We realize that you may be having technical difficulties with some portions of this web site. Hopefully, these technical notes can explain and possibly help you to resolve any such problems.
We have tried our best to keep this site browser-neutral. We do not appreciate browser vendors who compromise the integrity of the World Wide Web by introducing, or encouraging the use of, browser specific tags and functions which could result in a conflict of accessibility.
While this site is easily viewed with Lynx, Netscape 2.0+, and IE 3.0+, we still recommend you use the most recent browser available to you. Some features will only become apparent once you are using a recent browser.
Java is a funny issue in that as much as Java is supposed to be platform independent, it isn't. Certain platforms deal with it much better than others. If you are on a Macintosh, you will more than likely run into a few problems with the applets on this site.
We have tried our best to keep the applets usable under all major Java supporting browsers but certain browsers and operating platforms clearly provide better results than others.
We recommend Netscape 4.x or Internet Explorer 3.x on Windows 95/NT as the optimal Java environment. Netscape 2.0 and 3.0 both appear to work without trouble but are noticeably slower at both loading and running Java. In addition, Netscape 2.0 and 3.0 will dither Java applets to 256 colors.
Macintosh users, it's not you fault! :) Nobody has written a very decent Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for you guys yet. Even Sun - the creators of Java - does not develop for the Macintosh until months after its Win32 and Solaris releases. If you have both a Mac and a Windows 95/NT machine available to you, use the Windows machine. If there isn't a Windows machine available to
use we recommend the Netscape 3.0+ browser on the Mac.
Windows 3.x users, you're stuck. Java is a 32-bit multi-threaded language, and Windows 3.x is a 16-bit non-threaded operating system. What this means is that all arguments used inside a Java program need twice as long to be processed. That, coupled with the probability that a computer running Windows 3.x is older and slower, makes it a very poor operating system for Java.
The optimal browser/platform for the Java applets on this site would be Netscape 4.x on Windows NT with a lot of RAM. (And this is supposed be a language for microwaves and remote controls? <grin>)
Note on Internet Explorer 4.0: IE4 beta 2 seems to run everything fine at this point. However, while the computational speed of Microsoft's Java implementation is very good, their Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) is very slow. The AWT is used to display images, buttons, etc. Because our applets are very AWT intensive we recommend Netscape over Internet Explorer at this point in time.