Tech Friday: Scanning options– jpg, jpeg, jp2, gif, png, heic, tiff

| November 20, 2020

It has been a while since I’ve compared scanning format and compression option when it comes to down and dirty document scanning. For the most part I either scan straight to PDF and live with the document (or shrink it, but that’s another post) … or go straight to the old fashion universal jpeg or […]

Apple Mac announcement event this past week along with some fun babysitting Annalyn and Ellerie in Perrysburg, Ohio

| November 14, 2020

This was a big week for Apple who started their business selling computers. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 40 years, you know what a Macintosh computer is and just how important they are in living in the age of technology. Cellphones and tablets may have surpassed the personal computer for […]

Tech Friday: A Lifewire tip for Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Mouse

| November 13, 2020

Recently I have been having problems with the Magic Mouse on my aging Apple iMac. The Bluetooth mouse once steadily held it’s connection until the AA batteries were getting weaker. I’ve cleaned the contacts with electrical cleaner and a Scotch-Brite pad but continue to have issue. A quick check on the Internet indicated that I’m […]

Tech Friday: Playing with HUGO, a fast static site generator (SSG)

| October 30, 2020

While doing some “self” tech-oriented education this past week, I ended up distracted after a friend tweeted and shared some information on “static site generators (SSGs)” .. so off down the “HUGO” rabbit hole I went (thanks A LOT Scott, #sarcasm – LINK to his Hugo powered Bilik.Family website).     I’ve never really worked with any […]

Tech Friday: MacOS Catalina security issue or a "me" issue?

| October 23, 2020

My iMac computer running macOS Catalina has been off for several days using the “shut down” command before leaving town (normally just let it “sleep”). Upon return, it was booted up and opened without requesting a login or password to unlock – highly unusual and a security issue? I’ve never had this happen before and […]

What some will do to digitalize their kids drawings #TBT

| August 13, 2020

There is no doubt in my mind that I would have tried to do this if Photoshop would have  been as advanced when my kids were younger (or if I would have been has skilled – I’m basically a retoucher). As it was, I did include one of Katelyn’s computer art pieces (on my Mac SE […]

Tech Friday: CCleaner marked a PUA by Microsoft Defender

| August 7, 2020

It is always concerning to use and recommended a software product for years and to hear negative news on the software from a reputable antivirus. Last month, Microsoft Defender marked the “crap cleaner” known as CCleaner as PUA (Potentially Unwanted Software) likely due to the “PC cleaning software’s bundling unwanted add-on and annoyance software. The […]

Tech Friday: How to “shift-click” select multiple emails in Gmail

| July 31, 2020

It has been a while since reviewing the stats of My Desultory Blog, but realized that one Tech Friday post in particular was getting quite a few looks. It is obvious that I’m not the only Apple Macintosh Magic Mouse user to have scrolling issue when using the popular Google Calendar and stopping the infuriating […]

Tech Friday: Apple Mac OS Catalina desktop window tip

| July 10, 2020

As an Apple Macintosh user for nearly forever, I learned a new tip from a Verge article this past month that has not been widely talked about. It happened to come up when I was offering advice on how I rotate through and set up about 5-7 desktops and the second monitor Parallels Window side […]

TechFriday: Dropbox paid cloud storage is tough to justify

| June 26, 2020

Besides Google’s less intuitive cloud storage, Dropbox was the first cloud service that I gravitated to “back in the day.”  I’ve posted about them before on TechFriday (2015 comparison) and they are still one of the best cloud storage services for the way I work on computers and devices. Unfortunately over the last few years […]

Tech Friday: Apple Mac, Preview PDFs and Quartz Filter tweaks

| June 5, 2020

Size matters when emailing or just saving PDFs. It is easy to create them for paper-free archiving, but sooner or later most of them are larger than they need to be. Years ago in the printing world, almost every project was archived on CPPnet’s connected servers for our customers, usually in the Adobe PDF format. […]

Do not fall for text messaging scams targeting senior citizens

| May 27, 2020

Acknowledge scammers and you become a “live mark.” There’s no way around it, living with smarphones and computers makes life easier and more difficult at the same time. Scammers are busy targeting all of us and seem particularly interested in taking advantage of senior citizens and those often least experience with technology. A perfect example […]

