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Help

Our website is pretty simple to navigate.  There are some tips that are handy to know though.

  1. You may notice an asterisk (*) beside some words, usually at the end of a sentence.  These are links that will give you additional information when you move the mouse pointer over the link (try it).  Move the mouse pointer over names under portraits to see a popup tip too.  Many other regular text and graphic links also have additional hover tip information when you move the mouse pointer over the link.  Sometimes there is no clue that a hover tip exist so move your mouse around a bit, often you will be pleasantly surprised.  The hover tip will be displayed below and to the left of, right of, or centered under the link.  If the link is close to the bottom of the screen, you may not have enough room to be able to view all of the contents of the hover tip.  In these cases, scroll the display up and then revisit the hover tip.  Several hover tips on this page are lengthy so you will be able to see examples of this real soon.

  2. Accessibility: If you are not able to use a mouse, you can move from one link to another on a webpage by using the tab key.  If you need to use the right mouse button, keep in mind that you can do the equivalent of a right mouse click by pressing Shift F10 on the link (Windows).  If you have a "Windows" keyboard, you can press the "Options" button (next to Ctrl on the right hand side of the keyboard).  The options key shows a mouse pointer over a list.

    • The quick menu at the bottom will get you to major sections of the website (some pages have an additional topic menu on the left side).  Notice that each menu item at the bottom has one letter underlined.  The same letter may be used for more than one item.  For some browsers, such as Internet Explorer, and especially older versions of Firefox, using the Alt key plus the letter rotates through all choices for the letter.  When the one you want is outlined and colored gold,* you can press the Enter key to go to that page.* These days, some browsers use the same Alt-key letter combinations as their own menu shortcuts; as a result, some users will not get to take advantage of these shortcuts (e.g., Firefox users cannot use them, but Internet Explorer users can).* For those browsers that do not work well with shortcuts, there are also some browser AddOns that allow the user to program how Alt key combinations work for their browser. There are some browsers made for users with Accessibility Issues that can allow the user to access the menu choices using this method. Also, since multiple menu items may use the same underlined letter, any keyboard shortcut manipulation tools/AddOns, need to handle the rotation properly. Due to the help these add for users with Accessibility Issues, the keyboard shortcuts remain in the footer menu.

    • People with disabilities often use specialized browsers.  Some browsers have trouble when two separate links occur on consecutive lines.  The links at the bottom of the pages fit the scenario for causing confusion between the last one on the first line and the first one of the second line, therefore, a dot was added at the beginning and ends of the two lines of links.  The dots weren't needed at the beginning of the first line, nor at the end of the second line, and only one dot would have solved the problem, but that wouldn't have been symmetrical.

    • Persons with sight disabilities can have more control over the navigation process.  The website is partially structured/partially unstructured (links may go to the same page from more than one category).  Just like directories on the computer can be used for organization, the website is broken down into different sections. Even those sections have sub-categories.  You keep your perspective of the navigation levels because you get to see what you clicked on to get where you are.  Persons with sight disabilities that browse the website do not have that same freedom.  The blind use a different type of browser to surf the web; it reads the text out loud.  Keeping track of navigation is difficult, unless each page lists its place in the navigation tree, and in a consistent manner.  The additional code shows up just above the header statement on each page.  It lists the levels that rank higher than the current page.  Each level starts with Home and works its way down from there.  For example, this page is considered one level below the Home page so it lists only Home.  Some pages will have multiple links to the right of Home.  Each is a direct link to a specific level back up the navigation tree.  Special browsers can read this code out loud to the blind so that they can keep a perspective of where they are.  You might also find it handy so give it try.

  3. We use the most common size of text (same as 90% of all websites).  Older people like text sizes larger; younger people want text smaller.  The website is not made for either extreme; we choose the average.  You can always change the text size to suit your preferences.  If you think any text is too small or too large, most browsers allow you to change the size of displayed text.  If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, Internet Explorer and FireFox will allow you to change text sizes if you hold the Ctrl key down when rolling the mouse wheel.  If you do not see an instant change it could mean your system is slower or is maxed out on memory.  Continued rolling back and forth without waiting for the change to take effect will max out slower systems and cause them to hang!  Faster systems will see instant feedback.

