The INTL Forums FAQ

Outline

Preface
Section I: For Newbies
Section II: FAQ
Section IV: History (Origins of INTL) - 07/79 to 11/01
Section V: History (Yeah Yeah Whatever) - 12/01 to 03/02
Section VI: History (INTL v1.0) - 04/02 to 07/02
Section VII: History (INTL v2.0) - 08/02 to 05/03
Section VIII: History (INTL v3.0) - 06/03 to 12/04
Section IX: History (INTL v3.1) - 01/05 to 03/06
Section X: History (INTL v3.2) - 03/06 to 01/07
Section XI: History (INTL v3.3) - 02/07 to present
Conclusion

Preface

Welcome to INTL's FAQ; a giant, horrible mess of information that to most of you wont matter and to the rest of us is used solely for the purposes of nostalgia or for catching up on things which have happened while away. With that said, we hope it's useful or informative to you in some form. Many thanks to Sunny, Amphy, TRC, Flaming Arrow, Sandamnit, IF0 and British Agent for their assistance in creating this FAQ.

Section I: For Newbies

First of all, unless you do something absolutely stupid (as outlined in our Terms of Service), you're not gonna get banned. It wasn't always this way, but we've become lax and banning people leads to lower activity (note to self, Adam/Nova is exempt from this). See, INTL is a slower forum. It is a forum that, had it participated in any sport among forums, would be the retard in the Special Olympics. Don't let that put you off. For in its retardedness (and there's a forum dedicated to just that!), its community is close, its users have known eachother for years, and its discussions are casual (if not diverse in opinions and occasionally plagued with drama).

Of course, all this might seem overwhelming, if not a bit confusing, but we don't want it to be. To be honest, that's what this FAQ is for. It covers some basic questions asked, and this forum's history - our origins, and what has happened since. The goal of the following recommendations are to ease your transition into INTL's forum community; if they do not help you, then send a message to one of our staff members.

Write decently. We are not grammar nazis (for the most part), and we don't care if you have disfigured punctuation, but you will be mocked if you compulsively wryte liek thiz 'n' ur psots. If it requires a code key to decipher, then you shouldn't post it. This doesn't mean that if English is your second language we will kick you out; On the contrary, INTL has quite a few people who are ESL. We do expect you to write in English here, though.

Post in the right forum. INTL is divided into a number of forums, some of which deal with specific issues and others which are more ambiguous. If you make a thread about music, put it in the arts forum. If it's about video games, try our technology forum. Sports? Well we have a place for that. Sex? Why, we have two forums for that: one for talk, the other for porn. Read the forum descriptions, they will guide you. Inside Discussions is the repository for all other discussions, Bitching Battleground for when you want to bitch or rant or flame something or somebody, Serious Discussions for debates, and Retardation Station for the innane. Every thread has its place - learn it, and it will make it easier to find the audience you want.

Lurk. What is meant by 'lurk' is to watch and read the threads in the forum before being headstrong and diving into them. Read what the forumers have to say. Learn the dynamic of how they interact with one another. Through their examples, figure out what is stupid and what is not. Decide if these are the people you really want to discuss things with. If the answer is "Yes," then try to get to know them: Talk to them on AIM, enter the chat, give them private messages. On the whole, the best thing you can do to be welcomed is to post intelligent, hilarious or insightful comments in order to win favor with us; otherwise you're going to get flamed back to the AOL chatroom in which you spawned.

You are no Queen of Sheba or Sultan of Brunei here. We don't care if you have one million dollars stored in Google shares, or if you bought yourself a Hummer cause HURR! HURR! you're compensating for your penis.. or your vagina. Yes, just because you see yourself as one of the lone women on the internet that OMG ALL THE BOYZ LUV MEEE HEHEHE ^_^ :) or that you're the greatest shit that has or ever will be, it doesn't mean shit here. You will get no praise. You will get no special treatment. You will get no instant appreciation and love from the rest of us. If you act like the retard you are, then you will be ridiculed and you probably won't last long here.

With that said, let's move on, shall we?

Section II: FAQ

I'm a newbie, what should I do to "blend in"?
You're on the right path by reading this. Most newbies end up violating one of the rules outlined in the Terms of Service within their first few days here and end up wondering why they're banned from the forum. However, had they actually read this FAQ, they likely wouldn't have been banned.