A new webserver is up and running, but still needs tweaking

| May 12, 2020

After mentioning problems last week, the new webserver is up and running with a fresh install of Linux Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver,” MySQL database and PHP 7.2 … well I actually decided to upgrade that to PHP 7.4 for a little better speed (who knows?) I’ve abandoned MongoDB for the time being for the Quickdex.net […]

Tech Friday: A webserver update and a budget retirement RV

| May 8, 2020

Actually this is just a filler post while working on server upgrades. Hopefully when finished, the new server will be fully up-to-date with Linux (Ubuntu Bionic Beaver 18.04), PHP 7.2 and a current LAMP stack set-up. WordPress will finally be able to be updated to 5.4.1 and maybe eventually bring back a cache to speed […]

Experiencing website issues – an update is planned

| May 6, 2020

Today’s post serves as a test … since I’m having a few webserver and database problems. If you are a regular reader, this will also be a notice that this blog will likely be sporadic until it is fixed. Once my business sites are updated, then I’ll address my long-in-the-tooth (see below) Quickdex project site and […]

Music Monday: Pandora streaming on the Brave Browser ad-free?

| April 13, 2020

My friend Jeff, who is working from home due to COVID19, asked if Pandora was now free? (I hinted at that yesterday) I wasn’t sure, even though I often tune in a Pandora stream on our Alexa Echo devices. I couldn’t recall if there had been ads recently, but thought, “if they are still adding […]

Tech Friday: A woodworking idea for those using laptops

| April 10, 2020

Last week my son Taylor and friend Jeff both sent me their “homemade” stand-up or propped up (with books) notebook computers while working from home. I suspect they aren’t the only COVID19 “stay-at-home” workers trying to come up with comfortable ways to do their jobs? I know Jeff once had a stand-up desk at work […]

Tech Friday: Word processor WordStar in 1980 for the Apple II

| April 3, 2020

Above is a graphic sent by a friend, who knows of my long time Apple addiction … and it had me pondering the Steve Jobs vs Steve Wozniak struggle when trying to grow Apple Computer back in the early days (watch the Danny Boyle movie called Steve Jobs). One of the founders was an advocated […]

Protecting privacy with a web browser – a BRAVE new world

| March 6, 2020

My buddy Jeff Pitts, who has recently moved from IT to  a job focused exclusively on cybersecurity for a worldwide company, tends to error on the side of caution when it comes to privacy practices. He has moved entirely to the Mac (we used to have a  fun debate when he was a 100% PC […]

TechFriday: VPN yay or VPN nay? Free or paid? Which service?

| February 21, 2020

If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time (post from 2007), you have likely used, or been marketed VPN services, as a way to secure your Wi-Fi connection (especially public hotspots) away from the office or home network. I’ve pitched them as a security precaution to my customers and use them when […]

High CalendarAgent CPU use on Apple MacOS Catalina 10.15.3

| February 12, 2020

Here’s a tech tidbit for those noticing a high CalendarAgent CPU demand on your Apple Macintosh computer. For me, the process cranked up the CPU to 60-70% trigging high fan speeds and this process continued without finishing. I noticed slightly sluggish behavior AFTER a recent MacOS software update, although might have happened prior to that? […]

What is going to stop the US stock market and $AAPL stock?

| January 18, 2020

While working on post highlighting the DJIA crossing 29,000, I realized that the stock market has blown through that milestone and is rocketing towards 30,000 and that I’ll have to start over (probably a “worry-wart” post is coming). One of the big contributors to this Dow Jones Industrial Average is Apple ($AAPL). It just continues […]

Tech Friday: The subscription models and the 180K threshold

| January 17, 2020

Back in the late 1980s when I was starting in the commercial printing and eventually ‘small time’ publishing business (Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co), I didn’t realize how far ahead of the game we were when focusing on the subscription model. Early on we were able to capitalize on few people in the printing industry […]

