Hate Pop-Up? You gotta try this…

I really don’t like reviewing software in which the company is also an advertiser. Some may see it as a conflict of interest. I remember a few years back, a friend of mine was telling me that Macworld gave a product a near-perfect rating, and on the opposite page was an expensive full-page ad for the same product. I seriously doubt that the advertising had any influence in the review, but he was convinced it did. (It was a really great program, and was well deserving of a high review rating.) But his negative thoughts on the subject, as well as his subsequent distrust of publications that review and take advertising dollars from the same company, stayed with me.

All that said, this company (At least as I write this column) is an advertiser on MyMac.com. So should that exclude me from even mentioning the program here? Does the fact that they have paid this publication money to put their product in front of our readers mean I should say nothing, when I really believe this is a great program our readers would benefit from? My opinion is no, I should be allowed to voice my thoughts, and recommendation, on a program I really want our readers to check out. I don’t, however, want this to come across as a paid advertisement. Seriously, my integrity as both a writer and publisher is not for sale. (Well, at least not for anything under seven figures, just in case Microsoft is looking for a Macintosh Mouthpiece!)

Pop-Up Zapper is a really cool program. It does exactly what the name implies; it “zaps” all those damn annoying Pop-Up ads that are all over the Internet today. As a site which is dependent on advertisers, I have had to turn down sure money simply because an advertiser wanted to put their pop-up ad here at MyMac.com. I said no, I hate the damn things, and they took their money and went elsewhere.

There were a few websites I stopped visiting because I hate Pop-Up ads so much. MacCentral was a regular stop for me, but now they have a crappy “subscribe to Macworld” pop-up ad. I was so frustrated at having to close that ad three or four times a day, I simply deleted that bookmark. So when I first installed Pop-Up Zapper, I went to MacCentral. Sure enough, up popped that same damn ad (you would think they would at least update it after a while…) and just as surely Pop-Up Zapper closed it for me.

This is a really great utility. It has found a permanent home in my dock. Yes, there are times when it does not close an ad when it pops on-screen. I don’t know why, maybe some sites use different code to generate those ads? And there are a few sites that open new windows when you click a link on their site that Pop-Up Zapper thinks is an ad, and will promptly close the window. (That took me a little while to figure out, it was driving me crazy why I could not visit certain links!) Fortunately, you can disable Pop-Up Zapper directly from the Doc, without having to bring that program to the front, as well as re-enabling it when you’re done.

A while back, I was cleaning up my bookmark file, visiting each website I had bookmarked over the last few years. On of my old bookmarks, a really good Mac site, obviously closed down, and some damn porn site and got the address and turned it into an auto-forward to an adult website. I promptly closed the window, but up popped another porn site. I closed that one, and three more windows opened! After that, closing any of the pop-up porn windows would spawn MORE windows! My screen was full of nude people, doing much more interesting things than I was, trying to race around and close all the windows! My last resort was to quit my web browser, and even that was a struggle. The program refused to quit, as new windows were opening all over the place. When all was said and done, I restarted my web browser, and checked my history tab. Seventy-Eight windows had opened all by themselves! All porn!

Remembering this, I entered various naughty-sounding website names, and sure enough, the pop-up marathon was on! Could my newest favorite utility keep up with the formidable foe of porn pop-up ads? Well, at first, yes, but after two minutes of watching the mighty struggle between nude women in little windows and Pop-Up Zapper go head to head (Ouch! No pun intended there!) Pop-Up Zapper simply could not keep up. Porn won again.

Yes, I know that Pop-Up Zapper VS Porn is not a fair fight. No $20 shareware program could ever possibly defeat porn. I don’t think George Bush, with a coalition of every government and army on the planet, could defeat porn. But it was a clash of the titans! And Pop-Up Zapper walked away with its head held high.

If you want to give Pop-Up Zapper a try, go to Batista.org and download a demo. If you like it, and find it as useful as I do, you will be happy to hand over $20 to keep it.

If this were a review, which of course it is not, I would give this program a really strong 4 out of 5 MacMice rating. There is room for improvement, and the program is updated often. I see either Pop-Up Zapper making creator Ricardo Batista a lot of money, or a company such as Aladdin making a bid to either buy the program for commercial release or simply hiring Ricardo to work for them.

Give this program a try, folks, you will appreciate it. And don’t visit porn on the web, your grandmother would not approve.

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