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technical tips

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Posting and you
This short flash video explains general forum usage for the noob. Posting and You

Starting a new thread
1) Go to the appropriate forum. 2) Click on the "New Thread" button on the top of the page 3) Enter a thread title in the "title" field 4) Enter your thread message in the "message" field 5) Click on the "Submit New Thread" button when you are done

I lost my password, what can I do?
If you forget your password, you can click on the 'Forgotten Your Password' link on any page that requires you to fill in your password.

This will bring up a page where you should enter your registered email address, and an email will be sent to that address instantly, with instructions for resetting your password.
If you do not receive an email within a few minutes check your spam folder to make sure your spam filter did not pick it up.

How do I change the look of the message board?
If you would like to change the "theme" you use to view the message board you can do so by using the "Quick Style Chooser" pull down menu located at the bottom of the forum page, just below and to the left of the time stamp.

It takes a long time to load the message board what can I do?
The default message board style is designed for use by members who have broad band Internet access. If you have dial up Internet access or are using your WAP device (cell phone, PDA) to access the message board you can change the message board style from the default style to a low bandwidth style by using the "Quick Style Chooser". The "Quick Style Chooser" pull down menu is located at the bottom of the forum page to the left of the time stamp.

Can I use my Cell Phone or PDA to access the message board?
Yes, If you have Internet access on your Cell phone or PDA you can access the message board with it. Before surfing the board with one of these devices you should change the message board style from the default style to a low bandwidth style by using the "Quick Style Chooser" located at the bottom of the forum page to the left of the time stamp.

How do I embed YouTube video in my posts?
To embed a YouTube video in your post simply take the part of the YouTube video URL after the equal sign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcAPVc79_wU and put it inside the BBCode [youtube] [/youtube] so it looks like this: [youtube]FcAPVc79_wU[/youtube]

How do I upload my images so I can use them on the FZ1OA?
FZ1OA Image Uploading Tutorial



Method #1 - using the "Manage Attachments" feature while creating a new post

When creating a new reply (using the "Post Reply" button while viewing a thread), click on the "Manage Attachments" button found down in the "Additional Options", "Attach Files" section.


Doing so will launch a "pop-up dialog box" entitled "Manage Attachments".  Here, you are given 2 options:  specify a location on your computer to upload images from, or specify a location on the internet (URL) to upload images from.

To upload an image from your computer, you need to know where on your computer that image file resides (use the "Browse" buttons to browse folders on your hard drive and locate the images you wish to upload).  To upload an image from an internet location, you need to provide a valid address (URL) for where that file resides.  Additionally, you need to ensure that the image files meet the "file size" and "image size" (resolution) requirements, which are explained in a table in the lower portion of the "Manage Attachments" dialog box.  Basically the rules are as follows:
- the max file size for an image you plan to upload is 300kb
- the max image size (resolution) for an image you plan to upload is 800 pixels wide by 800 pixels high

BOTH of these requirements must be met.  If the original images you plan to upload do NOT meet these requirements, you can use an image editing program to MAKE them meet those requirements.  This is explained in further detail here in a tutorial titled "resizing images using IrfanView" (IrfanView is a handy free image editing program that can be downloaded here).

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  It is possible to have an image file that meets the 800x800 max image resolution requirement, yet still surpasses the 300kb file size requirement.  In such an instance, it is recommended that you use the JPEG file format, and adjust the "save quality" to be slightly less (instead of "100% save quality", change it to "95%" or "90%" save quality)..... this should help you get under the "300kb" file size requirement (of course, another option would be to further reduce the actual height and width size of the image).

Once you have specified valid locations for the image files you wish to upload, click the corresponding "upload" button to upload those images (see example below).

WARNING:  If you try to upload three images at the same time (images that are at or near the "max requirements"), it is quite likely you will encounter a rather "baffling" error (click here for the error you will see in Internet Explorer, click here for the error you will see in Firefox) and you will not be able to upload the images.  To resolve this issue, simply upload the images one image at a time (browse your computer for the 1rst image, then click "upload"; browse for the 2nd image, then click "upload"; browse for the 3rd image, then click "upload") rather than trying to upload all 3 images at once.

