Tech Friday: The home Internet seems to be sluggish lately?

| September 30, 2022

Our Cincinnati Bell Fioptics Internet service has been acquired by Altafiber. I’m not sure there has been much more than a logo change in service “so far,” but whenever our cable TV isn’t quite right or the Internet acts up, the blame is now on AltaFiber. Speed has been a problem this week and “might” […]

Tech Friday: Amazon Drive cloud storage to be phased out

| August 5, 2022

Not that I use Amazon Cloud Drive for all that much (using AWS S3), but it will be disappointing for those who adopted Amazon for their backups and cloud storage needs … other than Photos (they will still support). Dear Amazon Drive Customer, Over the last 11 years, Amazon Drive has served as a secure […]

Tech Friday: A delay for Google phasing out invasive cookies

| July 29, 2022

A couple of years ago, Google announced that its Chrome Browser would start phasing out their support for “third party tracking cookies.” Users concerned about privacy and data tracking from their web browsing have tried over the years to use add-ons and extensions to block or prevent Chrome from using them. Some of us switch […]

Leftover “Tech Friday” thoughts for Saturday morning

| June 18, 2022

Not that I was bored or anything while running on generator power for 24 hours, but last week’s outage had my small load-sharing Raspberry Pi “server farm” (semi-joke) that I run at the house (see Brenich.com), in need of service. One thing lead to another and I ended up tinkering a bit more with this […]

A movie remake, with a twist? "iMac Down" … stocks down too

| June 10, 2022

A semi-disaster struck as my iMac choked on a Parallel 17 "virtual Windows" update on Thursday. It reminded me of the movie "Blackhawk Down" or perhaps "White House Down" … hence the subject line for Tech Friday.   The virtual Windows 10 side of my computer booted, but everything from the connected drives to the display […]

Reworking my old corner computer desk for the home office

| May 25, 2022

Now that the desk and hardwood floors are complete, and floor finish has cured enough in my home office, it is time to tackle the trim painting, putting the closet and bookshelves back. Another project I’ve been contemplating is to revitalize my older well-worn corner computer desk. Having used it for a couple of decades […]

A test post due to slow uploading. AWS server problem?

| May 17, 2022

Testing Internet speeds on my end after struggling to upload to AWS servers this afternoon. All seems normal for both 4G and WiFi in my temporary basement home office due to painting and getting thing put back together after hardwood floors were done. It is S-L-O-W-L-Y coming together.

Tech Friday: Is Y2K still going to be a problem?

| April 29, 2022

With Y2K in the past, I wonder if I still need to keep this 3.5 inch disk from a Windows 2000 emergency repair? I suspect I can toss the disk since I don’t think I even have a 3.5” disk reader anymore … although in the pile of old computer gear … it is likely […]

Tech Friday: Thoughts on M4A vs MP3 digital audio formats

| April 22, 2022

The MP3 format for audio has been used on My Desultory Blog since the mid-2000s and I have contemplated a variety of other opensource options over the years. Compression choices to keep file sizes and streaming acceptable come and go and as we search for quality of audio and bandwidth for streaming becomes less of […]

Temporarily working from my basement home office #TBT

| April 21, 2022

As the slow progress on finishing my home office continues, I’ve set up a temporary office in the basement (below). It is surprisingly comfortable, but I do miss the daylight and looking out the windows. I can’t help but reminisce to make this a Throwback Thursday #TBT post after finally removing the painters tape from […]

Tech Friday: iOS and App updates … and Internet/Cable/TV

| April 8, 2022

After updating my iOS devices to 15.4 last week, I noticed a few annoying changes (normal when an operating system changes), and a few improvements. I suspected that older devices such as my iPhone 7 and older iPad would start to show signs of reduced battery life and sluggishness, yet how long nowadays do we […]

Tech Friday: Testing Twitter labels for automated bots

| February 18, 2022

Over the years of playing (learning) Linux, setting up APIs and running webservers on a few Raspberry Pi computers, I’ve set up a Twitter “bot” in order to track them and keep them running. Last September 2021 Twitter launched an experiment of labels for these kinds of accounts that was voluntary. I run a “bot” […]

Tech Friday: Is there too much of YOU on the Internet?

| December 3, 2021

As years of your personal information accumulates on servers across the Internet, do you ever wonder just how much of your data has evolved from a generic interpreted sketch, to a colorful painting with specific details … to now a high resolution gigabyte sized photo of you and your life? Well it is past due […]

Tech Friday: Interesting electric heater and Bitcoin mining setup?

| November 19, 2021

How about mining Bitcoin and heating your house (room) with the excess energy/heat? For small room portable heating and cryptocurrency mining this looks interesting (although personally I’d rather install solar panels and sell electric power to the grid), check out the Heatbit website.

Purchased a fair-priced 2-year subscription to NordVPN

| November 17, 2021

When it comes to privacy and security, especially when traveling or connecting in hotels and coffee shops, every cybersecurity expert recommends using a VPN … and especially when connecting overseas or to  unknown WiFi routers. I’ve used several different free VPNs over the years starting with my own private connection back in the 2000s, but […]

Tech Friday: I removed Facebook (now Meta) from iOS devices

| October 29, 2021

It has been a slow process in giving up on Facebook … now Meta. I really never used it much as a social media platform, but stayed in touch with family over the years with it. The past few years I’ve tried to check in monthly and may have posted update every other month or […]

Office project patching update photos and banana bread #TBT

| September 16, 2021

Here are a few leftover project photos from the weekend for Throwback Thursday #TBT to add to the personal archive. Normally we make banana bread in the full-size Bosch oven when our bananas go soft and brown, but  I keep trying to get the convection baking setting correct on our toaster oven – not bad […]

Tech Friday: Apple Magic Mouse scrolling extension ScrollMaps

| August 13, 2021

Years ago (2015) it was a struggle to get Apple’s Magic Mouse to play nice with Google’s Calendar app. Since I was not the only one who had this problem, I shared a browser extension fix for Chrome that at one time I thought might be just temporarily needed (but it is still needed). It […]

Tech Friday: Google Drive help with Delay Start app for Mac OS

| August 6, 2021

For those setting up their Mac to automatically start-up applications  after rebooting the computer, using the “open automatically on log in” settings in very helpful. I have found that the programs I want running most are cloud-based data storage services, but it can also be helpful for apps you may just want running all the […]

Tech Friday: Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know (WIRED)

| July 23, 2021

Occasionally I still get calls from people asking me about shortcut key combinations. Most of the shortcuts are second nature to people who grew up using computers, but then again … what you don’t use, you forget. How about a refresher from Wired? Tip: Learn as many keyboard shortcuts as your brain can store. You […]

Slow, but not necessarily steady, progress on my home office

| July 17, 2021

Slow progress on my home office as I continue to work in disarray; I am missing my accessory junk … including a small hanging TV. I don’t necessarily “watch” business television, instead listen to the stream via SiriusXM to my Aftershokz Aeropex headset. Occasionally though, do still find it helpful to have a video image […]

Tech Friday: Switched to "Google Drive for Desktop" on my iMac

| July 9, 2021

For the last few years, I’ve been using Google’s Backup and Sync software on my iMac to back up mostly archival data to my free Google Drive space that was part of my legacy Miami University EDU teaching account. I haven’t taught in Oxford, Ohio for decades, but did spend a few dollars for Taylor’s […]

Tech Friday: Security and less than consistent VPN connections

| June 18, 2021

Generally, I don’t use a VPN connection at home, but since I’ve been having slow connections on my laptop and iPad with VPN connections (both TunnelBear and ProtonVPN), thought I was test at home. ProtonVPN has been working pretty well and doesn’t restrict as much as the “warm and fuzzy” Tunnel Bear, but I’ve not […]

Tech Friday: Pondering the new Mac Mini vs iMac setup again

| June 4, 2021

The Joanna Sterns review in the WSJ about the new Apple iMac highlighted a few plus and minus points last month … and started me thinking about a desktop computer replacement. It is difficult to imagine spending $2000 again to replace my aging late 2012 iMac 27” model, especially since I run a dual monitor […]

Tech Friday: Check the password scheme you are using

| May 21, 2021

It is easy to get complacent in securing your online and computer lives, so use last weeks Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and the Statista image of “The Most Popular Passwords Around the World” as a reminder. Longer nonsensical combinations of characters help, but two-factor authentication when available is better. Oh, and stop using the same password […]

Struggling with Lenovo laptop, router and Internet connections

| May 1, 2021

Either the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router at our condo is glitchy, Xfinity is not giving my any upload speed or my Lenovo laptop is struggling to stay connected. No time to diagnosis, but I may end up chucking the router and switch to the cheaper mesh router sooner than I wanted. It is frustrating. Half […]

Tech Friday: Rumor says new Apple iPad and perhaps the iMac and Apple TV will be available on May 21st

| April 30, 2021

On April 20th I streamed part of the the Apple event to see what was in the works for 2021. We already knew about the iPad Pro, but I was interested to know about the M1 iMac and Brenda uses the Apple TV for streaming (well I do to, but can comfortably jump to other […]

Tech Friday: A powerful Copy and Paste app for the Macintosh

| April 16, 2021

If you use a computer for any length of time (my “go-to” is an aging 2012 Apple iMac), you’ll find yourself cut, copy and pasting things on a regular basis. Security experts do not recommend using the cut/copy feature for secure items like user names and passwords, but that doesn’t prevent the habit of using […]

Tech Friday: A now rare Internet connectivity issue & speedtest

| April 2, 2021

We have not had many Internet connectivity issues since switching to Cincinnati Bell Fioptic fiber and then added a mesh network instead of traditional router (although the Netgear Nighthawk was pretty good – we move it to the condo). Perhaps a lot has to do with companies building out the infrastructure with fewer buggy devices […]

Business change, server updates, an idiom & a friend’s new toy

| March 27, 2021

This past week was an on and off work week. I’ve been struggling to update software and the latest Linux flavor on an old server while telling myself “I’m getting too old for this.” Right or wrong attitude, I think keeping up with fast-paced technology change is a young person’s game. On the plus side, […]

At what point do or can you start cutting ties with BigTech?

| March 20, 2021

A technology friend of mine, Scott Bilik (who was considered my Twitter “Godfather in 2007), has recently wiped some of the mud from his hypothetical digital footprints and is systematically freeing himself from Big Tech’s shackles. This current Silicon Valley monopoly has increased its political clout and has enticed or entrapped most of us in […]

Backing up, updating Linux and installing WordPress 5.7

| March 10, 2021

After having a server glitch and failed update this morning, it seemed like a good time to backup, updated Linux and test  WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” with a post today. For the most part everything has been running fine since setting up SWAP space, but any issue triggering a crash makes me question what I’m missing? […]

Tech Friday: S̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶u̶ (https://richc.us/strikethru.html)

| March 5, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me about using Strikethru coding for a WordPress blog (or for that matter, almost all webpages) .. and of course it is a simple html code solution and is fairly easy … just add: The html coding started me thinking about a few other potential problems since we […]

MyDesultoryBlog maintenance and WordPress 5.6.2 update

| February 28, 2021

Just marking server and blog updates to end the month of February 2021. I’ve put this WordPress 5.6.2 update off a few weeks in order to be sure I had a full backup, etc. Note to self, check on the Seagate hard drive attached to the iMac as Time Machine backups have been regularly failing […]

Just how safe are your passwords and online security measures?

| February 12, 2021

My friend Jeff is a cyber security guy and is regularly interrogating me about “best practices” online. I suspect he sees so much that it nearly frightens him away from putting anything online (which is nearly impossible these days). When I first started working with computers in the early 1980s (prior to being online), a […]

Tech Friday: Increased memory cheat on a smallish web server

| January 15, 2021

Years ago when RAM was expensive, it was common to set up a SWAP space file for additional memory on computers and servers with plenty of fast hard drive space … especially when speed was not as important as preventing crashes. As applications get a little more demanding and server traffic increases, memory use steadily […]

Tech Friday: New audio player for blog with CSS tweaks

| January 8, 2021

A simple blog upgrade project that I’ve been contemplating for a while now was one of my 2021 New Year’s resolutions … so I’m worked on it this past week’s Music Monday post. I’m not sure how long the new button and player will remain unchanged since I seem to keep testing and tweaking it;  […]

Tech Friday: A “Groovy Gorilla” Linux 20.10 server update

| January 1, 2021

After the previous challenging server update from years on Ubuntu Linux 12, 14 and 16 to a questionable 18 upgrade … I’ve been hesitant to upgrade the server to  “Focal Fossa” 20.04 in the spring and summer … so I didn’t. But now that we are at the end of the year (actually by the […]

Tech Friday: Using Grammarly for Chrome (Brave in my case)

| December 11, 2020

Not that it would ever be noticed in my “rarely proofread” blog, but for the past year I’ve been using a plugin app called Grammarly (it unfortunately doesn’t work with Open Live Writer, the aging software I use for blogging ever since Microsoft abandoned LiveWriter). So far it has been helpful in checking my emails […]

Tech Friday: Raspberry Pi 3 webservers and a USB Power Brick

| December 4, 2020

Although I only have one address accessible IP at the house, I can split it up via “Port Forwarding” on the cheap Cincinnati Bell router, rather than the home “mesh” network. After a little tweaking (ok, A LOT), I do have a work-around solution using a variety of ports to access different devices. For the […]

Tech Friday: Setting up ubuntu server on an older Raspberry Pi 3

| November 27, 2020

It is not uncommon for me to head down a rabbit hole when learning a little more about Hugo the fast static site generator (SSG). The experimenting from a few weeks ago on a 64-bit Linux ubuntu server had me wondering if it might work on a Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately with Raspian, the normal Linux […]

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

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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

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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 […]

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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