I want to upgrade from 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52. When I go to the Magento Connect Manager, nothing shows up under Manage Existing Extension. I have verified all files and directories are writable. I am new to Magento and this will be the first time I have upgraded. Any help would be appreciated.
By default the connect manager is used to upgrade 3rd party extensions and not core magento. My Advice would be to not to it on a live environment. I would suggest creating a staging/dev environment where you can preform the upgrade by extrating the zip of the magento version found on https://www.magentocommerce.com/products/downloads/magento/ into the folder where you magento folder is installed. Again Make sure this is done on a staging/dev environment so that no errors will appear in your live environment.
Then you can test the site and find any issues before they appear on your live environment and impact sales.