Welcome to MacTalk Australia

the largest Australian community for Apple discussions and topics

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MacTalk FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

MacTalk Forum Rules

MacTalk is Australia's largest Apple-related online community. We pride ourselves on being a humorous, mature community that doesn't take itself too seriously. The site is split into three major parts:

Blog: contains interesting and relevant local angles on global Apple news and events, with a side order of general geekiness. Reviews, news, columns and opinion pieces are the type of content on the blog.

Forum: the forum is a place for discussion between the members of our community, a central meeting point. It is for new Mac and iOS users to ask for help, as well as a place to discuss the news of the day.

Podcast: MacTalk a weekly podcast, which is a general Apple-related podcast, by Australians, for Australians.

SECTION 1 - New Here?

First of all, welcome! We are nothing without our members, so thank you for taking the time to sign up and join in our little party. We hope you enjoy your stay. We pride ourselves on being the best Australian-based Apple resource on the web, and the forums are an integral part of that experience. We hope to accomplish this by providing a strict set of guidelines to ensure that the forums are kept clean, free of trolls, and overall a fun place to hang out. Consider your membership to MacTalk as an investment: you put effort in and you get positive experiences back. Show respect to the other members of the forums, follow the rules outlined below and join us to help keep MacTalk awesome.

If you read nothing else (and we strongly suggest you read the whole thing - ignorance of the rules is no excuse) here's the tl;dr version. Think of them as a few notes to make your experience on MacTalk as smooth as possible:

Trading Forum Access

  • You must have made 5 posts and and have been a member for 45 days before you can even see the trading forums.
  • There is no other way to gain access.
  • Do not post trading threads in other parts of the forum, they will be deleted.
  • Do not post threads asking "Why can't I see the trading forums?", they will be deleted.
  • Any requests to get access before you have 5 posts and 45 days will be ignored and may even see you banned.
  • If you are joining just to sell something, try eBay instead.
  • The full trading forum rules can be found in section 4.

Search before posting!
Our forums have been going for many years now and we have experts on all sorts of topics. If you have a question about a product or feature, chances are somebody's asked it before. If you're asking a question, you're asking for somebody to take a moment of their time to help you. Please extend those members the courtesy of taking a moment of your time by searching the forums first. If the moderators can find an answer to your thread with a quick search, your thread will probably be closed with a request to use the search function.

Golden Rules

  • Treat others with the same respect and dignity that you would expect back.
  • Extend your respect to the whole community by making quality posts and threads, ensuring that you take the time to search the forums and use correct spelling and grammar in your posts.
  • View your MacTalk experience in a positive light, even when people are negative and unhelpful. Remember, it's the internet - no point getting steamed up over somebody on a computer screen.

Signatures are no longer permitted on MacTalk. This is because they were being abused by spammers, and because they're obnoxious. We don't want to see a list of your Apple products, who you've traded with and links to your blog every time you post. You can put information about yourself (name, location, Apple hardware, etc) in your profile. We also have profile sections and buttons displaying in each post for popular IM clients and social networking sites. Use those rather than putting such info in your signature. This rule includes "signatures by proxy", by manually typing in signature-like information at the end of every post you make. Just because it's not in the signature field doesn't mean its not a signature. e.g: "Cheers" after every post. If the lack of a signature is a dealbreaker for you, you're on the wrong forum anyway.

SECTION 2 - Contributing to the Forums


These are the rules of MacTalk - they are your guide to how to behave while you're on our servers. Please keep in mind that when it all comes down to it, MacTalk is more of a benign dictatorship than a democracy and your presence here is a privilege rather than a right - one which can be revoked at any time should you decide that you no longer feel the rules apply to you.

Make sure you have read the rules below. Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. These are what you need to follow to ensure your account remains active and fully privileged. If you break a rule, you will be likely be given a stern talking-to. This may be in the form of a warning, an infraction, a temporary ban or a permanent removal from the community. Most of our users have been here for years and years and never had a problem - this is because these rules are pretty much common sense and not hard to follow.

