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February 07, 2005

Finally, a horrid day not related to cancer!

I'm proud to say I'm having a lousy day and cancer has nothing to do with it!

It's nice to have my horrible cancer-related days broken up by a horrible non-cancer related day.

Let's see, my computer got infested by something and now I get about 3 pop-ups per minute. Spybot and Ad-Aware can't do anything about it. When I turn on the computer, I can't start windows normally unless I put in a password for a place called "hot wet teens," which I'm not sure I want to visit.

Can't pay the gas or electric bills. Stupid meeting tonight at church (ok, this one is cancer-related). And I've had to delete about a dozen comments by hateful "trolls" (mean folks who get their kicks by posting vile comments on web logs). I spoke crossly to the cat.

Yes, these are all the complaints of a sit-home-all-day type with nothing better to do, but this is what my life is these days.

Enough whining for now, I promise, although I do find it interesting that about 65 percent of the pop-up spam is for programs to help eliminate pop-up spam. Effective marketing, that... like the glass replacement company which drums up business by throwing rocks at your windows. Well, Windows XP in this case.

Thank you for letting me vent. I'm going stir crazy stuck in this house all day every day. In a few days I should be well enough to get out and even just walk around the mall.

Until then, it's just me and the hot, wet teens.

**Update: I seem to have an MTV toolbar on my Internet Explorer now**

**Update update: Now the computer is shutting off randomly. Something is apparently messing with something called a BIOS. If the whole thing goes away, It'll be a while before I get back online. I got some good suggestions about McAfee and a few other programs, but the phrase "go out and buy" no longer applies to us. Hang on tight!**

**Update questions: Does anyone ever BUY anything from these pop-up ads and invasive programs? Do they actually respond? I guess a guy sitting home with nothing to do but post his experiences with cancer is an easy target. Still, I can't imagine that I'll see one of those pop-ups and say "Hey! That's just what I need!"**

Posted by Dan at February 7, 2005 12:27 PM

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Tracked on May 1, 2013 02:15 PM


I had the same problem about two weeks ago. McAfee has an Anti-Spyware program that they allowed me a 5-day free trial. I ran the program, it removed the Pop-ups (Spyware) and after it expired, it kept them off. I have McAfee as my main anti-virus program, but I don't know if that is why I got the 5-day trial. No problems since, though.

Posted by: Doug at February 7, 2005 02:01 PM

Awwww! We can all share in the joys and pains of computer ownership. Isn't that lovely? ;)Seriously.... Had the same problem here back awhile ago! Pesky little buggers that is for sure...

And Dan? This is YOUR site... If we didn't want to listen/hear what you have to say... We wouldn't.... Or at least that is case for most of us anyways.... We could get up and walk out but that would just be plain rude and would disturb those around us... {There's a preacher joke in there somewhere}

Posted by: Cam at February 7, 2005 02:23 PM


I had massive spyware problems and tried all kinds of stuff. The one that's worked best is Spyware Doctor. Well worth the $30. The other thing that I recommend is Webroot Spysweeper, which will not only clean up but will stay on your system and prevent home page and search engine hijackings. Spysweeper is free (well, they keep asking me to register for the "full" version but what I have now seems to work just fine). Good luck.

Posted by: Jheka at February 7, 2005 03:43 PM

People do respond to these pop-ups. I and my partners in Nigeria have made several million. In fact, I just got an email from them asking for my personal account information with passwords so they can deposit all of my money! Who's laughing now?

Posted by: Jim at February 7, 2005 04:10 PM

You might already know about this stuff and I don't know if it will actually fix the problem at hand, but here goes.

First of all, you might want to give Microsoft's new anti-spyware tool a quick whirl. It's free for the moment and, amazingly, works quite well. For the time being, at least, it finds more stuff than both Ad Aware and Spybot. You can get it here.

For virus protection, I've had luck with Avast. It's free for personal use. I would assume you already have an antivirus program installed, but if not then you can get it here.

You also might want to consider using Firefox if you don't and look into the possibility of switching your email over to Thunderbird if you're using Outlook. Using those over IE and Outlook will certainly make you more secure. Frankly, I'd argue that Firefox is just a much better browser anyway and switching over is pretty easy.

Posted by: Joel Caris at February 7, 2005 04:53 PM

I second the spysweeper reccomendation. Gets shit off - like browser hijackers - and keeps shit off.

Posted by: Danielle Taylor at February 7, 2005 05:34 PM

Screen actually flickers with all the ads now.

I'm sure we'll look back on this and laugh at my funeral.

Posted by: Dan at February 7, 2005 05:43 PM

If I remember correctly, Joel dropped by the garage one day and told me about Firefox. I truly could hug the man. I'm running Macafee anti-virus and did a Adaware sweep and the two computers I use seem to be behaving better than ever now that I use Firefox. Just say NO to IE. I think I'll try the Microsoft spy tool as well since Joel is a computer god in my mind.

Posted by: Ralph at February 7, 2005 07:36 PM

PS: In regards to your question about anybody buying stuff from a pop-up, I read this the other day.


Time wasted deleting junk e-mail costs American businesses nearly $22 billion a year, according to a new study from the University of Maryland.
The study also found that 14 percent of spam recipients actually read messages to see what they say, and 4 percent of the recipients have bought something advertised through spam within the past year.

If 4 percent of computer users buy stuff from spam, I'd say the numbers are probably about the same for pop-ups. Aye Carumba! Somebody take the keyboards and mice away from that 4%!

Posted by: Ralph at February 7, 2005 07:45 PM

Hey Ralph: ROTFLOL in regards to that e-mail addy! NOW GET BACK TO WORK AT THE GARAGE or the office manager will dock you... ;)

Hey Joel: On behalf of myself and the others.. We thank you...

Posted by: Cam at February 7, 2005 07:55 PM


I think that fueling the pop-up industry by actually BUYING something offered in a pop-up ad should be considered justifiable homicide.

Posted by: Dan at February 7, 2005 09:46 PM

Ralph, I always appreciate it when someone calls me a god.

Posted by: Joel Caris at February 7, 2005 10:00 PM

Anyone interested in bandwidth issues? My current college has people warning all resident students to either get spyware blockers or be disconnected -- spam accounted for a whopping 60% of the network!

As far as virus protection, I prefer PREVX. Detects EVERYTHING that tries to modify your computer, including stuff that's supposed to be there, then lets you decide whether to allow it.

Posted by: Alex D. at February 8, 2005 07:57 AM

I guess the ultimate perversion of common sense is buying a pop-up blocker from someone selling them via pop-up advertisements.

Posted by: Dan at February 8, 2005 09:19 AM

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