A small percentage of folks have had problems downloading the images, for one of two reasons:

1) 95% of the time, it's due to Net flakiness.

The average file size is large enough that some systems, especially over congested paths, will run into a Net traffic jam and time out before a transmission is complete.

The most common symptom of this will be a partially downloaded (and displayed, if you're using an on-line viewer) image. Occasionally, you won't get any image at all.

This may happen repeatedly on the same image. That does NOT mean the image (or your software) is broken. First, try emptying the cache in your browser. Sometimes browsers are confused by a partial image and think it's the full file. When you click on the 'reload' button, they pull the partial image from the cache instead of pulling the full image down from my web site. If that doesn't work, try again the following day. Almost all the download problems people experience are Net flakiness and do not show up more than once.

If the problem goes away the next day, great! You don't need to send me a bug report about this.

If you're desperate to look at images this very day, try for the smaller ones (such as the 75K "Red and Green Auroral Rays") instead of grabbing a 300K behemoth.

2) 5% of the time, it's a browser configuration problem.

The full screen JPEG's expand to 2.5 meg images, regardless of the compressed size: you may very well be running out of useable memory, or a cache may be full. You'll have to adjust the settings in your browser to allow for larger images.

If you don't know how to do that, ask us for advice.

If you're coming in via AOL and getting blurry or blocky images that download suspiciously quickly (like having a 300K JPEG open up in 1 minute over a 14.4K line), it's your configuration. There are graphical settings in the AOL browser and your on-line preferences file which affect the quality of the images you download. Ask AOL tech support for instructions on how to set these so that you get full quality.

So far, no one has had a problem which doesn't fit into one of these two categories (and only two people fell into the second category). If you're having persistent problems viewing images, I want to hear from you, because I know it's fixable!

If you encounter some glitch which doesn't seem to fit any of the aforementioned categories, I definitely want to hear from you!

To file a bug report or ask for technical assistance on downloading images:



You can email Ctein at ctein@pobox.com
This material is Copyright ©2004 by Ctein. All rights reserved.