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      Please help us for July   06/30/2017

      This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
CorinaMarie

Introduction and Guide to Simtropolis

5 posts in this topic

Basics of Using the Forum Software

 

Creating A New Topic 

In every forum there is a nice, big button called Start New Topic. Simply click that to begin.

01-Create-New-Topic.jpg

 

That will bring up the post editor:

02-Create-the-Post.jpg

^ The important parts of the above are:

  1. Title - This is what will be shown in the list of threads in that forum. Make the title something descriptive with regard to the content you are creating. Avoid titles such as "Help!" or "Hey" and the like.
  2. Tags - These are used by the search function. You must enter a minimum of two tags. Make them relevant to the post content.
  3. Message Box - This is where you type the actual content of your post.
  4. Notify me of replies - If this does not show in green with the check mark as in the above picture, click it to enable replies notification. (More about notifications in a moment.)
  5. Submit Topic - After you have completed all of the above click this button to finalize the topic creation. It will then show as a thread in the forum's list.

 

Selective Quoting 

When replying to one or more posts in a topic you may want to quote only part of the message. Use your mouse to highlight the part you want to quote. A Quote this bubble will then appear. Click that.

03-Quote-This.jpg

 

I then personally type an x and hit the enter key as a place holder. Continue highlighting and quoting the lines you plan to reply to.

04-Quote-This-2.jpg

Once you have everything you want quoted then delete the placeholder x and type what you wish to say.

 

Bountiful Bunch of Buttons 

Most of the buttons in the editor are self explanatory. You can mouse over them and a description will pop up.

05-Editor-Button-Bold.jpg

Some of the more mysterious buttons are described below.

 

The Link Button

06-Editor-Button-Link.jpg

First off, let's say we are going to provide a link to something we want the reader to click. We can copy the URL and paste it right into the post. If it is a link to something on Simtropolis, it will convert itself into a preview style box. So instead of it looking like this:

http://community.simtropolis.com/forums/topic/70897-corimaps-a-tutorial-for-simcity-4/

It will show up like this:

However, let's say we don't like either of those options and would like a word or phrase to show up as a clickable link. We could type something like the following and highlight the word we want to be the link.

Dear reader, check out my map tutorial here. Then we click the Link button.

And it pops up a window like this:

07-Link-Box-Here.jpg

^ Notice the word "here" is automatically placed in the Link text field. Had we highlighted several words they would all show there.

We click in the URL field box and paste the URL into it. Now it looks like this.

08-Link-Box-URL.jpg

Then click the Insert into post button. Our text now shows with the word "here" clickable.

Dear reader, check out my map tutorial here.

 

Linking to a Specific Post

Sometimes we want to draw attention to one particular post within a thread here on Simtropolis. How do we get that URL? Find the Posted date or time link located in the upper left of the post. With a sophisticated browser (such as Firefox) you can then right-click and select Copy Link Location. That will put the URL for that post into your clipboard. Then you can paste it into your post directly or via the Link box.

09-Specific-Post-URL.jpg

So then I could write: Yum created a map in this post. Or I could simply paste the URL and let the editor change it to a preview like this:

Ok, so what if your browser doesn't offer any option to copy the link location by right-clicking it? Simply click that Posted date or time link. Your browser will refresh with the link you need in its URL address bar. Then you can copy it from there.

 

Linking to Something Offsite

Sometimes you'll want to link to something which is not on Simtropolis. (Wait! There are other sites?) Those only have two options for displaying the link. It's either like this:

http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=1462

Or by using the Link box to make it look like this:

Clip2Pic (v1.0) by wouanagaine

 

The Emoticons Button

10-Editor-Button-Emoticons.jpg

(Borrowed from @Cyclone Boom's post here.)

With emoticons, there are a few others (50 in total), which can be expanded in the menu:

EZWCVsd.png

Just click "Simtropolis" as highlighted to reveal the full family. *;)


It'd be interesting to know if anyone's ever memorised all of the shortcut access codes:

:) ;) :D :thumb: :golly: :8) :P
:lol: :yes: :ohyes: :party: :idea: :read: :???:
:rofl: :kitty: :} :] ^_^ :no: :ooh:
0:) :ducky: :bunny: :wub: :blush: :* :ninja:
:whatevs: :uhm: :meh: o.O :lost: :nyah: :(
>.< :noway: :yawn: :zzz: :sly: :cry: :O
:boggle: :drool: :dead: >:( :hmph: :angry: :rage:
:evil:

(If you paste all that into a post, bingo!)

