An ever-growing collection of frequently asked questions. It even has some answers.

Photo by Rohit Farmer on Unsplash
Why do I have to register on this site?

Registration on this site makes you a website user and allows you to make comments on articles. You must be registered as a website user to receive email notices from the OARC, including meeting and event invitations.
Registration as a website user DOES NOT make you a member of the OARC unless you pay the annual membership fee. Full details appear on the membership information page.

What happens if I don’t register as a website user?

Nothing. But you will NOT receive meeting notices or other emails from the OARC.

I registered as a website user but I don’t like the username I entered . How can I change it?

You cannot. The username you enter when you register as a website user is PERMANENT. It cannot be changed because it is used internally to link to your comments and posts. Note that you CANNOT create a second account using the same email address. The web janitor can help you create a new user account with a different username, but it is a complicated process.

I just registered as a website user. Can you send me the notices I missed?

Even better, you can view past notices on the Email Notices page.

What does it cost to register as an OARC website user?

It does not cost anything to register as a website user, but to become a member of the OARC, you need to pay the annual membership fee. To register as a website user go to the registration page. To see the different levels of OARC membership and associated fees, go to the membership information page.

Why can’t I pay for my OARC membership directly on this website?

Having a website that accepts payments makes it an attractive target to hackers who try to steal credit card numbers and other user data.
The OARC purposely decided to use only e-transfers for payments. This means you use your own bank to make payments without providing any sensitive information to a third party.
Moreover, online banking is specifically designed to provide highly secure electronic payment options.

Am I a paid-up member? Can I check my status here?

To discourage hackers, the OARC does not keep ANY membership or payment data on the website – it is all handled offline by the membership director and the treasurer.
If you have questions about your membership status, please send an email to membership@oarc.net .

Is my private data protected on this site?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is as follows … If you do NOT register as a website user on the site, the only data we collect is your IP address. If you do register as a website user, we collect the minimum amount of personal data required to allow various site features to function. These include: your username, your real name, your callsign (if you have one), your phone number (this is optional, but handy if we need to contact you), your email address, your password for this site, and your agreement to the Terms of Service. Your password is encrypted and we have no way of telling what it is. If you lose your password, you can reset it.
These registered website user details are only visible to site administrators, but your name and callsign may appear in comments you leave on the site.
The entire site is served using HTTPS which means all data in transit between you and the site is encrypted.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you choose to reveal additional personal information about yourself in article comments, it is considered public, and we have no way of preventing others from seeing it.

Can I get notices without registering as a website user?

No. Notices are prepared and delivered “from inside” the website so it has to have your email address and consent to receive emails from the OARC.

Can’t I get all the information I need from the website without registering as a website user?

You can read almost everything on the site without registering, but you cannot comment on articles and you will not receive OARC email notices.

Why don’t you just take all my information from previous membership records?

For at least two reasons.
1) We need positive verification that you want to be registered on the OARC website. This is required to conform to Canada’s anti SPAM regulations.
2) Many of the previous records we have are out-of-date and had non-functional email addresses.

Can I see the previous site?

No. The previous site ceased functioning on October 1st, 2022. There is a “static” copy of the previous site available to the web janitor for migration and archival purposes.

Why can I not find <item name>? It used to be on the previous site.

The previous website had approximately 5 GB of content on it. We have archived all of the old content and we are gradually migrating it all to the new site. If there is a particular item you think should appear on the new site ASAP, send a request to the web janitor.

How do you prevent spammers from registering as website users?

We make it as difficult as possible for bad actors to register as website users. The registration form uses a CAPTCHA to make sure the user is not a bot. Once the user clicks the “register” button, the system automatically sends 2 emails – one to the user to confirm that they are registered but NOT activated, and a second to the web janitor to get him to activate the new user. If the email to the user bounces, that is a red flag that prompts the janitor to just discard the registration. If any of the details in the submitted registration look suspicious, the janitor sends an email to the user to try and confirm that they are bona fide. Once the janitor is satisfied that the user is genuine, he activates the account, and another automated email is sent to the user to inform them of that fact.

What if a spammer gets past all of your defenses?

As long as the spammer behaves themselves, we will never know. But if any “odd” behaviour is noticed, we can instantly de-activate the offender and remove the damage they have caused. If you see any suspicious content, you can report it to the web janitor who will clean it up.

When I try to login I get a message saying “ERROR: User has not been activated.” What does that mean?

If you JUST registered and you try to login immediately, you will get that message. The web janitor has to check and “activate” your registration, which may take a day or two (or more in flu season). Once your registration is activated, the system sends you a notification email.
If you were able to login previously, but you now get this message please email website@oarc.net, or if you prefer, there is a form you can use on the website at https://oarc.net/contact-the-web-janitor/

On some pages I get a message saying “Microsoft Defender SmartScreen has blocked this unsafe content” What does that mean?

This only happens if you are using the Microsoft Edge browser and have gone to a page with an embedded PDF. It has been reported to Microsoft and they claimed they would remove the incorrect warning. However, the warning continues to appear on SOME embedded PDFs, but not all, and there does not seem to be anything we can do to correct it. This warning does not appear with FireFox, Chrome, or Safari, and there definitely is nothing dangerous in the embedded PDFs. This is a long-standing problem that has been reported to Microsoft over many years.

Does the OARC have a Groups.io/YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page?

The short, simple, and incorrect answer is no.
The more complex answer is that the OARC does not have a “social media” coordinator. Keeping these various platforms up-to-date and relevant requires considerable time and effort. Almost all of these platforms are supported by advertising, some of which is quite intrusive and not relevant.
This website can house all the photos, videos, and other content we are ever likely to produce and it has the added benefit of NO advertising (other than our own, such as for the Hamfest).
However there is a Facebook page and a Twitter feed that were created by OARC members. They are not maintained or populated by the OARC and the information they contain may be out of date.

My question was not covered here. Who can I contact?

Email website@oarc.net, or if you prefer, there is a form you can use at https://oarc.net/contact-the-web-janitor/ .

Last Updated on 2023-01-12 by AdminOARC