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Do you want to keep the author forum avatars?
Yes, I love them! 61%  61%  [ 28 ]
I like them but I woudn't miss them 26%  26%  [ 12 ]
Don't care 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
I don't like them but I don't mind if they stay 9%  9%  [ 4 ]
I hate them with a passion 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 46
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:21 am 
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Title: Queen of quotes
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During this party week, we are trialling avatars on your author forums. This is your avatar as of last Saturday. Some people didn't have avatars or they only had the red cross of death so that's why you are blank. Some avatars were odd shapes and the moving ones don't move. Drop me a line here if:

a) If you don't have an avatar on your author board and you would like one
b) I've accidently given you someone elses avatar or I missed yours
c) you want a default avatar (there is one available)
d) you have a rectangular avatar and want to submit a square one for your forum avatar
e) the extra pictures slow down the site loading too much for you.

Please hold off any request for new avatars other than wrong or absent until after the trial. At the end of the week we will run a poll to see if people want them to stay. My main worry is the loading times.

Any other comments and suggestions are welcome here too I just don't want to be bombarded with people wanting to change avatars. It's quite an involved process and my arm still hurts.

And now I have to go make dinner for the kids I have been ignoring all afternoon.

edited to say -
Please take a moment to answer the poll
If you have any other comments like: "I'd like to keep them if..." post them here.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:18 am 
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I hope you don't mind my saying...but I liked it without the avatars on the Board Index page. It looked a lot simpler, and cleaner. I'm kind of partial to that.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:39 am 
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You are welcome to say you don't like it. That's why it's a trial. The plan was to have them up for the birthday celebrations then take a poll to see if people think they should stay. You would be in the 'no' camp, then.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:17 am 
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I think they look AWESOME! I've come to recognize people as quickly from their icons as from their names, so I am finding author boards even more quickly.

Love it!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:18 am 
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I love them!

My laptop has no problem with loading them, and it is easier to see who's board it is.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:41 am 
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Miss_Barbara wrote:
I love them!

My laptop has no problem with loading them, and it is easier to see who's board it is.

Ironically, your avatar is no longer showing up on your post. You have the red cross of death, instead. I didn't take it, I swear. I downloaded all the avatars to my own trusty netbook before I played with them.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:43 am 
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They look fine, but really, I'm not sure they add a lot to the site. I'm kind of with Zainub here and I think it looks a bit cluttered.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:02 am 
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I like them :yes: I think they brighten up the place. However, I'm fine without them being there as well.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:08 am 
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It does make the board look prettifuls, but they're not that necessary. Another forum I'm part of has these icons on all their boards, though they don't have as many as we do (it's not a fic site), and I've always liked them on the other site. But I'm good either way.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:16 am 
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I love them! :smitten: Colours...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:59 am 
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I agree with Teri. But if the vote was unanimous for keeping them, then I'd get used to them.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:09 am 
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I like them a lot. I think it makes it easier for someone to find an author forum if they wanted to say...read a fic that was up for hinky nomination.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:43 am 
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I rather like them. They make browsing for specific author threads easier than scanning for the names. I read too fast too often, anyway, so I often miss threads.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:57 pm 
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I like them they do brighten up the place and I get to look at all the Gibbs pics

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Haha just when I decide to change my personal avatar or author board gets an avatar :P haha I was always good at choosing the best timing!!!

I like them!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:32 pm 
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I think they're pretty! Little dots of color.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:32 pm 
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I think I'll get used to them, though I'll agree both with those who say they're pretty and those who say they clutter up the page a bit. Personally I don't need them. I know where I want to go by looking at the scrolling bar. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:10 pm 
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I like them! Makes it easier to find author boards for me :P

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:50 pm 
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I agree with dreamsweet- I liked the cleaner, more simple look. They just make the board look cluttered, IMO.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:10 am 
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They don't slow down my load time any, but I noticed that they don't line up evenly on my screen, so they make it a little more difficult to locate a board.

Having said that, I use the "View new posts" link to tell me when a new story is added, so the avatars won't mess with my ability to find a story. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:11 am 
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After a request up in MTAC, I've inserted default icons on all the blanks author forums, just to see the look when they are all filled. We have also decided to hide all the unused author forum boards because we have quite a few now with no posts. Just remember that when they are 'gone' they are only hiding and can re-appear if the person returns.

