I always recommend buying Hewlett-Packard (HP) computers and laptops. They seem to be the most reliable, and they come pre-installed with just the right mix of software and hardware that helps keep your computer humming along. In fact, I wrote a blog post last March recommending which HP laptops to buy.

But one annoying feature that comes pre-installed in HP computers and laptops (especially, I suspect, those that run on the Vista operating system) is the “HP Advisor” toolbar that shows up on your taskbar along the bottom of the screen. There’s a HP logo to the left of a “Yahoo! Search” box next to a magnifying glass that seem to have mysterious functions.

HP Advisor toolbar

This toolbar just takes up valuable real estate on my taskbar, and I want it gone. G-o-n-e. Gawne.

Turns out it’s easy to get rid of it. Right-click anywhere on an empty area of the taskbar (at the bottom of the screen), and at the pop-up menu, hover the mouse over “Toolbars.” You’ll see a second pop-up window with a list of toolbars (some with checkmarks next to them). “HP Advisor” should be one of them, along with a checkmark next to it. Select it to make the checkmark go away, and the HP Advisor toolbar will go away too.

HP Advisor toolbar option

And now you have a stunningly expansive area of real estate that you didn’t realize you had before — almost like finding a whole new room in your house that you didn’t know about before!

Taskbar without HP Advisor

I guess now you’ve got to open more and more programs, so you can fill up that huge expanse of real estate. :-) Enjoy.

(See all my Vista Annoyance posts – turning off User Account Control, turning on Flip and Flip / Window Switcher, viewing and sharing files between XP and Vista systems, turning off Windows Security Alerts, getting an older program to work with Vista, turning on Windows Aero, and getting rid of the HP Advisor box on your taskbar.)

Check out my new DeafDC post about wifi Internet service coming soon to the friendly skies, courtesy of American Airlines.  Can’t wait!

CompUSA logoA friend recently left this comment on my “Getting a new laptop” blog post:

CompUSA is closing its stores in Northern Virginia. They are currently running closeouts with 25 to 50% off.

This has been going for awhile, at least at the CompUSA near me. Software may be a deal. You can get Adobe Elements for $40 after CompUSA discount off plus $30 rebate on the package. Not sure that’s a deal or not.

Need to know what a good value is. Some CompUSA prices were not that cheap. But may be worth checking out. Discounts on laptops, PCs, and other hardware as well.

Don’t know if CompUSA in your area is having similar closeout sales as well. Let us know in the comments if they are. But looks like a good time to go buy that HP laptop of your dreams …

Note: this commenter was my boss before I switched to a different section. He later moved to another Federal agency, and then recently retired. He knew fully well of my Proud Geek-ness from the very beginning — that’s how we hit it off, in fact. But every time something happened to our Federal agency’s Internet site or servers — once our Federal agency’s website got defaced, and another time a new nasty virus took hold on our servers — he’d burst into my office and teasingly give me an accusing look. Nope, I never did any of those! [Innocent look]

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