New iPhone7plus and new VirginMobileUSA as carrier

| June 27, 2017

Well so much for waiting for the new iPhone8 to arrive in the fall … as was the plan. On the other hand, the $1000 “rumored” price was frightening me anyway. Last week for a Tech Friday post I blogged on the VirginMobileUSA “Inner Circle” promo that offered unlimited talk, text and “almost” unlimited data […]

Tech Friday: Virgin Mobile USA wants iPhone users

| June 23, 2017

In the battle of carrier wars, Virgin Mobile USA is stepping in with an attractive "first year" deal for buyers of a new or refurbished iPhone either through the Apple Store or their own site. Under the deal, customers will get up to one year of service for $1. Virgin piggybacks service on the Sprint […]

TechFriday: Twitter updates their mobile look

| June 16, 2017

We’ll see how the new iOS Twitter update is received by users, but since it is my go-to social network for all things news, I’ve download the hefty update to my aging iPhone5s and will see how bogged down it feels (very sluggish of late on most apps). Hopefully it will continue to run reasonable […]

TechFriday: Apple announced iOS11 at the WWDC17 conference

| June 9, 2017

Along with all that is happening with hardware and innovation at the Apple developers conference — WWDC — one of the more anticipated upgrades to the mobile operating system was announced. Along with the likely "millions" of suggestions from daily users, my iOS11 suggestion/request was probably lost in the shuffle … although I’ve made the […]

Guest post: Monitoring Remote Locations #DIY – by Jeff Pitts

| June 6, 2017

One of the fun areas of IT that has been growing in recent years is the “maker community” of products for do-it-yourselfers. These devices range from the Raspberry Pi, Pi Zero, Photon, Arduino, etc. The movement is bringing electronics to those of us that have that tinkerer mindset, but it also extends the opportunity to […]

TechFriday: Apple iPhone8 and iOS11 as WWDC 2017 nears

| June 2, 2017

Who doesn’t love anticipating "the next big thing" when it comes to tech, especially the mobile tech we used everyday? I for one am ready to replace my iPhone5s with some new hardware — if for nothing else, a snappier interface (it just feels slow). The plan for about a year has been to wait […]

TechFriday: Circumventing AdBlocker detection websites

| May 26, 2017

Are you tired of more and more sites with pop-ups blocking content and asking your to whitelist their sites from your browsers ad blocking extension if you want to read their content? Then read on. First, I’m an advocate for advertiser supported websites and appreciate readers who occasionally read and click the few ads that are semi-hidden […]

Matched content ads by Google Adsense

| May 21, 2017

For those of you who are regular visitors to MyDesultoryBlog and are not running an ad blocker plugin on your browser, you may have noticed a small snippet of new  ad content in the sidebar. Last month, GoogleAdsense offered an upgrade to this blog’s minimal advertising experiment. The new ad content promotes “matched” internal content from similar previous posts […]

Tips on making Gmail easier to use by Joanna Stern, WSJ.com

| May 18, 2017

Great tips from tech writer Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal on dealing with a few Gmail nits most of us using Google’s free services have. See her article at WSJ.com. 1. Priorities, Priorities You may not know it, but Google’s email bots have not one but two ways of automatically organizing your messages: […]

TechFriday: Epson Workforce M1560 monochrome all-in-one

| May 12, 2017

The "cheap" replacement Epson printer arrived on Thursday and I was very disappointed in the quality of the multi-function-device that replace the Epson WF 545. Unfortunately several years after the previous, the WF M-1560 is of even poorer quality and even slower as a scanner. It was surprising to me.   The positive is that it […]

TechFriday: Options for server now that ISP blocks port 80

| May 5, 2017

Ever since the switch from Time Warner to Cincinnati Bell Fioptics, the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3 that I’ve been using for testbed Linux servers have been out of commission. I’m struggling to come up with a way to bypass the Port 80 block that CB and many ISPs put in place to protect users equipment […]

Replacing an All-In-One with an Epson GT-1500 scanner

| May 3, 2017

A lightning strike looked as if it had taken out my Epson Workforce 545 multifunction fax/scanner/printer/copier … which of all the office devices is probably the one I could most afford to lose. I suspect the "jolt" or whatever caused catastrophic failure came over the phone line, since devices plugged into the wall, APC unit […]

Reading and downloading ebooks on my Kindle Voyage

| April 27, 2017

After borrowing my daughter’s Nook, and my friends Kindle, I finally have my own ereader — thanks to MyDesultoryBlog readers and discreet Google Ad clickers. I now can travel and read comfortably without disassembling the keyboard off my iPad Air2 and "hefting" the much heavier and larger tablet in front of my face. My second-hand […]

