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View Full Version : Questions for old AOL SDMB board people


05-27-1999, 08:45 PM
I found this board in early April, so I've been around about 7 weeks. When I found it there were ~200 people registered and I don't know how many topics, but every thing from the previous day would show up on my monitor w/o scrolling. That the experience has been dynamic is an understatement - I think the reg. users # is in the mid-1200's and topics - ? I (new to MB's) have learned some stuff:
- it is addictive;
- try to think about what you say (I know Cecil will sleep well tonight knowing the message is getting out);
- don't get on a political/religious thread unless you've got the time and determination to stick it out until the inevitable draw (I've seen some passionate arguments and NO battlefield conversions)
- if you're really seeking info, take the most reasonable sounding of what is offered as good leads.

So, questions:

Did the old board change as quickly as this one has been over the last few weeks?

Are you happy w/the new board? I.E. (hmm, I've never used that at the start of a sentence before - seems odd to capitalize - and do you just cap the "I" or use better grammar?) do you feel like you want to keep up the fraternity?

Do you like the new software? I gather from reading posts that there was some sort of mystery to capturing a quote and that w/o it one might be at a loss as to which thread the poster was answering, rebutting... W/this software you can easily see what thread you're on and if need be, ctrl+c and ctrl+v work fine for copying and pasting.

05-28-1999, 12:08 AM
Answers:

(I am guessing that you are not familiar with newsgroups. The AOL message boards act in ways very similar to newsgroups, but with some special technical differences: e.g., there was not a way to display a clear path of messages and responses in a "tree" format the way that DejaNews, MS Outlook Express, and good message readers provide.)

I'm not sure what you mean by "changing quickly." In terms of volume, the old MB ran at a fairly steady (high) rate of new posts and new threads each day. It would spike upward when AOL ran a promotion or when a hot topic appeared. There was a steady increase of the base number of posts over time.
If you mean did the personality of the board change? The answer is yes, but more slowly. At different times new, interesting posters would cause a flurry of activity that was shaped by their personalities. At other times, school or work would take posters away and their absences would affect the personality of the board. (There were also spikes in the load when particularly nasty trolls appeared--many regs simply could not resist a fierce battle, even with idiots.)


In general I like the new board. I'm looking for a T3 line so that I can read the whole thing every night. Reading a single thread (topic) is much faster now, since it is a simple matter of scrolling the posts. However, waiting for a thread with 150 posts to open takes forever. Many nights I skip topics that I think will be dead ends, simply because I don't have time to wait for them all to open. On the old MB, I'd have read every post on the grounds that one never knew how a thread might fly off on a tangent leading to a fact, an insight, or a witticism that might otherwise be missed.
Threads/topics here stay pretty much on track. That can be nice (especially since I have a reasonable chance of not missing a good post if the thread seems to be a dead end), but then, some of the most lively discussions in the old MB were on tangents.

There was no real mystery to quoting on the old board. However, threads were organized by linking individual posts rather than by tacking each new post to the end of a single "document." Each post that was read was flagged so that it did not automatically appear the next time the MB was opened. This meant that any given post could be on topic or could be a tangent (or could be out in left field looking for a clue). It was essential that some portion of the specific topic/statement to which you wanted to reply be copied into your post so that your comments did not read like an intercepted fragment of a shortwave broadcast at 3:00 a.m. One technical glitch that occurred, here, was that the MB did accept HTML. That would have ben fine, except that occasionally someone would code greater than > after a quote and less than < before a quote and (if the text inside the signs looked to HTML like a command) the quoted text would be lost.
(Some folks have indicated that ctrl+C and ctrl+V are not working on this site, but I have not had a problem with it.)

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Tom~

06-01-1999, 09:21 AM
to answer your other question, the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. are always rendered in lower case. Your confusion may arise from the fact that they are almost never used to start a sentence, since they are always used to amplify or provide examples of another part of a sentence. Your mistake (a very minor one) was in splitting your sentence into two.

By the way, not that you asked (and you used it correctly) but it makes my english major teeth grind when people mix these two up. i.e. stands for id est ("that is") and is used as you did, to clarify or expand on a point. e.g. stands for exempli gratia ("for example") and is used when listing specific examples of a general case. But you knew that.

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Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

06-01-1999, 11:37 AM
As someone who was fairly active on both the old AOL board and this one, my opinion is that I generally prefer the format of the old board and the content of the new board.

06-01-1999, 04:33 PM
A big advantage to the old board was the ability to list the topics alphabetically. This made it much easier to locate specific topics you were particularly interested in following.

06-01-1999, 05:36 PM
I sorely miss the "List Unread" option. Although, maybe someone with a newer version of Netscape has this option, I don't know.
The icons by the thread title don't seem to work for me. I mean, what the key says they should indicate, they don't. Sometimes entirely new threads come up with the "No new posts since your last visit" icon, so unless "last visit" means to Netscape, even without visiting Straight Dope, it makes no sense.

The blue/grey unread/read indication doesn't correlate my reality either.

They are so many people here, I'm having difficulty keeping track of who is who.

And it sucks not being able to have italics and boldface-- although it's pretty good that no one can have a two-foot purple and lime green signature.

I like being able to say "sucks."

And I like being able to see who started a thread.

Most of all, though, I like NOT HAVING TO HAVE AOL AS MY SERVER. AOL sucks.


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--Rowan

If my mother had been in charge of the War on Drugs,
it would be "Just say 'No thank you.'"

06-01-1999, 07:33 PM
And it sucks not being able to have italics and boldface-- although it's pretty good that no one can have a two-foot purple and lime green signature.

What do you mean, no italics and boldface?

06-01-1999, 09:34 PM
I LOVE Drain Bead! :)
Peace,
mangeorge

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Work like you don't need the money.....
Love like you've never been hurt.....
Dance like nobody's watching! Source???

06-01-1999, 11:53 PM
quote:

>>>>And it sucks not being able to have italics and boldface-- although it's pretty good that no one can have a two-foot purple and lime green signature.<<<< --me


>>What do you mean, no italics and boldface?<< --Drain Bead.

Apparently not on my version of Netscape, which is from, like, the Bronze Age. I can't find fonts anywhere, and as you see, when I C&P something that has fonts, I lose them. How do you get them? Do you use Netscape, or are you still just using AOL?

For the crap I don't have to deal with on AOL, I happily give up fonts-- still, those movie titles.... ::sigh::


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--Rowan

If my mother had been in charge of the War on Drugs,
it would be "Just say 'No thank you.'"

06-02-1999, 12:18 AM
Is there some reason you can't download the new version on Netscape?

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"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter Thompson

06-03-1999, 04:54 PM
Apparently not on my version of Netscape, which is from, like, the Bronze Age. I can't find fonts anywhere, and as you see, when I C&P something that has fonts, I lose them. How do you get them? Do you use Netscape, or are you still just using AOL?

When you get to the reply screen, look below the "submit reply" button, and you'll see a link to the UBB Code directions.

06-08-1999, 10:30 AM
There's no wacky colors and, as a result, no PerkyDan. Definite plus.

06-13-1999, 05:57 PM
I liked having my sig included automatically.

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"Age is mind over matter; if you don't mind, it don't matter." -Leroy "Satchel" Paige

06-13-1999, 07:06 PM
AHEM...what do you mean OLD SDMB people? I am sir/madam, affronted. <snif>

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WE are all pilgrims on the same journey - but some pilgrims have better road maps.