Still got the think up some questions for the poll on keeping them. We could just go yes/no but I think a measure of how much people love or hate them would be useful.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:16 am 
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Starkitten315 wrote:
They don't slow down my load time any, but I noticed that they don't line up evenly on my screen, so they make it a little more difficult to locate a board.

Having said that, I use the "View new posts" link to tell me when a new story is added, so the avatars won't mess with my ability to find a story. :)


Some people don't use square avatars. I chose to preserve the aspect ratio so some forum avatars are rectangular. The ones that are short on the horizontal axis won't line up. This is more common at the top of the board. I could make them square which would help the look - I'd only bother if they become a long term feature.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:40 am 
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*thinks* If we do want to keep them, maybe it would be a possibility for the people who have a long description or a lot of long-name links to shorten those a little so all of them fit next to the avatar picture? Please compare Corinne's board to Caos' -I am simply going by first example I saw, I like both of those people- when it comes to looking cluttered with the avatar in place.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:17 am 
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I think it looks really good - the added visual makes it easier to find people's boards. Plus it's just pretty looking, too :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:19 am 
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I thought of that, too, Cassy, but some people just have a lot of sub-forums, and that's what's causing the additional space there, too, and it's not really fair to tell them they need to remove their forums or change the names of them. Of course, there's the option of hiding the sub-forums, too, in that case. Changing what the description says isn't that big of a deal, really. The sub-forum thing would be slightly inconvenient, but that's an option, too. I guess that's my biggest issue with the way it looks, too, is that they're not all taking up the same amount of space, if you get what I'm saying.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:31 am 
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All the square icons are 60x60, the rectagular ones have a maximum size of 60. The forum descriptions have:
title
description
moderator
subforums

The description can be two lines long (I'm looking at your smack) and sub forums can go for two lines (or more). Not everyone has sub forums. Thus the space for an author forum is a minimum of 3 lines and a maximum of ~6 lines long. The modal configuration seemed to be 4 lines long which was equivalent to a 60x60 icon.

I tried them with 40x40 and even a 70x70.

I could make them large icons so that they determine the spacing between the separating lines. That would make everything looking even but then we run into loading problems. My Iphone can't load them well, for example.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:38 am 
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I like this idea. Personally I find it easier to find my fave authors. If people don't like them and they get taken off, then its cool. I like the color though. I also like it becuase I think yo uget a flavor of what the author likes.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:22 pm 
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I think it looks great, and makes it easier to find authors you like, and also new authors.

BTW: I don't have my avatar in my author board and I'd like it, thanks :greetings-wavingyellow: .

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:33 pm 
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I like the icons. :yes: I'd like them to stay, but if most people want them gone I'm fine with that, too. But they sure makes it easier to swiftly locate someone's author board. At least I think it's easier to locate a picture when scanning a page than text.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Personally, I find the text easier...but I'm more of a printed word sort of person. ;D

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:00 pm 
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I rarely use the index to find author forums - I always check the "view new posts" option, or else use the scroll down menu at the bottom of whichever page I'm on to find a certain forum/sub-forum. Of course, I am on here more than a lot of people, so the "view new posts" is more convenient for me than it would be for some others.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:23 pm 
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hadapurpura wrote:
I think it looks great, and makes it easier to find authors you like, and also new authors.

BTW: I don't have my avatar in my author board and I'd like it, thanks :greetings-wavingyellow: .


I'll get right on it when I get home. It's 10am here, Aussie time and I can't play with this stuff at work - as much as I'd like to.

The thing I liked about it is that it often tells a new person which characters or ships the author is into so they can checkout their forums. Most people don't list there characters and ships in their forum description.

Another option would be to have standard avatars listing characters and ships inplace of the personal avatars or even just put a list of characters in the forum description.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:29 am 
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ozgeek wrote:
hadapurpura wrote:
I think it looks great, and makes it easier to find authors you like, and also new authors.

BTW: I don't have my avatar in my author board and I'd like it, thanks :greetings-wavingyellow: .


I'll get right on it when I get home. It's 10am here, Aussie time and I can't play with this stuff at work - as much as I'd like to.

The thing I liked about it is that it often tells a new person which characters or ships the author is into so they can checkout their forums. Most people don't list there characters and ships in their forum description.

Another option would be to have standard avatars listing characters and ships inplace of the personal avatars or even just put a list of characters in the forum description.

