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mike_dragon
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# Posted: 14 Sep 2010 09:52 · Edited by: mike_dragon
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Well folks, welcome to my first article!

I thought I'd break the ice between us by providing a quick trick for "MS Windows" users to stop people from going to certain websites. (Provided you are an administrator of the PC in question)You can easily edit a single file within your computer that can redirect any connection intended for one URL to a blank page.

But now that I have you attention I think I might start with the current news on PC Hardware and then I'll show you this trick further on in this article. I'm thinking that a handy tip or trick could be a weekly thing but we'll see how it goes.

The biggest thing in tech now is actually something pretty old... 3-D or Third-Dimension, this is a retro concept where you could take any scene be it film, comic or digital media , split it in two frames and then overlap them with one another with a slight offset. This slightly confuses your depth perception into believing 2D static images have depth though was always reliable and injured a films color scheme.

Back in the 50s to the mid 90s, this was easily accomplished by ensuring viewers had a set of polarised glasses generally one red and one blue and colored a scene in those two colors with a slight offset between them. Now a days the technology has evolved for film and new 'shutter lenses' glasses have been made that adjust the frame rate of what you see on the screen. They accomplish this by causing disruptions to your sight of a film in one eye whilst doing the same with a slightly faster or slower shutter on the other eye, your depth perception can be fooled better than before using this method and there is no red or blue overcast on the screen.

But the latest 3-D technology isn't just for games though. They have ported it to modern PCs for gaming and other 3D applications to take advantage of, and the two most widely known graphics card manufacturers have already released hardware and software to support it. This software and hardware has been out for a little while but is quickly regaining recognition and is often called, "Stereoscopic" vision. ATI has yet to release its own version of a complete Stereoscopic kit but the latest cards from them support software from other companies to use their hardware. Nvidia has released an entire kit both hardware and software without the need of external sources for all that is needed. It can be found here.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-main.html.

And for more information about 3-D or to just go and see if I was right about anything I just spent ages typing up, go here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-D_film.

Now not a lot of games or software support this yet but with the latest movie crazes such as Avatar and the like are ensuring both hardware and software developers alike will want to invest into this technology.
Well... Now that the tech is out of the way, we can get to that trick I mentioned.

"You've come home, only to find your friend or flatmate has got onto your computer and have gone to many questionable sites, filling up your computer with an infinite number of malware... You could injure a friendship and tell them to not use your PC or you can take control and ensure his most visited and unhealthy sites never touch your PC or Laptop again and all without them even knowing."

Well my friends should you have a Windows Vista, XP or Win7 PC, you will want to play around with a file called (hosts) which has no extension so its not Hosts.exe or Hosts.conf, etc

You can find it here on NT, 2000, and 32-bit versions of XP, 2003, Vista, 7:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

And here for x64bit versions:
%SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\drivers\etc\


It's just Hosts. And before you go doing anything with it Copy it and Paste it somewhere else in case anything bad happens as it is a pretty important file and can kill your internet.

Open this up after saving. I recommend using notepad as MSWord has a habit of adding its own bits of random formatting which can really muck things up. And it should look like this..

================================================== =.
# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 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

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
# 127.0.0.1 localhost
# ::1 localhost

==========================================

If yours doesn't than don't worry as some programs add all sorts of entries to stop fraudulent sites from having access to your pc.
(That's a good thing to see! ) now lets say the site your friend is going to is www.myrandomvirusfilledwebsite.com (sounds nasty...)

And like the url says, it is alarmingly filled with viruses. But it has random LOLCat photos your friend likes so s/he goes there anyway! *groan* well let's stop that. First find the very last entry in the Hosts file and then start a new line under it.

So make this new line look like this,

127.0.0.1 www.myrandomvirusfilledwebsite.com

This first bit with the 127 is called your localhost, it is an ip address that windows knows and since windows knows it. It redirects within itself and never even opens the internet for whatever url is listed after this ip such as our www.myrandomvirusfilledwebsite.com.

Now save the file and remember its saved as Hosts with no extension, agree to overwrite the file when prompted then reboot your PC. Upon reboot run a browser type in www.myrandomvirusfilledwebsite.com or whatever url you want blocked that you entered into the Hosts file previously and you should, without pause, be taken to a blank page and not be able to access the redirected site.

Note some versions of windows have really strict UAC(User Access Controls) and can try to prevent you from editing hosts since it is a critical file. I have not mentioned methods to circumvent them only that, "You need Administrator Rights" and even that can be refused on some Oss. If you run into this use Google it is by far the best friend an IT person could have.

Now for the legal stuff. I'm not saying you /should/ edit this file and if you do. You do so knowing it comes with a slight risk or a big one depending on how you edit it and that you alone are liable should anything go wrong. I do not have Microsofts permission nor am I affiliated with any such company that holds licenses to windows or the technology that runs it to modify or advise the modification of any such items.

I /Will/ try to help you, should you have any problems, as best I can. And if there aren't too many problems regarding this trick I'll post more in future articles.

So thanks for reading this, I tried my best to make it interesting and hopefully the next article will be on our new Entertainment site! Yay!

mike_dragon
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2010 10:20
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This is my first journalistic report. So any comments or suggestions are welcome from anyone.

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