VGMusic.com Frequently Asked Questions -- Forum Questions




: What are the forums?

The forums are public arenas which allow our visitors to have non-realtime conversations, discussions, arguments, etc., to ask for help, to request MIDI files, or to just say whatever is on their mind. Things written on the message boards can be seen and responded to by any other visitor that comes along. As such, information on the message boards may not be completely accurate and does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of the Videogame Music Archive and its staff (Even if the information is being posted by the staff of the Videogame Music Archive). We currently have these message boards:

: Music Requests:

These are the boards on which to post requests for music from games. These are the only boards to request songs from games. Be sure to check the announcement topic before posting on any of them.
  • Newer Systems Wishlist: This is the wishlist for requests from newer console systems. The current list of permitted systems is as follows: Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation, Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft XBox. Any other console system you can think of with 32-bit or greater architecture can be considered part of this list too.
  • Older Systems Wishlist: This is for requests from older systems. The current list of permitted systems includes: NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis [Mega Drive] (& CD & 32X), Turbo Grafx 16, Neo Geo, ColecoVision, Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, and Jaguar, Commodore CD››, Philips CD-i, all Intellivision, and any other old [16-bit or below] CONSOLE system that is not mentioned on the Newer Console Systems list, such as the Amstrad GX-4000.
  • Handheld Systems Wishlist: This is the wishlist for requests from handheld systems, regardless of their age. The list currently includes: Nintendo Gameboy, Gameboy Colour, Gameboy Advance, VirtualBoy, Sega Game Gear, NeoGeo Pocket, Bandai Wonderswan, and anything else you can think of, as long as it's handheld. The Sega Nomad doesn't count as it takes Genesis carts and has no media of it's own, however.
  • Computer and Arcade Systems Wishlist: This is for requests from computer and arcade requests. The list includes: All arcade machines (Excluding those which are essentially game consoles in a cabinet hooked up to a TV) and all computer systems (Apple, Atari, Commodore (Including Amiga), IBM PC, MSX, etc). Yes, PC music can be requested here. That's why it's in the list. So stop telling people they can't request PC music, got it?

    : VGMusic.com:

  • News: This forum is for important site announcements. You can't create new posts in this forum, so don't even try.
  • Bug Reports & Suggestions : This forum is where you can tell us about problems you've found with files already in the archive. Multiple entries for the same game, misspelled song names, incorrectly labeled files, here's where you let us know. This is also the place to tell us about other problems with the site. (For example, if the forums go down, post a note here about it.) Finally, this forum is for suggestions on how we can improve the site itself. This is not the place to "suggest" that we add a certain song (That's what the wishlists are for).

    : Community:

  • The General Message Board: This board is for general discussion. This is the board to post site comments or questions, remarks about games or game music, or even what you had for breakfast or whatever else you feel like rambling about. Keep in mind that this is the Videogame Music Archive, and that your post should be somewhat related to that if you want to generate a discussion. In other words, a post about a character from a Final Fantasy game might get a good response whereas a post regarding the current political situation in Nepal probably wouldn't.
  • The Q&A Board: This is the board for questions and answers. Generally the questions posted here are of a somewhat technical nature. If you're having problems with your computer's sound card or a specific file, or want some help in making a web site of your own, or have a question regarding the technical side of the site, this is the place to ask. A question like "Which sound card should I buy?" would best fit on this board, while a question which will likely generate a lengthy general interest discussion, such as "Which game system is better, PS2 or Gamecube?", belongs more on the general board. And even though you're reading this, it's still a good idea to check the Q&A's announcement topic.

    : Creative Corner:

    Please don't post music requests on any of these--That's what the wishlists are for.
  • Music Composition/Critique: This forum is mainly for the posting of songs you've done, whether MIDIs, Modules, MP3s, or some other format. If you make music and want to know what people think, post it here. Do not, however, post other people's music here and ask for opinions. It is assumed, unless clearly stated otherwise, that the poster is the one that made the file, so if you post a file you did not make and do not clearly state that is it not your own, you are likely to be branded a thief and shunned from here for quite some time. (Basically, that means only post someone else's file if you include the words "Who wrote this song?" in the message.) You are permitted, in fact, encouraged to post your own compositions here. Files need not be recreations or emulations of video game music. Most are not.
  • Music Q&A: This board is for questions about music. Having trouble with pitch bends or patterns, ask how to work with them here. Not sure what chords are, this is the board to find out. Have some complex Music Theory question that only fourth year univeristy music students will be able to answer, you might just find a few of them hanging out here.
  • Visual Arts and Design: This board is for posting of all sorts of visual media you've made, and as long as you can find hosting space and mark the filesize where appropriate, anything from an icon to a video can go here. But the board is about the visual side of things, so it's not the best place to ask for critique on your soundtrack. Please read JosT's Visual Arts & Design Board Rules and Guidelines before posting there.

    If you see more or other boards or categories, there might be an event of some sort in progress, you may have staff access, you could be looking at a completely different site, or in fact you may need to lay off whatever it was you're experimenting with, or else it's just a browser display error and your computer may be trying to tell you something.

    Please note: The forums are not an official means of communication with the staff (Except in the case of the bug report board). This means if you post a message in the forums to a staff member, they might not see it. Same goes with the "Private message" feature. So, if you want to be certain that a staff member will see what you have to say, e-mail them (Then again, we get so much spam that we might not even see your letter...). Also, the administrators have to ability to move off-topic posts, so if you post on the wrong board, don't be surprised to see it appear somewhere else when you come back.

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    : What are the rules governing the forums?

    The General Forum Rules covering all boards are now contained in a separate document.

    VGMusic.com General Forum Rules

    Many boards also have announcement topics containing further board-specific rules and other information.
    Some general guidelines on posting on the forums can be found below.

    : Here are a few general posting guidelines which you should follow. They are not hard rules, but rather suggestions as to how to use the board.

