Bluffton Indiana and Wells County – Our Tentative Times

Bluffton Indiana and Wells County – Our Tentative Times

     Updated 2 March 1998. URL is

Help for Internet Newcomers

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Notes For Newbies

Welcome to the World Wide Web, newcomers, (newbies.) It’s a jungle out there. Let me throw you a few vines, er, lines.

Trust Me

If an email comes back to you, recheck the address. If some fool has gone and moved without sending you a notice, let them find you after they have a new address. Otherwise, try sending it again. Wait a day, try again and then give up.

Error messages: These are not meant as a personal insult. They usually come from a burp in the telephone lines. Every so often a packet goes astray. If you get a "404 – file not found", do some of these things:

  • My service provider once blocked an entire ISP from sending to our server. He had a good reason for blocking, (abusive commercial email.) But when my friend from that same city tried to email me, my letters were returned as "no such address." So she told everyone I had folded my tent and left the web.

    Far from it. It was a problem with her Internet Service Provider not riding herd on his wild customers. Always try to check out the reason for your error message. Then, forget about it. Life is short. Let the people who have vanished find you.

  • If you are used to going to a page but it isn’t available all of a sudden, it could be being revised. Sometimes I take a page off and lose my connection before I can rename my new upload. My pages are consistent. I need all the proofreading I can get, but I keep my pages up there. If I move one, I leave a little notice for anyone who had bookmarked that page. Have faith. Try again and also email me,
  • One day a computer server started telling folks that they couldn’t view my pages without a password. (NOT my fault!) I encounter this on other sites too, every so often. It is often an error in a file in the server, so tell the webmaster of the site’s domain, and let them fix the little mistake. This applies to sites that you are pretty sure would not really be password protected.
  • When some people send email or post a URL on a website, they may forget and include the period at the end of the sentence. That won’t work! It happens with cut-and-paste too. Look at the address or URL and if it has that period, or a comma, try deleting that punctuation. If a URL won’t load, try putting a slash after the last word, especially if that word doesn’t end in an html type extension. It might work. Still another trick is to delete the last filename and extension, in case it is only one page that is gone. The rest of the site may be there.
  • On my pages, sometimes I forget to use the mailto: tag in an email link. Then you get a weird error message. Take a look at the bottom of your screen while your cursor is over a link. If it is obviously goofy, do a very good deed by telling that page owner what the bad link is, and what page it is from.

    Remember, if we don’t know where you found it, we can’t fix it.

    This kindness will get you a lifelong friend, probably an invitation to a wedding or two and eternal gratitude, except from some cranky people who can’t stand to be wrong

  • IT ISN’T YOU. Nine times out of ten, a problem is in the software or the phone lines. Maybe you are on a bad modem. Hang up, wait a while so you don’t get the same lemon, and reconnect. It’s not your fault.

  • If your software is goofing, shut down, wait a bit, go get a soda or coffee, then reboot. Some days the computer is just trying to tell us to go outside and smell the flowers.
  • It wouldn’t hurt to drop an email note to anyone who makes a site that you like a lot. It encourages them to keep writing. Remember to start your email with a salutation, and end it with your name. And never, ever type email all in caps. It is impossible to read on these computer screens because the lines get all scrunched together. Either use all lower case or type normally. Anything in caps is considered screaming, on the internet, and it annoys people almost as much as blinking text. That is about all the net ettiquette (netiquette) I know of.
  • Here’s a new weird one. On my postcard site, people would write to say they couldn’t retrieve their postcard, although they used cut and paste for the password, so it couldn’t be misspelled. Well, of all things, upon serious investigation, I found that the retrieval script would not work if there was a blank space before the password. It’s hard enough to cut-and-paste, but if we can’t have a little space in there, we are dealing with a very rigid computer program! So when you have cut-and-pasted, watch out for blanks before the first letter or digit.
  • Then there is the prodigy caps thing where I am to type in an address in lower case, but the Prodigy email changes it to upper case when it sends mail from that person to me. If that isn’t confusing! I lost half my relatives off my email list because I couldn’t figure that out.

    Case-sensitive: a rule that only works part of the time. You guess which part.
  • Force your service provider to teach you how to add your own return address to your email. Likewise learn how you can add a signature to the email. It will then, I hope, be added when you send an email from within Netscape or MSIE. It is so frustrating to get anonymous email!
  • Oh, and one last thought: sometimes people on chats don’t tell the 100% truth. But you already figured that out.

I hope the Internet is more fun than frustration for you. Thanks for finding Our Tentative Times. If you have a newbie frustration please send it to

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The opinions expressed by the writers in Our Tentative Times do not represent the opinions of the sponsors or advertisers. They are just the writers’ opinions.

This page Sandra Weinhardt. Send all additions and corrections to me at

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