Cookies and Caches
Checking Your Cookie Settings in Internet Explorer 6
Checking Your Cookie Settings in Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5
Checking Your Cookie Settings in Netscape 6
Checking Your Cookie Settings in Netscape 4.7 or lower
Deleting the Forum Cookies
Checking Your Cache Settings in Internet Explorer
Checking Your Cache Settings in Netscape
What the Cache Settings Mean
You must accept cookies in order for this board to work properly. Cookies store your username, your password, and your language preference; as well of keeping track of when you were last in a forum, thereby telling you how many new posts are in each forum when you're at the Main Index. Cookies are not harmful, and the cookies set by these forums do not track any information about you beyond what's stated above. If you are interested in learning more about cookies, we suggest Cookie Central. This page and this page, in particular, are good informational starting points.
Also, please note that cookies are not perfect. They can become corrupt, and they can do all sorts of wacky little things. If you suddenly find yourself logged out, for example, that's due to Wacky Cookies. (That's just our name for it.) The odds that this can be blamed on the program itself are very, very slim; it's just a drawback of cookies. If you experience such trouble, you'll want to delete the forum's cookies so that they can be reset. See below for easy directions.
If you wish to ensure that your browser is enabled to accept cookies, do the following:Checking Cookie Settings in Internet Explorer 6:
Checking Cookie Settings in Netscape 6 or higher:
Deleting the Forum Cookies
It may become necessary to delete the cookies that the forum has set for you. The most common reasons that this would be necessary are:
In the case of reasons 1 and 2, the problem is that your cookies feed the system your old name, which conflicts with your new name.
To delete the cookies that the forum has set for you, go here. Scroll down a bit, and you'll see a link which says, "Yes, I want to delete my cookies for the forum." Click that link - you'll receive a confirmation that your cookies have been deleted. Be sure to close all windows of your browser afterwards for the change to take effect. Please note that this will not delete all of the cookies you have on your computer; it will only delete the cookies set by these forums.Back to Top
You may find it useful to have a basic understanding of caching, and checking your cache settings.
Whenever you visit a page on the Internet, it's stored to your cache (Explorer calls it your temporary internet files). If an item is stored in your cache, then the next time your browser needs to load that item, it can pull it up a lot quicker, because it's coming from your own hard drive, not a computer many miles away.
You may have noticed that sometimes we'll announce that a new episode is posted, and then someone will say that the link is not in the Episode List (or it may have happened to you). This is because their browser gave them a cached copy of the page, so they didn't see the new link. Maybe they had been to that page just a short while ago, or maybe they had their settings set to Never, or maybe it was set to Automatically and Explorer "decided" that it didn't need to be refreshed.
Whenever you want to be sure that you're viewing a fresh copy of a page (not out of your cache), you can click your browser's 'Refresh' button, or right click and choose it (it's 'Reload' in Netscape). This will download a fresh copy of the page. If you want to be really sure that the page is fresh, including all images (see next paragraph), then hold down the 'Shift' key on your keyboard while you click 'Refresh' or 'Reload.'
Images stick in caches better. You may remember when we added the text to the images in these forums, thereby making them bigger some of you saw the old images, but at strange sizes. This was because your browser got the updated page / HTML from our server (telling it the new size of the image), but the images themselves kept loading out of cache. Sometimes you have to refresh quite a few times to get an image to freshen.
Caching is the reason that if you view go to the post list of a forum, then click on a post, then use your browser's back button to go back to the post list, you'll see the exact same post list you saw before -- the post you just read will still show as new, and any new posts won't yet appear. Going back takes you to the page out of your cache, which is a good thing for it's own purposes. However, to navigate the boards, you generally don't want to view the cached pages -- you want them fresh, so you can see new posts. For this reason, you should use the navigation built into the pages -- the 'Up One Level' button, the 'Jump to' box below some pages, the links at the left or the top, etc.
Caching is also the reason why occasionally, when you hit the back button after spell checking or previewing a post, the post disappears. This is unfortunate and irrational - for some reason, the post is somehow expiring from your cache (it's not in there anymore). Our research has failed to turn up any reasons for this, only other people saying there's no reason for it. It's unpredictable, but fortunately not too common.
If you wish to check your cache settings, here's how:Checking Cache Settings in Internet Explorer 5.0 (Other versions should be similar, though not exactly the same):
Checking Cache Settings in Netscape 4.7 (Other versions should be similar):
What the Cache Settings Mean
If you set your cache settings to 'Never': If you visit a lot of the same sites over and over again, your surfing would be somewhat faster... any page or image that you had already been to would come straight from the cache on your hard drive, instead of being downloaded from the server. However, this means that if those pages had been changed in any way, you wouldn't know it. Depending on your cache size and how full it is, you could be seeing the exact same page that you saw months ago. Personally, we wish that 'Never' wasn't even an option.
If you set your cache settings to 'Every visit to the page' (Explorer) or 'Every time' (Netscape), then you're basically not using your cache at all. Every time you visit a page (including when you hit the "Back" button, which means previewing and spell checking won't be an option for you), your browser will download the content from the server. This means that you would always be viewing fresh content, but your surfing would be slower.
Setting it to Automatically (which is only a feature of Explorer 5.0, and which I think is the default for that browser) is sort of like checking every time you visit the page, except that it's supposed to be "smarter," and decide for you if it should check or not. I don't quite understand the details of how it decides, but every source I've checked with advises against this setting.
Most people (ourselves included) would strongly recommend selecting 'Every time you start Internet Explorer' (Explorer, of course) or 'Once per session' (Netscape). Let's say that you visit our What's New page today. If you came back tomorrow, Explorer would download the page from our server, and you'd get a fresh version (so if we'd made another update, you'd see it). Then if you came back an hour later (assuming you kept Explorer open the whole time), you'd get the page from your cache, so it would load faster, but if we had made another change in that hour (possible, but not all that likely), you wouldn't see it. This is a good compromise -- makes your surfing somewhat faster, but you don't end up seeing a bunch of terribly outdated content.Back to Top
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