FaceTime is a Great Time for both Annalyn and her Bompa

| April 23, 2017

My week would not be complete with out a FaceTime video lunch break with my daughter Katelyn and Annalyn (this one is from last Thursday and she starting to talk … or "coo" if that is the correct term?) Katelyn seems very happy being  mom and at home taking care of Annalyn. She is enjoying […]

TechFriday: Lenovo Yoga 710, my everyday carry notebook

| April 14, 2017

Last week someone asked me about my large screened notebook, the 15.6″ Lenovo Yoga 710 with an Intel i5-7200U CPU (2.50GHz), 8 GB memory and a rather smallish 256GB SSD. The question was whether I would recommend it. The answer is yes … if you can live with a couple small nits that I have […]

Testing the stabilized Lumix GX8 on a noisy woodpecker

| April 8, 2017

As happens every year, a "not so bright" woodpecker decides to wake us up by pecking on our chimney cap. The noise resonates down the flue and can be pretty loud in the house. Crazy Woody! But since I’ve been wanting to experiment with my relatively new Lumix GX8 and long lens (a 100-300mm zoom), […]

TechFriday: Twitter updates 140 character count rules

| March 31, 2017

Last year, the social networking company Twitter announced it would begin changing the requirement that all tweets could only contain 140 characters. They started with not counting characters of the media attachments or @ replies. Some users are concerned that Twitter will stray too far from its roots as a public text messaging service tool. […]

Passwords and protecting your digital data

| March 29, 2017

We all struggle with ease of use and security when using a computer and online services … what’s the best way? That’s likely a debatable question since we want easy access, but don’t want our data compromised – "how easy is too easy?" What we do know is that a simple or "no" password is […]

TechFriday: Lots of hype, lots of early backers for MAGFAST

| March 24, 2017

A couple years ago I backed Seymour Segnit’s ThingCharger project and was very pleased with the "plug-charger" gizmos. After learning from his previous launch, the sharp marketer is giving a new "system project" a try. Take two, if you will. This time he has added and improved the earlier design and added a "kit" worth […]

TechFriday: Use an iPhone as a magnifying glass

| March 17, 2017

The Magnifier is a simple but overlooked feature on an iPhone. The setting is found in Settings > General > Accessibility. Turn “Magnifier” on. Then simply press the home button three times anywhere on the iPhone — either on the lock screen, the home screen, or in an app.

Cut the cord — and then added a few channels back

| March 4, 2017

Well … so much for cutting the cord as I mentioned in February and contemplating using the Sony Playstation Vue streaming service for the few channels ($30/mo) we wanted to receive that are unavailable over-the-air. We never really got to that point since the local antenna channels seemed way too slow in changing and somewhat […]

Testing an inexpensive OTA antenna before cutting the cord

| February 28, 2017

Television habits, elimination of a landlines and much faster Internet speeds have changed the way most of us use and think about connectivity nowadays … and I’m not the first to once again contemplate "cutting the cable cord." The first step is likely knowing what is available over the air and IF an affordable high […]

For inexpensive whole house wireless try a WiFi Range Extender

| February 24, 2017

Previous efforts at using older wireless access points and routers have all been a disappointment when extending WiFi out to our detached garage/poolhouse/workshop, so when Amazon had an AC750 Netgear WiFi Range Extender (Model EX3700) on a "Prime Daily Deals" sale, I was skeptical. Still frustrated with the lack of a good Internet connection further […]

Tech Friday – Ordered an IOT connected Particle Photon device

| February 17, 2017

While talking with my IT friend Jeff about controlling relays with my Pine64 and Raspberry Pi computers, he thought developing with the Arduino or Particle Photon might be a better idea. I did a little bit more reading as to what an Internet Of Things device might be good for, and decided my relay switching […]

Tech gadgets add a new wrinkle to Cat’s in the Cradle message

| February 13, 2017

A lousy, but socially needed, "Music Monday" message: While eating lunch at Wendy’s over the weekend, I notice a father and his young son spending time together for lunch as well. "Nice," I thought … until the all to often happened. The dad’s attention was drawn to his cellphone … to the point he gave […]

TechFriday or maybe Tesla Friday as production shuts down

| February 10, 2017

This was going to be a normal Tech Friday post, but instead it will marry the automotive technology leader Tesla with a bit of news on their higher-volume / lower priced Model 3 sedan due out this summer. The company stated that all was on schedule for meeting their targeted July production date and they […]

