Road-warrior productivity boosted by ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC secondary travel display that connects to Mac or PC with just one USB-C or USB 3.0 cable

ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC 15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Monitor is available on Amazon, B&H, and Newegg. This is not a paid promotion. This monitor was purchased bought online and used regularly for 6 weeks prior to publishing this article. When I took on a new job earlier this year, I knew full well that…

Oct 14 2017

Road-warrior productivity boosters for laptops blessed with USB-C but no Ethernet or VGA

Working in hotels with your laptop can be a pain, sometimes literally. I mean really working, and producing content. Here's just some of the issues commonly noticed when traveling for work like I do: no secondary display, man do I miss having one way-too-high desktop to type comfortably on…

May 15 2017

Laptop died? Pull that Windows 10 Pro SATA SSD, attach to another UEFI system using a USB 3.0/3.1 adapter, boots like Windows To Go!

The Problem I recently had to turn in an old laptop that I sometimes used with my bootable 2.5" Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD. Uh oh, now I have a few weeks to wait for a new system, meanwhile, how do I get stuff done? Sure I had my superfast SuperServer Workstation that I sometimes use this SSD in,…

Feb 14 2017

How to free up that internal 2.5" HDD/SSD drive bay in your Dell Precision 5510 laptop

If you have a Dell Precision laptop with up to a 1TB Toshiba M.2 NVMe SSD inside, congratulations, you have quite a nice workstation! This "corporate" laptop is blessed with a 4K display, and that envy-inducing thin bezel. A close cousin of the popular and highly rated Dell XPS 15 that a…

Feb 12 2017

VMware NVIDIA and Google promise fluid remote experience with any Windows application on Chromebooks

My brother is an architect. Having the GPU grunt on his laptop has been an issue for years, usually at a great impact to battery life and budget. When his laptop needed service a few years back, I restored his latest daily laptop backup to a VM, and offered him temporary remote access to his…

Aug 26 2014

Insecure about using public WiFi? Connect to your home's OpenVPN appliance, for free.

Last year, I was pondering new ways to remotely surf the web securely, privately, from my home's IP address, even when far away from my home. The concern wasn't so much about my internet provider, Cox Communications, from knowing what I'm doing. It was more about securing in-the-clear…

Jul 5 2014

One simple way to get four additional network connections on desktops, laptops, and even VMs

StarTech.com USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet NIC Network Adapter - 10/100/1000 Network Adapter - USB to Ethernet LAN Adapter - USB to RJ45  Anker® Bus-Powered USB 3.0 4-Port Compact Hub with a Built-in 1ft USB 3.0 Cable What if you'd like to connect your Windows 8.1 laptop to four routers, each at…

Nov 27 2013

Yoga 13 and Windows 8.1 do get along nicely with little a bit of encouragement

I have 2 Yoga 13 laptops in my extended family, one purchased in October 2012 at first release, and another in November 2012. Both have been pretty smooth sailing with Windows 8, although the orientation sensor has been oddly more problematic on one than the other, despite using the same drivers.…

Oct 13 2013

First 24 hours with Windows 8.1 on W520 laptop (mostly) smooth sailing!

My W520 laptop now has Windows 8.1 installed, which is running VMware Workstation 10 to run a VM of Windows 8.1 on an 8TB GPT C: drive, using just 8GB actual storage. Follow? Now that the RTM (Release To Manufacture) 8.1 code has been released to MSDN/TechNet quite by surprise yesterday, I've been…

Sep 10 2013

Looking forward to breaking past 550MB/sec SATA3 SSDs, using PCIe, PCI NGFF (M.2), and software caching

Above photo courtesy of "The SSD Review" from the excellent article here. Excellent diagram below from here. When I got my ThinkPad W520 back in October 2011, I noticed that the mSATA form factor was limited to SATA2's 3Gbit/sec speeds, on that particular early mSATA implementation. The…

Jul 23 2013

What I've been up to, and what's coming up next...

It's been a busy month, with a tough, manual migration from an old-school Windows 7 32 bit ThinkPad T61 laptop, to a very new touch-enabled Windows 8 64 bit Lenovo Yoga 13. Given the Yoga has no Ethernet port in its slim, essentially sealed SSD only design, backup and bare-metal restore testing…

Feb 19 2013

Fun with Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Santa arrived a day early, with a Yoga joining our family of zillas today, ordered on Nov. 24, but arriving on Dec. 20, weeks ahead of the Jan 2013 expectations. Let's call it yZilla. It's really called a Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, which is really a convertible Ultrabook/tablet at 13.3" 1600x900…

Dec 23 2012

How to enjoy Windows 8 on your Lenovo ThinkPad W520 laptop, with 3 external monitors, and an external keyboard and mouse

This shouldn't have been so difficult, but I'm afraid it was. A lot of trial and error. Cabling, BIOS settings, and drivers. But it works, and works well, if you get all the details just right. This article will help W520 owners that are blessed with a high-end graphics workstation-class laptop.…

Dec 9 2012

A family visit to the new Microsoft Store in Danbury, Connecticut

A very pleasant retail experience with my family, back on Saturday July 7th, just weeks since the Grand Opening in Danbury, CT. In all honesty, I wasn't expecting too much, and it's an hour away from home, so I won't be going often, not until they build more locations anyway. I've seen Apple stores…

Jul 18 2012

Have an issue with your ThinkPad not waking up from sleep properly, try turning off passwords on all disks in BIOS, including SSDs

Here's a long standing thread on Lenovo's forum, with over 2,200 views and no real solutions: W520 will not wake from sleep 10-26-201108:31 AM wabisabi2004 I tinkered with this for far longer than I'd care to admit. Thinking it might be the RunCore mSATA 128GB SSD, I went back-and-forth with…

Jul 6 2012

Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock 0A33970: one USB 3.0 cable from your laptop gives you 5 USB 3.0, 1 Gigabit, and 2 DVI outputs

Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock 0A33970 is available on Amazon here. Pictured above is my temporary test rig, trying out my new video output options that go well beyond the 2 monitor-outputs at a time max on my previously used LenovoThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 433830U. You can see the…

Jun 3 2012

Is a Lenovo 0A33970 USB 3.0 "dock" the best way to add a third monitor to a workstation-class laptop, like the ThinkPad W520?

The Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock 0A33970 is available on Amazon here. You may recall my saga of the major "turbo" boost I gave my stock ThinkPad W520 last October, using 2 8GB Kingston RAM kits, a 128GB RunCore mSATA SSD for my Windows 7 C: drive, and two 1TB Western Digital 1TB Scorpio…

May 15 2012

"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

Lenovo ThinkPad W520 Saga

I'm very happy to have finally received my ThinkPad W520.  Set original preload drive aside for a bit, to play with Windows 8 Developer Preview for a bit fun first, seen here: https://tinkertry.com/windows8onw520 Now back to getting this laptop ready for work. 1) Memory I needed to upgrade to…

Sep 15 2011