Music Monday: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights – iMac OS update

| January 13, 2020

While Freddy Fender was not on my music palate back in the 1970s, it is hard not to recognize his timeless music … so for today’s Music Monday AND semi-painful iMac macOS postponed update to Apple’s  Catalina here’s the 1975 song, Wasted Days And Wasted Nights. For those who maintain computers and struggle to know […]

Tech Friday: Growing pains with “person detection” AI at Wyze

| November 29, 2019

With the advent of decent quality inexpensive home security products and cameras, it has never be easier to keep an eye on “motion” that happens around a business or home. The key for most of us is to find the least expensive quality “small” product … in our case the Wyze cams have beat out […]

Tech Friday: How is your Cyber Awareness?

| November 22, 2019

So … you’ve survived pretty much unscathed after a couple decades of identity theft, credit card fraud and everything moving online … but at some point, you realize that you’ve been lucky. Most of us are pretty lax when it comes to locking down our data, securing our digital access points and devices. So perhaps […]

A little Computer Mouse history … and then some #TBT

| November 21, 2019

Hello World! It is frightening to think that I’ve been using computers for FORTY years and have used and have seen the slow evolution in input devices clustered around a device called the Computer Mouse. So for ThrowBack Thursday #TBT this week, the above is a photo of the original “mouse” in 1964 by Douglas […]

Simple mount in BMW X5 35d for Amazon Echo Auto

| October 12, 2019

It isn’t easy to see this little magnetic bracket I made to hold my new Amazon Echo Auto low on the dash of the BMW X5 35d. I opted to make a little aluminum bracket that straddles the pushbutton switch blanks to the right of a few other buttons. It is fastened with automotive trim […]

Tech Friday: Lenovo, Eye Care and Snipping Tool backgrounds

| September 20, 2019

Today’s Tech Friday tip is something that has changed in recent weeks likely due to an update that is suppose to make reading on devices easier on the eyes. Based on lighting conditions, automatic settings will filter out blue light — a lot more when the room is dark. The problem is that this can […]

Tech Friday: The overused Hamburger Menu for desktop apps

| September 6, 2019

Perhaps it is just me, but I’m growing tired of the software development trend to make every piece of software resemble a smartphone app. I spend a significant amount of time using a desktop computer with plenty of display real estate, yet apps and webpages are all trying to make their mobile apps, notebook computer […]

Tech Friday: Advice on passwords and security breaches

| August 23, 2019

Some excellent and “do-able” ways to maintain reasonable password security in this Lifehacker article: One of the best things about having a solid password is that you don’t have to change it. If it’s strong, unique, and hasn’t been compromised by an attacker, you gain no security benefits by modifying it according to some arbitrary timetable. […]

Our new home Internet Mesh network is up and running

| August 14, 2019

Our current NetGear Nighthawk R7000 router has been exceptionally stable considering the issues I’ve had with cheaper routers and networked devices in the past. I’m pretty happy with it, but in order to get solid coverage, had to add a WiFi Range Extender to cover the detached garage and poolhouse (and yet still have weak […]

Tech Friday: Overcoming Paywalls with the help of Pocket

| August 9, 2019

Currently, I pay for a few subscriptions. Some pricey (Wall Street Journal, Barrons, etc) because I avidly read them. Others, like monthly magazines, I continue to pay for and rarely get around to reading, especially online only subscriptions. Several others, I occasionally receive a link or click on one from those annoying “reader apps” that […]

Tech Friday: How safe is data with cloud storage services?

| August 2, 2019

Even if you don’t regularly using cloud storage services (likely your smartphone is), most of us are at some point backing up data from our computers or using services online that store our data on major cloud storage companies.  I’ve personally had a growing concern over the race for quantum computing which eventually will make […]

Tech Friday: Quantum computing and cryptography

| July 26, 2019

The race for quantum computing superiority has been on my mind and in my discussions lately. State actors like China, North Korea and Russia are all running projects sponsored by their governments to be the first to harness such computing power that will make today’s encryption nearly worthless. Here in the US, our biggest tech […]

