Technology - Love It, Hate It, or Tolerate It?


Since I was a kid, I’ve always enjoyed learning about the newest piece of technology- I had a Texas Instruments computer that hooked up to the TV like video game systems do. It had no internal memory at all, and was probably less powerful than a simple programmable thermostat in your house is now, but I thought it was pretty cool to write little programs that made a dot bounce around the screen. But I grew out of that-while some of my friends went on to study computer science and build circuit boards from scratch, I learned about absurdist playwrights, acting theory since the Stanislavsky era, and what a “gaffer” actually is.

So, though I still have an appreciation for technology and how it’s advanced over the years, I’m far from an expert. And now we have the Internets (yes, the capital “I” and the “s” at the end are intentional. Kind of a tongue-in-cheek homage to the ubiquitous tool that both frees us from the bounds of time and space, and ties us to its arcane rulebook) 

By necessity, I’ve gotten pretty good at navigating lots of different tasks on the ol’ Interwebs (that one’s intentional too, in case you were wondering), and I’m going to pass some homespun (not tech talk) knowledge on, in the hopes that it will help some of you as you poke around our site and others. If you have any questions about things related to navigating our site and registration process that aren’t addressed here, please contact us at [email protected] and we’ll help ASAP. And feel free to drop me a note there if you have any more tips that you think I should pass on, or any updates to my tips.


  • Web Browsers: Often a tricky subject for some people. Which one to use? Which version is current? Does it matter? Well, there are lots of opinions out there, and many answers that are dependent on several factors. But for simplicity, I’m going to focus on what I know works well for  If you can, we recommend using Firefox. You can download it here: for free. Google Chrome is also good, and integrates seamlessly with Google search.  Many people use Internet Explorer, but as time goes on, IE is not supported as well as it once was, so there can be issues. We recommend using another browser other than Internet Explorer, if that is an option.

* I know some people cannot download anything because of security measures on their computers, so if that’s the case you may be at the mercy of your IT department. They know best what will work on your system, so you can generally trust their advice, but I’d suggest asking if they can at least update your browser to the most current iteration. That will minimize issues, since if browsers aren’t updated, some features of recently created sites like ours won’t work as the programmers intend.

The bottom line with browsers is, use the most updated version of whatever one you like best and are most familiar with.


  • Cookies/Cache: You may be aware that browsers store what are called “cookies” on your computer every time you visit a site. These cookies act as ways to identify you, sometimes save a little information about what you’ve clicked on within a site, and to remember the fact that you’ve been to a site before so that when you come back, the site may load faster. Cookies do other things too, but for the sake of brevity, let’s just focus on the fact that they and your browser’s Cache collect and save information. This information allows pages to load more quickly on future visits. This is generally great, unless information on the page has changed since your last visit. Depending on how your browser is set, you may not see some updates to a site if your cookies and cache haven’t been cleared in a while. We recommend clearing your cache once a month or so (see your browser’s help files for how to do this if you don’t know).

* One way this relates directly to the NWETC site is that we often update information such as the exact venue where one of our courses will be held. Have you ever looked at a course and seen “Location: TBD” on the course description page? We post courses often before the venues are locked down, and we update the page almost daily with new courses and venues. So, if you visited our site one day and saw “TBD” in the location field, then you come back a couple of days later, you may still see that if your cookies and cache haven’t been cleared recently even if we updated it. It it’s less than about 2 months from a course, we usually have the venue set, so if you see “TBD”, try clearing your cookies/cache and reloading the page. If it still says TBD after that, email us at [email protected] and ask us if the venue has been set.

  • Website Security: There are whole sites devoted to this topic, but there are only a few things that are relevant to us at NWETC and to you when visiting our site. Our pages (including our registration system) have https:// before the address. The “S” after http means that the site is Secure. We have what’s called an SSL Certificate, which certifies that the site is protected, and safe to browse and make transactions on. If you ever receive a message that the site is not protected when attempting to visit it, you may choose to continue without fear of contracting a virus or any other negative effects. In this case, the programming and security measures haven’t changed, but if the certificate is expired, that security isn’t verified so the message appears. This shouldn’t happen, but if it does, please let us know that you have seen a warning message, but you can feel confident that the site is indeed secure and the message will soon disappear.

Ok, that’s enough tips for now, unless you want to know more about the Group Theatre in New York, or how The Meisner Technique differs from Uta Hagen’s…No acting theory? Ok, well, some other time. And happy browsing!




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