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: A Versa 2 smartwatch and setting up Fitbit Pay

| September 23, 2022

It has taken me a while, but after updating my Fitbit Versa smartwatch a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t be happier with the “at the time” difficult decision. Once before, my original was replaced under warranty (free) but with the same Versa (1) smartwatch which really did serve me well. Lesson: Watches and gadgets do not […]

Apple Event introduces products including iPhone14 Pro

| September 7, 2022

Considering our current iPhones are seven generations behind (iPhone 7), today’s Apple Event was watched with interest, as usual. The new iPhone14 Pro is particularly interesting and carries a higher price point … although well worth the money considering what I once spent on new computers. Still, the pre-order date of 9/9/2022 will not likely […]

Penny-pinching my Amazon Prime membership in 2022

| September 1, 2022

Some days I over-think things … today was one of those days. Like a lot of people, we have had an Amazon Prime membership for a long time. It has its pluses and minus, but continues to provide value and has become a habit and part of our daily lives. We use Alexa and I […]

Tech Friday: Campaign to fix the Apple iMessaging problem

| August 19, 2022

Google and their Android mobile OS platform has a social media campaign running to hopefully get Apple to fix their widely used text messaging app called iMessage. For years now, sending messages between Apple iPhones and other iDevices has frustrated many a users trying to communicate with friends and family. Google would like Apple to […]

Fitbit: What does COVID do to your resting heart rate?

| August 16, 2022

Since I wear a Fitbit and monitor a few things like heartrate, exercise and daily step count, I was concerned when my resting heartrate (graph left) seemed to be rising? After talking with my daughter about it, she mentioned that it sure seemed to correspond to my COVID diagnosis. Hm??? Hopefully it will return to […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: Just a low-cost data serving test post #video

| July 1, 2022

For Tech Friday today, here’s an impressive slow-motion video used more for an internal streaming test than for the actual content. In my quest for low-cost minimalist data storage and serving, this is just a tiny computer test. (EDIT: It failed, but will include the video from my normal server anyway.)

What was I thinking about the iPhone 15 years ago? 😳

| June 29, 2022

After nearly 40 years of buying and using Apple products, it is kind of embarrassing that I doubted Steve Jobs and the iPhone publicly on my blog on June 29, 2007. Happy Anniversary iPhone! Check out this post from 15 years ago.

Music Monday: Radio Margaritaville and Jimmy Buffett singing “Slack Tide” from “Life on the Flip Side” while mowing

| June 27, 2022

It is officially summer … and what’s better in warm weather and sunshine than songs from Jimmy Buffett on Music Monday? So here’s “Slack Tide” off Life on the Flip Side album (as heard on Radio Margaritaville). I just happened to be listening to it streaming on the SiriusXM app on my new noise-cancelling Wyze […]

Tech Friday: Ultrasound detection and the 4th gen Echo hub

| June 24, 2022

After a week of working with the new “trade-up” from an older Echo (triggered by a $30 trade-in offer) to the 4th generation Amazon Echo “with premium sound, smart home hub (Zigbee) and Alexa” … the results have been mixed. My advice, don’t rush. First, I was looking forward to the idea to not need […]

Wishing all the purpose-filled dads a Happy Father’s Day

| June 19, 2022

I enjoyed a very nice Father’s Day on “Saturday” yesterday with Taylor, Megan and their long time friend Meredith, who was “dog-sitting” her sister’s dog “Chase” (below). They enjoyed the nice weather around and in the pool while I busied myself with a few projects … one of which was adding the additional pipes to […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: Replaced my old MPOW Bluetooth headphones with discounted Wyze Noise-Cancelling headphones

| June 17, 2022

When it comes to a headset/headphones, I wear them all the time and am pretty much an Aftershokz guy. I find that I rarely take them off during the day, ever since getting my first “bone conduction” Bluetooth headset. I love nearly everything about the current Aeropex model even as the company updates with newer […]

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 […]

Weekend Family updates: Dress-up and Taylor’s new iPhone13

| June 7, 2022

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Tech Friday: Souring on backing startups with great ideas

| June 3, 2022

Over the years, I have backed a few smaller companies needing capital and pre-sales to expand their businesses. Before the days of online crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, I participated as an investor in two smaller Ohio local companies … one that landed a contract to fulfill candy for Disney World which need […]

Blog database backups and WordPress 6.0 <= done!

| May 25, 2022

Generally I don’t rush to updated software or computer operating systems, but noting that WordPress 6.0 has “400 bug fixes” had me deciding to backup the current MDB install and updating. So far, all good. WordPress 6.0 includes more than 500 enhancements and 400 bug fixes. This page highlights several key advancements aimed at making […]

Archive: SpaceX rocket launches and successes continue #video

| May 22, 2022

It is difficult to ignore the success of the private space industry and admire companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX as it launches and re-launches rocket after rocket. From satellite launching to shuttling astronauts to and from the International Space Station, SpaceX definitely has the potential to land astronauts back on the moon and to be […]

Tech Friday: What is all this Web3 decentralized internet about?

| May 20, 2022

While discussing the ever-changing way in which we use the “web” with a friend, he shared an “explainer“ video from Harvard Business Review earlier this month on Web3 (Web 3.0). It is also on YouTube and offers a glimpse into what they refer to as “read/write/own” information.

