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PRICEWATCH GOOGLE GEEK

Popups and the Hosts file.

Their are a couple of "free" ways to prevent popup windows.   There are plenty of commercial software packages that will kill the popups for you.

The easiest and quickest is to disable Java.   Unfortunately, this somewhat limits your online experience, and isn't even 100% effective.  

The second solution is to edit the Hosts file on your computer and point all the offending Popup URL's to 255.255.255.255.   The drawback to this method is you will still get a popup,  but it will be blank.  This also prevents popup windows that spawn more popup windows.  The easiest way to find out what site the popup is getting its info from is to right click on the popup and click on properties.  There should be a URL that that says something like "http://ads.x10.com/images/whatever.jpg" .    Copy the text between http:// and  the next / and paste it into your hosts file.  On a 2000 box the the hosts file is in   winnt\system32\drivers\etc.    The easiest way to find it is to just do a search for Hosts.     This trick also works in linux,  and maybe on a Macintosh (not sure if there is a hosts file on a Mac)

Here is a sample from a Windows 2000 machine

 

# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host

127.0.0.1                 localhost
255.255.255.255     ads.x10.com

 

Pretty easy,  huh?   You can also do fun stuff like point www.microsoft.com to 63.98.244.166 (that's my IP address),  although I wouldn't recommend it.