  4. The Back link just above the main content at the top of the page will return you to your last location on the web.  This has the same effect as clicking the back arrow on your browser window.  This may save you a few hand movements.  The same thing happens for most photographs or images when you view the enlarged version.  Simply click the image again to go back to the same location that you were before.

  5. Many "Back" buttons that you see on websites are actually "forward" links that go to the page they "think" you came from.  Our Back buttons are actually a true back button, in that they work exactly like the Back button on the browser window.  This is especially helpful when viewing images as the enlarged image also works as a back button.  In most cases, you will click on a small image to see the enlarged view; after viewing the enlarged image, click on it to return.  Even if you accessed the enlarged image from the site map, when you click on the enlarged view, you would be returned back to the site map, exactly where you came from.  There is a back button at the bottom of each page.  Regardless of how much browsing you have done, if you want to "back" out of something, you can use the back buttons without worry that the browser's history will be accumulating.

  6. Links are Blue.
    The blue links in the body of the text:
    • When the mouse pointer is moved over the a link, it will turn to white with a tan background, be in bold, and have a red underline.  Once the link has been visited, the link changes to deep pink.
    The blue links at the bottom of the pages:
    • When the mouse pointer is moved over the link, it will turn to Red and be in bold.  Once the link has been visited, the link changes to deep pink.

    The blue links at the left side of the page:
    • will turn to white with a tan background and be in bold when the mouse pointer is moved over the link.  Once the link has been visited, the link returns to blue.
    To implement some special features, some links don't follow the standard guidelines.

    Normally, while a link is being used (not supported by all browsers), the color will be a bold blue.  Some browsers will display the links with an underline, others will not.

    Some links do not change color at all; the logic being that the link is not an important one and that links normally being a different color can be a distraction from the message of the text.  Therefore, these links are only visible by moving the mouse pointer over the text.  Do not worry, as these are not important links; they are only there in case someone were to move the mouse over the link.  When that happens a small hover tip will show up to give you additional information.

    A link may be for a different page, or a section of a different page or even the same page you are already on.  In the case where the link is on the same page, the link will already be Deep Pink.  If a link takes you to a page and the link does not take you to the top, you might consider scrolling to the top of the page after you read the information that the link took you to.  That way, you will know if there is something else you want to read on the same page (as its link will now be Deep Pink and you may think you have already visited the entire page).  Visit the Site Map to see if there are any pages you missed, although the Site Map only lists a starting point (e.g., Shopping.  Keep in mind that links sometimes fail to change in color even after visiting.  Links change color as a feature of the browser.  Older browsers do worst than newer browsers.  Even the latest browsers may fail to change the color.  The amount of memory available at the time can affect things as well.   Regardless of how much memory you have, the memory may already be allocated for some other purpose so browsers do not always change the color as expected.

  7. If you notice a link is in italics, it is to an external website.  We are not responsible for the content on other websites.

  8. Before printing a page, please read the page on printing.

  9. We test the website in several browsers. You can check out the full set of browsers if interested.

  10. Browser Differences It is our wish that the website look and work the same regardless of which web browser you use.  We have attempted to implement technology that will ensure that happening, however, making it look exactly the same regardless of browser is next to impossible due to some differences being extreme.  Firefox and Chrome are the most popular browsers on the web; Internet Explorer is no longer leading the popularity contest, taking over the position previously held by Mozilla, which took over the previous second place position held by Netscape). Mozilla started out as its own browser, then took on the code of Netscape, therefore making Mozilla a continuation of Netscape.
    • Browsers are based on just a few common rendering engines, and so some browsers may display similar to another, while some seem to interrupt pages differently. Of the browsers listed, these have always had differences between what they display and what Internet Explorer displays for the same pages.  For example, Firefox/Netscape/Mozilla typically displayed text one size smaller than Internet Explorer.  Some websites (as we did) attempted to compensate to ensure that Firefox/Netscape/Mozilla viewers saw text sizes the same as Internet Explorer users.  This was accomplished by taking advantage of non-standard features of the HTML standard that Internet Explorer supported but Firefox/Netscape/Mozilla did not, and standard features of the HTML standard that Mozilla/Netscape/Firefox supported that Internet Explorer did not.  These "tricks" work only because the browsers supported different features, but these "work-arounds" cannot be guaranteed to work in the future.  Mozilla and Netscape are no longer being developed, but Firefox follows in their footsteps, all functioning similar to Netscape.  The same "trick" used to make text sizes match in older versions worked in these later versions of the browsers as well, at least for a while.  Starting with Mozilla version 1.7, some parts of the trick didn't work since Mozilla started supporting more of the standard.  As each version of the browsers supported more of the standard, the need to use tricks lessened, and it was becoming increasingly harder to keep up with tricks that worked for everyone. Text size is only one of the many differences you may find in browsers.