  • : Write it in English. That is not a requirement by any means, but writing it in English would maximize your chances of getting a response. If you write it in another language, there is no guarantee that anyone else here will be able to understand it. Then again, if for some reason you only want people that speak a certain language to respond, then feel free to post in whatever language you desire.
  • : Make it coherent! Attempt to use some form of puncutation other than exclamation points. Make sure your thoughts are clear. If you have a question, be sure you're asking it, if you have a statement, make sure you're saying it, if you have a point, make sure you're making it. Avoid using odd extraneous words that have no place in anything. Please make your subjects as relevant as you can to the topic in your post. Don't give a subject of "Dog food!", then talk about the music of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. And most of all, ONE EXCLAMATION POINT IS ENOUGH! If your point is exceptionally emphatic, you may use two, but NEVER use more than two. They get in the way and are extremely annoying.
  • : Make it open to all. Don't post private messages to people on the message boards. There's a thing called "Private Messages" which the forums have for that purpose. There's also e-mail, so use them. If someone responds, and your thought is "Who asked you?" or "Mind your own business", then that topic no longer belongs on a message board.
  • : If a topic is over a week old, only post on it if it is really worth bringing it back. If you don't have much more than one line of general agreement to add to the discussion, leave it. Posting to an old topic in that way is likely to be considered a "bump" and will get it locked. If you have something slightly more substantial to add, feel free to post if you're just a few days over, but ancient topics are best left alone.
  • : Don't use "HaCkEr CaPs", "£°|\|&+", shorthand [as in "txt"], Capitalizing Every Word You Say, or other such nonsense. We find it to be incredibly stupid. It is in no way cool (Or, I suppose, "Leet"), and we will take great pains to laugh at anyone who uses it. The major word filters we have in place on the boards are human, so changing case or using ASCII symbols won't get past them. There are plenty of other message boards populated by keyboard pecking juveniles, so if you are inexplicably compelled to use such writing, please find one of them to do so on. The only reason to write like a moron is if you are one.
  • : Please spell to the best of your ability, and avoid heavily abbreviated text. Usage of common acronyms such as "lol" isn't going to cause offence with anyone without using them beyond excess, but dropping vowels randomly here and there makes text difficult to read, and is likely to irritate users, so, like fully-fledged shorthand, avoid typing like that.
  • : Don't put an entire message in the subject line of an NT/SO post. NT/SO tags are for short responses. Very short. Like less than five words. If you have a complete sentence response, it is far better off as a regular message. The strict character limit on post subjects will make it pretty difficult to do this anyway.
  • : Don't EMBED anything, don't have any kind of background sound, don't use Java or Shockwave or Flash. Please stick to HTML, as this makes visiting the boards far more pleasant for everyone, even those who still have dial-up (and quite a few people around here do).
  • : Please pay attention to the Image Limits. The dial-up users who don't want to have to wait for an emedded Flash animation to load on the forums, just so that they can read that topic they're looking at, won't want to wait for a GIF version of the animation to load either. And no-one will appreciate an image of something uninteresting to them taking up their whole screen.
  • : It is not necessary to comment on the title of yourself or anyone else in the open. We are all perfectly capable of seeing that NoraS7787 has the title of "MoatKeeper", and do not need you to point it out.
  • : When making a poll, please use the built-in poll feature. It leads to far less board clutter if people are able to add their votes without needing to post a message. You'll also get an easier way to see the results. But don't over poll, either. You don't need to make a poll for every question you ask, and we tend to get angry if you start posting polls simply because you can.
  • : Mark spoilers clearly and provide plenty of safety buffer space. Many people have paid $50 for the game they're playing and don't want to hear about that amazing, surprising, gee-I-never-woulda-guessed-that-was-coming twist at the end of Disc 2. You will be held responsible for providing a refund proportional to the amount ruined if you happen to ruin someone's game enjoyment through an unmarked spoiler.

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    : What is this IP recording thing on the forums? What is an IP?

    An IP number is your address on the Internet. Every computer connected to the Internet has one (Unless they're a part of a network that connects through a gateway/firewall, in which case each particular computer doesn't have one, but the gateway does). It is what allows your computer to find another computer and send it information, and in turn allows the other computer to respond. For instance, when you click a link in your browser, your browser sends out a request to a server for the page. That request is able to find that server because the IP number assigned to that server acts as its address, its phone number, if you will. Likewise, when the server sends back the file to your computer, it finds it by your IP. Of course, all this goes on in the background, and you usually don't have to worry about it at all.

    The IP logging is a security procedure in place on the message boards. It records your IP address along with your message. It is normal for your IP address to change every time you log-on, so don't freak out if you have a different address for different posts. That just means that your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses. (Then again, if your IP doesn't change, that's nothing to be concerned about, either.) The first 6-8 numbers of your IP address generally will not change (Unless you change ISPs or dial-in locations).

    There is no need to be concerned about your personal computer's or your own security with having your IP posted on a message board. Your IP address does not reveal your home address or any other personal information. Your IP address alone will not let a hacker break in and do anything to your computer. And if you have an ISP that uses dynamic IP addressing, then chances are the next time you log-on you will have a different IP address, so the address you posted under will not even be pointing to your computer anymore. An IP address alone can only reveal what ISP it belongs to, and occasionally the general area in which your dial-up is located. If you're not concerned about giving out your e-mail address, you should be less concerned about your IP being posted.

    They're not currently visible to regular users, however all Moderators and Administrators can see them.

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    : How do I post to a forum?

    First, you'll need to get a Username to post with. (If you're posting on the Wishlists, you don't need one, but you'll miss out on a great number of nifty features that the forums have.) To get a username/password combo, click on the "Register" link along the top. Fill out the form. You MUST enter a REAL e-mail address, as an account confirmation link will be e-mailed to you. If you do not enter a real address, you will not be able to activate your account, and so you will not be able to post. If you're using an e-mail account with aggressive spam filtering, which includes many free accounts, read the question below for an extra step in the registration process. When you've done that and taken precautions as necessary, check your mail every so often. A confirmation message with an activation link will eventually be sent to you. With your username and password, go back to the forum page and go to the "Log in" section at the bottom of the index. Enter your username and password (select "Log me on automatically each visit" if you want to stay logged on), and you're in (Provided that your browser is nice and friendly, and you can use cookies and all that sort of thing. If you can't use cookies, you'll still be able to post, you'll just have to enter your username and password each time). From there, choose the forum you want to post in. If you want to write a new message, click the "new topic" button, if you want to make a reply, go to the message you want to reply to, and click the "post reply" button. Then, make the subject what you'd like, and in the main message area, write your message, and when you're done, hit the "Preview" button. This will reload the page with your message previewed above, where you will have a chance to look over your post and change it before it becomes finalized. When you're satisfied, hit "Submit", and your post will be submitted. When you're done, if you're using a public computer system like at a school computer lab or at a library, or you don't trust the other people that use your computer, you'll want to hit "Log out [ Your Username ]" to clear your information. You'll have to log in next time. However, if you're on a home computer, you don't have to worry about logging out, you'll stay logged in as long as you checked the "Log me on automatically each visit" box when you logged in to the forums.

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    : I didn't get my activation e-mail. What happened, and what can I do about it?

    Well, there could be one of several things wrong. You might have mistyped your e-mail address, or possibly you're checking a different e-mail account to the one you put in the signing-up form. More likely, however, is that an overly aggressive spam filter got hold of the message and sent it to it's doom before you could even say "Oh well.". If you're happy with your forum account details and you waited 24 hours for the activation message and it never came (although most servers ought to have received it long before that, I should hope), e-mail me your username and I'll activate manually it for you. If you decide you don't want the name you tried to register, register a new one, but before you submit the form, take note of this:

    To prevent spam filters from blocking your activation message, add an exception in the filter to the address "forumadmin@vgmusic.com" , or add that address to your "Contacts" or "Safe List", depending on who you have an e-mail account with and how you access it. Doing any one of those things will fix 99% of missing activation e-mail problems (by the way, this also applies to any other automated e-mails that you might want to recieve from the forums).
    If you still don't recieve the activation e-mail after allowing messages from that address through, send an e-mail to that address explaining the problem.

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    : Now that I'm registered, how should I introduce myself?

    Well, you could head over to the General Message Board and start a "hello" topic. However, these topics rarely seem to evolve into any sort of related discussion and frequently turn to random ramblings, usually including someone complaining about the topic. Therefore, though they are not forbidden by the forum rules, I would strongly recommend against a topic consisting simply of a "hi I'm new" message with no other content [leaving nothing or precious little to discuss]. I am NOT saying that they can't ever work or that they are not allowed, but I'm recommending against them in general, based on what I've seen before (even though I don't believe the past examples I referred to are the only way these topics can go). Okay?

