Life is change

SOME ASPECTS of life I like to change. In other aspects, I am rooted deep into the soil, loathing change. But, like a woman, I do enjoy rearranging the furniture at times.

Not actual furniture. In that I am deep into the soil. Leave the dang furniture where it is, so I won’t trip at night.

But the internet furniture is very susceptible to change at the Hacienda. Here are some changes I’ve made over the last couple of months, just for the sake of conversation.

I’m not much of a conversationalist in person, but I like to chat with my internet amigos, most of whom remain mute.

* * * *

First furniture:  I changed browsers. After years of using Google Chrome, I switched to Opera, a Norwegian company. Years back, I tried Opera for a few months, but was not entirely satisfied, so I embraced Google Chrome.

A couple of months ago, I decided to give Opera another look, and I’ve been using it since. I like it. In Belarus, it’s the No. 1 browser. In the rest of the world … not so much.

Anytime you can dump anything Google, you should. I also shun Google Search, and I rarely say I’m Googling something. I prefer to say online search. My search program is the oddly named DuckDuckGo. Its claim to fame is that, unlike Google, it does not track you. But I don’t give a flip if I get tracked.

Tracking is to fine-tune ads directed at you, but since I use an ad-blocker, I almost never see ads anyway.

* * * *

Second furniture:  I changed my email provider. The last time I did this was two years ago. I described the process in The Email Safari. I switched to Fastmail, a paid and good service that’s run by a bunch of Australians. Only $20 a year.

But the $20 plan offers just 1 GB of storage. I wanted more, so I was faced with two options. Buy a slightly pricier plan, or go elsewhere. I choose Option #2.

One of the services I tested two years ago was Zoho, a company that’s officially Californian but is mostly Indian. The gripes I had about Zoho two years ago have been resolved.

Zoho does all kind of stuff, 90 percent of which does not apply to me, but its email service is free up to 5 GB, five times what I’m getting from Fastmail for $20 a year.

I’ve used it for about month now. When I complete a year with no headaches I’ll let Fastmail go.

I still have my Gmail address, and I always will. Like my U.S. citizenship,  it’s something you don’t surrender. Both Fastmail and Zoho allow me to send virtually all email with my Gmail return address even I’m using Zoho or Fastmail.

* * * *

Third furniture:  I’m a big fan of password managers. Sure, the browser (at least Chrome and Opera do it) will save your passwords, but I just don’t trust the browsers  for that. It’s not their primary focus.

Over the years I’ve tried most of the major password managers, and I’ve found all of them buggy. The best so far is Dashlane, which is what I was using until I switched to the Opera browser and found Bitwarden by chance.

It was on Opera’s extension list.

I’d never heard of Bitwarden. It’s a relatively new company, and doesn’t try to do too much. It does not save your passport number, your driver’s license number, your bank acount numbers or the address of your crazy Aunt Mildred.

Bitwarden saves passwords, period, and it’s quick in coughing them up when you need them. It also generates safe passwords. I’m bewitched by Bitwarden.

Sometimes you have to shuffle the furniture around. The internet is fun, ¿no? I think so.

* * * *

(My internet life does not apply to a smartphone, tablet, laptop, none of that stuff. I’m strictly an H-P desktop man.)

18 thoughts on “Life is change”

  1. I don’t know if you pay attention to hits, but just wanted to let you know I read but don’t always comment. Moving the cyber furniture around now and then helps avoid clutter, the bane of getting old.


    1. Carlos: Sure, I pay attention to hits. I imagine everyone who writes online pays attention. There’s a counter here on the left-side column. At this moment, there have been 465,700, inching up to half a million. That’s since 2011. I don’t know whether that’s hits, visits, or whatever other category exists. I’m sure someone could explain — I’ve looked it up several times but the mind wanders — but I don’t really care, which is why the mind wanders, I guess.

      As for your leaving comments, I appreciate it, no matter if it’s just now and then. Feedback inspires us who do this. From what I have often read, the overwhelming majority of blog readers never, ever leave a comment. And since I have access to daily visit counts, I can assure you that it’s true. I leave comments almost always on all blogs I read on on a regular basis, which aren’t many, even if it’s something short and dumb. It’s like tipping a waiter, or something like that. It’s kind.


  2. You change your e-mail client more often than your mind. It was only last year that I ended a relationship with Eudora which had lasted nearly a quarter century, moving unwillingly to Outlook. Oh sure, I flirted with Netscape, Pegasus, The Bat!, eMClient, and others, but I always returned to Eudora, which continues to repose on my desktop as an archive.

    Try LastPass ( as a password manager. You’ll thank me.


    1. Ms. Shoes: I’ve never used one of those “client” things, never. I’ve used stuff like — way back when — Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. I’m not even sure how those “client” things operate. From the little I’ve investigated, years back, they seem like a bit of a headache and less convenient. As I recall, it’s something you download to your computer. The services I have used are just websites. I like their simplicity. Does Eudora have a calendar? I gotta have a calendar. Online calendars are why I never forget anything.