Posting a new thread
So, you're ready to start a new thread - you're going to throw yourself at the mercy of the big bad internet and expose yourself to the possibilities of criticism or praise. Good on you, very brave. Your thread could be all it can be, it might spread its wings and fly, it could blossom into a thread for the ages. Or - it could wither and die. If you follow the following guidelines, you'll give your thread the greatest chance of success.

Before you create a new thread, ask yourself "Am I about to create a thread which is funny, informative, helpful, inquisitive or interesting on any level?" If you can answer "yes" to this question, post away; if not, please refrain from posting.

Search before posting!
This is the most important thing you can do! If there's already a thread on the topic you wish to discuss, its better for you to reply to that one than it is to start a new one. Multiple posts on the same topic fragments discussion and makes it difficult to follow. In addition, there are several topics which have been covered so often and in such exhaustive, soul-destroying detail that they need not be rehashed yet again - if you start a thread about one of these topics it will likely be closed very quickly. See section 3.

Use a descriptive thread title.
Good: "iMac has no sound since installing 10.5.8 update"
Bad: "HELP!!!!1"
Bad: "iMac Problem"
Bad: "iMac"
Bad: "Issue with new iMac"
Bad: "i7 iMac"
Do not put your username as the thread title.

Check your facts
We are pretty tolerant of being incorrect - everybody's human and we all make mistakes. However, its better to be correct in the first place than look stupid when everybody says you're wrong. Do a bit of research before making a post to help someone - your post is not just read by the person asking the question, but also thousands of passers-by thanks to the magic of Google.

Use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling
The internet's a fickle place, the only representation people get of your personality, intelligence and level of education is based off what you write. wen u type lyke dis u snd lyke ur stoppid, k m8? By using proper grammar, punctuation and spelling people don't have to battle to read what you want to say and will be more inclined to reply to your thread.

Don't make two threads about the same thing
That really annoys us and makes you look ungrateful - it may even be interpreted that you're a spammer. Select one forum and make one thread in it. Don't go posting the same thread in multiple forums!

Are you posting actual content?
If you're cutting and pasting a whole article, that's bad. (Particularly if you don't attribute it.) Tell us why it's interesting. If you're just pasting a link, that's not good either. Again, tell us why we should care.

Replying to a thread
Not quite game to jump in at the deep end and start a thread of your own? Put your floaties on and try a reply instead. Again here's a few guidelines to help you get the most out of your replies and to stay on side of the moderation team and the community at large. Before you reply, ask yourself the following question: "Does my reply offer any significant advice or help contribute to the conversation in any fashion?" If you can answer "yes" to this, then please reply. If you cannot, then refrain from replying.

Read all the posts in a thread before replying
Everyone hates it when you ask a question that's already been answered. If you're about to link to a relevant article, you want to make sure nobody's already beaten you to it. It's also a matter of respect. By replying without reading the thread, you're effectively saying "My reply is more important than yours. I can't be bothered reading all of your responses, but you better be bothered to read mine". Not cool. Posts like "I can't be bothered reading the rest of the thread, but..." are likely to be deleted as we can't be bothered reading your post either.

Don't make pointless "me too", "+1", or "lol" posts.
These just litter up the forums and with over 35,000 registered users, we need to eliminate these as much as possible. Unless you're contributing to the discussion, just enjoy reading it. Just posting to get your count up to get access to the trading forum or some inflated sense of importance via the size your post count is not tolerated either.

Use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling
We went though this regarding posting a new thread, but the point remains the same when you're replying. If you want people to take you seriously, make the effort to write well. If your post is more trouble to read than it's worth, it will probably be removed.

Don't make two replies on a row
Thought of something else you'd like to add, a forgotten point or added idea? Use the "edit" button rather than posting a new reply. You can also use the edit button to fix up any typos you might discover or broken links/images

Do not register to promote your business, blog, website or any other thing you are part of

This means that if you signed up to tell us about something you are doing, or a post you made on your blog, DO NOT REGISTER. We allow established, long term members of the community (generally those with over 50 posts and been a member for a few months) to let us know of things they're involved in, or work they've created, but do not appreciate those who register to simply promote themselves. If this is your intention, GO AWAY.