    Instead, I'd recommend making a more subtle introduction within another topic, which is mostly, at least, unrelated to your intro. For instance, if you've been playing a game, perhaps you could post some of your thoughts on that, and mention somewhere that you're new in the message body. But read the boards to find out what sorts of topics are successful. And use your imagination. Try to give people something to discuss, perhaps something to make them think a little, something interesting, basically. That sort of posting in general will probably help you "fit in" to the community better and in time earn you an amount of respect from forumers, I believe. That isn't to say that posting an introduction topic or not will necessarily have any effect described [indeed again, or not], but in general, topics on the General Message Board where there is something to discuss are more appreciated than topics where there is not, suprisingly enough, so logically this should apply to introductions as well as it would to any topic.
    But if you give a little thought to what you say and leave something to discuss for a bit (and since you're reading this and if you're actually still reading it...), I suspect your introduction topic will do just fine. Don't worry about it.

    Oh, and if you're reading this answer because someone linked to it in an introduction topic on the forums, they are most likely a fool because it's too late for this. If the topic was already a disaster for whatever reason, pointing this out to the poster isn't going to help the topic much.

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    : What are some of the nifty features that the forums have?

    This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of everything, you'll have to figure out what isn't listed here on your own.

    User Profile: One of the most nifty features, you user profile reserves your username for your use only, and allows you to list your location, occupation and interests and to add contact links to people that click on your name, as well as a picture so people can see how truly scary you look. It also allows you to customize your settings to your preferences.

    Edit Your Message: If you're a registered user, then you can edit your messages after you've posted them. That means no more "Oops! Typo!" messages. Just hop back in and change what's wrong. Also, you can delete any message you've posted. (Moderators and Administrators also can edit or delete your posts, so anything that goes against our guidelines will be censored or removed)

    File Attachments: You may attach files to your messages. There is a limit of 1,048,576 Bytes (Remember, that's 1 MByte) on a file. Please do not use this feature as a personal archive. If you can't attach what you want in a single message, don't post it here. Get yourself some webspace of your own (There are plenty of places around that have a few megs free) and put it up there, then link to it. Pornographic, offensive, obscene, illegal, and other such attachments are not permitted and will result in an immediate banning. Also, take note: Files disappear when the message they were attached to is deleted, so it would not be a good idea to use an attached file for something like a signature image, as the message is likely to be removed well before all the posts that use it as a sig image are.

    Private Messages: Private messages allow you to send messages to other users that only they will see. This is a great alternative to using e-mail if you don't want to reveal your e-mail address or the other person does not give theirs. They will get the message the next time they log in to the forums.

    Locked Messages: Only Admins and Moderators can lock messages, but locked messages affect everybody (Except the moderators and administrators...). If a message has been locked, it's a good sign that the subject should be dropped. Don't start a new topic to continue the conversation in. Topics are generally locked because they appear to be drifting toward a flame war or they have run away and gone entirely off-topic. Message locking is an alternative to message deletion. It's a preventative tool used to stop a situation before it warrants deletion.

    Graphic Smileys: Simply put an ordinary smiley into your message and it will be transformed into a small smiley graphic in your message.

    Alternate Skins: Choose a skin other than subSilver so that you can easily distinguish the VGMusic.com boards from other phpBB forums!

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    : What does "RE:", "SO", "NT", "NM", or "ED" in the subject line mean?

  • "RE:"- It means that this message is a reply or a response to another message. Don't start a message topic with this, and don't worry about adding this to a response's subject line as the board will take care of that itself.
  • "SO", "NT", and "NM"- "Subject Only", "No Text", and "No Message". These are identical in meaning. They are used to indicate that there is nothing in the message body, and that the subject is the author's message. They are only used in conjunction with short responses (Single short sentences), as longer responses belong in the message body. Since the forums no longer support threaded mode, these don't come up much anymore.
  • "ED"- "Edited Post". This post has been edited some time after the initial post, and this marker is added to attract attention to the post for those who may have already read it, and therefore would have missed the edit. No one actually uses this one ever, though, and the forums themselves mark a post as edited, so I don't see why anyone would.
  • Both "RE:" and "SO", "NT" or "NM", or "ED" in the same message- This indicates a response to someone's subject only reply. Usually in these cases the SO/NT/NM or ED is meaningless and there is unedited text in the message body, but the message author did not remove the SO/NT/NM or ED from the subject line.

    PLEASE only use NT, SO or NM for SHORT messages. If you have a sentence, put it in a regular post. There is a subject length limit. If you hit it, your post shouldn't be "No text"ed.

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    : Why are some people's names coloured on the message boards?

    Coloured names indicate posts by the staff members or official moderative personnel. The red (or orange on the index) colour indicates forum administrators (The people with power), while green indicates forum moderators (The people with less power). Not only does the colour-coding distinguish the staff from regular visitors when posting on the boards, it also adds a measure of security. If someone decides they want to post a false message posing as one of the site's staff members, using a username extremely close to a staffperson's (The forums do not allow duplicate names, therefore no one can post as as a staffperson unless they have the password, in which case this security thing is useless...), the name will not appear in colour, thereby immediately showing it to be forged. (And NO, putting a FONT COLOR tag in with your name doesn't work either. We're not that stupid.)

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    : So, can I get a coloured name so my posts will stand out?

    Sorry, the coloured names are for staff members or moderative personnel only, so unless you're a staff member or moderator, no. Also, because of the complexity which would be involved with maintaining a large amount of coloured names, there are currently no plans to extend the coloured names beyond the staff members or moderators to people such as frequent visitors or sequencers.

    Well, actually, on second thought, since we're so generous and friendly, we're offering free blue coloured names to our visitors as a way of saying "Thank you for coming!" (The free colour offer is not subject to style changes. If you use a style other than subSilver, you may receive a completely different colour.)

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    : I have the same kind of message board that you used to have on my site, but I can't figure out how to get coloured names. How did you do it?

    Unless you're Reverse Sigma, you've forgotten all about those horrible ancient things, so there's probably no point telling you how to get coloured names on them anymore. And honestly, if you really want coloured names, you should get a newer message board system that natively supports it. WWWBoard is positively ancient, very insecure, rather short on nifty features, and many people would probably describe it's default appearance as something along the lines of "hideously ugly". If you still want the instructions anyway, you're out of luck, I don't think they're there anymore.

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    : I posted a message once, but it's on the board twice. What's up with that?

    There are several causes of double postings. You may have hit the "Submit" button more than once, sending the message multiple times. Or you may have reloaded the "Your message has been entered successfully" page. Both will cause the message to be posted again.

    The forum system we use claims that this can't happen, that it protects against it, but unfortunately this does not always seem to be the case. Double postings can still slip through. You should be able to delete one of them, though, so please do so.

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    : I tried to give an example of HTML tags on the board, but it didn't work. Why didn't it, and how do I fix it?

    Well, it didn't work because the message boards accept HTML tags inside the messages (or at least a selection of them, anyway), so it took your example as real HTML code. There are several ways around this. First, rather than using greater-than/less-than (</>) to surround the example tags, use regular parentheses. The results then can't be directly copied and pasted, but it is the simplest thing to do. Another way is to use the BBCode "CODE" tag. Place your example HTML between [CODE] and [/CODE] and it will be presented in a quote-like box without taking it as actual HTML. Using entities, or the ampersand+letter code combination, such as [ &lt;EXAMPLE TAG&gt; ], will not work because the forums translate the & to &amp; , and the XMP tag happens to be disabled on the forums, so that won't work either.

