Creating a user account means that you supply a username (your real name or a nickname) and a password. The system will reject a username that is already in use. A user account is created only once. You are then "logged in". Next time you log in you supply your username again and demonstrate with the password that you are the same person.
Edits you make are recorded under your username. If you are not logged in your edits are recorded under your IP address.
Why log in?
You don't have to log in to read OpenVistA Wiki. You don't even have to log in to edit OpenVistA Wiki — anyone can edit almost any page, even without logging in.
However, it's still a good idea to log in, for these reasons:
- Other users will be able to recognize you by your username when you make changes to pages. As a "name" an IP address is somewhat clumsy. Also, if you use computers at different locations (home, office, internet cafe, etc.) you have a different IP-address in each case; even in the same location, depending on the Internet connection, the IP-address may be different each time. Therefore a username is better to maintain an identity.
- You will have your own user page where you can write a bit about yourself, and a user talk page which you can use to communicate with other users.
- You will be able to mark an edit as minor, which avoids inconvenience for other users.
- You will be able to keep track of changes to modules you are interested in using a watch list.
- If you choose to give an email address, other users will be able to contact you by email. This feature is anonymous - the user who emails you will not know your email address. You don't have to give your email address if you don't want to.
- You will be able to rename pages.
- You will be able to set your own preferences, to change things such as:
- The number of pages displayed in Recent changes
- The fonts, colors and layout of the site, by using different skins.
How to log in
First, make sure that your browser accepts cookies. Some browsers can accept or reject cookies from individual sites; users of these should configure the browser to accept cookies from each wiki you plan to edit, such as st-minutiae.com.
Go to the wiki for which you want to log in. Click on the Log in link at the top right of the page. You will then be prompted to enter your username and password. If you haven't logged in before, you will need to enter your password twice.
You may give your email address if you like. Other users will be able to send email to the address, but they won't be able to find out what the address is.
If you click the box Remember my password across sessions, you will not have to give your password again when you access OpenVistA Wiki from the same computer.
Log in problems
If you appear to be able to log in, but as soon as you try to look at a page after the 'Log in successful' page you appear logged out again, it is very likely to be a cookie problem. If you are certain that cookies are enabled, make sure that you haven't inadvertently listed the domain name on a list of sites to never allow cookies for (This feature is available in - at least - Mozilla Firebird 0.6 and above and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 and above). Also make sure your computer's date and time are set correctly; if they are not, cookies may expire before they are supposed to
How to set preferences
Click on the Preferences link at the top right of the page for various options, including:
- Changing your password.
- Changing the skin, which changes the way that the web pages look.
Your User page and User talk page
As a logged in user, you will be able to create your own user page and user talk page. When you are logged in, you will see your username displayed at the top right of the page. Click on this to get to your user page, which you can edit in the same way as any MediaWiki wiki page.
Most users write a little bit about themselves and their interests on their user page.
You also have a User talk page. You can access this by clicking on the Talk link next to your username at the top right of the page. Other people may write messages in your user talk page by editing it, and you can respond. See OpenVistA Wiki: Talk page for more.
How to log out
You can log out any time by clicking on the Log out link at the top right of the page.
- MediaWiki User's Guide: Logging in, (2004-03-26, 20:31 UTC). In Meta, a wiki about Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki_User%27s_Guide:_Logging-in