How Do I Open a Private Dialog with the Forums Administrator

Dell / DIMENSION 2400
February 8, 2012 at 02:19:40
Specs: MS-DOS 7.10, Pentium 4 / 1GB
I am generally pleased with these forums, but I have run into quite a number of perplexing issues in my short time here. For example, I can only use one computer to log onto these forums. Please contact me. Thank you.

See More: How Do I Open a Private Dialog with the Forums Administrator

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#1
February 8, 2012 at 02:35:54
Use the Private Messaging facility which you will find in "My Computing Net here: http://www.computing.net/cgi-bin/my... The link is also at the bottom of the Hardware and Devices listing to the right of this page.

Edit: Keep reading replies here, I doubt anyone will contact you this being a public forum.


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#2
February 8, 2012 at 07:06:55
What results do you get when attempting to log into CN from other computers?

Are you trying to log in using more than one computer simultaneously?


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#3
February 8, 2012 at 08:46:35
sburtchin,

I am an admin... There shouldn't be any issues logging into multiple computers, even at the same time. As OtheHill asked, what is the error you actually are receiving?

Justin


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Related Solutions

#4
February 8, 2012 at 21:21:36
Please contact me. Thank you.

Justin I think the OP is waiting for you to contact him!


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#5
February 8, 2012 at 21:34:17
Hey,

Well, I'd prefer he respond here since his issues seem to be problems other users might be interested in looking at. So... we'll see what happens :)

Justin


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#6
February 8, 2012 at 22:37:09
Please call BR-549 at your ealiest possible conveinience. Ha Ha

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#7
February 9, 2012 at 04:30:55
Issue_1
"Well, I'd prefer he respond here since his issues seem to be problems other users might be interested in looking at."

OK, any issues of general interest I'll put here.

"What results do you get when attempting to log into CN from other computers?
Are you trying to log in using more than one computer simultaneously?
"

Makes no difference (simultaneously?). Works on PC running XP, not on PC running 2000. The message is:

i Forgot your username or password? Click here.

This takes me to the standard dialog to reset the password. I assume in my case, then I would only be able to logon using the Windows 2000 machine.


Issue_2
Some time ago I sent a Private Message to another user. After clicking on "Send" I got "Message has been sent" or something like that. This message never appeared in my "Sent Messages" box.


Issue_3
On Jan 26,2012 I posted a question on the "programming/batch" forum "How Do You Set an Environment Variable Equal to = in DOS 7?". This apeared in the forum like any other posting. I got an e-mail notification that CN had received my question. The next day it was gone. I have since found an alternative solution to my dilemma, but this is perplexing.


Issue_4
On my first post I made a poor choice of forums. The next day it was moved to the appropriate forum. It is good that moderators do this, but an e-mail notification about the move would be nice. I can see where a newbie might be confused.


Issue_5
This may be related to Issue_4. I recently posted a reply to another user's question ("Trying to convert .abm file"). It was not in the correct forum. I wanted to followup the next day, but that post could not be found anywhere on any of the forums. In my profile there was a blank line where I expected to see that post. A few hours later it did reappear on one of the forums. It sounded pretty serious, but the user has not posted back.


Issue_6
In the "Post Reply!" dialog, the cursor jumps to the end of the text box whenever I click on any of B, pre, etc. Another frustration with these buttons is that if you select the text you want to format before hitting the button, it deletes the selected text, contrary to most editing software.


Issue_7
Most forums have some forum rules like "No faul language", "Respect other members", "Don't promote software piracy", etc. in a prominant location. I finally found that today in a tiny link at the bottom of the "Ask the Community" page.


Issue_8
A big frustration of mine is that few users ever reply back after I post a reply that I am sure must have solved their problem. I think if there were a requirement to make followup replies to at least a certain percentage of their postings, this would provide encouragement to give feedback.


Issue_9
I found out "by trial" that the CN forum does not allow 3 consecutive posts in the same (apparently) lowest-level forum. This occured after all the time and effort of crafting the question. The error message though said that I couldn't do this in any of the main forums, or something like that. On that day I could not post anything in the next-higher-level forum either. I also do not see this requirement in the Forum rules (if not looking for it, I would probably not notice it even if it were there). It would be much better to reject the question before it is asked. This creates a stifling environment in forums that receive very little activity.


