BBS Navigation Tips
Navigating through this BBS is quite intuitive. Chances are, you can find your way around very easily, without reading this document. If you plan on becoming an active reader/poster on this BBS (and we hope you do!), then you will probably get a lot out of this page -- so keep reading. I guarantee even a "seasoned veteran" will learn something about navigating the BBS that he/she didn't know before they came here.
There are three main types of pages you deal with when navigating the BBS: The Main Read Page, the Message Post page, and the Archived Main Read Page. This document breaks down those three sections, and explains the various links/buttons that you will encounter.
The Main Read Page
The Main Read Page is the "bulletin board page" where the messages are listed. You have two choices when browsing through the Main Read Page: the Thread Sorted version (the default) or the Date Sorted version. There is a link to the other version at the top of each of those pages (i.e. if you're on the Thread Sorted page, there is a link to the Date Sorted page, and vice-versa).
The Thread Sorted page sorts messages according to subject, with the replies falling in an organized fashion BENEATH the original posts. The latest message post is always at the top of the current grouping.
The Date Sorted page is sorted as you might imagine, with the newest message post listed at the very top. Both of those versions contain the same basic "header" of helpful links:
The Main Read Page also contains target links: Down (appears above the message-posts), and Up (near the bottom). They do exactly what they say. If you click on the former ("Down"), you'll shoot down to the bottom of the page, if you click on the latter ("Up"), you'll shoot back up to the top of the page. This can be quite handy when the page gets lengthy.
There is one more section on the Main Read Page: The Archive List (near the very bottom of the page). As the Main Read Page fills up with posts, it automatically archives at a set interval (every 80 posts). Each time it archives, the current posts are moved to an archive page ... numbered accordingly. You can navigate to the various archive pages using The Archive List. If you're interested, you can read more about The Archival Process.
The Message Post
Arguably the most important aspect of the entire BBS, a Message Post is quite obviously a message that a person posts to the BBS. When a message is posted, it is automatically assigned a "Post Number" and is listed in the proper place on the Main Read Page. For navigation purposes, each Message Post contains a header section of links that exactly mirrors a footer section; both contain the following important links:
If there have been any replies to the message you're reading, you'll see a section near the bottom of the current post that says "Replies to this message:" and beneath that, you'll see a listing of one (or more) replies, including the author's name and the time/date posted. In this manner, you can very effectively navigate an entire thread.
If you would like to post a response to the message you're reading, simply click on the "Respond" button at the top of the page. The default is to post your response only, but you can choose to either post, post and email, or just email the response using the checkboxes to the right of the button. When the Response form is displayed, you'll also notice that you have the option of sending a CC (carbon copy) of your message to one (or more) email address(es). All email options are available for registered users ONLY.
When reading a message response (that is, a response to an original post), you'll notice a line that looks similar to the following:
At 23:17:39 PST on 05-03-96, Scott wrote:
The words "Scott wrote" will be a link to Scott's original message. If you are reading a message response that is quite a ways into a thread, you can easily navigate up to any of the posts in that thread (assuming that everyone has left the "headers" intact).
Archived Main Read Page
Whenever a Main Read Page is archived, the current posts are "sucked" off the main page, and placed in the archived page. This allows us to keep the main read page at a very minimal size, which lets you download it quickly. More information on the archival process is available.
Each archive is numbered; the lower the number, the older the archive. Each archived page is almost identical to the Main Read Page. There are two new links added to the top of these pages, and the Archive Listings do not appear at the bottom of these pages.
The first new link is the Archive N link(where "N" is the number of the next oldest archive). If you click on this link, you'll go to archive number N. Just as with the Main Read Page, you can view archived pages in thread or date sorted mode. The second new link is the title of this BBS, The Club House. When you click on it, you will be taken to the Main Read Page of the BBS.
A word on cached-pages and reloading
This BBS was created with the idea that it could be very busy; new messages being posted all the time. In light of this, whenever you click on a link that loads the Main Read Page, you are actually running a "script" (or "program") that displays the most current page. In effect, it is as if you went to the Main Read Page and pressed the Reload button on your browser. Likewise, whenever you post a message or response, the Main Read Page is displayed ... this too is the most current form of the page. For the most part, you should always be seeing the most current page available. If you are using Netscape Navigator, you should turn on "Verify document every time" under Options >> Network Preferences >> Cache.