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Last Edited:
12-Sep-2004

 

VHHScott Forum is a web-based "pull" application. Most likely you will come to VHHScott Forum through your web browser from a link on a site you are visiting. The link is a button below every page, marked Join Forum. Once you reach the VHHS Web Forum, the next step is to join the conversation, as described in the following sections.

Some of the VHHScott Forum's features such as frames, file attachments, Cookie Authentication, and Chat have certain browser requirements. At minimum you should use a level 3 browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Note that Internet Explorer 3.0 does not support file attachments without an additional plug-in, which is available from Microsoft. In general, we recommend you use a level 4 browser such as Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer 4.0, both of which are available from their respective vendors.

Logging in to VHHScott Forum

The goal of VHHScott Forum is to foster communication among groups of people with similar interests or common goals. One way of achieving this goal is to have known people in the group. With VHHScott Forum that means registering as a user on a board and providing some amount of information for others on the board to see. The VHHScott Forum user registration process is accomplished when you log in to the board.

On most boards, you can be a guest and simply look at conferences and messages. If you like what you see, you can log in as a new user and create an account by providing some information about yourself and selecting a user name and password. Once you have an account, you can join in the discussion as a full-fledged member of the community. You can think of this as similar to becoming part of a new group of acquaintances, colleagues, or friends. You listen for a while and then join in. Once you are a member of a board, you still log in, but it's only to let others know you are there and to identify your postings.

The VHHScott Forum administrator has three choices for determining who are valid members of a board, a process called authentication. Depending on what authentication method he or she chose to use, your login procedure and choices may differ. The three methods are as follows:

Cookie Authentication

This method is most common and allows you to enter a board as a guest, a new user, or an existing user. You can have VHHScott Forum remember your login name and password (with a cookie, a bit of information stored safely on your own computer) to make subsequent logins quicker by bypassing the login page. The cookie is valid for up to six months.

Basic Authentication

This method requires that you give your login name and password each time you want to enter the board. Basic authentication boards have a slightly different procedure for logging in, including a login page that looks different from a cookie authentication page. In addition, some basic authentication boards do not allow guest access. Basic authentication boards provide the tightest security.

No Authentication

This method requires no login or registration. Participants to a no authentication board can come and go without having to join or provide a login name or password. On a no authentication board, you are welcomed by the IP address your browser sends. To identify your postings or join a chat session, you must give a name and email address. No authentication boards are most common for large, public forums where subjects change frequently.

Logging in to VHHScott Forum using these three methods is described in the following sections. Note that an administrator can choose to limit access to any board (called a closed board) and unless you are an authorized user, you will be denied access to the board.

Logging in to a Board using Cookie Authentication

As noted above, Cookie Authentication is the most common method for logging in to VHHScott Forum. When you point your browser at a board with Cookie Authentication, VHHScott Forum displays a login page. From this page, you can log in as a Guest, a New User, or an Existing User, as described in the following sections.

Logging in as a Guest

If you just want to browse the conferences without posting messages or participating in chat, you should log in as a guest. To do so, click Guest on the login page. The main VHHScott Forum page appears with the Conferences list and a welcome message.

Logging in as a New User

If you want to participate in a board either by posting messages or chatting, you must be a registered user and have your own VHHScott Forum account. In some instances, the VHHScott Forum administrator has already set up an account for you with a login name and password. If so, go to the section on "Logging in as an Existing User." If you do not yet have an account, you can self-register and create your own account by selecting a login name and password and providing some additional information such as your real name and email address.

When selecting your login name and password, keep in mind the following:

your login name and real name should be different
some boards use the login name while others use the real name to identify users and their postings (so be careful what you use for a login name)
your password should be different from your login name and you should keep it secure
your login name must be unique so you may be asked to use a different login name.

To log in as a new user, follow these steps:

  1. On the VHHScott Forum login page, click New User. The New User Information form appears.
  2. Follow the directions on this page and fill in the required blanks (marked with red dots). You can later change or add to this information by editing your user profile (see the section ).
  3. At the end the form, select whether to view VHHScott Forum in frames or non-frames mode. The default is frames, which enables you to view the Conferences list while reading and posting messages. To use frames, you must be using a level 3 or higher browser. If your browser does not support frames or you prefer to not use frames, select the No frames mode.
  4. When you have completed entering information on the form, click Create. If your login name is unique, VHHScott Forum creates the account and displays the main VHHScott Forum page. If your login name was already being used or some other information was missing, you must complete the form again and resubmit it.

Your browser may warn you that cookies are being sent whenever you log in to a board using Cookie Authentication. Click OK to accept the cookies. You can turn off these warnings in your browser if you like.

Logging in as an Existing User

If you already have an account, you simply enter your login name and password in the textbox on the login page. Click Enter to complete the login. To have VHHScott Forum remember you on future visits, check the Remember my password box. As long as you enter the board from the same browser, VHHScott Forum recognizes you, skips the login page and immediately displays the board's conference list. Note that saving your login information is security risk. If your VHHScott Forum contains sensitive information, you should not have your password remembered.

If you misspell your name or password, VHHScott Forum displays a page for you to try again. If you can't remember your login name or password, log in as a new user and then ask the VHHScott Forum administrator or manager for assistance.

Logging in to a Board using Basic Authentication

If the VHHScott Forum administrator has set up VHHScott Forum to use Basic Authentication for logins, you will have to enter your login name and password each time you visit this VHHScott Forum. Typically, a VHHScott Forum using Basic Authentication has a login page, but with only two or three buttons: New Users and Existing Users; or Guest, New Users, and Existing Users.

 

Some boards using Basic Authentication do not display a login page. Rather, the Basic Authentication dialog box appears when you point your browser at the board's URL. If this is the case, enter your existing or a new login name and continue.

Logging in as a Guest

If this board allows guest access, the login page includes a Guest button. To login as a guest, click Guest. VHHScott Forum displays the board's main page with the conference list. You may browse conferences and read messages but not post messages or participate in chat sessions. If there is no Guest button, you must create a new account to work with this board.

Logging in as a New User

If you are a new user, click New Users. VHHScott Forum displays the New User Information form for you to complete. Follow the steps in that section to complete this form and create a new user account on this board.

Logging in as an Existing User

If you have an account on this board, click Existing Users on the login page. Your browser displays a Basic Authentication dialog box. Type in your login name and password, click OK, and the board's main page and conference list should appear. If you mistyped the login name or password, a page saying the authorization failed is displayed and you can try again.

  Copyright 1998 O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

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