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 Post subject: How To: Use the Search Function on these forums.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:55 pm 
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A lot of people seem to have troubles using the Search Function on these forums, so here's a bit of a guide to make everyone's life easier.

1. The search page is here.

2. The hardest thing about searching is working out what search terms to use. Here are some hints:

a) Think of all the possible names of an item - something like a wheel can be legitimately called wheel, alloy, mag, or the brand name (eg Simmons), the style (eg: Minilites). If you're doing a search for alloy wheels, don't give up if a search term like "wheels" doesn't gve you the results you want, or gives you too many results.

Also watch out for abbreviations: For example 13B turbo - some people will shorten it to "13BT" others will not. If you want to find all of the posts on 13B Turbos (god help you - there'd be a million!), you'll have to search twice - once for "13BT", and once for "13B Turbo". If you wanted to be really thorough, you'd probably also look for "Turbo 13B", but I doubt you'd find much that you hadn't already found.
And remember that they are also often called "S4 motor"...

b) Don't be shy with the wild card ( * ). The Search Function is a very literal thing - if you ask for "frogs" it won't give you results for "frog".
If you don't care about the number of frogs, search for frog* - the asterix says to the search function that you want the letters F,R,O and G, in that order, and you don't care about anything after it.
Very useful if you want to search for info on S4 RX-7 engines - it's quite likely that people will have posted useful info but talked about the "S4 RX-7 engine" - and you'll miss those search results if you search for "engines".

c) Look out for wrong spelling! It's so easy to do a seach for "Simons wheels" and then spend ten minutes wondering why nobody ever talks about "Simmons wheels"... Have a look at any post by anyone - there's about a fifty-fifty chance there will a spelling mistake in there! You can't predict other people's mistakes, but you can avoid your own!

Similarly, there are words like castor which are often spelt "caster" - doesn't really matter which is right, you'll have to do a search for both if you want to get all the results.

d) Use "AND" a lot. If you search for "Mazda RX-3", it will give you results for "Mazda" and results for "RX-3" (15761 matches). But if you search for "Mazda AND RX-3" you'll only get the threads where BOTH Mazda and RX-3 are included.



3. If you're getting too many results, make your search more specific. Say you're looking for info on LPG, but searching for "LPG" is giving you a million results, you can narrow the results down by adding any/all of the following words: conversion, 13BT, tank, mixer, converter.
Obviously, what extra terms you use will depend on exactly what you want to know.

4. If you're getting too few results, make your search less specific. If "Mazda AND RX-3 AND 13BT AND green" doesn't come up with anything (actually, it comes up with 4 matches...), then work out what is least important to you and remove it.
Dropping the "green" gives 67 matches, for example.

5. Don't be afraid to limit it to certain forums - if you're looking for a piece of technical info, limit it to Tech Refernce first. If that doesn't give you a match, try Tech Talk. If that still hasn't worked, try all forums - you can often get good tech info from For Sale threads, for example.

6. If you've searched the entire forums, and found nothing useful, think long and hard about whether your problem is likely to be a common one. It's one thing to ask about fitting a 3K into a genuine R100 (unlikely that anyone has asked!), but it is another thing if you're asking how to fit a 13BT into a RX-7...

7. If you find a thread that is close to answering the question you have, add onto the end of it, rather than starting a new one. Apart from anything else, it means that people ho search after you will have a lot more chance of finding the useful info!

8. Don't forget to look at the dates of old For Sale threads! Nothing looks more silly than digging up a thread from 2001, asking if the car is rego'd or something like that.... If you've found an old thread, and it sounds like it's what you're after, at least make it obvious that you know you've got an old thread!

9. If you've limited your search to a huge degree, and still get too many results, try limiting it to certain user names - for example, Dazz knows a lot about RX-2s, so if you plug his name into the "search by user" box, you can be confident that the info he supplies will be decent - you will probably need to widen your search terms back up, though.
This obviously requires a reasonable degree of knowledge about the forums and the people that are on it - but if you want to get the most out of the forums, you'll need to that knowledge anyhow!

Examples...
I want to know more about putting some big brakes on my RX-2.

- Using "big brakes", you get 2594 matches (too many!), and many that are clearly not very useful.

- Using "big brakes" and limiting it to Tech Talk gives 749 matches, and almost all of them on the first page look useful.

- Using "big brakes AND RX-2" in the tech section returns 92 matches, and they all look useful.

- Searching for "brake AND upgrade" in the tech section, gives 172 matches, and the mostly look quite useful.

- Changing that search to "brake AND upgrade AND RX-2" will give 32 matches - though oddly enough, there seems to be less useful stuff in there...

- "brake AND conversion" gives 135 matches, moslty looking pretty promising.

- "brake AND conversion AND RX-2" gives 16 matches - and at least three of those are clearly very close to direct answers (the first one is a thread called "Bolt-on larger front discs for 1300/Cap/RX-2", and is five pages long... ).


It's not hard. If the topic has been discussed on these forums, then it CAN BE FOUND through the seach function. If YOU cannot find it, then that's because YOU are not using the search function properly.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:21 pm 
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Rotor Junkie
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Thanks Spac, that saves me writing it!

4 extra things:

KEYWORDS - these are the KEY WORDS in the topic you are interested in, they are the things that differentiate what you want from something else. For example, fitting a 13b into a 1300.... 1300 is an obvious Keyword to search by.

SYNONYMS - words with similar meanings. Think like other people, petrol and fuel are interchangeable words, so too are wheels and rims. Capella's are rx2's and Webers and Nikki's are both Carbys. Think like other people.

Combining Searches - it is possible to combine some searching by using brackets. So FUELTANK* or (FUEL and TANK*) should return anything with either fuelpump or fuel pump in the posts.

It is unlikely that a topic pertaining to rotor tech has not been discussed unless it is really esoteric. If you can't find something by searching try fiddling with the criteria. AND Check the Tech reference section.

This should really be copied into the Tech Section as sticky.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:26 pm 
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Excellent post.

Quote:
If the topic has been discussed on these forums, then it CAN BE FOUND through the seach function. If YOU cannot find it, then that's because YOU are not using the search function properly.


Further to what Spac said on the topic of searching by usernames:

If I come across a thread with great information by one person, I will often search again for posts by just that person with perhaps one very broad keyword.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:44 pm 
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This isn't directed at you, ek:

ek wrote:
meh, sometimes you can search through a hundred pages and not find the particular piece of information you're looking for......however....it'd have to be mighty rare


It must be said that the granularity of the information here is not very fine.

AusRotary cannot tell you the thread pitch of a particular bolt, for example. AusRotary can tell you general principles for putting a 13b into a 1300 or upgrading your brakes in a series 2 RX-7 but it is unlikely that it will be able to give you an exact description of what do to. There are some things that you have to figure out for yourself.

That said, in the case of *not* finding anything once all of Spac's steps have been followed - that is when you post. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 12:42 pm 
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I've cleaned up this thread and locked it as I don't believe anything needs to be posted on this matter. If you think otherwise then PM me.

Sam.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:20 pm 
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I thought everyone should know that you can also use google to search ausrotary databases.

This is particularly useful when searching for strings less than 3 characters (which phpBB won't allow).

Eg I wanted to find information on 4 inch speakers.

I put the following into google

"4 inch" speakers Ausrotary

This turned up the exact result. This wouldn't have worked with the phpBB search tool. If you are good at googling, but hate the phpBB search, I suggest you try it!

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