Tech Friday: Amazon’s AI notifications needs improvement

| July 3, 2020

As often as I gripe about ordering from Amazon or more to the point, complain about their delivery and updating, one would think I would opt for another online ecommerce portal? Unfortunately there aren’t better options or more dependable deliveries. This past week a small order came a day early, yet the app notification that […]

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 […]

A long winded reader answer with a bit of my Internet history

| June 20, 2020

A couple weeks ago I shared an old automotive link from MyDesultoryBlog.com on Twitter and one of my automotive buddies sent me a private message asking about the name of my blog (now nearly 7000 posts). The conversation had me contemplate the early decisions and thoughts .. or lack of thought .. when all of […]

TechFriday: Blog housekeeping and a WordPress 5.4.2 update

| June 19, 2020

Way too often those who maintain their own web servers and computers grit their teeth and cringe when it is time to update and upgrade. A month or so ago I replaced one of my servers (the one this blog is on) and suffered through the anxiety of getting everything working again. I generally follow […]

Currently my favorite podcast: Streetwise by Jack Hough

| June 17, 2020

Podcasts have been around for a while now and I suspect I”m like most people, it is an on again, off again listening affair; finding or making time to them can be challenging. The iPhones and Android phones do make it easy to archive episodes and listen on the go, but unless you are in […]

Amazon delivery issues, but their chat-bot seems efficient

| June 16, 2020

Like a lot of people during COVID19, we have gravitated even more to Amazon and online ordering for our “stuff.” We have not ordered groceries online yet, but are definitely doing more online shopping than ever before. I mentioned having issues with Amazon a few times before (1, 2, 3) during stay-at-home orders and find […]

Tech Friday: Google making its clout felt even on my blog

| June 12, 2020

Regular readers have likely noticed a few “hopefully” discrete ads running on My Desultory Blog. It is a way for me to experiment with ways to help my customers choose or forgo the use advertising services like Google Ads on their sites. For the most part it has been relatively painless (although nothing to retire […]

Is this defunding/dismantling police for real or just politics?

| June 11, 2020

After listening to the loudest protestors from around the U.S. seemingly unite around the “defund and dismantle the police” manta, it is natural for people to ponder the questions regarding how this movement of angry people intend to “keep the peace.” As some point laws aren’t going to be followed, gangs and thugs will intimidate […]

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 […]

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. […]

Are rechargeable wearable tech devices like the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch doomed to prematurely fail?

| June 3, 2020

It is starting to look like early gadget failure going to become the ‘norm’ now that we’re wearing tech gadgets everyday. My Fitbit Versa watch is not even a year old and has failed. For a while it started to blink and flip through it’s screens, then surged with colorful vertical lines (photo)and a vibrate […]

Payment processing: Testing Square’s link tool with a Monocle

| May 31, 2020

Having used Paypal‘s simple sales link solution to sell a product or raise money for an organization in the past (EAA284 and CinciTDI) .. I’m always looking for a better way (cheaper way) to handle transactions. Back in the early days of having a retail presence with my printing company, we were handcuffed to credit […]

Tech Friday: i-Device Wallpapers .. the Bompa edition

| May 29, 2020

Although my computer monitor(s) still have relatively generic “paper airplane” wallpapers, I regularly update both my iPhone and iPad. Long gone are the days of sailboat pictures and Palm Pre wallpapers … and here to stay are the grandchildren wallpapers for the foreseeable future (who knows, I may have to get MacBook Air like Taylor […]

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 […]

The Library, Music Room, Bookshelves project in nearly finished

| April 30, 2020

Rather than close out the month of April 2020 with some depressing topic related to COVID19, I’ll post a photo for book lovers (right) and collectors along with a saved newspaper article clipped with a photo to highlight a future project (steps/ladder for the bookshelves) and the latest in the seemingly SLOW progress of putting […]

The Canary cam, another cardinal and a painted pry bar

| April 24, 2020

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that our brightly color cardinal enjoyed “looking at himself” in our window’s Canary cam – he was probably looking for a mate. Now that he’s found one … he seems to be avoid her; she is likely checking his usual haunts and asking “where is he?” I suspect there […]

We’ve come a long way from “Reach Out and Touch Someone”

| April 14, 2020

Once upon a time, families who only snail-mailed cards and letters would on special occasions, like Easter, dial their corded rotary phones and pay for an expensive long distance call in order to “Reach Out and Touch Someone” as the marketing jingle would advertise (a 1970s commercial below the break). I remembered many phone calls […]

