Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What size MacBook Air should I get?

Episode 1133

Neal from Phoenix AZ
Apple MacBook Air

Neal would like to get a new computer, but he doesn't know what size MacBook he should get. Leo says that the 13" MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM is more than adequate for what Neal needs it for, and with 13 hours of battery life, it's a great deal. The only limitation is that it has a smaller 128GB hard drive. But that's big enough for basic work. He can get an external drive to store all of his data and move it over from the old computer.

Why is my computer not seeing my USB 3.0 hard drive after waking from sleep?

Episode 1132

Mark from Chatsworth, CA
USB hard drive

Mark bought a Dell Desktop with Windows 8 and downgraded to Windows 7. But his USB 3 hard drive isn't working right when waking from sleep, even after he's re-installed the drivers. He has to reboot the computer to get it to read the hard drive.

Leo says to check out the USB Root Hub. He should make sure that the checkbox "wake from sleep" is enabled (checked). Otherwise it won't wake up.

What camera should I get to take videos of the kids playing sports?

Episode 1132

Kevin from Orange County, CA
Olympus Stylus SP-100

Kevin is looking for a camera/camcorder option that can record video and take stills at the same time. Leo says that most cameras can do that today. He's also wondering about taking photos at distances over 50 feet. Leo says he likes Olympus. They have the Stylus Sp-100 with the Eagle Eye 50x optical zoom.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1131

This week's gadget from the GizWiz is The Spark. It's a watch that has a camera and it watches you to make sure you don't fall asleep while you're at work at school. Spark uses motion-tracking algorithms developed in conjunction with sleep researchers to analyze an individual’s motion patterns throughout the day. Using this data, the watch can detect when its user has fallen asleep at an inconvenient time. If it sees you nodding off, it vibrates to take you back up. The preorder price is $49, while retail will be $79.

How can I mount a computer monitor on the wall?

Episode 1131

Pete from Brooklyn, NY
Ergotron LX HD Wall Mount Swing Arm

Pete would like to mount a Mac monitor on the wall. Leo says a VESA mount is the best and Leo recommends Ergotron arms. That's what TWiT uses in the Brickhouse studios. He recommends bringing his monitor back to Apple and requesting a model with the VESA mount. Leo also says that Dell's 5K monitor is great for the same price. It may be worth going that way.

What laptop or tablet would allow me to work offline?

Episode 1131

Susie from West Covina, CA
MacBook Air

Susie wants to get a new laptop or tablet, but doesn't always have internet access. Leo says that a Chromebook or an iPad may be a good option. Most cloud solutions will allow her to download files locally to the laptop or tablet so she could work on it without internet access.

If Susie wants a light computer with more storage and a full operating system, she could consider the MacBook Air or Acer Aspire S7 Laptop.

How can I use TRIM with OS X Yosemite?

Episode 1130

Dave from Buena Park, CA
SSD

Dave upgraded his MacBook Pro with a Samsung SSD and it was running TRIM. But OS X Yosemite has a new security requirement called Kext Signing, and it only allows drivers that are approved by Apple. Leo says he can download TRIM Enabler, but he does have to disable kext signing to use it. And that's dangerous because it could open the door for malware. TRIM is built into Yosemite, but it only works with Apple Hardware.