    If you don't want to use BBCode or change the tag surrounds, there's always the "Disable HTML in this post" in the Options section. Then you can use straight HTML and it'll show up as tags. That means you can't have any actual HTML things inside the post, though.

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    : What happened to those other message boards you had? Where'd they run off to?

    It's hard to say this, but the message boards we used to have, well, they... They, uh, went on a nice big long trip, and they might not be coming back for a while. They're going to be really busy on this trip, so they probably won't be able to send you postcards or call or anything. They wanted you to know that they love you very much and-- Oh, the message boards? I thought you said Grandma. Yeah, the message boards, we got rid of those clunky old things.

    Hmm? What do you mean by "What do you mean, "clunky old things"!?"? Oh, you meant UBB.Threads when you said "those other message boards"? Well, in that case, yeah, that went away too and was directly replaced by phpBB. Why? The SQL database containing all the user and post information for the UBB.Threads forum was lost in the not-too-distant past, and when the forum was to be restored it was decided to use phpBB instead, which we'd already been trialling prior to that. phpBB is very flexible with customisation, at least as easy to use as UBB.Threads, and seems to have become the standard in its field, at least if what I've heard is anything to go by. UBB.Threads is not especially customisable, not as familiar, and crucially, unlike phpBB, it is not free.

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    : What's the message size limit on the forums? My messages seem to get cut off occasionally.

    We don't have one. (Don't let that give you ideas, though. We do have unwritten, practical size constraints. We don't mind long messages, but if you put, say, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace in the body of a message, it would get deleted or snipped considerably (The bit in Book 9, Chapter 22, where Adraskin is shouting at Pierre might be left in.) , and we would probably have to hurt you.) We do have a known problem, however. I don't think it's at our end, it's at yours. The messages that get cut-off all seem to come from WebTV users, so my guess is that's where the problem is. How to fix it or work around it, that's something I don't know. Multiple shorter messages is the only solution I have at this time.

    If anyone has any further information on this problem, please let me know.

    There is a limit on subject length, however. 60 characters. If your subject runs longer than 60 characters, then it shouldn't be the subject, and the forum script won't allow it to, anyway.

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    : Why are the people with red/green names on the forums always on my case?

    You're doing something wrong. If the people with red/green names are actually "On your case", then you're repeatedly doing something you shouldn't be doing, so listen to what they say and stop doing it. The rules are posted here, so read them for a general idea of what not to do. The people in red/green don't go out of their way to "Get on anyone's case" (Takes far too much time), so if you stop doing the wrong thing, they'll leave you alone.

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    : I've lost my password! Help!

    Contact us. We can give you a new one. Of course, we'll have to administer a polygraph, a personality test, and check your DNA (We do have it on file, you know. That little hole on the CD-ROM drive that you thought was manual eject-- It's really a miniature surveillance device, complete with video camera, microphone, DNA scanner, accelerated mass spectrometer... We know EVERYTHING about you...) to make sure that you are the person you say you are as a security measure so that we don't give the password to the wrong person.

    Or you can always use the "I lost my password" button on the Log in page, but there's no fun in that.

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    : How can I get a graphic in my forum signature?

  • Step one: Make a graphic. Since it's for web viewing, it should be a JPG or a GIF or a PNG (But definitely not a TGA or BMP). It should also be less than 30K, as a number of forum visitors are using slow modems and would appreciate not having to download your 640x480 plain black name on plain white background that's a megabyte in size because you don't know anything about graphic design, image compression, and resizing or are too arrogant to care about everyone else. (The forum administrators have access to your signature and are able to change it if necessary. We will do so if your image is too large.)
  • Step two: Find some web space to put it up. This one's entirely up to you, we're not going to be a signature image archive for you. There are a number of places offering free web space, so one of them will suffice if necessary (Be advised, some hosting places do not allow external linking to non-html files, which means your image will be replaced by a "File Not Found" if you use one of these places). Do not, however, upload it as an attachment to a post on the forums, and link to that. Old posts get deleted, which means that your picture is very likely to disappear one day, instantly breaking every signature you've posted since that point.
  • Step three: In your forum signature, add a BBCode link to the image. ( [IMG]http://yourdomain.com/full/path/name/image.jpg[/IMG] ) For even though it says "HTML is on", the IMG tag has been disallowed due to a potential security exploit. Sorry about that.

    There you go, you have a forum signature image.

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    : What does Newbie or Lurker mean? Why do different people have different titles? Can I make my own title?

    They're the "User Titles". After a certain number of posts, a user's title will change to a higher level. Different people have different titles because everybody has a different number of posts. There are also custom titles which are not in the normal title evolution path. These are given by the board administrators as they see fit. You can make your own title if you're a board administrator, if not, you're out of luck. Begging for a custom title will make you progressively more unlikley to recieve one the more you try. Also, posting in an attempt to boost your rating will be noticed and is likely to lead to a ban for flood posting.

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    : What are the standard user titles?

    They are, along with the number of posts required to get each:

  • 0 Lurker
  • 1 Newbie
  • 10 Pac-man
  • 25 Mage
  • 50 Summoner
  • 100 Dragoon
  • 200 Light Warrior
  • 400 Hero of Time
  • 800 Super Smasher
  • 1600 Cid

    If you reach the 1600 level, and you haven't been working on it for a few years, you really should go and find something else to do. Seriously. Read a book. Build a trebuchet in your backyard. Compute the non-explicit Ackermann function with an input of 6, 4 by hand. Just get off the computer, unless you're welded to the seat, and if you are welded to the seat, find another website to go to.

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    : Didn't the title list used to different? What happened to the old titles?

    Well, that was a while ago now... you've obviously been around here a fairly long time, or at least you've visited the forums sometime in the past... I'm sure they're still around somewhere, though. Have a look around.

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    : But don't these poster titles promote competition and posting junk to get one's title boosted?

    No. Not that I've seen. The ones with the high titles are natural loudmouths anyway, they're not posting any more in order to get a better title. In fact, informal studies have concluded that giving a user a custom title and taking them out of the normal title evolution chain actually causes them to post more. So no, it does not. The only junk I've seen related to it comes from those who think the title system causes people to post more junk.

    Now, if you happen to see anyone that is blatantly posting in order to boost their rank, please let us know, so that we may hire somebody to remove all cartilage from their body using a spork. Wait-NO! I mean prohibit them from posting and change their title to "Permanent Newbie" or other such degrading title.

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    : What is BBCode?

    BBCode is like a simplified, cut-down, "Easytype" version of HTML coding for message boards and the like. It won't work as code in a normal webpage or in an IRC chatroom, for instance. On forums though it can be extremely useful as certain HTML commands are disallowed, such as IMG, unfortunately. For more information on BBCode, look here.

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    : What is the "Proper" way to make a request on a wishlist?