Done

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:04 pm 
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I think it's pretty... but I'm kinda shallow that way. ;D If it was up to me, I'd keep them.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:17 am 
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Hmmm. Did you do more work on it or am I just getting used to it already?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:43 pm 
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I love it. ;D

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:04 pm 
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I know my usual avatar is an animated gif. Obviously, a static one is necessary for the main boards. I do have a static icon that I'd like to submit, because right now it looks a little strange-ish.

But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the change, so put me down for 'I like!'

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Cassy wrote:
Hmmm. Did you do more work on it or am I just getting used to it already?

We made a couple of changes
1) we removed (well, hidden) the boards with no posts which have been around forever (one for almost a year)
2) we put default icons when the user had non so there were no blank spots.

If we go ahead, I want everyone to have the same size icons because the rectagular ones annoy me (only from an aesthetic point of view). Failing that, I'll make them all the same width because at the moment I only made the largest axis 60.

It's time I started putting a poll together I suppose.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:35 pm 
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Please take a moment to answer the poll at the top of the thread.
If you have any other comments like: "I'd like to keep them if..." post them here.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:27 am 
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Hahaha the last option made me laugh!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:31 pm 
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Ooh! I love them avatars on the author boards! Oz, they're beautiful, and I think we should keep them. :flirtysmile:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:50 pm 
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I'd like to have my icon shown :D

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Abbycted2Gee wrote:
I'd like to have my icon shown :D

I'll get onto it tonight, my time.

So far, the vote is for the avatars to stay but only 10 percent of the site has voted.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:15 am 
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Abbycted2Gee wrote:
I'd like to have my icon shown :D

Done

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:57 pm 
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I don't dislike them, but maybe make them optional?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:22 am 
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Making them optional means that some people have them displayed and some people don't. We started like that and people complained that it looked funny with gaps so we assigned the no avatar people a default one. This is one of those things where we just can't win.

My main worry was the increase in upload site for people with slow links. Asthetics aside, I don't want anyone to have trouble accessing the site because of the picture upload time.

So far we've had considerably more positve than negative votes so I will leave them up a little longer. I will leave the poll open because the precentage of voters is still low and I might start a discussion up in MTAC about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:46 pm 
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I know some boards have an option in preferences where you can choose to not see people's avatars and/or signatures. (And if you look on some of the boards you can see why, especially the signatures <g>). What about something like that?

Now that I had another look I'm not as into the look either, but then that might be a compromise.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:37 am 
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K-Gibbs wrote:
I know some boards have an option in preferences where you can choose to not see people's avatars and/or signatures. (And if you look on some of the boards you can see why, especially the signatures <g>). What about something like that?

Now that I had another look I'm not as into the look either, but then that might be a compromise.


On this board too, you can go to your User Control Panel and select not to display people's avatars and signatures when they post.

Specifically, your options are:

Display images within posts: Yes No
Display Flash animations: Yes No
Display smilies as images: Yes No
Display signatures: Yes No
Display avatars: Yes No
Enable word censoring: Yes No

That is not the problem. In this case you are looking at images attached to forum descriptions. I have used people's avatars for those pictures but I could have used any image at all. If you change your avatar right now, the image on your author forum will not change, the two are not connected in anyway except that I have personally downloaded them to my trusty netbook, re-sized them, up loaded them to the site code area and then edited every author forum to display them.

In short: you can change your settings so that you do not see anyone's avatar and signature in posts but you can not, as far as I know, change them so that you do not see images on the index board. It's like changing your settings so you don't see the NFA community banner at the top of the page: not happening.

Unless admin deletes 'em, you are gonna see 'em.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:45 am 
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ozgeek wrote:
K-Gibbs wrote:

In short: you can change your settings so that you do not see anyone's avatar and signature in posts but you can not, as far as I know, change them so that you do not see images on the index board. It's like changing your settings so you don't see the NFA community banner at the top of the page: not happening.


Yeah, that's the idea I was referring to. I know it can't be done right now, but is there a way to set that up in the board script and make it possible? For example set the main board page as text only or something like that?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:37 am 
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If images on websites are bothering you, I suggest you look into your browser features. For example in Internet Explorer - any version from 6 to 8 - you can turn off all pictures by

Internet Explorer menu bar:

Select Tools.
Select Internet Options.
Select the Advanced tab.
Turn the Show pictures setting off by clearing its check box.
Click OK.

Image

(ref)

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