This first helping hand post will cover the procedures for joining our group. We want to welcome anyone to join, both our old On Track On Line friends and any new railfan friends. While anyone can read the posts on the boards, joining does offer many advantages and it is a relatively easy and painless process.
First you must join if you wish to post to the forums as guests cannot post. In addition joining allows the board to keep track of which stories or posts you’ve already read vs. which posts you have not. Joining also allows you to send Personal Messages (PM’s) to other members. You can also sign up for emails that will let you know when new items have been posted to your favorite forum, so you’ll know to check in that day. You can even elect to receive an email every time someone adds a new post to a specific topic. Be warned though that this can lead to dozens of emails if the topic is very busy.
Now lets get to actually joining our new forum. I would first recommend that you print out this page so that you can refer to it while going through the steps.
At the top of this page, or any page on the board for that matter, simply click on the word “Register” next to the title “Welcome Guest” just below the big blue bar at the top of this page. This will bring you to the COPPA Registration page, which simply asks you to click on one of two choices. This choice depends on whether you were you born on or before a specific date, or after that date. We are required by law to ask this question, as anyone younger than thirteen must have their parent’s permission to join our group.
Please note that if we find you have been untruthful about your age, your account will be deleted.
If you are under thirteen, then there is a form that you must print out and have one of your parents fill out and sign. They then mail this form in to us, at which time your account will be activated. Full details on this procedure are provided on the same page.
Now once you have answered the COPPA question, you will be taken to the registration form. In the first box you will type a username or screen name. This name will show up next to all of your posts so that other members will know who made the post. You can use a nickname, your full name, a train’s name, the name of a RR, or anything else you can think of. Note: The system will not allow duplicate names, so have more than one ready or at least be prepared to alter the name by adding a number or other character.
Your name must be at least three characters long and no more than 32 characters long. Numbers can be used too, although it’s best to have at least some letters in your name. After all, you don’t just want to be another number.
In the next box down you must choose a password. Again the rules are the same as for your name, it must be at least 3 characters long and no more than 32. Any combination of numbers or letters is valid. Be careful though as the password is case sensitive. If you type all capital letters, make sure that you always use capital letters in the future when you sign in. Also note that you will only see **** and not the actual letters/numbers that you are typing.
In the third box down, you must retype your password a second time. This is to verify that you really typed what you thought you typed in the first password box.
The fourth and fifth boxes ask for your email address. You must provide an email address in order to join and it must be a valid email address. In order to complete the registration process you will be sent an email. I’ll discuss later what to do with that email. However if you don’t provide a working email address then you will not receive this email and will not be able to complete the registration process.
The next section down is titled “Registration Anti SPAM Confirmation”. This section is used to prevent people from trying to join multiple times so they can do malicious things on the forums. The page will present you with a six-digit code or number. You must type the complete number into the box below; where it says confirm registration code. Note the code only uses the number zero; it does not use the letter O. Please be careful not to confuse the two.
If for some reason all six of the numbers are not visible, then type in what you can see. Then complete the steps in the next paragraph right below this one. Once you do click the "Submit my registration" button, the system will tell you that you mistyped the registration code. It will present you with a second screen and a new number so you can try again. If all the numbers are still not visible on the second screen, then the registration process will fail. In that case you will have to contact us via email. You can find e-mail links for us on the On Track On Line web site's Meet Leaders page.
Finally before clicking the “Submit my registration” button at the bottom of this page, you must read the terms of service agreement and click in the little box next to “I agree”. Please read this carefully and make sure that you fully understand the terms. Violation of the rules could result in your being banned from the forums.
Once you do click the register button, you will be taken to a screen that will inform you that your registration has been submitted. It will also tell you that we require email validation and that you have been sent an email. Usually this email is sent immediately, but occasionally it can take up to ten minutes before it is sent. If you are under thirteen-years-old then you will see the form that your parents must fill out. Print this form out and give it to one of your parents.
After waiting a few minutes and then go check your email and see if you’ve received our email. If not then give it a few more minutes and check again. If for some odd reason you have still not received it after 10 to 15 minutes, then it is possible that something went wrong or you mistyped your email address. Either way you will have to contact us to fix the problem. Again you can find e-mail links for us on the On Track On Line web site's Meet Leaders page.
Otherwise, assuming that you have indeed received your email, lets finish the registration process. Look through the email and find where it says, “To activate your account, simply click on the following link:” and go ahead and click on the link. This will complete the registration process automatically for you. Note: AOL users may need to cut and paste the link into their browser.
After a brief pause and maybe a quick flash of the screen, you will find yourself back on the home or main forum page. You will also find that the system has already logged you in, your user name will be displayed right under the On Track On Line logo, and you are ready to go browse or post on the forum.
If for some odd reason clicking the link does not work, you will also find included in your email, instructions on how to complete the registration process manually. Follow those instructions to complete the registration process. However under normal circumstances the automatic process should work properly.
Now that you are a registered user, here are a few final tips on logging in and out of the forums. When you are done browsing and/or posting, you can click on the words “Log Out” right next to your name at the top of the screen. This tells the forum that you have left and will require you to enter your user name and password when you return. You should always do this if you are on a public computer at work, in school, a library, or even Amtrak’s Club Acela lounges. You may also wish to log out on your home computer if others share it with you, especially if there are children in the house.
It however is not necessary to log out at home, if you don’t wish to. Simply closing your Internet browser or going to a new page will terminate your connection to the forum. However since you did not formally log out, you will not be asked to log back in when you do return to the forum. The system will automatically log you back in when you return to the main forum page. This can be a real time saver for you. Again however, be warned do not try this on a public computer, only do this on your home computer or a secure work computer and only if you are sure that no one else will use your account. You are still responsible for anything that gets posted under your user name.
Finally if you do log out, when you return to the forums for your next visit you will once again be welcomed as a guest. Simply click the words “Log In” at the top of the page. This will take you to a simple log in screen. Enter your user name in the first box and type your password in to the second box. Remember you won’t really see the password, so type carefully.
You will also notice an options section under the password box. If you are using a shared computer, then it is highly recommended that you click the "no" button. This will tell the computer not to save your password and user name on that computer. Otherwise if you are on your own private computer then you will probably find it more convenient to leave the yes button checked.
Well that’s it you’ve completed the registration and learned how to log in and out. You are ready to head out into the forums and start reading, posting, and starting your own new topics. Over the next few weeks we hope to post a few more sets of helping hands that will cover user settings and some of the neat posting tools that are available. So keep checking back here in this forum for additional guides. Should you have an immediate question or problem, you can start a new topic in the Learn Invision Board forum. You can also click on “The moderating team” near the bottom of the main forum page. From there you can send a PM or personal message to anyone of the moderators and we will get back to you.
On behalf of all the Administrators and Moderators, I would like to welcome you to the forums and thank you for being a part of On Track On Line.
How To Register For The On Track On Line Forums
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