How to locate your triple monitor (up to 2K) PC 20 feet away for less noise and more joy

Oct 17 2015 Update - I noticed that Amazon has changed the description for the 15' cable, it used to say " - 4K Resolution Ready" at the end, now it does not. It now only claims to be a 2K (2560x144) capable cable. I'm so sorry about this, I've changed the title of this article to reflect…

Jul 23 2015

My ecobee3 HomeKit WiFi thermostat with remote motion/temperature sensors makes sense/cents

Updates to this article below. Order The ecobee3 with homekit is available at Apple Store, Amazon, Best Buy, ecobee shop, Home Depot, and Lowe's. Review If you have multiple members of your household that are home at various times of the day, then you likely have some familiarity with inevitable…

Jul 19 2015

My Lenovo ThinkPad running Windows 8.1 wouldn't go to sleep, here's how I fixed it

My household has an 8 year old T61P laptop kicking about that's running Windows 8.1 on a Samsung 840 EVO SSD (with RAPID mode enabled). It runs pretty well, even though it's stuck at SATA2 speeds. Tends to play the role of a temporary PC when a laptop has gone out for service. Right after upgrading…

Jun 8 2015

Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE has been released, extensive testing going well

Please note what been in TinkerTry's tagline, since January 2013: TinkerTry IT @ home Efficient virtualization, storage, backup, and more... So it's rather theme-appropriate for me to be happy to share that Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE is now generally available, download…

Apr 14 2015

Switch Lighting, the liquid cooled LED bulb company, is liquidating its assets

If you've followed TinkerTry for a while, you'll note that I'm a bit of an LED bulb fiend. Always on the lookout for an efficient 60 or 75 watt equivalent A19 bulb that has a CRI of 90 or above, a color temperature between 2700K and 2900K, and a price below $10. Yeah, I know, it's a tall order,…

Feb 25 2015

German engineering proudly on display at Munich International Airport

During my month long stay in Germany recently, I drove about 2,000 miles on the Autobahn, with a lot of manual shifting. A Fiat 500L Diesel for 2 weeks, a Mercedes 8 seat van for a day (long story, exploring my half-German roots, and a Ford Fiesta for another two weeks. Yep, driving that little…

Nov 18 2014

NVIDIA 560 Ti to 750 Ti GPU upgrade makes Core i7 Z68 system quieter, faster, cooler, using half the power

Our family's gZilla gaming system is based on an Intel Core i7 2600K and an ASRock Z68 motherboard, from mid 2011. This system started life hidden in our basement, with 2 video cables running up to the family room's 55" TV one floor above it, and to a 24" monitor next to the TV, where the…

Aug 19 2014

Nixeus VUE27D review, efficient 2nd-gen 2560x1440 IPS LED DisplayPort monitor improves on the original VUE

I use a standing desk. Reasonable size and weight for my 3 monitors is almost as important to me as excellent image quality. Having had thousands of hours using my Nixeus NX-VUE27 these past 2 years (Close look at my Nixeus NX-VUE27 2560×1440 27″ monitor Aug 24 2012), I'm now able to offer…

Jul 30 2014

Quick look at tiny and efficient D-Link Gigabit Switches

Disappointing Aug 04 2017 Update - 3 years later, all within the last 3 months, trouble began. Two of my D-Link DGS-1024A 24 port switches started to give me issues, with networking stopping entirely two separate times. A quick power cycle recovered the network, but not my confidence. A few weeks…

Apr 30 2014

Superguide: CyberPower PFCLCD UPS Mini Towers protect your home's computers and entertainment

This is not a sponsored blog post. My extended family has purchased 7 of the various PFCLCD models since 2012, and it's gone well, with just one battery replacement needed so far. I've found them to be very easy to install and configure at friends and family homes. Without a PC, and without a…

Jan 7 2014

Replacing your 60 watt bulb with the Cree TW Series LED, is it a bright idea?

Available at homedepot.com: Cree 13.5-Watt (60W) Soft White (2700K) TW Series Dimmable LED Light Bulb (6-Pack) My quest for the "perfect" 60 watt light bulb replacement goes back a few years. Like many other tech bloggers before me, I find myself obsessed with finding cool-running…

Nov 23 2013

Is the new Cree LED bulb a good enough 60 watt replacement?