    Firstly, make sure you've read the announcement post at the top of the topic listing on the board. If you miss any of the things in there when making your request, your topic may be locked or even removed.
    The top tip for writing your request has to be this: Ask nicely and don't demand anything. Sequencers sequence for fun. Yell and them or be pushy and demanding, and that's a guaranteed way to have your request ignored. You don't need any music, and sequencers don't like it when you say you do.
    Here are some other tips:
  • Check both the archive and the new-files before making your request. Check other possibilities, too. Look under different name variants (As in, try "Legend of Zelda", "The Legend of Zelda" and just plain "Zelda") and on other systems (Some games have been released on multiple systems. The music for the PSX version of "Nacho Space Raiders II Alpha DeluX" is likely to be the same as the music that was on the Intellivision and Saturn versions). People don't like it when requests are made for songs that are already available.
  • Don't request music that is against the theme of our site or against the upload agreement.
  • Be patient. Very patient. Even if a sequencer says they'll make your song, it might take a few months for them to get around to it. They don't get paid for what they're doing, and often sequencing is a spare-time activity, so the more you get angry at the sequencers, the less likely they are to be nice and sequence the song you want.
  • Post your request on the appropriate wishlist. In other words, a request for the music for Spindizzy on the C64 does not belong on the Newer Systems Wishlist.
  • Don't request a song that can't be done in General MIDI. There are some things, no matter how far the limits are stretched, that just can't be done in the MIDI format.
  • Don't request a song from a game that isn't out and has no music released for it yet.
  • Don't ask that the music be e-mailed to you, or say that you're willing to share your collection in return for a certain file. Asking for a file to be e-mailed says that you're not interested enough to check the site periodically for it, and saying that you'll share your collection is useless, seeing that pretty much any sequencer will already have whatever file they might want from your collection.
  • Thank sequencers that make files you request. They're far more likely to make more when this happens.
  • Make your request specific. Don't say "I want the music that playing in the place with the guy you talk to". Say "I want the Forest Castle Music". Even if you don't know the exact title or location of a song, be as specific as possible. We can generally figure it out if we have enough information.
  • If making a single request, put the game name and song title in the subject line. That way, sequencers just scanning the boards will see it. Otherwise, make your subject line as appropriate as possible. Messages with subject lines such as "Please Read This!" are far less likely to be read than those which actually are related to the message inside.
  • Remember, this is a MIDI archive, as such, MIDI requests are preferred. Requests for MP3s are discouraged, as if you have the game, $5, and a Radio Shack or a good electronics or hardware store within a relatively decent drive, there's no reason you can't make your own MP3s (see here). Requests for other types will likely go ignored.
  • Never say "Can you tell me where to find...?" A question like this implies that you haven't bothered looking yourself.

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    : What happens if I don't log out?

    If you didn't check the "Log me on automatically each visit" box when you logged in, you will still be logged in for a short period after you've navigated away from the forums, but your login information will expire in time and so when you come back you'll almost certainly have to log in again. But if you checked the "Log me on automatically each visit" box, you don't have to log in next time. Seriously, that's about the only effect of not logging out. You don't stay visible on the "Who is Online" screen and there's no list of people logged in that the Administrators see or anything like that. If you're on a relatively secure computer (Like at your home or office), and no one else that has access to the computer is likely to visit VGMusic.com, then there's actually no reason to log out. (If you access this site from a computer lab or library or some other public computer, it's best to log out every time, though.) All logging in and out does is set a cookie on your computer which remembers your password. Our system does not keep track of who is logged in or not. The "Who is Online" screen keeps track of recent activity, so only people that have done something in the past five minutes will show up.

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    : Why don't you add feature "X" to the forums?

    Technically, we're not writing the forum script. The people at phpBB Group are. However, one of the nice things about phpBB is the amount of "mods", or "hacks", it has. No, I'm not talking about the people who write the script... (I don't know any of them personally, anyway.) I'm talking about customised (and indeed customisable) modifications which can be added to the script. There are quite a few of them around, so there might actually be one that is or includes the feature "X" you're looking for! We're not in the habit of installing mods for the sake of it, though. You don't see any pH-scale-based post rating system or animated mouse cursor trails or Word-A-Day calendars or even embedded graphing calculator applets on the forums, now do you? If you have a real suggestion for a feature though, the Bug Reports and Suggestions board is the place to tell us. If you want to be really clever, go out there and find the actual mod with the feature you want, and tell us all about it. But even then there's still no guarantee that we'll install it. Many mods are written with "operation on only one skin" in mind (almost any mod that would change the appearance of forum pages, in fact), so making one appear on all the skins means lots of time and effort, so your suggested mod would only be installed if it was really worth all that time and effort.

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    : What's the difference between image display size and file size?

    A whole lot. They're easily confused, but the distinction is well worth noting. If someone says, "Your picture is too big", they can mean two separate things. They could mean that it's not a good idea to have a 640x480 image for your forum sig, but they could also mean that it's not a good idea to have a 387KB file for your forum sig. Display size is the first, file size is the second. Through HTML, you can change the display size, but not the file size. Display size can be considered the "Physical size" of the image, what it outwardly appears to be, while the file size can be thought of as its "Weight", so let's think of a picture file as something big and heavy like an elephant for a moment. It's twelve feet tall and weighs five tons. In its ordinary condition, it would take a huge box, a big crane, and a couple of thousand dollars postage if you wanted to ship our elephant to, say, Portugal. But you think you've got a bright idea to save a few bucks on postage. You have a few friends, Height and Width HTMLtag, that are mad scientists and have been spending years on developing a Pachydermical Molecular Reorganizer. This device will allow you to shrink the size of an elephant down to that of a shoebox or even a Smarties box. However, it only alters the physical size of the elephant, not the weight. So, your big plan to save postage did nothing, all it produced was a very small and very angry elephant. Now, back to how this relates to computer images. You can use the HTML tags of HEIGHT and WIDTH in conjunction with the IMG tag to change the display size, but if you had a 387KB file before, you can set the height and width both to six pixels (Shrinking the elephant into a Smarties box), the underlying image is still going to be 387KB (Five tons) and take exactly the same amount of time to download (Amount of postage). So, the next time someone says "Your picture is too big", make sure you understand which "Too big" they mean.

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    : What should I do if I forget to attach a file to my post?

    Well, in the old days, you'd have to delete your post and try again, but now all you have to do is press "edit", then simply attach the file. This also lets you alter or delete your attachment if you realize it's the wrong thing. Don't make a new post just for the attachment, that's not necessary. Besides, it will draw attention to you and everyone will think you're an absent minded fool (Particularly if you miss the file the second time around, too...). Covering up your mistakes is always the better option.

    Of course, there are the times where you don't catch it in time and someone responds to your post, or the edit time expires, making it impossible to completely cover your tracks (Unless you wield the Enchanted Staff of Administration... Hee hee hee...). In that case, you're too late to do anything, so simply leave the original post there and make a new post, taking care to attach the file this time around, because if you miss the attachment twice in a row, everyone will know that you are an absent minded fool.

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    : I had an account here, but now it's gone. What happened to it?

    Most likely, it got deleted. Periodically, we run a script that expires accounts that have been idle for some time. So, if you haven't been around for two months or so, this is probably what happened. It clears out a lot of accounts of people who register accounts, but for some reason, never come back to use it, but occasionally it will get rid of the account of someone who just hasn't been around lately. To prevent this, simply read a post or two every few weeks. That should reset the last used date for your account, and prevent you from getting the electronic boot.

    Then again, there's always the possibility that we simply don't like you and deleted your account in an act of personal vengenance and no amount of account activity would have prevented this from happening.

    We can't save accounts from being wiped out due to inactivity (In fact, some admin accounts have been lost, at times...) , so if you're going to be unable to access the site for some time, you may give your password to a trusted person and have them access the account every week or so. Be warned, however, if they use your account for less than honourable purposes, your account will not be exempt from banning.

    Top

    : What are those little yellow "A" and "M" bubbles that some people have?