Things not to do on the MacTalk forums

Overall we're a pretty easy going bunch, and for the most part MacTalk is about fun. However, there are few things which are very big no-nos as far as we're concerned.

Do not register to promote your iPhone app, business or website.
  • MacTalk is not a venue for free advertising.
  • If your first post is advertising you will be banned.
  • Don't hide behind "its a great deal!" or "its a service for the community" - you'll be banned anyways.
  • If you are a long-term member (i.e: have been around for a while and made a couple of useful posts), then you are free to alert us, in a subtle way, to any commercial activity you may be involved in.
Do not make multiple accounts
  • If you've forgotten your password it can be retrieved
  • If you've been banned, well - we don't want you back. We will find out and you will be banned again, and your ISP involved.
  • If you would like your username changed, contact one of the moderation team.
Do not be abusive, rude, inflammatory or personally attack people
  • No matter how stupid or wrong they seem to you, don't do it.
  • It's just the internet man, calm down.
  • Racism will not be tolerated
  • Homophobia will not be tolerated.
  • Direct, personal attacks (e.g: you are a moron) will not be tolerated.
  • Any behaviour that can be seen as bullying will not be tolerated
Do not post porn or questionable material
  • Never post, or link to porn. Ever.
  • If you think what you're about to post is borderline, take a step back and don't post it. If it's near to borderline, link to it and mark the link as NWS or Not Work Safe/NSFW or Not Safe For Work. If somebody chooses to click on it and they're offended, well - they were warned.
  • THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU FREE LICENSE TO POST ANYTHING DISGUSTING. MacTalk reserves the right to delete anything it deems has crossed the line.
Do not post defamatory, derogatory, racist or hate-speech
  • Your moderation team is headed up by a bunch of leftist, liberal, commie bastards.
  • Talk of "that's so gay" or calling somebody a faggot won't be tolerated. Gay is also not a synonym for stupid, e.g posting "Telstra's data plans are gay" is not appropriate.
  • Any racist epithets will be destroyed on sight
  • If your post is going to start with "I'm not racist/sexist/homophobic, but..." then please save your time and ours and don't bother.
  • Indian call centre rants, or anything racist will result in a banning
  • Don't bother getting on your soapbox about your right to free speech either.
Do not make personal messages public.
  • If someone send you a PM it's because they don't want the conversation in the public domain. Respect this, and don't post PMs in the public forum.
Don't talk about software piracy
  • Don't ask for serial numbers, cracks, or links to download software - iPhone OR Mac apps
  • That stuff is illegal, and a slap in the face of the developer community within MacTalk
  • This includes Hackint0sh/OSX86 discussion
  • Jailbreaking discussion is allowed, but is governed by the same rules as above
Do not post on MacTalk simply to advertise, sell or promote anything of any kind
  • If you are a recognised member of the community, contact a moderator first
  • If you are registering simply to advertise, contact Kevin Walsh for advertising rates (kevin.walsh@niche.com.au)
  • Any advertisements which have not been approved by us will be deleted on sight, and the user banned.

Do not post a person's personal information or business details without permission Posts of this nature will be deleted immediately

Don't try and sell anything outside of the trading forums
  • This includes "Hey, I just got a new Mac - anybody want my old one?"
  • Don't have access to the trading forums? Go to eBay or wait until you do.
  • For a full run down of the trading forum rules, see Section 4.
Do not rehash topics that have been beaten to death over and over again. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Apple pricing in US dollars vs AU dollars and how we're being "RIPPED OFF!!1!". This is the number one dead horse topic and your thread will last about thirty seconds if you bring it up again.
  • Advertising on the forums.
  • Requests for help with your homework. If we had to do all our own homework just because forums weren't invented yet, so do you.
  • Rule 88: Just because something isn't specifically prohibited in these rules, it doesn't mean you've got free reign to be an idiot.


How to make everybody's experience better

The forums are what you make it, so here's a few general pointers on how to improve the overall experience for yourself and everyone around you.