Call me paranoid, but it feels impossible to secure computers

| June 16, 2019

My good friend Jeff Pitts, a network and IT expert, and most recently IT cybersecurity expert, constantly update me with the latest threats to computer servers. He manages the computers and networks for a Cincinnati-based international company that is constantly under bombardment from hackers. Most of the attacks are directly from China and according to […]

From “One Giant Leap” boldness, to “Interstellar” brain cramps

| June 15, 2019

Brenda and I watched the movie Interstellar (2014) once before, but we watched it again this past week, and as often happens, we picked up on a few more interesting facts that made our brains hurt … well at least mine: General relativity, The Science of Interstellar, Black Holes and Time Warps. Thankfully I could […]

Tech Friday: Your photo apps are making a lot of “facetile” images

| May 31, 2019

If you are using Apple’s Photos app, you’ve probably noticed the software attempts to identify faces of people (not just Apple either). This can be helpful for “you” to sift through photos, but also seems a bit nosy when the app also builds a pile of “facetile” photos on its own. Most people likely will […]

Server updates, out-of-date WordPress plug-ins and a test video

| May 23, 2019

It is time to work on a few long in the tooth server updates and one of them isn’t compatible with my “old” WordPress video plug-in – it is no longer supported. There are several options that I’m testing both for my site as well as customer installs so am testing one of them with […]

Tech Friday: ZombieLoad Flaw in Intel Chips $INTC

| May 17, 2019

Intel chips are presenting a huge problem for nearly every computer user with chips since 2011. These Intel chips have vulnerabilities that if exploited can be used to steal sensitive information directly from the processor. According to published articles from security experts, "the bugs are reminiscent of Meltdown and Spectre, which exploited a weakness in […]

Internet connectivity issues are challenging to diagnose

| May 16, 2019

After struggling to keep our network and Internet connection alive earlier this month, I started to question my relatively expensive Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router and “way too many” devices were the problem? After resetting everything several times, calling Cincinnati Bell Fioptics (our ISP) and shrugging my shoulders, I left town and instructed Brenda on how […]

Tech Friday: Planning on an iPad Pro upgrade in 2019, but …

| March 22, 2019

There is isn’t anything wrong with my current 2014 Apple iPad, it is just getting older as far as technology goes, and is a little sluggish (or so it seems). It is still the single most used tech device that I have … and the reason I’ll likely replace it with another when the time […]

WordPress update to 5.1.1 – testing the Editor Performance

| March 15, 2019

Just upgrading blog to WordPress 5.1.1 and needed a little text copy to try out the new editor (below). It does seem a bit snappier? BTW, did you know WordPress now powers over 1/3rd of the top 10 million sites on the web? Site Health With security and speed in mind, this release introduces WordPress’s […]

Tech Friday and some etymology history of the word Emoji

| March 15, 2019

I enjoy receiving the occasional email on words from Science Diction (Science Friday folks) and this one from the word emoji was a good one. READ the full history here  … or on the archived WaybackMachine LINK

Tech Friday: An update on the Samsung Chromebook Pro

| March 8, 2019

Chromebooks are not my preferred devices, but they are excellent for those with more limited computing needs. For the most part, they are relatively inexpensive, easy to update, very reliable and frustration free. They boot/start quicker than most devices and data, apps and setting are easily backed up on Google’s cloud … so as long […]

Tech Friday: The Wayback Machine and Cincinnati Style Chili

| March 1, 2019

This is an unusual Tech Friday post, but after being frustrated this week in clicking a dead link to an article that disappeared after a website was updated, I decided there must be a better way to ensure information, links and websites remained useful … WITHOUT having to archive them entirely on my computers, servers […]

Tech Friday: Simple advice IF you must use a virtual assistant

| February 22, 2019

TechFriday advice for those of us who enjoy using virtual assistants like those from Google, Apple or Amazon: 1. Change the Default Password on Your Wi-Fi Router 2. Set the Voice Lock 3. Decide Whether You Want to Shop By Voice 4. Understand that Privacy Rights in the US Are on the Way – but […]

Server problem test post – Blood Moon for January 2019

| January 21, 2019

It has been a morning of computer server problems after updating Certbot on one of my Linux servers in order to keep the Let’s Encrypt certificates updating properly (the email warning below). For customers on Consolidated Printing and Publishing servers, there will not be a problem as the certs are commercial … but for my […]

