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Frequently Asked Questions
This page will answer most questions you may have about using our site.
- Why do I get an error message or a message page can't be found?
- Why is my screen blank after I click on a story?
- Why does it take so long before I see my story?
- What can I do if my computer locks up when trying to download or open stories?
- Can I open my patterns on the iPad?
- Why do I see ASCII characters, garbled information, etc.. when opening a story?
- What version of Adobe Reader is required to review your stories?
- Why do we use Adobe® Reader® on the Web site?
- Why is the story so small when it opens on my computer?
- Why do the stories look "blocky" when I enlarge the story?
- Why can't I see the stories in my browser before I decide to download them?
- Can I save the story to my hard drive?
- What are audio stories of the Good Old Days?
- How do I listen to the audio stories?
- Do I need an MP3 player or an iPod?
- I have an iPod. How do I put the stories on it?
- How can I transfer the audio stories to a CD?
- How many times can I listen to or transfer the stories to an MP3 player or a CD?
- I have a dial-up connection. Will I be able to download audio stories?
- What is the bit rate of the audio story files?
- How can I download your files?
- Why would the end of your audio files be cut short?
- What is the average file size of a downloadable audio story?
- Software links that you may need.
- The page could not be found (28).
- There was an error processing a page. A file I/O error has occurred. The file connection timed out.
- Warning: MySQL Connection Failed: Can't connect to MySQL server.
Sometimes our server (the computer where our Web site is hosted) gets a lot of traffic and as a result your request for a page may get dropped. You can try clicking on the Refresh (Mac/Windows Internet Explorer) or the Reload (Mac/Windows Firefox and Safari) button.
You can also try clicking the "Back" button on your browser and then make your selection again.
Q: Why is my screen blank after I click on a story?
Due to the speed of your Internet connection and the large file size of some of our stories, it may take a few minutes for the story to show on your screen.
- You have a slow connection to the Internet (a slow modem).
- There are too many other people on the site all trying to download stories, or you are "surfing" the Web at a time when there are a lot of other people on the Web too.
- You have selected a large story and it will take some time for all the information to get from our server to your computer and show on your screen.
- You may need to change your preferences in your Web browser, see instructions below.
- After resolving the computer system error, to open the files in your Web browser, check your security preferences of the Web browser. In the drop-down menu at the top of your Web browser, click on Tools, then Internet options. Once the Internet Options window opens, click on the security tab. Click on the Internet icon and then click on Custom level. When the Security Settings window pops up, "enable" everything in the list that gives you that option, don't forget to scroll down so that you enable everything, especially the option, "file download." Once you have done this, click "OK" in the Security Settings window and then click "OK" in the Internet Options window. Close your browser, then re-open your browser and try to download the story from our site again.
- Download the files directly to your hard drive, using one of the following methods:
- Do not left-click, right-click (control-click on a MAC) on the "Download this story" icon or text link and select "save target as" in Internet Explorer; select "save link as" in Firefox, and save the file to your hard drive. If the "save target as" or "save link as" option is grayed out and not available as a selection either change your preferences in Adobe® Reader® or change your preferences in your Web browser (instructions below).
- Once the file has completely downloaded, try double-clicking on the file to open it.
- If you are still not able to open the file, start the Adobe® Reader® program and click on File Open, then browse to the file saved to your hard drive and open it.
- To print, enter the page numbers you want to print, leaving out page 1. If you are having problems with your computer freezing, you might try printing one page at a time.
Helpful hint: Create a folder on your computer called, "Free Stories," or whatever name you choose and save all of your stories in one place to make them easy to find.
Q: Can I open the patterns on my iPad?
Our patterns are in PDF and viewable on the iPad. There is no option currently to download the PDF, so be patient while it opens on your screen. If the PDF file size is large, your individual iPad may not have enough memory to open the file. Large file sizes should be opened on a computer or laptop.
- Windows users - check file names and file name associations.
- Make sure that the file is named with a .pdf extension, if not rename the file and try again.
