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NCKCN FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


Connections Q&A:

Q. When I dial-in, I keep getting disconnected from NCKCN?
A. -
A connection issue is always, without exception, an indication that you have a bad telephone line, or a modem issue. The areaís large corporate telephone companies are notorious for the quality of their telephone lines, especially if you are connecting with a 56K modem. Data connections are intolerant to any line noise and this goes double for 56K! This means there can be no noise generated on the telephone line or from your modem. Almost without exception this is the case. Another real problem in the local lines is that there are not enough to go around. The local telephone company canít deliver any dial tone. In fact, in some of our areas, the local telephone company has allocated lines so that they actually are redirected to Topeka or Salina and really compound the problem of overloading the telephone facility. Another test for this problem is to dial long distance to either NCKCN or another ISP. You are not using the local lines when you do this, but rather you are using the long distance trunks with are less noisy than local lines. You will probably stay connected. This goes for the so-called "local" ISPs in the area, which are not local in any way, and do not use the local telephone lines to terminate any modem calls. You see, the large corporate telephone companies, allow free access to the areas economic opportunities without a single investment what so ever in any local infrastructure, or local economy. They use the long distance trunks to terminate calls in Topeka, Wichita, KC or some other urban area. Thus doubly drains the areas economy and infrastructure. NCKCN is the only local ISP in the areas we serve our dial-up in without exception!

Since we are, by order of the large corporate telephone companies, prohibited from using the long distance trunks because we are rural in nature, we have to use the local telephone switches to terminate all of our modem calls locally. We can do nothing what so ever about the local quality of the telephone lines. And they are constantly getting worse and worse as the large corporate telephone companies drain more and more from the rural areas, and abandon more and more services in those areas.

If the problem persists contact your local telephone company to fix your phone line. Notice, we did not say "check" your phone line. You will in most cases have to tell them to fix it, or nothing will get done. Or they will show up with a laptop, dial into one of their long distance trunks and tell you your line is fine.
One way to over-come the poor quality of the local lines is to dial-into 33.6K modems which can tolerate more noise than 56K lines. You can look at our local access numbers at http://www.nckcn.com/NCKCN/allinfo.htm.

Another possible reason for disconnection is if we have no input from your side after 15 minutes, the system will automatically disconnect you because it thinks you forgot to disconnect. This is a feature so people who do forget to disconnect are not charged for their mistake. This includes downloading a large file, this in only output from our side, no input from your side. There are utilities to counter this, they are called pongers and you can download them from the Internet. Another way to stay connected after long during a long download is going on, is to simply continue to browse the web, or better still, just set your e-mail software to automatically check for new mail every 5 or 10 minutes. You might not be aware of how the system works. An average Internet session lasts 30 to 45 minutes. We set the absolute session time for one Internet connection at 5 hours in most communities. The system will automatically disconnect after that time is reached. We do this to allow the modems to be shared for everyone. If you anticipate a rather large download lasting over 5 hours, simply start the download as soon as you start your Internet session. We do this because you are part owner in the resources to access the NCKCN system and the Internet. Your neighbor who may also be an NCKCN member is also a part owner. This way the resources get shared evenly.

Another, make sure that you donít have your email set to disconnect after you send and receive, unless you want your computer to do so.

Also, to take the local phone lines out of the loop all together, look into any local Broadband Cable or Wireless access in your area. This kind of connection is always on. No time limits. No restrictions. Cunningham Cable is available in many areas as well as NCKC Broadband Wireless access. Look at http://www.cunninghamtelephoneandcable.com/highspeed.htm for Cunningham Cable, and http://www.nckcn.com/ for Wireless access.

Q. Can I join the "Community" even if I don't live where I can access it with a local call?
A. - Anyone can join the Community Network. Because access is provided by an area wide cooperation of North Central Kansas, we offer the best access for the cheapest price. If, say, you want an NCKCN email account, you can certainly do that. Just visit our services page for pricing.

