How to backup your email to your computer

People are often looking for ways to feel better knowing their trove of emails is safe. I’ve found a simple method that works reliably for me, and anyone can do!

First, install the Thunderbird mail client. It’s a free email tool that has a lot of settings for mail providers entered in to it already. If it doesn’t have settings for your email, it’s very similar to setting up a phone. I recommend setting up your email account as IMAP, because POP can sometimes erase messages from the server, and you may not intend to do that.

Anyway, once Thunderbird is installed and set up, to sync folders other than your inbox, simply click on them on the left hand side and give it some time for the folder to synchronize. It’s impossible to know how long this will take, due to variables like your internet connection or the size of your folder. Just watch the status bar in the bottom right to know when the sync is finished.

Once completed, create a folder where you would like your messages in that folder to be backed up. If you want, you could for instance create a folder on your desktop, and then create subfolders to match each and every one of your folders in your email account, and back them up one at a time.

Once the folder is created locally, simply highlight and drag emails from the Thunderbird client window to your local folder. To bring everything in the folder over at once, you can use Control A to “Select All,” or hold Shift and click the top, then bottom email. Once you drag everything to the local folder, you will see it create “.eml” files of every individual piece of mail. These are standard email files and are compatible with other email clients, like Outlook and the native Windows 10 Mail client.

If you wanted to move those emails into a new account, you could simply set up that account in Thunderbird, and drag files back to the folder in the other direction!

Download Mirror for NTPassword

I have, for more than 5 years now, had an article on here about how to use NTPassword to reset a Windows Password. The website hasn’t moved for years and it’s still online over at http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ – BUT I wanted to host a mirror here because I can’t imagine a world where that website goes offline and I don’t have access to the files anymore. So, just in case here are some mirrored downloads.

cd140201.zip – Bootable CD image. (md5sum: f274127bf8be9a7ed48b563fd951ae9e)

cd110511.zip – Bootable CD image of previous version. (md5sum: fe0d30a1c540ec6757e748c7c09e2e4f)

The secret to a stable Windows 95, 98, 98SE, or Millennium Edition (ME)

With the resurgence of people building “classic” and “retro” gaming rigs, I thought it would be important to reveal what might be my biggest secret. Sometimes I feel like I was the ONLY person on earth who liked Windows Millennium Edition.
Continue reading “The secret to a stable Windows 95, 98, 98SE, or Millennium Edition (ME)”

Subnet Prefix: what is it, how long should it be?

Windows 10 has a convenient feature which allows you to specify your IP address depending on the wireless network you join – making it far easier to bounce around between multiple offices, work locations, coffee shops, and home. But rather than the standard “Subnet Mask” option we’re all used to seeing, it asks users to fill in their Subnet Prefix Length. What the heck should that number be!?

24 Continue reading “Subnet Prefix: what is it, how long should it be?”

Walmart knows everything you’ve ever purchased in store or online

Look at what appears when I visit Walmart.com:




It’s asking me if I want to re-order those items. Trouble is I have never “ordered” those items from Walmart.com. These are items I’ve purchased in the store.

  • In December, I purchased that big holiday bag of red and green M&M’s so I could put a candy dish on my table for a party I was having.
  • I did buy Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice and I bought the Great Value brand to compare the two.
  • I bought Swanson canned chicken when I made buffalo chicken dip for the same gathering in December.
  • The Campbell’s cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups are what I use when I make Stroganoff.

  • These are all things I’ve purchased in the store at one time or another. But why are they showing up on my computer at home? I don’t log in to my Walmart.com account when I check out in the store, so how is this working?


    Walmart records every transaction, top to bottom, and stores it under your credit or debit card information. If you keep your credit card on file with Walmart.com, it can easily connect the two pieces of information. It really is just that simple.


    The Walmart app for your smartphone also now has a “Savings Catcher” feature, which can be used to net you some savings on a gift card. while you’re trying to save a few dollars here and there, Walmart is just verifying that the “dots” they have connected are, in fact, accurate. You just connected the two unrelated pieces of information FOR them (your “real world” shopping behaviors with your “online” Walmart.com account). But I had never used the “Savings Catcher” feature when I started seeing items specific to me showing up in my online recommendations, though, making it apparent that Walmart.com isn’t afraid to use payment information as a method of tracking you.

    Why is this important?


    Some people may not actually consider this a huge invasion of their privacy. Some people like the ability to save some money with savings catcher, and they like convenience of having advertisements online that are relevant to their interests (it beats the old “male enhancement pill” ads on every single website, doesn’t it?).


    But what if Walmart decides they’re going to profit from that information, instead of exclusively using it internally? They could sell your entire life time shopping list to someone else, for instance your insurance company. Maybe they see that you bought a few frozen meals and TV-dinner type meals, rather than fresh fruits and vegetables. They look at your diet and consider you a risk, causing your premiums to go up, and you have an uphill battle. You never gave them that level of permission to know you so intimately, but perhaps Walmart will in the future – and they already have your whole past purchase history tied to your account, every time you’ve swiped that card or clicked an online order.


    If you saw my previous article about Facebook eavesdropping on your conversations, you’ll notice that the ad on the Facebook page was an ad for Sam’s Club. I had just recently purchased those Goldfish Crackers from a Walmart store, and I have very likely used the same credit or debit card at Walmart, at Sam’s Club, and on Walmart.com – so was it really Facebook listening to me? Or was it Walmart targeting me? It’s practically impossible to be certain, since these large companies don’t reveal their practices when it comes to consumer privacy and advertising.


