Author Topic: How to make best use of this FORUM  (Read 2436 times)

Hugh Wallington

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How to make best use of this FORUM
« on: September 24, 2010, 11:58:09 AM »
How to make best use of this FORUM

Before you start exploring this website, it’s probably best to outline a few things so you know a bit about this FORUM and the thinking behind it.

The AR Group is basically an 'Online Club', and our aim is to provide a ‘resource centre’ for the Yamaha AR Series Organs.  None of us are ‘professionals’, and none of us have any connection with Yamaha, nor the design of the AR organ.  So what you will find as you read through the various postings are the ‘hands on experiences’ of our Members.  When new, the organ was provided with a ‘handbook’, and there were two videos made explaining a few of the salient points of the AR’s operation, but it is not always easy to follow these explanations as more often than not a certain amount of background knowledge is ‘assumed’ and the explanations are not always clear.

When you first visit the FORUM you will discover that ‘unread’ Boards (the headings you see when you go to the homepage of the FORUM are called Boards ) have a dark blue indicator 'shadow' on the ‘square’ to the left of each Board, and postings within that board that you haven’t yet read are marked ‘new’ with a small orange rectangular marker by the subject line.  Once accessing a ‘board’, the square marker subsequently loses it's 'unread' indicator, but the unread postings within that board remain orange until you have read them.  This is how to keep track of what you have read and what you haven’t.  If there is a particular posting that interests you, you can click on the tab MARK UNREAD (at the top) and this posting will then keep the orange rectangular marker indicating that it is a posting still to be read.

Now you may think that the postings you see are put up by the ‘team’.  There is no ‘team’.  Anyone can start a ‘New Topic’.  And if you need a new ‘Board’ for what you want to put up then just ask and I’ll create one for you. Eg. Peter Anderson’s Starting from scratch with the AR Organ and Peter’s Pearls; Peter Slack’s Fun Challenge; Ed Wootton’s "AR Tickles" - Hints and tips on playing for fun; George Nichols’ Sheet Music Library and so on.

Perhaps at this point it would be a good idea to outline what the AR FORUM is not.  It is not a ‘blog’ or a ‘facebook’, so please don’t fill the FORUM with personal messages to other Members.  None of us want to trawl through hundreds of postings that are completely irrelevant to our 'hobby'.  But you can  contact any member by email if you so wish.  To find an email address, look for the little ‘envelope’ symbol by the member’s name .. either on the left of a posting done by the member you wish to contact, or go to the Members list which is one of the 'click on' options at the top of any FORUM page.  This is why it is important that you do not ‘hide’ your email address in your Profile page.  For information on how this all works, and how to contact other members via the internal mailing system please see the posting regarding this, below.  You will also see a Board entitled Members’ Section which is where you can put up anything you wish other Members to know about you .. and we can upload some photographs if you have some.  And once you have joined, please at the very least visit the site from time to time, as if there is a long period of inactivity a Membership ‘lapses’ and all information about that member is no longer held by the system.

Another useful aspect of an ‘online’ club is that one is able to download music or PDF files that illustrate, explain, or expand some of the things that are mentioned in a posting.  This is an extra dimension to just reading things in a magazine.  And to go a step further, you  can actually record a complete track, send the floppy files to Peter Anderson and have your 'performance' added to the Just One Tune section.  An opportunity here to ‘play’ to an audience without having to do it ‘live’.  And if you listen to some of the tracks other Members have done you will no doubt get some ideas for your own playing.  Not least, you will have the Registrations other Members have used, as this is how the system works.  First, the floppy loads the Registrations into the Registration Memories, and then the piece ‘plays’ using them.  So the Registrations are set up in your AR and are there for you to use (but you’ll have to make a note of which buttons light up as the music is playing).

Who does this website belong to?  Well, the owner of the site is John Bridgett (his company is LINCIT www.lincit.com), and he hosts it for us too.  John is a Club Member, and has an AR 100 organ.  If you asked John, he would say it is “Hugh’s Site”.  The Administrators (the people who actively run the site) are myself (Hugh Wallington) and Peter Anderson.  So if there is anything you need to know, or anything you want to do, please contact one of the Administrators whose details can be found in the Board Contact Details for AR Group.