Apple is sitting pretty again after reporting earnings

| February 1, 2017

After the stock market closed yesterday, Apple $AAPL reported their fiscal first quarter earning and shocked even the most bullish in the crowd. Their iPhone 7 sales help them deliver record earning, no doubt due to Samsung’s battery issues (Android users switching to Apple iOS). Considering Apple make a lot more than phones, it is […]

TechFriday: Still experimenting with computers and relays

| January 27, 2017

After a previous simple $20 relay component test, my friend Jeff and I realized that there were a few shortcomings in using it for a future project — enter the cheaper eBay $3.99 higher powered solid state relay module.  This smallish sized relay component can be wired into a 40 amp circuit and switched with […]

Demographics and Interests of those visiting MyDesultoryBlog

| January 21, 2017

Those who have been blogging for a while learn to monitor their viewership. We’d like to  know what kind of traffic is hitting the servers and often looking at the breakdown as to what generates interest and ad clicks. In the early days, a "hit counter" was sufficient, but as country music artist Loretta Lynn […]

TechFriday: New to me IoT High-Power 110 volt AC Relay

| January 20, 2017

A friend of mine has been brainstorming the components and options for a project that I’m tinkering on for both the sailboat and improving my back up power at the house. Basically the idea is to use a minimalist single board computer like the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Pine64 or maybe just the new IoT Photon. […]

Thumbprint Radio, Pandora and a friendly, but snidely jab

| January 8, 2017

This WAS going to be a positive and upbeat post about enjoying Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio feature … UNTIL a "friendly" text message came in from my Florida (soon to be Savannah, Georgia)  sailing friend Mark telling me he had a cold beer in the fridge waiting for me. How nice to have friends anxious for […]

Tech – Jobs Friday: Wages up, but a tepid 156K nonfarm job rise

| January 6, 2017

U.S. employment increased less than expected in December, but wages are rising, ever so slightly after a long stagnancy. Most economists are positive since they say we only need to create 56,000 jobs per month to keep up with current levels of new entrants in the job market. Others will point out that our job […]

Learning more about my new Panasonic Lumix GX8

| January 4, 2017

A little testing of the somewhat faster Lumix 4/5s 25mm f 1.8 Prime lens vs the Lumix 14 – 140 slower f 3.5 zoom gave me surprising results on closer distances, at least different than I expected. First off, neither lens impressed me when it came to edge to edge sharpness. The Prime lens "may" […]

The snow is starting … says the Raspberry Pi GarageCam

| December 13, 2016

Afternoon …

TechFriday 2: Just a couple camera and lens images

| December 9, 2016

The top image is a daylight test image while trying a new camera and lens combination (Panasonic Lumix GX8 and 14-140mm lens) and is a very large original image … so if you click it, it will prove to be a larger image download (be warned).

TechFriday: Kickstarter Raspberry Shake and other item arrived

| December 9, 2016

I helped fund the Raspberry Pi based computer Kickstarter project known as the RaspberryShake  networkingworking a large number of inexpensive earthquake monitoring station around the world (www.raspberryshake.org/quick-start-guide). The idea of connecting hundreds if not thousands of independent volunteer monitoring stations isn’t new, but it is a growing force in data collection. Hopefully I’ll be able […]

Black Friday and Cyber Monday thoughts of shopping – eww!

| November 26, 2016

No visits to the mall, stores or even online shopping for me on Black Friday, but I have started the process of looking for a new camera "system" to replace my aging DSLR. With my first granddaughter on the way, it might be time to get back to my roots and revisit my old hobby […]

TechFriday: Spending a few hours installing old software

| November 25, 2016

It is easy to forget just how much software one ends up with after 9 years using a computer. There was everything from odd ball utilities to a variety of outdated Adobe Creative Suite design software that I occasionally need. These were all versions installed from CD and are not openly supported anymore. Unlike my […]

Remapping a couple keys on the new Lenovo Yoga 710

| November 20, 2016

I couldn’t take the continued typos anymore and had to map the "right-shift" key on my new Lenovo Yoga 710 to the "arrow-up" key. So as not to lose my "arrow-up" key, I mapped that to the rarely used "right-ctrl" key. Now all is well with the world.  

Amazon storage server options can be surprisingly costly

| November 13, 2016

Surprise! At least that’s what I found out when I opened a couple virtual invoices from Amazon for my two AWS accounts (personal and business). After moving files for online web content to Amazon’s fast and reliable S3 cloud-based servers a couple years ago, I’ve been happily adding content regularly since then as the cost […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.