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For windows, add this line to your hosts file:
The hosts file should be in Windows>System32>Drivers>Etc for XP. Or do a search of your system
Here is copy of another post with details on what to do to check PR updates. The IP address you have to keep changing to the one they are talking about. And remember to comment out the other IP address in the hosts file
The PR update at the moment is pretty much widespread.
Tools are a much easier way of checking the progress.
We are not able to link or mention tools at WebmasterWorld - but a Google search for Page Rank tools shows enough.