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Sun, Dec. 15

Browser add-ons find the best price for online shoppers

Q: When shopping online, I waste a lot of time getting price comparisons. Is there a fast method?

A: Firefox, Chrome and Safari offer an add-on called PriceBlink. After installing this extension, any time you look at an item at an online store, a line appears at the top of the page listing the cheapest price at another site, or saying you are at the store with the cheapest price. If you click on the box marked "View all prices," a list of prices at several stores appears. If the software does not find the item at another site, no line appears. Click on the listing for any store and a window for that site will open. On the list of prices, you can click on "Check price history" and a report including a graph of prices for the past three months appears. You need to allow pop-ups for this feature to work. To add this extension, go to www.priceblink.com and click on download for the Firefox version or click on Chrome or Safari to set up this extension for those options. The setup is very fast. A similar product is called Invisible Hand, which can be added to Internet Explorer as well as Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. That program generates a similar line indicating the best and next-best price rather than a listing at several stores. If you add both programs, one will cover the other, so close the one on top to see what the other found.

Q: I upgraded my Firefox browser to the new Version 4 but it looks so different. Is there any way that I can make things look like the older version?

A: Yes, you can. When you start the new version of Firefox, you may notice the bright orange Firefox button at the upper left of the window. Clicking this button performs many of the old functions. For moving your tabs, click Firefox > Options > Tabs on top. This will uncheck the option and your tabs will move down below the address bar where they used to be. If you miss the old menu bar (File, Edit, View, Help), again click Firefox > Options > Menu Bar. The old menu bar and title bar will appear and the Firefox button will disappear. If you want to move the buttons around or add or remove buttons, simply right-click on an empty area next to your open tab(s) and choose Customize. When this dialog box opens, it offers more buttons that you can add to your button bar by simply dragging and dropping them there. While this dialog box is open, you can also remove existing buttons or rearrange the buttons by clicking and dragging them to the desired location. If you are removing a button, just drag it off the row of buttons, release the click and it will disappear. If you want it back, then right-click > Customize and drag it from the dialog box onto your row of tabs.

The Prescott Computer Society (PCS) is a PC-based users group located in Prescott. We hold several entertaining and educational meetings each month to show you how to get the most out of your computer. For further information, visit www.PCS4me.com. Email questions for future columns to PCSquestions@gmail.com.

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