Cache (usually) comes in handy

July 30, 2015

Tales from the Help Desk: 1) Cache (usually) comes in handy and 2) take a bow to pop-ups

  1. Cache (usually) comes in handy

You may have noticed that visiting a web site the first time takes longer than subsequent times. All Internet browsers, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari cache or store pieces of the sites you have visited to speed up subsequent visits to the same sites. For example, when you visit www.callutheran.edu the first time, many static pieces of the web page will be stored in your browser cache. Subsequent visits to the same page will reference data already residing on your computer, which is a shorter trip than retrieving files from a remote server. Skeptical? Familiarize yourself with a stop watch, visit a web site you haven’t been to before, like http://cecilthelion.org, (sob), close your browser then go back to that site.

So cache is a good thing, usually. However, under certain circumstances such as after a computer crash or when the software behind a frequently visited site is upgraded, due to a mismatch between cached files and the server, a site or sites visited on Friday may suddenly have problems loading the subsequent work day. Examples of cache problems experienced by Cal Lutheran staff are the Colleague UI and WordPress blog pages after a software upgrade. If you experience problems accessing certain sites in your browser but can access other sites, it might be time to clear your cache. Follow the steps outlined on the Clearing Cache instructions on the ISS web site for browser specific instructions to clear the cache on your Mac or PC. Please contact the Cal Lutheran Help Desk if you continue to experience problems.

  1. Take a bow to pop-ups

Web sites are increasingly using pop-up windows to get your attention or to open a new window to perform online transactions. Pop-up windows in multiples can be annoying, and in some cases might be malicious. Newer versions of Internet browsers, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari offer some sort of pop-up blocking protection, however, users must use discretion in enabling or disabling pop-ups. Users of Cal Lutheran’s credit card provider Wells Fargo have complained that pages aren’t displaying properly after login. Wells Fargo recently added a pop-up window after the logon process, which depending on the browser used could be blocked, confounding users. Newer versions of Firefox for example automatically block pop-ups unless users choose to disable the pop-up blocker. To enable/disable pop-ups, refer to the pop-up blocker instructions on the ISS web site.

With either a suspected cache problem or a pop-up problem, a simple (sanity) check would be to try a different Internet browser.

If you have questions about this subject or any other technical matter, please call the Help Desk at (805) 493-3698 or e-mail to helpdesk@callutheran.edu.

As a reminder, ISS staff will never ask you for your password.