Technical Information

Technical Information

I tried uploading a jpg avatar, but I'm told it's not a .gif or .jpg. Why?

Make sure your image filename's extension is in lowercase (e.g. avatar.jpg instead of avatar.JPG). Our forum software isn't smart enough to figure that it's the same thing.

If that doesn't help, well, sometimes JPEGs can be tricky. Try saving it again and fiddle with the options a bit.

Please note that there are also size restrictions on avatars; both file size (64k) and image dimensions (150x150). If your attempted upload exceeds any of those, you may get a similar message.

What's going on when the forum is unavailable?

Into every life a little rain must fall. Not to worry, these things usually work themselves out in short order.

I'm a member, but I can't see any attachments or leave messages.

This most often is a result of not signing in under your membership identification when arriving at the Forum. Unless you check the box "Log me on automatically each visit" when you sign in with your ID and password, the Forum software will not recognize you the next time you arrive, and will not let you have access to those files which cost the site money for you to download (such as graphics and films).

To make sure you are logged in on any forum page, look at the main menu options at the top of the page. If the option in the lower right is "Login" then you are not logged in. If it is "Log out [ Your name here ]" then you are logged in (but it is worth clicking through a couple of threads to make sure it stays that way).

If you have cookies blocked or disabled in your browser, you will not be able to stay logged in to the forum.

I'm darn sure I'm logged in; how come I still can't see any attachments?

In some cases, logged in users have reported that they are unable to see some or all forum attachments, usually graphics. Although in most cases this is caused by not being logged in properly (see the previous entry), there are a couple of other possible explanations.

First, make sure you are looking at a relatively recent thread. Old attachments are removed after a time (usually a few months, but it varies based on size and popularity), so the attachment you see other people responding to may simply have expired. If this is the case, you will not see the black box for the attachment (containing the filename, description, file size and the number of times it has been viewed); there will be no trace of the attachment at all.

If you're looking at a current topic. Also, certain pop-up and ad blockers that will silently remove attachments. The Google Toolbar & Google Web Accelerator have been known to have this effect, and some people have reported the problem if using Norton Internet Security without adding this site to the "allowed" list. If this is the case, you will see the black box for the attachment containing all its info; only the thumbnail version of the graphic will be missing. If you can see some types of attachments (stories, videos) but not others (GIF / JPEG graphics) this is most likely to be the reason why.

How can others email me if they don't see my address?

The Forum software stores each member's email address at their time of initial registration, but does not make that information available to any of its members. You can email other members by clicking the "email" button at the bottom of each post. From there you will be taken to a text input page where you can enter the text of your message. The Forum software will attach the recepient's email address after you have clicked "send."

If you use this feature, the person you email will not be able to see your email address. Our system operates as a double-blind email anonymizer. Your email will appear to come from "" and replies sent to that address from a board member's email will reach you (with their real email address similarly obscured).

Both you and the recipient must have enabled board email for this option to be available.

I downloaded a film attachment, but it won't play. Why?

There are so many different variables that go into motion graphics that you should direct any specific questions to the Technology Talk Show forum for answers and explanations.

Using this forum is a little tricky. Where do I post techie questions?

Please post all technical questions concerning this site to the Technology Talk Show Forum.

If I edit my post after I post it, how come sometimes it says so at the bottom and other times it doesn't?

If you edit your post before another person has posted a reply, then your edited post will not leave a datestamp. But if somebody has already posted after you, then the "edited" message will be displayed.

What file formats are recommended (or not) for uploading?

There is a table showing all the recommended, allowed, and discouraged file types.

For drawings, paintings, and most other artwork, PNG is the recommended image format.

For photographs (and manipulated photographs), JPEG (JPG) is the recommended image format.

The use of GIF files is not recommended because they offer limited functionality and colors, most of which can be replicated by PNG. In some cases, animated GIFs may be appropriate because not everyone has support for animated PNGs yet. The use of BMP files is frowned upon because they result in pictures that are identical to PNG files, but they are much larger, causing them to be more expensive for us to slower and more expensive for people to download.

For video files, MPEG-4 variants are the recommended formats. These include Xvid, Windows Media Video 9 (if you are on Windows) and Quicktime (if you are on a Mac). MPEG-1 is to be avoided because the image quality is very low compared to the size, and the vast majority of board expense can be traced to the size of video files. MPEG-2 is better quality but even larger, and thus is also to be avoided. The RealMedia format is acceptable, but may involve licensing issues. Other wierd/old formats may cause problems.

If you are on Windows XP and wish to use or convert to the Windows Media Video 9 format, you may find the built-in "Windows Movie Maker" tool to be very helpful. It produces a very good (though not optimal) video file with essentially no expertise required on the part of the user.

If you have trouble getting a video into one of the recommended formats, post in the Deep_Technology forum.

Text files of most types (flat text, HTML, PDF, and Word) are allowed.

ZIP and RAR files are allowed. When appropriate, these formats should be used to compress content is compressible and would otherwise be allowed. Never use archive formats to circumvent the file upload type restrictions.

I have a gigantic file that is too big to upload. Should I split it up?

Generally, no. Do not attempt to circumvent the file upload limit (20 megabytes); it is there for a reason. If you have a file bigger than that, it's probably a video file. In that case, your file is either poorly encoded, which will make it unnecessarily expensive to store and download, or it is getting pretty long for what we can provide here. You may be able to re-encode the file to a more appropriate format or edit out irrelevant parts to get just on-topic material.

If you're sure your file needs to be uploaded as-is, contact a moderator for assistance.