Tech Friday: Switched our iPhones to Mint Mobile to save $$$

| February 19, 2021

Well it is official, we are both with Mint Mobile. I’ve been using them for a month now and haven’t had any issues with their service (backboned on T-Mobile I believe) … and since saving money for the same service is a no-brainer, I’ve switched Brenda’s iPhone over this month as well …  and added […]

Archive for posterity: Sold a little more fractional Bitcoin shares

| February 18, 2021

Almost 1 year ago, I started to use the Chromium-based Brave Browser and an Uphold account to receive the BAT (Basic Attention Token). I convert to Bitcoin along with the income generated on MyDesultoryBlog.com … which currently seems to be the digital currency of choice; I really did it just for the fun of it […]

The pitfalls of Zoom meetings: “I am not a cat” #humor

| February 12, 2021

It was the Zoom video that nearly broke the Internet this past week and it made me smile enough to save the mp4 video to my blog. Very funny. 😊  

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: Our small Echo Dot on the Home Theater ceiling

| January 29, 2021

Now that the wiring in the basement is no longer laying on the floor in order to feed the kitchen television cable extender and ceiling repairs are finished up, I’ve been cleaning up and moving things back into the home theater and game room areas. With some fresh paint everything looks pretty good, so I […]

Tech Friday: Look what arrived this week – the Wyze Cam 3

| January 22, 2021

It was back in November when everyone was Black Friday shopping for gifts or ording Cyber Monday items … that is when the inexpensive security camera company Wyze, sent me an email about their new camera and motion detection subscription. At the time I was struggling with way too many notifications after the company lost […]

We love having our photo albums on the Echo Show #TBT

| January 21, 2021

Both Brenda and I enjoy the hundreds (if not thousands?) of photos from our albums and digital archives that I’ve uploaded to the the photo section of the Amazon Prime storage cloud. We likely enjoy it more since it sits on our kitchen countertop (great for Alexa Echo messages to Annalyn and Ellerie too). So […]

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: Twitter lock my account this week, but I don’t know who complained or what content infringed on copyright laws?

| December 18, 2020

A daily routine for over a decade has been using the social network Twitter as an interactive newsfeed – replaced RSS feed reader. It has also been a place to post MyDesultoryBlog.com updates and interact on my RichC account with friends in a variety of groups: car club, aviation interests, sailing, finance, investing, and of […]

Santa Mouse slippers, Christmas stories and Echo messages

| December 12, 2020

What grandparent doesn’t like getting voice messages (and photos) from their children and grandchildren? I sure love my granddaughters and enjoy using technology to stay in touch with them during this COVID 2020 year. Brenda, Katelyn, Drew and I use Facetime to talk each weekend, but I particularly enjoy asking questions and getting answers from […]

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 […]

It feels like winter, but those pesky Stink Bugs are still here?

| December 8, 2020

One of the irritations in using motion sensing security cameras (ani gif from previous post) at our house is that no matter how much I tweak the settings, they still detect motion and even declare “person detected” when it comes to movement. The biggest offender is slightly older Canary cam that I have set up […]

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

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 […]

Busy early voting and ballot drop-off at the Butler County Board of Election office for the Nov 3, 2020 presidential election

| October 31, 2020

Brenda and I were unsure about our travel and work schedule for in-person voting, so over a month ago I requested absentee ballots. Since we were out of town in October when our ballots arrived, I decided not to tempt fate or the USPS in getting them back to the Butler County Board of Elections. […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: A new feature update for my Fitbit Versa

| September 18, 2020

After a recent update from Fitbit, my Versa watch is now tracking my SpO2 level when I sleep. Unsure what to make of it, I asked my doctor-daughter Katelyn what it means: “looks good, no sleep apnea.” (Fitbit devices measure this while sleeping, since they are usually the lowest) After a little reading on SpO2 […]

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 […]

The Fitbit Versa lasted 11 months – The watchband 13 months

| July 29, 2020

I can’t say that I’m surprised, but after my Fitbit Versa failed after 11 months (and was replaced under warranty “without” a new watchband), now after 13 months, the original watchband faiedl. Admittedly I’m not Mr. Gentle when wearing watches, but considering the Fitbit is designed as an athletic watch, I expected more. Besides the […]

Think twice before going into business with today’s tech giants

| July 24, 2020

As a start up, doing business with big company in order to boost sales and visibility can be a great way to grow a business. Unfortunately it can also be cut-throat and the smaller companies can and are taken advantage of. It is not new, but but in the fast-paced and highly competitive technology world, […]

Keep your guard up. for SPAM and SCAM text messages/calls

| July 17, 2020

If you’ve had your cellphone number for any length of time (or were assigned someone else’s number), you do get text spam and scam phone calls. Some unscrupulous callers have refined their trickery to the point it can be difficult to know who and when to take a call seriously. Previous MyDesultoryBlog posts broached the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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