Tech Friday: Making power adapters last longer

| October 20, 2017

Here’s a short tip for making power adapter wires last longer when traveling or packing them in a computer bag: When winding the cord, don’t wrap the first loop too tight. The usual fail points when cords are coiled over and over are where the wires enter the power block or the plug, so allow […]

Tech Friday: Another security breach along with a price increase triggered my reevaluation of Lastpass, SmallPDF and Evernote

| October 6, 2017

As a free user and then paying Premium LastPass customer for years, the 2017 price increase inched out of my comfort zone this week. It is not that the password managing product with added features is bad, it is just that the significant price bump ($12 to $24/yr) leaves a sour taste in my mouth. […]

Tech Friday: New “used” After Shokz bluetooth headset

| September 29, 2017

After slowly giving up on ever really making my “90% hearing loss” right ear useful again (due to  Ménière’s disease – posts 1 or 2), I had a chance to try out my buddy Jeff’s After Shokz bluetooth headset a couple weeks ago. I’m not saying it was like I was binaural again, BUT the “bone conduction” […]

Relocated the magnetic phone holder in my BMW X5 35d

| September 15, 2017

In anticipation in receiving new iDrive display and components from a "group buy" on the BMW diesel group I belong to, I made a new CD/DVD slot bracket for the previously installed Nato Smart Mount. The previous location was fine for the older small iPhone 5s, but after updating to the much larger iPhone 7 […]

TechFriday: What is new with the Apple iPhone X (ten)?

| September 15, 2017

So you want the new iPhoneX? Wouldn’t that be nice, but can you handle the new features? A BIG sharp OLED screen = 5.8 inch. Glass front and back. Stainless steel. Wireless charging. Home-button-less swipe gestures. Animoji expressions. iMessage ApplyPay Four-core CPU 70% faster than the A10 A11 capable of 600B operations/sec. Three-core GPU that […]

TechFriday: Home Internet improvements over the years

| September 8, 2017

Accessing the Internet with broadband speeds has definitely improved this past year or so in our area. I remember connecting via modem at 300 baud, improving to 1200, then 56K and making the expensive big move to a twin pair of 128K ISDN lines giving me 256K of bandwidth in the 1990s. Eventually I jumped […]

TechFriday: iPhone watching as September 12th approaches

| September 1, 2017

The big day looks to be September 12, 2017 when "watchers" expect Apple to release their 10th Anniversary iPhone. I may have been slow to accept the virtual keyboard "back in the day," but have comfortably adapted to it starting with the iPhone5 in 2012. As smartphones go (after the Palm Pilots and Handspring clones), […]

TechFriday: Testing the portrait-mode on the iPhone 7 Plus

| August 25, 2017

While listening to the early comments from the technology pages and news programs regarding Samsung (Galaxy Note 8) and Apple (iPhone 8 – ???)releasing their new smartphone models, I realized there are features I haven’t used much. One of the camera upgrades coming to the new Samsung Note 8 phone is a portrait mode like […]

TechFriday: Playing with new iPhone 7 plus camera

| July 21, 2017

While learning a little bit more about the improved camera on the iPhone7+ (was the reason I opted for the "plus" was the camera), I tested the macro and zoom features while shooting a video of my "Little Praying Friend." It has been vastly improved over the iPhone 5 in several areas … particularly stabilization […]

TechFriday: Yahoo and Google adopt new look to ire of users

| July 7, 2017

Complaining is getting me nowhere … but those of us old school users of Yahoo and Google continue to be frustrated to see both companies going down the "design for smartphone – card look format" to their pages, even for large display computers. YAHOO A few weeks ago Yahoo Finance forced all users to give […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

TechFriday: A simple thing – Google Calendar Scroll Disabler

| April 7, 2017

At one time or the other, we have all started to pull our hair out while on the computer and  said, "this is ridiculous, why doesn’t someone fix this!" Well after literally years of waiting for Google to do something about the "sensitive scroll feature" (or curse) when moving through the months in Google Calendar, […]

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. […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

