This post explains how to do basic things like navigate the forums and create posts with pictures and videos included. The Table of Contents contains links which can be used to skip to a section of particular interest.
Guests are free to browse the forums here. A few additional browsing options exist for members who log in with their usernames and passwords. Becoming a member is free and easy to do. Click on the "Join" link in the upper right corner of the page to get started.
EisPiraten.com is composed of several forums and subforums under three general categories: Trip Reports, Mountain Talk, and Off-topic.
Trip Reports contains two forums devoted to stories about adventures in the mountains. The San Gabriels forum offers reports concerning trips in the San Gabriel Mountains, while Other Ranges includes trips to mountains other than the San Gabriels. Other Ranges also contains several subforums which serve as archives for older reports by region or type.
The Mountain Talk category contains three forums devoted to all other discussion regarding the mountains. While these forums focus on the San Gabriels and nearby ranges in Southern California, many members also discuss other mountain ranges throughout California, the United States, and the rest of the world.
General Discussion includes two subforums created for more popular subject matter. Flora & Fauna & Fungi contains posts about various biological organisms found in the mountains, namely plants, animals, and fungi. While Gear & Fitness covers a wide range of related subjects: clothing, footwear, equipment, tents, tools, skills, techniques, GPS units, technology; also food, drinks, supplements, nutrition, exercises, performance tracking, etc.
The Off-topic category has two forums devoted to discussions unrelated to the mountains. The Pub is an all-purpose forum for chatting about anything. And Admin & Tech Support is where you are right now. It is for discussing the Forum itself and finding technical assistance.
To begin browsing topics, click on the name of the forum you want to enter. For example, let's look at General Discussion.
Subforums appear at the top of the Topics page. Underneath them are announcements and then sticky posts. Announcements contain important information of a general nature. Sticky posts usually indicate popular topics or discussions. And below those are the newest posts from members.
Enter a subforum to continue browsing, or click on an interesting topic to begin reading messages in a thread.
After reading a topic thread, you can then return to the Forum Index by clicking on the link in the upper left side of the page.
Or navigate to the previous or next forum topic using the links in the upper right side of the page.
Or quickly move to any other forum by using the Jump To menu located in the bottom right corner of the page.
From an Index page, you can also navigate directly to the latest post in a forum or topic by clicking the page icon in the far-right column.
Members who log in enjoy additional browsing options. For example, on the main Index page, forums with new posts are marked by an orange icon next to the title.
Also, members can generate a list of new posts by clicking on the designated link in the upper right side of the page.
Clicking on "View posts since last visit" runs a search for unseen posts, making it a little easier to browse for new content.
2. Searching The Database
EisPiraten.com is home to several hundred registered members. We have posted over 50,000 messages throughout the various forums. This site is a valuable resource packed with information about the mountains around Los Angeles and beyond. Learning to search the database will enable you to more easily locate specific bits of knowledge.
Guests are free to query the database for various topics and posts. Sorting through the memberlist, however, can only be done by registered members who log in to the forum. Becoming a member is free and easy to do. Click on the "Join" link in the upper right corner of the page to get started.
Also in the upper right corner of the page is a Search link. Click on it to begin a database query.
The Search Query page looks like this.
There are many query options. A few basic ones will be explained here. The others you may want to teach yourself, as they can be useful in more advanced searches.
Let's take a basic query example. Suppose you came here looking for some information about sheep in the mountains. Simply type the word "sheep" into the first keyword search box.
Click on the Search button at the bottom, and your result should look something like this.
This query produced 236 results in the form of a list of topics. Unfortunately, this list is not particularly helpful, because most of the topic titles don't even mention sheep. We need to refine the search. Let's narrow the query to the forum devoted to animals and other living organisms. In the Forum field, select Flora & Fauna & Fungi and redo the search.
Narrowing the query to a particular forum greatly improved the results. Now there are only 36 matches, and most of them clearly focus on sheep.
Now let's say you met one of our members on a hike, and you want to find his or her posts. Suppose you met Dima. First type "dima" into the Search For Author box. Then, next to "Display results as", select Posts.