I'm a long-time fan of the Cree6 downlights in my family room, serving our family very natural, dimmable light since December of 2011. Recently, when a bedrooom's old and dim 54 watt total dual-circline fluorescent ceiling fixture gave out, I replaced it with an affordable, semi-flush 3…

Apr 10 2013

MaxPowerLauncher, the simple way to temporarily boost your Windows Power Plan to Max, just for particularly power hungry applications

There are a few applications and emulators that suffer a noticeable performance impact when you leave the Windows 7 or Windows 8 Power Plan at the default "Balanced" setting. I use a simple way to change my power profile to "High performance" for just such applications,…

Dec 30 2012

Holiday Guide 2012, a variety of sensible solutions for your household tech needs

Like peanut butter and jelly. Spaghetti and meatballs. Bluetooth and headphones and yardwork. You know, things that go well together. Practical, efficient things that I have personally tested out. Useful around my own home, and paid for with my own money. There are some products that you might…

Dec 12 2012

Finally found an efficient, attractive, and affordable ceiling fixture, with 3 LED bulbs, totaling just $88

Short version, if you're replacing a ceiling fixture, consider heading to Home Depot if you live near one, or head online, to try: Qty 1 of $46.97 Progress Lighting Renovations Collection Antique Nickel 3-light Flushmount Qty 3 of $13.97 EcoSmart 13-Watt (60W) Warm White (3000K) A19 LED Light Bulb…

May 28 2012

Coming up next for May 2012, stay tuned!

I have a lot of great stuff cooking, almost ready to be consumed. Hot off-the-press stories to expect this month include: SSD chosen to cache both reads and writes on a RAID5 array, under ESXi 5 (finally, CacheCade Pro 2.0 for the LSI 9265-8i RAID adapter, reliability and speed, NAS nirvana at…

May 1 2012

Efficient Cree LED downlight that works very well with Lutron dimmer

You may recall my article 5 months ago, Save on an impressive LED Light Bulb for your ceiling fixture, TinkerTry.com/creecr6, and the story I told about finding a suitable dimmer for my LED floodlights/downlights. The Lutron SPDC-203P I already had was really meant for CFLs, and only lasted a few…

Dec 28 2011

The reasoning behind my virtualization & storage project called vZilla

I had a really enjoyable dialogue with a TinkerTry site visitor recently, and I've obtained Mike's permission to go ahead and publish this, with some of my minor typos cleaned-up, and formatted so you can read from top to bottom. It's all about processor and storage choices when building your own…

Dec 4 2011

32GB of RAM is the sweet spot for VMware ESXi 5.0 Free Hypervisor

Feb 28 2012 Update: Great news, with some patience and careful shopping, ~$200 USB can now get you 32GB of RAM that works great, given 32GB is what the free Hypervisor 5.0 supports maximum anyway, good deal! TinkerTry.com/32gb-memory-on-asrock-fatal1ty-z68-professional-gen3-motherboard I cannot…

Nov 16 2011

Home Server Family Cloud

I now have two fresh Windows systems on totally isolated internet connections, so within a week, I can finally take the time to record a new video of the complete process of how EXACTLY you configure the free, LogMeIn Hamachi VPN solution for for remote backups.  Ideally, you do your full system…

Nov 4 2011

Superguide: gZilla, tZilla, & vZilla are born! (gaming, thinkpad, & virtualization)

All of these systems have a focus on energy efficiency, with few frills to needlessly burn up watts. Built for the long haul, to serve my family's needs for the next 3-4 years. And they're pretty much bricks if access is unauthorized (RAID encryption, HDD passwords, etc). The content here is…

Oct 1 2011

"tZilla" ThinkPad W520 - built for storage speed and capacity

The lovely Lenovo ThinkPad W520. All the details of what I crammed into this efficient Core i7 mini-beast.  I managed to get 3 drives in, with 2.1TB of total capacity.  And the 16GB of DDR3 RAM is running at full 1600 speed. The secret to all this was is the mSATA port, under the keyboard (see…

Oct 1 2011

“gZilla” Z68 Gaming System – built for speed and fun

Mar 14, 2012 Update: For more pics, see also TinkerTry.com/gzillacompleted. For more backstory, see also tinkertry.com/boyobio. For boyo's new site, see boyostarcraft.com. Back when creating vZilla, I decided to standardize on this same motherboard I've become quite familiar with, for a gaming…

Oct 1 2011

Power efficiency of a Z68 motherboard system (with ten 3.5" drives), using a CyberPower UPS's LCD Display to measure watts

I recently learned that there may be some special considerations when shopping for a new, efficient, and properly sized power supply/UPS combination.  I don't know for sure, but it didn't really cost me significantly more money, and I now know first-hand that my UPS seems to work fine with my…

Aug 5 2011