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 […]

The Canary (cardinal) security cam alerts are driving me crazy

| April 6, 2020

Thought I would add a late day animated GIF to the blog … partially because these Canary alerts have become a normal annoyance by sending text message alerts and partially this cardinal is cute. Hopefully he will grow tired of “looking at himself” and find a female cardinal who he can impress! Also while sending […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: When will 5G be coming to Apple’s iPhone?

| March 27, 2020

If Daniel Ives of Wedbush is right, the new 5G capable Apple iPhone release seems "extremely unlikely" for the normal September or October release this year. Most iPhone iOS users have been anticipating or even holding off on an upgrade thinking they might want the new 5G promise data. Personally, I’m relatively satisfied with my […]

Tech Friday: Our forced switch from Virgin to Boost Mobile

| March 13, 2020

Earlier this year in preparation for the Sprint – T-Mobile merger, Sprint ended their business relationship with Virgin Mobile USA; Sprint was the carrier for the Virgin plans which we opted to switch to back in the summer of 2017. Neither Brenda or I have had any problems or complains with our wireless service or […]

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 […]

Tech Friday, sort of: If you like geography, world history and maps – you will like this

| February 28, 2020

Right-click and Save-as for a very interesting larger download version of this map A new Brilliant Maps twitter feed is constantly sharing some very interesting mapping  projects and this one was particularly intriguing. As a commenter posted, “obviously a map like this is going to disputed, but PisseGuri82 has gone to great lengths to explain […]

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 […]

While waiting for our 2nd granddaughter, here’s #1 for #TBT

| February 20, 2020

Brenda and I are praying that all is well, but I suspect BO#2 is just a little too comfortable. Our Taylor came 2 weeks late, so a little bit after his due date does not surprise us. BabyOostra #2’s due date was yesterday and Katelyn “thinks” she is holding out for the weekend, but something […]

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? […]

Replaced my iPad Air with iPad 7th Gen and Brydge Keyboard

| February 9, 2020

It has been a struggle to make a decision on updating my favorite tech gadget, but after the first generation Brydge Keyboard finally would not charge, I had to do something. I thought about going all out and moving to the iPad Pro series, but realized that all the functions that I appreciate are already […]

Winter weather, driving and fun babysitting Annalyn

| February 8, 2020

It was a positive week for me with the highlight spending Wednesday evening with Katelyn and Drew and Thursday babysitting Annalyn in Perrysburg and spending the day with my granddaughter Annalyn. She is growing up so fast, but makes me truly feel loved. My big concern is whether I will have enough “love” leftover for […]

A 1989 family glacier photo and thoughts on climate change #TBT

| February 6, 2020

It has been a shockingly mild winter, at least in Cincinnati this year. Generally I don’t put the snow blower on the John Deere 330 tractor until it is needed, yet this year I prepared early … and may have frightened the snow away? Having a winter without much snow is not totally unheard of, […]

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 […]

Testing Amazon Prime deliveries using Key for Garage #video

| January 15, 2020

A year or so ago, I “was” planning to give the Amazon Key service a try by having shipments delivered to the condo in Florida when we are not there. So I purchase a smart lock and then realized that Amazon didn’t offer Key delivery services in Delray Beach. I sent it back as I […]

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 […]

Are a few big tech companies getting a bit pricey?

| January 11, 2020

Forgive me for being a bit redundant in worrying (again) about the hot tech stocks like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) among others as the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirts with 29,000 in mid-January 2020 (even a broken clock is right twice a day! ― Marie von […]

That’s just great #sarcasm – Our near perfect VirginMobile wireless phone plan is now BoostMobile

| January 8, 2020

Just when you have the perfect wireless plan (and pricing structure) figured out … someone throws a wrench (spanner) in the works. Thanks Richard Branson. #sarcasm Our Virgin Mobile iPhones (we have iPhone7s and iPhone7plus) … are being transferred to Boost Mobile. Ugh, that doesn’t sound promising?

Aging, health, diet, a new decade and a New Year’s resolution

| January 1, 2020

We’re not getting any younger … and in my case, I’m a bit more conscious of age creeping into my decision-making process. Things I did years ago like heavy lifting, working under a car then jumping up and back down after retrieving a required tool … or even the enjoyable laying down on the floor […]

Interesting report on the TDAmeritrade–Schwab combo

| December 22, 2019

If you’ve been investing for a few years now, you know mergers and acquisitions in the banking and financial services business is nothing new. We’ve personally experienced a few brokerage firms in our day and still remorse losing the early trading platform of  Datek, and to a lessor amount Waterhouse, to TDAmeritrade. Now that Schwab […]

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” … but not like this! #video

| December 21, 2019

I love these motion-sensing Wyze Cams …   Now what if someone happened to be coming to the front door? Yikes … although more than likely it would just be funny.

