FIX: You’ll need a new app to open this zoommtg link: Zoom fix!

Zoom has grown exponentially in a short amount of time. And although it’s not my favorite app, due to its share of issues, it is admittedly already getting better. But some users are running into errors the first time they try to join a meeting. What’s going on?

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What is my current IP?

Your current public IP address is:

This page is quickly and easily accessible via

This page simply detects and shows your public facing IP address (the IP address of your internet connection). It does not show the local network IP address of your computer, for instance, if your computer is on a corporate network.

In most cases, the IP address you’re seeing above is actually the IP address of your Modem/Router provided by your ISP (Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum, etc…).

How long has Chromium Based Edge been in Development?

How long has the Chromium Based “Edge” been in development? I think almost as long as Windows 10 itself. The trouble is, I don’t think the entire Edge browser development team was on the same page.

In an article I wrote over two years ago I mentioned exchanging a couple of Tweets with Kyle Pflug, Senior Project Manager Lead on Microsoft Edge. I mentioned how, in March of 2016, the internet was abuzz with rumors that Edge would be 100% compatible with Chrome extensions. In June of 2017 Pflug kindly disagreed that this was ever promised.

I believe he is correct, that this feature was never promised in any official capacity. It may have simply been developers implying that there were similarities between the two types of extensions. But if the rumors came to multiple news outlets in 2016, could it all be traced back to a single news source? It feels to me like there may have been more going on in 2016 than we knew about.

In December of 2018, it was confirmed that the entire Edge browser would be scrapped in its known form, and a Chromium-based browser, also named Edge, would be getting feature enhancements and finding its way to Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and even other platforms such as MacOS.

It must have been difficult for Microsoft to decide to scrap years worth of work on their Trident and EdgeHTML browser engine. But if you go back to 2016, when Edge itself wasn’t even a full year officially on the market (remember, Windows 10 officially launched with Edge on July 29th, 2015), there were already plans to make Edge “compatible” with Chrome. I believe that these were signs, early on, that some of the Edge development team were pushing to integrate far more Chromium code into Edge than was initially there.

Although it may be presumptuous of me, I think that it is entirely possible that even before Windows 10 launched, an official Microsoft fork of Chromium was in the works. It took less than a year for the telemetry to come in and to see poor adoption rates of Edge among Windows 10 users. That, in my opinion, was when the decision was made to deprecate the Trident / EdgeHTML team and let the Chromium team lead the way. Based on his responses on Twitter, I’m led to believe that Pflug was on team Trident until he had no other choice.

It’s completely possible I’m drawing conclusions that are not really there, and I’m not actually trying to draw battle lines within the Edge dev team. I’m sure that at the end of the way they all just want what’s best for their users. I just think this browser that I’m writing in right at this moment has been secretly worked on a lot longer than many people suspect.

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 – 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. – Bootable CD image. (md5sum: f274127bf8be9a7ed48b563fd951ae9e) – 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.
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Subnet Prefix Length: what is it, what should mine 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 Length: what is it, what should mine be?”

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

Look at what appears when I visit

It’s asking me if I want to re-order those items. Trouble is I have never “ordered” those items from 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 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, 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” 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 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 – 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!