Issue_10
There ought to be (also) a "Set as Best Answer, But Not Solved" or "Mark as Good Answer" + "Mark as Best Solution", or something like that. I think the all or nothing philosophy may provide a disincentive to the respondent who only knows a small part of the solution, or doesn't have the time to address all the concerns of the poster. I believe this has happened on at least one of my posts.


If I should break this up into separate posts, please let me know.


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#8
February 9, 2012 at 04:57:30
If you delete cookies you will then need to log in the next time you visit.

Changing the password will change it for any computer you use to log in.

The Sent Messages feature is new so any older messages would not appear there.

So it would appear to me that there are no problems.

When using temporary file cleaners you should be able to exclude passwords for sites you want to do that for.

Sorry if I am stepping on your toes, Justin.


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#9
February 9, 2012 at 08:52:21
OtheHill,

No you're not stepping on my toes at all. Thanks for the help!

sburtchin,

I'll address your issues one by one.

1. I'm not sure what you mean. You must have some issues with cookies in your browser. I noticed you created a test post on the programming forum that I removed. Maybe you figured out the issue?

2. OtheHill is correct... The feature is brand new. Only messages sent since the feature was rolled out are reflected.

3. Perhaps it was a duplicate posting and was removed? Not sure the reason as I don't remember every single message that is removed. However, the message was definitely removed.

4. There is an e-mail notification. I'm not sure why you didn't receive it, but we all know e-mail isn't 100% reliable. Further, if you have the post tracked in your My Computing.Net Message List, the tracked data is automatically moved to the correct posting.

5. Again, the posting could have been removed. If the message had been tracked in your My Computing.Net message list, it would have been moved with it. I will correct the issue with the blank spaces appearing in your profile. However, it will be replaced with nothing. The issue is that the search engine only updates daily, if a posting is moved, it will not find it until it updates again.

BTW, to add all your replies to your My Computing.Net list, go to My Home > Settings > Check Automatically add my replies to My Computing.Net.

6. I realize this is annoying, but that's the best way I can do it with this system. You can always manually enter the code.

7. When you post a new message, on the message posting page, there is a link that says: "By posting on this site, you agree to abide by the rules, and confirm you are over 13 years of age." ... The rules are linked there.

8. Many of the users who don't respond are first time posters who probably never will come back to post another question. Such a requirement won't do anything to encourage them to post. However, users are e-mailed when their message receives replies encouraging them to reply. Further, they are e-mailed asking them to mark a best answer after a week. The fact of the matter is, a lot of users won't come back, and there's not much that can be done about it. We have been dealing with this for years, unfortunately :(

9. When you make a triplicate posting like that, I believe the body is returned back to you so that you can save it for later use.

10. Thanks for the suggestion on that. We are always looking at ways to improve the system. We take all the feedback into account. The issue there, though, is that the more complex something is, the less likely someone is to use it. So, that would counteract your suggestion in 8.

I hope I've answered all your issues. Thanks so much for the feedback!

Justin


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#10
February 9, 2012 at 17:23:30
Just to add that I have four computers (W98, XP, Vista and Win7) and can get to this forum on all of them. I also have three browser types and a Puppy Linux CD. I don't have to sign in with any of them. As others have mentioned it is almost certainly a cookies issue. I run CCleaner on all computers but have set it to save computing.net cookies. For Firefox I have excluded cookies for this website.

On the subject of folk not coming back, as Justin said it has been going on for years. About everything has been tried over the years but nothing helps. I guess wiith some folk it is a case of "get what you want then leave". Sadly it seems to be a problem with society rather than Computing.Net. I even sent someone an email recently and they didn't respond, nor did they when I asked if the previous email had helped.

I too, initially, had a little issue with the "Bold" sending me to the end of the text but this was because I was changing things to bold afterwards. I now try to remember to hit Bold before I type the text and it works fine. If I want to make something bold afterwards I simply copy/paste the start & end markers, as the concept is easy to see (even with my limited HTML knowledge). EDIT: Looks like my initial issue with this has been resolved.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#11
February 9, 2012 at 21:40:11
Derek,

Thanks for the feedback! Glad you could provide some insight as well.

