Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I make my printer accessible on my Wi-Fi network?

Episode 1102

Aaron from Tustin, CA
Lantronix XPrint Server

Aaron has an office printer that he'd like to hook up to his upstairs router and print from his network. Is there an easy way to do that and print via Wi-Fi? It isn't a Wi-Fi enabled printer.

Leo says that the Lantronix Wireless xPrint Server will make any printer wireless. It also works with Google Cloud Print, allowing Aaron to print from anywhere in the world.

(Disclaimer: Lantronix is a sponsor).

Why won't my Amazon Fire TV work with my AV receiver?

Episode 1102

Joe from Austin, TX
Denon AV Receiver

Joe got an Amazon Fire TV, but when he plugs it into his Denon AV receiver it doesn't work. Leo says he likes the Denon AV receiver and can't imagine why it wouldn't work. Everything in the chain is "HDCP" complaint for copy protection. So it should work just fine.

Leo thinks it may be a bad port or bad cable. Make sure the settings from the Fire TV and the TV itself are matched. If one is 1080i and the other is 1080p, then the handshake could fail. Turn everything off and unplug it. Then plug each thing in one at a time, ending with the TV.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1101

Do you remember those original brick like cell phones from the 80s? Well someone has created a bluetooth phone headset that looks like one that works with your iPhone. It's called The Brick. It's a retro looking cell phone looking bluetooth handset that will let you go back into time and fool your friends. You can access smartphone contacts, music and call log via Bluetooth. The Brick also has SD card slot so you can play music right on built in speaker. Built-in also is the classic game of Snake and even an FM radio. But wait, there's more. There's even a flashlight and back-lit keypad.

Why won't Windows load on my laptop?

Jim from Corona, CA

Episode 1101

Jim can't get Windows to start on his used laptop that he just bought. Leo suggests trying safe mode with networking to see if it'll start. He should hold down shift as he powers down and turns it on. Then choose "Safe Mode with Networking." If it starts up, then it's a bad video driver. If not, then he has a damaged windows install from the hard drive and he'll need to format the drive and reinstall Windows.

What are good speaker cables for analog stereos?

Sebastian from Riverside, CA

Episode 1101

Sebastian wants to know what speaker cables would be best for analog audio. Leo says that he'll want to get well-shielded, well-made cables. It's vital to get good speaker cables when dealing with analog. For digital, though, it's best to get the cheapest cables you can get because bits are bits and the quality of the cable won't make a difference.

What laptop should I get?

Episode 1101

Jeff from Valencia, CA
MacBook Pro with Retina display

Jeff's laptop is over 10 years old and he's ready to finally get rid of it. But there's so many choices for replacing it. Leo says it's important to think about anything out of the ordinary or unusual he'd want to do with it. If he has a specific software package that requires a certain operating system, that could help make the decision. Should he get Windows 7? Leo says that some machines come with Windows 7, including some from Dell. But Windows 8.1 is the current version and even though people hate it, it's the OS moving forward.

Am I doing everything I can to fix my hard drive?

Mike from Fountain, CO

Episode 1101

Mike was having trouble with his hard drive. First he ran his malicious software removal tool and after 36 hours, he found one threat and nothing else. Then he ran SpinRite to clean things up. Leo says that's a sound strategy, as long as he remembers to backup his data.

Mike also is having issues with his dry loop DSL. When he contacted his company, they came out right away, which was very refreshing. Leo says that most smaller companies use customer service as a feature, while larger companies simply don't care.

What laptop, desktop and tablet should I buy?

Episode 1101

Rusty from San Diego, CA
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Rusty is a real estate broker and he needs to upgrade his desktop, laptop and tablet. He wants to buy it all at once. Leo says that since most of his work is on Windows, he should stay in the ecosystem. One way to eliminate the desktop and laptop is to go with the Windows Surface Pro 3 tablet, which can also work as a laptop. It runs a full version of Windows 8 and will run all his programs. Leo suggest that Rusty find a Microsoft store to visit and look at them.