This help page is devoted to answering any questions you might have about OUMC's newsletter, The Net. It will be updated as necessary.
In January 2007, we changed THE NET from html to pdf format. If you're looking for help with issues of The Net published before 2007, please visit our old help page.
Q -- What is this pdf thing, anyway?
A -- According to an article I found in the Wikipedia online encylopedia:
Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open file format created and controlled by Adobe Systems, for representing two-dimensional documents in a device independent and resolution independent fixed-layout document format.
Q -- Oh. That's nice. But what does it mean?
A -- It means there are certain files, such as the recent editions of The Net, which can only be opened if you have a program supplied by Adobe Systems called Adobe Reader, formerly known as Acrobat Reader.
Q -- Okay. So what's the difference between current issues and what we used to receive?
A -- Here are some differences:
- Earlier NETs were written in html, which is the standard language for writing web pages. All you needed for looking at it was your "browser" -- Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Safari, etc. NETs published since January 2007 are in a different file format and now you have to have Adobe Reader to look at them.
- The old NET was broken down into a number of pages, each of which would download quickly to your computer, even on a slow dial-up connection. (Remember dial-up?) Recent issues have been one big file -- a megabyte or larger -- which is as big as a whole year's worth of html NETs. If you have a broadband (cable TV or DSL) connection, this NET will download in a few seconds. If you're not so fortunate, it'll take a lot longer.
- When I originally posted this Help page, I complained that "cutting and pasting from an Acrobat Reader document isn't possible", but that issue was resolved in Reader 8, and subsequent levels, which let you cut and paste stuff just like any other program which runs under Windows.
- The most obvious difference: The new NET really looks cool! Earlier NETs were very plain and simple, perhaps even minimalist. They had all the textual information contained in the paper NET, but without any of the decorative graphics. This was intentional. When the NET was first put on the Web in 2002, most of us had old-fashioned dial-up connections which dictated keeping everything as lean and mean as possible.
Q -- I can't access the new NET. What do I need to do?
A -- Try downloading and installing Adobe Reader from HERE. Good luck!
Q -- Can I read the NET on my mobile device?
A -- Maybe! One of our readers tells us she has trouble viewing the NET on her iPod Touch. It seems the device tries to display the whole big pdf file, all 6 or 8 pages, on its tiny screen. There's no way to zoom in and look at just one part of it. This may also happen on the iPhone. We're still waiting to hear from users of other types of mobile devices, e.g. BlackBerry. If anybody knows how to get around this problem, please let us know!
Q -- What are some of the problems, or issues, which need to be ironed out?
A -- Here are a few...
- Will the NET continue to be made available online each month? This is sort of a no-brainer. There are numerous reasons, in this internet age, for making a church's newsletter available on the World Wide Web.
- Should we e-mail the NET each month? Another good question. If you don't have a broadband connection, or if your e-mail service doesn't provide you a lot of storage space, you may not want to receive the NET via e-mail. You may prefer to receive a notification that it's ready, then access it on the World Wide Web at your leisure.
- To whom should we e-mail the NET? The NET is e-mailed to a group of people whose addresses are on a list maintained by the Church office. If you, or somebody you know, would like to be added to, or deleted from, this mailing list, please contact our Office Manager.
- How can we correct errors which occur in the NET? This needs to be worked out. Errors do happen. I have no means of updating the pdf NET as I once did with the html NET. That original January 2007 issue had an errata page which included several corrections. More recent issues have been much more error-free, but from time to time it has been necessary to prepare similar errata pages. Also, please consult the OUMC calendar page for possible corrections. If you see conflicts between these different sets of information, pleas contact the office, or the person who is responsible for the event or ministry.
What should be in the NET, anyway? That's probably the most important question we should be asking. We need to determine just what sort of information we wish to make available to:
- Churchfamily members,
- Our friends and former members,
- Anybody who happens to stumble over the OUMC web site and clicks on newsletter.
Please make your ideas and opinions known to me, to our pastors, and to the Church Council.
There are really no issues which are unresolvable. It is my hope that, by bringing up these questions, we'll be able to come up with a product which will increase our Church's visibility on the World Wide Web and which will provide a useful and helpful service to churchfamily members.
Your comments are welcome! Please send me e-mail to let me know what you think.
your OUMC webservant
This page was last updated 01/03/2012.