QThe copy of Firefox that I installed can't find any Web sites, but Internet Explorer still works. Why can only one browser reach the Web?

ASome Internet providers, such as this reader's AT&T Worldnet service, use special relays called "proxy servers" to speed the delivery of Web pages. These companies' setup routines usually configure any browser already on the computer with the appropriate server address, but a browser added later may miss that detail when it tries to bring over the older program's settings and bookmarks.

When that happens, the newer browser may find itself unplugged from the Web. To plug it back in, you'll first open the working browser and check its connection settings, then duplicate those settings in the broken browser.

In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options, click the Connections tab and then click the "LAN Settings" button; in Firefox, go to the Tools menu, select Options and click the "Connection Settings" button. You'll see one of three options in either program: no proxy-server settings, automatically detect a proxy server, or a specific server address. Write down whatever one is selected, then configure the other browser in the same way.

How can I get Windows Explorer in XP to change the view in every folder to "list"?

Change any one window's view to list mode by selecting that option from the right-most toolbar icon's drop-down menu. Then go to that window's Tools menu, select Options, click the View tab and click the "Apply to All Folders" button. (You may need to redo this from time to time; Windows has a habit of resetting these choices on its own.)

By the way, Windows Explorer is not Internet Explorer; it's just the program you use when you're looking at the Windows desktop and your own files and folders.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.