Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why doesn't my network printer work?

Jerry from Costa Mesa, CA

Episode 1507

Jerry bought an Epson EcoTank printer, but after only 3 months, it has stopped printing. It keeps falling off line. So she called into a tech support company called Driver Support and now it all works, after he installed all her new drivers and cleaning out her computer. Leo says that normally, that would be a bad thing to do because they will charge you and then install malware on your computer. But if it works ...

How can I use a RING doorbell without internet access?

MiMi from Orange County, CA

Episode 1507

MiMi recently bought a RING Video Doorbell 2, but no internet at home. How does she use it? Leo says you have to have internet access at home. It has to have WiFi to connect. You could use a cellphone in hotspot mode, but that would be as expensive, or more than just having a home internet connection. You could talk to your neighbors to see if you can borrow a cup of WiFi to connect your doorbell with it. Another option is to use a MiFi card. That would enable you to connect up to five devices to, including your doorbell.

Why can't Google Assistant turn on my soundbar?

Noah from Michigan

Episode 1507

Noah has bought a soundbar, and it won't turn on with his Google Assistant. What can he do? Leo says if the soundbar isn't supported by Google, or vice versa, it won't be able to use voice activated control of the Google Assistant. you could just leave it on, but if it shuts down automatically, then that's going to be a problem. Try seeing if you can disable the eco, or power down mode. Joe in the chatroom says that if the soundbar turns on automatically, then you can get a smartplug to plug your soundbar in. Then the Google Assistant can work with it.

Why does my printer drop off my network?

Dave from Minnesota

Episode 1507

Dave has an HP 6700 printer, which keeps disconnecting from his network. Clearly, since Dave has replaced the router and modem, then the culprit is the printer. Try a wired connection, but it also drops off the network. So that eliminates WiFi congestion as being the problem. It sounds like something has gone wrong with the Network settings on the printer and since printer is several years old, it may be time to replace it. You could also try downloading the latest firmware and installing it. That can often solve issues like this. Do that before you go buy a new printer, at least.

What rear camera can I get for the back of my truck?

Pat from Victorville, CA

Episode 1507

Pat recently bought a fifth wheel trailer and he wants to have a rear mounted camera that he can see from the cabin. He'd like to spend around $150. Leo says that cameras are cheap. The money is in how it's installed and connected. Many cameras use wifi though, and that could cost you some extra money as well. Leo says he had a backup camera that he installed into the license plate frame and it used a wireless connection. Esky is the brand. Then your phone or tablet becomes your screen. The 4UCam is a good wifi backup camera as well. Pyle is another good brand. All under $100.

What gaming computer should I buy for my son?

Michael from Escondido, CA

Episode 1507

Michael's son has just finished 8th grade and he wants to reward him with a decent gaming computer. What should he get for between $1200-2000? Leo says to not get a laptop. Get a desktop. You'll pay more for a gaming laptop, and they won't be as fast because of limitations in graphics processors. Leo recently got his 15 year old an Asus Republic of Gaming (ROG) G20 CI desktop. A GTX 1060 or better graphics card is a good place to start. Remember to save a little money for a monitor. Asus sells a good monitor as well, but he may want another model. Leo also recommends buying online.

The Giz Wiz ... at the Arcade

Episode 1507

Toy manufacturer Tastemakers was showing their newest 'old tech' Arcade machines. Five different scaled down Arcade1Up machines are set to be released fall 2018. Most contain four popular old-time games from the arcade era. Unlike bigger, like 6' tall machines, these Arcade1Up cabinets are 4 feet tall and weigh a lot less, about 60 pounds or so. Tastemakers says that the machines will offer “the same game play as the originals, with same sounds, joysticks and buttons.” The arcades use a 17-inch LED screen for play and some assembly is required.

One Week with the MacBook Pro

Episode 1507

Leo has had the new MacBook Pro for a few days. He got a six core i9 processor, and frankly, it's not much different from the previous model. Apple didn't really change it much, except for a redesigned keyboard that has a silicone shield that can keep crumbs and dust out, which can render the keyboard inoperable. The downside is, that it will be very difficult to repair, a $700 fix without Apple Care. Leo does says that the silicone barrier also makes the keys quieter, and cushier.

How can I record video secretly?

Episode 1506

Carrie from Lake Arrowhead, CA
1080P Spy Hidden Camera Pen

Carrie wants to know if there's a camera that can secretly record a meeting. Leo says there is, and the trade name is "lipstick camera", but they're even smaller than that now. She can buy a camera smaller than a pinky finger! They can even record HD, and with a very wide angle. There are dozens of them on Amazon and they're around $10. She should search for "mini cam" or "micro cam". There's even one that fits in a pen. There's also one that looks like a USB plug.