Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category


March 26, 2011



How Not to Run a Forum

November 18, 2009

Want to start a forum? Currently an admin? Allow me to give you a few suggestions on things you may want to avoid.

  • Being a robot. Each rule has its exceptions.
    • “Necro” posting is sometimes okay. For example, if User A posts a thread asking for a solution to a technical problem, and the thread has died (fallen off the first page some time ago) without anyone giving a solution, it should okay for User B to post if they really do have a correct and helpful solution to this user’s problem. User B most likely found the thread via a search on Google, and by posting a solution, it allows anyone in the future who encounters this problem to find the solution on this thread they found via a similar or identical search. If the user doing the “necroing” is actually the first to post a correct and helpful solution, don’t reprimand them for helping people. (Do warn them if they’re posting something useless, though.)
  • Making tons of subforums. Unless there’s tons of users.
    • If you divide the general discussion forum into a bunch of different topic-related subforums before your userbase is large enough, what little discussion there was before will just dry up entirely. That is, unless they complain and you do change it back. And some will complain, regardless of if there is enough posting to justify segregating threads. Take a look at what threads are discussed in great volume, if any, and carefully consider whether it’s big enough to warrant its own forum. If not now, maybe later, so keep this in mind.
  • Leaving a rule or policy unwritten. They won’t know it’s there.
    • I once joined a forum to discuss the latest page of a webcomic. I went to the comic discussion forum, and noticed there were threads for all the recent pages but the newest. So after reading the rules, I created one, only to have my thread deleted and recreated by a moderator. Apparently, only moderators can create comic discussion threads in that forum. (Seriously, this shouldn’t even need to be a rule. Pretty much every message board system should have the capability to restrict topic posting to moderators and admins in any particular forum(s).)
  • Rule list of length longer than WPToS. Lots of tl;dr.
    • Keep it simple. This is a forum, not Scientology. My guideline: more than 40 words, less than 400. I know people don’t often actually read the rules, but if it’s too long, nobody will.
  • You act like a douche. I mean, suppose you do. Don’t do that.

(Have any other ideas? Post them in the comments! Thanks.)

#4: Animals, Warfare, and a Washing Machine

March 26, 2009

Hey, it’s been a while. I’ve got more stuff for you, reader(s).

First off, we’ve got a cat who loves a bag. And sticking its head in the bag. Also, another cat doing the same with a box. And some baby animals. Awww–HOLY CARP IT’S A BEAR IN A TAXI!

Now a more serious paragraph. You may have heard of the drug wars going on in Mexico, or maybe you haven’t. Either way, it’s much too easy to ignore if you haven’t seen it for yourself. Personally, I’d like to have marijuana legalized, so we would be rid of the dangerous black market fueling those conflicts. (I’d also like to end the war on terror, but that’s an even less likely prospect, unfortunately…) The least we could do is stop arresting people for owning a particular plant.

Let’s talk about energy a bit. Most people would like to see a reduction of dependency on fossil fuels and a move to cleaner, longer-lasting energy sources, like wind and solar. As for me in particular, I would very much like to see more energy coming from nuclear — thorium, in particular. I wrote a bit on the subject once, but this blog, Energy from Thorium, goes into much fuller detail.

What with the state of the economy, a lot of people are trying to be frugal. So, I share these with you. There’s Hillbilly Housewife, which has a lot of tasty, low-budget recipes. And here’s a recycling guide! (Can’t call yourself frugal if you don’t recycle, now can you?) Finally, the washing machine that requires no electricity. Not yet in production, as far as I know, but it should be. Clever girl…

A couple more things before I go, informative things. First, if you’re an American, I suggest you watch some of LearnYourRights‘ videos. Remember, if you don’t know all your rights, you effectively won’t have all your rights. Oh, and here’s a pretty good free online library. Go read some stuff, expand your mind.

How to Create Paper-free Flash Cards

February 17, 2009

Want to make some flash cards to help you study something, but don’t have enough index cards? Don’t want to waste paper and time? Frugal? Here is how you can fairly quickly and easily create some flash cards to use on your computer, using a handy widget.

