TinkerTry's 31 Days of March 2015 - One vSphere 6.0 related tip published every day, until it's GA!

TinkerTry's 31 Days of March is like VMware's 28 Days of February, but geared toward Tips, Tricks, and Tools for the home lab. Yes, stuff that makes the life a little easier for those brave and willingly unsupported masses of IT Professionals who are also home virtualization lab enthusiasts.…

Mar 1 2015

Intel's Haswell-E X99S and Atom can handle 64GB of memory, affordability TBD

VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V home labs crave RAM. Lots of RAM. It's likely the bottleneck you'll bump into first. It's also not easily upgradeable, once you hit your CPU/motherboard limits. So we continue to wait for possible solutions. My own 2011-vintage Z68 based vZilla build has 32GB of…

Aug 11 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

Superguide: Home virtualization server enthusiasts' colorful variety of ESXi whiteboxes

(I've not been updating this article since May 2015, because I've been focusing my efforts on a big step up from typical of Intel NUC / Shuttle PCs, moving to 128GB of RAM with the Xeon D-1540, details here) Let's start with the shopping tools. If you're after which mobo works with which CPU, then…

Jan 5 2014

Enable Disk Performance Counters in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Task Manager

On December 2nd, 2013, Anthony Bartolo published this sweet and simple guide to activating disk performance counters here, also pictured below. This diskperf function goes back to Windows NT in 1995. Because of the slight overhead imposed by turning on these counters, Windows Server variants…

Dec 31 2013

Enjoy tangle-free listening to music and podcasts instead of your mower, protecting your hearing for just 60 dollars

Rear view of Headset May 3, 2015 Update - I have come up with a $140 solution with much better sound, documented here. Original article appears below. Noise Suppression Stereo Headphones with Bluetooth Controls (4 item shopping cart) I often find myself searching for a device that nobody seems…

Dec 27 2013

Superguide: Home Theater Combo - Samsung TV, TiVo Roamio, and Vizio Soundbar

Recently had the opportunity to outfit a family member's house with a new entertainment system. Had to nail down a beautiful and super easy-to-use solution for the holidays. Mission accomplished! Learned a few things along the way to share, should you choose to buy these exact 3 highly-rated items…

Dec 22 2013

Firsthand experience with TiVo Roamio Plus that I easily upgraded to 3TB

Here's what an Amazon reviewer had to say, on Sept 25 2013, Upgraded from a Premier: Many out there are wondering how to upgrade these units them selves so let me clear the air. The same time I purchased this from Amazon, I also purchased a WD 3tb AV-GP hard drive with it. Right from the box, I…

Oct 14 2013

Firsthand experience with ASUS RT-AC68U, Netgear R7000, and Linksys EA6900 802.11ac WiFi routers

There's considerable demand apparently (voicemail, emails, and comments) for me to cut to the chase and draw some preliminary conclusions, based on my experiences so far. At this point in time, Dec 07 2013, I've got a month of 24x7 use of the winner in my house, so I'm beginning to form stronger…

Oct 5 2013

Build your own VMware vSphere 5.5 Datacenter with ESXi and VCSA

Mar 12 2014 Update, see also ESXi 5.5 Update 1 info, just released Mar 11 2014: TinkerTry.com/download-vsphere-5-5-u-1-lab original article appears below. Do you have an efficient and affordable home "vZilla" system of your own, that's got some RAM, and a yearning to juggle many…

Sep 30 2013

Superguide: Timeline of USB, SATA, and Thunderbolt speeds

There's a fair amount of discussion lately about USB 3.1, SATA Express (SATA 3.2), and finally, the Thunderbolt 2.0 that's arriving soon in the Apple Mac Pro. So when I was asked by a family member about the speed differences, I figured it'd be easy to answer. I Googled around, but all I found were…

Aug 24 2013

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and snowstorms motivated me to get a generator, here's a look at my ETQ TG72K12 with 8250 Watts, 14 HP, low THD, and clean sine waves

ETQ TG72K12 8,250 Watt 13 HP 420cc 4-Cycle OHV Gas Powered Portable Generator with Electric Start I live in a lovely, quiet suburb in central Connecticut, about 30 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean/Long Island Sound. This proximity to warm water moderates the temperature extremes a bit. But we…

Oct 26 2012

When your home's Internet goes down, here's a cellular work-around

It began with a sketch after a storm in 2011: Hopefully this Visio version is a bit easier to interpret: It all started at 11am today, with me noticing all my home's devices had gone offline. No clouds available. Without the usual green blinky lights on my DOCSIS 3 cablemodem:…

Jul 15 2012