Microsoft's first laptop ever - Surface Book speeds, feeds, and emotions

Many of this past week's Surface Book first-look articles focus on the experience, the look, the feel. So did the presenter. Yes, all very important attributes for successful demonstrations, as we all ponder what this Surface Book product launch means for the rest of the laptop world. This was the…

Oct 10 2015

Camtasia Studio for screen recording and Snagit for screenshots - some tips, and a way to get 20% off through Sep 24

Over these past 4 years, many TinkerTry visitors have asked: What video editing software do you use? These inquiries came in through Disqus comments, YouTube comments, and occasionally over email. So it's about time I create a post to help proactively answer that question, once and for all. Enter…

Sep 22 2015

Superguide: Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T - THE Ultimate Home Virtualization Lab

TinkerTry's tagline: TinkerTry IT @ home Efficient virtualization, storage, backup, and more... I tend to go pretty deep in my articles for nearly 5 years now, ever since I created my original self-built Core i7 beast aptly named vZilla in 2011. It worked well, but using a consumer motherboard…

Sep 20 2015

VMware Workstation 12 and Player 12 released with full Windows 10 support

VMware has a track record of releasing a compatibile version of VMware Workstation soon after every major release of Windows. This year was no exception, just one month after Windows 10 became widely available. It's the last time too, with all future Windows releases delivered as incremental…

Aug 26 2015

Easily keep Windows 10 from sharing those big Windows Updates with PCs that aren't in your home

Looping video of the exact steps seen below. I like Windows 10, and I installed it on 7 machines this past month alone. I think it's a good idea that Windows Updates are now shared among PCs on your home network, by default. Why should each PC download the same huge files when other PC…

Aug 24 2015

The modern HTML5 way to test internet speeds, dslreports.com/speedtest

A DSLReports engineer recently contacted me to let me know about their new HTML5 speed tests. He had apparently read my informal speed tests at: Motorola Arris SB6183 16 Channel DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, future-proof through 686 Mbps? I replied to him that I had planned to retest using his site…

Aug 16 2015

TinkerTry Supermicro SuperServer Workstation bundle now available - Windows 10 with triple 4K GPU can run as an ESXi VM! Now available without OS/GPU too, ships from US or The Netherlands.

Important Oct 30 2015 Update - Please read about the new bundles first at the new order page: Order a TinkerTry Supermicro SuperServer Bundle - powerful and efficient virtualization home lab solutions Original article appears below. This idea took about 4 years from idea to delivery, but at…

Aug 1 2015

~~Official TinkerTry polo shirts and stickers now available.~~

Unfortunately, Sticker Mule no longer offers a way for me to share custom stickers for you to order, and qb online stores no longer sells this shirt. I'm hoping to bring back alternatives at some day in the future, and I've invested in some printing equipment for stickers and labels, stay tuned!…

Jul 29 2015

How to show Windows version and build number on your desktop

Here's the 6 steps in regedit.exe, then just logoff/logon [or restart Windows Explorer using Task Manager Processes view]. You're done! Why During the Windows Insider Preview period, essentially was public beta test of Windows 10, Microsoft wisely chose to show the version of Windows and the Build…

Jul 29 2015

My experience with the Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD, and how it fits into my hybrid home lab strategy

Wow. 2TB SSDs. They're here at last! Samsung is first out of the chute, delivering their 850 EVO 2TB SSD models to consumers now, and the 850 PRO 2TB variant coming in early August. There is a relatively unknown and pricey newcomer called Fixstar, but their 3TB and 6TB models are currently still on…

Jul 28 2015

How to create a Windows 10 (Build 10240) bootable USB drive by making your own clean install ISO today

JUL 28 2015 Update - breaking news Microsoft starts pushing Windows 10 to users who reserved it This rough-around-the-edges article is intended for an IT Professional audience that already has an upgraded Windows 10 Preview Build 10240 (Pro), and knows their way around a BIOS boot order menu and…

Jul 26 2015

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

Get those tiny USB flash drives labeled quickly and effectively for about a penny

