Tech Friday: A powerful Copy and Paste app for the Macintosh

| April 16, 2021

If you use a computer for any length of time (my “go-to” is an aging 2012 Apple iMac), you’ll find yourself cut, copy and pasting things on a regular basis. Security experts do not recommend using the cut/copy feature for secure items like user names and passwords, but that doesn’t prevent the habit of using […]

Tech Friday: Innovative hearing technology on my wish list

| April 9, 2021

Sometimes when my mind wanders, I shift from pie-in-the-sky dreaming (flying cars, mind control devices, AI/robotics (mp4), time machines (mp4), “beam me up” transporters, etc) to something that’s a bit more realistic to the world of everyday technology. Let’s get the above “pie-in-the-sky” idiom out of the way first. “Pie In The Sky” Origin This […]

Tech Friday: A now rare Internet connectivity issue & speedtest

| April 2, 2021

We have not had many Internet connectivity issues since switching to Cincinnati Bell Fioptic fiber and then added a mesh network instead of traditional router (although the Netgear Nighthawk was pretty good – we move it to the condo). Perhaps a lot has to do with companies building out the infrastructure with fewer buggy devices […]

Tech Friday: What is the best smartphone for 2021?

| March 26, 2021

The current opinion by many who review technology (and Consumer Reports) is that the best smartphone for 2021 is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max … although might be a bit larger than many are comfortable putting in their pockets. Personally I’ve shifted from wanting something small, like my old Samsung SPH-i500 aluminum bodied flipphone […]

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

| March 19, 2021

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

Tech Friday: Life after switching to Mint Mobile has been good

| March 12, 2021

Back in January I switched my “off contract” iPhone7 Plus over to Mint Mobile and a month later switched over Brenda’s iPhone7. The transition was smooth and pretty much glitchless. Service from our previous Virgin Mobile then Boost Mobile plan is basically the same, although initially restricted me to 3GB of data per month (now […]

Tech Friday: S̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶u̶ (https://richc.us/strikethru.html)

| March 5, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me about using Strikethru coding for a WordPress blog (or for that matter, almost all webpages) .. and of course it is a simple html code solution and is fairly easy … just add: The html coding started me thinking about a few other potential problems since we […]

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 […]

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: New 1500mAh batteries for my Lumix GX8

| February 5, 2021

When I pulled out my Lumix GX8 DSLR camera over Christmas, I noticed that the “cheap” batteries that I had purchased as backups to the primary Panasonic branded 1200mAh battery were no longer holding charges. They were still chargeable, but their life was short. So I added a new spare battery to my shopping list […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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