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From the Tips Box: DIY Flash Diffusers, Homemade Ethernet Testers, and Metro UI in Windows 8

Tips-How-To-Geek-TemplateOnce a week we round up some of the great tips readers mail in and share the with everyone. This week we’re looking at DIY flash diffusers, homemade Ethernet cable testers, and how to get the Windows 8 Metro UI in Windows 7.

Roll Your Own Flash Diffusion Dome

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Ron writes in with the following photography tip:

I was looking into buying Gary Fong’s “Light Sphere” but I didn’t want to shell out $40 sight unseen. I found this DIY tutorial that turns a Tupperware container into a Light Sphere knock off. It works really darn well and if I upgrade at all, it’ll be for the aesthetic and not for the performance. Cheers!

We checked out the tutorial; for what amounts to a 50 cent food container and a spattering of spray paint, it certainly yields good results. Thanks for sharing!

DIY Ethernet Cable Tester Tests Cables On The Cheap

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Mitch writes in with a tip off on how to roll your own cable tester:

Ethernet cable testers are expensive and I like having them in more than one place (I work in a big building and I don’t like hauling my tools everywhere all the time). I followed this guide and turned a simple power box into a tester. Once you’ve made one it’s easy to crank out a few in a row. They’re cheap!

What they lack for in pocketability, they certainly make up for in price. Nice find!

Skin Windows 7 To Use The Windows 8 Metro UI

Mark writes in with the following user-interface tweak:

I found a great program called Mosaic Project that layers the Windows 8 Metro look over Windows 7. It’s not permanent, the program is portable, and over all I’d say it works pretty well. It doesn’t 100% emulate the interface but it looks nice and gets the job done.

While not everyone is a fan of the new Windows look, those that are will be well served by your tip. Thanks Mark!


Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and look for it on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/10/12

Comments (4)

  1. KeithLM

    I don’t quite see the point of that incredibly bulky ethernet cable tester that only works when both ends are in the same location. I picked up a cheap tester from monoprice.com, which probably cost less than the components for that thing did. And the tester is two separate pieces so you can easily test cables of any length that are run through walls. It’s also less than half the size of that thing.

  2. Fantasm

    Why would anyone want to make Windows 7 look like the dog’s breakfast that Windows 8 is…?
    I frakking hate Metro UI

  3. George

    @fantasm
    Just about to post the same thing
    +999999999999999999… etc

  4. MdKnightR

    I have to say that I agree with Fantasm and George. The Metro UI sucks big time.

    As for the DIY light diffuser, I’ll be using that nifty trick at my next family get together. :)

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