Tech Friday: Options to subscriptions services raising prices

| January 18, 2019

The recent price increases rumbling through the economy are starting to be felt in the products we all use and have learned to appreciate. One of the services I’ll likely eliminate before the monthly price increase is the streaming service Netflix. We did this once before, but with all the new added content and lack […]

How hot is too hot for a Late 2012 Apple iMac 3.4GHz Core i7?

| January 8, 2019

No matter who you talk to, running the processor at water’s boiling point is too hot and not healthy for a computer chips. After replacing my iMac’s power supply board … and hard drive … I thought my problems were over, but probably not. It looks like I’m going to have to clean the old […]

Tech Friday: Are Windows registry cleaners hokum?

| December 28, 2018

Those of us who manage our own computers likely do our share of “desktop” cleaning and are regularly warned by our anti-virus software that we need to do more than prevent viruses and hackers from accessing our computers. The current “free” anti-virus companies all push to sell their paid software … and regularly highlight registry […]

Added TimeMachineEditor to iMac after Mojave update & issues

| December 23, 2018

After my recent issues with my overheating iMac, I’ve become a lot more fastidious about what software I keep running and tax the quad core 3.4 GHz i7 chip. Frankly I still don’t think the relatively light computing demands asked of this aging Mac are all that much, but Apple has sardined in a lot […]

Christmas prep and my iMac is still recovering from surgery

| December 15, 2018

Although Brenda and I are making steady progress in getting things ready for Christmas, the iMac surgery mentioned yesterday did not go as smoothly as planned, but at least I do have backups to rebuild things from. Currently the “way too many” cloud services that I’m using are working overtime as my Time Machine archive […]

Tech Friday: What is all the 5G buzz about?

| December 14, 2018

"Hey Rich, should I wait for a 5G phone … and by the way, what is 5G?" One of these days I’m just going to say, "I don’t know," but until then, I bump along pretending I know more than I do … that is until I get in too deep to walk away. This […]

Tech Friday – Finally fixed the slideshow plugin for WordPress

| December 7, 2018

A couple years ago I added Simple Slideshow Manager to MyDesultoryBlog as a way to include a series of photos in a single post. Having "attempted" different approaches that fail in one OS, Browser or device before the above plugin seemed to work … that is, until it didn’t. Having posted to the forums, trying […]

Fees increases ends my Freedompop LTE MiFi endorsement

| November 27, 2018

This may be the end for Freedompop, the low cost wireless "backup" hotspot service I’ve been using for years — at least it probably is for me (started with the Photon back in 2010). For the most part their hotspot service has been a decent value for me while traveling and giving me LTE connectivity […]

Tech Friday: Brydge keyboards for the new iPad Pro 2018

| November 9, 2018

Having used a Brydge keyboard with an iPad from their first introduction, I can say that IF I were to update my current iPad Air2 to the 2018 just introduced iPad Pro that I would seriously consider waiting for the 2019 Brydge keyboard … they are that good. But with all current Apple updates to […]

Make it a good day and be sure to exercise your right to VOTE

| November 6, 2018

This year Brenda and I voted absentee …  or by mail. I knew it was an important mid-term and wanted to be sure our votes counted, but do miss the feeling of standing in line with others and waiting my turn at the polls. That said, minus the hiccup with our verification system (missing digits […]

Fighting back my desire to participate in the Apple upgrade cycle

| October 31, 2018

It is a favorite time of year for those who enjoy seeing the new product coming online from Apple. iPhones in September,new iPads and Apple Air notebooks this week and even a new Apple Mac Mini (used an older Mini for my desktop next to a Windows machine for years). This year it seems even […]

Tech Friday: Yahoo and AOL sift through your emails

| August 31, 2018

Tech news this week highlighted Yahoo and AOL brand email services. There are still plenty of users still using them and unknowingly being spied on (including me since I still use Yahoo for "junk" mail — I started with AOL & Yahoo in the early 1990s kept the simple rdc2@ addresses). The search algorithms and […]

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.
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