    They're administrator or moderator indicators. The people with the "A" bubbles are administrators, those with "M"s are moderators. (Tricky, eh?)

    Top

    : Right. So, what's the difference between an administrator and a moderator?

    The administrators have little yellow bubbles with an "A" in it, moderators have one with an "M". Weren't you paying attention?

    Oh, you want to know the real differences? Moderators can lock topics and edit posts on the boards to which they're assigned, as well as delete idiotic posts. Think of them as the local deputy sheriff. Administrators can do this on all boards, as well as edit profiles, create and destroy boards, among other ultra secret things. Think of them as forty foot tall robotic uber-enforcers, with fifteen arms, lasers for eyes, and the ability to fly and turn invisible. Basically, it's a good idea to suck up to the moderators, but it's a better one to suck up to the administrators.

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    : What are the limits on images in the forums?

    There's three types of images, profile, signature, and in-post pictures.

    Profile images: Profile images are limited to 150x150 by the forums, which means that if your original picture was larger, it will get crammed into 150x150. So, for the benefit of all, please actually use a 150x150 or smaller image for this. This will cut on loading time and processing time required, as it won't have to load or process useless data. The file size limit for a profile image, single frame or animated, is 30K. Under 10K is ideal.

    Signature images: There is no forum imposed image size limit for signature images, so keep it reasonable. You should keep in mind that some people may be viewing the forums with a 640x480 resolution, and with post headers on the side and other such things, the effective horizontal resolution of your post might be around only 350-400 pixels. Anything more and you'll give these people horizontal scrolls bars, which no one likes. Also, you don't want them to be too high, either. Around 150 pixels is a decent maximum height. And if you have a lot of lines of text in your signature, a shorter image might be preferable. So, consider something around 350x150 to be your maximum signature size. Most people would prefer it to be smaller, though. As for file size, that will again be 30K. There's no reason to have one take up more space than that, even if you have broadband.

    In-post pictures: Well, there's no real limits here, just a request: If you decide you have to post an image, particularly a large one, please make an HTML link to it, instead of an in-line IMG SRC. That will make it so those who do not wish to download or see your image don't have to. Proper usage would also include the image and file size following the link, so people will know what to expect.

    Violators will be YIKES!ed.

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    : One of my images was replaced by this ugly "YIKES!" thing. What is that?

    That means you've been YIKES!ed. One of your images (The one replaced) violated our image limits, and this is our way of saying "Fix it!". It is done to prevent other posts from being infected by large files or oversized images between the time we tell you to fix it and you actually get around to fixing it. It is believed that having an ugly sticker that shouts "YIKES!" will prompt people to take care of the problem in a timely manner.

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    : What topics of discussion are forbidden on the forums?

    The topics forbidden from discussion on the forums can be found within the Forum Rules.

    Top

    : How do I make a poll?

    It's a lot easier to make polls now on phpBB, but it still pays to get them right first time.

    You make a poll by using the "Add a Poll" section at the bottom of the "Post a New Topic" screen:

    Firstly, enter a "Poll question", if you haven't it won't let you make the post (if you enter anything in any of the other boxes in the "Add a Poll" section, that is).
    To add a selectable choice, enter the first option you want in the "Poll option" box, then click "Add option".
    To add more options, enter them into the blank "Poll option" box at the bottom one by one and click "Add option". If you want to change the order of the options, you can't do that directly, but you can edit the text, so you can cut and paste between boxes easily enough, or just re-type them if you want.
    If you want to put a time limit on poll submissions, you can enter the number of days you want to run it for in the "Run poll for" box. Be aware that it only takes integers; anything after a decimal point will be ignored, so 3.9 days will be taken as 3 days, not 4 days or 3 days 21 hours 36 minutes. If you're not bothered about how long it runs for, just leave that box.
    Make sure that you're asking the right Poll question, check your options are in the right order, and do make sure you've got enough options to get the response you want, or better still make sure you have enough options to satisfy the majority of people taking part, unless you're looking for responses complaining about your limited selection of options... With polls it's always a good idea to preview your post, too. You can fix mistakes after you've made the post now, but people might get suspicious if you switch categories around because you put them in the wrong order, so I'd recommend not changing anything while the poll is running unless it's absolutely essential and instead I'd recommened getting everything perfect first time.

    Top

    : How come no one ever responds to my requests?

    There's a number of possibilities. Maybe, for no reason at all, no one likes you, so they've all joined a pact to never respond to a single one of your requests. Or, you didn't follow the PRMs and came off like a complete jerk, so everyone has a reason for not responding. The reality of it is probably far closer to this: No one responded because no one wants to do it. Now, it's not because of you at all, it's because sequencers do this in their spare time, entirely for fun, so they tend to do what they want to do, rather than what someone else wants them to do. No level of pleading or begging will get it done, either, so there's no point in replying to the request two days later with a post that says "Please please please do this!". As for the staff not responding, well, the staff doesn't often make the MIDIs, so a response from them would be basically "Hey, I see your request there. Great." But they're not going to make the file, and they can't force anyone to make the file, so that would be completely pointless. Most of the requests made by those of us who work here go unanswered.

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    : Why is every newbie greeted by fifteen people telling them to "Read the FAQ"? Is that some sort of rule that I don't know about?

    They are? That's news to me. But even if they are, take a look at the forum rules. Do you see it in there anywhere? If you do, do tell me about it. It shouldn't be there, there isn't a rule to tell new people to read the FAQ (or the forum rules, for that matter). New people should be reading the forum rules themselves anyway, that is a rule. And after that, reading the FAQ is still a very very very very very good idea. So if people want to point that out, though they certainly don't have to, I have no objection to them doing so. If the people pointing this out have proved elsewhere that they've never read the FAQ at all, though...

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    : What is the Black Death?

    I don't think it'll happen again in the near future, but in case you're taking forum history classes:

    "Dangerous, destructive, and something to run from if it should happen to reappear. It is a disease caused by a corrupted database which spreads among the users, killing them indiscriminately. If it hits you, your profile is as good as dead, and you will be forced to start your life over as a Newbie again. If it doesn't hit you, consider yourself lucky. (It should be noted that the Black Death is not a virus, and it will not affect your computer. It will only destroy your profile at the forums.)

    The symptoms: When the Black Death strikes, the first sign for many users will be black boxes found on the User List page. The black pages are those which contain the names of the victims. If you see this occur, log out immediately. Do not continue using the forums with your profile, as you risk being hit yourself. If you are able to log out, you should be safe, and you may use the forums anonymously until the problem is cleared up. You are not as lucky, however, if you find out about the Black Death by getting a big list of errors at the top of every page that basically say that you don't exist. That means you have been struck and are likely to have been destroyed. Log out if you can, but be prepared to delete your VGMusic.com cookie to clear your log-in information if that doesn't work.

    What to do in the event of an outbreak: Log out immediately. Save yourself first. Then warn others, particularly the staff, who may be able to prevent the spread of the disease, or at least put out an official warning and open a temporary refugee camp (That allows anonymous posting) for survivors and victims to congregate until things can be taken care of. Panic openly and loot local department stores. Do not log back in until given the all clear.

    By the way, do not publically post the complete contents of an error message related to the Black Death. It may contain information that can be used to gain access to your account (If it happens to survive...). Only send those messages to the staff.

    And to set the record straight, the original outbreak was not due to hackers or a virus. It was a flaky server, that's all. Hopefully we don't have a flaky server now, so this shouldn't be a problem."