Approach the moderation team if you have a question
  • We're not just the forum janitors, we're here to help you.
  • We prefer you to ask us first before doing something you're not sure of, rather than chase you up afterwards
  • We're friendly, really!
Use the "Report Post" function
  • This is the quickest and easiest way to bring a questionable post to the attention of the moderators
  • Do not make a reply and say "OMG SOMEBODY DELETE THAT POST". That creates more work for us, and we don't like that.
  • You can also report your own threads if you need us to do something for you such as close a sale thread, update a thread title or add a poll
Image posting guidelines
  • Keep images under 800 pixels at the longest side, not everybody has a 30" Cinema Display
  • Use your own web-hosting, or a free host like Imageshack. When you directly link from another site you do two things: send their bandwidth bills up & run the risk of your picture not working - some sites prohibit images being shown on other websites - and annoy us. Wait, that's three things.
  • Hotlinked images will be deleted without warning.
Respect the moderators' wishes
  • If a moderator or admin asks you to do something, it's for good reason so please do it.
  • We exist to keep the forums sane and secure.
  • Please do not harass or intentionally annoy the mod team (this includes frivolously reporting posts which do not violate any rules)
  • If you have any issues with how you've been treated on MacTalk, speak to us via email or PM
  • We can explain our reasons in more detail, or even change our minds if you convince us we were wrong.
  • Do not post in the public forums complaining about it
  • When it all boils down to it, this is not a democracy and you don't automatically get a say. If you don't like the moderators or the moderation, feel free not to post here.

Infractions and You: A Guide for the Forum-Dweller

To enforce the rules on MacTalk we use a system of infractions and warnings which assign your user account with a series of "points" of varying amounts and expirations. Once you reach certain level with these points, bans of varying durations are handed out.

  • Accumulate 80 points and you will be banned for 24 hours (1 day)
  • Accumulate 120 points and you will be banned for 72 hours (3 days)
  • Accumulate 160 points and you are permanently banned (forever)

All infractions carry a standard weight of 40 points. This may seem like an odd number, but it gives us the leeway to employ "half" or "quarter" infractions depending on the severity of what you've done. Once your points have expired, we generally call it a day, but if we see a repetitive pattern of behaviour we may draw on those past infractions to help evaluate our decision on your future.

We use this system as the actions of moderators are recorded and can be evaluated by other members of the team. This provides for a transparent process where the forum leaders keep one another in check. All decisions are often discussed before being made, and in some cases infractions are reversed. We feel this allows the process to be open and transparent, and you are also able to see your infractions by checking your user profile.

We will not give out an infraction every time you breach the rules. We can and will simply delete posts - we don't actually LIKE giving out infractions, we do it as a last resort when we have to. These infractions are the big sticks we keep behind the bar when the quiet words of "Sir, I think you've had enough tonight" seem to have no effect.

I'm going to carefully go through each of the infractions below and outline exactly why we don't want this sort of nonsense on the forums - help you see it from our point of view, if you will. Note that all of these infractions can also be given as "warnings" which accumulate no points. Please don't PM us after receiving a warning, just take heed of what we've said. Its a warning after all, not an infraction.

Backseat moderation - 40 points (expires 30 days) This is to help cut down on no-content replies, such as "in before the lock" "NO HACKINTOSH" etc. We have the Report Post function for this - simply report the post and move on.

Direct personal attacks - 40 points (never expire) This is one we are very stern on, we are here to provide a community for everyone. Personal attacks are not disagreeing with somebody. Personal attacks are not holding a differing opinion. It is flat out, unwarranted, and directly personal attacks. We take this sort of thing very seriously, and for that reason these points do not expire.

Trolling/negative attitude/unjustified rudeness - 40 points (expires in 30 days) Even if you're giving help to somebody a simple barb like "advice advice advice, you idiot" is unnecessary. We expect all members to treat each other with the level of respect they would expect in return.

Posting in the For Sale forum, but not interested in buying - 40 points (expires 30 days) Anybody who has made a trade recently will know how annoying it is to have your thread disrupted and derailed by off-topic discussion. The Orange Sofa is there for a reason, take a seat and enjoy. If you continually post in the For Sale forum without any intention of buying your access to the Trading Forums will be revoked.

Posting warez or links to warez - 40 points (expires 30 days) Do we really need to go into why this is a bad idea?