*:party:

 

The Spoiler Button

11-Editor-Button-Spoiler.jpg

This option has a couple of uses. Let's say you are requesting help for tweaking your SimCity 4 files so it will recognize your video card (GPU) and one of our gurus (such as @rsc204) requests that you post your auto-config log. Well, that thing is quite lengthy and there's no need for making everyone have to scroll and scroll (and scroll) to get past it to continue reading the thread. So, click the Spoiler button and paste your text inside of it. Then it will look like this in the completed post.

Spoiler

Log generated on 8/21/2016, 08:48

Flags
-----
hardwareDriver = true
DXT = true
fullscreen = true
MMX = true
FPU = true
backingStore = true
forcedFSAA = false

Strings
-------
userName = Administrator
appName = SimCity 4
version = 1.1.640.0
osVersion = Windows NT 5.1
computerName = CORI-2015-01-18
CPU = GenuineIntel
sglDriverName = DirectX
sglDriverVersion = 2.0
driverName = nv4_disp.dll
driverVersion = 6.14.10.5673, GUID: D7B71E3E-4052-11CF-D277-23B10EC2CD35
cardName = NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 (Microsoft Corporation)
cardVersion = Vendor: 10de, Device: 0312, Board: 91231462, Chipset: 00a1
cardIdentity = NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 (Microsoft Corporation)
soundDriverName = smwdm.sys
soundCardName = SoundMAX Digital Audio
buildType = Release

Numbers
-------
cpuSpeed = 2793
memory = 2048
freeMemory = 1724
screenWidth = 1024
screenHeight = 768
screenBPP = 16
videoMemory = 125
textureMemory = 125
textureStages = 8
bogoFPS = 0
bogoMPPS = 0

Rules
-----
applying Sound
applying high sound detail
applying City Detail and Day/Night Settings
applying City Detail and Day/Night Settings>
applying high computer power
  option 9 = 3
  option 13 = 1
  option 15 = 3
applying Texture Quality and Building Variety Settings
applying Texture Quality and Building Variety Settings>
applying high memory
  option 3 = 3
  option 14 = 3
applying Variable Speed Automata
applying default
  option 10 = 1
applying Standard hardware
  option 0 = 1
  option 1 = 1
  option 2 = 1
  option 4 = 0
  option 5 = 1
  option 8 = 1
  option 7 = 1
  option 6 = 1
  option 11 = 0
  option 12 = 0
applying Standard hardware>
  option 1 = 2
applying Standard hardware>>
  option 0 = 2
applying Standard hardware>>>
  option 2 = 2
applying Standard hardware>>>>
  option 4 = 1
applying Standard hardware>>>>>
  option 11 = 1
applying Two stages
applying Lotsa vidmem
applying Not Slow GeForce
applying Fast card
applying Fast card>
  option 12 = 1
applying Fast card>>
  option 1 = 3
applying Fast card>>>
  option 0 = 3
applying Fast card>>>>
  option 2 = 3
applying Fast card>>>>>
  option 4 = 1

Options
-------
Visual Effects       current:   3 recommended:   3
Cars/Sims            current:   3 recommended:   3
Shadows              current:   1 recommended:   3
Atmospheric effects  current:   0 recommended:   1
Water effects        current:   1 recommended:   1
Software/Hardware    current:   1 recommended:   1
Cursor               current:   1 recommended:   1
VariableSpeedAutomata current:   1 recommended:   1
Translucent UI       current:   1 recommended:   1
Graphic Detail       current:   3 recommended:   3
Building Load Speed  current:   3 recommended:   3
Texture Quality      current:   3 recommended:   3

Properties
-------
forcesoftwaredriver = false
renderdynamicview = true
renderstaticview = true
renderwatereffects = true
rendercloudsandfog = true
forcepointsampling = false
forcebilinear = false
forcenoalphablend = false
forcenoalphatest = false
rendershadows = true
renderdecals = true
usesecondstage = true
forcedebugtexture = false
renderparticleeffects = true
renderflorashadows = true
renderterrain = true
showupdateregions = false
usecursoreffects = true
drawlottextures = true
drawlotfoundations = true
drawlotwalls = true
forcetexturerepeat = false
usescreenshake = true
renderui = true
useupdaterectclipping = true
usevertexbuffers = true
showboundingboxes = false
useoverlayculling = true
rendersnapshot = false
noaddsigned = false
nopartialbackingstorecopies = false
usescreenflash = true
renderautomata = true
preferopaque = false
displayalertborders = true
drawlotopaquetextures = true
useviewcleanup = false
doautozoomandrotationchanges = true