Justin


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#12
February 11, 2012 at 15:33:41
1. I don't remember how or why it got this way: On the 2000 machine I have Override automatic cookie handling, Accept - First party cookies, Accept - Third party cookies, and Always allow session cookies checked. I think that is as liberal as the cookie policy can get. I added computing.net to Per Site Privacy Actions with setting always allow. That didn't help. I added http://www.computing.net to my list of Trusted sites. That didn't help either. The test post was related to issue 9.

2. I joined Computing.net on January 19, 2012. How new is this feature?

3. As stated earlier, this issue is acedemic now because I found an alternative method to my dilemma. I don't think it could have been construed as a duplicate post, but I have made plenty of mistakes myself, so I don't expect perfection from you either. I brought this up mainly over the concern it might be an obscure bug in the forums software (like: can an "=" be part of the post title?). I am still curious and wonder if I should post it again.

4. Non-Issue. My bad. I did receive an e-mail notification, just lost it in the mass of e-mails flooding my inbox. As far as finding it, the My Computing.Net Message List seems to track all this stuff automatically.

5. The post was not removed. It's still there in a different forum. The post is "Computing.Net > Forums > Windows XP > Software Problems > Trying to convert .abm file". I now understand about the search engine only updating daily producing the blank line. The next day the blank line was filled in with the correct info. I have two concerns. (1) If I had remembered enough about it to know what to search for, would I have been able to find it, and more importantly, would the original poster see it in her tracked posts before the search engine update? (2) Would a computing newbie (as this user self-admitted) be turned off when it appears for all intents and purposes that the post has disappeared? Some forums replace the contents of the original post with a link to where it has been moved to. I think it is hit-or-miss if a newbie notices the tracked post list.

6. Annoying, but something I can live with. As a former teaching assistant, I know that a lot of computer newbies would find this startling and disorienting. With higher levels of experience the annoyance fades more quickly. A lot of times I just type in the codes so I don't have to waste time getting the mouse involved. It comes down to a balance of how bad you want to fix it (the buggy feature) vs. how much effort it would take. If you don't have access to the source code then there truely is very little you can do.

7. I expected to find the rules as a separate item on the main menu along with Software, How-To's, etc. Not finding them there, I looked in other prominent locations. At least on my screen, the color contrast of the link is barely noticable (text size is about 6pt). I read that quickly and wondered "Where are the rules?". I am generally concientious about the content of my posts, so I naturally assume that whatever I post is not going to violate any rules that might exist.

8. You know better than I what will and won't work to get users to show appreciation. I agree that it is a problem with society as a whole. As populations have increased, people have been squezed to survive on fewer resources and the former society of charitable neighbors has evolved into a society of takers.

9. I think the body was returned back. I think the message was that I could not have three consecutive posts within a 30 day period, but not sure on the details here. I didn't save it because I figured after a month I would probably have found the solution through other means. I have a number of objections about how this works: (1) I still strongly believe it would be much better to reject the question immediately when the ASK A QUESTION button is clicked. (2) I think this does creates a stifling environment in forums that receive very little activity because the wait is much longer before someone else posts something, and there is no way to guage when or if this might happen. (3) Because the rejection occurrs after all the time and effort is put into the question, this is essentially lost effort because I will find a solution one way or another before a month has passed. The only real motivation to save it then, might be to post it on some other (not CN) forum. (4) I was trying to post into the Computing.Net > Forums > MS/PC-DOS > Configurations forum. The error message was misleading. It said something like "I couldn't do this in any of the main forums". (5) On that day I could not post anything in the Computing.Net > Forums > MS/PC-DOS forum, or any of its other sub-forums either. (6) This requirement is not in the Forum rules (if not looking for it, I would probably not have noticed it even if it were there), so even if I had carefully read the rules I could not have known in advance.

10. Just my opinion. It's just one more button. I remember the first time I used this feature (on another forum) I was surprised that the post was marked "Solved". I thought I was just being polite by showing my appreciation for the best of several vain attempts to solve my problem. The button title seems a bit misleading. There is usually a best answer, but many times the problem is never solved.

