Staying current with Enviro-weather

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Computers and the internet have indisputably changed modern life, giving us almost instantaneous access to information. We have come to expect up-to-the moment information at the press of a button or the click of a mouse. But computers have their limits. Understanding these limits will save you much frustration and time.

All internet browsers (e.g., Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Netscape) are designed to provide quick access to multiple websites. To maximize speed and efficiency, each browser stores a copy of your last visit to each website in what is called its “cache.” If you revisit that site within a certain time, instead of “calling up” the site again, your computer just displays the stored version you saw previously. This old version doesn’t have any new updates. To see these updates you must “refresh” your browser – in other words ask your computer to actually call up the site again.

Refreshing browsers frequently is important for viewing websites such as Enviro-weather that update data regularly. In the past month or two, users have reported to us that Enviro-weather was not updating data, rather it displayed weather parameters (temperature, windspeed, etc.) that were several hours old. In most of these cases, users solved the problem by refreshing their browsers.

How you actually do this depends on the computer system you have and the browser you use. Most popular browsers on personal computers (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox) will refresh if you press the F5 key. Also, most browsers have a “refresh” or “reload” button on the toolbar above the screen. Here, for example, is the reload button on Firefox.

Refresh button
Example of “refresh” button on a version of Firefox Internet browser.

Other ways to refresh a webpage include pressing Control-R (or Command-R on a MacIntosh) or selecting “refresh” or “reload” from the view menu. These all do the same thing; pick your favorite method.

If you refresh your browser but still see old data, check the browser’s website to see if you can download a newer version. All software programs are updated frequently. In a couple of instances, updating their browsers solved users’ Enviro-weather problems (and probably problems on other websites).

We at Enviro-weather hope this little explanation will help you solve or prevent any data updating problems. If you are still having problems after you have updated your browser program and refreshed the Enviro-weather page, please let me know. I can be reached at: (517) 432-6520, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or www.enviroweather.msu.edu.

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