Q. How can I keep track of my online time?
A. - You can view your online time at techsupport.nckcn.com/members/. You simply supply username and password, and the form will return you amount of time left and the amount of time you have been connected. Users wanting to track their online time manually can record it from their dial-in connection box, which will display the current session time, or you can use any number of utilities that are designed to do this for you. You can go to our Shareware Archive directly at ftp://ftp.nckcn.com/ and read the indexes in each directory for a guide. We recommend using Scott Craigs Connect Time, which can be found at: ftp://ftp.nckcn.com/Internet/Timers/win95/Connect/ (for Windows 95 users) or, ftp://ftp.nckcn.com/Internet/Timers/win3x/Connect/ (for Windows 3.x users) to download. This software is also available on the NCKCN installation CD-ROM. Look through it, there's a ton of stuff there. Also, you can find information and links to the software at: http://www.nckcn.com/homepage/idraemel/newusers/newusers.html. This excellent page is maintained by Ian Draemel; one of the tech-support people at NCKCN.

.Q. If I forget to disconnect my dial-up from NCKCN, will I be charged for that time?
A. - Yes, but the system will disconnect you automatically after 15 minutes of incoming inactivity. We do this so people don't get charged very much for forgetting to disconnect after they are finished with their Internet session. This could add up quick if you forgot and left it on for days! There is a side effect to this however, on long downloads it will sometimes think you have forgotten to disconnect because there is only outgoing traffic and perhaps no incoming traffic. To counter this, simply browse the web, check e-mail or whatever to cause some incoming traffic so you don't get disconnected. There are also available some utilities that will "ping" the server every once in a while just for this purpose. Check out TUCOWS or Windows95.com from the Great Links to the World page.

Q. I got disconnected from NCKCN dial-up. I was reading my e-mail. What do I do to correct this?
A. - To answer some questions about disconnecting and session time, we strive to create an Internet environment where new users don't get charged for forgetting to disconnect and to share your communities resource to their fullest. The following should help to answer these questions. 

If we have no input from your side after 15 minutes, the system will automatically disconnect you because it thinks you forgot to disconnect. This is called idle-timeout. This is a feature so people who do forget to disconnect are not charged for their mistake. This sometimes includes downloading a large file, this in only output from our side, no input from your side. There are utilities to counter this, they are called pongers and you can download them from the Internet. Another way to stay connected after long during a long download is going on, is to simply continue to browse the web, or better still, just set your e-mail software to automatically check for new mail every 5 or 10 minutes. 

An average Internet session lasts 30 to 45 minutes. We set the actual time limit for one Internet connection at 5 hours, this is called session-timeout. The system will automatically disconnect after that time is reached. We do this to allow the modems to be shared equally by  everyone. If you anticipate a rather large download lasting over 5 hours, simply start the download as soon as you start your Internet session. We do this because you are part owner in the resources to access the NCKCN system and the Internet. Your neighbor who may also be an NCKCN member is also a part owner. This way the resources get shared evenly. However, some members would like/need a constant 24-hour connection, and we can do that also. You just need to drop us a note. 

If however you are browsing or generating input and you get disconnected, it's a pretty good indication of a bad or noisy telephone line on your end, or a computer/modem setup that generates excessive noise.  We do not change this setting for any reason, user or individual. In other words, if you experience anything else from the above, it is not a setting on the NCKCN end. The problem exist on your end, or the phone company (Local Central Office or lines) If it is the actual line, thereís absolutely no way of telling this by listening to the line; it has to be tested. There can be no noise generated on the telephone line, and/or internally within the modem, or the connection will hang up. If you have many phones and especially a cordless phone plugged into the same jack, this could be causing the noise and interruption. If the problem persists contact your local telephone company to check out your phone line, or change modems and/or computers if possible. From experience, many times the wiring in the area houses are still set up as party line. This means that you are getting a grounding fault, and would certainly cause a problem.

Q. Sometimes I get a DNS error when I do a search on the Web. It says the server is not responding, it may be down...
A. - This is a normal occurrence on the web. At any given time the are any number of sites either down for maintenance, errors or the links are outdated. Just keep trying again, if the site was down for maintenance you will be able to access it shortly.

Q. How do I change my NCKCN password?
A. - Simply send a request to webmaster@nckcn.com and tell us what you would like as your new password. Or give us a call at 316-284-2970 and tell us, or fax your request to 785-738-2185. You can also fill out our  password request form at http://www2.nckcn.com/NCKCN/ChangePasswordRequest.htm.