It is a pitty that most of the problems that ARE solved never get marked as such (ref issue 8 above).


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#13
February 11, 2012 at 17:01:23
Re item 1
Are you still having trouble getting onto computing.net? If so, do you by any chance run CCleaner or some similar program that deletes cookies? With CCleaner you can ask it to save Computing.Net cookies. It should not be necessary to depart from default cookie settings or put Computing.Net on Trusted Sites.

Re item 2
Can't remember exactly when but the send box was only introduced a few days ago (at most a week).

Re item 8
For some time my signature has been:
"Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks".
Most posters ignore it.

I'll leave the rest to the webmaster or others.


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#14
February 11, 2012 at 21:15:16
Hey,

1. Yeah, I've gotta agree with Derek, I'm not sure what's up.

2. Derek is correct, it was only a week ago it was rolled out.

5. Yes, but the original poster has all his postings added to his My Computing.Net message list by default. Unless he turned off this feature, he'd easily be able to find his posting.

7. I think you answered your own question, anyone who cares enough to read the rules probably isn't going to break them anyway. People who intend to break them probably won't read them no matter where they are or care what they say.

9. I see your point, however, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on it.

10. Same as #9. However, bear in mind we are always continuing to work on getting users to better respond.

Justin


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#15
February 12, 2012 at 01:32:58
1. Still can't login on with the 2000 machine. It has other issues too. I've been meaning to do a complete reinstall of everything on there. This doesn't look like an easy nut to crack, so I'll wait and see what happens then.

5. "he'd easily be able to find his posting" I certainly did find mine easily enough after it was moved! It's a matter of perspective. Sometimes we loose sight of what it was like before we got to where we are today. For some, if introduced gradually enough, such an experience may not even exist. This is typical of a very common serious communication gap in industry between those in the IT department and the rest of an organization. Just speaking as someone whose job it was to bridge that gap.

7. "I think you answered your own question" Not quite the point I was trying to make. It's a non-issue for me now because I know where the rules are now. If for no other reason, having them in a prominent location show that you take these things seriously. For those of us who do want to follow the rules, it gives us a chance to learn of any obscure restrictions (like the unwritten 'no 3 consecutive posts in a lowest level forum w/i 30 days', if I have correctly guessed that requirement?).

9. It's your forum. Keep in mind not everyone is as tolerant and persistent as I am. I understand there has to be some restriction to prevent someone from hogging a forum. In most forums 3 consecutive max is entirely appropriate. The issue is the context in which that quantity is calculated, and what happens from the user's perspective when the restriction is met. I think the points made here are well taken. What you choose to do is your perogative.

10. This is not the only forum I have seen that works likes this. You can only improve the the things that are under your control.


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#16
February 12, 2012 at 08:04:40
How do you even know you first post was moved? You may have not pressed submit or a moderator may have removed it completely for some reason.

(like the unwritten 'no 3 consecutive posts in a lowest level forum w/i 30 days', if I have correctly guessed that requirement?).

Where did you cull the above statement from? I am not aware of any such rule.

Win2000 originally came with Internet Explorer 5, which is now obsolete and will not work on most sites. There are alternatives you can use. At the very least you can upgrade to IE6. Better to use a different browser.

I think that most of your issues are user related.

I am not sure what you expect from a free forum.


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#17
February 12, 2012 at 09:18:56
I don't recognise anything like a 3 consecutive posts rule either. The only thing I can think of that might lead someone to believe this, is that you cannot "repeat" a post. Rejection is built in to prevent the same post appearing on various forums (which used to happen a lot).

The downside to the above is that if you respond or post using exactly the same wording as you used recently, it can be rejected. This is rarely an issue but can easily be overcome by rewording. It's just one of those things - you either allow repeated posts all over the show or you reject them and cause the possibility of what I believe is a rare and minor issue.

All forums are different and both procedures and tastes will obviously vary. Whatever forum you use there is obviously a learning curve but mostly these things soon shake into place. It's always good to receive new ideas but in many instances there can be good reasons why things are the way they are - often devoloped over a period of years.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#18
February 12, 2012 at 09:35:42
Derek,

There is a 3 consecutive posts rule, no matter what the content. It is to prevent people from flooding the forums. This only applies to new threads. No user can post three consecutive new threads without some posts in between. Its not within 30 days. As long as someone posts one new thread, the user can post his third thread. Its to prevent people from posting like 5 threads in a row about similar questions.