- If you are using Windows, make sure your file options are set to recognize PDF files to be opened by Adobe® Reader®. To do this, double-click on My Computer and then double-click on drive C. In the drop-down menu at the top of the Window, select View and then Folder Options. When the Folder Options window pops up, select the "file types" tab. Scroll down in the list until you see the Adobe Acrobat Document icon, then select it. Click on Edit, and when the Edit File window pops up, click on Edit again. In the editing action window, click on the Browse button, next to the "application used to perform action" text box. Browse your hard drive for the file that executes the program "Acrobat.exe", normally this is in your program files folder, under Adobe, and in the Acrobat folder.
- MAC users & Older PC's - enable your Web browser to recognize the Adobe® Reader® Plug-in.
- You may be downloading the files to your desktop and then viewing them separately in Acrobat Reader. If you wish to view the stories in your browser, you will need to install the PDF Viewer plug-in which can be found in the Web Browser Plug-in folder in the Acrobat reader 7.0 folder. You can download the free installer from Adobe here.
- Un-install and Re-install Adobe® Reader® - for instructions on how to do this refer to the Adobe Web site.
Q: What version of Adobe® Reader® is required to view your stories?
Due to the new functionality of our stories to allow access to the visually-impaired, our stories now require that you have at least Adobe Reader 5.0. The stories work best with Adobe Reader 6.0 or newer. You can download the free installer from Adobe here.
Note: Windows 95 and Windows 98 users will be unable to open our stories. Adobe's site indicates that you must have at least Windows 98SE in order to install Adobe Reader 5.0.
Q: Why do we use Adobe® Reader® on this Web site?
After a great deal of research and years of working in the publishing industry, we decided that presenting our high-quality stories to the public in a non-print format was best achieved through the use of Adobe Reader for the following reasons:
- Acrobat allows us to create electronic reproductions of our printed stories in a way that maintains the quality and readability of the original printed version.
- Acrobat also gives you, the end user, the ability to enlarge the text and graphs up to 1600%, effectively creating a "large-print version" for those who value such conveniences. The beauty of Acrobat is that even at very high magnification the text and drawings maintain crisp, clean lines that are easy to read.
- Acrobat gives us these wonderful advantages while still allowing us to deliver a relatively small file. Most files on this site average around 150 to 200KB. With a 56K modem you should have the file on your computer within 2-3 minutes (depending on internet traffic).
- Acrobat also allows us to control the presentation of the stories in an easy-to-read and predictable format.
Q: Why is the story so small when it opens on my computer?
You need to use the zoom tool in the Adobe Reader navigation bar to enlarge your view of the page. You can either click repeatedly on the zoom tool icon or you can select it, then click and drag over the area you want to enlarge.
Q: Why do the photographs look "blocky" when I enlarge the story?
To keep the file size as small as possible so that the stories do not take too long to download to your computer, we have to present the pictures in a low-resolution format. These pictures are the same type of pictures you would see on regular Web pages (JPG format), but you are not usually able to enlarge a regular Web page for easier reading, so you don't see the blocks or pixels that make up the image.
Q: Why can't I see the stories in my browser before I decide to download them?
Because we are using Adobe Reader to provide high-quality reproductions of our stories, the only way to view the files is to download all the information into your browser. We have preview images for all stories on our site and are working to add close-up images to provide an even larger picture of the story.
- Internet Explorer - Right-click on the story link you want to save and from the pop-up menu, select Save Target As...
- Firefox - Right-click on the story link you want to save and from the pop-up menu, select Save Target As...
On a Macintosh:
- Internet Explorer - Click and hold on the story link you want to save and from the pop-up menu, select Download Link to Disk.
- Firefox - Click and hold on the story link you want to save and from the pop-up menu, select Save This Link As...
Q: What is the best way to view this Web site?
Hardware: We recommend either a Macintosh (with a PowerPC or Intel chip), or a Windows PC (with at least a Pentium II chip or equivalent). A modem with at least a 56K connection.
