The Magic Café
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to register?
How do I register as a member?
How do I use the "permanent" login feature?
What if I forget my password??
How do I change my profile?
How do I personalize the way the board works or displays?
Can I use smilies?
How do I get a picture by my name?
Can I use HTML in my posts?
What is BB Code, and how do I use it?
Can I edit my own posts?
Can I attach files to my posts?
How do I use the Private Messages feature?
Can I search the forums?
Can I search private forums?
How do I use the topic subscription system?
Can I add a signature to the end of my posts?
What are the moderators duties?
What are the ranks in The Magic Cafe Forums?
How does the post tracking system work?
Where can I find Magic Cafe announcements?
Not Registered?
Anyone may read posts here at The Magic Cafe without being a registered member. However, if you would like to post a reply or start a topic, you must first register here.

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Register as a Member
To register at the Magic Cafe as a new member, click the "Register" link at the top of the forum index page. Fill in your username and email address. Be sure your email address is correct, as a password will be emailed to you. You may log in using your newly created username and the password you receive by email.

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Lost User Name and/or Password
In the event that you lose your password you can click on the "Lost Password" link provided at the top of most of the pages. This link will take you to a page where you can fill in your username and email address. The system will then email a new, randomly generated password to the email address listed in your profile. You may then log in with the random password, and change it in your profile if you wish.

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Edit Your Profile
You can change your member profile at any time, as long as you are logged in. Following are some guidelines for changing your profile:
  1. Username: If you wish to have your username changed please send a PM to Gene or Mary B. Members may not change their usernames themselves.
  2. Password: You must type in your current password in order for any changes you make to take effect.
  3. New Password and Confirm Password: To change your password, fill in the new password in both of these fields.
  4. Email Address: You may change your email address by simply typing a new one in the text box, subject to any email address restrictions.
  5. ICQ Number, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN Messenger: If you use any of these services, and you want all the board members to see your "address", type the address into the appropriate textbox.
  6. Facebook & Twitter: Facebook and Twitter information is now available in any member's profile.
  7. Web Site Address: If you have a website and want all the board members to be able to see a link to it, type the full URL (http://whatever.com)in the text box.
  8. From: Where do you live? Type it in the box.
  9. Occupation: What do you do for a living? Type it in the box.
  10. Interests: What are your interests or hobbies? Type it in the box.
  11. Avatar (user picture): The Magic Cafe allows you to upload a small picture to be displayed below your username on all your posts. This is to be a small photo or likeness (artists rendering) of yourself, no other types of images will be allowed as avatars. Please read the complete requirements for avatar use in the "Cafe Rules and Ettiquette" forum before uploading your avatar. Avatar images that don't meet the requirements will be removed by the staff.

    The file size and dimensional limitations are displayed below the upload box. Click "Browse" and navigate to the image file on your hard drive. Click to "Open" the file, and it will appear in the upload box.

    Your avatar will be displayed next to all your posts upon submission of the form. If you return at a later date to edit your profile, you will see your current avatar displayed. If you want to change your avatar, simply upload the new one following the instructions above. If you decide that you want no personal avatar, check the "Remove Avatar" checkbox.
  12. Signature: Here you may type in a personalized signature to add to your posts. You can use BBCode to format the text. To activate your signature, you must log in and click the link to "Edit Preferences". There you can choose to "Always attach my signature".
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Edit Your Preferences:
You may change your preferences at any time. You must be logged in to access this area. Following are some guidelines for changing your profile:
  1. Allow other users to view my Email Address: If you check the box your email address will appear in your member profile for all to see. If you don't check the box, only Moderators and Administrators will be able to see it.
  2. Send an email alert to me when I receive any private messages (PMs): If you chack "Yes" you will be sent an email every time someone sends you a Private Message. If you check "No", then no email will be sent to notify you.
  3. Block receipt of non-reply PMs except from forum administrator(s): If you check "Yes" only the Moderators and Administrators and people you have sent a Private message to will be able to send you Private Messages. If you check "No", any registered board member will be able to send you a Private Message.
  4. Always disable Smilies when posting messages (code entered shows as text): If you check "Yes", any smilies you type into your posts, or click on to insert to your posts will be displayed as text. If you choose "No", any smilies you use will appear as images in your posts.
  5. Always show clickable smilies near New Topic and Reply posting boxes: If you choose "Yes", you will be able to click on the smilies to put them in your posts. If you choose "No", the smilies will not show on the page near the posting text area.
  6. Always attach my signature: Choose "Yes" to have your signature attached to all your posts and Private Messages you send.
  7. Always show hover color on forum index and forum listing pages: Choose "Yes" if you want to see the hover color. This will make the entire table cell a clickable link.
  8. Always disable BBcode: Choose "Yes" to disable BBCode in all the places where BBCode may be used. If you use BBCode to format your posts and Private Messages, choose "No".
  9. Text sizes for posted messages: The Magic Cafe offers several text sizes for posted messages. You may select the one which looks best to you.
  10. Board Language: Some of the headings on the board can be shown in different languages. This feature is not quite ready - translations from English are needed to make it fully functional. Until furthur notice, English is the only language that is fully functional on this board. The others in the drop-list are only partially completed.
  11. Display Time Zone: The Magic Cafe now offers the ability to change the times shown on the Cafe. Please note that the choices do not generally reference countries, they represent continents. For example, New York would be "America/New York", and London would be found as "Europe/London." This is due to PHP's accepted location codes.
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Smilies
Smilies are keyboard characters used to convey an emotion, such as a smile :) or a frown :(. The Magic Cafe automatically converts certain smilies to a graphical representation. For your convenience, clickable smilies have been placed near the message box. (You must activate this feature in your Preferences.)

