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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I was unable to access any TFL forum I tried using the Firefox web browser. I was able to reach TFL using another browser that hadn't been used to reach TFL previously, suggesting that cookies TFL sets on your computer might somehow be involved. After experimenting and getting help from Hawk, I found that one particular cookie is the source of the problem (TFL sets quite a few) and deleting it got me back on line.

To fix the problem, in Firefox, open preferences, click on the privacy tab and then the "show cookies" button. Search for "m14" and then look at the resulting list for the cookie named "pA_c[p]". Select just that cookie and click "remove cookie." You should then be good to go.
 

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Thanks for identifying the specific cookie. Much appreciated. Much better than deleting all of the cookies associated with TFL.GI2
 

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Thanks for identifying the specific cookie. Much appreciated. Much better than deleting all of the cookies associated with TFL.GI2
Glad to help but I'm afraid I spoke a bit too soon. Same thing happened to me this morning part way through a session, and that particular cookie wasn't even present.GI4

What worked this time was to delete the "bbsessionhash" cookie. With the TFL page waiting but not yet displaying, I opened the cookies panel as described above and searched again on "m14". Note that you can also scroll down through the cookie folders initially displayed but searching reveals the individual cookies. Inspecting the m14tfl.com cookies reveals a group at the top is repeated with the same name at the bottom. In the middle of the list are several uniquely named cookies. So far, I've found that deleting those unique cookies one at a time and then trying to reload the page will eventually fix the problem.

Obviously, it's necessary to be connected to TFL in order to read this advice to get reconnected to TFL. So it's advisable to keep a different browser handy for just that purpose. If you're using Firefox, get SeaMonkey, since it uses a different set of profile files. And if its cookies get corrupted, they can all be deleted without too much disruption since it's not your primary browser.

Nothing is ever simple...
 

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Lemme ask this: I use Firefox (ver. 3.6 or whatever's the latest update). On some web sites/board/blogs that seem to use the same software as this site, I can "log off" and it'll report that the cookies associated with the site have been cleared. Does this one work the same? I don't think I've ever "logged off" here, just exited out, cuz I check it often and can't always remember user names and passwords.
 

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Lemme ask this: I use Firefox (ver. 3.6 or whatever's the latest update). On some web sites/board/blogs that seem to use the same software as this site, I can "log off" and it'll report that the cookies associated with the site have been cleared. Does this one work the same? I don't think I've ever "logged off" here, just exited out, cuz I check it often and can't always remember user names and passwords.
I don't log off either, but if you click on the individual cookies, at the bottom of the window you can see the date it's supposed to expire. The unique ones in the middle are supposed to expire at the end of the session, while the duplicates have dates in the future.

In the interest of discovery, I just logged out. The "expires at end of session" cookies are deleted, as are the set of duplicates with the closer future expiration date. So "end of session" appears to mean at log-off. When I go back to this web page, it looks like no new cookies are set until I log back in, and then I get a new set of "end of session" cookies along with a new duplicate set with longer expiration dates. So logging off and back on periodically may avoid the connection problem, and in any case, deleting all the unique cookies seems to be like logging off, in case you can't get back on to do it.

Did I say nothing is ever simple?
 

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when you log off with vbulletin cookies are deleted, but, not all of them. Only the ones with login info and not site info.

vbulletin themselves told me that one should log out, then delete any cookies associated with the site and then log back in.

Versions before 3.8, did not have the glitches associated with cookies. Version 3.8 has a different way of reading cookies so the old cookies are not read correctly.

Hope that explains it better.

I can't wait until we upgrade to version 4.0.?...... should open a whole new can of wormsGI4
 

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Fly in the ointment

Let me throw this fly into the ointment for you. I have both a Windows Browser through Qwest and I also have Firefox as an auxillary browser, since for some sites I can't seem to use Windows to access and for some things, when I do access and try to use the links, the links show up as a "blank page." When that happens I go to Firefox gain access and can see the links without trouble. I have the updated current version of Firefox, which I think is 3.8.

All this talk of cookies got me to thinking. I have both a Regedit program, that cleans my registry as things are updated, but only on my command. I also have spysweeper which removes nasty items including cookies and Window Washer which will clean everything. I use Window Washer daily and my computer is set up through programing to dump all cookies and temporary internet files each time I turn off the computer after exiting the browser, which is once per day.
As a result I don't store cookies or temporary internet files. Both Firefox and Windows browsers have all my shortcuts. I have absolutely no problem getting onto TFL forums, specifically the M-14 Firing Line forum, from either browser.

I am going to suggest therefore that the problem lies with programing on a specific computer that is activated to prevent access to some programing, much as you might use to keep children from seeing adult sites and so forth. That's where I would start looking to see what constraints might exist on your computer. If you have a list of defaults under your security section start looking there. Another place is whether there is something that looks for current certificates and check that out as it will automatically exclude, sometimes without warning you, a site that it doesn't like the certificate of. Firefox is not as bad as microsoft about those things but they both have those kinds of things in the programing. I have found that many defaults aren't what we would all want. So whenever I set up a computer, one of the first things I do is to go through the default and security lists and set them up for me. The second thing is to drop the overall computer to "Medium" on security setting. "High" or "maximum" on a security setting will also exclude, automatically, anything the computer reads as suspect. That's one reason why I use two webroot programs, a McAfee Security program and a Max Registry Cleaner. Since doing that several years ago I have had no real problems with my PC at all. And I have the ultimate control, not Bill Gates or the people at microsoft. I have also turned off "automatic updates" so that I don't get some of the updates that are prone to problems. Microsoft does updates every so often that initially have problems that you can't fix and they weren't aware of when they installed them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In the experimenting I did, the issue appeared to be cookies that had outlived their usefulness so to speak. TFL appears to set long term expiration cookies and cookies intended to last only for the current "session." My very infrequent connection issue looks like the result of my leaving TFL (not for long, to be sure GI2) but not logging out from it. Logging out automatically deletes the current session cookies, and new ones are created at the beginning of the next session. Not all cookies are bad. Some are set specifically so that you can be tracked in your web travels (AKA spyware). Others retain your password credentials so that you don't have to log in on your next visit. Both kinds can be used to recognize you, but I don't mind if TFL recognizes me when I show up. The trick is to determine which cookies are truly spyware and set your browser to block them, something that's easy enough to do (at least in Firefox) when you know what they are.

Also note that more persistent cookies are set by Adobe Flash, and apart from using Better Privacy with Firefox, the only alternative I know of is to find the directory they hide in and delete it, something easy enough to do on a Mac, but still easier with Better Privacy.
 
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