Software: You will get the best results if you use the most recent browser from either Apple (Safari), Mozilla (Firefox) or from Microsoft (Microsoft Internet Explorer). They are all free and available for download if they are not already on your computer. Mozilla Firefox | Microsoft Internet Explorer | Apple Safari
To view the stories on the site, you will also need a (free) copy of Adobe® Reader®. You can get Acrobat Reader here.
Using WebTV with this site.
We have designed the GoodOldDaysStories.com site to work with traditional computers running standard (Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Internet Explorer) Web browsers. While we welcome all nostalgia lovers, however they choose to visit us, we simply do not have the resources to support all the different forms of accessing the Internet.
With WebTV, you will not be able to view or save the stories. Please refer to the following statement from the WebTV site:
Q. Can I download programs? (Acrobat Reader is a separate "program")
A. No. WebTV eliminates the need to download programs by pre-installing them on your box. For example, while a computer might require a downloaded audio player to play music, WebTV comes with a player already installed.
Sadly then, if Adobe Acrobat is not already installed on your WebTV box, you will not have access to our stories through your WebTV system. You should contact WebTV to inquire about the possiblities of being able to use Adobe® Reader® on their system in the future.
Using AOL with this site.
Some of the features on our site may not work in AOL's browser. If you find that some of the features are not functioning properly, use another Web browser outside of AOL. To do this follow the steps below:
While connected to AOL, minimize the AOL program window by clicking on the minus sign in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
If the Internet Explorer, FireFox or Safari icon is on your desktop or in your task bar, simply click on it and type our URL, www.freestories.com, in the address bar once the browser window opens.
If there is no icon for a Web browser on your desktop, click Start, then Programs and browse the list for a Web browser program.
What are audio stories of the Good Old Days?
Our audio stories are digitally recorded versions of stories being read aloud by a narrator. The narrator may be our editor, Ken Tate, or may be a professional actor.
How do I listen to the audio stories?
You can listen to them instantly by clicking "Listen Online" on the Web site page. This will use some simple software already installed on your computer, provided you have speakers or headphones attached to your computer. After clicking "Listen Online" the story will begin to play within seconds. You can also download them to your computer for listening to later, or for playing on your favorite MP3 or iPod player by clicking "Download Audio" and saving the file into a folder.
Do I need an MP3 player or an iPod?
No, you don't. You may listen to your audio story on your computer, and for on-the-go listening without an MP3-player, you may transfer the stories onto CDs (MP3 CD and R/W CD player required).
I have an iPod. How do I put the stories on it?
In your iTunes software (http://www.apple.com/itunes/), select "File" at the top left corner of the window and then select "Add file to library." Now you can easily transfer the file to your iPod, just like any other music or audio file during the sync cycle.
How can I transfer the audio stories to a CD?
Your computer must have the ability to record onto a blank CD. Windows Media, RealPlayer or iTunes may already be installed on your computer and can help you with the instructions needed to transfer the audio stories to a CD.
How many times can I listen to or transfer the stories to an MP3 player or a CD?
There is no limit on how many times you can listen to the audio stories, in whatever medium (on your computer, on your iPod or on a CD) you prefer.
What is the bit rate of the audio story files?
Our stories are recorded in 64kbps mono. This bit rate is highly supported on devices such as MP3 players and iPods and provides the best quality audio with the lowest file sizes.
How can I download your files?
Go to the story you are interested in and click on "Download Audio." Save the file into a folder you will remember. We suggest creating a folder called "Stories" and saving all the audio stories there Downloading should begin immediately.
Why would the end of your audio files be cut short?
Unfortunately, it's not our audio files. Some MP3 players and multimedia (computer software) players don't play the last piece at the end of the file. Sometimes the players may ignore up to a few seconds. Knowing about this problem, we have added two seconds to the beginning and end of each file. This should help!
Software links that you may need:
Windows Media - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Burn-a-CD-or-DVD-in-Windows-Media-Player
RealPlayer - http://i.realone.com/product/help/RealPlayer-2011/en/Content/CD_Create_CD.htm
iTunes - http://www.apple.com/itunes/