Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the Atlantic Forums?
- The Atlantic Forums are provided to Atlantic Computing Services' customers, and to the public, as an alternative to the big, impersonal social media companies out there. It's a way for us to share ideas, keep in touch (while staying at home), and get tips and help on home technology.
- What are some things you can do here?
- Once you register, you can select a flag and icons to represent yourself and your interests (think of them as your lawn gnomes). You can chat about a whole array of interesting topics (that Mark Zuckerberg doesn't need to know about...), or you can get help on technical issues.
- What is the index page?
- It's the first page of the forums -- the one you hit when you first enter the address into your browser or when you first log in.
- What if I have an idea for a forum?
- Let the admin know! We're always on the lookout for new ideas. You can send a private message, or an email.
- Je ne comprend pas anglais...ce n'est pas ma langue!
- Vous pouvez passer à un affichage en français dans le panneau User Control. Cliquez sur l'icône de la personne en haut à droite de page d'index, puis cliquez "User Control Panel". Cliquez sur le troisième onglet, "Board Preferences". Mi-chemin de la page, changez "British English" en "Francais" et cliquez "Submit". Cela ne traduira que la langue du programme phpBB, pas ce que les membres écrivent.
Registration and Logging In
- Why do I need to register?
- Technically, you don't have to, if you just want to read the posts. However, if you do, you can join the community! You can have avatars, private messaging, emailing of fellow users, special restricted forums, etc. It only takes a minute to register. We don't spam you, we don't sell your information, and we don't send you advertising.
- How do I register, and what will I need in order to register?
- Just click the sign-up icon (with a plus sign on it) at the upper right, all the way on the right. You'll be asked to agree to a quick legal waiver, then taken to a screen where you'll choose a username, password, time zone, and (optionally) a flag. You'll also need to know the city that Atlantic is headquartered in, just to prove you aren't a spambot. Go to Atlantic's webpage and click "Contact Us" to learn where Atlantic is.
- Help! I've lost my password!
- Don’t panic! Your password cannot be retrieved, but it can easily be reset. Send email to the admin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What happens if I know my password, but still can't log in?
- Send an email to email@example.com and explain the situation.
- What does “Delete cookies” do?
- “Delete cookies” deletes the cookies created by phpBB which keep you authenticated and logged into the board. Cookies also provide functions such as read tracking. If you are having login or logout problems, deleting board cookies may help.
- Why do I have to login in order to email a user?
- Only registered users can send email to other users via the built-in email form. This is to prevent malicious use of the email system by anonymous users.
Rules and Moderation
- What are the rules?
- Click on "The Rules" in the upper left corner of the index page...or go to: https://atlantic-computing.com/forums/app.php/the-rules
- Who is 'the admin', and how do I get a hold of them?
- The administrator, or "admin", is Atlantic Computing Services, which has multiple usernames here. The preferred method of contact is to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send a Private Message to Atlantic here, or use the contact number for Atlantic Computing on their "About Us" webpage.
- Who are the moderators, and what do they do?
- The moderators assist the admin in running the board. They are Atlantic and WolfofWords.
- How can I report posts to a moderator?
- On each post, there is a button with an exclamation point on the upper right; pressing that will report the post to the admins. You can also simply contact the admins directly.
- Why did I receive a warning?
- If you have broken a rule or done something inappropriate, you may be issued a warning. A warning indicates that you violated a rule, but the situation can be remedied. The admin may let you know what that remedy is; contact the admin if you are unsure about why you were issued a warning.
- What happens if I get a spam email or an abusive email from another member?
- The email form feature of this board includes safeguards to try and track users who send such posts, so email the admin with a full copy of the email you received. It is very important that this includes the headers that contain the details of the user that sent the email. The administrator can then take action.
- What is 'The team'?
- This page provides you with a list of board staff, including board administrators and moderators and other details such as the forums they moderate.
- What if I need to reach the admin RIGHT NOW?
- If you absolutely must reach the admin directly and immediately, send an SMS to four four three 285 nine four nine one. This is connected to Atlantic HQ.
User Settings and Preferences
- How do I get to the User Control Panel?
- As a registered user, all your settings are stored in the board database. To alter them, visit your User Control Panel: click the person icon in the upper right, underneath the Atlantic picture, just to the right of the ? in a circle. In general, this is how you change all your settings and preferences. Click "Submit" to save all your choices.
- How do I change the board's display style?