TechFriday: Jumpy cursor? Uncheck Enhance pointer precision

| February 3, 2017

The cursor on my new Lenovo Yoga 710 Windows 10 notebook has been driving me crazy. It jumps around the screen when I’m typing and often ends up add or deleting text in previous paragraphs. In an attempt to diagnosis the problem, I’ve fiddled with the trackpad thinking that my palms or thumbs must be […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

TechFriday: I like the RaspberryPi, but next is the PINE A64

| January 1, 2016

If you enjoy playing with inexpensive computer gadgets and perhaps getting them a LinuxOS Raspberry Pi … or maybe a PINE A64??? Check out the inexpensive Single board Super Computer … and under $100 computer set-up and top of the line smartphone might be all the tech many of us need?

TechFriday: Can YouTube Red compete? Coming 10/28/2015

| October 23, 2015

The best known video streamer, YouTube, has entered the subscription based video streaming service with their YouTube Red. They are asking $9.99 from potential subscribers for ad-free content that can be viewed on a variety of devices or saved for offline viewing. They’ll compete with services from several others who have significant content libraries (movies) […]

TechFriday: Apple filed patent for a smart ring device

| October 2, 2015

What do you think??? I think I need thicker reading glasses. Apple could be developing a new wearable device even smaller than the Apple Watch: an Apple ring. That is, if a recently filed patent leads to an actual product. The ring, which could be made with or without a touch display, would be linked […]

TechFriday: Today a year of Amazon Prime is only $67

| September 25, 2015

If you are a regular online shopper and use Amazon, you may have contemplated purchasing their annual membership. Unfortunately each year it seems to go up in price and unless you “shop on Amazon or stream their video content” A LOT, it is hard to justify $99 per year. On the other hand, $67 (the […]

TechFriday: High priced Internet domains in 2015

| September 18, 2015

As someone who has sold a handful of domain names over the past 20 years, it is interesting to see what prices are being generated (my highest sale was $10,000). In 2015 there are a few less impressive high dollar dot-com transfers (overseas) … due to them being “two-letters” I assume… yet they still garnering […]

TechFriday: What does it take to steal credit and debit cards?

| August 28, 2015

Most technology followers know the theory behind copying the swipe code from traditional magnetic credit cards, but few people swiping their cards at the gas pump realize that the “skimming device” is installed by criminals is installed out of site “inside” the gas pump. Q: If you can’t see it, how do you know your […]

TechFriday: If you use the Firefox browser, be sure to update

| August 7, 2015

If you are a Firefox browser user, be sure to select the “About” menu and apply the latest update. Yesterday morning, August 5, a Firefox user informed us that an advertisement on a news site in Russia was serving a Firefox exploit that searched for sensitive files and uploaded them to a server that appears […]

TechFriday: Ordering from Amazon.com is just too easy

| July 17, 2015

As much as I want to dislike shopping at Amazon rather than supporting a local business, their Prime Shipping option makes getting a part too easy (thanks to Katelyn and Drew). They are becoming the go-to choice for parts nowadays. I needed a new O-Ring for our pools chlorinator and ordered it within a few […]

TechFriday: Quick easy-to-read news update by email

| July 10, 2015

For the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying a quick read each morning summarizing the previous day’s news from theSkimm.com. Currently it is a free subscription and is delivered to your email box and worded in a light and easy to comprehend way. For those interested in more of a business news update, check out […]

TechFriday: No FREE Windows 10 for Parallels on the Mac yet

| July 3, 2015

So much for “considering” Windows 10 on my iMac (Parallels). And here I was thinking that upgrading a couple of Windows machines wouldn’t be as expensive as in the past … with Microsofts FREE upgrad offer and all. (Parallels is working on a solution) Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as free upgrade for qualified […]

TechFriday: Tweaking WordPress with plugin A3 Lazy Load

| June 19, 2015

Plugins for CMS like WordPress are a dime a dozen and many improve the look and use of a WordPress.org blog, but usually at a sacrifice of speed. Recommending them is not usually something I would do … believing that a lean and fast site is better than bulky and slow sites. Unfortunately I’ve fallen […]

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.