The Preferences page is a special page, comprising of options which allow a user to personalize how LostPedia is rendered in a web browser, and additionally control how some very basic functions, such as searching and editing are performed.
If you don't set this option and subsequently forget your password, it will be impossible to recover it!.
Nickname: What you would like displayed when you sign entries.
Raw signatures: Partially overrides the Nickname option to allow full Wikisyntax in your signature - see Help:Signatures.
Language:Specifies the language the Wiki interface uses to communicate with you (for example, on the Special:Preferences page).
Change password: Allows you to change your password.
To do so, you must supply your old password, and then enter the new password you desire twice
This is in an effort to avoid a typographical error, which could make your account inaccessible.
Choosing a strong password is not an official LOSTpedia policy, but it is a good idea; a prior incident where a vandal gained control of a sysop account led to mass vandalism, requiring an some rather labour-intensive reversion of many articles by the SysOps of LOSTpedia.
Disable e-mail from other users:Prevents other LostPedia users from emailing you (providing you have supplied your email address) by following the 'email this user' option in the lower left-hand side of the user talk page.
Various default appearances for LostPedia can be selected here.
You may preview this page in various skin styles using the following links:
MediaWiki uses a (very old in computer terms, and very common) format called TeX to render mathematical equations. This section of Special:Preferences controls how LostPedia achieves this.
Always render PNG: Always render a PNG image from the TeX code.
HTML if very simple or else PNG: If the TeX code is very simple, like "4+8+15+16+23+42=108", it is rendered as HTML; otherwise, as a PNG image.
HTML if possible or else PNG: This option tries really hard to use HTML, but if it's too complicated, then it renders it as PNG. It is not recommended, as the results can be unpredictable.
Leave it as TeX (for text browsers): Don't convert the TeX code at all - primarily for text-based browsers like Lynx, which are primarily designed for visually impaired users (or HTML purists!).
Recommended for modern browsers: If you are browsing LostPedia on a relatively up-to-date, mainstream browser, this is probably the best option to use.
MathML if possible (experimental): add to me.
You may not think this has any relevance to LostPedia, but at present Hidden Map Equations uses lots of TeX!
Limit images on image description pages to thumbnail size: Useful for people on limited bandwidth, such as dialup users; having to load a huge image just to read an image description is counterproductive.
This setting allows a user to avoid this problem by specifying an image size for image description pages.
A user may select various international date and time formats in this section.
Server time: This cannot be changed; it's the local time where the LostPedia server is located.
Local time: This also cannot be changed; it's acquired the user's system settings - although it changes in relation to Offset below.
Offset: Allows one to specify the time difference in your location from Server time; i.e., the GMT offset from Server Time is +1.
The Fill in from browser time button will alter Offset automatically, based on the local time obtained from your web browser.
Rows and Columns: Set the depth and width respectively of the edit box, in characters.
Enable section editing via  links: Inserts an  at the start of each subsection of an article.
Edit box has full width: When checked, this option enables the edit box to occupy the entire width of the page, minus the essential frame elements.
Show preview on first edit: When editing a page, show the rendered page, just like after pressing "Show preview" as well as the edit box. Useful for editing templates.
Show preview before edit box: Displays the preview box above the edit page, as opposed to separately.
Add pages you edit to your watchlist: Automatically adds pages a user edits to the watchlist; these pages will show up in bold on the recent changes page for that user.
Mark all edits minor by default: Self-explanatory.
Use external editor by default: Delegates editing a page to a user-specified external editor by default.
Use external diff by default: Delegates comparing versions of a page to a user-specified external application by default.
Recent changes & stubs
Threshold for stub display: Essentially decides the maximum length of an article that can remain tagged a stub; see here for a more detailed explanation.
Titles in recent changes : The number of edits shown by default in Special:Recent Changes.
Hide minor edits in recent changes: Self-explanatory.
Hits per page:The number of results the search engine returns per page.
Lines per hit:Only searches to a depth of n lines into an article. In other words, if the searched term occurs at the 51st line or after of an article, and this is set to 50, the article will not be returned as a result of the search. A setting of 5000 or more will search the entire article.
Context per line:
Underline links: Self-explanatory. On by default; if disabled, links are still distinguishable by colour.
Broken links formatting: Determines the manner in which new pages are displayed in an article.
Justify paragraphs: Enables or disables word wrap; If enabled, will insert space in the render of page in order to avoid splitting a word over two lines.
Auto-number headings: Adds numerical, thesis-style headings to the divisions and subdivisions within an article.
Show table of contents (for pages with more than 3 headings): Again, self-explanatory. Can be disabled manually via the __NOTOC__ command in wikisyntax.
Disable page caching: Prevents a user's computer from locally storing copies of pages on LostPedia. Enabling this option will result in markedly longer load times for pages.