Q. Can I change my NCKCN Username?
A. - We can change your username for you anytime. After we receive the request, it will usually be changed by the end of the same business day and no later than the end of the following business day. After we change it here, you must change both your dial-in and email username on your end so that you can access. For example: If you are John Smith, and using the "smith" username and password to dial in to NCKCN, and you use that same username and password to access your email. This of course makes your email address smith@nckcn.com. You will change both the dial-in and email username to say something like "jsmith" (or whatever you wish), this then allows you to access the NCKCN system with that username and password, and this would make your email address jsmith@nckcn.com. You do not need to change your password of course unless you want to. Simply let us know what username you wish, however, we do not recommend that women use their names as their username, rather we would recommend that you use something like your first name initial and last name instead.

Q. How do I save the Password for dialing so I don't have to keep typing it in?
A. - This has to do with Windows and it's networking. You can find step-by-step instructions at
http://www.nckcn.com/homepage/idraemel/newusers/win95help.html and follow the TCP/IP Logon Passwords link.


Email Q&A

Q. I 'm having trouble sending email. I get an error that says '550' Server does not accept direct email. Set your email to  use SMTP. What's wrong?
A. - You need to set your email software to use the correct servers. For POP3 set it to "pop3.nckcn.com". For SMTP, the setting has to be "smtp.nckcn.com". You can look at our on-line guides for help.

Q. I 'm having trouble e-mailing my friend in Wichita. What's wrong?
A. - On the Internet, it doesn't matter where someone lives, they may be connected anywhere and travel across the world to reach you. You need to give us information we can use to solve your problem. For example, to specify that I can’t get email from/to user456@hotmail.com is much more helpful.   Having said this however, 99% of email errors are simply incorrect addresses. Email addresses have to be exact, as does your return address. No spaces, extra characters, periods, anything! If you are trying to email joeemailuser@somewhere.com then your address has to be joeemailuser@somewhere.com. If the person you are emailing can't reply to your messages, you probably have your return address incorrect. Lastly, if the message is returned to you, almost always it will have the reason for the failure. If it is never returned, probably the other end user has something incorrect. You know, the old "Return to sender" routine.

Q. Can I use my e-mail from anywhere?
A. -Yes and No. You can check your email from any other place in the world, but you won't be able to send out with a local email client such as Outlook Express. This is an anti-spam feature almost universal in use today.  To check your email, all you have to do is set you email software to point to your NCKCN account and use the "pop3.nckcn.com" POP3 server settings. You must however use the SMTP server settings of your local ISP, or you will not be able to send email. You must obtain those sever settings from your local provider. We also offer a Web based email solution where you can check and send NCKCN email from anywhere in the world, not just on the NCKCN system. You can use any Web browser to point your browser to http://webmail.nckcn.com/ .  We also offer the NCKCN SMTP Mobile service to allow NCKCN outside the NCKCN system to authenticate on the SMTP Mobile server to send from anywhere on any device. Simply look at our Settings page for details.

Q. I can't get my email. It seems to be stuck. What's wrong?
A. -
Sometimes email gets stuck and you can’t do a thing about it but have me clear it out. The usual culprit is a spammer who knowingly sends unwanted email without an end-of-file character or EOF. I can’t for the life of me think why they do this except that they don’t care in the first place what problems they cause.

Spam is a real crisis on the Internet, and it wastes a huge amount of bandwidth and is an invasion of privacy. Unfortunately legislation is slow about doing something about it. One of the security measures to prevent spammers; is to limit the number of recipients that can receive an email. Another security measure is to make sure whom-ever has sent you an email is really who they say they are by looking to see that the reply address is legitimate. We also have the capability to block known spammer addresses. We do all of this to make your Internet life much more secure.

Sometimes you get just too much email packed into your account! It’s like never emptying your mailbox and the mailman just keeps stuffing and stuffing until it’s so wedged in you can’t get anything out.

Possible reasons for this situation are:

  • Changing the default settings of "deleting messages from the server" to "saving E-mail on the server". This is a bad idea all the way around. Not only can it cost you if you run over your storage, but it makes you, us, and the Internet download your messages each time; all of them!
  • Non-use of your E-mail account, thus having too many messages pile up.
  • Someone sending large attachments on several E-mail messages (our severs reject anything over 2MB per message)
  • Usually we will  attached your email as one document for you to read if it could be rescued. Otherwise we would have had to "nuke" it completely.