    • Browsers handle bookmarking differently, however, most will add a bookmark with Ctrl+D. We generally offer a bookmarking feature, but it does not work the same for all browsers, and now with the addition of browser extensions and AddOns, it is next to impossible to detect interference or predict whether bookmarking will work as it was intended. If it does not work for your browser, simply try pressing Ctrl+D or use your browser's bookmarking feature.

    • There are many browsers available and each has its differences. Due to the complexities of attempting to keep up with every variant of browser, we had rather concentrate on the web content instead.  We will assume that if you prefer to use a particular browser, then you accept the fact that there are differences.

  11. Can't see what you expect to be present?
    • Your web browser should display what your browser cache has in it, then check to see if a later version of the page is on the server. If so, then it should display the latest version of the page. All this takes place nearly instantly under ideal conditions, however, if the Internet traffic is high or your computer is low on resources, the process can be different. This is how browsers and the Internet are designed to work. Depending on how old your cache is you might need to do a refresh to see the current page. Browsers cache webpage content to be faster. Also, the Internet Service Providers may cache content to be faster, especially during the dial-up era. The browser first displays the latest cached version (either local, ISP, or anywhere along the way that it first finds a copy) while checking to see if something newer is available at the server end. If it finds a newer copy anywhere in the chain, then it redraws the display. People are often impatient so sometimes they click on another link before the page is redrawn. Now the cache may be part-old, part-new content and can even get clobbered to the point it is not useable. Depending on web traffic, the new page may not get displayed no matter how long you wait because the browser gives up trying after a while due to congestion and since it already has "something" displayed. The idea is something is better than nothing. To force the browser to try again, you need to reload the page ("refresh") but very often, due to congestion or the computer resources currently available you will get the same thing again. Most times you don't know if the page has changed or not. When I make web updates I know the content has just changed but very often I still get the old content repeatedly. You can force the browser to go check the web server exclusively (method depends on browser and version). Even when I know I have made a change, it sometimes takes me 4 or 5 attempts to get the browser to reload the new page. Even after all this, the browser cache may need to be cleaned out totally (gets clobbered). The Internet and browsers are designed this way intentionally. Otherwise, it would all be way too slow.


  12. Ed Note: The English language is a constantly changing thing and as such, opinions differ on many parts of it.  One area is compound words, and technology words get affected much faster than others.  As words change from two words to hyphenated words to compound words, there are overlapping opinions, even with the same person.  As the webteam leader, I have flip-flopped on whether it is website or web site, webpage or web page, search engine or search engine.  This website (or web site) is an example of contradictions in some cases.  When reading, please overlook the one you don't like; next update, we might be agreeing with you.

  13. There are combinations of words that often get confused with being compound words when in fact they are not.  These I am not confused about and hate seeing them misused.  For example, login vs. log in.  It depends on what is being said.  The word login is a noun; you may have a login, or a login process but you do not login to a computer.  Instead, you log in to a computer.  The rule is simple: when used as a verb, use two words; when referring to the thing, use one word.  The same thing occurs with setup vs. set up.  There are other examples as well.  Once you understand the rule, they will start to pop out at you, and soon you will be as irritated by the misuse as I am.

  14. You should read the About page for additional information.

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