Old tips on websurfing and troubleshooting HTTP servers

(Last minor change: 3 October 1996.)

This document contains a few tips I've picked up here and there on using various browsers, and on downed HTTP servers.

Strategies for Successful Websurfing

  • When you're about to dive into a big document with lots of subdocuments, open a new window first. Then you can go as many levels deep as you want to in the subdocuments, and when you're ready to pop back out to the main level you don't have to press the Back button umpteen dozen times (or wait for the Go menu to load, in Netscape); you simply close the window containing the subdocuments.
  • Alternatively, you can use the Go menu in Netscape, or the Window History list in NCSA Mosaic's Navigate menu, to jump back to any document in your session history.
  • If you have a slow connection, choose "Delay Image Loading" (or deselect "Auto Load Images") from the Options menu; that'll greatly reduce time-to-load for many pages by replacing inline graphics with little no-image-loaded icons. You can always load just the images later if you decide you need them. This approach is no good on sites that don't provide a text interface, but all sites should provide such an interface.
  • On an SGI system, using Netscape Navigator, you can click a link using the middle button to open up a new window starting with that link.

Troubleshooting Tips For Broken HTTP Servers

(Note: these tips may only apply to systems running the httpd that comes with Mosaic (perhaps from CERN?). The Netsite server seems to be more robust.)

  • If you're running the CERN(?) http server, don't edit your access log. If you do, be sure to change the owner and group back to "daemon" when you're done. Otherwise, your server may stop working because it may not have write access to the access log.
  • A suggestion from Ken Jones: if you're having trouble retrieving documents, check permissions on all your http docs and the directories they're in. The httpd daemon needs to have read permission on everything in order to serve it.
  • (SGI systems only) If you need to restart your httpd daemon (again probably doesn't apply to Netsite), try doing /etc/init.d/network start. That'll shut down inetd and then restart it. The standard SGI httpd startup script doesn't seem to adequately kill inetd, for some reason.