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Grabbing the Best Price Online for a Digital Camera

September 28, 2000|JEFF LEVY | Jeff Levy hosts the "On Computers" radio talk show from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on KFI-AM (640). He can be reached at

Q: I want to buy a digital camera. Is there a place on the Internet that can show me the best price available for the camera I'm looking for?

--Dan G., Culver City


A: Take a look at, which lets you search for the lowest price on a given item, including tax and shipping. You can tell Pricegrabber what you want to pay for a particular item, and the site will e-mail you when and if it finds it available at the price you specify. I've looked at other sites that provide this kind of information, and Pricegrabber is the best so far.

Disabling Automatic Feature on CD-ROM

Q: When I insert a CD into my CD-ROM drive, my computer starts it automatically. It doesn't seem to matter if it's a music CD or a computer CD. Is there some way to turn off the automatic feature?

--Joan C., Hollywood


A: Hold down the shift key while inserting the CD-ROM disk. Keep holding down the shift key for several seconds. The CD disk will not play. You also can disable that feature so CD-ROM disks will not start or open when placed in the CD drive.

Double-click on My Computer and then on Control Panel. Open the System icon, then click on the Device Manager tab. Make sure there is a dot to the left of "View device by type." Click on the plus sign next to the CD-ROM drive. Right click on your CD-ROM drive and select Properties. Click on the Settings tab and click on the check mark that appears to the left of "Auto insert notification." This removes that check mark. Click on OK and then again on OK. When you restart the computer, it will no longer start any CD-ROM disk you insert.

Printing 'Separator' Pages Between Jobs

Q: I work in an office where several users share one printer. I also have a small network at home with two computers that share one printer. Sometimes it's hard to tell where one print job ends and another begins. Is there some way to print some kind of "separator" page between print jobs?

--Robert S., Encino


A: Both your home and office printers can be set to print a separator page between jobs. Click on Start and then on Settings. Select Printers, then right-click on the printer you use. Now click on Properties. On the General tab you'll see a separator page: box set to (none). Click on the down arrow on the right side of that box and select Full or Simple. The Full separator page shows who the print job belongs to and has the words "Separator Page" printed at the top. The Simple separator page just has the information identifying the owner of the print job.

Backing Up Your Files on Zip Disks

Q: I use a Zip drive to back up my work files. How many times can you save files on a single Zip disk?

--Chris S., Los Angeles


A: You can save the same files on the same disk any number of times. By saving the same files to your Zip disk, the older versions of the files on the Zip disk are overwritten and replaced by the latest version. When you add new files to those already backed up to your Zip disk, the disk can get filled.

I suggest you look at, where you can buy Second Copy 2000. This software package lets you automate your backup process. The nice thing is that if your backup needs multiple Zip disks to store the files you have marked for backup, the program will prompt you to insert a new Zip disk each time the one in the Zip drive gets full. This makes backup much easier. The program sells for about $25.

Clueless on Task Bar Trouble

Q: I know this may be simple to fix, but I'm clueless. My task bar is now wider (taller) than before and I don't know how to return it to its original size.

--Jerry C., Brentwood


A: Place your mouse cursor at the top of the Task bar. When the cursor changes to a vertical line with an arrow at each end, hold down the left mouse button and drag the new cursor down toward the bottom of your screen. When the Task bar gets to its original size, release the mouse button. You can also drag the Task bar to the top or either side of your screen using the same technique.

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