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    : Why did the count of registered users suddenly drop?

    It most clearly did not drop. You must be hallucinating. That's why you shouldn't eat the mushrooms from the backyard. They make you think that the number of users was high and that some magical expiration script came along and cleared out inactive users.

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    : I'm having a problem uploading/downloading files from the forums.

    Uploading: Most uploading problems have to do with impatience. Press the button and wait. Don't cancel, don't quit, don't try to send it again. Just sit and wait and eventually it should go through. Other times you'll get a message saying telling you that a particular file type is not permitted. That means the forum won't let you upload that type of file. Most common file types should be permitted, however if one you want to upload is not, then simply zip the file first (Or ask us to add that file type). Another issue comes in the form of invalid filenames. Occasionally, a character in the filename will confuse browsers, so they won't be able to open the file. To be safe, only use letters, numbers, dashes ( - ), and underscores ( _ ) in your filenames. Take special care not to use spaces or apostrophes, as those are the most common problem causing characters. Finally, mind the file size limit. You can't upload files larger than the limit (And you shouldn't be doing that, anyway).

    Downloading: Actually, most downloading problems are caused by people who didn't upload correctly. The only one you can fix is the space in the filename problem. If you can't download a file that had spaces in the name, copy the address of the file and paste it into your browser's address bar. Then, replace all the spaces with "%20". In other words, "This Has Spaces.mid" will become "This%20Has%20Spaces.mid". That should let you get the file.

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    : How do I get a profile image?

    First: You must upload the file somewhere. That implies that "Making the image" is something already completed (Which means that "Making the image" should actually be the first step, but since The First Step is a TV show with Ed Bernstein, I can't do that for fear of trademark infringement). The image should be a jpg, gif, or png, something that is compressed. Also, profile images have a maximum size of 150x150, which means you should use an image no larger than 150x150 for this, a larger image would have to be scaled on the fly, slowing everyone down and looking hideously distorted. A final requirement for the image is the file size. There is a limit of 30K for profile images, whether or not they are animated. Any larger and you've done something wrong, so go back and fiddle with the compression some more. You should be able to get it under 10K. Anyway, back to uploading... The forums allow you to upload and store a profile image on our server, so that's probably the easiest thing to do. Click on "Profile", then scroll down to the "Avatar control panel" and look for the "Upload Avatar from your machine:" box. Put the full path to the file in this box (you can get this by clicking "Browse..." and looking around your computer for the file). Then click Submit.
    If you do not choose to do that, you must upload the file somewhere that allows external linking. Most free sites do not allow this any more, and I am not going to keep a list of places that do. Special note: You cannot link to a file on your hard drive. You can see it just fine, but since "c:\pictures\me.jpg" is not likely to be a file that any of us have on our computers, we'll just see a broken image box. You MUST upload it to a server somewhere (Or run a server on your own computer, but if you know how to do that, you probably don't need to read this entry, and if you don't know how to do that, I'm not going to tell you).

    Second: Link the file in your profile. If you uploaded the file to our server, that's already been done for you. Otherwise, click on "Profile", then scroll down to the "Avatar control panel" and look for the "Link to off-site Avatar:" box. Put the full path to the file in this box and Submit.

    Third: View your profile to test your image. Don't make a post to test your image, that is not necessary, and if you fail to delete it, it wastes space and gets in the way.

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    : How can I change my forum username?

    Unless you're an administrator, you can't do it yourself. Your username is listed alongside editable things in your profile, but you can't change it there. PM an administrator, such as myself, and ask nicely. Make sure you make it clear exactly what you want your name to be changed to, you can have the username "Edge or Gash" if you really want and it fits any of the approval criteria, but you probably won't be able to get it changed again right away, so do make sure it's obvious what your choice of replacement is.

    Here are some general name change guidelines:

    You have a high likelihood of geting the name change approved if:

  • It adds spaces to your existing name, in order to break words or replace underscores.
  • It makes your existing name less annoying.
  • It moves away from a "Trendy Name" toward a more stable, long term name. Trendy names are names stolen from whatever game is popular when you started using the name, but after a month and a half, you've sold the game to FuncoLand and grown tired of the name.
  • It is a name you are already known by, either here or in the chatroom.
  • You've been around long enough to deserve that sort of thing without a reason.
  • You're an administrator and you can change the name yourself.

    You have a high likelihood of getting the name change denied if:

  • It makes your name more annoying. Don't add 1337-sp33|<, hAcKeR CaPz, or special characters, or any other such nonsense.
  • It's a Trendy Name that you'll be tired of in a month once you've stopped playing the game and sold it to FuncoLand.
  • It's a spur of the moment thing that you'll regret in a week, or it's a joke that you don't plan to keep. Be warned, we may actually approve those, just to deny the change back
  • You just registered. If you're new, you should have registered the name you wanted to begin with.
  • You're a lurker and we have no idea who you are or why you want the name changed.
  • It is not appropriate for all audiences.
  • We don't like you.
  • You've already changed your name within recent memory. Please keep your identity crisis off our boards.
  • It makes absolutely no sense.
  • It's too similar to someone else's name.

    We will not approve every change that falls into the first set, and we may not reject every change that falls into the second set. Please do not take a name change rejection personally. Also, please give name changes some serious thought before submitting them. We're not likely to approve multiple changes, so if your change is approved, you're going to be stuck with it for a while.

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    : Hey! Where did my post go?

    It went away.

    Oh, you want more information than that, huh? Well, you could be blind. It's probably right there in front of you, and you just don't see it. Or, if you posted it over a week ago, then it's probably gone way down the list. Scroll down and you should be able to find the topic you posted. It may have jumped over to the next page, so if there's multiple pages of topics on the board, check those too. Keep in mind that we don't really like it when people revive dead topics, so if you have to go to the bottom of the third page of topics find it again, then we're not likely to want to see you posting to it. If the message is too old, though, it's probably been expired, so you'll never find it that way. Another possibility is that the topic was moved. Try looking on the forum where you should have originally posted the message, as that's where you'll probably find it. Lastly, there is the possibility that the topic was deleted. This doesn't happen very often, and when it does it happens for a reason. If you can't find one of your topics, do not assume that it was deleted without first looking everywhere for it. Yelling at the staff for deleting one of your posts (Particularly if they did no such thing) is a fast and easy way to get a number of your future posts deleted.

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    : Why do people register and never post?

    Does it really matter? Honestly, does it? If you're concerned about why people register a username and never post anything with it, you've got a pretty good life. Other people have unemployment, starvation, terminal diseases, or final exams to care about, but you want to know why there's lurkers.

    Oh, I guess you want an answer... People register and never post for a number of reasons. Sometimes they'll miss the part that about the account activation link being sent through e-mail, so they'll put a fake e-mail or one that's just plain wrong, then wonder why they can't log in and beg us to fix it. Other times, they think the place looks like someplace they'll want to be a part of, then a Bewitched marathon on TVLand will distract them and they'll forget about us here. Occasionally, someone that has been banned will try to register another name, thinking incorrectly that it'll get them around the ban. However, by far, most of the people who register and never post do so in order to become hidden and hang out on the Who is Online screen, watching and recording your every move, so they can report you to the Office of Homeland Security the moment you do anything that can be construed as subversive.

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    : How can a Guest be "Viewing Private Messages"?

