Troubleshooting PicoSpan (Use of the legacy command-line tools via SSH)

  1. Logging in to The WELL with PicoSpan
  2. Using The WELL with PicoSpan
  3. Getting more help

Logging in to The WELL with PicoSpan

Here are some suggestions for handling problems that could arise when you log in to The WELL with a SSH application.

If this happens: A “login incorrect” message appears.
This may be the reason: You entered your login or password incorrectly.
Try doing this: Be sure you enter your login in lower case letters only. Be aware that passwords are case sensitive.

If the “login incorrect” message keeps appearing, you might get a new password on the Password Help page. If you still can’t log in, contact Helpdesk using the phone or email in the footer of this page.

If this happens: A “connection refused by local host” or “host unavailable” message appears.
This may be the reason: The WELL could be down, though this is very rare. Check the System Status Page for updates.
Alternatively, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be having trouble reaching The WELL.
Try doing this: Call your ISP.

Using The WELL with PicoSpan

Here are some explanations and solutions for problems that may occur while you are using The WELL with this cherished legacy command-driven system.

If this happens: Backspace doesn’t work.
This may be the reason: The backspace setting in your SSH client needs to be changed.
Try doing this: The backspace setting affects how your communication program responds to the Backspace key. Depending on the way your SSH client application conceives of the function, it may be set to On, Off, Delete, Character, or Destructive. In general, the solution is to change the setting to whatever it isn’t now, and try again until you identify the needed setting.

If this happens: Characters or lines are cut off.
This may be the reason: You have resized the window, or your terminal display is smaller than usual.
Try doing this: Make the display window bigger. A standard screen is 80 characters wide (80 “columns”) by 24 lines high (24 “rows”). You should make the display window 79 or 80 characters wide, no wider.

If this happens: Text scrolls right up off the top of the screen so fast that you can’t read it.
This may be the reason: You may have turned off the screen page utility. If you have turned the screen page utility (the “pager”) off, text scrolls until it has reached the end of the file. It does not stop in convenient screenfuls.
Try doing this: Use the Settings menu to turn the pager back on.

If this happens: You can’t get a whole new screenful from the More prompt.
This may be the reason: You are pressing the Return key instead of the spacebar.
Try doing this: Don’t worry, that’s the way it works. Return gives just one more line. Spacebar gives one more full screen.

If this happens: Your screen suddenly becomes wacky, as if it were displaying a foreign language.
This may be the reason: Your terminal screen may need to be reset.
Try doing this: In your desktop SSH application, select “reset” from the menu. If that doesn’t work, you may have to disconnect and then reopen your SSH session to The WELL.

Getting more help

If you can’t find the answer to your problem here, please send an email message to helpdesk, or phone us, using the Helpdesk email and phone number you can find in the footer of this page. If you reach our voicemail message, leave your name, your telephone number, and your username and we’ll call you back.

For instructions about using PicoSpan menus, see Menu basics. Note that to Enter a command, you type the command followed by the Return or Enter key.

Look for more documentation of legacy commands in the picohelp conference. For documentation of the newer web-based access to the same conference content, see the newer guide to direct engagement using your browser.