The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19340   Message #196979
Posted By: Joe Offer
17-Mar-00 - 08:00 PM
Thread Name: Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide
Subject: Mudcat Membership Benefits & Problems

The Benefits of Mudcat Membership

So, now maybe it's time to put up a consolidated message explaining the benefits of Mudcat membership. Here are the ones I can think of. Let me know the ones I missed.
So, did I miss any benefits?
-Joe Offer-

How to Join

If you've never registered with Mudcat before and you'd like to take advantage of our free, honest, no-strings attached Mudcat Membership, click on any
Membership (click) link you see and submit the requested information. Mudcat will deposit a cookie in your computer so you'll be recognized, and then you can take advantage of our personal messaging and other special member features.




Standard Mudcat Login Instructions

(Cookie Reset)

Here are the standard login instructions I've been sending to people with problems. If you have already registered with Mudcat and are having problems with your registration, this is what to do. Please do not resubmit your registration information. Duplicate registrations cause us all sorts of problems.
Your Mudcat membership is probably working perfectly - on Mudcat's end. Therefore, it's just a matter of cleaning things up a bit on your computer and resetting your Mudcat cookie. Since you've been having problems, I'm going to add another step and first ask you to clear your cache and history from your Internet browser.

First, if you think you've tried the login process correctly and you still can't get in, clear all the old files out of your browser.
(If you like, skip this part and try the login process once more - and THEN clear your browser cache if login still doesn't work).

CLEARING YOUR BROWSER CACHE (this clears out-of-date Mudcat pages from your system - I call it "The Purge.")
In MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer):
  • On the "tools" menu at the top of your browser, select "Internet Options."
  • On the general tab, you will see a button that says "clear history" - click it.
  • Still on "tools/Internet Options/general," click on the "delete files" button
  • Then click on the "OK" button on the bottom of the grey box, and your browser should be clear of all old files. That should solve most problems.

In Netscape:

  • Go to the "edit" menu on the top of your browser and select "preferences." In the box that opens, make sure you go first to the "Navigator" category, and then click the "clear history" button.
  • Then go to the "Advanced" category, still in the same box, and click on the little "plus" sign before the word "advanced." the word "cache" will appear below "Advanced" - click on "cache."
  • Click on the "clear memory cache" and then on the "clear disk cache" buttons.
  • then click on the "OK" button on the bottom of the grey box, and your browser should be clear of all old files. That should solve most problems.

LOGIN PROCESS

  • First, go to the Membership page at Mudcat: http://www.mudcat.org/member/EntryForm.cfm. If a registration form comes up with your name and everything, that means you're all OK. Correct the registration information, if needed, and click the "submit" button.
    If the registration form is blank, please do not fill it out because you have already registered with Mudcat and should not submit a second membership.
  • Second, click on the logout link to clear any corrupted Mudcat cookies that may be still on your computer: http://www.mudcat.org/member/logout.cfm
    You'll see a second link that says "to logout, click here" - click it.
  • Another screen will appear that tells you that you have logged out.
  • Now, go back to Mudcat Membership: http://www.mudcat.org/member/EntryForm.cfm
  • A blank registration form should appear - leave it blank and click on the reset cookie link: http://www.mudcat.org/login.cfm

  • A LOGIN page will appear which asks for your Mudcat Name - enter your Mudcat user name exactly, with correct capitalization, and click the submit button. Your Mudcat name is: xxx

  • Another box appears that asks for your password. Enter it exactly, and click on the "submit query" button. Your password is: xxx

  • You should get a page that says: You cookie has been reset. You are now acting as [Your Real Name] with email address
    your.e-mail@yourprovider.com

  • It also says: Click here to view or edit your personal data That's a link that lets you update your registration, and it might be a good idea to do that. Remember that you cannot change to a user name or an e-mail address that is already in use by somebody else.

  • Once you've reset your cookie, you're free to go to the lyrics/forum/chat page, or maybe it would be a good idea for you to check your personal page for messages that came in since you lost your cookie.


Solving Registration Problems


If you have been registered at any time in the past, please don't submit a new membership. If you can't figure out how to reset your cookie, go to the
Help Forum (click) and ask for help. It's quite possible to fix things on your own. Here's the process that seems to work best:
I've included links above to membership, logout, and reset cookie screens, in case you're lazy.
If you've forgotten your password, don't worry. Go to Login (click) and fill in the information you know. One of two login pages will show up. One gives you a box that lets you select to have your password e-mailed to you. The other doesn't have that selection, but if you enter your user name and just leave the password box blank, you'll get another page that will ask if you want your password mailed.

You'll get your password within seconds - Max's elves work very quickly.

There are a couple of problems people have had. One is if they have their browser set so it won't accept cookies - just go to the "options" menu of your browser, and set it to accept cookies. The other is if you bookmark a Mudcat page other than the main page, www.mudcat.org - start at the main page when you begin a Mudcat session, and that should take care of it. Be sure to delete bookmarks to any other Mudcat pages.