So what happens if I get banned for violating the Terms of Service?
When you're banned, you will not be able to access the forums for a certain amount of time, which is determined by the moderator or administrator that bans you. This information is available in the Hall of Rejects in the corresponding BANNING thread for that month. For the most part though, you'll be emailed and informed of your banning and ban length.

Why is there an obnoxious image that says "NEWBIE" by all of my posts and how do I make it go away?
Upon registration, until you have contributed a total of 50 posts, this avatar will be displayed by all of your posts. This is an indicator that you are, in fact, new to the forum, thus making it absolutely unnecessary for you to point out the fact that you're new. In fact, if you read the Terms of Service, creating "hi im new" threads is a bannable offense.

What the fuck? Why are "im new" threads bannable?
"im new" threads are pointless and annoying. Everyone here can tell that you're new when they see your nice little NEWBIE avatar, thus pointing out this fact is pointless. Take note of the Newbie thread in ID.

I see a link at the top that says, "Upload" but it won't let me upload files. When can I upload files and how many files can I upload?
Much like with avatars, you'll need to reach 100 posts before you are allowed to upload files. This is due to the fact that in the past, people would register accounts, merely to upload files without making a single post whatsoever. Initially, you'll be granted only 5MB of upload file space, because well, in the past, people would reach 50 posts (the old post count minimum for uploading files), stop posting, then upload 10-20MB of images.

Okay, that makes sense. What about avatars? Is there a quota on them as well?
Yes, you are only allowed to upload a total of 5 avatars total. Each avatar must be smaller than 60k in size and smaller than 100x100 in resolution.

So once I upload files and avatars, how do I delete them?
There is a "files" link at the top menu, you can delete any and all of your uploaded files and avatars though there.

How do I get more space to upload files and avatars?
You can upgrade your account. Upgrading your account will cost you $10 and you'll be granted an additional 5MB of upload space and an additional 5 avatars. There are various other perks to purchasing an upgraded account; they are listed in the link provided earlier in this answer. Alternatively, you may also purchase additional space through the donation section of the site.

Hahaha, you've got to be joking! Why the hell would I want to give you $10?
Believe it or not, but running INTL is not free. I pay money out of my own pocket to run INTL, thus putting a damper on me financially, so by upgrading your account, you're basically saying, "Hey, I appreciate your hard work and effort that allows me to waste a few hours of my day without being burdened with popup ads and annoying banner advertisements at the top of every single fucking page." You are not required to purchase an upgraded account, but you are highly encouraged. However, publicly bitching about not being able to access certain features that are only available by upgrading your account will get you banned.

Okay, I'm interested in upgrading my account, but I don't have Paypal, are there any other ways to send you the money?
Yes, you may send your donations to the address below. Do ensure that you enclose a letter noting who you are, what feature the money is for, and any required information needed to activate the feature for you.

Richard Hamilton
512 SE Miller St.
Lee's Summit, MO 64063

Sold! How do I upgrade my account to Premium?
First off, go to the upgrade account page and click on the "Paypal Donate" button in the "Upgrade Account to Premium Account" section. This will take you directly to the Paypal page, which will allow you to send $10 to INTL's Paypal account. Please, and I can't stress this enough, PLEASE include your username in the Comments field. That way, when I receive your payment, I know who to give the Premium account to. SAVE YOUR RECEIPT UNTIL THE PREMIUM ACCOUNT IS ACTIVATED!

It's been about three hours and I still don't have my Premium account activated. I want a refund, asshole!
Be patient, dickwad. I'm not a fucking robot that sits at a computer all damn day, holding my dick and waiting for Premium account payments to come through. I work, sleep, and have a social life. It may take anywhere from 24-48 hours to activate, depending on when you send the payment. However, if it's been more than 48 hours, contact an administrator via private messages and let them know the situation. Be prepared to send them your receipt, because if you don't provide it, YOU WILL NOT BE GRANTED YOUR PREMIUM ACCOUNT BASED ON YOUR WORD.

