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the FAQs
Registration and login
FAQs index

Do I have to register?

If you only want to read messages and follow discussion on the bulletin boards, you won't need to register. But if you plan to join in and add your own messages, registration is required. Registration is free, and you are not required to post your real name. However, you are required to post a working email address. You must also enable scripting (JavaScript) during the registration process.

Once I register, can I change my ID?

Each registered user has a login ID and a Displayed Name. You cannot change your login ID, and, as per the 10th Commandment, you are not allowed to register under multiple IDs. You also cannot normally change your Displayed Name, although we occasionally have name-change amnesties.

What do I do if I lose my login ID and/or password?

Retrieving your login ID and password is simple. All the pages which require you to identify yourself with your username and password carry a "lost password" link. Click the link, and your username and password will be emailed instantly to the email address you gave us in your profile.

My password is hard to remember... what should I do?

Change it to something more memorable! You don't have to stick with the password the system emailed you. Go into your profile, click the "View/update profile" link, and change your password to something you won't forget.

I'm logged in but I'm being told I'm logged out! Why?

If you're experiencing login problems, here is the definitive guide to help you...

> Always use the address: Never use the Ship of Fools address for the bulletin boards without the hyphens (, as you'll keep being told you're not logged in.
> Put in your browser's trusted sites category.
> Set your browser preferences to allow cookies (or at least to prompt for cookies).
> Make sure your system date and time are accurate.

For further ideas and problem-sharing, read and post on the Simultaneously logged in & not thread.

How are cookies used?

This bulletin board uses cookies to store the following information: the last time you logged in, your login identification, and your preferred topic view. These cookies are stored on your browser. Cookies are not used to track your movement or perform any function other than to enhance your use of the bulletin boards. If your browser does not support cookies, or you have not enabled cookies on your browser, many of these time-saving features will not work properly and you will not be able to post new messages.

What do I do if I can't log in?

If the system accepts your password, but you are still not logged in, you need to allow your browser to accept cookies. This can be changed in your browser's security settings.
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