Justin


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#19
February 12, 2012 at 09:38:04
Issue 1: You don't happen to have any caching, proxy, or "speed up" service going on there, do you? It could be some over aggressive caching.

Issue 10: Your best option would be to up-vote the responses.

OtheHill: Probably because you never start a thread, ever. Try making three topics back to back and report back? Sounds like it could be a pain in the backside, so I'm just going to trust sburtchin unless you have someone to back you up. (Guess the word of the day! Hint: It's "back.")

EDIT: Beaten.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#20
February 12, 2012 at 09:41:39
sburtchin,

With all due respect to #3, I strongly disagree with you. When a posting is moved, the user is e-mailed telling it was moved and the new location of the posting. All of his tracked posts in the My Computing.Net message list are updated as well. There is nothing more that can be done. Perhaps, in this specific situation you could not find your posting. But, that can't be a common occurrence. Your whole basis of complaint was that you didn't receive an e-mail... Well, e-mails are sent to the starters of new threads. Sending an e-mail to every person involved in the thread would just result in lots of spam for regulars who answer lots of postings. I'm not going to continue debating with you about it. I disagree with you that it is an issue.

Justin


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#21
February 12, 2012 at 09:53:38
Justin

Thanks for clearing up the three consecutive posts thingy.

EDIT:
Or have I got it right (threads - posts - responses etc LOL)?
Do you mean there has to be a "response" before your can start a fourth new thread?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#22
February 12, 2012 at 10:06:35
Isn't that issue 4? Issue 3 dealt with the deleting of a topic.

Just to see this post isn't a waste of space, maybe the mods should enter a reason for a topic delete, like they do when editing a post. It should help in these cases of, "I know it was deleted, I know who deleted it, but I don't know why it was deleted."

About issue 4, maybe the old location could be replaced with a page that said the topic was moved, and here's the new link? I forget if I brought up this idea before. If I did, I assume the cost/benefit didn't add up.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#23
February 12, 2012 at 11:46:34
Razor

I didn't state there was no rule like that. Reread my response. I stated I wasn't aware of any rule like that and I asked where sburtchin got that information from.

Also, using absolutes doesn't fit in this case. I HAVE started multiple threads here.


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#24
February 12, 2012 at 13:29:37
Derek,

No, it doesn't matter what happens. A user cannot post 3 consecutive new threads on any one forum. Someone else must post a new thread in between.

Razor,

As for keeping why threads were removed and reporting it back to users, I have considered that. However, since most threads are removed for pretty serious violations of the rules (which should be obvious), I have decided its not worth the infrastructure. sburtchin is talking about when a thread is moved anyway, which is reported to the user.

Justin


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#25
February 12, 2012 at 14:30:41
OtheHill: And I never said the rule existed. The only time that rule pops up is when you trip the spam protection, and it would take a significant change in your behavior to trip said protection. I could have just said that, but I love me some hyperbole.

Also, using absolutes doesn't fit in this case. I HAVE started multiple threads here.
As much as I hate bringing up old memes, pics or it didn't happen. Also, :V

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#26
February 12, 2012 at 14:37:33
Thanks Justin

All understood now - "any one forum" and the need for another poster in between clarified it nicely.

I can now see the point behind it, so I'll go back to sleep LOL.


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#27
February 13, 2012 at 20:15:55
Issue_1
Closed issue for reasons stated in my reply #15

"You don't happen to have any caching, proxy, or "speed up" service going on there, do you?" Not that I'm aware, but thanks Razor2.3 for your continued interest. "At the very least you can upgrade to IE6. Better to use a different browser." IE6 is what I am using there. Today I upgraded Firefox to version 10.0.1. Can't login with Firefox either. Thanks OtheHill for your continued interest here.

Issue_2
Not an issue. Feature was introduced after I sent the message.

Issue_3
Closed issue for reasons stated in my reply #12.

