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 Post subject: Av/Sig FAQ (Read this before asking about hosts)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:43 am 
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Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 6:29 am
What is an avatar?
An avatar (also called an AV) is the small picture underneath your name.

What is a signature?
A signature is outside your post, under a rather faint horizontal rule. It can contain text, links, and pictures. It is attached to every post you make when you choose to display it.

How do I get an av and/or sig?
There are actually many sites out there that offer free avatars and signatures, just look them up on a search engine. Also, Neopets items are the perfect size for an avatar, and just about any picture cropped to size can make a signature.

How do I get a CUSTOM av and/or sig?
You’re on your own here. If you can’t make one for yourself, you’ll either have to learn, or request from a graphic designer at PPT. If you are requesting, please also read my announcement on Request Etiquette.

Someone made me an awesome graphic, but when I save it, it only lets me save it as a .BMP file!
Ah, that’s an annoying problem that generally only happens in MS Internet Explorer. The general consensus from most technical help places is to clear your Temporary Internet files (<u>T</u>ools > Internet <u>O</u>ptions. Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files, then restart your browser.)

Clearing my temporary internet files makes my computer go nuts!
Yeah, for some reason, clearing those files is really tough on your computer. You may want to click Settings, then View Objects, and delete them manually. If not, I have a temporary solution for you, which is quite easy to do right here at PPT (And, ahem, no matter what anyone says, this clever temporary solution was of MY invention).
1. Get the URL of the image. Some graphics makers post the URL rather than the image to save space. If they did, skip to step 5. If they didn’t, Right Click the image, and choose Properties. In the small window that pops up, there will be a field called Address (URL), with an internet address next to it. That’s what you want. Highlight the address and copy it (Ctrl+C). Now you can close that window (Cancel and OK are both fine.)
2. Click to make a new message or reply. Paste the image URL in the message area.
3. Rather than clicking Submit, click Preview.
4. You will get a preview of your ‘message,’ the URL to the image.
5. Right click the link, and select Save Target As... And it should automatically save it in the proper file format!

Ok, I have my av and sig, how do I get them to show up?
You’ll have to upload them to your webspace, then go into your profile and enter the URL for both of them in the appropriate area.

It doesn’t work!
You may have mistyped the URL, or some other mistake, but it’s most likely because your server does not allow hotlinking.

Hotlinking?
Your avatar and signature exists outside of PPT. It is possible to display it at PPT because, for the most part, an Internet browser doesn’t care where the images it displays comes from, as long as the address is correct. Showing a picture outside the site where it is stored it is an example of remote linking, or hotlinking. However, many servers don’t allow this. For one thing, it can be a bandwidth drain to have an image displayed on outside webpages. In the case of free webspace providers, they often get income from banners and other advertising, which do not show when a picture is displayed on another site. So, many servers forbid hotlinking, and have a number of methods to prevent it. Some just prevent the picture from being displayed (a red x), some replace the picture with a different picture (Usually a message saying remote linking isn’t allowed).

What places allow hotlinking?
Well, the first place to check would be your ISP. AOL, SBC, AT&T, and many universities offer free webspace, which should be sufficient to host your avatar and signature. If not, the following places have free signup, and allow hotlinking:

250Free: 250mb storage space, 250mb/month bandwidth. Not viewable to those outside North America.
1ASPHost: 100mb storage space, 1000mb/month bandwidth. You must have an actual site or your account may be terminated.
DomainDLX: 100mb storage space, 1000mb/month bandwidth. You must have an actual site or your account may be terminated.
ImageShack: No signup. Max filesize of 1024kb.
PhotoBucket: 25mb storage space, 2.5Gb/month bandwidth. Max filesize of 250kb.
Sigs_XS: No signup. Max filesize of 75kb. Avatar and signature images ONLY.
Walagata: 1mb storage space, 2Gb/month bandwidth. Max filesize of 1mb.


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