Are you missing your printed BULLETIN?
There may be several reasons: Poor postal service, an unreported change of address, pranking teens who targeted you for mischief, co-workers who swiped it from your desk.
Or, you might ask yourself: Did I select the "print" option on my AAPG dues statement?
Oops. On July 1 all AAPG membership began accessing the AAPG BULLETIN in electronic format unless they requested it to be delivered in a printed format.
To read it online you must go to http://www.aapg.org/members_only/, log on and click the gold button labeled "AAPG BULLETIN Online." Here you will find the current issue plus two years for your perusal.
Easy! (What a short article this was!)
Wait! There's More ...
Unfortunately, in some cases it is not that easy.
Headquarters has received some calls from members for whom the "magic" gold button simply does not work. In every case thus far, the reason relates to security software in place on the member's own computer.
In this day when a computer worm (similar to a virus) can ravage the Internet in days, attacking even computers that are not used for e-mail and which, in some cases, may not even have anyone logged in to them, it pays to have what is known as a "personal firewall."
A personal firewall is software that runs right on your computer, much like antivirus software, and protects your computer from attacks that antivirus software does not. (See the end of this article for personal firewall options.)
A personal firewall can be beneficial to have running, even if you are within a protected network (such as the firewall-protected network within a business).
You see, in a world where laptops are becoming almost as common as desktop machines, it is very possible for someone to use that computer in a hotel or at home -- unprotected -- and infect that laptop. Then, unintentionally, they bring the malevolent software back inside the protected network.
The problem with personal firewall software occurs when the settings become too strict to allow access that is needed to use a particular service on the Internet ... like, for example, AAPG's BULLETIN.
We already know about cookies -- AAPG's Members Only area will not allow you to log in unless you have allowed cookies to be saved by aapg.org. The BULLETIN and BULLETIN Archives, however, are not housed at aapg.org, but reside at another domain.
Since Web cookie settings can be applied to individual Web sites (or domains) it is entirely possible to have cookies enabled for aapg.org and not the BULLETIN serving domain, which would mean that you could log in to Members Only but would not be able to properly access the BULLETIN articles.
Cookies can be blocked by all of the major browsers, but they also can be blocked by firewall software.
If you experience these kind of problems, double-check both your browser and your firewall software to make sure they are allowing cookies to be saved by both aapg.org and the outsourcing machine.
Web cookies take up very little space on your hard drive, are free of viruses or spyware, harmless to your computer and most often helpful (for AAPG, they allow us to remember who you are so you can stay logged in as you browse our site).
We recommend allowing cookies outright for specific sites and being careful about what other sites' cookies you block.
Occasionally we find a member who can access the BULLETIN Archives, but not the current BULLETIN. When you call up a Web server, it sees some basic information about you, through headers.
Headers provide basic information to the server about your computer -- including a number required to respond to your machine. Think of them as "caller ID" on a telephone; when your phone rings, you see some basic information about the phone that is calling you.
One of these headers is called the "referer header." The referer header tells the Web server which Web site the visitor just came from. This is generally used by Web server administrators to identify, for example, which search engines people are using to find aapg.org, or what other sites might have linked to one of our pages.
In the case of the BULLETIN, this server is using the referer header to determine who is coming to there from AAPG's site. The problem is some people consider this an invasion of their privacy, and so some firewall software can be configured to block this header. In order to access AAPG's current BULLETIN online, you will need to make sure you do not have this header blocked.
"How do I do this?" you may ask.
Our online FAQ has the details you will need to get everything working properly.
Log in to AAPG's Members Only area and look for the phrase "FAQs and Helps" near the top of your screen. If you click there and cookies are not enabled for aapg.org, you will see instructions on how to enable them.
Once your cookies are straightened out, click the FAQs and Helps link again, and in the "Frequently Asked Questions for Members," find "Why can't I get logged into the BULLETIN/BULLETIN Archives?" This will help you configure your firewall software to allow the referer header to pass to the receiving machine.
"The only secure computer," it has been said, "is one that's unplugged, locked in a safe and buried 20 feet under the ground in a secret location." We want to feel reasonably comfortable that our computers are safe, but we don't want to go that far!
Make sure you know what your security software is "protecting" you from -- it may be protecting you from accessing some of the great benefits you are entitled to as a member of AAPG.