"With all due respect to #3, I strongly disagree with you. When a posting is moved, the user is e-mailed telling it was moved and the new location of the posting. All of his tracked posts in the My Computing.Net message list are updated as well. There is nothing more that can be done. Perhaps, in this specific situation you could not find your posting. But, that can't be a common occurrence. Your whole basis of complaint was that you didn't receive an e-mail..." What you are referring to seems to be a combination of #4 and #5. I did in fact receive an e-mail which I have already admitted was my mistake. I have also never had a problem finding any of my own postings. My concern (ref #5) was solely with less experienced users. These concerns are described best in reply #12.

Issue_4
Closed issue as far as it concerns me personally. My only concerns are for the benefit of other users.

"How do you even know you first post was moved? You may have not pressed submit or a moderator may have removed it completely for some reason." I found it rather quickly in my Tracked Posts list. I also have an e-mail saying that it was moved, which I already apologized that I failed to notice at first.

"About issue 4, maybe the old location could be replaced with a page that said the topic was moved, and here's the new link?" + "Some forums replace the contents of the original post with a link to where it has been moved to. I think it is hit-or-miss if a newbie notices the tracked post list." I think Razor2.3 and I are suggesting the same thing.

Issue_5
Closed issue as far as it concerns me personally. My only concerns are for the benefit of other users.

The sanme comments apply equally well here:
"About issue 4, maybe the old location could be replaced with a page that said the topic was moved, and here's the new link?" + "Some forums replace the contents of the original post with a link to where it has been moved to. I think it is hit-or-miss if a newbie notices the tracked post list." I think Razor2.3 and I are suggesting the same thing.

"I have decided its not worth the infrastructure. sburtchin is talking about when a thread is moved" I didn't intend to suggest anything more than a simple link in the original forum pointing to the new location.

My concerns are described best in reply #12.

"Sending an e-mail to every person involved in the thread would just result in lots of spam for regulars who answer lots of postings." I agree with you 100% and then some. The courtesy e-mail I thought I missed was related to #4, which I already admitted was my error. My concern here is mainly that because that post was not visible to me in any forum, my suspicion is that the OP would probably not see it in any of the forums either. Whether it was still visible in her Tracked Posts list is something only you might be able to answer with certainty. My guess is that it would have appeared as a blank line, but that is only a guess.

"I will correct the issue with the blank spaces appearing in your profile. However, it will be replaced with nothing." I didn't intend to make this look like I was complaining about the blank spaces. Between the alternatives, I think the blank spaces are a good thing, because it lets the user know something is there, even if they can't access it at this exact moment.

Issue_6
Closed issue - I'm sure this has been discussed to death.

Issue_8
Closed issue - I know you guys are trying. Every forum seems to have this problem.

Issue_9
We may just have to disagree on this. From my own perspective I've learned not to invest that much time when I think something might get rejected. I still have concerns about how this looks from the perspective of a new user.

"Where did you cull the above statement from?" It was only a guess. For a couple weeks I was not able to post there. Recently I was allowed to enter a test post, so there must be a time restriction that expires.

Issue_10
Closed issue.
More or less buttons is a matter of personal preference, and who is to say if my preference is in the majority. The function of the "Set as Best Answer" button becoimes pretty clear after the first use.

"Your best option would be to up-vote the responses" That's a good suggestion too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I think that most of your issues are user related.
I am not sure what you expect from a free forum.
"

I would have to respectfully disagree with the first statement as it applies to me personally, as I think I have explained in depth which ones I had a personal objection and which ones were out of concern for other forum users. I will agree that most or all of these are about users.

I do not expect anything from a free forum. I do hope that I will be afforded the same good advice that is customarily given to any other new member. In return I hope that I can be of benefit to other members on this forum.

If I did not think this was one of the best forums on the net I would not have invested this much time and effort to suggest improvements. If you read what I have said carefully you will see that most of my suggestions are for the benefit of other users. So please consider that all of my suggestions or otherwise are meant to be constructive and not intended to be a criticism. I am very pleased with the vast majority of the Computing.net community. This is a great forum!


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#28
February 13, 2012 at 20:58:18
Hi,

Like I said in my PM, I thank you for the feedback. I will definitely take what you say under advisement. Thanks again!

Justin


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