Why isn't my web email working?

I’m at my school, using the computer. Our internet connection seems to be fine, I can read the Dope and LiveJournal and GoogleNews, but web based email seems to be completely down. When I try to get to Gmail, I get a “This plage cannot be displayed”. Yahoo is coming up okay, but when I try to log in to read my email, I get a…“This page cannot be displayed”. My coworker tried to check her email (which is hosted by a Bulgarian company), and it too, failed to work.

We tried on three different computers, same problem each time.

Any ideas?


There are three obvious potential causes…

  1. The webmail sites in question are down. (Unlikely)

  2. Your school’s computers do not have (and will not allow auto-install of) some browser add-ons the sites need to function. (More likely)

  3. Your school is blocking these sites/services because they are deemed a risk and unrelated to school work. (Most likely)

The easiest way to find out is to ask the school’s tech people.

The firewall for your system is likely blocking the access. If it’s a local mahcine-based firewall, try to see if you can disable it. If it’s a school-owned machine, call the IT desk.

Okay, we don’t HAVE tech people (or an IT desk). I work at an elementary school in rural Bulgaria, guys. We don’t have shit. My coworkers regularly destroy the computer because they click “OK” for everything.

The only person who really knows about computer stuff is on vacation and I have some stuff I really need to email and I CAN’T. I put it on a disk and took it to the internet club in town (which is where I am now) and for whatever reason, I can’t open the disk on this computer. I’m really beginning to freak out, this is becoming a huge problem.

Any suggestions for things I can do? I’m not great at computers, but I speak English (which gives me an advantage over most of my coworkers), and I can follow directions really well.

Sending an e-mail from the internet cafe explaining to the people to be on the lookout for a fax, and then faxing the documents to them from your office isn’t feasible? :confused: ETA: Be sure to give a date and time for when you will send the fax, or ask them to e-mail you right back so you can then go to your office to fax the documents.

Yeah, there are so many things this could be on a technical level, so I think Zabali_Clawbane’s workaround solution would be your best bet until the computer person returns from vacation.

What kind of files do you need to send them?

No, because I need to send this to some Peace Corps Volunteers. PCVs, as a rule, don’t have fax machines. Maybe their offices do, though? That could work.

Anyway, none of the computers at my school are attached to printers. Except the ones belonging to the principal and vice principal, both of whom are on vacation and their offices are locked.

I have just discovered that the disk I was using was defective, though, so my coworker is having her son bring us a new disk. I feel sooo much better now, seriously. I was really beginning to freak out.

Racer1, I’m trying to mail off my first draft of a grant proposal I’ve been working on for my school for proofreading. I really need to get this out ASAP so the proofreaders can offer their critiques in time for me to get everything ready before the deadline. (I have to admit I’m feeling very bitter towards the Bulgarians involved in the project for acting like it’s no big deal and it’s perfectly fine if we wait until the very last moment and why are you getting so excited, Kyla? True, the deadline is approaching but we all know that going to the sea is far more important. Silly foreigner.)

Thanks, guys, for being patient with me in a moment of crisis.

P.S. My coworker theorized that the reason the disk didn’t work was because my cell phone was too close to the computer and was interfering with the signals.

Cool - I hope your new disk works!

If not, since it’s an emergency, here’s a couple of things to try…

  1. Since you mention people clicking on everything, the problem could be with spyware or weird settings in your Internet browser. If you currently use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, it might be worth downloading and installing Mozilla’s Firefox browser and trying to get onto webmail through that. You can download it here - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

  2. If the documents aren’t very confidential, you could sign-up for one of the online storage websites, upload your file(s) and make them downloadable for your contacts. Bear in mind that the free options usually have downsides such as adverts, however. More about the various ones here - http://www.freewebspace.net/guide/diskstorage.shtml

Good luck!

I’ve used YouSendIt in the past, and didn’t notice any ads (they may have been there, but if so they were very discreet). There’s a checkbox option that forces downloaders to enter a password. If you can contact at least one of your recipients by phone, you can tell them the password (or, as I’ve done before, make it based on shared knowledge; e.g. calling the file “PasswordIsMyCatsName.doc” (.pdf, whatever) will deter trivial snoopers, although obviously you can make it as recipient-specific as you want).

As regards the site access issue: I’ll second suggestions to check for spyware, but sometimes when I can’t get to various URLs it’s a DSL problem, and a simple power-cycling of the DSL modem makes all URLs accessible once again. ISTR that you have broadband access at your school: if it’s DSL, do you know where the modem is located? A non-techie person (janitor?) may at least be able to give you access to it, in which case one of us here can walk you through the steps.