- Go to the "Style" requester in the upper right corner of the index page, underneath the header picture and the other icons. Our default style is "Black", but you can change it to the lighter "Prosilver" if you want. Keep in mind that this may rearrange some of the icons and options referenced in this FAQ; it also flips your profile display from the left to the right.
- How do I find out what time it is?
- Click on the clock to the left of "Style" in the upper right corner of the index page.
- How do I set the time correctly?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Board Preferences", the third tab from the left, and choose the "My Timezone" option appropriately, then click "Submit".
- How do I change my language?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Board Preferences", the third tab from the left, and choose the "My Language" option appropriately, then click "Submit". Note that this doesn't translate everything on the screen -- just the parts from the phpBB program.
- How do I change my password?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Profile", the second tab from the left, then select the third option on the left side, "Edit account settings". Select a new password in the appropriate blank, repeat it in the blank below, and fill in your current password in the bottom blank. Then click "Submit".
- What are the requirements for a password?
- Passwords must be at least six characters long. It is recommended that you use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters such as @, #, or *. It's also recommended that you use a unique password for the Atlantic Forums - one that is not in use for any other website. Password safes are useful to retain your list of unique passwords.
- How do I display an avatar?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Profile", the second tab from the left, then select the third option on the left side, "Edit avatar". You can add an avatar by using one of the four following methods: Gravatar, Gallery, Remote or Upload. Your avatar can be up to 100x100 pixels, and up to 25KB in size. After you're finished, click "Submit".
- How can I set up the addresses of all my other social media accounts?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Profile", the second tab from the left. On the first page, you can write in the addresses for your website, Facebook, Ravelry, and so on (if you wish; it's completely optional). Then click "Submit".
- How specifically would I put a link to my YouTube channel in my profile?
- First, on YouTube, go to your channel and copy the designator from the URL; that is anything after "https://www.youtube.com/channel/" and before any question marks. Then, on the Forums, go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Profile", the second tab from the left. Paste the designator you copied into the YouTube blank and click "Submit".
- How do I display those fun icons for my favorite crafts, sports teams, religion, and such?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Profile", the second tab from the left, then select the sixth and last option on the left side, "Manage profile flair". Choose the ones you like. You can click on the star once you've selected it to list that one first.
- How do I display a flag?
- You'll have the option to choose a flag when you register. If you ever want to change it, go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Profile", the second tab from the left. On the first page, you can choose your flag at the bottom; then click "Submit".
For more on the proper display of flags, refer to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9W1zTEuKLY
- What is my rank and how do I change it?
- Ranks, which appear below your username, indicate the number of posts you have made or identify certain users, e.g. moderators and administrators. They don't really mean anything else; they're just there for show. If you want to change it, just post a lot, or contact the admin and ask.
- How do I prevent my username from appearing in the online user listings?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on "Board Preferences", the third tab from the left, and click "Yes" next to "Hide My Online Status". You will only appear to the administrators, moderators and yourself. You will be counted as a hidden user.
- How do I create a new topic or post a reply?
- To post a new topic in a forum, click "New Topic". To post a reply to a topic, click "Post Reply". You need to register before you can post a message. A list of your permissions in each forum is available at the bottom of the forum and topic screens ("You can post new topics", "You can post attachments", etc.
- How do I edit or delete a post?
- Unless you are a board administrator or moderator, you can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post by clicking the edit button for the relevant post -- that is the first button on the top right of your post which looks like a tiny pencil. 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 which lists the number of times you edited it along with the date and time. This will only appear if someone has made a reply; it will not appear if a moderator or administrator edited the post, though they may leave a note as to why they’ve edited the post at their own discretion.
You cannot delete a post once someone has replied.
- What is the “Save Draft” button for when posting a topic?
- This allows you to save drafts to be completed and submitted at a later date. To reload a saved draft, click on "Load Draft" on the New Topic or Post Reply pages, or use the User Control Panel (go to the first tab, "Overview", and select the fourth option on the left, "Manage drafts". See above on how to get to the UCP.)
- How do I add a signature to my post?
- First, go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click the second tab, "Profile", then click the second option on the left, "Edit signature". Create your signature there. It can be up to 300 characters. Click "Submit" when you are finished.
