and on a more serious note:
Christopher - yes, AOL is just a glorified IE skin.
Yes, i prefer Hotbar, lol.
but if you're JUST DETERMINED to use AOL instead of a REAL internet provider, anything you change in IE will affect AOL.
it won't, sadly, stop it from being AOL.
AdSubtract SE is also good, or if you're JUST DETERMINED to find a popup killer on your own, you can go to Cnet Downloads and search there for "popup killer." you should find MANY, MANY free programs on there to get rid of them.
[edited because HyperLinking is (REALLY, REALLY)HARD]
[also edited to add two notes, to be found below:]
1. the fact that your comp doesn't lock when dialed up through AOL but browsing with Netscape means it's a browser problem - have you tried updating IE? sometimes the updates can save you from things like this. (of course, sometimes they can cause it, too.)
2. i just ran face-first into a forum quirk - for some reason after i coded my hyperlink to refer to www.download.com, it was trying to append that address to this page's address and open it in a new window, which same of course didn't work. i was forced to add "http://" to the front end of the address to tap IE on the head and go "hey stupid, go here..."
i wonder why?
[Edited ONCE AGAIN to add the following:]
a buddy of mine just pointed out the idea that it might be spyware-related. spyware is programs like Gator - you don't use Gator, do you?
using Gator solely as an example - Gator hijacks your bandwidth by "gradually" downloading more and more bits of software from their servers to your computer. it installs itself, can launch programs without you even being there, and reports your internet activity to their servers. this ability allows it to also conveniently crash your computer without your prior knowledge of its even being there.
Gator.com has been sued for their business practices - and they're not alone. quite a few spyware companies have been sued recently, but until someone wins big enough to put them out of business, we all have to deal with them.
there is a program that's on your team: AdAware, available for free download from the Lavasoft download page.
AdAware will scan your computer for known spyware products and at your request, remove them. i can't recommend it enough.
[This message has been edited by NapalmsConstantlyConfused (05-29-2002 07:17 PM).]