+1/"me too"/"lol" useless post - 40 points (expires 30 days) Again, try telling us WHY you agree with the post. Add something, ask a question, contribute to the discussion! This is a discussion forum after all.

Extremely poor spelling and grammar - 40 points (expires 30 days) Note the choice of words here - extremely. We're not going to ping you for forgetting the I-before-E rule...bt if u tlk liek dis in da hole post, wre gonna infrakt ur ass!

Anything else we think is necessary to bring you into line - various points (expiration at our discretion)
This is our "Crazy Catchall" again - just because we haven't exhaustively listed every infraction here doesn't mean we will not use custom ones when appropriate.

With regards to the points-system, when you break it down its a case of "three strikes in a month and you're out". The fact that they expire after thirty days is better than some forums which do not offer an expiration system whatsoever. Pull your head in and its like nothing ever happened. Personal attacks are the one infraction where you don't get a second chance.


The purpose of the trading forums is so active members of the MacTalk community can buy, sell and swap their unwanted or unneeded gear with each other, just as you might do so between mates. Importantly, the MacTalk forums are primarily for discussion of Apple related topics with an Australian perspective. In the long list of priorities to running this site, the trading forum is somewhere at the bottom of the list. If it gets too out of hand, we may be forced to close it. The trading forum is "as is". It is a privilege - an added bonus - to the current forums. Please try to treat it like the precious flower that it is by respecting the guidelines set out clearly upon entry to the area.

Please note that MacTalk is NOT responsible for any deals that occur on the trading forum. They are all between you and the seller/buyer. MacTalk has NO personal information of those who sign up and there is VERY LITTLE we can do. If a deal goes pear shaped, please sort it out amongst yourselves. However, if you decide to contact the police over it, MacTalk is more than happy to provide what little information we have to aid in your quest for sweet, sweet justice.

We take the Trading Forum rules extremely seriously as we want it to stay friendly and safe. If we believe a seller has deliberately violated the rules in any way, they will have their access removed and may even be banned from MacTalk altogether.

Selling is only permitted to established members of the community. This requires that you've already made 5 posts to the forums and have been a member for at least 45 days. People who sign up just to sell something can go elsewhere - this includes members who have a majority of their posts in the TF. If your main reason for being here is to buy and sell, you're on the wrong forum. Spam-post to get access and your trading forum access will be removed permanently.

All threads require moderator approval at all times. New threads wont show up until they've been approved. Threads will be approved if they meet the rules. If not, they will be deleted - so make sure your thread meets the requirements before you post it. This makes sure that sale threads are clear and no-one gets confused. Note also that in some cases your thread may take a little while to be approved. Mods have day jobs and/or need sleep too, you know.

Items must be second hand (or unwanted gifts/prizes if new, but please state this in your thread). The trading forums are not a commercial market place. This includes the wanted to buy forum. If someone posts a wanted to buy thread then only reply if your item is second hand or unwanted gifts/prizes.

The item must be yours and in your possession - no selling for friends/customers etc. This is to prevent people being stuffed around if the friend/customer/whoever sells it elsewhere.

Items must be legally sellable. Installed commercial software without the original disks and any serial numbers (eg: Mac OS X, MS Office etc) has no value and is not legal. No things like guns, other weapons, drugs, stolen items and the like. If you have any doubts, contact us.

Items must only be advertised for sale here and not elsewhere at the same time. We do check. No links to eBay sales or other forums are permitted either. If selling here doesn't work out, you can always contact us to close your thread and try elsewhere instead - just don't sell here and elsewhere at the same time.

Your post must have a photo of the item. Not a generic one off Google Images, an actual photo you took of what you're selling. If you don't have a camera, too bad - go get one. Don't know how to post a picture? Learn how. Make sure they're a reasonable size, or at least thumbnail them. We don't want to download a 4mb picture of your iPod. As previously noted, hotlinked images are bad, mmkay? And if you're hotlinking or image-leeching, it's clearly not a photo you've taken and your thread will be deleted. EVERY SINGLE SALE REQUIRES A PHOTO OF THE ACTUAL ITEM, WHETHER IT'S NEW, SECOND-HAND, OR IN-BOX.

