Using this site
General access to the site
Getting to know the site
Moving about the site
Access to the Members’ Area
Abbreviations, references and symbols
Bookmarks / Favourite URLs
General access to the site
This site has been thoroughly tested on one PC and partly tested on others. It has also been tested on a Macbook. It has been tried & tested using the 5 major Internet browsers (Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome and the independent Opera) and, as far as is reasonably possible given our limited resources, and subject to the notes given just below, we have made sure that it should work well with all of them (as long as you are not using too old a version). It should also work OK with most less-common browsers as long as they comply with international programming standards.
- This site was launched in its present form in May 2011. As reported on Our New Site, there are a few issues known as still to be resolved and it is to be expected that some other issues will arise over the first few weeks of operation. Your co-operation and patience with us over these weeks will be appreciated.
- Comment on the use of different browsers is included on Browsers and Search Engines. Please note that in this site we are supporting people who access the site on ‘normal computers’. Although in practice it is likely that people will be able to view this site on ‘tablet computers’, ‘smart phones’ & similar, at present we do not attempt to support them.
- How old is “too old a version” for your browser? We have yet to research this properly for all of the main browsers but we can confirm that the site has not been designed to support IE6 which was released in 2001 and which even Microsoft has identified as obsolete. [See here for a web site released by Microsoft to discourage people from using IE6.] We have found that IE8 is not as reliable as IE7 so we suggest that, if you are using IE8 and have any problems on this or any other site, you upgrade to IE9.
If you are thinking of subscribing for Stirnet Membership, please read our Subscription Guide before you register.
Getting to know the site Top of page
We have tried to provide enough information in the site to cover any queries you are likely to have. We accept that most people cannot be bothered with much text so we have tried to get the right balance between making relevant information readily accessible but ensuring that it is not too intrusive. Clicking on the Shortcuts link at the top of the page will take you to our Site Map which links to most of the support pages in the site including the Frequently Asked Questions page. Most people first come to our site to see our Families Database. Not only does the database contain a large number of data pages, it also has a number of support pages which have been designed to help people find out more about the database and get the best from it. Viewing of the data pages is interrupted except for logged-in Members of our Membership Scheme. However, the database’s support pages may be viewed without interruption.
We suggest that, unless you are following a specific line of enquiry, when you come to a page in the site for the first time you read (even if only ‘skim read’) the whole page before you follow a link to another page. That way you will at least have an opportunity to see what subjects that page covers other than just the first one which happens to catch your attention.
Screen setting Top of page
The site has been designed to be viewed with monitors set at 1024 x 768 pixels. Monitors set differently may display strange results. If you are not sure what this means then, if the display seems OK, just ignore this note. Otherwise, it may be worth your while to check & amend your monitor settings.
If you have reduced the size of the site display (the part of the screen that is used to display this web site), perhaps by using part of the screen to display the Favourites or History information recorded by your browser or perhaps by not having the site display at maximum size, you may cause some of the pages to look strangely (eg by having text, links, or pictures wrapped in ways they were not designed for). To get the best view of the pages in this site we suggest that you turn off the display of Favourites or History (or similar) information or otherwise maximise the site display whilst you are looking through the site. The same thing applies to almost every web site that you visit.
Throughout most of the site we have used a font size that should be easy for most users to read but don’t forget that many browsers have a Text Size function (often within a View menu) that enables you to enlarge or shrink text. The site has been designed with a Medium text size setting in mind.
To make everything bigger, hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and press ‘+’.
Holding the Control key and pressing ‘-’ will make things smaller again.
Printing out Top of page
Many of the pages in the site will probably look best printed out with the paper orientated ‘Landscape’ mode (wide rather than tall) but for some you may find that ‘Portrait’ (tall rather than wide) works better for some pages. You may find using Ctrl+P (holding down the Control key and then pressing p) an easier and more reliable way to print pages that using your browser’s normal print command.
For information on printing out pages of the Families Database see Information about the Database.
Moving about the site Top of page
(a) The links at the top of the page will take you to different parts of the site. Clicking on the Shortcuts link at the top of the page will take you to our Site Map which links to most of the support pages in the site.
(b) Links to ‘Top of page’ will normally take you to just below the very top of the page. This is because that is the highest point in the page we can place the ‘anchor’ needed to move you to the right part of the page. We could set you back to the very top of the page but that would mean reloading the page completely which might slow down your viewing.
(c) For information on moving around the Families Database see Information about the Database.
(d) If you open another page within the site it will normally simply replace the previous page. However, if you open a page which is in another site altogether then a new file will normally be opened so that you can move about that other site and then come back to this site without difficulty.
(e) Don’t forget that you can use the back & forward arrows provided by your browser.
(f) We try to ensure that all of our links work properly and apologise in advance for any errors. If you have been to the site before and find that a link that used to work no longer does so, it may be that there has been a change in the site (see Our New Site) but the memory cache in your computer is trying to direct you to a page which has been moved or deleted. This can often be remedied simply by clicking on your browser’s ‘Refresh’ button or your keyboard’s F5 (or Ctrl+F5). If you experience this problem frequently, or find that refreshing the page does not work, we suggest that, from time to time, you clear your browser’s memory of your visits around the Internet and/or you reduce your browser’s memory settings.
Access to the Members’ Area Top of page
The Members’ Area is only visible if you have a valid Username and have logged-in. The Area is open not only to Members (people who have a current subscription period) but also to Guests (people who have registered a Username but do not have a current subscription). However, only Members may access the Free Content section of the Members Area.
Logging-in Top of page
As long as you are not logged-in at the moment, you will see Register and Login at the right of the links bar at the top of this and every page. If you have logged-in then you should see Profile and Logout at the right of the links bar at the top of this and every page.
It is recommended that you logout every time you have completed what you want to do in the site for the time being. If you do not then you may find that you cannot login to the site again from another computer as you can log-in to the site from only one IP address at a time.
For other information about Membership and Registration, see those pages and the pages that link off them. If you forget your Password or have any other problems logging-in, please look at the Troubleshooting page.
Abbreviations, references and symbols Top of page
If you have any questions about the abbreviations & references used in the Families Database (or, indeed, have any other questions about that database) then don’t forget to look at the support pages which are linked to from the database’s Lead Index Page (in particular ‘Information about the database’, ‘Sources & acknowledgements’ and ‘Occasionally asked questions’) as they cover most of the questions that are likely to arise.
The signs & symbols used in Stirnet Histories are explained at the foot of About Stirnet Histories.
Bookmarks / Favourite URLs Top of page
If you want to bookmark or otherwise record a page in this site as a Favourite URL, we suggest that you bookmark the Home Page of the site using the site’s basic URL (www.stirnet.com). This is partly because the Home Page will always be accessible as long as this site is maintained (other pages may not be or may have their URL changed) and partly because our directory system is complicated, with most of the non-database pages being held within a content management system.