Oh, and by the way, if you do a Search (box at the top) make sure you are on the ‘Homepage’ of the FORUM or the search will only look in the Board you are currently viewing.

Hugh


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Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2010, 09:25:59 PM »
When moving about in the FORUM, if you look under the word  Home  (highlighted in orange) towards the top of the screen you will see the 'path' you have taken.  For example, whilst reading this you will see AR-Group > General > About this FORUM > How to make the best use of this FORUM.  This tells you where you are in the 'folders'.  If you put your mouse cursor over any of these and 'click', you will 'jump' back to that point on the 'path'.  This means you no longer have to click the 'back button' at the very top to go 'back' one step at a time to where you were.  You can 'jump' there instead.

Another feature which will help you 'navigate' the postings is the inclusion of a Go Down and a Go Up at the top and bottom of a postings list, so you can 'jump' without having to scroll.  If there is more than one page in a list of postings, it will also say Pages: [1], [2], [3] etc. at both top and bottom of the list, and clicking on the page number with your mouse will jump you to that page.

You can find out a bit about other other Members by clicking on Members at the top of the page.

A reminder not to Logout.  Just click the 'x' in the top right hand corner to leave.  Then next time you visit you will be automatically logged on.  How this works is that the program recognises a 'cookie' that it placed on your computer so it knows who you are, so you are automatically logged on.  Most websites you visit place a 'cookie' on your computer, and quite often your virus protection will remove 'cookies' that it thinks might be a problem .. but it won't remove the AR-Group one as you have given a Username and Password so the virus protection knows this is one you want to keep.  Of course if you manually 'Remove all cookies' ... then you will have to Log On again with Username and Password next time you visit.

Hugh

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Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2010, 09:26:44 PM »
Other topics related to this FORUM

Click the relevant LINK below to open up the topic in a new window

Printing out a topic

http://www.ar-group.org/smforum/index.php?topic=998.0

Creating a posting

http://www.ar-group.org/smforum/index.php?topic=200.0



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Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2010, 11:55:05 AM »
Another thing that has cropped up re: LINKS.  If you run your mouse cursor over any LINKS you see in a posting the cursor will become a 'hand' (indicating it is a working link).  To follow the link just do one left-click of the mouse (not two) and wait for things to happen.  Things will appear on screen depending on (a) the speed of your broadband and (b) how busy the site is.  And if the site is going through a 'backup' process then you may not get anything to happen at all.  So best then to go back to the 'Home' page and do it all again.

Also, if you find you cannot get onto the AR Group website at all (nor the FORUM) then the site is probably busy or undergoing some maintenance work.  If you look again a few hours later it'll probably all be back up and running.  In the meantime I would appreciate a text message informing me that there is a problem with the FORUM so I can check it out.  My Mobile number is 07791 765 147, and I do have it on all the time.

Hugh

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Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 11:40:10 AM »
A comment now about Email addresses of Members.  If you click on Members, no email addresses can be seen.  Now for those of you who were worried about disclosing your email address, then this will be good news.  But it has a downside.  You can't send a normal email to any of the members because you don't have their email address to 'send' to.  And please note, a condition of Membership of AR Group is that other Members must be able to contact you.

So if you wish to Email a member, you have to do it 'via the system'.  Go to the Members list and click on a name in the list.  Then click on the little envelope by their name.  This will 'set up' an email form within the system for you to send.  When you put the text into the box, the normal 'posting' criteria apply (eg. with regard to doing bold, colours etc.).  When you 'send' the email you will not know the recipient's email address, but they will know yours (ie. they will know who it is 'From:').  So if you ask the recipient to 'Reply' to your email, you will, in return, get their email address ... and from that point you can send emails your normal way.  I suppose this does add an element of security.  Please note that when you send an email this way (via the system) you do not get a copy of your email.  When it's gone it's gone!

Another way to contact another Member is via the FORUM's 'Personal Messaging System' ... but this will only work if every member has their 'options' set up correctly.  To optimise your own settings, go to your own Profile (click on Profile, at the top. which takes you to your Profile Info), then 'hover' over Modify Profile (next to Profile Info), go down to Personal Messaging, and click on that.  The 'header' at the top says 'From this page you can change a variety of personal messaging options, including how messages are displayed and who may send them to you'.  The options to check (and alter if necessary) are:

(a)  Display personal messages: should be showing All at once.  This is the 'default'.

