This old Toolbar

Goodbye, Yahoo! Toolbar. We had quite a few good years together, you at the top of my Internet Explorer screen, allowing me to do searches without opening a Yahoo! window (hey, wait, that’s built into Safari and Firefox).

And I could click on my Yahoo! Mail, or anything else I could stuff up there — Like Yahoo! Movies and Yahoo! TV, both of which I use with some frequency.

I had all my IE “favorites,” all nine hundred and fifty-something of them, uploaded as bookmarks. I never had to access them through the Toolbar, but at least they were there. It sure helped when we got new computers at the office and I wanted to preserve them all. I just downloaded from Yahoo! and somehow followed the instructions — and it worked.

But I had to cut you loose, Yahoo! Toolbar. I’ve been having trouble with the Web-posting interface (is it a program, a system?) for the Daily News, which is used by all of the MediaNews Group papers across the country — and which can only be accessed via IE on a PC (not on anything on a Mac, even IE, nor on any other browser on any other system). I’ve been unable at times to save my work or upload photos.

When I called for help a month ago, tech support in Denver (the MediaNews HQ) had me dump my cookies and temporary Internet files and empty my “trash.”

Remember the last time dumping your cookies, temporary Internet files and trash did anything?

Didn’t think so.

Well, the guy in Denver had no ideas, and he said to contact local tech support here in Woodland Hills.

I did that. I left a message (that’s how you do it here — you leave a message).

Computer guy Jerry showed up within five minutes. He worked on it for a few minutes, took a screen shot (for his scrapbook, I guess) and said there was nothing he could do.

Before he left (as I was cracking walnuts on my desk — no nutcracker for us), he said, “What’s this toolbar?” “We should delete it.” I said OK. At this point, I’ve been frustrated enough to try anything.

Jerry leaves. He doesn’t remove the Yahoo! Toolbar. So I do a quick Web search on how to do it (takes about 5 seconds), and I remove it.

Problem solved. IE works fine with the Web-authoring site. Now I’m running naked IE 6, no toolbar, no tabbed browsing (probably the only cool thing the latest Yahoo! Toolbar added — and how a toobar adds something as complicated as tabbed browsing, I’ll never know. Somebody should win a programming Nobel Prize for that one).

Somehow, I’ll go on. I’ve already blabbed plenty about how I prefer IE, even though, yes, I know that Firefox is so much better, yadda, yadda, yadda.

While on that subject, I was running Firefox on This Old PC a few days ago. I needed to print. Now I almost never print any more, but I was making a “Finding Nemo” coloring page for the kid, and Firefox just hung on it — nothing was happening. While it was hanging, I started IE 5.o, found the page and printed it. Then I stopped the print from Firefox, which I expect was never going to come out.

Once again, the lean and mean IE gets it done. So should I upgrade to IE 6? I’d love to try 5.5 and see how it does … but getting it from Microsoft, or anywhere else for that matter, seems impossible. Bastards.