My road warrior days and remembering 1960s bowling alleys

| May 19, 2022

Posting a couple of memory photos as a Throwback Thursday #TBT filler post after a conversation with friends last week. One had to do with text messaging, “distracted driving” and remembering my road warrior days of driving back and forth from Cincinnati and NE Ohio while trying to remain connected and productive. Thankfully all ended […]

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 gadget guy mixed with someone who likes knot tying

| May 6, 2022

This is what you get when you continue to use leftover chargers from old phones (my Palm Pre) and continue to rely on sailing knot tying skills. Really just a filler post for a Tech Friday after noticing just how unique the old Palm USB plug was in design and how I ended up fidgeting […]

Another colonoscopy and laughing at my old heartbeat theory

| May 3, 2022

My dad was known for saying he was planning to live to 160 years old and I’m following in his ridiculous longevity theories and his questionable medical advice (he died at 86 in 2015). Years ago I jokingly theorized that when Jesus told us that “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are numbered” (Luke […]

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 […]

Replaced LED security light with Wyze Cam Floodlight

| April 27, 2022

Earlier this year after an HOA meeting, I added myself to the waitlist for a new Wyze Cam product called the Wyze Cam Floodlight. The neighborhood has been looking for a better way to monitor the pool without the high cost of a commercial security camera. I mentioned this economical motion floodlight with cam and […]

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: A new Shokz headset called OPENRUN is available

| March 25, 2022

Those who know me likely have noticed that I’m often wearing an Aftershokz headset. I’ve worn them for the last several years and since my hearing has been impacted by Ménière’s disease way back in the late 1990s (long story) … in dealing with Menieres related hearing loss, I have found a bone conduction headset […]

Tech Friday: Apple Event and our WyzeCam3 picks up a fox

| March 11, 2022

Here are a couple of technology highlights to mention on a Tech Friday from earlier this week. First, the new driveway Wyze Cam3 set-up (moved it) picked up an evening fox whizzing by and the second, an event on Tuesday from Apple announcing new products. Personally, I’m not sure what kind of surprise was expected […]

Books: “The Digital Silk Road” by Jonathan E. Hillman

| March 10, 2022

It looks as if the next book on my reading list will be Jonathan E. Hillman’s “The Digital Silk Road: China’s Quest to Wire the World and Win the Future.” It was release last October (2021) and after reading a review (and WSJ recommendation), I decided to download the digital e-book. I’m not an expert […]

Tech Friday: Waiting to hear about the low-cost iPhone SE

| March 4, 2022

On Tuesday, I received my Apple Event invitation for March 8, 2022 where tech watchers expect to hear Apple announce a new low-cost 5G iPhone SE. The current SE is $399 and retains the Touch ID which as me wondering if the new iPhone SE will remain similar? They are also expected to announce a […]

Tech Friday: Focos and updating and deleting iPhone apps

| February 25, 2022

A few years back while learning a little more about iPhone photography, I downloaded and tinkered with the Focos app. At the time, I liked it,but for some reason forgot about using it or that I even had it on my phone. In updating to Apple’s iOS 15.3.1 (security issues I assume), I figured it […]

Defective, but quickly replaced Wyze Socket Cam3

| February 22, 2022

For years now we have been satisfied with the bulky (and older) Canary Cams for added security at home. The first Canary continues to work flawlessly “inside” our house and thankfully just perches quietly in our great room and is suppose to trigger when motion is detected “when we are not home.” The plan was […]

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” […]

The battery isn’t the only thing failing on my Fitbit Versa watch?

| February 8, 2022

Trusting the weather on my Fitbit Versa watch isn’t much better than referring to the Farmer’s Almanac for daily weather forecasts. I’m starting to wonder who is feeding the information for our area. All I can see is sun … where’s the RAIN? Yes .. I really do know that it’s probably an iPhone to […]

Tech Friday: Fitbit Versa smartwatch battery issue

| February 4, 2022

Let me start off with the positives. I really like my original Fitbit Versa watch. I wear it everyday and it offers me nearly everything I want in a fitness tracking smart watch. That said, I have always been hard on watches … to the point I stopped wearing watches for years – for decades […]

Archive: Enjoyable condo cleaning and NFL playoff football

| January 26, 2022

Brenda and I stretched out a cooler than expected weekend in Florida to get the condo ready for our Canadian renters. It worked out nicely since we had enough sun to start in order to go to the beach and plenty of time over the weekend to clean things up AND watch some excellent NFL […]

