Troubleshooting

It is, of course, asking for trouble to expect any web site to be problem free. However, this site should certainly have many fewer problems than any of its earlier versions (possibly apart from the very first one which was so simple that there was nothing that could go wrong). To avoid delay & problems with the release of this new site I had to scale back some initial hopes for the site (see ‘Possible changes in the future’ on History of the site) but I was keen to make sure that the site is kept simple enough to operate well for everyone.

 

I distinguish between questions seeking help for dealing with problems and questions that merely ask for advice on how to do something. It is possible that you have an issue that you view as a problem but I view as a misunderstanding that can be dealt with best through providing an answer to a question. This page is for helping people sort out what I view as problems. If it does not cover an issue you think I should have addressed, or if you are seeking advice on the way this site works, please see the other page in this Support section and/or the pages in the Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ) section. In particular, if you have a question about your Membership, please see Membership FAQ. Finally, don’t forget the final question below – “I’ve tried everything but am still having problems. Can you help?”. Over the years quite a few problems have been reported to me by site visitors that were sorted simply by them forcing their browsers to clear a cookie blockage and ‘see’ a page properly.

The following covers the most common situations. The Answer may well be because:

1. you have never registered an account with us.
– Unless you have completed our registration process, our system will not see you as having registered an account with us. Please do not confuse this site with any other site!

2. any account you registered with us has been deleted.
– It is rare for us to delete registered accounts but we will do so if we view any of its details as suspiciously like spam. I apologise if this has happened to you by mistake.

3. you are using the wrong Username or Password.
– see Membership FAQ for advice on how to change your registered Username, Password, or Email address.

4. your account has been suspended.
– It is rare for us to have disputes with anyone. However, over the years there has been a very small number of people who have tried to cheat us in one way or another. We have banned them from registering with us.

5. either you have left yourself logged-in to your account somewhere else or someone else is using your account.
– You will be able to open this site in different tabs or windows of the same computer and even on different computers which share an IP address. However, like many other sites, to protect ourselves from people just sharing their account with others, we do not allow the site to be opened from different IP addresses at the same time.
The IP address is the address used by your computer (or computer network) to identify it on the Internet. Without it, it would not be possible to have what you want to see directed to your computer. Every time you enter any site, your IP address is reported to the site. From this, our site’s systems is able to check what your IP address is when you login and so can stop your account being used by more than one IP address at a time.

If you are corresponding directly with Peter, it is likely that he (me) is just being slow to deal with correspondence (see the E-mail Issues section on Contact us).

 

If you were expecting to receive an automated mail from Stirnet, let me first clarify when it is that our system sends out automated emails to site users:
– when they first register (to confirm details of the registration) but not if they have registered only for FREE status,
– when they have completed a payment (to confirm details thereof), and
– when they have lost a password (to provide them with a link to a page where they may reset the Password).

 

If you do not receive an automated e-mail, it is likely that your e-mail system has seen that the e-mail was generated automatically, viewed it to be spam, and stopped you from receiving it. To get around that you should be able to tell your e-mail system to accept all e-mails coming from Stirnet.com.

 

This version of the site does not (yet) send out an automated reminder shortly before a subscription period expires. This is mentioned on both News01 – Changes to the site and the Possible changes in the future note on History of the site.

When clicked on, most of the links in the site to another page in the site will replace your current page with the new page. HOWEVER, within the Registration & Subscription Process, various links open the new page in a separate browser window, leaving you with two pages open in the site. This is to enable you to find more information without leaving the Registration & Subscription Process. We advise that, once you have obtained the information you want from the new page, you close that window as otherwise it can become confusing as to which window is at what stage of the Registration & Subscription Process.

The most likely reason is that your browser has been set to block either cookies or javascript. It is rare nowadays for anyone to try to use the Internet with either cookies blocked or javascript disabled. Like most other sites, to see our site work properly you need to ensure that your browser enables javascript and accepts our cookie(s). Otherwise, problems can include the inability to log-in and seeing blank pages. Sometimes cookies get blocked by accident, perhaps because a browser has not cleared itself properly. If that might be the issue, look at the final question below – “I’ve tried everything but am still having problems. Can you help?”. The answer to that has proved useful surprisingly-many times.

 

Javascript is one of the world’s most popular programming codes for web sites.
For more information on cookies, see the Privacy & Cookies page.

