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: 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: A housekeeping update and WordPress 5.7.2

| May 14, 2021

MyDesultoryBlog.com was overdue for a backup and since I stepped away early from my desk on Thursday, I figured the end of the day was a good time to sync online and offline storage (the backups make for a sluggish computer and data connection). Besides backing up data, it also seemed like a good time […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: Apple expected to launch new iPad Pro in April 2021

| March 19, 2021

Although I’m not in the market for a new iPad just yet, I am (or was) a multiple hours a day user back when traveling a bit more and interested in what a Thunderbolt and M1 chipped iPad Pro might offer. At least that’s the rumor for the April 2021 launch … but who knows […]

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: 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: 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: 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 […]

Apple iOS 13.7: Opt-in to COVID19 exposure notifications?

| September 13, 2020

I downloaded and installed the new Apple iOS 13.7 update, but hesitated since I regularly prefer blocking location services information. Both Apple and Google announced the “tracking” in April 2020, but as expected, it was met with reservation. Most users are naïve to the amount of personal data requested by apps and operation systems on […]

Updating WordPress to 5.5 "Eckstine" and an idiom phrase

| August 14, 2020

Friday afternoon was a day of server housekeeping, along with the week’s usual billing and accounting. It was also time to update this blog’s WordPress plugins and to the current version called “Eckstine” 5.5. In WordPress 5.5, your site gets new power in three major areas: speed, search, and security. Thankfully after the move to […]

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 […]

Happy Birthday to my "aging" son Taylor

| June 10, 2020

Wishing my son a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today. I know he is getting older, but I don’t think he is THIS old yet. Yikes! A couple weeks ago Taylor sent a FaceApp photo with his college friends (a post from when they were backpacking together in Kauai). It is frightening how technology can add a […]

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

| April 13, 2020

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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? […]

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

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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 […]

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 […]

Politics and Google – Dr Robert Epstein and Mark Levin #video

| September 12, 2019

No matter your political ideology, everyone who values integrity in our elections and in political campaigns, should be concerned with how information is disseminated and prioritized. Nowadays we depend no a very few sources that we hope are unbiasedly sifting through and helping us search information and news. For the past decade or so we […]

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: 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 […]

Tech Friday: There is a problem with live GPS rerouting

| June 7, 2019

A pitfall in real-time GPS mapping services is that, although they “can” highlight road construction and closures, they are not always accurate or give appropriate advice for detours or “route arounds.” This was apparent on a 16 hour drive back from Florida (see comment) and more recently for a road closing leading to our development […]

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 […]

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: 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: 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 […]

Tech Friday: Had some new iPhone envy so downloaded Focos

| February 15, 2019

Same photo with min aperture option and maximum. Note Bokek effect. On a recent trip, I happened to break my favorite pair of polarized sunglasses, so am using them as one last prop before tossing them in the trash … they have been epoxied and “jerry-rigged” (correct use of the term) together one too many times. […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: The best TECH life-changers in the last couple years

| January 11, 2019

The Amazon Echo in Kitchen/Great Room and the new Echo Dot 3rd Gen in my workshop Not a day goes by without Amazon’s Echo devices doing something for us in our home … and it is only a matter of time before “she” (Alexa) will be assisting me in the car too. It is almost […]

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 […]

Granddaughter pleasure and driving with Waze GPS Navigation

| November 21, 2018

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Heavy ice in the morning and snow tonight …

| November 15, 2018

Winter is here as the ice came in the morning bringing down branches and knocking out power all around Cincinnati … and just when I thought it was over, the Dark Sky app indicates the heavy snow is beginning in Liberty Township. Ugh! (I’m also playing a little bit with the slow-motion settings on the […]

Veterans Day – 100 year anniversary of the Armistice ending WWI

| November 11, 2018

The "Bells of Peace" will ring out nationwide from smartphones on the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" to mark the centennial of the end of World War I in November 1918 – click for app On the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month … one hundred […]

Preparing HTTPS server and site security for the eventually day

| July 25, 2018

While doing a bit of server housekeeping on the CPP servers and preparing for the eventual push to make all websites secure for users, I ran across a helpful Qualys SSL Labs site to check on certificates, etc. If you are working to get websites updated and compliant for the day ALL site will need […]

Tech Friday: Time for an Apple iOS 11.4.1 security update

| July 13, 2018

Apple has been updating their iOS iPhone and iPad mobile operating system regularly and they seem to take far longer than in the old days (a couple years ago – HAHA). This latest update will not be appreciated by law enforcement who often want to gain access to data on a suspects phone. This recent […]

Tech Friday: Adding security and privacy with a VPN

| June 15, 2018

My good friend Jeff works in IT and has been programming and running networks for 30 years; after attending a cyber security conference a few weeks ago to help hardening his company’s network and systems, he asked me what VPN service I was using? “Online privacy experts such as privacytools.io recommend staying away from VPN providers based […]

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. […]

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 […]

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: 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: 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. […]

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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