Die Pop Up, Die!

by Thomas Gillett
Pop ups— I hate them, you hate them, we all hate them. Pop ups are those horrible little annoying advertisements that come "popping up" like bugs on your windshield when you open web pages.

Rejoice, my brothers and sisters: I have come with recommendations on how to eradicate those daily annoyances and NO, I DO NOT WANT AN X10 CAMERA.

First there is the "close" button in the upper left corner of the pop up box yes, a simple and direct solution we all know about. It requires no software and little time. It is the most common method of deletion, but some of our enemies have devised a sneaky defense to our right to close: they remove the button. The fiends!

I will show you an ancient computer martial arts secret that will immediately banish such annoyances. It is called ALT + F4.

I can hear some of you more advanced users scoffing at my instruction. Some of you have known of this simple technique for ages, but many others are inexperienced in such matters. I have come to train the defenseless.

ALT + F4 is a very simple technique. It will close any window that is in front of you. Just hold down the "alt" key at the bottom of your keyboard while pressing the "F4" key at the top of your keyboard.

Ha! It disappears. Now scream, "TAKE THAT, YOU SLIMY POP UP SCUM!"

Some nasty pop ups tend to reproduce when you close them the usual way. This is another reason why I love ALT + F4. It is very quick on those repeat offenders as well.

There are those who argue that the best offense is a good defense. For those, there are many software programs that will prevent these annoyances from occurring. The only downside is they may also prevent other windows from opening, like some of your favorite web-based games.

A list of these software programs can be found on my website, but I find them nowhere nearly as satisfying as a good alt + F4 squash. TAKE THAT!

Got a computer question? No question is too stupid for Tom! Go ahead and write to him at

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This story was published on August 7, 2002.