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What is email notification?
If you post a new thread, or reply to an existing thread, you can choose to be notified by email when someone else replies to that thread. You can also choose to receive email notifications of new posts in a thread without posting in that thread, by clicking the 'Subscribe to this thread' link displayed in the 'Thread Tools' menu. Email notification is also referred to as 'Thread Subscription'.

If you choose to stop receiving email notifications from a thread, you can turn off the option by either editing your post, or by unsubscribing from the thread in the subscriptions portion of your user control panel.

Only registered members may receive email notification, and they can set whether they want to receive email notification by default by editing their options.

Are there any special codes/tags I can use to format my posts?
For the most part, your posts will contain plain text, but on occasions, you may want to emphasize certain words or phrases by making them (for example) bold or italic. Unlike the old PhinisheD web site, where you were allowed to use HTML code to produce these effects, HTML code on this site has been disabled. Instead, you may use vB Code: a special set of tags which can produce the most popular text-effects. vB Code has the advantage that it is very simple to use, and is immune to malicious javascripts and page layout disruption.

You may also use smilies, which are small icons or emoticons used to convey emotion, as well as vibes, which are small moving wave-like images used to convey support for other Phinishers. Part of the vB Code is the [img] tag, which allows you to add pictures to your message. Finally, you may attach a post icon to the title or subject of your post.

The most commonly used vB Codes are attached to buttons in the menubar of the message editor, as is a menu with the available smilies and vibes. For more information about vB code, click here.

What are smilies? What are vibes?
Smilies are small graphical icons which you can insert into your messages to convey an emotion or feeling, such as a joke or embarrassment. For example, if you entered a sarcastic comment, rather than type 'that was a joke', you could simply insert the 'wink' smilie.

If you have used email or internet chat systems, you will probably be familiar with the concept of smilies or emoticons already. Certain combinations of text characters are converted into smilies. For example,:) is converted into a smiling face. To understand smilie codes, tilt your head to the left and look at the text: you will see that :) represents two eyes and a smiling mouth.

PhinisheD also has its own device, called vibes. Vibes are offered to other Phinishers for support, encouragement, and sympathy.

For a list of the smilies and vibes currently used by this board, click here. You needn't remember all the text code used to create smilies and vibes--they will be available in a pull-down menu in the editor menubar.

On occasions, you may want to prevent the text in your message being converted into smilies. You will see a checkbox which you can select when you make a new post, which will allow you to 'Disable Smilies'.

Code buttons and smilie/vibes menu
These controls allow you to quickly and easily enter vB Code into your posts and messages. To use them, simply click the appropriate buttons or select items from the menu to enter vB Code.

There are three editor modes available: Basic, Standard and Enhanced mode. When using the Basic editor, there are no vBcode buttons to assist your editing. You must enter any vBcode markup manually in this editor.

When using Standard mode, highlight the text you wish to modify and press the appropriate button. This will place the proper vB Code tags around the selected text. Pressing a button while not having any selected text, will insert vB Code tags at your cursor. You may then enter your text between the tags.

When using the Enhanced mode, pressing a button will modify any highlighted text. This mode is a WYSIWYG mode, What You See Is What You Get, whereas your final post appears the same while being edited. Clicking a button while having no text selected will not have any effect. The default mode of the PhinisheD editors is the Enhanced mode.

To use the clickable vibes or smilies, simply pull down the smiley menu and click the image that you want to insert into your message. You can insert a string of vibes to make one long vibe.

Can I upload my own smilies?
No, but you can easily insert your own smilies as long as they are online somewhere else and you have the URL. Just use the "Insert Image" button in the advanced editor toolbar.

How do I create and vote in polls?
You may notice that some threads on this board also include a section where you can vote on an issue or question. These threads are called 'polls' and this is how to create them:

Creating a new poll

When you post a new thread, you have the option to also create a poll. Polls can only be created with new threads; they cannot be created in responses to existing threads. The poll function allows you to ask a question and specify a number of possible responses. Other members will then be able to vote for the response they wish, and the results of the voting will be displayed in the thread.

An example poll might be:
What is your favorite color?
  1. Red
  2. Blue
  3. Yellow
  4. Green
  5. Sky-blue pink with yellow spots
To create a poll when you post a new thread, simply click the 'Yes, post a poll with this thread' checkbox at the bottom of the page, and set the number of possible responses you want to include. When you click the submit button, you will be taken to the poll creation page, where you can specify the question and the list of responses you want to include.

You can specify a time limit for the poll, so that (for example) it only stays open for voting for a week. You can allow for write-in votes and allow voters to change their votes. You also have the option to allow multiple choices rather than a single choice for each voter, and to make public the choices of those who vote in the poll.

