technical faq

In order to work for as many people as possible, Inconstant Moon is deliberately designed not to use the most advanced technology. Nevertheless, technical problems can occur. This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) tries to address the problems most often reported by visitors.

Why does sound not work?
The HTML (web script language) carefully follows the relevant standards and has been proven to work on a wide variety of systems. Certainly, if you cannot hear the music on IM, there are many other sites which are also silent for you. The fault generally lies with the setup of the browser or possibly the computer or operating system. There are several types of computer sound, including waveform (WAV) and MIDI (used by IM). Even if you can hear some sounds on your computer it is no guarantee that your browser is set up correctly for MIDI. One safe and generally successful way of rectifying such problems is to install the Crescendo! browser extension.

Can the quality of the recordings be improved?
The music on IM is in MIDI format. Unlike waveform (WAV) which is a digital recording of the sound and can only fit a few seconds of material onto an entire floppy disk, MIDI encodes instructons which can be played by the computer's sound card rather like sheet music. This format is extremely compact and means that downloading is fast, so near-continuous music is possible. However, the sound is generated by the sound card itself, and while some cards produce almost CD quality, others are less realistic.

How do I turn off the music?
We anticipated that not everyone would want music! Just click on the "No Music" link in the bottom right frame for silence.

Why don't images expand when I click on them?
Actually, this is deliberate. If you click on a photo it will call up extra notes on the image, which will appear in the centre-right frame. At the foot of these notes is a link to the website of the talented individual who created the image, where you can find larger versions of that and many other images.

Why is the site so slow?
In fact IM is more usually complimented for its speed! All of the material on the site - text, imagery and sound - has been carefully developed to download as quickly as possible, and generally is successful in this. Our server is very powerful and reliable, but occasionally it may have technical problems. More likely, the web itself - somewhere between the server and you - is slow due to the number of people using it. If things seem unbearably slow, the best advice is to try again later.

When I print pages from your site I cannot see the text properly
Like many websites, IM is specifically designed to work on a screen. When printed out on paper, the dark background on some pages can be overwhelming, and without it the text does not show up on white paper. Although the methods vary, most browsers will allow you to print without background colours or patterns and with black text. Internet Explorer 5, for instance, does this by default.

Why won't the maps copy?
The maps in Inconstant Moon don't copy in the usual way because they are composite images with several layers. When you use a PC's right-mouse-button on a map you are actually clicking on a transparent layer used to make the map the right size and shape. If you need to make a copy you could use the print screen button on your PC keyboard to place an image of the entire screen into the clipboard. Then, in a graphics program such as Paint, paste the image from the clipboard, crop it down to the map itself and save it in the format of your choice.

I have found a link which does not work!
IM contains some 5000 links, each maintained by hand. Any report on a dead link is gratefully received. If you find one, please use the form below to let us know the title of the page and the linked word(s).

If you have any other problem, please use the form below to let us know.

problem report

from: your Name *

e-mail: *

your problem: *