(b)  Receive personal messages from: should be set to All Members.  The only other option is Administrators only, but this option should not be selected, as a condition of membership of AR Group is that you can be contacted by other members.

(c)  Notify by email every time you receive a personal message: should be set to Always.  The only other option is Never, but then are you going to keep checking the Personal Messaging System to see if anyone has sent you a message?  Better to get an email by your normal channels, which will show a 'copy' of the message you have been sent.

(d)   Save a copy of each personal message in my outbox by default: In view of the comment above (when it's gone, it's gone!), if you make sure this box is 'ticked', then you will get a copy of what you have said.

Having set all that up you will be able to receive a personal message from another Member. 

Now, to access the Personal Messaging System 'hover' over My Messages (at the top) and you will see two options: Read your messages, and Send a message.

If you click on Read your messages a page will come up showing the ones you have (if you have any), and you have the facility here to delete any you no longer wish to keep.  If you 'hover' over the option Messages (just above) you will see in the drop-down box New Message, Inbox and Sent Items.  If you have opted to get a copy of messages you send, then they can be seen by clicking on Sent Items.  To send a message, click on New Message.  You would have got directly to this point if you had clicked on Send a message from the option My Messages (and you can also get the drop-down box showing Sent Items by hovering over Messages). 

Put something in the Subject line (as you would do for a normal email) and then put your message into the box.  You then need to fill in the To:.  Now not having any actual email addresses, go into the To: Box and start typing a member's name.  After about three characters a drop-down box will come up giving you a choice of members that start with the same name (unless there is only one!).  Click on the one you want.  Just to make sure you get a 'copy', the box that says Save a copy in my outbox should have a tick in it.  Finally, click Send Message.

Please note that you can't send 'attachments' by either of these methods.

Complicated?  Explaining all this has been a nightmare!  If you find any of this too complicated, email me ( hugh@ar-group.org ) and I will enable you to get in touch with a member.

Hugh

PS.  You may wish to print this out.  See link to Printing out a topic in the posting above.




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Denis Coan

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 04:56:07 PM »
I have been trying to update my profile with a photo but can only get part of the photo in the space provided, how do I arrange the photo before updating the profile, do I need to use a specific photo programme?

Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 08:09:18 PM »
Denis,

When you do your 'Profile' for the 'System' it only allows you to do an 'AVATAR' (ie. a postage stamp size picture which shows in your Profile, and also shows at the top of the screen when you visit the FORUM, and on the left hand side of the screen when you do a posting) .. and this is limited to 80 x 80 pixels.  Usually the members send me a picture by email attachment, and then I just 'crop' head and shoulders, re-size to 80 x 80 pixels and upload it.  You can also do this from your own computer if you wish .. but you must carry out the above adjustments to the picture before you upload it.  Then it will show without having to 'scroll'.

The 'System's Profile' is very limited, and this is why we have a board called the Members' Section, where members can put up anything they want to about themselves, including pictures.  Pictures in this context have to be uploaded into the AR Group Database and LINKED to, and only the Administrators can do that.  So all the pictures you see in 'About so and so' have been sent to me in the first instance by email attachment (to hugh@ar-group.org ), and I have re-sized them to 400 x 400 pixels (this is the standard we are using) and I put them into the posting where required.

I hope this has answered your question.

Hugh

PS.  As soon as you (or I) do your AVATAR it will appear on all the postings you have done to date, including the one just above this one.

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Ian and Bev Harrison

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2011, 12:23:04 AM »
Congratulations Hugh on making all this VERY complex set of options so easy to follow.  As you say writing it was a nightmare but you have managed to reduce it to clear, concise and understandable English.
Very well done!!!
Ian

Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2011, 03:10:22 PM »
Keeping track of postings you have/haven't read

When you visit the FORUM you will see a list of 'Categories' (white on blue), and within each Category are Boards (headings in orange).  Clicking on one of these will list the various Topics discussed, and clicking on a topic will show the postings (discussions) that have taken place.  If you want to add to the discussion, click on REPLY which is one of the options at the top (or bottom).  If you want to start a new topic, then you have to click on NEW TOPIC which is at the top (or bottom) of the Board you are viewing.