      As for LastPass, I have used it. And Dashlane. And Sticky Password. And, etc., etc., the well-known ones. I find them all buggy. I think it’s due to overreaching, trying to be all things to all people. Bitwarden is simple and incredibly easy to use. It doesn’t get in my face like those others do.


    2. P.S.: Though I may be sending and receiving email via Fastmail or Zoho, it does not appear that way to others. Both services send as if Gmail is doing it — and, in a way, it is — and correspondents reply to my Gmail address too. But Gmail is just as a temporary stop in the middle of the journeys going both directions. High technology is interesting.


  3. Thanks for the tips. Will try the password app. What’s your beef regarding Google? What sort of ad blocker do you use. I think internet privacy is a figment so I don’t worry about it. Thanks.


    1. Al: I use AdBlock. There is an AdBlock Plus. I have used both, and don’t see much difference. The Plus does use a bit more of your computer space, I’ve read. They are both free. My beef with Google is political. It’s not only on the wrong side of the tracks (your side, alas) but it’s flagrantly blatant about it. Google customarily dresses up its search page on special days. It always celebrates Ché Guevara days, as I call them, but never Phyllis Schlafly days. I think businesses should stay completely out of politics because anything a business does, politics-wise, is sure to irritate a percentage of current and potential customers, and that’s counter to the objective of business, which is to make money.

      Don’t know why your comment went to moderation. Maybe you used a different email address, which will do it. I did not do it.


  4. I too read every post and comment but don’t comment on every post. Now you guys have gone all “techie” on me, and I have no idea what you’re are talking about, so I think I’ll just go and change a password somewhere … cya

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In the last day or so, I’ve encountered several password annoyances. The first was when I opened Skype (desktop) and out of the blue, it demanded my password. The last time that had happened, I reset my password and wrote it down. But that password did not work now. I had to reset my password again. It’s no longer a matter of resetting your password, but rather, leaping through various hoops before all is well. When you at last finish, it behooves you to log into your mobile devices with the new password. All in all, it’s a major PITA.

    Then a lesser annoyance was attempting to log in, a site I rarely visit nowadays. The browser had saved the password, but Chowhound wanted me to “upgrade for security” to a new password. Since only the browser knows, I was at a stalemate. But no biggie. I don’t like the “new” Chowhound anyway.

    Finally, I wanted to install WhatsApp on my iPad. all was well until a QR code appeared and I was asked to scan it with my phone. Although I somehow muddled through when I installed WA on my iPhone and Mac, I have no idea how to do it on the iPad. (Everyone knows how to scan a QR code, don’t they? Not me. I remember doing it on my iPhone. There was a quick buzz or other noise. But I don’t know how I got there.)

    Don Cuevas


    1. Don Cuevas: I, of course, attribute all your problems to that fact that you use the Devil’s Spawn, i.e. Apple products.

      I bought my first and still only smartphone about two years ago on MercadoLibre. It’s a smallish Sony Xperia. It was “pre-owned,” and I paid the peso equivalent of about 50 bucks. It does about everything I want of a phone, which is it makes calls and text messages. I do have my Bancomer app to check my account. That’s about it. I tried WhatsApp briefly (my wife is addicted to it), but did not see the point for me, so I zapped it, and now use just the phone’s messenger.

      QR codes are no fun.


      1. “Don Cuevas: I, of course, attribute all your problems to that fact that you use the Devil’s Spawn, i.e. Apple products.”

        Oh, life would not be complete if you did not tell me that each time. I will say that Apple products have radically changed in the last 10 years, since the introduction of the iPhone. Their influence goes far beyond Apple products themselves. But Apple’s two-step verification of passwords are among the most noxious of any. But I am a member of the Church of Apple, and once joined, only death with put us asunder. IMO, the great good features far outweighs the bad. Ni modo.

        Don Cuevas

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Don Cuevas: I care about you, truly, so I must always attempt to divert you to the Path of Righteousness.

          My ex-wife, the second one, perhaps the first too, I have no idea, is also a member of the Church of Apple. I think, however, exorcisms are in order.


  6. Nice thing about Opera is that you can open the “stealth ” mode and then it will not use your local IP address so whomever your are accessing will not know where and who you are.
    We dumped Firefox awhile ago because of too many glitches.


    1. Tancho: By stealth mode, I assume you mean the incognito option. Most browsers have that these days, I think. As for Firefox, when it first got started years ago I jumped on board, and I really liked it. However, year by year, gradually, it went downhill and got, as you note, glitchy. I abandoned it for Chrome.


        1. Don Cuevas: Lots of browsers have an incognito mode. Maybe all of them. As for VPN, since I almost never go online away from my desk, it’s not something I need. I had noticed it, however.


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