Not everyone has broadband access, so this entire site is specifically designed to load rapidly even over slow dial up connections: The text will draw first while the pictures load progressively. Using a typical dialup connection speed of 33.6 Kilobits/second, most pages will fully load in less than ten seconds. Even the most graphic-intensive page will completely load in less than a minute at this speed.
The site is also as user-friendly across platforms and browser software as possible. You shouldn’t be more than three or four clicks away from the information you are after. However, there can always be some issues with individual setups if the site does not work the way you expect it to, or have pleasant appearance. This page may help increase your viewing pleasure.
If you are still experiencing problems after following the advice on this page, please contact us.
This site uses more than the standard minimal “web safe” colors. If your system can only view 256 colors or less, you will not have good color rendition. You might find thousands of colors adequate, but best photographic realization requires millions of colors.
Maximize the size of the window area to fill your screen. Some pages being viewed on older computers with screens smaller than twelve inch may require horizontal scrolling. Set your screen resolution at 72dpi.
Most browsers have the default font size set too large. If your browser allows, set your default font size to “14” for best text appearance on screen. In many browsers, you will find this under PREFERENCES –> APPEARANCE –> FONTS. Some browsers and systems may not allow smoothing of smaller font sizes. Windows users should ensure that ClearType is enabled.
All pages in this site now use the Unicode (UTF-8) character set. Older, and particularly non-Western systems may not correctly render commonly-used European characters with accents, or special typographical characters used individually throughout this site like the acute (´), apostrophe (’), copyright (©), curly quotes (“ ”), ellipsis (…), en-rule (–) or em-rule (—). If you see odd characters sprinkled in the text, or the whole page is rendered in garbled text, your browser may not be correctly detecting the character set specified by the page. Sometimes you can assist your browser by deliberately specifying the character set it will use, and then reloading the page. You can find this option under VIEW –> CHARACTER SET or TEXT ENCODING. Please use the latest browser version suitable for your computer and operating system.
If you try to view our foreign language pages without the necessary language software on your computer, your browser might either show only garbled text for the foreign characters, or else redirect you to a site and commence to download the necessary software. Without the proper browser support, when viewing Arabic pages you may see unjoined Arabic letters written left-to-right instead of right-to-left, or other symbols instead of correctly rendered Arabic script.
This site still uses frames and will not work on versions of Internet Explorer or Netscape prior to v3. Please note that because the top frame refreshes once in the first minute of your visit, if you are in the habit of navigating using your browser BACK and FORWARD buttons at the beginning of your session you may have to press those buttons a few times to return to the page you expect. There is a bug reported by Windows users of some previous versions of Internet Explorer where the BACK button is not available and you cannot leave the site beyond your entry URL: This is not a harpsichord conspiracy! Please refer to the relevant Microsoft support page.
Our entire site now takes advantage of cascading style sheets. Behaviour may be unpredictable in versions of Internet Explorer or Netscape prior to v4.
Our site does not attempt to set cookies on your computer.
There are a few simple animated gifs throughout our site, and if you have these blocked in your browser preferences, you will obviously miss their benefit.
To take advantage of the latest browser and news reader technology, we provide several useful feeds. Details of our feeds can be found on the RSS Feeds page.
Sounds & Movies…
This site is Flash-free. Our sound files are all mp3 and movie files mp4. If your browser is HTML5 compatible, our sounds and movies will play without any plug-in required: Earlier browsers may require the QuickTime plug-in. All our movies use H.264 and AAC codecs and conform to MP4 file format specifications for hinted streaming. Your movie player and/or associated browser plug-in must be able to properly interpret these codecs or else the mp4 files may load without playing, perhaps showing a broken icon. Our movies will play on iPhone and iPad, but may not play successfully on other mobile devices.
Your browser will need appropriate plug-ins to use the various files on this, and other, sites. Without a suitable plug-in, when confronted with a new file type, most browsers will give you the choice of saving the file, or going to a page to download a plug-in which will assist your browser. To check what plug-ins are already installed on your computer, when using your browser try looking under HELP –> INSTALLED PLUG-INS. For Internet Explorer, ensure that your plug-ins are enabled by looking under PREFERENCES –> WEB BROWSER –> WEB CONTENT –> ENABLE PLUG-INS.
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Computers and software are not necessarily like harpsichords. While the site will probably work adequately with common version 4 browsers, later is probably better. We recommend you download the latest appropriate version of your favorite browser, and check its help files for correct setup. Latest versions of all software for various operating systems can be found and downloaded from VersionTracker/CNET or similar sites.
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