Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Whew - Ancestry.com is Working Well For Me Again!

I posted Who Messed Up my Original Image "Interactive View" on Ancestry.com??? yesterday when Ancestry.com was somehow messed up on my desktop computer.  My readers and concerned colleagues (concerned about my mental health...) will be happy to hear that the problem, whatever it was, has been fixed.  

Of course, I have no clue as to what caused the problem or how it was corrected.  Maybe I'll learn sometime down the road.  Or not.  No matter - Ancestry.com now works well (like it did before Monday night) for me.  Whew!

What did I do, you ask?  My initial fear was that somehow my computer had a problem that messed up the Ancestry web pages.

1)  I thought that perhaps my cookies or browser history was the problem, or my registry.  Since I am using Windows 7 and the Chrome browser, I went into the Chrome Settings and clicked on "Reset Browser Settings."  The message associated with that included:

"This will reset your homepage, new tab page and search engine, disable your extensions and unpin all tabs. It will also clear other temporary and cached data, such as cookies, content and site data."

I also rebooted my computer and then tried to access Ancestry again.  It was still messed up - in fact, now the home page was messed up, and some of the links on the messed up home page didn't work.  Shoot.

2)  I wondered if it was my Ancestry.com account.  I tried my Basic (free) registered account, and had the same problem.  I closed the window and typed www.Ancestry.com into the eddress line, and it couldn't find the website.  When I used the bookmarked link, it found the site but the page was messed up.

3)  I got the laptop computer out, which had not been on Ancestry for over one week, and started it up and accessed Ancestry, and the home page, and other pages, was messed up.  Shoot again!  However, I noticed that the home page image looked somewhat different from before.  I closed down the browser on the laptop.

4)  I came back to the desktop computer, closed the browser and opened it again, and used the Bookmark to access Ancestry.com.  No problem!  It worked!  And the home page has a somewhat different look to some of the segments.

5)  Back to the laptop computer, open the browser and access Ancestry.com, and the home page, and all other pages work fine.  It worked!  Five minutes expired from Step 3 to Step 5.  

So what happened?  Did Ancestry.com change the coding on their pages in the five minutes between Steps 3 and 5 above?  Was I the only customer that had this problem?  Nobody emailed me or commented on my blog post or on Facebook saying that they also had the problem.  I've had some comments that Ancestry.com was acting strangely yesterday, but nothing that said they were having my problem.

I am extremely happy, and my mental health is much improved, now that Ancestry.com is working fine for me again.  

So what does this "new look" look like?  Here's the top of my Ancestry.com Home page screen:



I see some slight differences here compared to the home page from a few days ago, including:

*  The "Advanced search" button in the "Search" section has a box around it - I think it was just a link before.

*  The "See all new records" is at the top of the "What's Happening at Ancestry.com" section is a button at the top of the section - it was a link at the bottom of the section before.

*  The "New records" are on the left side of the "What's Happening..." section, and the advertisement is on the right side of the section.

There are probably several other changes to the Home page.

I searched for my grandfather in the 1940 U.s. Census, and saw the Record Summary:


There may be changes on this page, but nothing was obvious to me.  The 1940 census (and the 1930 census) have a link for the "Use default viewer" and a link to "View Image" in the "Interactive Viewer."  When I clicked on the "View Image" link, I saw the image of the census page:


I could zoom in and out, and the person searched and found was highlighted in yellow (and the rest of the household in green),.  That is not new, it's typical of the "Interactive Viewer."

I also clicked on the "Use default viewer" on the Record Summary page and saw:



That works too - it worked yesterday also without the messed up page.

The text with the light blue background above the census image says:

"We’ve designed a new image viewer that is faster, works across more devices and browsers, and includes interactive tools for key collections. This viewer will be discontinued soon."

I noticed that the "Use default viewer" link only appeared on the 1930 and 1940 census record summaries, and not on record summary pages for census records before 1930.  There is a way to choose the older viewer by choosing "Tools" and then "Switch to old viewer" on all of the "Interactive viewer" pages.  

So, I'm happy as a clam in warm water filled with algae right now - Ancestry.com is back to "normal" for me.  I still wonder what happened around 10:30 PST this morning to make it magically get corrected...but I'm not complaining.  My wife will be extremely pleased that I'm communicative at dinner time tonight.  

Isn't digital technology wonderful?

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/11/whew-ancestrycom-is-working-well-for-me.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

3 comments:

Cormac said...

It could have been something as simple as some bad javascript code or something like that. Nothing to panic about.

Michigan Girl said...

This post certainly made me smile Randy. I know exactly how you must have felt. When something like the happens on sites I use all the time, it's very worrisome.
I'm glad it worked itself out. Who cares why, I guess. Long as it doesn't happen again.
Smiling for you,
Diane

Eileen said...

Glad you are back to normal. I agree that the home page on Ancestry did change. I just captured a screen shot last week and the Advanced Search did have a box around it, but the background was lighter and it said Show Advanced with a different arrow. So you are not going crazy. I wish they would stop tweaking for a while as I am getting tired of constantly updating my lecture screen shots.