If you want a smilie in your post just click on the smilie and the required code will be inserted in your message. Once a smilie is clicked they may cease moving, so get a good look at the different smilies before you click on the first one.

You can also highlight and drag the smilie code from one place in the message box to another. Smilies may be inserted to your Private Messages by typing in the smilie code where you want the image to appear in your message. The following smilies are currently available for use at the Magic Cafe:

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How do I get a picture by my name?
To upload a picture (avatar) that will show under your username, follow the instructions found in the "Edit Profile" section of the FAQ. Only a likeness (photo or artists rendering) of yourself is allowed to be used as an avatar, no other type of image is allowed. Please read the complete requirements for avatar use in the "Cafe Rules and Ettiquette" forum before uploading your avatar. Avatar images that don't meet the requirements will be removed by the staff.

If you need help creating your avatar image, use this form and the Cafe Tech Advisor will help. Your avatar will be created and sent to you via email. Due to time constraints, please allow at least three days for your avatar to be made and sent to you.

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Using HTML
For security reasons, no member is allowed to use HTML in their posts here at The Magic Cafe.

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Using BBcode
BBcode is a variation on the HTML tags you may already be familiar with. You can use BBCode to format the text in your messages, indent a quoted passage, make a formatted list, and insert remote images (images located on another server) into the body of your messages. BBcode may also be used to add an image to your signature and your private messages.

URL Hyperlinking
There are two ways of creating a clickable hyperlink in your messages. The first way is to simply type the full URL into your message, as follows:

http://themagiccafe.com

OR:

www.themagiccafe.com

Notice that you can either use the complete http:// address or shorten it to the www domain. If the site does not begin with "www", you must use the complete "http://" address. Also, you may use https and ftp URL prefixes in your URL link.

The old [URL] code will still work, as detailed below. Just encase the link as shown in the following example (BBcode is in yellow).

[url]www.themagiccafe.com[/url]

You may also post true hyperlinks using the [url] code. Just use the following format:

[url=http://themagiccafe.com]Click here[/url]

In the examples above, the BBcode automatically generates a hyperlink to the URL that is encased. The message board scripts ensure that the link is opened in a new window when the user clicks on it. Note that the "http://" part of the URL is completely optional in the first and second examples. In the third example above, the URL will hyperlink the text to whatever URL you provide after the equal sign. Also note that you should NOT use quotation marks inside the URL tag.
Email Links
To add a hyperlinked email address within your message, just encase the email address as shown in the following example (BBcode is in yellow).

[email]stevebrooks@themagiccafe.com[/email]

In the example above, the BBcode automatically generates a hyperlink to the email address that is encased.
Bold and Italics
You can make italicized text or make text bold by encasing the applicable sections of your text with either the [b] [/b] or [i] [/i] tags.

Hello, [b]Steve Brooks[/b]
Hello, [i]Mya Angel[/i]
Bullets/Lists
You can make bulleted lists or ordered lists (by number or letter). Unordered, bulleted list:

[list]
[*] This is the first bulleted item.
[*] This is the second bulleted item.
[/list] This produces:
  • This is the first bulleted item.
  • This is the second bulleted item.
Note that you must include a closing [/list] when you end each list.

Making ordered lists is just as easy. Just add either [LIST=A] or [LIST=1]. Typing [List=A] will produce a list from A to Z. Using [List=1] will produce numbered lists.

Here's an example:

[list=A]
[*] This is the first bulleted item.
[*] This is the second bulleted item.
[/list]

This produces:

  1. This is the first bulleted item.
  2. This is the second bulleted item.
Adding Images
To add a graphic within your message, just encase the full URL of the graphic image as shown in the following example (BBCode is in yellow).

[img]http://yourdomain.com/images/picture.gif[/img]

In the example above, the BBCode automatically makes the graphic visible in your message. Note: the "http://" part of the URL is REQUIRED for the [img] code.
Quoting Other Messages
To reference something specific that someone has posted, just cut and paste the applicable verbiage and enclose it as shown below (BBcode is in yellow).

[QUOTE]Ask not what your country can do for you....
ask what you can do for your country.[/QUOTE]

In the example above, the BBcode automatically blockquotes the text you reference.
Code Tag
Similar to the Quote tage, the Code tag adds some <PRE> tags to preserve formatting. This useful for displaying programming code, for instance:

[CODE]
#!/usr/bin/perl
print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
print "Hello World!";
[/CODE]

In the example above, the BBCode automatically blockquotes the text you reference and preserves the formatting of the coded text.
Adding a Youtube Video
The Magic Cafe now offers the ability to add youtube videos to your posts. This applies to any forum and the PM system.