Once that is created, you need to attach the signature to your post. To do this for all of your posts (which is recommended), go to the User Control Panel, choose the third tab, "Board Preferences", then choose the second option on the left, "Edit Posting defaults". Mark "Yes" next to "Attach my signature by default", and click "Submit". You can also control it for each post by clicking the "Attach a signature" check box at the bottom of the "New Topic" or "Post Reply" screens, under the "Options" tab.
- How do I create a poll?
- When posting a new topic or editing the first post of a topic, click the “Poll creation” tab below the main posting form; if you cannot see this, you do not have appropriate permissions to create polls. Enter a title and at least two options in the appropriate fields, making sure each option is on a separate line in the text area. You can also set the number of options users may select during voting under “Options per user”, a time limit in days for the poll (0 for infinite duration), and lastly the option to allow users to change their votes after they voted.
- Why can’t I add more poll options?
- The limit for poll options is 10. If you feel you need to add more options to your poll than the allowed amount, contact the admin.
- How do I edit or delete a poll?
- As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster, a moderator or an administrator. To edit a poll, click to edit the first post in the topic; this always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote, users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if members have already placed votes, only moderators or administrators can edit or delete it. This prevents the poll’s options from being changed midway through a poll.
- How do I 'Mention' other users in a post so that they'll be notified of it?
- If you wish to mention another user in your post, type an "@" and then the first few letters of their user name. That will cause a pop-down menu to appear below. Just select their username in that pop-down and there you go. They then show up red in your post. (You can also type "mention" in brackets in front of their name and then "/mention" in brackets behind it; that will work as well.) Once you post, the mentioned person will get a notification.
You can only mention other users when you are making a brand new post; it won't work with edited posts. Also, clicking on the reddened name doesn't do anything like take you to the person's profile - all it does is send them a notification.
- How do I control what happens when I'm 'Mentioned' in someone else's post?
- If you wish to control the notifications and email that you receive from mentions and other forum events, go to the User Control Panel (see above), select the third tab, "Board Preferences", and then select the fourth and last option on the left, "Edit notification options". Then select the options you want, and click "Submit".
- How do I 'Like' a post?
- On the Forums, "Likes" are called "Thanks", and you can do so by clicking the thumbs-up icon in the top right corner of any post. To see how many Thanks you've given and received, click the person icon in the upper right corner of the site and choose Profile; you'll see the count at the bottom and find out who did so. They don't mean anything regarding your registration or rank; they're just nice to get and give.
- Can I post in HTML?
- No. It is not possible to post HTML on this board and have it rendered as HTML. Most formatting which can be carried out using HTML can be applied using BBCode instead.
- What's BBCode?
- BBCode is a special implementation of HTML, offering great formatting control on particular objects in a post. It's more secure than HTML as well, since you can't really execute malicious code with it. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, but tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and >. For more information on BBCode, click on the blue "BBCode" on the right side of the posting page, or visit https://www.bbcode.org
- What are smilies?
- Smilies, or Emoticons, are small images which can be used to express a feeling using a short code, e.g. :) denotes happy, while :( denotes sad. The full list of emoticons -- all those little jumping happy-face icons -- can be seen on the right side of the page while posting; you can click on them to insert them in your post. (Just don't go overboard with it, as that gets obnoxious.)
- I'm getting a '403' error when I'm trying to post. What am I doing wrong?
- Really, nothing...however, our hosting company, GreenGeeks, doesn't allow certain words to be used on the forums -- and sometimes the ones it objects to are really weird. Often they have to do with certain drug names or terms used in spam or scam emails. You can get around it by substituting a word, or using rot13 (see elsewhere for what that is). If there is still a problem, or you can't figure out the word that is setting it off, contact the admin.
- What's the difference between a board, a forum, a post, and a topic?
- The Atlantic Forums, the overall page, is the "board". It's divided into "forums" on various subjects, such as Books. Each forum has "topics", and each individual entry written by a member within a topic is a "post".
- Why is this topic locked?
- Topics on the Atlantic Forums aren't usually locked, but may be because a certain time limit has expired, or to otherwise end discussion on the topic.
- What is a shadow topic?
- If a topic gets moved from one forum to another, sometimes, at the discretion of the moderator, a "shadow topic" will be left behind in the old forum. Clicking on this will bring up the topic in the new forum (if you have permissions to see posts in that forum; see "Secret Forums" for more information).
- What is a sticky?
- Sticky topics, or just "stickies", are topics that are displayed on the front page of a forum only, just under announcements. Generally these are important or heavily trafficked topics.
