Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is the MacBook Air worth upgrading?

Apple MacBook Air

Episode 1540

Rob from Cincinnati, OH

Rob has a process in his Mac called "User Event Agent" and he doesn't know what that is. Is it necessary? Leo says it is. It just monitors all of his activity. This includes mouse key presses, typing, etc. If he were to stop it, his computer would become unresponsive. He shouldn't really get caught up with what he finds in the Task Manager, especially when the processor and RAM are being used.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1539

A new technology, developed by Watergen, is an atmospheric water generator called Genny, which takes in ambient air through a filter, and cools at its dew point, extracting water through condensation. The water is then purified, mineralized, and is ready and safe to drink. The prototype unit was producing five gallons of clean drinking water per day, but the company expected the final production unit would produce eight gallons a day. It comes with a built-in reservoir and a water treatment system.

Why can't I charge my HP laptop via USB-C?

HP Spectre

Episode 1539

Carmine from Chicago, IL

Carmine has an HP Spectre laptop, but his USB-C connector won't power the laptop using his OtherWorld Computing adapter. Leo says that he's supposed to be able to with this new model. It's a data port as well as a power port, and so it may be an authorization issue. Leo says that he may want to try the HP power dongle. He'll also want to be sure he's getting enough power through the Type-C connector. There may not be enough through the OWC, and the laptop may think it's just a data connector.

How can I unjam a carousel CD player?

CD Changer

Episode 1538

Mike from Colorado Springs, CO

Mike has a CD player with a tray that's jammed up. Leo says it's likely a titled CD that's blocked it and it's jammed. It may also be a torn table that has unglued itself and is gumming up the works. There may be a tiny hole that he can use a paperclip to free up the mechanism. Outside of that, he'll have to take it apart.

Image by Andrey Korzun [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

How can I get data off a really old hard drive?

VGA

Episode 1538

Tyler from Oklahoma City, OK

Tyler has a 20-year-old computer and he needs to get some data off the hard drive. He's having trouble finding a port to connect his video monitor to. He doesn't have VGA. Leo says he'll have to have a VGA port because that was the standard back then. If there's no VGA, then it could be a server. But he may be able to find an old video card to plug into it.

Leo recommends just getting a hard drive enclosure for it. He'll need an IDE model. Then he can connect it via USB to his current computer. That's far easier than trying to connect everything to it to see what's on it.