yes, you have seen people with a cool little photo under their name
<< those are "Avatars" and they are helpful to recognize your posts and give you some personal identity here on the forums
here is how to get one
over on the top right side of the forum window is a "Site Navigation" box of links
...find the "User CP" and click that, it will go to Your Control Panel page and then there on the right under Settings & Options find "Edit Avatar"
select the "Use Custom Avatar" click bubble
now you will need a good photo to use ...if you don't have any, you might use Google Images
and find one to download and save to your computer, or have someone take a picture of you sitting on your bike and transfer that off the digital camera to your Pictures library
.... when you look thru your pictures as 'thumbnails' keep in mind that if the image is hard to make out like that(and only looks good large size) it wont 'read' well as a small avatar...you will want a 'bold' image, with little background clutter, and the subject pretty much the one main thing filling the frame
once you find one that might work, you will have to edit the photo to reduce its size, as basic forum members only get a max of 96x96 pixels for an avatar(which is a small little postage stamp size of image)
...so select it, right click on it, and use "Open with", and I'm just going to use Microsoft's "Paint" for a simple image editor
really cut the photo down to just the main subject...here I used "Select" to draw a box around only the best part of my picture to get rid of any unneeded background that would just make the subject smaller in its little frame...then clicked on "Crop" to cut that wasted space out...make every pixel count!!
you can see down at the bottom that the picture is way too big for an avatar
next you need to 'shrink' the picture way down in size...click on "Resize"
- in that "Resize and Skew" dialog box, change from By "Percentage" to "Pixels" so you can pick the exact size to make the avatar
- select whichever is the biggest dimension of your image ... if its taller vertical or wider horizontal, it will show as the larger number of pixels
- make that "96" pixels ...and the other dimension will change too(as Maintain aspect ratio will do that for you) it will also have to be 96 pixels or less...then click "OK" to apply the new size and make your picture tiny to work as an avatar
use the 1) drop down menu of Paint to 2) Save as 3) select .JPEG file format 4) rename and finally 5) save
... remember where you saved it and what you named it, but the deal here is that you might not want to permanently shrink the image you started with, so you will want to give it a new name for this avatar file you are making
now back in the forum's Custom Avatar option box...
1) click on "Choose File" to browse your computer 2) select the file you made 3) and "Open"
last thing you have to do is "Save Changes" and then you can go look at an old post you made, or when you make a new one, your Avatar should be showing under your name!!!
I think with these forums, they might shrink uploaded images down to the right avatar size for you...but i prefer to do it myself, so I can crop the image how I want it, and possibly get the quality alittle better when you have so few pixels to work with, knowing that my chosen image will look good edited down to 96x96 pixels when done on my computer...sometimes things will lose definition in spots when the pixel count is reduced, and you can crop the image differently, even moving it off center slightly, and that can help where the pixels are lining up to give a clearer image...this might be most noticeable if you use text in your avatar