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The Right Tool

The Right Tool
by Gary Woods

It seems like every time I install a program on my computer that program wants me to also install a Tool Bar. When I update Java or Flash they want me to install Chrome. When I install AVG Anti-Virus they have their own little Tool Bar which they think would look just great in my browser.

There are times when I go to do a service call on someone's computer and the numbers of toolbars they have installed take up more room on their screen than the area allotted to see the page they're trying to access. When I start asking them about whether they actually use these toolbars they almost invariably say no so I start un-installing them so they can go back to browsing without the clutter.

Okay, I think I've made my point that by and large toolbars are a waste of space but I found one the other day that I might actually get some use out of. The website Be Frugal which serves up coupons for stores like Lands' End, Kohl's, Banana Republic & Kmart has an Add-On tool bar called Couponomatic

The Add On gives you automatic coupon alerts and you can earn cash back at 3000+ top stores. Plus, you can instantly access hundreds of weekly ad flyers, restaurant coupons and more.

If you don't want to add the tool bar to your browser you can just give them your email address and your inbox will soon be overwhelmed with coupons and offers. I think it's worth a try for a while anyway and if it gets to be too much right mouse click on the tool bar and get rid of it.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc