Tech Friday: Chrome desktop browser welcomed change

| April 20, 2018

Google today launched Chrome 66 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The desktop release includes autoplaying content muted by default, security improvements, and new developer features. You can update to the latest version now using the browser’s built-in updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome.With over 1 billion users, Chrome is both a browser […]

Tech Friday: How important is an upgradable computer anymore?

| April 6, 2018

Since my desktop computer has always been an Apple Macintosh (too many to count since the Mac SE), it is interesting how the trend has changed. In those early days, having something upgradeable was a big deal, but nowadays who really does their own upgrades? A bit less than three in a hundred users even […]

Avoid fly by night services, plugins and linking when blogging

| March 23, 2018

Here’s some advice from someone who as blogged daily since 2005 — AVOID using data, photos, video, etc archived on other services. Over the years, I have been frustrated by “what seemed great at the time” using services offered by companies who specialize in hosting data for users. A little history: It started for me […]

Internet Speeds continue to rise – 100 then 300 now 500 Mbps

| March 14, 2018

After switching from TWC/Spectrum one year ago, Cincinnati Bell’s Fioptics (Fiber) delivered television video and Internet to our house as been excellent. Their Internet speed continues to rise (currently checking with DSLReports/speedtest). Last year I was happy to have my speed increase to 100Mbps down when switching to CincinnatiBell, but then after losing promotional perks […]

The Apple Mac and Parallels virtual Windows 10 nightmare

| February 28, 2018

What a pain. I had a major crash on my iMac and wiped out my Parallels install (corrupted the virtual hard drive).  One would think this would be an easy fix, but it wasn’t. I spent about 6 hours attempting fix after fix to restore a back up version of the virtual disk (Apple’s Time […]

TechFriday: Servers, webhosting, pricing and performance

| January 19, 2018

Besides my personally server and fading Raspberry Pi server projects (just too small), I been using several different companies to host Internet connected servers for Consolidated Printing and Publishing’s customers – traditional servers and virtual Droplets. Having used a variety of dedicated servers and virtual shared machines over the years since first getting into archiving […]

Tech Friday: Handbrake video compression testing

| January 12, 2018

Testing and tweaking the Handbrake software I use for video encoding and am hoping to improve the .MP4 compression settings for MyDesultoryBlog and others. The test video is an 18 sec knife sharpening iPhone clip and the new setting should average about 25-30 MB per minute at full 30 frame/sec at a reasonable 1280 x720 […]

Tech Friday: Played with AMP plug-ins for blog but gave up

| January 5, 2018

In order to improve efficiency on WordPress sites (my customer installs) I often experiment with updates on my personal MyDesultoryBlog first since very little on this site really matters for paying customers. So over the Christmas and New Years holidays I fiddled with a few highly recommended updates to the LAMP server and WordPress installs. […]

Testing with CloudFlare to secure and speed up blog

| December 31, 2017

After installing Cloudflare in hope of adding another layer of security to WordPress blogs, I noticed a couple issues with sluggishness compared to my own DNS. I wish it were quicker, but something isn’t right since instead all aspects seems slower after switching. Even after bypassing the caching feature things continued to run slow. Once […]

Tech Friday: Wildcard Certificates coming to Let’s Encrypt

| December 29, 2017

In the world of community supported software and Internet applications, there are few better than those associated with the Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects … like Let’s Encrypt. The latter provides HTTPS certificates that are perfect for lightweight Linux OS webservers and it operates on a "donate" for certs services basis. This month Let’s Encrypt plans […]

Tech Friday: Testing Apple Live Photo to downsized looping GIF

| December 15, 2017

We’ve had a colder than usual early December here in Cincinnati … and has much of the country. The freezing temperatures will likely show up in higher heating bills but I’m hoping the new LED Christmas lighting will offset that cost? We’ll see. I’ve been wanting to test the Live Photo editing feature on the […]

Apple fixes MacOS High Sierra and a faster Firefox browser

| December 2, 2017

After updating my iMac to the latest High Sierra MacOS, a root log in security flaw was discovered and had users scrambling for a temporary fix. I followed the advice on 9to5Mac, but Apple quickly sent out a security update. Safe again? Another install has been a major update for Mozilla and their popular Firefox […]

WikiBuy and a frustrating Cyber Monday of shopping

| November 28, 2017

As someone who is relatively comfortable with ecommerce and shopping for the best deals online, I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated as I was on Monday. Brenda and I had semi-planned to do a little more shopping "online" this year and since Cyber Monday is generally a "good deal" day to shop for […]

Tech Friday: Twitter shortcuts when using a computer

| November 24, 2017

Although most of use probably use Twitter on our phones or tablets, there are times users check out the latest Tweets on "the bigger screen." If you use Twitter as your news (or "fakenews" feed), try a few of these power-user shortcuts.

Tech Friday: Am I out of my mind upgrading to High Sierra?

| November 17, 2017

I have a perfectly functioning iMac and against my better judgement spent this morning upgrading the OS to macOS High Sierra (release about 1-1/2 months ago). Hopefully that was enough time for quick fixes because I’ve upgraded Macs too many times over the years and have often regretted the decision. Usually software and hardware requires upgrading […]

Tech Friday: Be sure old CCleaner versions are removed

| October 27, 2017

Just seeing Windows Defender "alerting" me to a backdoor threat on my Lenovo Yoga notebook computer is enough to make me move to a more expensive Apple MacBook Pro the next upgrade cycle. I knew about the Crap Cleaner (aka: CCleaner) vulnerability but had hoped a removal and upgrade by the software maker/distributor would have […]

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. […]

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 […]

The Apollo 14 mission and a long distance technical support call

| September 3, 2017

What a great story told by YouTuber Scott Manley about the early days of NASA, their Apollo 14 computing problem and a "tech support call" to a programmer (video below). The story is longish and likely only of interest for those on the geeky side who work with computer or are programmers — it would […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

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. […]

TechFriday: Open Live Writer to WordPress plug-in problem

| January 13, 2017

Twice now I’ve found myself unable to post to my WordPress blog. Once a few years ago using the windows based Microsoft Live Writer (now defunct) and recently using the open-sourced Open Live Writer. The “Invalid Server Response – The response to the blogger.getUsersBlogs method received from the blog server was invalid:” error pops up. […]

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: 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.  … although I really struggled coming from […]

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.