Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz and the perfect drink

Episode 1463

Perfect Drink 2.0 Smart Scale and Interactive Recipe App. Here's what the company says about it: Impress friends with out-of-this-world amazing cocktails you made! (Yes, a little over the top, but this gadget is great. Read on.) Perfect Drink 2.0 and the Interactive Recipe App makes mixology simple and foolproof, regardless of your experience. Choose from 400+ taste-tested recipes or create and save your own unique concoctions. You make the drinks right on the scale, right in the stainless steel cocktail mixer that's included.

How can I wire echo into my mother's nurse call system?

Judy from Pennsylvania

Episode 1463

Judy wants to know if her mother, who is in a nursing home, can be wired in to call the nurse outdoors. She can't pull the string to call the nurse. The chatroom says that Amazon has the "Add a motor drapery motor" that could maybe do it - https://www.amazon.com/Motor-Drapery-Existing-Add-Motor/dp/B01N8T8OLQ. But Leo says that probably the easiest thing to do would be to buy an Echo Dot for the nurses station. That way your mother can do a "drop in" on with the Echo to call them.

Why does my computer freeze up?

Jim from Santa Monica CA

Episode 1463

Jim has a Windows 7 computer and about two months ago it started messing up his mouse, which freezes up for a few seconds or up to 5 minutes. It usually happens after checking his email and then going online for awhile. Then he exits out and the mouse freezes and he has to reboot. Leo says that there's probably something running in the background that's slowing down your computer and causing processes to back up. Leo suggests trying another browser, like Google Chrome.

Can I still buy and answering machine?

Bon from San Diego, CA

Episode 1463

Bob wants to know where he can get a basic answering machine. Do they make them anymore? Leo says that you can still get them from AT&T and Panasonic. Most of them are cordless though, with a basestation for the wireless phones. So it's a phone system and an answering machine all in one. And they're all digital, so there's no tapes to buy. Check Best Buy, Staples, and even Amazon. Leo likes Panasonic because they use the DEKT2 standard.

Can a home assistant device make phone calls?

Caller from California

Episode 1463

Caller wants to get a voice operated home device to make phone calls for his mother in law. Leo says that the Amazon Echo only works with other Echo devices. Google Home Assistant, however, can be linked to your phone and can make phone calls by voice. The Chatroom says that Echo Connect will work to make phone calls, especially emergency ones. Leo says that these in home voice assistants are a game changer. Especially for older folks. Good solution. And there cheap enough now that you can put them in every room.

What's the fastest drive I can get for my MacBook Pro?

Brian from Fairview, TN

Episode 1463

Brian wants to upgrade his MacBook Pro RAID drive and wants the fastest drive possible. Leo says that a Thunderbolt 3 external drive would be the fastest you can get for it. Leo recommends the Envoy Pro EX from OWC. It's also bus powered. But a 6TB drive is over $1,000. So it's not cheap. And you want to be sure you get fast drive that can handle it. Otherwise you're paying for speed you're not getting.

Is Linux secure?

Episode 1462

Ted from Louisiana
Linux Penguin

Ted put Linux on an old Vista Machine, but when he went to use the app Turbo Tax online, it said that it wouldn't support Linux. Leo says to try the Chromium browser in Linux. It's more open source. But being a standard web app, it should work regardless. Is it secure? Leo says it is, but it's not 100% flawless. It does have the benefit of being obscure, though. Hackers want to go after the most people, and open source is such a small segment that it's relatively off their radar. Certainly more secure than Windows Vista.