TinkerTry Highlights 001

TinkerTry Highlights New tech evolves quickly, TinkerTry's agility reflects that reality My ongoing home tinkering tends to bring new insights to previously published topics. As I explained here, when the technical updates below articles are significant, I'm pulling together a curated list of those…

Oct 19 2016

iPhone 7 Plus really does perform 2 to 3 times faster than iPhone 6 Plus

Plane Tales - why my iPhone 7 Plus was delivered to the airport At 3am on Friday, September 9th, one of my sons and I awoke to place orders for my extended family's iPhone 7 Plus upgrades from iPhone 6 Plus. Despite getting all the orders completed from 3:18am to 3:43am, the estimated delivery wait…

Sep 22 2016

Sturdy ProClip USA dashboard mounts for iPhone 6/7/8 Plus or iPhone X allow one handed dock-and-go

Galaxy S5/Lumia 930/iPhone 6 Plus, ProClip holders ProClip USA makes holders for many types of phones, including Android, Windows Phone, and iPhone. I happen to personally have experience with their iPhone holders. I have no affiliation with ProClip USA, I'm just a consumer, who bought mine like…

Nov 6 2014

Travel Tech for an American's month long trip to Germany

When booking my flights and hotels for my work related month in Germany, I realized I have a list of go to services, apps, and devices. Thought you might find this particular combination of travel tools helpful. First, got my trip booked with corporate AMEX, who shared my itinerary details while…

Oct 1 2014

5GB of data in Germany on a prepaid SIM card mailed to me in advance in the US, here's how

I'm flying to the Germany today, landing in Munich on September 18th, and working in Mainz for a month, as I mentioned recently here. I only received approval for the business trip about 3 weeks ago, so I knew the rush was on. I needed a safe way to get some reasonably priced data for my Verizon…

Sep 17 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

Display your iOS and Android devices on Windows, using Reflector and Droid @ Screen

When speaking publicly, it's certainly handy to be able to show a live demo of a smartphone or tablet, on the projected image. It's also best to not have to assume anything about the facility you'll be presenting at, if possible, relying instead on USB cables that'll also serve to keep your gear…

May 4 2014

Super easy viewing of your ESXi log files from a mobile browser

You can review ESXi 5.1 and 5.5 host log files using these methods, Direct Console User Interface (DCUI), ESXi Shell, extracted vm-support log bundles, vSphere Web Client, or using a web browser, such as Safari on iOS 7, as shown in the 2 minute video below. For a nice listing of the ESXi log…

Jan 1 2014

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

Fix the issue where you upgrade to Windows 8.1 then your Photo Stream stops updating

Have you done the free Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1 upgrade, then noticed your iCloud Control Panel has stopped updating your Photo Stream? Even on the latest Apple iCloud Control Panel 3.1, the issue doesn't just go away. Somebody named "Alex leong" noticed this problem, and asked the…

Dec 23 2013

Using your home network's ESXi or Hyper-V OpenVPN appliance to safely use public WiFi

Are you interested in being able to use public WiFi, with considerably less fear unscrupulous folks around you might be sniffing your packets, looking for tasty morsels of unencrypted goodness? You know, things like an email account that might be pulling IMAP messages over an unencrypted…

Dec 12 2013

TiVo iOS App can be convinced to stream live TV over cellular in 2013, here's how

You may have seen headlines about the new TiVo app update, such as this article from last week: TiVo iOS apps now let you stream and download shows from Roamio DVRs anywhere there's Wi-Fi The Roamio starts to live up to its name, by Nilay Patel on Oct 24 2013, The Verge: The TiVo Roamio Pro…

Oct 29 2013

My home's First Alert ONELINK system for smoke and carbon monoxide detection includes voiced warnings, with optional smartphone alerts

Back in April of 2010, the time had come for me to assess the value of crawling into my attic and basement to replace my home's 1994 vintage fire detectors. Yes, that's well beyond the recommended every 10 year replacement interval. Because the detectors were hardwired to one-another, the prospect…

Jun 14 2013

If your 2560x1440 monitor needs a cable longer than 6', you may want to go with newer DisplayPort 1.2 4K capable cabling?

