Oldlady, John, and all:
First, I appreciate that so many care about this forum and its operation. We do, in fact, try to make it as easy as possible to use, but John is correct that there are certain (I'll call them restrictions) in place when using a third-party piece of software for this forum. There are many setting which are, as a default, set according to best Internet and privacy practices by the software when it is installed "out of the box." That said, we have, do, and will, adjust these as necessary (the recent difficulty with folks not being allowed to comment in the gallery without moderation is a prime example). This forum software, by necessity, needs to be managed by exception to a large extent. In order to provide it for free, we really have to be careful about the resources we put into changing it. One of the main reasons for this is that one never really knows what effect a single (seemingly) small change can have in terms of unforeseen consequences.
Oldlady, one thing that is in place that may be causing a new member to be unable to immediately populate a profile is that we require validation by clicking a link in a confirmation email. This is one of the most effective tools we have at keeping the robot spammers away from the forum. If you can PM me with what you think is specifically difficult to accomplish in setting up a profile, we can see if there are settings that govern this that we can adjust or improve. I only ask because I have not heard this previously, and it's possible that others share your frustration but have not spoken up. I'd appreciate more detail, as I have not personally experienced the difficulty you mention.
In the meantime, I'll look into what verbiage might be adjusted so that the directions are as clear as possible.