If you have slow Internet reception then, as with any web site, it is quite possible that it may take a few seconds before a complicated page loads fully. However, few of the pages in our site have large files, largely because we do not include videos and make only modest use of pictures. As for pages in our Families Database, none of them include any complicated elements but, because the data is shown within tables, they will probably not start being displayed until the whole table has been uploaded. It may be that your browser happens to treat such tables rather slowly but that should be rare nowadays.

Ensuring that pages are printed properly in each of the main browsers is no easy task! Indeed, it is impossible to be sure that all possible combinations of printers and browsers can be dealt with. Some browsers seem more prone than others to having printing issues. I am reasonably confident that this site should not cause printing problems so, if your printer has a major problem with your present browser, it may be worth your while trying it with another browser. Some of the major browsers force their host computers to update the browsers whenever an update is released so, unless that forcing has been specifically disabled, the points made below about ‘early versions’ should no longer apply.

 

* Are you using Internet Explorer as your browser? If so please see the question below for people using that browser.

* Are you using an early version of Opera as your browser? If so then your printer might print out a blank page. It appears that Opera treats the start of a table as a page break. Although this also affects a few other pages in the site, it is particularly relevant to the data pages in our Families Database because we use tables to present the genie data. We view this issue as a quirk of Opera that has to be lived with.

* Are you using an early version of Firefox? If so then you may experience printing problems with many sites. We recommend that you update the browser.

 

General Tip: Our preferred way to print pages is to use Ctrl+P (holding down the Control key and then pressing p).

Microsoft was not liked by web site programmers in the past because they were slow to adopt international programming standards. However, recent versions of Internet Explorer (IE) have significantly improved their compliance with such standards. Like most other web sites, we do not try to support versions of IE before IE8 and I understand that even Microsoft is going to stop supporting versions before IE9 in the near future.

 

The following should not apply to this site any longer. They did in the past so I have kept the information in case it is helpful with your dealings with other sites.

 

If you see the message “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site …. Operation aborted” when you enter a web site, it is likely that you are using IE8 and that it is not switching into its compatibility mode, perhaps because you have a very early edition of that version. To access the page you wanted, click the OK on that message and you will be taken to a Microsoft page entitled “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” which contains a box with ‘Diagnose Connection Problems’. Ignore that and just click on the Back Arrow at the top left of your browser. That should take you back to the page you wanted after which you should be able to move around the database without any more problems. As mentioned above, you should see the error message only if you have an IE8 browser which does not switch into compatibility mode. If you think that your browser may be “remembering the problem”, see the last question below. Otherwise, we suggest that you either upgrade to the most recent version of IE or try another browser.

 

Some people have/had problems in viewing certain web sites when using some versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (such as IE9). To get around this, Microsoft developed a Compatibility Mode which was more flexible in dealing with such sites than its Standard Mode. To turn that on, whilst viewing the site, click on the Tools Menu and enter ‘Compatibility View settings’ then simply click on the Add button there to add the relevant site to the sites for which ‘Compatibility View’ is applied.

 

Some versions of IE provide an option to print all documents linked to the current page. If that option has been turned on and you are trying to print out a page from the Families Database, the printer may try to print the whole database. Given that the database contains more than 5,000 pages, that is likely to cause your printer and hence your computer a bit of a problem. You may be able to exit the freeze by using the standard Ctrl+Alt+Del combination and ending the printer application. If that does not work then you may have to turn off the computer and start again. To avoid this problem, simply click on your Print control, go to the Options tab, and ensure that the ‘Print all linked documents’ box has not been turned on. If it has been turned on, just turn it off.

I am reasonably confident that, except as reported above, all of the basics of this site will work well for just about everybody. However, even if every site you have recently visited is perfect in every way, it seems that sometimes a ‘gremlin’ can arrive in your computer through some form of Internet ‘glitch’. [Apologies if this is too technical for you!] If  you are having a problem, having tried (and properly followed) anything suggested above that seems to be applicable, it is possible that the problem has in fact been solved but you are not able to see that because your computer’s memory has stored the problem and is repeating it. This is surprisingly common. Normally, simple steps clear it:
– hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key on your keyboard and press F5 (this should force your browser to refresh its look at the page, an alternative to this is Ctrl+Shift+R).
– make sure you are logged-out from this site, close down your browser, and start again.
– if that doesn’t work, repeat it but also close down your computer and leave it off for several seconds before starting again.
– if that doesn’t work, clear your browser’s cached memory of pages recently visited and start again.