You must include whether PM bids will be accepted. Having all bids posted in the thread makes for an open and transparent process. If you choose to accept PM bids, it's generally in your interest to post those bids in the thread when they're received (with the permission of the member who PM'd you). Responding to a bid with "thanks, but someone else who I totally did not just make up just offered me more money" is not going to result in buyer goodwill.

Include your asking/ballpark price. Don't say "make an offer" - put in a price you would like to sell it at so people don't insult you with offers you will not sell at.

This isn't an auction site. We are not eBay. Reserves, instants, bids etc. are not mandatory, nor are deadlines or reasons for sale. You, as a seller, list the price you want for the item (e.g "I would like $1200 for this MacBook"). People can give you offers. Take the offer you wish to sell for. If there are no offers for the item at a price you think fits the item, do not sell it. If an item hasn't sold within 1-2 weeks, chances are it is too expensive or there's simply no interest. But if you're going to use auction terms like reserve (the minimum you will sell for) or instant (a price at which you will immediately sell to the first person who's willing to pay) then honour those definitions.

Include if you will allow pick up of the item. If do you allow pickup, please put in the vague area of where you live (Hawthorn, Melbourne for example).

Include detailed information about the condition of the item. State if there are any major scratches, damage or failing components, whether you have the original box, manuals and accessories and their condition too.

You are not permitted to make more than one sequential post in a row, per 24 hours, as making a post "bumps" the thread to the top of the For Sale forum. If the last post in the thread currently is one you've made, you are not permitted to make another post to "bump" the thread until the next day. Examples of bump posts are things such as "Bump", "Bid noted", "PM sent", "Price lowered" or replies to buyers.

Don't waste people's time. Once an item goes over $50, minimum bid increments are $5. Nobody wants to read through page after page of "$11!" "$12!" "$12.50!" Similarly, if the seller wants $1000 for an item and you offer $200, chances are you will upset the seller or be laughed at. If the item is genuinely overpriced, that's not your problem - it's the seller's. With that in mind...

Comments in For Sale threads from anyone other than interested buyers are strictly forbidden and will be deleted immediately. The Trading Area is not a discussion forum. So no posts like "Oh wow I have one of these and they're awesome!". If you have a comment for the seller (and you're not buying) please send them a private message or email, especially regarding their asking price. You sound pathetic when trying to argue you can get it cheaper elsewhere when you aren't even buying it. It is not anyone's problem but the seller's if they are asking an insane price for something. We occasionally allow helpful comments regarding compatibility and suitability if requested by the seller when they don't know answers themselves. We much prefer people send a private message to the seller, so they can update their original post.

Get the details of who you are dealing with before handing over money! If you can get the phone number, name and address of who you are dealing with (particularly with large sums of money), you can contact them if something goes wrong. It is rare for people to be scammed on MacTalk, most of the time the seller is just lazy and just needs a reminder - phone calls work well. At the end of the day, if you are doing a big deal, I strongly recommend picking it up in person to avoid misunderstandings. You can also use escrow services for added security. Asking for things like receipts and serial numbers helps too.

If something is too good to be true, it is! Please be careful on the trading forums. Even though it is rare and 99.99% of MacTalk forum members are honest, there's always a rotten Apple in the basket. MacTalk hates seeing people be ripped off, but unfortunately, there's not much we can we can do to help and we hate that.

Don't buy stuff just to flip it on eBay. We know it happens and we are actively working to weed out the few who use MTAU as their own personal bargain basement. If you buy something, get plenty of use and enjoyment out of it and then sell it on eBay a few months later, that's cool. But if you make a habit of buying stuff cheap on MacTalk and flogging it for top dollar on eBay, we will find out about it and you will lose your TF access (at minimum).

The catchall rule. If the mod team finds anything even vaguely suspicious about your thread, we will take whatever action we deem necessary. This may be a request for a photo of the item with your MacTalk username, a request for more information about the item, or a straight deletion of your thread. As we've said, the TF is a bonus. If it becomes more trouble than it is worth, it will be removed entirely.

If you have any questions about the trading forum, please contact us.

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