Having problems with our site? Here are some common problems that users report with Web sites and some solutions:

Q. I'm viewing your site in one browser and it looks okay. In another browser, the layout doesn't look right.
A. Different browsers unfortunately render sites in different ways, ranging from small differences to very large ones, depending on how many proprietary HTML tags the designer has used and on various other browser inconsistencies and incompatibilities. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life as different browser manufacturers try to differentiate their products from those of their competitors, and so these problems will crop up from time to time.

Q. Okay, so what browsers do work well for this site?
A. It was tested extensively using Mozilla 1.0.1 on a Macintosh. Mozilla (see the download buttons to the right; it's the one with the big dinosaur on it) is the free, open-source browser upon which Netscape 6 and 7 were based. It is highly recommended and available for most platforms, or if you're feeling brave, you can build it yourself from the source. (We don't provide technical support on any external software.)

Q. I'm trying to access your FTP site and I'm having trouble getting a list of files that are available.
A. Try toggling "passive mode" in your FTP client or Web browser. Again, we don't provide support for third-party software (that is, if it's not part of our site) so you'll need to look at the documentation for the client you're using for information on how to do that.

Q. I'm trying to access your site and it's responding very slowly.
A. Look at the backup information in the column to the right of this content to see if you're trying to access the site during the time window listed. If that's so, then you're probably the victim of the server granting nearly all of its processing power to creating the data backup. If not, then the system may simply be busy with another task (especially during weekdays in the central US) or there may be a network congestion or equipment failure issue between your location and ours. If you're familiar with TCP/IP utilities, you could try running a traceroute to our server to see if you can find any bottlenecks.

Q. I'm trying to access a PDF file from a science journal that you've linked to on your site, but the journal says I don't have the access rights. Why?
A. Journals usually charge a subscription fee to view their content, and unless you have an individual subscription (usually a personal username and password), the servers will check your IP address to determine whether or not your institution has paid a subscription fee. If you are accessing the journal from the campus of an institution that has an online subscription to the journal in question, and you still get the error page, you should contact that journal's online support department for help. We have discovered that most journals are fairly quick to respond to user problems.

Q. I can get to the PDFs, but I can't view them. What software do I need?
A. PDF (Portable Document Format) is a proprietary format developed by Adobe Systems, Inc. All of the pages on our site include a download link to the Web site from which Adobe distributes Acrobat. It is free and available for many platforms and operating systems.

Q. I found a broken link! What now?
A. Please do tell us about it. Even though the site was checked for broken links and similar errors before it was put online, it's possible for something to slip through. If the link is to another page on our site, we can correct it immemdiately if you report it. If it is a link to an external site, we don't control what external sites do, so these links do go bad. We do try to keep our links up to date, but sometimes linkrot outpaces even the most on-their-toes webmaster.

Q. I really like your site! I want to tell you that.
A. Please do! :-) The webmaster likes to hear when things are well-received. She also likes chocolate.

Q. I don't like your site! I want to tell you that.
A. That's okay -- everyone has different tastes. If you see something you don't like, see something that's just plain wrong, or just want to make a general comment, feel free. Flames and similar will be sent to /dev/null, though.

Q. My question isn't answered here. What do I do?
A. Ask us anyway. The only way for questions to become "frequently asked" is for them to be asked in the first place.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the site!