    So what can you do? Not much, unfortunately. If you really wanted to you could try using a unique card that you don’t use anywhere else, but it would likely still have your name attached to it through the payment processing system. You could try using cash exclusively whenever possible, but it seems antiquated in this day and age, when so many people choose the convenience factor of paying with a card. Gone are the days where a payment processor knew nothing more than the total dollar amount and who to charge it to, now everyone from Walmart to Visa and MasterCard and everyone else out there knows much, much more about you. Unfortunately, there is no great solution, but the best thing you can do at this time is at least arm yourself with knowledge and understanding of how these processes are working and make the decisions that are best for you.

Is Facebook Listening to you? Can you stop or prevent it?

People commonly post stories about how they talked about some product or service, and then suddenly started seeing advertisements for it on Facebook. While there are lots of stories about this happening, they are always based on conjecture and are simply speculation.


In a conversation with some friends a few YEARS ago, I believe not only did I prove this was happening, but I figured out how to prevent it.



In 2016, I went on a camping trip. I bought some “Goldfish Crackers” to take with me. After returning from my camping trip, I stopped at my dad’s house, and talked about how I had bought some of these crackers I haven’t had in years. Less than 24 hours later, I began seeing ads for a product I’ve certainly never searched for or mentioned on Facebook.


So I did some digging into the settings in my phone. Android offers the ability to draw an overlay over the full screen. This is how the Facebook Messenger app uses “Chat Head” bubbles – which allow messenger to pop up over the top of other apps. When I dug in to permissions of the Facebook app, it asked for an overlay permission. I thought that was strange, since the messenger app with its “chat heads” is distinct from the Facebook app itself.


When I tried to disable this overlay, I was alerted that I had to disable permission to the Microphone before I could disable this overlay. Luckily, with Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” and above, users have more granular control over their individual permissions, rather than just granting an app whatever it wants. So I disabled the microphone permission, then disabled the overlay, and I’ve never again had an incident where I felt like Facebook is “listening” to me.


How Do I Stop This?


That conversation with my friends took place in 2016. So what can you do to see if maybe this applies to you? Well, first of all, you must have an Android 6.0 or higher device. I do not believe this privacy function can be tweaked in iOS, but I no longer have an iPad or an iPhone, so I’m not certain if you can stop this from happening. Leave a comment below if you’re an iPhone user who can offer feedback. But Android users can try the following (I currently use Android 7.1.1, so your steps may be slightly different):

  1. Go to your complete list of Apps, then open Settings.
  2. Scroll to Apps.
  3. Tap on Facebook in your list of apps.
  4. Scroll down until you see “Draw over other apps” and tap that.
  5. Disable option to “Draw over other Apps.”
  6. If prompted, you may have to go back out and adjust permissions to disable certain functions in order to disable the overlay feature.


If you really want to you can also go in to the Permissions section and disable certain features such as the Microphone itself, but remember if you use the Facebook app to record videos, or send voice messages, you may not want to disable that feature.


Let me know if that helps, I hope it does! If not, check back next week. Notice how the Goldfish Crackers advertisement above that was a screenshot from Facebook was actually an ad from Sam’s Club? Sam’s Club and Walmart are connected companies, and NEXT week, I plan to have an article discussing how Walmart Tracks you as a customer. See you next week!

Fixing PowerShell “cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system”

Like many people this week, I was trying to run some official Microsoft PowerShell scripts related to “Meltdown” and “Spectre” bugs. But when I tried this, I encountered an error message from PowerShell, telling me that “SpeculationControl.psm1
cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system. For more information, see
about_Execution_Policies at https:/go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170.”



This is perfectly normal, it is a security feature that is easy to adjust when needed, and will apply to many scripts beyond just this week’s “speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities” checkers. First things first, make sure you ran PowerShell as an Administrator – right click the icon in your Start Menu and click “Run as Administrator.” If it still doesn’t work, you need to change your Execution Policy. Follow these simple steps:

  1. type get-executionpolicy and press enter. Jot down the output for later, so you can re-secure your system (mine was “Restricted”).
  2. type set-executionpolicy remotesigned and press enter.
  3. Press “Y” and hit Enter to tell it you’re sure you want to change this setting.
  4. Now, run your desired script. It should output normally.
  5. After the script runs, I suggest setting your policy back to what it was. Again, mine was “restricted” so I type: set-executionpolicy restricted.
  6. Type “Y” and hit Enter to once again tell it that you want to change the policy.


And you’re done! I certainly hope that helped someone out there!

How to setup and use Port Forwarding & NAT in your Sonicwall

When it comes to trying to configure something that should be simple like “PORT FORWARDING” in a more complicated corporate firewall, like Dell’s SonicWall, it can sometimes be a bit difficult. There are many guides online that are needlessly complex, and some that are confusing and not helpful at all. I ended up combining a few until I was able to work out a process of my own that seems to work best.
Continue reading “How to setup and use Port Forwarding & NAT in your Sonicwall”

How do I see who is “following” me on Facebook?

People often get scared by some bum information that spreads around social media. Last week I saw a post about using a search function to find people who were “following me.” Trouble was, it was actually just returning results of people with the words “following me” in their profile! So I did my friends a favor and whipped up a quick guide to see who is “following you” on Facebook.

First thing to note: following doesn’t really mean anything, especially if you two aren’t “friends.” Continue reading “How do I see who is “following” me on Facebook?”