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Can someone tell me how to move the sidebar to the left side of the screen?
If you use Firebug or a similar element insector, you can see that this is controlled by the div #Panel.
If you don't have one, create a custom theme (see here: http://vanillaforums.org/docs/themequickstart )
Then in custom.css add the rule you want to position the Panel div.
Note - custom.css only has to hold the rules you want to add, so in your case it could be a single rule.