New Windshield … but the Facebook advertising is too timely

| December 15, 2019

I’ve often questioned just how much data is being collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc … but considering I’m a relatively light user of FB … getting push timely advertising is a bit creepy. I called my insurance company last week for a windshield repair/replacement for our 2010 BMW X5 35d and handled the entire […]

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 […]

Tesla unveiled the highly anticipated Cybertruck #video

| November 23, 2019

Tesla’s version of a “pickup truck” is being offered as a “green” alternative to America’s appetite for a consumer truck. Ford continues to dominate with it’s F-150 with Chevy and Dodge nipping at their heels. For some reason, we Americans want a pickup truck even though few use their dressed up beasts to haul anything. […]

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 […]

TechFriday: When shopping online isn’t quite right #humor

| November 15, 2019

  While looking to purchase a can of the highly regarded CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor, the shipping can sometimes become an eye opener. Perhaps Amazon Prime shipping is a good thing? (let’s hope this is an Ace Hardware – Google Shopping glitch?)

Are you a Luddite or are you prepared for automation and AI?

| November 8, 2019

We often use the term “Luddite” whenever we refer to people resisting new technology or mechanization. Recently a Wall Street Journal article detailed a timeline of changes as much of the world is faced with yet another wave of robotic automation and artificial intelligence (AI) changing career and taking over many of the jobs we […]

Do improvements in technology change views on abortion?

| October 29, 2019

It has been 26 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade. In 1973, our nine justices decided that pregnant women should have the right to legally choose an abortion (would it be different today?). Our national debate has continued non-stop for decades, but the call is getting louder to re-address the issue […]

Learning about automotive manufacturing and Digital Buck

| October 22, 2019

One thing about waiting for a start-up car company to build a car is that I’m learning a lot more about the automotive manufacturing process. Nowadays, many of the parts are manufactured by suppliers to the automotive industry and then assembled. The same will be true for the unique Elio Motors three wheel tandem seating […]

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: Apple iOS 13.1.2 was a challenging update

| October 11, 2019

My conclusion is that some of my most recent Apple iPhone and iPad iOS update problems stem from having older mobile devices and having loads older apps? That said, the upgrade to the mobile operating system known as iOS 13.1.2 (current) did not go smoothly for me. My iPhone 7plus is a few years old […]

Evaluating the Fitbit Versa – three month in and a little #TBT

| October 10, 2019

Previously I mentioned that Katelyn and Drew brought me kicking and screaming (not really) into the Fitbit “wrist device” wearing age and world. I had given up wearing a watch decades ago when I started carrying a pager. Eventually I adopted the Nextel belt holstered cellphone, then pocket folding Samsung i500 PDA phone. The new […]

Tech Friday: Loving the new Amazon Echo Auto in my car

| October 4, 2019

Last week, Amazon authorized my invitation and gave me a promo code for the Echo Auto Alexa device for the car (it was a long wait, but they did discount to $24.99 for invitation holders). For the passed several months I’ve been using an Echo Input (no speaker) in my BMW X5 35d in an […]

Tech Friday: Girl brain vs boy brain and video games

| September 27, 2019

An interesting article this past week’s Wall Street Journal detailed the "distraction" and "attraction" boys seem to have with video games in comparison to girls. Vice versa, girls are far more attracted to social networking (big surprise) on their devices, but are better at juggling their time.  I suspect this is just a new twist […]

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: Insect repellents and my AfterShokz headset

| September 13, 2019

Just a heads-up for others using AfterShokz bone conduction headphones while doing outdoorsy kinds of things where bug spray is used – DON’T. I love my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones, most likely because it enables me to hear things around me while still enabling me to clearly hear talk and music. For me, being deaf in […]

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: Screen Time and Classical Conditioning

| August 30, 2019

When my granddaughter was here for a week earlier this month, I purposely turn off the phone after noticing that she hears the smallest beep or phone vibration in my pocket then stops what we are doing expecting me to check it. Yikes, are we are teaching 2 year old toddlers that our devices are […]

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.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!