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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: A woodworking idea for those using laptops

| April 10, 2020

Last week my son Taylor and friend Jeff both sent me their “homemade” stand-up or propped up (with books) notebook computers while working from home. I suspect they aren’t the only COVID19 “stay-at-home” workers trying to come up with comfortable ways to do their jobs? I know Jeff once had a stand-up desk at work […]

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 […]

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 […]

Semi-Tech Friday: Solar Telescope view of our the Sun

| January 31, 2020

A wide-angle view of the solar surface from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is the highest-resolution image of the Sun ever taken, showing details as small as 30 km wide. Seen here are granules, the tops of giant convection cells. Credit: NSO/NSF/AURA Whether it is gazing at the millions of stars night sky (the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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?)

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 […]

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 […]

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: Advice on passwords and security breaches

| August 23, 2019

Some excellent and “do-able” ways to maintain reasonable password security in this Lifehacker article: One of the best things about having a solid password is that you don’t have to change it. If it’s strong, unique, and hasn’t been compromised by an attacker, you gain no security benefits by modifying it according to some arbitrary timetable. […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: Photo manipulation is disturbing and creepy #faceapp

| July 19, 2019

Disturbing and “creepy” (as Katelyn messaged) … although I don’t mind looking a bit younger. 😉   Photoshop in the old days was fun to play around with, but nowadays, video and photo manipulation is beginning to frighten me. Taylor sent me this age-changing photo from our weekend at Put-In-Bay using FaceApp. Although there is […]

Tech Friday: The challenges of policing speech on social media

| July 12, 2019

There are challenges from users and governments facing several of the companies who make money advertising to the millions of eyeballs and the marketing of users personal data. We all want “free services,” but most people dislike the collection and selling of their personal data or having to sift through advertising … especially when it […]

Tech Friday: My Fitbit encourages exercise, including swimming

| July 5, 2019

So far the Fitbit Versa “watch” that I received for my birthday has been great … and I’m using it far more than expected. It has already encouraged me to be a little more active as I work hard to hit the 10,000 step goal each day. Thank you Katelyn and Drew! This past weekend […]

Tech Friday: Limiting how much data Amazon Echoes collect

| June 28, 2019

Unfortunately I’ve bought into – or was “gifted” into 🙂 – BUT really enjoy the Amazon Echo smart speaker virtual assistant devices. I know Alexa is “always listening” (as is my cellphone, iPad, computers, etc) and that they are doing “who knows what”with my data, but probably not always what I want. Obviously, they dissect […]

A different kind of Tech Friday: A homebrew Vegetation Killer

| June 21, 2019

These homemade “salt based” recipe for Roundup vegetation control substitutes appears ever spring and summer on social networks, emails and blogs on the Internet. This year I figured I would archive this vinegar, Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) and our favorite degreaser and soap, Dawn dishwashing soap on MyDesultoryBlog as a helpful tidbit.

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 […]

Tech Friday: ZombieLoad Flaw in Intel Chips $INTC

| May 17, 2019

Intel chips are presenting a huge problem for nearly every computer user with chips since 2011. These Intel chips have vulnerabilities that if exploited can be used to steal sensitive information directly from the processor. According to published articles from security experts, "the bugs are reminiscent of Meltdown and Spectre, which exploited a weakness in […]

Tech Friday: The Social Media that has become part of my life

| April 26, 2019

Likely I am not alone in constantly reevaluating the pros and cons of participating in social media. I’ve purposely limited my exposure to only a couple of platforms even though I enjoy staying in touch with friends and acquaintances … and generally don’t have a problem with people respectfully debating news and politics. Facebook as […]

Small things have turned me away from Ebay and Paypal

| April 12, 2019

The “customer experience” (a marketing buzz-term nowadays) can make or break companies. Some do it right, others fall on their face early in their start-up cycle … and others like Ebay ($EBAY) and Paypal ($PYPL) have employees, customer service departments and management issues dragging their company down … yes, this is going to be a […]

Tech Friday: Planning on an iPad Pro upgrade in 2019, but …

| March 22, 2019

There is isn’t anything wrong with my current 2014 Apple iPad, it is just getting older as far as technology goes, and is a little sluggish (or so it seems). It is still the single most used tech device that I have … and the reason I’ll likely replace it with another when the time […]

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 and some etymology history of the word Emoji

| March 15, 2019

I enjoy receiving the occasional email on words from Science Diction (Science Friday folks) and this one from the word emoji was a good one. READ the full history here  … or on the archived WaybackMachine LINK

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: The Wayback Machine and Cincinnati Style Chili

| March 1, 2019

This is an unusual Tech Friday post, but after being frustrated this week in clicking a dead link to an article that disappeared after a website was updated, I decided there must be a better way to ensure information, links and websites remained useful … WITHOUT having to archive them entirely on my computers, servers […]

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: Do you have a Flickr account with 1000 photos?

| February 8, 2019

Yup … I have over 1000 photos. Once again, the lesson to take to heart is to "control your own data" whenever you can or be blackmailed into new subscription rules or lose everything.  Even more challenging if a company goes out of business or deciding you have infringed on their user policy without warning […]

Tech Friday: A virtual assistant showing a little humor

| January 25, 2019

It won’t be long before virtual assistants end up in our car … question is, which one will it be? (from what I’m seeing as of 2019, it would be Amazon’s Alexa). Currently Amazon has definitely taken the lead in our home as the affordable Echo Dots are now throughout our house. I … well […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: What is all the 5G buzz about?

| December 14, 2018

"Hey Rich, should I wait for a 5G phone … and by the way, what is 5G?" One of these days I’m just going to say, "I don’t know," but until then, I bump along pretending I know more than I do … that is until I get in too deep to walk away. This […]

Tech Friday – Finally fixed the slideshow plugin for WordPress

| December 7, 2018

A couple years ago I added Simple Slideshow Manager to MyDesultoryBlog as a way to include a series of photos in a single post. Having "attempted" different approaches that fail in one OS, Browser or device before the above plugin seemed to work … that is, until it didn’t. Having posted to the forums, trying […]

Simple iPhone cursor features unknown for years by many users

| November 24, 2018

This really should have been yesterday’s Tech Friday post, but between the holiday with turkey, family and football watching on Thursday and another market drop and oil plunge of another 7.7% to $50.42 on Friday my focus was elsewhere. As for a tech tip, a viral tweet last week caught hold when it really shouldn’t […]

Tech Friday: My Brydge BT keyboard has a faulty USB socket

| November 16, 2018

The Brydge keyboard attached to my aging iPad Air2, which I love, has been slowly causing me a few irritation when it come to getting a connection while charging. The tightly sealed aluminum clad keyboard was much better than my original Kensington (left) and tested Zagg (right), both which were great. Still the Brydge is […]

Tech Friday: Brydge keyboards for the new iPad Pro 2018

| November 9, 2018

Having used a Brydge keyboard with an iPad from their first introduction, I can say that IF I were to update my current iPad Air2 to the 2018 just introduced iPad Pro that I would seriously consider waiting for the 2019 Brydge keyboard … they are that good. But with all current Apple updates to […]

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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