Downloading PDF Files

Several members have had trouble downloading PDFs from the web site–in particular, the newsletters, which are quite large and normally take a minute or so to download, depending on the internet connection speed. But, sometimes, the download does not complete no matter how long we wait.

This is a browser issue that may be caused by clicking on the link too many times without waiting for a big document to load completely, or an unreliable Internet connection. This causes a partial copy to be “stuck” in the browser cache (a disk folder where pages and files are saved so they are only downloaded once): if the copy is “broken,” clicking on the link again tries to read the broken copy from disk instead of trying to reload from the web site. To fix this, it is necessary to first clear the cache. This may make other pages you visit often load more slowly the next time you access them, especially if they have a lot of images on them, but it will also force reload of the broken files.

In Firefox, this can be corrected by selecting File->Preferences->Advanced and click on “Clear Now” next to the “Cached Content” label.

In Chromium, click on the wrench icon, select Settings->Under the Hood and click on “Clear Browsing Data”

In Safari, click on “Safari” in the tool bar, then select “Empty Cache” in the pull-down menu.

I don’t use Microsoft Internet Explorer, and don’t recommend it, but you can see a detailed procedure for your version of MSIE at’s Cache”. The procedure varies depending on your version, which should be 7, 8, or 9.

If you have a DSL internet connection, clearing the cache does not work, and web sites in general are loading slowly, the problem could be caused by circuit overloads at your provider or noisy phone lines that cause transfers to be interrupted frequently. Wait until early morning, when there are fewer users on the network, then clear the cache and try again. If you have dialup, downloads will be much slower at all times and may take several minutes: be patient and do not click on the link multiple times while it is loading.

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About Larye

New weaver and amateur loom mechanic. 50-year career in information technology, now self-employed and semi-retired: specialize in Unix systems administration, web site development, and bioinformatics applications programming. Other interests include bicycle touring, aircraft construction, and quilting. Married to weaver/spinner/quilter/cyclist Judy.