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

TP-LINK Gigabit PCI Express Network Adapter TG-3468, for ESXi 5.5 home lab

Here's a quick look at the TP-LINK Gigabit PCI Express Network Adapter TG-3468, found on Amazon or Newegg for around $13 USD, with a nice product overview here. Yeah, it's only one port. But it works right up through ESXi 5.1, out of the box. With 5.5, since it's based on a Realtek chipset, you'll…

Sep 24 2013

Intel Ethernet Server Adapter I350T2 Dual port, for ESXi 5.5 home lab

Here's a quick look at the Intel I350T2 Dual Port Ethernet Server Adapter, found on Amazon or Newegg for around $135 USD, with a nice Intel Product Brief here: The Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350 family includes Intel® Virtualization Technology for connectivity (Intel® VT-c) to deliver…

Sep 24 2013

BrontaStor, a brawny little beast for home server enthusiasts?

See the BrontaStor 822R-E4/SNU at Armari Performance In Computing. Other models announced Sep 18 2013 to follow, seen here, with a full review at Hexus.net, and product overviews at the BrontaStor YouTube Channel.* If you've been following my site for a while, you know that back in the summer of…

Sep 18 2013

Rufus takes seconds to create a bootable USB flash drive for ESXi installation

Mar 12 2015 11:15am EDT update – with ESXi 6.0 now released, worth noting that Rufus still works just fine, including the new but very similar Rufus 2.0 Portable, and this USB flash drive. 8 people are reading this article right now! Download Rufus, straight from the author at rufus.akeo.ie, or…

Sep 10 2013

Insteon Smoke Bridge 2982-222

Insteon Smoke Bridge 2982-222 on Amazon here. The marriage of a smoke alarm and an Insteon home automation system can allow you to get automatic alerts on your smarthphone. Wouldn't you like to know whenever a smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide alarm goes off at your home, even when you're far from…

Aug 21 2013

Very handy iPhone 5 charging cradle that's bumper case compatible

Way back in July 2011, I wrote about how I wished I could have a cradle for my iPhone right at my desk, kind of like the one I use in my car. Keeping my iPhone 5 charged, within my working field of view, and within easy reach throughout my long workdays. One that'd also allow single-handed docking…

Aug 20 2013

Insteon Leak Sensor 2852-222

Insteon Leak Sensor 2852-222 on Amazon here. This is going well. First, Smarthome kindly replaced my Insteon hub, to make good on the promise of an easy configure smartphone + cloud home automation solution, chronicled here. Because of some early-adopter pain I had with the first revision of that…

Aug 20 2013

Took a sleek Cirrus SR22 plane out for a half hour flight adventure over Connecticut today, awesome!

Highlights video of my flight appear below. I not only got to perform the take off, but handled (most of) my second landing ever, and my first using side-stick flight controls. Cirrus SR22 The Story Today was originally going to be a Friday off, and a long weekend. But given it started as a very…

Aug 2 2013

Enjoying the great outdoors, July 2013

Sometimes we all need to take a step back, and step outside, to properly enjoy the world around us. I had numerous professional and personal roadtrips and flights throughout July, and figured I'd take a moment to share some of the best of those little travel moments. The captions for each photo…

Jul 31 2013

Superguide: Insteon Home Automation

My home automation experiences started painfully, with thirteen years of mixed luck with X10 devices. I finally cut over to Insteon products in 2008. My first device was the 2413U and the clunky HouseLinc software, and an always-on Windows system to run it. While it controlled my Insteon devices…

Jun 23 2013

blogVault, for scheduled daily offsite backups, and to restore, download, or migrate your WordPress site

A close look into the blogVault. See also On blogVault for a year, still happy with its daily backups of TinkerTry.com May 01 2014 I started this WordPress-based blog called TinkerTry.com over 2 years ago. Like the dozen or so other extended family systems I'm responsible for backing up daily,…

Jun 20 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

Safer way to charge Apple Lightning devices quickly, even at a longer distance from your wall outlet

I was recently looking for the fastest charger made by Apple, for a family member's recent Apple products, including an iPhone 5. But I soon realized the wall outlet is inconveniently far from the desired recharging location, the bedside stand. Googling around for a bit, getting a 3rd party longer…

Jun 7 2013

SeeEye2Eye first look, a webcam eye contact device for Google+ Hangouts?

SeeEye2Eye first look, a webcam eye contact device for Google+ Hangouts? I don't know, you be the judge! What I mean is that I just got the device, and am using it for the first time live, tonight, right on The Average Guy Podcast, "The first one about Virtualization." All the links and…

May 30 2013

Superguide: Antivirus Solutions for the Microsoft Windows Home Server Family

Usually, the server versions of Windows require a centrally managed antivirus solution. That also usually means the considerable cost that comes with such enterprise solutions. But what if you just want to find a basic antivirus solution that works on any of these 3 generations of products: …

May 4 2013

Superguide: Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock, to affordably add 2 external monitors to Windows/Mac/Linux

The Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Docking Station (0A33970) is available from Amazon here. If you want to learn more about the possibility of getting more monitors hooked up to your USB 3.0 equipped system, you've come to the right place. Should work with nearly any brand of recent vintage laptop or…

May 2 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

Use powercfg to arm a device to wake your Windows PC up, demonstrated by adding Wake-on-LAN to a WiFi-only Lenovo Yoga 13

Consider using powercfg to arm a device to wake your PC up, and for un-arming other devices. Desktop, laptop, ultrabook, doesn't matter. Same straight forward commands, Windows 7 or Windows 8. Read more about powercfg over here. WOL (Wake-On-LAN) and those magic packets have been around since 1998.…

Feb 10 2013

LSI 9265-8i CacheCade Pro 2.0 is finally using my Samsung 830 256GB SSD for RAID5 read and write caching, boosting performance

I'm the guy that likes to abuse my RAID arrays, described here and here. So this success with CacheCade Pro 2.0 is that much sweeter, even if it took about a year and a half to fully bake. This vZilla project, which inspired me to start this web site on June 1 2011 in the first place, was in…

Jan 6 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

Insteon Hub first impressions, easier home automation, configured right from your smartphone

Insteon Hub Item # 2242-222 [click to view on Amazon] Insteon Hub - Initial configuration, creating a Christmas lights scene for my living room, from my smartphone. It's a busy time of year. But my Insteon Hub 2242-222 arrived today, an early gift. I knew it was going to be at least December…

Dec 22 2012

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

How to use your laptop’s combination USB/eSATA port to temporarily run another operating system

If you're lucky enough to have a laptop with a combined eSATA/USB port, aka eSATAp, then this $19.95 cable from Amazon might be of interest to you. Especially if you temporarily wish to try another operating systems on your laptop, without affecting the primary operating system in any way. Shared…

Dec 8 2012