Voting in and viewing a poll

You may view individual polls in the boards in which they were posted, or you may view a list of all polls by clicking "Polls" in the PhinisheD navigation bar. To vote in a poll, simply select which option you want to vote for, and click the [Vote!] button. You may view the current results for a poll before you vote by clicking the 'View Results' link. Voting in a poll is entirely optional. You may vote for any of the available options, or cast no vote at all. Please be aware of whether a poll has been set for public voting or not. If it is a public poll, then your username will be listed by the choice you selected on the poll results page.

What are attachments?
The webmaster has enabled the attachment feature of this board, which gives you the ability to attach files of certain types to your posts and private messages. This could be an image, a PDF file, a Word or Excel or PowerPoint document, etc. There will be a limit to the file size of any attachments you make.

To attach a file to a new post, simply click the [Manage Attachments] button at the bottom of the post composition page, and locate the file that you want to attach from your local hard drive. After posting, the image attachments may display a thumbnail, depending on the board settings. To view the contents of the attachment (if it is not already displayed) simply click the filename link that appears next to the attachment icon.

Since there is a limit on the space occupied by your attachments on the PhinisheD server, you will need to periodically delete old attachments. If you exceed the storage space allotted to you, you will not be able to upload new attachments until you delete some old ones. You can manage your attachments by clicking on "Attachments" in the User Control Panel.

Can I attach music or video files?
You may attach .mov, ,.mp3, .mpg, and .wmv files, but they are limited to 1MB in size and count against your overall upload quota. Rather than uploading such large files, it is better to add a link to the site where the music or video can be found.

What are post icons?
The webmaster has enabled post icons for new threads, posts, and private messages. Post icons allow you to specify a small icon to accompany your posting, which is used to convey the emotion or content of a post at a glance. The post icons are located below the message text box in the advanced editor.

Can I edit and delete my own posts?
PhinisheD members are able to edit and delete their own posts. Note that the webmaster can disable this ability as he desires. You will be unable to delete your post if it was the first message in a thread, but you can edit it to replace the text with a "post deleted" notice. Your ability to edit your posts is also time-limited, depending on how the webmaster has set up the board. Currently, the boards are set to allow you to edit your thread titles, add polls, and edit message contents freely within the first 15 minutes after posting a message. After 15 minutes, you will no longer be able to edit thread titles or add polls. You will still be able to edit message contents for a time, but your message will be appended with an "Edited by" tag and you will be asked to specify a reason why you have edited your message. After one day, you will no longer be able to edit your messages at all.

To edit or delete your posts, click the Edit your message button by the post you want to edit. Please keep in mind that if you have posted anonymously and you attempt to edit or delete your post, you will be identified by your regular username as having done so.

What are moderators?
Moderators are veteran PhinisheD members who have volunteered to help the webmaster oversee the boards. They generally have the ability to edit and delete posts, move threads, see invisible members, and perform other manipulations. Traditionally, PhinisheD moderators avoid editing or deleting others' posts, but they do reserve the right to do so in when the acceptable use policy is violated.

To see a list of moderators, click the "View Board Leaders" link below the board list on the home page of PhinisheD.

Why have some of the words in my post been blanked?
Certain words may have been censored by the webmaster. If your posts contain any censored words, they will be blanked-out like this: *****.

The same words are censored for all users, and censoring is done by a computer simply searching and replacing words. It is in no way 'intelligent'. At PhinisheD we highly value the freedom of expression, so currently only three particularly vulgar and derogatory words in the English language are being censored.

What is anonymous posting and how do I post anonymously?
Members will automatically be granted anonymous posting privileges after 100 posts or 90 days of membership, whichever comes first. The webmaster may also grant anonymous posting privileges to others upon request. After you have received anonymous posting privileges, you will then be able to check the "Post anonymously" box in the posting form and the submitted post will be attributed to an anonymous username rather than your own. Other regular users will not know your identity. For additional privacy when preparing to post anonymously, to prevent your username from appearing in the "Who's Online" list, please use the "Invisible Mode" setting under "Edit Options" in your User Control Panel.

The anonymous posting option should be used sparingly. Please use it only when you have a matter of a highly personal or sensitive nature to discuss, or when you need to protect the privacy of colleagues, students, friends, or family members. It should never be used as cover to criticize or attack other users, as a means to evade social responsibility for one's comments, or as a way to avoid minor embarrassment on the boards. Anonymous posts may not contain attachments, and they cannot be edited after posting without revealing the username of the author. If you want to maintain your anonymity, do not attempt to edit an anonymous post.

The webmaster reserves the right to suspend or revoke the ability to post anonymously of any member who abuses the anonymous posting privilege. For more information, please see our acceptable use policy and privacy statement.

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