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Web Browser Compatibility and Popup Blocking

You may not know that not all Hampshire College web services work with all web browsers.  The web browsers now supported on campus—Firefox and Safari—work with most Hampshire College web pages and web services. There are a few notable exceptions though.

First, a special note about Internet Explorer:
In the past, Internet Explorer (MSIE) has been notorious for its security holes, enabling hackers and virus writers to exploit your computer through this web browser. In response to this threat, the IT staff has not recommended its use. The newest Windows version of MSIE is touted as being much more secure and appears to work with all Hampshire College web pages and services: Intranet, TheHub, CMS web page editing.

However, it is important for Mac users to note that Internet Explorer has not been upgraded for Macs since 2000, and all support for the Mac version was dropped in 2005. For this reason, the IT staff no longer installs MSIE on new Macs. There is only one known exception for which only Internet Explorer can be used—certain functions when editing web pages using the CMS. If you are responsible for editing and approving web pages, you must continue to use Internet Explorer for changing navigation order. Call the Help Desk (x5418) if you need it installed.

Known compatibility issues of Firefox and Safari are detailed below.

Popup blocking

While Safari allows popup blocking, (Go to Safari menu and check “Block Pop-up Windows”) it does not provide an option to allow exceptions. Consequently, some Hampshire College Intranet pages will not display. If you want to view all pages on the Intranet, you will have to turn popup blocking off in Safari. In Firefox however, you have an option to enable popup blocking, and allow exceptions for some websites.

  1. Go to: Firefox > Preferences (Mac) or Tools > Options (PC).
  2. Select the World icon labeled as “Content” (Mac) or “Web Features” (PC).
  3. Note whether Popup Blocking is enabled. (It is if it is checked.) If so, click on the “Allowed Sites” button.
  4. In the “Allowed Sites” window, if you do not already see, “*” in the site list, type that into the “Address of web site:” box, and click on the “Allow” button.
  5. Click OK (PC) or the red dot (Mac) to close that window, and again to save the preference change.

Cached pages

All web browsers keep copies of the web pages you visit on the hard drive of your computer. Sometimes, these cached pages prevent newer versions of the web page from opening, or may even cache error pages. For example, “TheHub is down for service” error page can be displayed, even when this is not the case. It is always a good idea to clear your cache when such an error is displayed.

  • Firefox Locate Preferences (Mac) under the Firefox menu or Options (PC) under the Tools menu. Click on the Privacy icon, then the Cache tab. Click on the “Clear Cache Now” button. Though this should immediately allow fresh pages to load, it may sometimes be necessary to close and re-open the browser. While on this tab, you may also choose to reduce the maximum amount of space the cache can take up on your hard drive.
  • Safari Find “Empty Cache” directly under the Safari menu. Click to empty, and click again to confirm. It may sometimes be necessary to close and re-open the browser for this to take effect.



Contact Us

Information Technology
Harold F. Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.5419

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