Trouble shooting tips for the
CIOS/Comserve WWW System


Table of Contents

Select from the following:

* Ways of accessing CIOS services
* Considerations for WWW browser performance
* About passwords: WWW access for associate members of the CIOS
* Recognition problems: Those from CIOS affiliate institutions
* Problems displaying graphics

Ways of Accessing CIOS Services

CIOS/Comserve services are available through two interfaces: this WWW interface, and through commands sent in email. Depending on how you access the services, the speed of your internet connection, what functions you wish to execute, and the quirks of your WWW browser program, you may find the email interface preferable. In addition, you must use the email interface if you wish to join CIOS hotlines or create a WWW password.

The email interface can be accessed by sending commands in the body of email (a good initial command is HELP TOPICS) to: Comserve@cios.org


Considerations for WWW Browser Performance

Graphical vs. nongraphical browsers. The CIOS WWW interface is designed to accommodate both graphical and non-graphical browsers. The CIOS WWW server can automatically sense many non-graphical browsers and when it does it will adjust certain presentations to suit. However, it is possible that the system may not recognize your non-graphical browser. If you suspect this is the case, please correspond with the CIOS staff who will help to resolve the problem:

Support@cios.org

We have attempted to achieve a balance with the WWW system's graphics so that the interface is attractive without placing heavy demands on transmission. Nevertheless, those with slow internet connections may prefer to access the system using a non-graphical browser (e.g., LYNX), which will greatly improve speed of performance. Alternatively, your browser may allow you to turn off display of graphics.

Storing CIOS web pages locally. In some cases, users with graphical browsers may find it useful to retrieve CIOS web pages once and save them to disk. If your browser permits it, these local copies can be used in the future rather than taking the time to retransmit them in a subsequent session with the CIOS server. However, users should also be aware that many CIOS web pages are rebuilt dynamically every day or every week since the CIOS web site is continually receiving new information that is automatically incorporated. Thus, it may be a good idea to refresh stored pages regularly. In addition, those who access and subsequently save a local copy of a password protected page, will be prompted for a password again when accessing the local copy of the page on a later occasion.


About Passwords: Access for Individual Members of the CIOS

Please note that a password is not required for those accessing CIOS services from affiliate institutions: institutional affiliate status is recognized automatically. Passwords are required only for individuals who have joined the CIOS as individuals.

Upon initiation of membership, individuals who become members of the CIOS (through the associates program) receive instructions for establishing a WWW password using the Comserve email interface. If you need to receive the instructions again, contact the staff by writing to:

Support@cios.org

Once you've received confirmation that your password has been accepted, you should be able to log in to the WWW interface. Your browser will prompt you for two pieces of information. Respond to the first prompt with the USERID portion of your email address. For example, if your email address is SMITH@ABC.DEF.GHI.EDU, your USERID would be SMITH. It is a common mistake to attempt to enter your entire email or your actual name in response to this prompt. Enter only the first portion or your email address, the USERID.

Respond to the second prompt with your personal WWW password, the one that you established through the Comserve email interface.

The password procedure is not case sensitive. Enter your USERID and password in any combination of lower and uppercase text.


Recognition Problems:
Those from CIOS Affiliate Institutions

If you are accessing the CIOS email or WWW system from an institution that is a member of the CIOS institutional affiliates program and the system does not seem to be according you appropriate access privileges, check the list of current affiliate institutions to be sure that your institutional affiliation has not expired. If your institution is listed and your connection to CIOS systems originates from a machine that is connected to your institution's own internal computing network, it is possible that your host address should be added to those identifying machines at your site. Please write to the CIOS staff for assistance:

Support@cios.org

Problems Displaying Graphics

Some of the graphical elements in the CIOS WWW interface may appear distorted, fuzzy, speckled, or washed out if displayed on a computer without high resolution graphics capabilities. If the images are sufficiently displeasing, you may wish to upgrade the monitor and graphics adaptor in your computer or to access the CIOS WWW service with a nongraphical browser (e.g., Lynx).

Some browsers are faster at displaying graphics than others and their speed of display may be influenced by machine specific configuration. For example, our copy of Netscape displays some CIOS graphic elements as much as thirty percent faster than other browsers to which we have access. On the other hand, we have seen Netscape take several hundred percent longer to display images when running on other machines configured differently from the CIOS systems.


CIOS Support Staff
support@cios.org

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