viewoffsety = 0
viewoffsetx = 0
texturebits = 32
lodoffset = 0
shadowdebug = 0
maxparticlestarget = 10000
particlelodoffset = 0
effectprioritylevel = 5
backingstoremaxzoomall = 5
backingstoremaxzoombuildingsprops = 5
backingstoremaxzoomterrain = 5
backingstoremaxzoomflora = 5
shadowquality = 2
minvehiclezoom = 3
minpedzoom = 4
cursortype = 1
depthoffset = 2
debugtexture = 0
dirtyrectmergeframes = 2
sounddetail = 2
buildingvariety = 2
buildingloaderspeed = 1
modellodoffset = 0
stringtexturecachesize = 1024

particleeffectslod = 5
splattexturescale = 50
texbindmaxfree = 8
particledensity = 1
particledamping = 0
particlescale = 1
lightingupdatedelta = 0.0001
shadowmodelthreshold = 12
demolishmodelthreshold = 12
rendermodelthreshold = 6
rendermodelthresholdscroll = 40
particlesizethreshold = 300
maxvehiclepct = 1
maxpedpct = 1
opaqueuialphavalue = 0.55

Another use for the spoiler is in general conversation. It could go like this.

Have you seen that new murder mystery movie?

Spoiler

The butler did it!

 

Another way to use the spoiler is to first type or paste your text, highlight it, then click the spoiler button. The end result is the same. Of note: The spoiler does not reduce page load times. The entire page is rendered first, then the spoiler mask is placed over the content to be hidden.

 

The Code Button

12-Editor-Button-Code.jpg

This one is handy for when you prefer that the post editor software leaves your text alone. Let's say I'm explaining how to post a picture and I want to show what the direct URL for it looks like. If I paste it right into my post it's going to resolve itself into an image. Sure, I can click the popup to say remove formatting, but then it's a clickable link. By using the Code box I can show it like this:

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p184/CorinaPics/Smileys%20Tennis_zpsp485nsym.jpg

Or let's say I want to show some actual programming code so I do this:

13-Code-in-Box.jpg

But it adds colors I really didn't want like this:

14-Code-Box-Colors.jpg

Notice the HTML thinger in the lower right of the code box? That's a drop down menu. Click it and select No Syntax Highlighting.

15-Code-Box-Options.jpg

And now it shows like this:

Set ExactMoment=%date:~-4%%date:~4,2%%date:~7,2%_%HH%%time:~3,2%%time:~6,2%

 

The Preview Button

16-Editor-Buttons-Preview.jpg

This offers different views to show how a post would appear on different devices, which is quite neat.
See this article for more info.

 

On Getting Beeped - aka Notifications Settings

To set up your notification preferences you can go to the drop down of your user name. That pops up this window and you click the Account Settings linky.

17-Account-Dropdown.jpg

 

On the window which pops up next look over on the right side to find the Other Settings. Click on Notification Settings.

18-Notification-Linky.jpg

These are the settings I find most relevant:

  • Automatically follow new content I post
  • Automatically follow content I reply to
  • Play a sound when I receive a notification

That window looks like this:

19-Notification-Settings.jpg

And you'll also notice I have removed the tick (check mark) from the Show popup window when I receive a new personal message because that is simply annoying. You will still get a regular notification when you receive a new message.


Now, scroll down from there and you will see a long Notifications List. Most are self explanatory, but I want to point out the Someone mentions me in a post. It looks like this:

20-Mention-Notify.jpg

That is for when you use the @ mention feature. To use it in a post you type the @ symbol and then start typing someone's display name. Once you see it in the list, click it to embed the mention.

21-At-Mention.jpg

And then it will look like this: @CorinaMarie and if that person has Mention Notification enabled, they will get beeped.

 

More Ways to get Beeped

Let's say you are reading a topic and would like to be notified of replies, but you are not going to make a post in that thread. (Oh, and btw, Topic and Thread are used interchangeably with regard to content in forums. They refer to the exact same thing. I have no idea why a thread is a topic. To me thread is something I use to sew on a button or to hem my skirt. But, anyhow, back to writing this guide...)

 

Following a Topic

At the top right side of a topic there is a Follow button.

22-Follow-Topic-Button.jpg

Click that to pop up your options.

23-Follow-Topic-Options.jpg

Then click the Follow button in the popup.

 

Following a Forum

This is the same procedure as for following a topic with the exception you click the Follow button when viewing the forums list instead of a particular topic. When you follow a forum that will send you a notification when a new topic is posted.

 

Something Fun

Let's say we are discussing something or other and would like to have an image be a clickable linky like this:

24-Cori-as-MySim.jpg

 

First I posted the linky to my picture and waited for it to resolve itself into an image. Then I double clicked it while in the editor and pasted the linky of where I wanted it to link to. Like this:

25-Image-as-Linky-Popup.jpg

 

Final Words

All of the above tips should be sufficient to help you get going here on Simtropolis. Feel free to ask about anything not covered by creating a thread here in the New Members Information forum or over in the Simtropolis Related forum.

 

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