Lunacy's Tips for Web Surfing
And a couple from Llachlan

Note: All Merwulf addresses are examples only, they do not exist....yet. :-)

For those of you who aren't as familiar with the ins and outs of net sites here are some back door tricks to finding what you want:

1. Lets say you just a message on some list that there's a great story at this URL:

You open up your browser all ready for the story only to get one of those "404 File Not Found" errors. Well don't despair. First of all add an "L" to the end of the URL so it looks like this

and try again. Sometimes when people cut and paste URLs into stories they miss that last letter.

If that doesn't fix the problem then eliminate the filename from the URL. Try it like this:

This will usually result in one of three things.

1. You might get a directory listing in which case you have a good chance of finding the story. You'll likely see a list of files. Look at the filenames and see if any seem like like they may contain the story. In this example filenames like summer.htm or sh1.htm, sh2.htm, sh3.htm would be likely candidates. After clicking on the filenames and viewing the files you can simply hit your browser's BACK button to go back to the directory listing.

2. You might end up at the site's main page or the fanfic page. Unless the tale is in its beta form and hidden from view you will likely be able to find it in a fanfic list somewhere on there.

3. You might get a FORBIDDEN ACCESS message in which case GET OUT OF THERE BEFORE EDS GETS YOU!!!! 8-|

...Kidding, kidding :) That only means that the directory you're trying to access is not available to you. You're out of luck. Go back to the mailing list and ask for the correct URL, do not pass GO do not collect $200.

When you have a long URL you can continue going up the directory tree to see if you ever find the story you're looking for. Lets say you have:

If it doesn't work you would go to:

If that still doesn't get you anything go to:

and finally:

You will either end up at the webmaster's home page OR at the home page of their Internet Service Provider.

Because most webmasters DO use naming conventions, when you're looking for a story and can't find it you can try guessing the filename by looking at other filenames being used. Lets say you're reading pts. 1-3 of Jules' latest Nano adventure. The URL is

You finish and click on the link for pts. 4-6 but EEEEK!!! It's not working!!! You HAVE to get to those parts!! The story is great and you can't stop NOW!!! Well the link on the page could have an error. Notice that Jules tends to use filenames that include the word "nano" for the series, followed by the number of the story in the series "6" followed by the part. If pts. 1-3 were in the filename nano6p1.html chances are very good that the next section is gonna be in filename nano6p2.html so just go to this URL: and then be good enough to e-mail the author a notice alerting her to the error so it can be corrected. [THIS WAS JUST AN EXAMPLE GUYS - JULES' PAGE IS FINE!]

As many a Merpuppy knows - this also happens to be the way you can sometimes get sneak previews of stories by the Alpha one herself and other bards even BEFORE they're announced. Missy is currently posting part 5 of DARK COMES THE MORNING at this URL:

We KNOW that once that part starts getting a little long she'll go to part 6 so when it looks like that might be happening you can start checking The Merwolf knows us all TOO WELL already and gives us previews here on the list anyway so this is no longer a useful trick to try with Missy but with other bards it can still be useful :)



Try altering the URL to all little letters, or capitalizing the first letter of the specific file name. or

and lastly check for an archives directory - like

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