Hit the Search button, and your results should look something like this.
Searches can also be run on a particular category. Category-specific queries include several related forums, but exclude the unrelated forums from other categories.
Additional query options are available. Using them should be fairly straight forward. But if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask someone for help in the Admin & Tech Support forum.
Members who log in to their accounts also have the option of accessing the Memberlist, for which there is a link in the header area of the site.
Clicking on the Memberlist link takes you to the database of all our registered members.
This database can be filtered using the drop-down boxes above the far right column. There are several sorting options. Let's take one example and sort the list by Top Ten Posters.
If we sort the Top Ten Posters using the Ascending order, our first page appears like this.
Note that the list begins with members who have zero posts. This is because the Ascending option goes from least to most posts. In order to generate a list that displays most to least, we must select the Descending order.
Now the first page of results includes the true Top Ten Posters.
Searching and sorting the database greatly improves the usefulness of this site. These operations, however, can require some time and patience to learn. If you need help, feel free to PM (personal message) or email me (Sean) using the buttons below this post.
3. Replying To A Topic
Members who log in to their accounts can reply to topics. A simple reply is very easy to create. In the upper left area of the Topic page, begin by clicking on the Post Reply button.
This will take you to the Post A Reply page.
In the middle of this page is a large blank box for typing your response.
Hit the Submit button at the bottom of the page to post your reply to the forum.
If composing a lengthy reply, you should take precautions against losing your message in the event of a connection issue. For example, periodically copy and paste your text into a separate Word document. [Note: If your message includes BBCode or HTML, make sure you copy all of that stuff too. Also, there should be no need to re-upload image files in the event of a connection loss, because those pictures have been stored in the site's permanent gallery, and the copied code should still work to embed them in your recreated post.]
The forum offers several features to enhance your reply post. For example, to the left of the message box is a menu of available emoticons.
Click on whichever emoticon you like, and the appropriate BBCode will be inserted into your message.
You can also include a title for your particular reply by filling in the Subject text box at the top of the form.
Other basic features include bold, italic, and underline text. Let's look at how to create some bold text.
First, move the pointer over the "B" button and note the instructions that appear below.
You can always manually type in the BBCode like this:
Or, in the course of typing your message, you can use the "B" button (or ALT+b on your keyboard) to open and close the bold tags. Hitting the "B" button will automatically place the code into the text box. To begin bold text, hit the "B" button once. Then hit it again when you want to end the bold text.
Or, simply highlight the text you want to format before hitting the button.
Here let's wrap the highlighted text with underline tags by clicking on the " u " button.
Other features are explained in later sections of this manual.
Before submitting your reply, check the formatting by hitting the Preview button at the bottom of the page.
This shows an example of how your text and code will be rendered in the final post. If everything looks good, hit the Submit button to publish the message to the forum.
4. Quoting A Post
Often it is helpful to quote the post, or a portion of the post, to which you are replying. This is especially so when referencing another reply and not the original message in the topic thread. Quoting allows readers to follow the flow of conversation and understand the context for your particular message.
To reply with a quote included, click on the Quote button next to the post you want to reference.
The Post A Reply page will open with the quote already inserted into the message body.
Note that the entire quoted message appears, wrapped in the BBCode tags for a quote.
If referencing only a portion of the prior post, trim the quote by deleting unnecessary parts of the text, while preserving the quote tags.
Now type your reply below the quote.
Check the formatting by hitting the Preview button at the bottom of the page.
When done, click on the Submit button to publish your message to the forum.
Using the Quote button makes it easier for readers to find the referenced post by clicking on the link within your reply.
5. Creating A New Topic
Feel free to create new topic threads and post whatever you like here, within reason. Please refrain, however, from submitting obscene or abusive content, and/or ad spam. Such messages will be deleted, and your account might also be deleted or banned without warning, depending on the nature of the circumstances. With that said, do not let confusion about where to post a topic frustrate you. Post it wherever you like, and one of the admins will move it to the proper forum if necessary.