Tech Friday: On the waitlist for some new tech from Wyze

| January 14, 2022

This past Christmas, my daughter Katelyn gave Drew a new Wyze Watch and, as always with all Wyze products, I was  impressed with their reasonably low price for excellent products (although I’m still super happy with my Fitbit Versa – thank you K and D). The Wyze gift reminder had me revisit one of their […]

Tech Friday: Keen 1963 portable phone insight Mansfield, OH

| January 7, 2022

Here’s a look back to a Mansfield News Journal article and something a little different for a New Year’s Nostradamus-y Tech Friday post … also in using the word “keen” it reflects the Christmas present/hiking shoes I bought (well Katelyn actually ordered) for Brenda … along with a bed-desk for her “preferred” office. 😉

Messages on the Echo and crazy-faced granddaughter photos

| December 19, 2021

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Tech Friday: Surprised at the recent increase in blog traffic

| December 10, 2021

The surprise increase in blog traffic corresponded to my taking a few more security measures such as locking down more of the personal content to only logged in readers … but I’m not sure that had anything to do with increasing earnings? Still, I noticed upward change (more than doubling) of Google Adsense earnings and […]

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: Sengled could have updated users immediately

| November 26, 2021

Trying to keep a mish-mash of smart devices running in our home is proving to be challenging. Not only do some devices deplete batteries at inconvenient times, but other fail due to technical glitches that I can only assume are due to software or server failures or updates gone wrong? Thankfully only a few smart […]

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 […]

The LONG wait for a MAGFAST charging kit is near, well 2022

| November 14, 2021

Prior to 2017, I backed a ThingCharger Kickstarter project that was an excellent product. It was overpriced for what it did, but I ended up buying a couple extras for gifts (Brenda’s phone charging in photo at Katelyn and Drew’s house). In 2017, after the business failure, founder Seymour Segnit started a new company telling […]

Replaced MyQ module CR2450 battery on the garage door

| November 13, 2021

For Christmas in 1999, Katelyn and Drew gave me the MyQ hardware to “smarten up” one of the garage doors … well at least the opener. It permits a smartphone to control, adding authorize users and ability monitor garage door access. A couple of weeks I received a warning that the battery was “low” and […]

Keeping delivery trucks and van on our new driveway #TBT

| November 11, 2021

Our driveway project is semi-wrapped up, but the landscaping company has yet to deliver our topsoil and river rock. The Creech’s rep did update me with a tentative date later this month, so we shall see if the weather holds them back again? I finally moved the construction cones a couple weeks ago and we […]

Advice: My current thoughts on hardware crypto wallets

| November 5, 2021

Although I’m not an all-in cryptocurrency buyer, trader or investor (pick your poison), I do own and am accumulating small amounts of different crypto. After a fair amount of  reading this past year, my conclusion is to use a reputable cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase Pro, Coinbase (disclosure: I own $COIN stock), Uphold or Interactive Brokers […]

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 […]

A response test, but also an online advertising warning

| October 28, 2021

I noticed that Thursday’s post disappeared from the blog so in a quick attempt to repost the graphic, here we go again. One of the “very small” perks of using the Brave browser on the web is that it offers the option to accept fairly non-invasive advertising and links on the default home page and […]

Halloween gremlins creep in to finish off our Florida vacation

| October 26, 2021

Let’s start with "we had a great time in Florida" this past week" (more to come) … but the cleanup weekend ended with a couple gremlins. I blame it on the "uncarved" pumpkins left by the granddaughters. HA! Actually there were no unexpected problem while they were in Delray Beach with us, but after they […]

Are you interested in Cryptocurrency? Where will you keep it?

| October 23, 2021

It is probably inevitable that we will all be using cryptocurrency someday. The early adopters are already immersed and getting comfortable investing and trading it … perhaps too comfortable??? Risks of Leaving Cryptocurrency in Exchange A brief look at the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies reveals why it is dangerous to leave your crypto funds […]

Logging in and adjusting to new My Desultory Blog security

| October 5, 2021

I received an email from a regular blog reader questioning the new Sign-In feature that I implemented last month; it hinders anonymous viewing on My Desultory Blog for some posts. Yes it is a restrictive change, but it is not all that cumbersome once you are “Sign-In.” The WordPress security is minimal and the only […]

Pondering the worth of our Amazon Prime annual membership

| September 30, 2021

Currently, Amazon Prime costs $119/year if you opt for an annual subscription and after the charges shows up each year on our credit card, I ask the same question: “Is Amazon Prime worth it?” (where are those 2015 prices) Eventually the irritation passes, the bill gets paid and we’re off to ordering and streaming for […]

Tech Friday filler: Mobile Internet traffic worldwide

| September 24, 2021

Saved an interesting graphic posted on social media this past week. It is interesting to look at and contemplate how we use our smartphones and tablets … it also works as a Tech Friday filler.

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 […]

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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