Once  week we round up the best reader tips and share them here. This week we’re looking at running Windows 8 as a VMware machine, speeding up Windows 7 search with Agent Ransack, and making zip ties reusable.

Running Windows 8 in VMware

Chaotic Platypus writes in with this tip:

Found a nice guide (not my work) that worked well for a ~5 minute Windows 8 Dev. Preview setup in VMware Workstation 8.

I have the “Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64)” running w/o any issues now. I was not able to get the same process to work with Workstation 7, but it works great in 8.

Great tip off Chaotic, for those readers who are VirtualBox fans you can read our guide to setting up Windows 8 in VirtualBox here.

Search Windows with AgentRansack

Jim writes in with the following tip:

Why bother setting up complicated search techniques when you can use AgentRansack on any version of Windows? It supports Boolean expressions, search inside documents, and more. Best of all it’s free!

AgentRansack is a solid application, thanks for writing in Jim!

Tweaking Zip Ties for Reusability

Bob read this read tip about reusing zip ties and wrote in with his own tip:

I just read the article about flipping the zip ties over to make them reuseable, here’s another way to reuse them:

Unless one is used on soft material that blocks the locking end when tightened, try this. If the free end of the tie is long enough or you have a free one, take the narrow end that you push thru the locking end and push it into the locking block that’s locked onto the tie on the side that the little “latch” locks into the tang. While keeping a modest amount of pressure on it, tug gently on the tie next to the block.

The object is to disengage the locking tongue from the tang’s teeth that are holding it in place (not to shove another tie thru). Then while holding the “latch”, slide the disengaged tang past.
Sometimes doing this pushes the locking piece a little too far, and it won’t engage again. Not a problem, just take the end again and push into the block in the opposite direction to push it back into position again.

It seems there is no end to the clever ways people can manipulate the simple zip tie. Thanks for sharing Bob!

Have a tip of your own to share? Send it on to tips@howtogeek.com and there’s a good chance you’ll see it on the front page.

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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