Ship of Fools Cafe

Help! I can't get into the Café

Logging in using your board ID
Logging in as a guest
I hit connect and nothing happens
Which versions of Java work with the current version of the Café?
What version of Java do I have on my machine?
How do I upgrade/change my current Java version?
I got disconnected but can't get back in

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Logging in using your board ID
If you wish to take advantage of using your bulletin board username, you will need to use the username and password you use to login to the boards. If your board username is different from your displayed name, and you do not want this to be visible, you have two options.
  • Login with the username and then immediately change your name. People in the Café will be able to see your login name briefly, and you will need to change every time you login.
  • Login as a guest (see below).
If for some reason you cannot login using your username and password, you should still be able to login as a guest, using a slight variation on your name.

Logging in as a guest
To login as a guest, type your chosen identity into the top box, select the guest box and click on OK. No password is required. If you select a name which is in the UBB database you will be prompted to choose another name.

I hit connect and nothing happens
If you are using a Macintosh computer – the Café may not be accessible using a web browser on a Mac. If you cannot access it using a browser you will need to use the Applet Launcher, found in the Applications/Utilities folder. Enter the following address as the URL: http://cafe.shipoffools.com/cafe_body2.html

If you are using a PC – the most common access problem with PCs is an incompatible version of Java (see the next section for more details). The most common symptom of this is that when you click "Connect", the button shades out but fails to connect. Depending on the configuration of the browser there may be an OutOfMemory error reported.

If you are on a Linux machine, please click here.

Which versions of Java work with the current version of the Café?
Version 1.4 and above of Java does not work with the current version of the Café (version 3.5). Java 1.4 and higher will occupy all available memory resources before giving an out of memory error on the console (if enabled).

The following versions of Java are known to work with the Café. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • 1.2.2 – Works well with the Café. Pull down menus all work on the settings tabs and display correct entry all the time. No sounds available.
  • 1.3.1 – Works well and has sounds enabled. However, the pull down menus on settings tab only displays currently selected entry. Can make changing settings difficult and is probably not recommended in a work environment as sounds are on by default.

What version of Java do I have on my machine?
To check what version of Java you have, access your computer's control panel via My Computer or Start – > Settings – > Control Panel. Look for a "Java 2 runtime Environment Standard edition" message, and check the version number at the end. If there are multiple entries for Java, or a version of 1.4 or above, the Café may not work.

If you are not sure what version of Java is installed, or there are multiple versions installed, remove all versions install a known version. You can uninstall Java via Add/Remove Programs in the control panel. Make sure that all browsers are closed prior to attempting to remove Java.

How do I upgrade/change my current Java version?
This assumes you have administrator rights to your PC, which in a work situation may not be the case. If you do not have administrator access and the current version of Java does not work then you will need your IT support to upgrade Java in order to access the Café. Note: using an older version may cause problems on some web pages that require an up-to-date copy of Java to run properly.

Java is downloadable from Sun. Select the version you require and then select the windows (all languages) version in the JRE column. Once you have agreed to the license agreement you can download to your hard drive. Make sure you save the file – do not choose to run it from its current location. All browsers must be closed. That includes closing Netscape if it is active in the system tray. Run the downloaded executable to install Java. Your machine may then require a reboot once installed.

I got disconnected but can't get back in
On occasion, you may be disconnected from the Café. When this happens you can normally get straight back in. However, sometimes the software fails to register your departure, and your name is left in the list of current visitors. Because it won't allow two people to use the same name, you will need to use an alternate name. A simple variation, such as placing an asterisk after your name, will make it clear to others in the Café who you are.



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Ship of Fools 2003