Also, some (but not all) of the information on your Mudcat registration is case sensitive. That means that if you are registered as "Joe Offer," you may not be able to log on as "joe offer" or "JOE OFFER." Be careful with capitalization.

If that doesn't work, please click on my name below and e-mail me back with your real name and your Mudcat Name (the nickname you registered with), and your e-mail address. If you may have used another e-mail address when you registered, give me that, too.
If you can do that, I'll try to talk you through fixing your registration cookie. It's usually pretty easy to do, but you have to log in with exactly the same Mudcat Name and e-mail address that's on your registration (and capitalization must be exactly the same).
-Joe Offer (click to e-mail)-
Duplicate Memberships
Q. I can't access my Mudcat membership. Should I go to Membership and register again?

A. PLEASE don't register twice. Duplicate memberships can make things very messy. If you have membership problems, go to the Help Forum and ask for help.
If by some chance you do have duplicate memberships, please let me (Joe Offer) know. We can't delete memberships, but we can mark them (inactive) so they don't cause problems and confusion.
Moving to a new computer or new Internet Provider
Your Mudcat Membership is not affected by your change in Internet Service Providers, e-mail addresses, or computers. You can change your email address or other membership information any time through the membership link in the banner. If you change computers, you can reset your cookie, also through the membership link, on the new computer.
One computer, one E-mail, two people-how join
Question from Mrs. Duck:
We have one computer and at present share the E-mail address but both want to be members,. When we enter Geoff's details it automatically deleted mine. What are we doing wrong?


Answer from Joe Offer:
Hi, Mrs. Duck - So everything can work properly, you should have two e-mail addresses, one for each member. You have one Mudcat membership, and that membership has a cookie deposited on your computer. To submit a membership for a second person in your family, go to
Membership. First, click on the "logout" link (to delete the existing cookie), and then finalize the logout by clicking on the second "logout" link that will appear. Then sign the second person up as a new member (that person must have a separate e-mail address, and www.hotmail.com is a good place to get it). When that second person is done, he or she logs out at the "logout" link (also found on the Quick Links on almost every Mudcat page). Then, the other person logs in by clicking on a "reset cookie" link (found in Membership or in the Quick Links).
Don't worry - it's a lot easier to do than it is to explain.
Personal Messages
Joe, Please include something about personal messages; a little more concise than the enjoyable thread that The Shambles linked to above. I didn't know anything about this feature until I saw the notice "You Have 1 Personal Message." I took a chance and clicked on the notice, and have enjoyed the personal messages ever since, but it would be nice if there were some instructions. In fact, maybe Max could add "(click here to read messages)" to that box. I still haven't figured out what happens to archived messages, and how you archive more than one at a time during spring cleaning.
Aloha,
Mark
You explained it quite well, Mark. Personal messages are one of the best advantages of Mudcat Membership. When you're a member, you can send personal messages from a selection on the "Quick Links" dropdown menus. The messages your receive show up on your Personal Page (which only works when you're a member). Once you've read a message, you may want to take it off your personal page by clicking the "archive" link. Every once in a while, go and view your archive and delete messages you don't want to keep. To ensure that you don't accidentally lose important messages, Max designed message deleting as a two-step process: first you archive a message, and then you go to your archive occasionally and delete. This process will soon be changed to check boxes that allow archiving or deleting multiple messages.
Posting Multiple Personal Messages (click)
You can't send a personal message to more than one person at a time, but I still think it's better not to use the Forum for stuff that's not of general interest. What you can do is highlight the text of your message (use the "shift" and arrow keys on your keyboard - the highlighted text changes color). Then copy [CTRL-C] the text onto the clipboard of your computer. Then start a new personal message to the second person on your list and paste [CTRL-V] the text into the second message. Copy-Paste is a technique that works both in Windows and (with just a few differences) Mac - and you can use it on the Internet and in all sorts of other applications to save you a lot of typing.
If you want to send a second person a copy of a message you've already sent, you can click on
View Your Sent Messages at the bottom of your personal messages list. Just highlight and copy the old message, and paste it wherever you like.
P.S. It's a nice idea to use personal messages to alert people to threads that might interest them. HTML works the same way in personal messages as it does in the Forum, so you can send links and use line breaks and fancy fonts and all that stuff.
You can also copy-paste a forum message you're posting and send it as a personal message. I'm going to do that with this one, and send it to you as a personal message.
Tracing threads
from Lamarca
Good job, Joe! One feature that's an advantage of Membership is the "Trace" function. If you become a Mudcat member, and there's a thread you're interested in following responses to, you can hit the "Trace" link. That thread is then added to your very own personal list of "traced" threads, so that even if it drops off the general list of threads before you visit the site again, you can easily find it by going to your personal page and looking in your list of traced threads. When you're no longer interested, you can "De-trace" a thread.