Archive for January, 2011

Wha? ERROR 404 – PAGE NOT FOUND? Ever Have Trouble Getting to a Website and Wonder “Is it Me? Or is it Them?”

Sunday, January 16th, 2011
It can be very confusing and frustrating when the gears of the web come grinding to a halt.

It can be very confusing and frustrating when the gears of the web come grinding to a halt.

It doesn’t happen as much as it used to, but major websites do occasionally still have outages. In fact, just last week when I went to update to the latest version of java, instead of finding the usual Sun/Oracle java website, I was greeted by the classic “error 404 page not found” message. And even top sites like Google and Facebook have had their share of outage problems in recent months.

The real problem for the average web surfer, is that it’s difficult to imagine these behemoths being down, so you often assume that the problem must be with your own computer or Internet connection and thus the tinkering begins. And what started out as somebody elses problem very quickly becomes yours as you try to fix what’s not broken and in the process, hit some checkbox or click some setting or link that actually does cause a problem on your machine!

So what’s a noob to do besides pull the plug and toss the whole thing out the window?

One thing you can do is very easily determine if the problem is with your machine, or if it’s a general problem that lots of people are experiencing. To see if it’s just you, go to and enter the domain name of the website you are having trouble accessing. In moments, you’ll know as it will query various monitoring sources on the web and report back to you whether it looks like you are alone in your inability to access the site (and therefore is likely a problem with your machine or Internet connection), or if it really looks like the site is down- in which case you should resist the urge to tinker and instead hunker down with a good ebook or some other diversion until you try again later.

Oh, and by the way, if you also can’t get to or any other website, it probably is just you, but check for outages with your ISP (comcast, verizon, cox, etc…) before you nuke your whole setup! :P

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ghc-logo-341w-x-482hThis article was written by Andy Trask, Head Geek at Geek Housecalls, the New England area’s original traveling computer geeks, on the web at Geek Housecalls specializes in “anything computer” and, since 2001, has become the trusted in-home computer and technology support provider for over 15,000 families and small business computer users in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and southern New Hampshire. For help with your computers, gadgets, or network at home or at the office, click here to contact Geek Housecalls via the web, or call toll free:

1-877-4PC-GEEK (1-877-472-4335)