Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I help my mother read books with technology?

Episode 1122

Roy from Orange County, CA
iPad Air

Roy's old mother has been looking at an electronic magnifying device to look at documents and photos. She won't use a tablet, though. Leo says that's a shame because they're very useful and she could reset the type to any size she wants. Plus she just wants to read the books she has. Leo says that's understandable. Leo says there's a program called Big Magnify for the iPad and iPhone will allow her to read a book by magnifying the image with the photo app.

What hardware and software can I use for screencasting on videos?

Episode 1122

Danny from New Jersey
Rode DeadCat Wind Muff

Danny wants to make videos for his kids at school who have problems learning. He got a podcaster kit and he's looking for a screen to go in front of the microphone. Leo says it's called a "Dead Cat." There's also a circular screen called a "pop screen" and Leo uses the BSW REPOP Pop Filter. But that's for a directional microphone. For omnidirectional microphones, it's called a Dead Cat.

Should I buy my daughter a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air for college?

Episode 1122

Brian from Los Angeles, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Brian's daughter is going to law school and she has a five year old MacBook. Leo says it's time to upgrade, and the MacBook Air is a great option. Should he get the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? The Air is light and thin, but the Pro has a Retina display and faster processor. The Air has better battery life, though. So it comes down to portability vs. screen quality.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1121

This week's crazy gadget from the GizWiz is the Karcher PowerSqueege. What is it? It's the world's cordless squeegee! You spray the cleaner, squeegee it, and it sucks up the solution and dirt with no drips! Eliminates the wiping, rubbing, and mess required when using paper or cloth towels, and you'll save money by not having to wash cloths or throw away paper towels. Includes a 12-volt wall charger and operating instructions. MSRP: $79.99. Lowest price I could find on Amazon was about $54 on 9/23/2014.

What equipment do I need to start vlogging?

Todd from Chandler, AZ

Episode 1121

Todd has a business and wants to start doing video blogging, or "vlogging." What equipment does he need? He'll be starting from his desk but he wants to know what camera to get. Leo says it depends on what Todd is going to be doing. Todd wants to have a set with a background screen. Leo says that in Todd's case, a camcorder with an external microphone jack is a good option. DSLRs do this. Point and shoots would help keep within his $500 price range and the video quality is really good.

Should I repair or replace my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1121

Jerry from Corona, CA
MacBook Pro

Jerry bought a MacBook Pro and the motherboard has gone bad. Is it worth taking to Apple to repair it? Leo says that Apple is the only place that can repair it. Is it worth it? Well, that depends. If it's not out of warranty, of course. But if it is, then he'll have to decide if the age of the laptop makes it worth laying down money to repair it when the cost may be as much as half or more what he paid for it. But if it's just out of warranty, then it probably is worth fixing.

What computer should I get for my mom who's upgrading from Windows XP?

Episode 1120

Justin from Bakersfield, CA
Dell laptop

Justin wants to get his mom a new computer, since she's still using a Dell with Windows XP. He uses a Mac, but she doesn't want to stick with Windows. She uses the computer for word documents and browsing the web, and uses it mostly for fun. She is a teacher's assistant though, and uses it for work. Justin says the budget is around $600.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1119

Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass 12-cup coffee maker. It features a sleek stainless steel exterior and has a lot of new features including professional-grade conical solid steel burr grinder to grind beans slowly, a new removable 7-ounce bean container to lift off to refill beans or access the grinder for cleaning, and removable upper burr, for easy cleaning. It also has a two-step grind and clean chamber that automatically cleans the grinder after every cycle. The warming plate will keep your coffee warm for 2 hours and then shut off.