) matter not directly related to the phpbb.com website or the discrete software of phpBB itself. If you do email phpBB Group about any third party use of this software then you should expect a terse response or no response at all.
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