Mossberg’s Mailbox

A MacBook Surprise

Published on August 26, 2009
by Walt Mossberg

I am trying to surprise my wife with a laptop for our anniversary. I will probably go with the Apple MacBook Pro. Are there reliable sellers from which to buy the machine online?

There are lots of reliable online sellers of laptops, and online buying is fine, provided you have somehow handled the machine and are familiar enough with it to be sure it’s the one you (or, in this case, your lucky wife) will be happy owning. In the case of Apple, a company whose products are rarely deeply discounted by third-party sellers, it often makes sense for online buyers to use the company’s own online store, at I have found Apple’s online store to be easy to use, secure and reliable. And you get some minor benefits at the physical Apple stores if you buy directly from Apple.

However, other major online sellers with equally good reputations also carry Macs, and some do shave the prices. One good example I have used happily is, which carries the latest MacBook Pros at discounts ranging from $5 to over $100, depending on model.

How can I set parental controls in Firefox?

The Firefox Web browser doesn’t have built-in parental controls. Its maker, Mozilla, notes that version 3.0 or later of the browser does support some of the parental-control features included in Windows Vista. But if you don’t have Vista, or want different controls, there are some add-ons for Firefox that provide these.

Among the ones Mozilla suggests using are Glubble for Families, and ProCon Latte. More information is at:

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