Why do some people's names show up in red, green, blue, and black?
These people belong to certain usergroups that have been assigned a special color to distinguish them from the rest of the members of this forum. Below is a list of current distinguished usergroups:
Administrators
Moderators
INTL Alumni
Premium Members
Regular Members

Whoa, what's a usergroup and how do you get into them?
A usergroup is just that, a group of users. Pretty simple, eh? Basically, it's a small little "clique" of people that band together to form organizations to distinguish certain likes and dislikes. In the past, there have been mini-"gangwars" between certain rival usergroups for sheer entertainment purposes. There are two types of usergroups, public and private. Anyone can join a public usergroup; however, only an administrator and usergroup owner can add new users to a private usergroup.

So how do I start my own usergroup and get people to join it?
You can start your own usergroup by clicking here. You are limited to only one usergroup. You will be able to set a title for the usergroup, make it public or private, give it a description, and automatically add certain people to your usergroup. Depending on which type you create (public or private), you will need to invite people to join. You should do this via private message only. DO NOT CREATE THREADS ADVERTISING YOUR NEW POKEMON USERGROUP!

Can I get a color for my usergroup?
No. We did that in the past and the entire forum ended up becoming a rainbow of pain. Now, only the usergroups that represent people who actually work for, have worked for, or have donated to INTL have their own colors.

Okay, so I've started a usergroup, what now?
You'll need to recognize your usergroup. You can do this by editing your profile and selected your new usergroup from the "Recognize User Group" section and then actually editing your profile. This will now make your usergroup's name appear next to your posts, above your avatar.

Cool. However, I've noticed that some people have titles above and below their avatars, how do you get those?
There are two types of titles. Custom titles and user-given titles. Custom titles appear above the avatar; user-given titles appear below the avatar. User-given titles are assigned by other members of INTL and may not be altered by the forumer in possession of the title. Alternatively, custom titles can be assigned by administrators as a reward or a punishment; also, Premium members may change their own custom title at any time.

Am I allowed to change my custom title?
No, you are not. Custom titles are a privilege, not a right. Much like breathing. If you want to change your custom title, register a Premium account, end of story.

So if I decide to change my custom title by upgrading my account, what restrictions are there?
You may use HTML, as long as it's only used for formatting purposes. Basically, only use bold, underline, strikeout, italics, size, color, and font family. As far as font sizes go, don't specify anything too large, or it will be toned down a bit.

Wait a second, so I can give other people titles, but I can't change my own? That is correct, once you reach 50 posts, you will be allowed to change other people user-given titles. You may only change user-given title every 24 hours. If you upgrade to a Premium account, you will be able to change one title every 12 hours. On the same token, you may not change your own user-given title, but at the same time, other users may not change their own user-given title either.

What the hell are there (+1/-12) numbers by all of my posts?
That's karma. It's basically digital popularity for INTL.

Okay. How do I earn karma and why do I have so much negative karma?
You earn karma merely by posting. If people like your posts or you made them laugh, they'll give you positive karma; however, if you make stupid, pointless posts, they'll likely give you negative karma. If you have an abundance of negative karma and very little positive karma, it's probably because you made a stupid post, so stop making dumbass posts, dumbass.

Why can't I give karma to anyone, yet they can give it to me?
You must have at least 30 posts in order to assign karma to other users. This is due to the fact that some people in the past have registered fake accounts merely to give themselves positive karma or to give other users more negative karma.

How much karma can I give out?
You can give out as much karma to as many users as your little heart desires. One catch though: you may only give out 1 point of karma to each user once every 7 days. So if you give User A one point of negative karma, you can't give him anymore until 7 days are up; you may still give User B and User C karma though.

What is the point of karma?
It's a semi-decent way to determine how well accepted you are at INTL. If someone with (+1/-100) flames you, it's likely that it's not very warranted and the user is generally very disliked, so merely just disregard their comments. However, if someone with (+500/-10) flames you, it's likely that you're the one in the wrong, so just shut up and listen to them.

Flaming? Huh?
Flaming is when you attempt to brutally assault someone with words, yet ultimately fail, because you then realize that you're sitting in your room in your underwear insulting people over the Internet. Flaming when it is warranted is somewhat tolerated at INTL, unless you're in Serious Discussions (or any of the other specific discussion forums), where flaming is totally unacceptable.

