Walt Mossberg

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Finding the ‘Links’ Toolbar in IE 7.0

There’s no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about the “Links” toolbar in IE 7.0, smartphones with Wi-Fi chips and information on high-definition TVs.

I know you are a big fan of tabbed browsing, but I really liked having my most frequently visited Web sites on the “Links” toolbar at the top of the browser in the previous version of Internet Explorer. Is this feature totally absent in the new IE 7.0?

Tabbed browsing and the Links bar aren’t mutually incompatible, and in fact I heavily employ both in every Web browser I use, including IE 7.0, Firefox and Safari (the Links bar is called the Bookmarks Toolbar in Firefox and the Bookmarks Bar in Safari).

To turn on the Links toolbar in IE 7.0, click on the Tools icon at the upper right, highlight “Toolbars” from the drop-down menu, and click on “Links” in the list that appears. That entry should now be designated with a check mark and the Links toolbar should appear, just as it did in the previous version.

Here’s another IE 7.0 tip. If you want to see IE’s familiar menus, which are turned off by default in the new version, click on that same Tools icon at the upper right and then click on “Menu Bar” from the drop-down menu.

Are there any smartphones like the Treo that have built-in Wi-Fi chips? I’d like to be able to use the phone’s Web browser at a Wi-Fi hot spot without using minutes. I imagine the cellphone carriers aren’t eager to offer this dual capability.

Yes, there are a few smartphones that have both the ability to access the cellphone network and the ability to use Wi-Fi wireless data networks — even though, as you note, the cellphone-network operators generally shun the idea. The latest of these is the T-Mobile Dash, which I reviewed a few weeks back. For my review, go to: ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20061130.html. T-Mobile is a bit different from the other American cellphone carriers because it alone has a significant business in running commercial Wi-Fi hot spots.

Hewlett-Packard also makes a PDA that has both cellphone and Wi-Fi capabilities. It’s called the iPAQ Mobile Messenger hw6925 and is also sold by Cingular Wireless, though only to “business customers.” The new Nokia E62, sold in the U.S., doesn’t include Wi-Fi, but its nearly identical European counterpart, the E61, does, and it can be used in the U.S. by just popping in a chip, called a SIM card, from a U.S. carrier like Cingular or T-Mobile.

I’m thinking about getting a high-definition plasma or LCD television. Needless to say, I found your review helpful, but would like further information. Is there a Web site or sites you could recommend?

The Web site CNET has an excellent HDTV buyer’s guide, packed with lots of information and good explanations. It’s at: hdtv.cnet.com.

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Because of the volume of e-mail I receive, I can’t routinely answer individual questions by e-mail, or consult on individual problems or purchasing decisions. I read all questions I receive and select three each week to answer in the column.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com

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