    That's what's called a "Bug". The forum system reports a visit to the "Login to check your private messages" page as "Viewing Private Messages", which means that anyone logging in that way will get that. Sometimes, it'll be an actual registered person just on their way in, other times it will be an unregistered person just messing around.

    More to the point, however, is that if you notice this happening, you're spending way too much time reading the Who is Online screen.

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    : Can I learn how to sequence by making a request for requests on a wishlist, then picking some of them to train on?

    We'd rather that you not do that. It's not really fair for any of the parties involved. First of all, you don't know what you're getting into. A request of requests on a wishlist usually generates a hundred replies from people who expect to have their song made. They will get angry if you don't pick their particular song, even if you've never heard of the system the game is on, let alone the song they want. Then, if you agree to take it, you will be pestered day and night until you're done, then you will be pestered for their second most favourite song. You don't really want to be pestered constantly by a hundred people, only to have you produce a file that sucks, disappointing them. That's where it's not fair to them. You don't know what you're doing. You've just said that you'd like to learn sequencing by making a request, that means you don't actually know how to sequence. So face it, the first batch of songs you make will suck. That's an undeniable law of the universe. Beginning sequencers suck. (As do many long-time sequencers, but let's stay out of there...) Any file you produce out of this endeavour will be horrible. That's the start of the road to improvement, you must first be bad in order to become good. The trouble is, that file you just made, the one that's awful and sounds nothing like the original song, you made that file specifically for someone. Someone has been waiting night and day for a week to be able to have the melodious aura of perfection flow forth from their speakers, and the file you just gave them is malodorous waste water from a sewage treatment plant. They're not going to be too happy about it. Right in line behind that first guy are the five other people you've raised the hopes of, and you're probably going to disappoint them terribly, as well.

    However, feel free to learn by taking a previously made request. That way, you won't be advertising yourself as a sequencing wonder, capable of turning out exact reproductions, so you won't set anyone up for disappointment, plus, you won't get overwhelmed. And if you can't find a request on the boards that you'd like to do, there's probably something that you want done, so fulfill your own request.

    If you absolutely must make a request for requests, then also post a sample of your work so the requesters will know what they're in for.

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    : I've been banned. Now what do I do?

    Shut up and go away. That's usually what we'd like for you to do. Don't post anonymously on the wishlists. Don't test the board's word filter, screaming at the staff. Don't go for revenge of any kind. Here's why: Officially, bans are for 45 days. Unofficially, we usually don't ban someone for 45 days at first (Unless they're totally hopeless...). The first ban is usually for a day or two. It's a simple kick in the head in the hopes of straightening you out. There are a number of people who have been banned in this way, and have turned around, becoming relatively productive, happy, and well-adjusted members of the community. Of course, there are others who have been banned in this way, and decided that, since they are the ruler and master of the universe after all, and we must bow in front of them and follow their every demand, that they will not submit to something as low as a ban, and they will post a series of obscenities and insults until we have no choice but to unban them to get them to stop. To date, that strategy has not succeeded, nor will it ever as long as our forum delete button still works. Acting like that will cause us to lengthen the ban you have received from one or two days, up to the full 45 days, after which we will conveniently forget to unban you.

    And whatever you do, don't come groveling to us, begging to be unbanned. That will not work. In fact, the more you say to us while you are banned, the less likely we will be to want to unban you. And don't try to say that you've changed after twenty minutes. You haven't changed. You've proven that you're an idiot, through and through. That's why we banned you to begin with. That will not change so quickly. If you've truly changed, you'll show it in your actions. Of course, if you've been banned multiple times, we are very, very unlikely to unban you, no matter what you say about changing or being a different person or what not. We have no mercy and we have no pity for those who so proudly flaunt their stupidity. Multiple bannings are only given to those who demonstrate the ultimate mastery of the art of being a moron, so there is a very slim chance that you have actually changed. When we tell you to shut up and go away, just shut up and go away. We don't want you around anymore. That's why we're saying that. In fact, by shutting up and going away, you're actually demonstrating to us that you have, in fact, actually changed. We're still not going to unban you.

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    : The Who is Online screen says there are five registered users on, but I only count four. What gives?

    You can't count. Plain and simple.

    Or there's a user that's set themselves to hidden, so they'll get counted in the total, but won't be displayed in the listing. And if there is, the page should say so, too.

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    : XBox suXx0rZ! GC/PS2 RoxXerZ!

    We do not tolerate fanboyism here. If you wish to use someone's request for XBox MIDIs as a platform for spouting your irrational and ill-conceived hatred of Microsoft, you will be banned. The XBox is a legitimate gaming platform, so posts regarding it are legitimate and welcomed. You might not like the system, you might not understand why anyone else would, but that does not allow you to moan and complain when someone actually does declare that they like it. Live with it. There are plenty of other sites where that kind of behaviour is tolerated, so please go to one of them.

    And this is not simply directed at people who hate the XBox, that's just the example I'm using because it's so prevalent. There will also be no posts of "The GC sucks cuz it's kiddie" or anything along those lines.

    Now, it's okay to hate something, and it's okay to let your opinion be known in the appropriate circumstances. Blindly tearing apart any post at the mere mention of the object of your hatred is not an appropriate circumstance. Also, you must have a legitimate reason for hating something and you must be capable of articulate that reason. "I hate this because the camera makes the game entirely unplayable, the music is awful, and the voiceovers are horrible" is a legitimate reason. "I hate this because it's a cross between a mindless trading game and a doll house, and I don't understand where the gameplay value is to be found, not to mention the terrible graphics and ear-splittingly bad music, which serve to make the entire experience marginally less pleasant than passing a kidney stone" is a legitimate reason. "Cuz it sucks", "Cuz it's Microsoft/Bill Gates", and "Cuz it's kiddie" are not.

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    : Can I be a moderator?

    If you have to ask that question, the answer is no. And if you haven't already read this line, the answer is an even bigger no.

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    : Can you please ban me so I can't come back?

    No. If you want to leave and not come back, then just leave and don't come back. That's how simple it all is, you see? Let me give those instructions again:
    1. Go away.
    2. Don't come back.
    Don't bother us about it, all right? It takes effort to ban somebody, and we're not fans of effort. In other words, you're wasting our time. Generally, when someone wants to be banned, they're terribly depressed and think that nobody likes them. Well, guess what... If you go around whining about how you have no willpower to stay away from a place where nobody likes you, you're going to push the people who were on the fence about you firmly into the "What a whiner, I don't like them" camp. If you seriously feel that nobody likes you around here, yet you do not have the willpower to stay away, then I strongly suggest seeing a professional about your problem. Addiction is not healthy, and it definitely can't be any better tied to depression.

    We're also not going to ban you because the kind of person that asks to be banned is shocked by the fact that we actually did ban them and won't unban them a week later when they decide to come back.

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    : Regarding idiots.

    When idiots come around, ignore them. DO NOT respond to them, under any circumstances. That encourages them to post more, which, in turn, makes the problem worse. Leave them alone and let those of us who can handle the problem take care of it. Don't even respond with posts like "Can someone please ban this guy?". That's not going to make them go away, that's only going to make the posts that you want to get rid of come back up to the top of the listing, where they'll be replied to by the person you want to get rid of. In some cases (Such as massive flood posting), it might be a good idea to head to the chatroom and tell someone there (If there's a staff member that isn't idle) so they can take care of it.

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    FAQ maintained by: dw_junon, so comments, questions, etc. regarding it should be sent here or posted on the appropriate message board.