Wait a second. So there are specific rules for each forum? What about the Terms of Service?
Yes. Each forum has its own distinct rules and regulations that you need to be familiar with if you intend on posting at INTL for more than one day. Each forum's guidelines can be found stickied at the top of each respective forum. It would be wise to read each guideline, so that you don't get banned, because saying the word "the" is a bannable offense in that forum. As far as the TOS goes, the TOS is merely a guideline as to the overall rules for the entire forum to cover our asses when we want to ban you. Certain forums ignore certain rules in the TOS; where as other forums add some rules to the TOS. Simple? I thought not.

I think your rules are fucking stupid!
Then go somewhere else and stop wasting my bandwidth. If you don't like or agree with the rules here, there are plenty of other AOL-type friendly forums out there that would love to greet you upon creating your very first "hi im new" thread.

I read the TOS and I don't quite understand what "bandwidth leeching" is.
Bandwidth leeching has resulted in many bannings since the rule was set in place. However, as bandwidth is more readily available in the present, itís not as big of a deal anymore. Bandwidth leeching is the act of posting images that are stored on websites that you do not directly have control of. That is to say, if you do not have the ability to modify and/or delete the file that you are linking, you are bandwidth leeching. I'm sure that confused a few of you, so I'll go more into detail. Let's say that you started your very own webpage at Geocities, any images that you upload to your Geocities directory, you have complete control over, thus linking any images from that source will not be considered bandwidth leeching. However, if you go to Google, search for an image and just directly link it from its original source without mirroring it on your own webspace, you will be considered a bandwidth leech and promptly warned.

That's all fine and good, but why have such a dumb rule?
Directly linking images via [img] makes your web browser automatically download the linked image from the server it is on. Thus, by linking images from places where you don't directly control and/or are not authorized to link from, you are in essence wasting the owner of that server's bandwidth. Bandwidth costs money. Therefore, you are, in fact, wasting the owner of that server's money and out of respect we don't do that here. In fact, if you get caught bandwidth leeching from INTL's server at other sites without prior authorization, we'll simply replace the image with gay sex porn, then sit back, watch, and laugh, while you get banned and/or humiliated.

Fine. But I don't have webspace, what am I to do now?
You can link the image via the [url] BBCode tag, just not the [img] BBCode tag or wait until you have 100 posts here and upload your images to your own filespace on our server.

What the hell are signatures?
Signatures are small bits of text and images that get included with your posts. You can use your signature to display your favorite quote or advertise your webpage, and so forth. You may not, however, advertise in any fashion that would benefit in cash or gifts. For example, do not post links to ad clickthroughs, Amazon wishlists, Paypal, and so forth. This is attention whoring and you will be banned.

I just updated my signature, yet my signature isn't showing up in any of my posts. What am I doing wrong?
You must check the "Insert Signature" checkbox when you submit your post. Your signature will then be displayed.

That's a pain in the ass, is there a way I can automatically include my signature with all my posts?
Yes. This option is in your preferences.

Awesome! However, I changed my signature, yet my old signature is still showing up next to my old posts. What the hell is up with that?
In an attempt to increase this forums archival value, the signature that you have upon making each post will be inserted alongside your post, so that in two years, you can look back and see what your signature was. Some people like it, some don't. If you don't like it, tough shit.

So I can use images in my signature, what restrictions apply to this?
The images in your signature may not be larger than 100k in size and may not be obnoxious in size. There are no dimensional limitations; these are handled on a case-by-case basis. If a moderator warns you, change your signature and deal with it. If you're warned again, you'll be banished. As far as the amount of images, you can have as many as you want, as long as they total less than 100k in size.

All this talk of moderators makes me want to become one. How do I become one?
Contribute to the overall INTL community. If you are known for making good, thought-provoking posts, you'll come to mind when a moderator position becomes available. Most moderator positions are filled almost immediately upon becoming vacant, so competition is stiff. If you truly want to be a moderator, your best bet is not to bug the administrators about becoming one. If you bug the admins, you'll likely be ignored and put on a list of people that will NEVER become moderators.

You know, this forum software is neato-keen, where can I pirate myself a copy of it?
You can't. Sandamnit wrote the forum software for INTL all by himself whilst naked. A friend of his and he are thinking about releasing the source code eventually, but it's not likely to happen anytime soon. If it ever does get released, I'm sure pigs will sprout wings and bombard London with shit.

