Just a quick note, for those who may be experiencing difficulties logging in after 2/7/05.
EDIT NOTE:We just made a small change to our new system, that should take care of the cookie related problem referenced below. Before deleting your files and cookies (as recommended), try closing all your browser windows, starting the browser back up, and accessing the clinic. If this does not resolve the problem, continue with the instructions below.
We have recieved a few notes today about some of our users not being able to maintain their login status (upper right where it should say Welcome (your username) says instead "Welcome Guest", although not in all areas of the clinic. Forum says "Closed for Public Posting", and attempts to acces the password change system will net a blank screen. We have also heard that users who were having this problem were unable to access their "Edit Profile" option. They got a blank "New User Registration" instead. Members with passwords shorter than 6 characters have found they could not log in either.
If you have been experiencing any of these problems, we apologize for the inconvenience, it is related to a recent upgrade to our authentication systems, and conflicts that exist with some of the older features.
They can be resolved as outlined below, and it will only need to be done once. New users will not have this problem, it will only be possible if you used the "remember me" login feature and logged in that way before 2/7/05. After that date, the system is no longer capable of utilizing the "remember me" feature.
We made some changes to the clinic's authentication software, in anticipation of the release of our new classifieds section. The classifieds section will be capable of storing somewhat more sensitive data about our users than our previous systems, and that forced us to step up a level in our website security.
We have been made aware of two issues that could affect your ability to login and maintain your sessions. The first is pre-existing passwords that are shorter than six characters. Passwords that are this short are inherently unsafe in secured systems, being too easy for hostile computer programs to crack. We have changed the minimum password length to six characters, and this will mean that some folks will need to use our "Lost Password" system to reset their passwords to something longer. The Lost Password system is located in the login area just below the main menu. Look for the link entitled "Forgotton your Password?".
The second issue relates to the use of "remember me" cookies. We have now disabled this feature for future logins, but have no way of deleting any existing cookies that may already be out there. If you have used this feature in the past, you have a special cookie on your computer which is designed to live there unexpired for about a day.
This remember me cookie can now cause your computer to obtain a second login, one that does not get acknowledged by the new systems. Although the option is still available in our login block, it no longer functions when logging in. If you have used this feature in the past, you will need to do the following to delete it from your computer:
First, from anywhere on the clinic, logout. It will be important to not have an active login while doing what follows. Second, Go into your browsers settings (Microsoft Internet Explorer this will be "tools" on the top menu, then "Internet Options" from the subsequent menu). Delete all existing Files and Cookies from your browser (if you get the option to delete offline content, do so). Third, close your browser, then close any other open browser windows. Restart your browser, go to the clinic and attempt to login again. This should resolve the problem.
We appreciate your patience with us as we move to this higher level of security for our website and its members. The new classifieds system is now completely integrated, and we expect to release it within the next day. It is an incredible system, and we are very proud to have it here. We are presently working on some final cosmetic issues to bring it into line with the rest of the clinic.
As a final note, the system we just got done upgrading will allow us to more quickly add new features in the future, while maintaining our existing login processes for access to the new sections. In fact, we have a couple more new features that we are ready to start integrating as soon as the classifieds system is released.
Thanks again for all the patience, we appreciate your support for our efforts.
GRAM, Pat, and the Rest of the Road Star Clinic Staff