  1. It’s a Yahoo! Widget, specifically. You’ll have to go here to download the Yahoo! Widgets base first.
  2. Then you can download the widget itself, Flashcards. You can then open it up and it’ll be added to Yahoo Widgets.
  3. Next, create a text document (.txt) in Notepad (or whatever other simple text editor you use) to type in the text that will be on the cards. Each line will be a new card, and in between the two phrases/words/whatever on each side of the card, place a horizontal bar, |. It’s Shift+\. There is an example file with German words, you can look at that if you don’t understand what I mean.
  4. Save the file to a place that you’ll remember, and start up Yahoo! Widgets.
  5. In Flash Cards, right-click the widget itself and then Widget Preferences. In the General tab, you can change the text file that is used for the flash cards to the one you created (or got from somewhere else).

And that’s it! Hope it helps.

Now back to studying I go.

A final note: if you’ll be using Unicode characters (i.e., characters other than the ones you can directly access on an English keyboard, like é and ô), you’ll need to save in Unicode encoding. This can be accessed in Notepad by using the “Encoding” menu in the “Save As” dialog.

(Updated April 27th for more clarity.)

#3: Cats, Comics, and Cars

January 16, 2009


First, three comics: One that’s really old, one that’s kinda old, and one that’s not old.

Down on the right: A thumbnail link to possibly the oldest comic I’ve ever seen (and it’s brilliant), Little Nemo.

Click to view full size. Careful, it's big.

Second, a Calvin & Hobbes archive. I don’t think I need to explain it; whether you’ve heard of it or not (and you should have), go and read the last really good newspaper comic the U.S. has had. (Ended 1995.)


And on the left, I link you to the latest Three Panel Soul: “On Somniloquy”.

Now on to non-comic related stuffs. How about a hybrid car that not only looks good and has efficiency, but also is affordable? Well, we’ve got one coming now from Honda, priced at $20K.

How about some cats? And another cat, this time with some dogs?

Here’s a sweet deal. Say you’ve got a Wii. Those Wii Remotes, or Wiimotes as they should be called, use Bluetooth. Wanna use that to control your mouse cursor?  If your computer didn’t come with Bluetooth, you’ll need this, and you’ll need to follow this tutorial. Oh, and if you just wanna use that extremely affordable dongle for, say, transferring files with your Bluetooth-compatible mobile phone, that’d work too.

Have fun.

#2: For fans of Mr. Rogers, Ernest Shackleton, and music.

December 23, 2008

First we have a video. For those who have never seen Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, I’m sorry about your childhood. Oh, and there’s plenty of clips on YouTube for context.

Next, a couple comics:

  • A recent iteration of garfield minus garfield. It’s one of my favorite ones, check it out.
  • A comic featuring the disembodied heads of Ernest Shackleton, Pythagoras, and Charles Darwin planning to rescue the disembodied head of Amelia Earhart, who got lost in the Bermuda Triangle again.

And finally, for the music fans.  I found something amazing. I’m sure you all know about Pandora already. If you don’t, you must be new to the Internet? It’s free web radio that can create custom stations based on a submitted track/artist name, and plays music you may not have heard based on how you rate them. Many of you may have also heard of, a music-oriented community that, with a compatible player, can display the tracks you’ve listened to lately, and allows you to meet people with similar (or different) musical tastes.

Well, I found a site that combines the awesomeness of both.


(Of course you’ll need an account on both sites. Both are free.)

Following this blog using the RSS

December 2, 2008

If you’re like me, you may want to follow updates on a site without having to check it so often. One great way of doing this is to make use of an RSS feed, if the site has one (which this blog does). The feed will notify you of every update I make. Here’s how to subscribe to it.128px-feed-iconsvg

If you’re using Internet Explorer 7, you can subscribe to the feed using the Feeds toolbar button. If you don’t see something that looks like the orange icon on the right, you can right-click on the toolbar and go to “Customize Command Bar” > “Add or Remove Commands…” and add the Feeds button. Once you’ve done this, if you’re viewing this blog, you can click the dropdown arrow of the button and then click “YAOMTC’s Latest RSS Feed”. (This will change when I give this blog a better name.) You can then subscribe to the feed.

If you’re using Firefox, you can simply click on the same icon on the right end of the location bar and subscribe that way. It even allows you to choose the method you’ll use to subscribe to it. I personally prefer Google Reader.

And that’s that. Comment if you have any questions!