Can I use HTML in my posts?
Hell fucking no! That would be suicide. Only administrators and very few moderators can use HTML in their posts. You may, however, use BBCode in your posts.

BBCode?
Yes, BBCode!

Got it! Can I use BBCode in my signature?
Yes you may. You used to not be able to use the [img] BBCode tag in signatures, unless you were a Premium Member, but those dark days are over.

Can I use Macromedia Flash in my signature?
You can use Flash in your signature, provided that it is no larger than 20KB in filesize and is not obnoxious in resolution and you obey the "no auto-insert signature" rule in the Terms of Service.

I see that you have a private message feature here. Exactly how "private" are they?
Private messages are fairly private. Only you, the user you sent the message to, and administrators may read the PM.

Wait. Administrators can read my private messages? Isn't that a violation of privacy?
Hahahahah! Privacy is an illusion created by those in charge of the shadow government. There is no such thing as privacy, especially here at INTL. At any time, admins may sift through your private information, such as files, private messages, and so forth. This rarely ever happens though; so don't freak out, you paranoid nut. We will not distribute or publicize your private information unless it is in violation of some kind of law, in which case, you will be reported to the proper authorities.

Is there any way in which I can organize my private messages?
Yes there is, but you need to purchase a Premium account. You'll then be able to organize your private messages into subfolders. That way your inbox doesn't get cluttered with five-month-old messages.

I'd like to search for any and all mentions of my username. How can I do that?
INTL has a neat little search feature.

What's the point of the calendar?
It was originally designed to allow users to submit events, such as forumer meets and multiplayer games, but it has basically just become a birthday announcement list.

How do I get my birthday on the calendar?
Edit your profile with your birthday in the specified "Birthday" entry and it'll automatically show up.

What's the point of the map?
It was originally intended to be a visual representation of where INTLers are located, but now it's a textual representation of far you are from other forumers base on your latitude and longitude.

Google 100? What's that?
Well, ever since I started INTL and submitted it to the wonderful Google search engine, it has brought in tens of thousands of hits. Most of these hits are pretty twisted, considering the types of conversations that go on here, so I decided to display the most recent 100 search strings that have resulted in a clickthrough to INTL.

I keep seeing people's posts quoted, but don't know how to do it. So, how do I do it?
Each post has a link by it that says, "Reply w/Quote". All you must do is click that link and it will automatically quote that post for you. However, please only quote the pertinent parts of their post, if the person you quoted made a long post. We're sick of seeing eight paragraphs quoted, when you should've only quoted one sentence.

What's up with this "Report This Post" link?
You know how in some countries, children are rewarded for turning in their parents, if the child hears their parents slander the government? Yeah. Same thing here, if you see a post that violates the Terms of Service, report the post, so that the moderators and administrators can take care of it. Filing obviously false or satirical reports will result in YOU getting banned. Heh.

How can I keep up-to-date with threads that I post in without having to go to the forum ever few hours to check for updates?
There is a built-in RSS Feed at INTL that integrates itself with the Thread Subscription feature.

Wait, what is an RSS Feed?
An RSS feed is an XML document that is retrieved by an RSS Reader program that you would run on your computer and configure to retrieve that XML document at specific interval of time.

What the hell did you just say?
Download and install an RSS Reader program, then configure it to point to the INTL RSS Feed. When prompted, provide your INTL username and password in the appropriate entries. While that program runs, it will access the INTL RSS Feed periodically and when updates to threads you subscribe to are found, it will display a message on your screen, notifying you of an update in those threads.

Okay, I got it. How do I unsubscribe from threads though?
If you are subscribed to a thread, you can go into that thread and click on the "Unsubscribe From Thread" link provided.

I noticed that INTL has its own Flash arcade, what is the point of that?
Basically just to provide some entertainment for INTL members who are bored and want to compete against other INTL members in the same games.

That's cool, but why do all the scores disappear at the beginning of each month though?
They disappear in order to maintain a form of competition each month. If none of the scores were purged, as time went by, it would become harder and harder to get on the Top10. However, each month, the Top10 for each game is archived on the server, I just haven't set up the ability for everyone to view these monthly and overall top scores.

I find that most of the things you people talk about here offends me and makes Baby Jesus cry!
Fuck off.