Frequently Asked Questions about HTMF

[size=140]Where’s the mainframe?  When can I start hacking?[/size]

This site has nothing to do with mainframes or hacking.  It’s an inside joke by some of the founding members. 

Feel free to ask us for hacking advice, though, we used to hack the Gibson all the time.

[size=140]How do I embed a youtube video?[/size]

In the URL (address) of the youtube video, copy the last bit – the ID tag:[/code]

[size=4]Where can I read about forum etiquette?[/size]

Wikipedia is a good start if you don’t know how to behave around here.

Lots of questions about behaviour pop up every now and then.  Here’s a good  essay on handling disagreement online:

**What is the wasteland? Why do you move posts there? **

The Wasteland is where we send threads that we don’t like. Common reasons for moving of threads include: liberal use of the word ‘racist,’ name calling, disruptive posts, annoying others, etc.

Basically, if one of the moderators doesn’t like the thread, he or she may move it to the Wasteland. Moderators can choose to split the undesirable posts from the thread and move them to the Wasteland, or just move the entire thread to the Wasteland. Moderators can also choose to lock threads, so that they cannot be continued.

Moderators do not generally remove posts. For legal reasons, we keep all posts, even if they are moved to the Wasteland. Posts moved to the Wasteland cannot be edited.

The Wasteland is visible to registered users only.

Why do you allow people to post without using real names? How anonymous am I on hackingthemainframe?

Anonymity is a cornerstone of democracy. We allow people to post anonymously because they choose to do so. Nobody is required to publicly disclose their identity in order to post an opinion. Anonymity goes hand-in-hand with the right to freedom of speech.

If you don’t like the fact that someone disagrees with you and is anonymous, then perhaps what you really object to is the fact that you can’t attack the person and must instead deal with the points he or she raises.

The limit to anonymous speech is when a poster abuses his or her anonymity. Just because you’re not using your real name doesn’t give you a license to be abusive and disrespectful. If you break the law, especially with respect to libel and slander laws, then others may have the legal right to ask that your identity be revealed. A court order can require to provide identifying information (ie: e-mail address, IP address, etc).

Moderators cannot normally see your e-mail address or IP address. You are as anonymous on as you want to be.

Privacy Policy for

If you require any more information or have any questions about our privacy policy, please feel free to contact us by email at

At, the privacy of our visitors is of extreme importance to us. This privacy policy document outlines the types of personal information is received and collected by and how it is used.

Log Files

Like many other Web sites, makes use of log files. The information inside the log files includes internet protocol ( IP ) addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement around the site, and gather demographic information. IP addresses, and other such information are not linked to any information that is personally identifiable.

Cookies and Web Beacons does use cookies to store information about visitors preferences, record user-specific information on which pages the user access or visit, customize Web page content based on visitors browser type or other information that the visitor sends via their browser.

DoubleClick DART Cookie

.:: Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on
.:: Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to and other sites on the Internet.
.:: Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy at the following URL -

Google Adsense may use cookies and web beacons on our site.

Google Adsense uses technology to create the advertisements and links that appear on and are sent directly to your browsers. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. Other technologies ( such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons ) may also be used by Google Adsense to measure the effectiveness of these advertisements and / or to personalize the advertising content that you see. has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers (ie: Google Adsense).

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices.’s privacy policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or web sites.

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers’ respective websites.

Rules for Where Is This?

Where Is This? is a bulletin board game developped right here at htmf. The rules are as follows:

A member posts a picture of a place.

It can be an aerial photo (north must be on top) but it could also be from another angle.

The place should have some significance (historical, scientific, political, literary, whatever). Try not to be too obscur about it but keep it challenging.

Members have 20 questions answerable by yes or no to figure out where it is.

Members ask questions (one at a time please) about the photo but direct geographical questions are not allowed (e.g. Is it in Russia? ). You may modify it (e.g. Is russian the main language in this place?).

Hints are to the poster’s discretion. I would recommend no hints before the 10th question if members are totally off track.

The winner gets to post the next picture but they can allow someone else to do it if they wish.

Players must realize that we don’t all spend 24 hours a day on htmf so replies are not immediate. Be patient.


Yes, you can use smilies on HTMF. Type some of the following:

 :)    :-D    ;)    :D    :-(    :-o     :?    8-)    :-P    ::)    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :-X    :-\    :-*    ^-^    O0   

To get some of these:

:smile: :smiley: :wink: :smiley: :frowning: :astonished: :confused: :sunglasses: :stuck_out_tongue: ::) :blush: :cry: :imp: :-X :-\ :-* ^-^ O0

You can read a heck of a lot more info about phpBB (posting, attachments, messages, etc) here: faq.php

I think this sums up the “hacking the mainframe” phrase nicely: … 0mainframe

If you use an ad-blocker or disable javascript on HTMF, you may not be able to see the full site. For example, the “latest posts” section of the front page may not show up, depending on your configuration.

Please be respectful of the fact that HTMF is a small site, not a multinational corporation. This site exists only because the ads and sponsors on the site are able to pay for the server hosting costs.

It is your choice if you want to block ads or not, but If you do use an adblocker, please consider disabling it for this site. As a bonus, you’ll be able to see the “latest posts” section on the front page.

If you wish to post personal classified type advertising here on HTMF please use our Wanted or For Sale boards. We do not allow unpaid commercial advertising on HTMF.

If you would like to post an advertisement for your business please buy a google advertisement or contact us directly.