Rob Freeman, Click's very own Mr Fixit, troubleshoots your PC problems and helps you get the most out of your computer.
Last time we looked at toolbar additions to browsers, essentially additional search boxes and bookmarks which take you directly to the services of portals like Google and Yahoo.
Aaron Philips in Wellington, NZ, has pointed out a fly in the ointment:
There's a frustration I have with the installation of the toolbars you mention - they all try to takeover my homepage!
It is true - and I will go further. Why is it that they are not content with convincing me to put their logo on my browser, they still insist on trying to make sneaky changes.
I like my homepage where it is. This kind of homepage hi-jack is not worthy of a respectable company - it is the kind of thing best left to spyware.
I have also been asked whether it is possible to install more than one toolbar. And the answer is: definitely. You can download as many as you like but they all bunch themselves up at the top of your browser and take up valuable screen space.
However, it is fairly easy to hide them - and this works if you are using Firefox or IE:
Go to the View Menu, select Toolbars. You will see all the Toolbars which are available for your browser, the ones which are currently visible are ticked, so to hide a toolbar just click it.
On Internet Explorer there is another feature at the bottom, called Lock the Toolbars. By default this is on, but if you click it, all the toolbar elements on IE become movable so you can put the toolbar of your choice, or any element of the browser where you like.
Li Chiway in the Philippines emailed in suggesting the Altavista toolbar as being worthy of review.
I'm not a fan, partly because it only works on Windows, and only for Internet Explorer.
But there is one feature of note: it does provide a basic translation of a foreign webpage using Babelfish, from one button on the toolbar.
Watch out though - computer translations are not terribly reliable, but that does make them fun to experiment with.
Try translating some text from say English to Spanish, and then turn the translated text back to English. Much hilarity all round.
Just bubbling under in the toolbar comparisons is A9, which is a spin off of Amazon.com.
It works on Firefox and IE, but does require an Amazon account to make all the features work.
A9 will also centrally store your bookmarks, previous searches and browse history, which is useful as that means you can access them from other computers, but also means that you need to be careful that you do not unwittingly leave important personal information about yourself on other people's computers.
Do not forget: never leave personal information on computers you do not control.
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