Once you have successfully uploaded your images, you will be presented with the following screen:


At this point in time, you have successfully uploaded your images.  To complete the process, simply click "Close this Window" in the upper right hand corner of the "Manage Attachments" dialog box.  Assuming you have already entered an actual "message" in your reply, simply click the "Submit Reply" button and you're done.

WORD OF CAUTION:  Hot-linking to images that exist on other sites can prove to be a risky endeavor.  Some sites (especially other forums) will redirect your attempts at hotlinking to one of their images to an image that you probably really don't want to hotlink to (in some cases, the image they redirect you to can be downright disgusting).  Be careful when hot-linking to images on other sites (online merchants normally do not care if you hotlink to images on their site).


Method #2 - using the FZ1OA image uploader

The FZ1OA image uploader can be found here.  A password is required to utilize this particular site feature.  As stated in the instructions on the image uploader page,
the password may be obtained by emailing a request which includes your real name as well as your user name (and please use the email address you used to register your account here when sending this request).

Main points to keep in mind when using the image uploader:
- the maximum file size for an image is 1,048,576 bytes (or 1MB)
- JPEG images will automatically be resized to a max resolution of 640 wide by 640 high, with an IJG compression quality of 50.
- image filenames are case sensitive

Aside from the highlighted points above, additional instructions on how to use images uploaded using the image uploader can be found on image uploader page.



Additional reference information regarding digital images

Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image. Resolution is sometimes identified by the width and height of the image as well as the total number of pixels in the image. For example, an image that is 2048 pixels wide and 1536 pixels high (2048X1536) contains (multiply) 3,145,728 pixels (or 3.1 Megapixels).

In addition to image size, the quality of the image can also be manipulated. Here we use the word "compression". An uncompressed image is saved in a file format that doesn't compress the pixels in the image at all. Formats such as BMP or TIF files do not compress the image. If you want to reduce the "file size" (number of megabytes required to save the image), you can choose to store your image as a JPG file and choose the amount of compression you want before saving the image.

JPG compression analyzes images in blocks of 8X8 pixels in size and selectively reduces the detail within each block. At higher compression rations, the block pattern becomes more visible and there may be noticeable loss of detail. The subject and pattern in the image is also a factor. For example, a picture of the blue sky can be compressed quite a bit without any noticeable effects but a picture of a colorful bird would "pixelate" quite quickly.

By using JPG compression, you can keep the physical size of the image the same and reduce the amount of disk space required to store it but you will be sacrificing the quality of the image.

In laymen's terms:
- the larger the image resolution (height and width), the larger the file size (and vice versa); making your images smaller is one way to meet the requirements set for the image uploading mechanisms
- the more compression used (in jpeg images), the smaller the file size (and vice versa);  an image with a compression of 50 (or "save quality" of 50 using IrfanView) will be much smaller than an image with a compression of 0 (or "save quality" of 100 using IrfanView)
- most people use monitor resolutions of 800x600 or 1024x768 (some use even higher resolutions); therefore, if you post an image that is 600x600, it will take up the entire height of a screen set to 800x600;  if you post an image that is 800x800, it will show as being larger than the height of a screen set to 1024x768 (and considerably larger than the height of a screen set to 800x600); in most cases, images of 650 pixels (height or width) or less


Additional useful links:
Understanding Image Resolution and Size
http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/software/page6045.cfm

Understanding Image File Formats
http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/software/page6041.cfm
http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/graphics/formats/formats.html

IrfanView Image Editing Program
http://www.irfanview.com/

Microsoft Image Resizer Powertoy
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/learnmore/tips/eschelman2.mspx

"The Gimp" Image Manipulation Program
http://www.gimp.org/

PhotoFiltre Image Editing Program
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/photofiltre.html

Google's Picasa Photo Organizer
http://picasa.google.com/
 

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