Parts is parts forum organization

Parts is parts forum organization

Parts is parts forum organization

Every forum consists of three main areas:

  • Message boards (similar to electronic bulletin boards), where forum members exchange messages with each other.
  • File libraries, where forum files are stored.
  • Forum conferences, where forum members talk to one another in real time via their keyboards.

All of these sections are made up of multiple topic sections. And each of those sections, in turn, represents a more focused area of interest within the main forum topic. For example, the Florida Forum has sections for Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, St. Petersburg, and other locations.

In many forums, the sections constantly change. You can log on to a forum today and find ten sections, but you might log on next week and find twelve. This is because forum SysOps (System Operators, the people who run these things) are always trying to keep their forums up-to-date. They add new sections that may be of greater interest to their members, and delete sections that see little or no traffic. So when you see sections mentioned in this book, be aware that they could have changed between the time I wrote the book and the time you read it.

Navigating through forums

When you enter a forum, the Home Desktop changes dramatically. All of the buttons and tabs change, and the screen looks something like what you see in Fig.

Parts is parts forum organization

Browsing through forum messages

The very first thing I do when I enter a forum is browse through the mesĀ­sages. You can find lively discourse on a variety of topics related to the forum’s main area of interest (well, most of the time they’re related).

When you click the Message Boards button, you have the option of reading, sending, or searching through messages (select the corresponding tab). To read messages, click the Read tab. You’ll see the Message Sections list shown in Fig. 7.3.

Double-click a specific message section (or highlight the section and click the Open icon), and all the message topics for that section appear. Note that message topics are displayed only for those messages that have been posted since you last visited this forum. Double-click a message topic (or highlight the topic and click the Open icon), and the first message in that topic thread is displayed (see Fig. 7.4).

Plain English, please!

A thread is a series of related messages on the same topic.
Listing section in a forum Fig. 7.3
Reading a forum message Fig 7.4

The buttons at the top of the window are the tools you use to move around.

from this first listing, you can do several things:

  • Read the message.
  • Move to the next messae in the topic (click the right-pointing arrow button above Messages.
  • Move to the previous message in the topic (click the left-pointing arrow button above Messages).
  • Move to the first message in the next topic (click the right-pointing arrow button above Topics).
  • Move to the first message in the previous topic (click the left-pointing arrow button above Topics).
  • Move to the “parent” message to this particular thread (click the up arrow button above Parent).
  • View a “map” of all messages in this topic (click the Map button).
  • Reply to this message (click the Reply button).
  • File the message in your filing cabinet.
  • Add the author of the message to your address book.
  • Close this window and return to the message topics list (click the Windows Cancel button).

If a particular arrow is “grayed-out,” that means you’re at either the end or the beginning of a message thread; you can’t go any further in that direction!