- What is pruning?
- Pruning is the deletion of a topic which hasn't received any traffic in a long while. Generally, pruning is done at the beginning of the month to topics which have not had any posts in more than five months. Often, pruned topics can be recovered; contact the admin if there is a pruned topic you need to revisit.
- How do I search a forum?
- Click the "Search" button in the upper left corner and fill out the query and options in the resultant screen.
- Why did my search yield no results?
- Your search was probably too vague and included many common terms which are not indexed by phpBB. Be more specific and use the options available within Advanced search.
- How do I find another member?
- Click "Members" in the upper left corner. (You want "Members", not "The Team".) Search in that screen as needed.
- How do I search my own posts?
- Either click on your own username, or click the person icon in the upper right, then select "Profile" from the drop-down menu. You'll find the search for your own posts under "User Statistics" on the right side of the screen.
- How do I search through someone else's posts?
- Either click their username, or find them under "Members". Either way, once you choose, you'll find the search for their own posts under "User Statistics" on the right side of the screen.
- What is a spoiler?
- A spoiler is any part of a book, TV show, movie, video game, or any story, that reveals the ending. In other words, telling people about it "spoils" the plot.
- How are spoilers avoided on the Atlantic Forums?
- Members are expected to avoid spoilers in contemporary media, particularly in the TV and Movies forum, by omitting or greeking details, or by using rot13.
- What is rot13? What is this weird gibberish on the TV and Movies forum?
- rot13 (or ROT13) is a cipher which replaces each letter by its partner 13 characters further along the alphabet. For example, HELLO becomes URYYB (or, conversely, URYYB becomes HELLO again). This is used on the Atlantic Forums to obscure spoilers, objectionable words, and other information one might wish to casually obscure. Go to https://rot13.com for a way to encode and decipher such text.
Images, Videos, and Attachments
- Can I post images?
- Sure. There are two basic ways of doing so: first, if it's less than 100KB, you can upload the image as an attachment; second, you can host the image somewhere else and use BBCode.
- How do I post an image as an attachment?
- First, make sure it is 100 KB or less. We can take larger files as attachments, but would prefer not to fill up our server space on them. (Contact the admin if you have something bigger and can't figure out another way to post it.) Then do the following:
1. Click on the Attachments tab at the bottom of the New Topic or Post Reply screen.
2. Click "Add Files".
3. Find your image on your hard drive and click to "open" or upload it, however that's done on your computer.
4. The filename should appear under the "Add Files" button. Click "Place Inline" and move the resultant code to wherever you want it in the message.
5. Click "Submit".
- How do I post an image using BBCode?
- When using this method, the image remains on a remote server, so there are no size considerations regarding the image. Any size can be displayed.
1. Copy the URL of the image itself (not the page on which it is displayed) onto your clipboard on your computer.
2. On the New Topic or Post Reply screen, position the cursor where you want the image to go in the post.
3. Click the image button. That's the ninth from the left under the Subject line on the posting screen. It looks a bit like a picture of a mountain with the moon over it.
4. Paste in the URL from the clipboard.
5. Click "Submit".
- How do I post an image from Dropbox?
- Scroll to the bottom of the index page and click on "How to post Dropbox images" in the bottom right corner for a brief tutorial -- or go to https://www.atlantic-computing.com/forums/app.php/dropbox
- How do I post a video from YouTube?
- Scroll to the bottom of the index page and click on "How to post YouTube videos" in the bottom right corner for a brief tutorial -- or go to https://www.atlantic-computing.com/forums/app.php/youtube
- What attachments are allowed on this board?
- There are more media attachments allowed than just images, though the maximum size for any attachment is 256KB. (Again, please try to restrict it to 100KB or less.) Contact the admin if you need a specific type of attachment allowed.
- How do I see my list of attachments?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above). Click on the fifth option from the top on the left, marked "Manage attachments".
- How do I get to the secret forums?
- There aren't really "secret" forums, but we do have some that are restricted -- mostly because some folks just didn't want it cluttering up their feed. You can get to them by joining an appropriate usergroup.
- How do I join a usergroup?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above on how to get there). Click on the fifth tab from left, "Usergroups". Make sure that "Edit Memberships" is highlighted among the options on the left. Click the "Select" button at the right of the group you wish to join and then click "Submit" next to "Join selected" in the lower right hand corner. Then just wait; the admins will receive your request and allow you into the group (if it's okay to join).