This is one of those "why didn't I think of this earlier" ideas. When tinkering with various USB drives I use in my home office, finding labels that can stick to them can be a challenge, especially if I'd rather not obscure the drive's capacity label or activity LED. I'm also not a fan of…

Jun 10 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

RVTools 3.6 works with VMware vSphere 6.0

More than 400,000 copies downloaded! This application supports ESX Server 3.5, VirtualCenter 2.5, ESX Server 3i, ESX Server 4i, VirtualCenter 4.x, ESX 4.x, VirtualCenter 5.0, VirtualCenter Appliance, ESX 5.0, VirtualCenter 5.1, ESX 5.1, VirtualCenter 5.5 and ESX 5.5. Latest Version: 3.6 | February,…

Mar 11 2015

Try OPS1E on iOS, a fast and powerful way to manage your vSphere 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x environments

Yes, this is a relatively expensive app, but there is a free version to try. What if you could have a UI that is way faster than vSphere Web Client, that allows you do things like clone or migrate VMs, check in on CPU utilization, and even do vMotion, with simple tap-tap-tap ease of use. Yes, it's…

Mar 3 2015

LastPass keeps you from having to type administrator@vsphere.local every time you login with vSphere Web Client

Ever since the dawn of VMware's SSO stuff, logging in to the vSphere Web Client can be a little cumbersome, and feel a lot like a typing test. This quick 30 second fix can help you avoid this aggravation in your home lab, with a focus on my tests on builds of the upcoming vSphere 6.0 VCSA.* Mar 03…

Mar 2 2015

Easily add 2 USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet to your Microsoft Surface Pro 3

If you travel, and use your Surface Pro 3 as a productivity device while away from home, you'll likely love the light weight and amazing 2160 x 1440 screen. Even the lowest spec model can be a great thin client, remotely controlling your primary workstation back home, using something like…

Jan 31 2015

Get those blurry applications running clearly again under Windows 8, 8.1, 10

If you've done an upgrade to a newer version of Windows, or moved to a retina-like display with a name like 2560x1440 / 3840 x 2160 / 4096x2160 (resolution) 3K / 4K / 5K Ultra HD / Quad HD it's pretty likely you've already noticed exactly what I'm talking about. Certain applications may be…

Jan 14 2015

Here's a taste of what's cooking for 2014!

I have hundreds of posts in my WordPress blog drafts folder. Sadly, many of the outdated ones will never get see the light of day. That's ok. Why? Because I know that all of the below topics will be covered in 2014, no crystal ball required! So please be sure to stay tuned if any of the below…

Dec 31 2014

If Chrome Browser acts like you’re in another country, try clearing just the right cookie

I was working in Germany for a month. I used travelocity.com while in my hotel room. The hotel's internet provider was German, and that internet provider's geographic location was evident to travelocity.com. That means their webserver assumed I wanted the German version of their site, so it did a…

Nov 26 2014

My month in a German hotel with one outlet, many adapters, and a D-Link DIR-506L travel WiFi router

Back in early September 2014, I found myself scrambling to prepare for a month long work trip to Germany. A good situation to be in, but I also wanted to be darn sure I could get my work done on weekday evenings, and my play done on weekends. Given I'm from the US and hadn't been to Europe in…

Nov 18 2014

Easily see how many days it's been since Windows was powered up or rebooted

I use Windows 8.1 like many folks, for weeks at a time, without rebooting or shutting down. I suspend to save power when done for the day, and resume the next time I'm working. I don't bother to reboot until I really need to, such as after Patch Tuesday, or when some other issue crops up that…

Nov 13 2014

Experiences paying for stuff with cash or credit in Europe, and with Apple Pay back in the USA

I learned a lot about money lately, the hard way. Here's 4 money tips that'll help you make payments, the easy way. I feel like 2014 has been a big year for payments systems. Change is in the wind, not in my pocket. For me, there's four recent tales to tell here: How to survive with just an…

Nov 4 2014