To create a new topic, first navigate to the forum in which you would like to post something.
In the top left corner of the Topics page, click on the New Topic button. This opens the Post A New Topic form.
Draft your message on this page. Enter the title of your topic in the Subject field. Place your composition in the Message Body field. Then hit the Submit button at the bottom of the form to publish your post to the forum.
For additional details on how to format a message, please read the third section called Replying To A Topic.
6. Inserting A Link
Linking to another website from your forum post is very easy. First visit the website to which you want to link. Highlight and copy the URL.
Then return to the message body of your forum post and simply paste in the copied URL.
This will produce a link to the chosen website in your final post.
For proper BBCoding, wrap the URL in URL tags. This will differentiate it from any other text you might add to the message later.
You can also create a hyperlink so that certain bits of text or words become a clickable link to the other website, and the actual URL does not appear in the final message.
Those three options, including the BBCode and Preview, look like this:
7. Attaching A Picture
Before attaching a picture to your post, please first reduce its size to 1.5 MB or less. You might receive an error message if you try to attach pictures much larger than 1.5 MB.
To attach a picture to your post, follow these steps:
a. Click on the Attach File link below the text box.
b. At the Upload File screen, hit the Choose File button.
c. In the Open File window, navigate your personal files and find the picture you wish to attach. Highlight it and hit the Open button.
d. Back at the Upload File screen, the name of your picture file now appears next to the Choose File button. Next to "Reduce image size to fit", select the 640x480 option. (If your image is less than 1.5 MB, you may select any of the other resizing options, but the uploaded picture might not fit on a standard computer screen and might appear too large in the post.) Now hit the Upload File button and wait a few seconds for the file to upload.
e. The picture will upload to the Forum's permanent gallery. Then some BBCode will appear in the text box of your post. Its function is to embed your image from the gallery into your post.
The code is automatically inserted at the end (or bottom) of all pre-existing text. To place the image elsewhere within the body of your message, use cut and paste to move the code to the desired location. Where the code appears in the message body is where the picture will appear in the final, published post.
8. Embedding A Video
To embed a video in your post, wrap its URL in video tags like this:
Wrapping a YouTube video URL in these BBCode tags produces an embedded video in your post.
Unfortunately, some non-YouTube videos do not work with the video tags.
To get your YouTube video's URL, follow these steps:
a. Go to YouTube and find the video you want to embed.
b. Below the video, click on the Share button.
c. This will generate a box with a URL. Highlight and copy this URL.
d. Then paste the URL into your post here and wrap it in video tags.
Before the video's URL put this bit of code:
And after the URL put this:
9. Sharing A Topic
To share a forum topic to Facebook, first click on the topic title from the Topics page.
On the Message page, hit the Facebook Share button in the top right corner.
This opens a new window called Post To Facebook.
In this window you can change the various Facebook posting options, such as where your post will appear: on your own Timeline, on a friend's Timeline, in a group, on a page, etc.
Using this feature creates an embedded snapshot of the shared forum topic on your Facebook post. Remember to add your own comments before hitting the Post To Facebook button.
10. Updating Your Profile
To change the information in your member profile, begin by clicking on the Profile link in the upper right corner below the Forum's header title.
A form opens where you can update various sections of your membership account details.
In Registration Information you can change your email or password.
Under Profile Information, change your website, location, interests, etc. You can also add a signature that will appear at the bottom of your posts.
In Preferences you can decide whether to show your email address, whether to receive notifications of replies to your posts, and many other things.
And in the Avatar Control Panel you can select a small icon or picture that appears under your username when you post a topic or reply.
Upload your own avatar creation, or link to one on the Internet, as long as it conforms to the stated size restrictions. You can also click on the Show Gallery button to pick an icon from this site's avatar gallery.
A thumbnail preview of your selection will appear as the current image in the Avatar Control Panel section.
When finished, hit the Submit button at the bottom of the Profile page. Your information will be instantly updated, and the details that appear next to your posts will change accordingly.