Q. I can't dial in with my new extra Commercial Email Account. When I dial in with it, I get an invalid password. What's wrong?
A. - Your additional Commercial Email Accounts are not dial-in accounts. You will use the same dial-in name you have always used and simply set up your email software to connect to your new account. For example if you have been using "widgets" to dial in to NCKCN and send and receive email with that account, then request to add another Commercial Email Account  named "gadgets", you will still use the "widgets" account to dial into NCKCN. You can still get email with "widgets", simply add the "gadgets" email account configuration to your email software. Outlook Express lets you do this very easily as it is a multi-account email package.

Q. I want to send someone a large graphic that is over 5MB, but I don't want to attach it as email as I'm sure that would be the wrong thing to do. What do I use to send the graphic or make the graphic smaller?
A. - First of all a thank you is in order for your proper concern and understanding of email etiquette, and not attaching huge files. You have a two part question:

The proper application to use to transfer files is FTP (file transfer protocol) which is a normal and established function of the Internet. Just like you can get different browsers for the web, or different email software for email; there are many FTP clients (software) available. One of the best if Filezilla. Simply read the instructions on how to use FTP, or look at our "How TO" pages for information. In fact you have probably used the FTP protocol many times without even knowing it. Web browsers mostly use FTP to download files to you. A dedicated FTP Client like Filezilla however, runs much faster.

The other part is sending the correct (smaller) graphic file format. You really want to use a compressed format like "gifs", or "jpegs" which are the file format you view on web pages. They are designed to be much much much much...well you get the idea.. smaller than a "raw" Windows bitmap, (.bmp, or .wmf) file. Again, it's just a matter of using the right tools for the job, and one of the best places to look to download an image editor or graphics application that allow you to change the format of graphics

If you consistently need to transfer large files after you have compressed and do all you can to use the proper application, and still they are larger that your allocated Internet space. We are more than happy to set up a "semi-public" ftp site, (in addition to your secure site for web pages if you have one), so you can transfer/share (in accordance to the policies of NCKCN which you will find in your web and ftp sites) files to your hearts content :^) Your new FTP site cost runs in blocks of 100MB. If you need a 100MB chunk, it's $5.00/month for each block, or for a 200MB block, it would be $10.00/month etc...  If this sounds like the ticket, just drop the webmaster a note.

If it is pictures you need to share and these can get huge fast, you can use FTP, or there are sites on the web that are designed just for this such as Snapfish.com. These sites essentially use FTP for you, and post your pictures so the recipient can download them.

Q. How can I stop a spammer from sending me email?
A. - Our NCKCN Google/Postini services are a combination of spam and virus filtering for your incoming e-mail. While no system can provide 100% of filtering, this system has successfully removed 70 - 90% of unwanted e-mails in our tests. This service also holds filtered e-mails at a remote site, so you can scan through them in the occurrence of blocking an e-mail you would want. All members receive this free of charge and you have complete control over your individual filters.

Q. I received a message saying that I sent someone a virus or email and it's being blocked. I never sent any email to this person or address. What is going on?
A. -
This is an increasing problem over the Internet. What has most likely happened is someone is infected with a virus or spy-ware that has your email address in their computer. Their computer is now sending out it's payload as you. But you get the returned blocks and error. Unfortunately there is not much you can do since it's the other culprit responsible. You can however simply block the return from a specific user in your Postini Filters.

Q. How do I know how much email space I am using?
A. - All NCKCN members get 100MB of space. You can send or receive an email up to 20MB in size. Be aware that an email with an attachment that is close to 20MB can compress and decompress to well over 20MB. If you have such a large file to send, it really is best to use another mechanism than email as explained above. To explain how the space limit works: If your email space limit is reached, email sent to you will be returned with a "Mailbox has exceeded disk quota" error. To make sure this doesn't happen simply keep downloading (checking) your email on a regular basis as you should do anyway You wonít have anything to worry about. Again, since every time you do check your email, it empties out your email mailbox. If you are in the practice of abusing the email space limits, you might have to alter your practices and check your email more often. On thing to ABSOLUTELY NOT do is set your email to save a copy on the server. This is an incredibly bad idea, and one to surely fill your email space very quickly. You can't use your Outlook Express to check to see how much email you have, because when you do check it, it simply downloads your email to you off the server. So it's kind of a catch-22 situation. However, you can use our Web Mailman to check and send email from any web browser. Simply point your browser to http://webmail.nckcn.com/ .


