07/30/2007 1:56AM

Fix My Computer, Win Fabulous Prizes

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--The first commenter to post a successful solution for an incredibly vexing and annoying online snag I'm having wins two Saratoga box seats for a selected weekday afternoon at Saratoga. No kidding. This is driving me nuts.

There's a pretty reliable, usually fast (54 Mbps) wireless network in the house where I'm staying and things like this Typepad blog and the DRF news and charts and dozens of websites load instantaneously. But for the life of me, I can't get two of the simplest and most popular sites in the world -- Google or Gmail -- to come up at all on either of the two laptops here, a four-year-old Dell Inspiron and a brand new loaded Dell XPS. Whether I click on the bookmarks in my IE Favorites menu, or type the addresses into the address bar, the progress bar moves like molasses and after 60 seconds gives up entirely. Same thing happens in both IE and Netscape. This has been going on since I got here and I have tinkered with every setting, tried temporarily disabling all firewalls, and everything else I can think of with no success. Yet houseguests with lesser machines have gotten the two sites to come up instantaneously. Both laptops have repeatedly scanned as virus-free and do everything else they're supposed to do perfectly. I need to Google things (Windows Live Search is awful) and I need to get into a Gmail account.

Help.

Contest rules: 1. Winner will be determined at the sole discretion of the contest operator. 2. No entry fee required. 3. Void where prohibited. 4. Date for use of two (2) DRF box seats on one weekday during the 2007 meeting to be mutually agreed upon by contest operator and contest winner. Some dates blacked out. 6. If contest winner is a minor, must be accompanied by parent or guardian. 7. If you slip and fall or anything else bad happens to you during your day in the box, it's not my fault and you can't sue me or DRF. (And NYRA's still in bankruptcy.) 8. If contest winner is unable to attend Saratoga during the meeting, another prize of equal or lesser value will be substituted. I'll make it something good.

--Commenter Bridgejumper asked about the show prices in the Jim Dandy, where C P West paid $3.40 and Sightseeing paid $3.00 despite the victory of Street Sense and a reported minus pool on him. This is a function of the net-pool pricing method that NYRA and many other tracks instituted in the last year. Net-pool pricing is used primarily to accomodate different takeout and breakage rates from simulcast outlets, but has some implications for show prices in general and especially in races with minus pools. According to an explanation found verbatim on several racetrack sites:

"[T]he Net-Pool model distributes the same amount of winnings slightly differently. This is a function of allocating the profits to the different winners based on their NET winnings rather than their GROSS winnings...the net effect, in these cases, is that the favorites will pay a little less, while long shots will pay a little more...Fans will notice that show pools with a heavy favorite that you would expect to return $2.10 for all three runners, may now pay significantly higher on the two non-favorite horses. This is because even though the payout on the favorite is reduced to a number even farther below the minimum $2.10 payout, it still must return $2.10. But the other horses are not participating in the minus pool as they were under the Standard Pricing model."

--I've been through the Monday pick six (with $92k carryover) sequence once and it ain't pretty or easy. You start off with a turf sprint for 2-year-old fillies where 9 of the 12 are first-time starters, proceed through three full allowance fields, hit a tricky Amsterdam Stakes as the feature and finish up with an unbelievably competitive N3L turf race for $35k claimers.

Perhaps it will all look clearer in the morning.

jeff More than 1 year ago
Steve, If you are using a newer version Zone Alarm, you will need to add Google and gmail to your trusted sites. It is in the Privacy tab, under your trusted sites. Good Luck...
Duane Hagen More than 1 year ago
Steve, The guy who suggested DNS settings was on the right track. You computers are no doubt trying to obtain IP information automatically from a router at your location. The best solution is to call the ISP providing the internet connection and make sure the IP they are giving you is hitting the router and not just passing through to your computer. Then, I would suggest you change your IP and DNS settings in the internet connection as the guy suggested, however, when you change to manual vs. automatic, you will need to enter from a range of settings that your router uses. I believe these are generic to all of these small routers and I don't have the info at hand but the ISP provider could help you with this also if you provide him with the name/model of the router that you are connected to. I enjoy reading the blog. It gives a nice picture of what someone else is thinking who obviously knows more than I do. Very educational. Thanks Duane Hagen
Frank More than 1 year ago
Hi, Try this Tools>>internet Options>>Security tab>>Restricted Sites(red circle)>>Sites button>>Scroll thru websites in box (in alpha order) looking for "Google.com". If you get lucky and its there click it and hit "Remove" button. Otherwise "Punt"
Frank More than 1 year ago
Hi, Try this Tools>>internet Options>>Security tab>>Restricted Sites(red circle)>>Sites button>>Scroll thru websites in box (in alpha order) looking for "Google.com". If you get lucky and its there click it and hit "Remove" button. Otherwise "Punt"
balliett45 More than 1 year ago
Contest Solution: I sent this advice already, but guess what? The Lords of Cyberspace did not allow it to be processed. So here it is again: You need to sacrifice one of your wireless setups and go with a modem/phone line connection with AOL for the two sites you can't get. This is the only answer for upstate, where peculiar glitches and maddening little nonfunctions are standard for wireless setups. As Beckett said, it's "for reasons unknown." This is the best advice you will get, and for the prize, I think I can stand a weekday, even a lousy weekday. The other thing you could try, which it seems you already may have done, is to disable your virus program. But I doubt that will work. Good luck, Balliett
horsefan3277 More than 1 year ago
Hey, I may have a solution (or a few) to your computer problem. First of all, try deleting your cookies, history, and browser cache; that may fix the log-in to Gmail. In regards to the computer being slow with Google and Gmail, have you tried running a defragment? What that does is put all the information on your hard drive in one place, making for a more efficient operating system. Also, if Google's search still doesn't work, try using Yahoo's search. It uses the same engine and will get you the same results. I hope this helps; good luck!
David More than 1 year ago
Just a thought Try the Firefox browser http://www.firefox-30.com/us/ Might be a quick fix
mrbusiness More than 1 year ago
your other option is to go to start --> run and type cmd and then hit enter to bring up the command window. Then type the following at the prompt: ipconfig /flushdns and hit enter. This may clear up the problem. The other thing I can offer is to schedule a time in the a.m. one day this week to remotely connect (it is pretty easy to connect) to one of your laptops and solve the problem. 10 years in the IT field and CTO for an IT Consulting company so solving these type of problems is an everyday affair. If interested in the remote option call me @ 301.514.5939. I'm on vacation this week (not at the spa unfortunately) and can connect with you at anytime in the morning this week.
James Mc. More than 1 year ago
Steve: I had a similar problem, specifically with Google and used the following article (see link below) to resolve it by resetting the MTU. Good luck. http://ask-leo.com/i_cant_access_some_websites_why.html
TEM More than 1 year ago
Steve, try using Firefox as your web browser. You can import all of your favorites from IE to Firefox without any issue. It is worth a shot.