can't upload an avatar image to this discussion area.. and where's the search?!

Greetings!

I am new here.. *waves* :)

I just found that when I attempt to upload n avatar image, regardless of whether it is jpg or png I get an error message.. 'sorry there was a problem uploading your picture'..
the same images work on other networks and on my own installation of elgg.. strangey!

Also, I notice there is no search function that is specifically for the group discussions.. so its not easy to know if someone has already asked the same question.. Or did I miss it?

thanks