Web Page Publishing Q&A

Q. I would like to put a counter on my web page, does NCKCN have a local counter?
A. - Yes, all you have to do is use the appropriate HTML tags and point to the CGI program. Follow this link for a complete HOWTO
at http://www.nckcn.com/NCKCN/HowToCounter.htm. You can also us the internal FrontPage counter wizard if you are publishing with Microsoft FrontPage. Simple access the help menu on FrontPage to see how this is done.

Q. Can I put up a homepage on NCKCN?
A. - You bet! Not only are you able to put up a homepage, but if you are a member of the Community network it's free! We have a web page explaining all the procedures so members can publish your web to your NCKCN Web Servers at http://www.nckcn.com/NCKCN/HowTos/HowToPublish.htm.

Q. I can't get into my FrontPage Web. I get this NTLM Error, it,   says " NTLM authentication failed" (code-2146893042). What's wrong?
A. - Yea, Frontpage can be a headache sometimes. You ought to be on this end ;^) Anyhow, simply follow the instructions found at http://www.nckcn.com/NCKCN/HowToFPNTLMError.htm take two asprin, and put some aloe on it...

Q. I get and error now after uploading/updating my webpage the page can't be found or a Directory Listing Denied. What's wrong?
A. - You will receive these errors if you don't have a default "home" page stated. You need to name your main web page "home.htm" and people will be able to access your web page at: http://www.nckcn.com/homepage/jsmith/ . The servers will automatically show this page and your web page will automatically come up!!! The default name for all "home" web pages is "home.htm". If it is named something else like "myhomepage.html" then the acutal URL has to be typed in like: http://www.nckcn.com/homepage/jsmith/myhomepage.html 


Web Surfing Q & A

Q. What is a cookie?
A. - A cookie is information that a Web site puts on your hard disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time. (More technically, it is information for future use that is stored by the server on the client side of a client/server communication.) Typically, a cookie records your preferences when using a particular site. Using the Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), each request for a Web page is independent of all other requests. For this reason, the Web page server has no memory of what pages it has sent to a user previously or anything about your previous visits. A cookie is a mechanism that allows the server to store its own information about a user on the user's own computer. You can view the cookies that have been stored on your hard disk (although the content stored in each cookie may not make much sense to you). The location of the cookies depends on the browser. Internet Explorer stores each cookie as a separate file under a Windows subdirectory. Netscape stores all cookies in a single cookies.txt file. Opera stores them in a single cookies.dat file. Cookies are commonly used to rotate the banner ads that a site sends. It is a debatable subject whether cookies are good or bad. For the most part they are innocuous, but it doesn't hurt to delete them either. If you disable cookies, some web sites will not function correctly. Those people concerned with having complete security and privacy will probably disable cookies and delete all of them from their computer.

Q. Should I be surfing the web without any firewall or security?
A. - NO! NCKCN strongly recommends that all Internet users have some kind of Internet Security install. These days, you will be bombarded with spyware, malware and other nasty downloads from the Internet simply by browsing from site to site without any protection. The very best is to use some kind of firewall/router that is hardware protecting you. 


Virtual Domain Q & A

Q. I keep getting these "RENEW YOUR DOMAIN NAME AND SAVE" emails telling me I should renew my domain name early. Should I do that, or have NCKCN do that?
A. - NO! NCKCN is happy to take care of your domain registration and renewal, so that you get the most out of your investment. We do this at no extra cost to all NCKCN members. And we diligently try to make sure your domain is as pain free as possible.

Domain owners now have to put up with the kind of marketing hype that states you can save if you renew your domain early. What they don't tell you is that you are essentially throwing away your current domain name ownership  subscription length and getting less and less in return. For example, they will make it look like you can save 20% off the price if you renew now, even though the subscription is not up for another 6 months. If you do renew
early, you loose 50% of your original subscription length and throw away 50% of your original payment. This is because if you renew, it won't be added to your original subscription length, rather the new subscription length will
start at the time of renewal. Wonderful huh?

We will renew your domain within the last two days of your original lease on the domain to ensure that you get the full use your money. You will not need to worry about it, and can disregard all the future notices from these
domain marketing wonders. Until this changes, other these marketing geniuses are fired, we recommend that you simply let us take care of it for you.


If you have support or general questions please email us at: support@nckcn.com
If you have any comments or questions about the NCKCN System, you can reach NCKCN by e-mail at: webmaster@nckcn.com

This page last updated 10/10/13 07:33:10 PM
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