So how do you know when something new has gone up?  Well, if you look down the symbols down the left hand side of the screen and a symbol is highlighted, that tells you that there is something new in that Board (if you hover your mouse over the symbol when it is greyed it will tell you "No New Posts").  So click that Board .. and then highlighted in that Board will be any new postings, with NEW in an orange marker.  Once you have read the posting the orange marker will have gone next time you visit.  But you can keep the marker if you wish (so you can identlfy it next time you visit) by clicking on MARK UNREAD at the top (or bottom) of the posting.

The next time you visit the FORUM the Board that you visited will no longer be highlighted, even though there may be some Topics in it that you have not yet read.  But if you click on a Board to look, the individual topics you haven't read will still be showing with the orange NEW.

You will also see when you visit the FORUM that there is this statement at the very top (just under the Hello and your name), which you can click on:

Show unread posts since last visit.

But this is not all that it seems.  If you click on this and there is nothing listed, it doesn't mean there is nothing there that you haven't read.  You will see this statement:

No unread topics found since your last visit.  Click here to try all unread topics.

And if you click over the right hand part of this statement you should get a list of the topics you haven't read.  But not always!  It won't show alterations.  I have just clicked on this and it has not listed all the re-named topics that Peter Anderson has done in his Just One Tune.  But by going to the Board 'Just One Tune' and clicking on that, all those postings are showing up with the NEW.



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Charles Hughes

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 03:34:27 AM »
Is there a trick to using the "Stay Logged In" option when logging in?  I can close the forum window and re-open it almost straight away only to find that I always have to sign in again.  In 9 months, I can recall only once finding that I was still logged in when I returned to the forum.  The setting is showing "Forever".

Charles

Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 09:09:56 AM »
Hi Charles,

The only 'trick' is never to Logout of the FORUM.  ie. When you leave the FORUM, just click the X at the top right hand corner of the screen .. or click on another 'favourites' page which will take you to another website.  The FORUM does not keep you 'logged in' when you do this, so the 'time' record of how long you are in the FORUM does actually stop, and next time you look it will not say you have been on for hours and hours.

When you next go back to the FORUM (I presume you have a 'Favourites' button you can click to go to the FORUM .. as Administrator, I actually have the FORUM page as my 'Home' screen) you will find you are automatically Logged In and won't have to enter in your USERNAME or PASSWORD.  This should be the case even if you turn your computer OFF in the meantime.

Does this answer your question?  Let me know if this doesn't resolve the issue.

Of course you do have to activate the Forever when you Log In in the first place, but you say you have already done this.  Obviously the Forever ends if you click the Logout.

Hugh

PS.  I would always 'Logout' if using a public computer.
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Charles Hughes

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 12:56:13 PM »
Hi Hugh,

Murphy's law has kicked in.. just after saying I rarely get to find that I am still logged in when I revisit the forum, it happened after my earlier post.  I always exit using the X in the top right hand corner but find I invariably have to go through the log in process on the next visit, even if it is within half an hour.

It is no big deal, I just wondered if there was some thing I should be doing so that Forever means Forever but if that means staying within the forum continuously,  I can't do that because I only have my modem active when I plan on going on to the internet or for checking emails.  'Forever' in my experience is only as long as the next time that a backup has to be done.

Thanks anyway.

Charles

Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 03:46:47 PM »
Charles,

No, it doesn't mean you have to stay on the FORUM continuously.  The only reason I can think of as to why you have to put in your USERNAME and PASSWORD is if you have deleted your 'cookies' from your computer.  I am sure you are aware that a 'cookie' is placed on your computer which identifies your computer as the one visiting the website, and it's this that provides the shortcut to getting on a website when you next visit.

There are people who say you should DELETE Browsing History and all those 'cookies' from time to time, as they build up.  I personally never do this as it really is a pain, because without those cookies then every website you visit is 'new' .. and none of your PASSWORDS are remembered so you have to put them all in again.

Regards,

Hugh
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Charles Hughes

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2015, 11:37:05 AM »
Hugh,

Of course -  cookies!  That would explain it.  I checked and a clean-up program I run daily deletes cookies.

Well caught Hugh.

Charles

Hugh Wallington

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Re: How to make best use of this FORUM
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 10:25:08 AM »
I have brought the information in the first few postings up to date - Hugh
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