In order to post a youtube video you will need the video's ID number. In the example below, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx would be your video ID encased with the youtube BBcodes.

Example:

[youtube]xxxxxxxxxxxx[/youtube]

You must not use both HTML and BBCode to do the same function. Also note that the BBCode is not case-sensitive (thus, you could use [URL] or [url]). Incorrect BBCode Usage: [url] stevebrooks@themagiccafe.com [/url] - don't put spaces between the bracketed code and the text you are applying the code to. [email]stevebrooks@themagiccafe.com[email] - the end brackets must include a forward slash ([/email])

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Editing Your Posts
You may edit your own posts, unless someone has replied to it or 30 minutes has passed since your post was made. To edit your post, go to the thread where the post to be edited is located and you will see an edit icon on the line above your message. Click on this icon and edit the post. No one else can edit your post except forum moderators or The Magic Cafe Administrators.

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Attaching Files
You may attach files to your posts here at the Magic Cafe. The allowable limits for file attachments are listed below the "Attachment" box. Click the "Browse" button and locate your file on your hard drive. Highlight the file, and click "Open" to attach it to your post.

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Questions about the Private Messaging System
For any questions relating to the Private Messaging system, please see the separate FAQ for the PM system.

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Searching For Specific Posts
You may search for specific posts based on a word or words found in the posts, a user name, a date, and/or a particular forum(s). Just click on the "Search" link at the top of most pages.

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Can I search private forums?
No. When you do a search, any Private forums at the Magic Cafe are excluded from the search. Links to topics in The Banquet Room forums will be shown, but if you don't have access to these forums, you will get a warning message when these links are clicked.

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Adding Signatures
You may use a signature on your posts. If you click on the profile link at the top of most pages, you will be able to edit your profile, including your standard signature. Once you have a signature stored, you can choose to include it in any post you make by checking the "include signature" box when you create your post. To have your signature automatically included in all your posts and private messages, click the "Edit Preferences" link at the top of most of the forum pages, and select "Yes" for that option. This bulletin board's administrator may elect to turn the signature feature off at any time. If that is the case, the "include signature" option will not appear when you post a message, even if you have stored a signature. You may also change your signature at any time by changing your profile.

Note: You may use BB Code in your signature to format the text.

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Topic Subscriptions
The Magic Cafe now offers a topic subscription system. All registered members, regardless of their level of access, may subscribe to any topic at any time. A member may subscribe while reading the topic by clicking the Subscribe button above and on the right of the first post on the topic page. A member may also subscribe to the topic when posting a new topic or a reply. All members may unsubscribe from a topic at any time by clicking the Unsubscribe button above and on the right of the first post on the topic page.

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Moderators
Here at the Magic Cafe, we have several Forum Moderators. They are here to help ensure that the discussions are kept friendly, productive, and on topic. They can edit a post or delete posts completely if need be. They can move an entire discussion to a different forum if the subject of that discussion is more suited to a different forum. Additionally, the moderators will be making spelling and grammar corrections in any posts that need these. They may lock a topic against further posts if the discussion has run its course. Admins and forum moderators reserve the right to close or delete any post that violates the policies at the Magic Cafe. If your post is edited (except for grammar and spelling) or deleted, You will receive a Private Message or email to explain why. If your topic is moved to another area, a notice to that effect and a link to the new location will appear at the former location of the moved topic. For your convenience, there is a special forum at the Magic Cafe where you may post any questions or suggestions you may have about the features of the message board.

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What are the ranks for? The Magic Cafe Forums?
The Magic Cafe Forums have established methods to classify their users by activity through the number of posts.


The current ranks are as follows:


The Adminstrator also has the option of assigning special ranks to any user they choose. The above table does not list these special ranks.

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Absolute Topic Tracking System
Here at The Magic Cafe we have developed an absolute topic tracking system which uses the database instead of cookies. This system is cross-platform friendly, meaning you can visit the Cafe on your home computer and the topics you have read will still show as read on your mobile device, assuming no messages were posted in the interim. You may mark any individual forum as read, or you may mark all forums as read. "Mark All" buttons are shown below and to the right of the last forum or topic on the page. Those buttons will be displayed only if there are unread forums or topics. The cups are controlled by database data for all registered and logged-in members. Those who browse the Cafe without being logged in will fall back to the existing cookie-driven system. We believe this new system or marking topics a member has read will be much better than the old system run by cookies. Additionally, this system goes all the way down to the post level. A "NEW" icon will be displayed above and on the left of the posted message if the member has not displayed the message in his or her browser before. Once read, the "NEW" icon will not be shown on any subsequent views.

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Announcements
There is a forum near the top of the list where announcements will be posted for the Magic Cafe members. Additionally, the forum Administrator has the ability to send a generic Private Message or email to all the members.

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