Friday, November 21, 2008

Google Maps has wrong location marker

So, you searched google maps for the location of your home/business, but the marker shows the wrong spot. Well, you can edit the marker location by following these steps.

I followed the instructions to update the location marker for Itasca Community College. Google says it may take up to 6 weeks for the change to take place. I check and post the results later.

If you have a Zip+4 zipcode, you can get a much better location pin in google maps.

Thunderbird Fix for Outlook Mail

Outlook sometimes send mail in a format that other email programs cannot read. Thunderbird users can get a plugin that will enable Thunderbird to read those emails.

You can read more about the problem here.
Download the plugin here.

Need help installing the plugin? Read this article.
Let us know if it works for you.

(removed referernce to Outlook Express)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Use CCleaner to manage Windows Startup programs

Dan mentioned one of his favorite utilities for cleaning up junk on your computer, and told us that it can also be used to monitor what programs are running at startup.

Check it out a

The program is free, and according to the authors, is spyware and virus free as well.

Move iTunes to a new location

I found this good article that explains the right way to move your iTunes collection to a new location. This location can be a new folder on your hard drive, an external drive (USB, Firewire or eSATA).

Go to for instructions. Read them carefully, as they show you how to let iTunes do the move for you. Don't be tempted to try this without following the instructions carefully.

Special Note if you move your iTunes to an external drive: make sure this drive is connected before you try to access iTunes. If iTunes cannot see the external drive when it starts, it will not find the library, and make up a new one.Link

Use "ipconfig" to check you network address.

All computers need an IP (Internet Protocol) address to communicate with other computers on the Internet. Most home/small business computers computers get a dynamic (changing) address directly from their Internet Service provider.

The process of acquiring a dynamic address is called DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). This means that the ISP has a device that hands out an address to your computer when you connect to the ISP's network. This address may change from time to time, but your computer does not care what address it has, as long as it has a valid one for communication. You can learn more about how DHCP works at

Okay, so now lets see how we can tell if your computer is getting an address. Windows users need to Click Start, then Run. When the run dialog box appears, type "cmd" (no quotes) and hit the enter key. In the black command window that appears, type (no quotes) "ipconfig" and hit the enter key.

You should get a listing of info that looks like this:

Windows IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter local area connection:
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcom 570x Gigabit Integrated Controller
Physical address . . . . . . . . .: 0F-0F-1F-CB-99-87
DHCP enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
IP address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
Subnet mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default gateway . . . . . . . . . :
DNS servers . . . . . . . . . . . :

Lets look at what this is telling us...
DHCP enabled means that the computer is configured to request an IP address. The next line shows the IP address that was assigned to the computer. You can ignore the subnet mask.

The Default Gateway is important. It tells you the next "hop" to the Internet. If you have a router between your computer and the ISP, then your router is your Default Gateway, and the value listed here will be your router's IP address.

The DNS server shows the address of the computer that helps convert computer names into IP addresses so they can be located. You need one or more of these entries in order to go to websites by name, such as You can learn more about DNS at

Looking for Errors
If the "ipconfig" output shows:
Media status . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
It means that the computer is not plugged into the network (or the wireless card is not connecting to the Wireless Access Point). Correct this before trying to go any further.

If the IP address starts with "169.254" this means that the computer did not get a response back from its DHCP request, so the computer made up its own IP address. This IP address is worthless, and will not allow you to connect to the Internet.

How to Force Windows to Renew the Computer's IP Address
The ipconfig command has a couple of parameters that can be added to do additional tasks.
  • ipconfig /all (shows a lot of additional info about your IP connection)
  • ipconfig /release (drops your IP address)
  • ipconfig /renew (requests a new IP address)