- What secret forums are there?
- You can join the News, Gaming, and Politics forums. In addition, there are some forums which are only available if the admin adds or invites you.
- I'm not interested in all the technical talk. How can I just see the social forums?
- Join the usergroup Socials. (See above on how to join a usergroup.)
- How do I send a private message?
- Click the icon that looks like a tray in the upper right of the screen, underneath the header picture. Alternatively, you can go to the User Control Panel (see above) and choose the fourth tab from the left, "Private Messages". Click on "New PM" to start a message.
- Why didn't my private message send the first time?
- Possibly because you addressed it incorrectly. Put the recipient's user name in the blank at the top and make sure you click "Add" underneath. (You can also click the "Members" requester and choose them that way.) Once they're chosen, you can write your message.
- How do I delete a private message?
- There is a known issue with the current version of the forum software when deleting a private message from the folder view (Inbox, Outbox, etc.) This is easily handled by opening the individual message you wish to delete and clicking on the button in the upper right marked "x". Follow the prompts from there.
- How do I automatically file or reject private messages?
- Click the tray icon in the upper right, then click "Rules, Folders, and Settings" on the left. The first option is to create a rule; choose the appropriate options and save the new rule. If you are receiving private messages which are inappropriate or abusive, you should also contact the admin.
- How many private messages can I store?
- You may have up to 100 private messages in each folder. You can also set a rule (see above) to handle messages beyond that limit.
Subscriptions and Bookmarks
- What is the difference between bookmarking and subscribing?
- Bookmarking is just setting a placeholder for yourself in the User Control Panel, and is for topics only. Subscription can be done with a forum or a topic, and will make sure you are notified of any new activity in that forum or topic.
- How do I bookmark or subscribe to a topic?
- In the upper left corner of the topic, you'll see a button that looks like a wrench. Click that and choose either "Bookmark topic" or "Subscribe topic" on the drop-down menu.
- How do I subscribe to a forum?
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the forum and look on the bottom left, underneath Forum Permissions. Click "Subscribe Forum".
- How do I remove bookmarks or subscriptions?
- Go to the User Control Panel (see above for details on how to do so). Make sure the Overview tab is highlighted, then choose either the second option from the top on the left of the page for subscriptions, or the third option for bookmarks. Check the subscriptions or bookmarks you want to delete, then click "Unwatch Marked".
Friends and Foes
- How do I block a user?
- There are two ways to do so. First, you can click on the user's name, then click on "Add Foe" in the middle of the page. Or, you can go to the User Control Panel (see above for how to do that). Select the sixth and last tab across the top, "Friends and Foes"; then click "Manage Foes" on the left. Add the user's name in the resultant window. You will ignore their posts by default from that point onward, unless you click on them specifically. You won't block their private messages, however; see that category for how to do that.
- How do I 'Friend' a user?
- There are two ways to do this as well. First, you can click on the user's name, then click on "Add Friend" in the middle of the page. Or, you can go to the User Control Panel (see above for how to do that). Select the sixth and last tab across the top, "Friends and Foes"; then click "Manage Friends" on the left. Add the user's name in the resultant window. This doesn't actually do much except add a link to that user's profile on your User Control Panel, which makes it easier to click on them and their posts.
- What is COPPA?
- COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, is a law in the United States requiring websites which can potentially collect information from minors under the age of 13 to have written parental consent or some other method of legal guardian acknowledgment, allowing the collection of personally identifiable information from a minor under the age of 13. If you are unsure if this applies to you as someone trying to register or to the website you are trying to register on, contact legal counsel for assistance. Please note that neither phpBB Limited nor Atlantic Computing Services can provide legal advice, nor is either entity a point of contact for legal concerns of any kind, except as outlined in question “Who do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?”.
- Who do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?
- Contact Atlantic Computing Services by going to the About Us page at https://www.atlantic-computing.com. The matter may be referred to legal counsel. Please note that phpBB Limited has absolutely no jurisdiction and cannot in any way be held liable over how, where or by whom this board is used. Do not contact the phpBB Limited 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.
- Who wrote the software for this board?
- This software (in its unmodified form) is produced, released and is copyright phpBB Limited. It is made available under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPL-2.0) and may be freely distributed.
- What is Atlantic's data security policy?
- From the index page, click on "Data Security Policy" in the upper left corner, or go to https://www.atlantic-computing.com/forums/app.php/data-security