Tech Help Desk

I have always been fascinated by technology. I guess growing up at the dawn of the space age started it all and with the final arrival of the PC I was lost! In this section I will share some of the technical tidbits I have learned along the way. Questions that I am frequently asked and answer often this section can be a handy little repository. You may find some of the bits informative. I hope to add to the sections as I get the spare time. Of course if you have comment, corrections or questions, feel free to contact me, Jonathan

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About JavaScript

If a pink warning box appears at the top of pages when your browse the studio it means that JavaScript was not detected. Either your are using a very old web browser, highly unlikely; or it is turned off for security concerns, most likely if you are using MS Internet Explorer. With this new version of our studio JavaScript is no longer required to navigate our site, (except for IE which also does not fully support the CSS to work the menus without the assistance of JavaScript). So from the menu the sections that have subsections denoted with the > arrow, the submenu will not flyout in Internet Explorer without JavaScript enabled. To compensate for Internet Explorer to allow you to navigate the next level up, in the warning box will be the subsection links. Of course you can always click the globe and use the site map to get around.

I have crafted this website to be both beautiful and easy to navigate to enhance the Gallery Atmosphere and complement the lovely artwork we do. JavaScript was originally developed by Netscape as a scripting engine built into browser to improve interactive nature of webpages and that is what its role is here. There are built-in limitations into JavaScript for security and limit what can be done on the visitor's computer, such as add or delete files other than cookies. Unfortunately Microsoft made their own version of JavaScript, MS JScript with linkage to COM, BHO, and ActiveX so with Internet Explorer it can do a lot more than write a cookies. on a Windows system than JavaScript. I do not employ nasty ActiveX or MS JScript, just plain old limited JavaScript. My advice is to either enable your JavaScript, here is a Google Link to information on how to do it for your browser.

If you have fears for security because you use MS Internet Explorer, then I urge you to get an alternate browser. I recommend Mozilla, or Mozilla Firefox, but any browser not part of Windows operation system will be a safer bet. Once you have enabled JavaScript, you can really experience our site! If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know.

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About Cookies

With this new version of our website browser cookies are not required to browse it. It now uses PHP sessions instead of cookies to keep track of items that you select on our online galleries. Unfortunately you still need cookies enabled to shop on our site. The cookie only the Session ID is stored in a temporary session cookie, but if cookies are disabled your Session ID will be lost and we won't know what you selected in the gallery when you get to checkout.

Well to help illustrate how the Internet work lets try a little story. You know that guy you knew back in college? You know the one! The on who majored in Party. The one whose highest goal was to outdo Cheech and Chong, or maybe he was the guy who really loved contact sports but not helmets! Anyway, we will call him Brain-Dead Dan. I know—silly, but this is just an analogy, so work with me here!

Dear Dan here is like the Internet in that he is stateless. Here is what I mean by this: say the house is like a website and each room is a web page; Dan is zoning in front of the tube in the living room when his stomach lets him know that he must have a ham sandwich. Well, Dan pads off to the kitchen but when he gets there—nothing! He hasn't a clue as to why he is there! That is how the Internet works, when you go from one page to the next there is no memory of what happened in the page before. HTTP protocol is stateless and this presents a great problem for webmasters of shopping sites that want to collect your order over more than one page. It is not very useful when you select a piece from the gallery page and it is gone when you make it to checkout!

Cookies was the solution. A special text file that the web browser is allowed to put in memory as with session cookies or to a special place on your hard drive as in persistent cookies. But there are some real constraints with cookies that limit both their size and number. Also troubling some clever hackers have found ways to peek at cookies from other websites that do not belong to them. So you should never have sensitive information stored in them like passwords.

A safer and more flexible solution is to store the sessions on the server. That is what I do here. The problem now is how to link the visitor, that's you, with your session. Well PHP creates a random long number called PHPSESSID, for PHP SESSion IDentifier. Here is a sample: 07aed01cc155b675c2c27446a69d4632. Think of it as the little ticket with the number like at the deli that links you with your corned beef on rye sandwich you order. Since the Internet has no memory as poor Dan from the tale above, your PHPSESSID somehow must be passed from page to page. That is where the temporary session cookie comes in. It only stores your PHPSESSID and say temporary, because it only in memory and not your hard drive. Close your browser and it is gone and forgotten!

You need to have cookies enabled for this site to remember your ticket that links to your session that stores what you selected on our gallery. If you have cookies enabled this is what your cookie here contains to show you it has nothing scary hidden.


If the cookie is empty, then you will need to enable cookies for this site to rememeber your PHPSESSID in order to shop our galleries. A lot of hype has been generated over the security of cookies, to get a better idea of the real risks involved with cookies see this Google link on cookies. There is more good information at The Unofficial Cookie FAQ. For more information on how to enable cookies see this Google link on enabling them. I hope that takes the mystery out of cookies!

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