Accell UltraAV B142C-010B DisplayPort to DisplayPort 1.2 Cable with Latches (10 Feet / 3m) I've been using my Nixeus 2560x1440 monitor for months now, sandwiched nicely between two 1920x1080p monitors, a set up I describe here: How to enjoy Windows 8 on your Lenovo ThinkPad W520 laptop, with 3…

Dec 21 2012

Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter compatibility with existing home and auto accessories

Let's start with the new Lightning cables and connectors. The first 2 devices are apparently electronically and functionally the same, just one is a longer, flexible version of the other. My tests so far seem to back this up. Lightning to 30-pin Adapter $29.00 Apple Part# MD823ZM/A (on Amazon…

Oct 15 2012

Moving iPhone 4 from AT&T to iPhone 5 on Verizon? Have I got the article for you!

Things like Google Voice integration with iPhone 5 voicemail (on Verizon) sound interesting? Wondering how well all your old stuff will migrate over to your new hardware, and which apps may have a little trouble making the move? Curious about how long line number portability takes, and the exact…

Oct 3 2012

FingerPrint: easily print from your iPhone or iPad to network printers and USB photo printers, even if they’re not AirPrint compatible, version 2 upgrade now available

Jul. 12 2013 Update: Unfortunately, buy-it-once FingerPrint is no longer sold, replaced by Presto, which I haven't tested, but is reviewed by The Wall Street Journal here. This article kept for archival purposes only. If you haven't used FingerPrint 2 before, here's the gist: install FingerPrint…

Jul 7 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

Thinking About a Local, Personal iCloud

I was going to write an article about the future of personal cloud storage. Turns out, somebody I know has already expressed much of what I was going to say, in a much more compelling way. Here it is, enjoy! thinkertry.com/2012/01/09/thinking-about-a-local-personal-icloud See also: Hamachi VPN free…

Feb 4 2012

FingerPrint: easily print from your iPhone or iPad to network printers and USB photo printers, even if they're not AirPrint compatible, new Windows version now installs as a service

Jul. 12 2013 Update: Unfortunately, buy-it-once FingerPrint is no longer sold, replaced by Presto, which I haven't tested, but is reviewed by The Wall Street Journal here. This article kept for archival purposes only. Sep. 18 2012 Update: Confirmed to work fine with Windows Server 2012 Release…

Feb 3 2012

iPhone 4 with iOS 5.0 Camera App becomes sluggish, here's a fix

If you let your iPhone 4's Photos App Camera Roll get to past around 2000-3000 photos and videos, starting the Camera App gets very, very slow. Like 15-25 seconds, just to start it up. This is particularly noticeable if you get extremely low on iPhone storage space, when the warning pop-ups…

Jan 5 2012

Hamachi VPN free software can make you feel right at home, even when you're far from it

Imagine you're on a Verizon MiFi connection in an airport. Wouldn't you like to get to your home's network, with your laptop automatically being granted a "local" ip address by your home's router? This also means everything "just works," just as if you were actually at home,…

Nov 15 2011

Day 4 of no power and counting

I'm sorry my posts have decreased in frequency, as I'm fighting the after-effects of a freak early snowstorm in the Northeast on Satuday, October 29th.  It took down many trees (that still had leaves on them), and downed more power lines than anything I can recall in my town in 17 years.  So my…

Nov 2 2011

Resolving false "Incorrect Password" messages after MobileMe to iCloud migration: fixes for iPhone, Outlook, and Windows Live Mail

Since moving 6 iPhones from MobileMe to iCloud back on October 12th, my extended family has had some sporadic nuisance errors that seem to come up randomly.  Not finding anything useful as I Googled around for fixes to these issues, figured I'd post what worked for me, in case it can help others.…

Oct 24 2011