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new Mac, can I start AOL then use Firefox as browser?

My parents just got a new Mac (they've been using Macs and AOL for a long time), and want to use AOL as their means of connecting to the internet, then browse using Firefox.  Someone they've got configuring the computer seems to have it set up so that they have to start Firefox first then get into AOL, which gives a completely different AOL environment (more PC-like).  Is it possible to install this all properly, so that they can use it as they want to?  The person helping them also says the issue may be due to some tags/preferences he's copied over for them from their old Mac (they wanted to preserve their old emails, bookmarks, etc.).

Any thoughts?  I live 500 miles away and can't help them directly, but they've got their (fairly expensive) tech dude coming tomorrow to try again ... is there any reason they shouldn't be able to do this?  It seems simple enough to me ...
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