This is a back-up site in case The Management decides to pull the plug on the Doonesbury chat halls.
This bulletin board is running on servers at M.I.T. The software was written and is maintained by Philip Greenspun, a computer sciences professor at M.I.T. Philip does not monitor the forums.
This software is extremely fast, reliable and stable. Posters can use HTML for fonts, inserting images, URLs, tables, wav files, etc.
Moderation is the sole responsibility of those users who are given The Keys (an administrative password). This is a public forum, and does not require registration or password. It can be changed to a password-protected forum with a few clicks of the mouse, if necessary. The moderators have the ability to delete individual posts. While IP addresses are not visible on the forum, the moderators can see them. Moderators can delete individual posts.
This software does not fall victim to "site wipes", or "scroll wrap" screw ups. There are a few ways, which won't be elaborated here, that a poster intent on disruption can cause temporary problems. Any such problems can be quickly and easily rectified by any moderator.
When you enter your first post here, you will be asked for your name and email address. The software does not care what you enter there, as long as it is in a conventional email format; such as, RML@here.now, or Bocce@work.net, or even X@xxx.xxx. If you don't want to enter an address every time you post (which would be a royal pain), you can tell the software to put a cookie in your browser, which will then enter the address information for you on all subsequent posts. You can remove the cookie at any time.
The best way to maintain an ongoing conversation, most like a chat room, is to click at the top of the screen on the "New Answers" link. From there, you can read everything that's been posted, and reply to anything you wish. If you submit a reply, press "Back" on your browser, then "Refresh" to see your new post.
For ease of use, and familiarity, topics labeled "Hot Buttons", "The Site", etc. have been started. There is no limit to how much content can be posted in a topic. Effectively, a topic could go on forever, with everything archived for eternity. The downside to that is that once a topic has 50 or so postings it begins to slow the software down a little. The solution to that would be to start a new topic...such as "Hot Buttons July 30"...which any user can do. The old topics remain active and available for reading/posting.
I, "Not Garry", have little interest in being a long-term moderator for this forum. Suggestion would be for the users to agree on 2 - 4 regulars they would trust to apply moderation with discretion, and I'll be happy to give the administrative password to those users. If you're interested in having this forum as a back-up, you could post some replies in "The Site" topic about how you would like to see it administered.