Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good home security camera?

Jorge from California

Episode 1189

Jorge wants to know what's a good security camera for the home. Leo says they used to use DropCam and they have a great service where the video is uploaded to the internet and you can go back into time. And it's in HD quality. The downside is that it eats up your bandwidth. But it's very good. What about Swann? It's sold at Costco. Leo says they've been around for awhile and it's nice because it's a kit with everything you need. But you need to know what the requirements are and how they connect to the Internet.

What laptop should I get my daughter for college?

Eric from Chino Hills, CA

Episode 1189

Eric's daughter has a Mac Mini and she's thinking of bringing it to school, but the monitor is so huge. So she's thinking of going with a laptop, like a Windows machine. Leo says that the base model MacBook Air is $899 and that's a good choice, And educational saves another 10% off. And if you go to the Apple Refurbished site, you could save a few hundred dollars more. Leo says you could get a $200 HP Stream, and they're cheap. But they won't be able to handle the load of video editing.

Why does my laptop run so slow?

Matthew from Austria

Episode 1189

Matthew has a Lenovo T410 Thinkpad for college. Leo says it's really good. Second to none. Best keyboard. Matthew found Superfish on it! Leo says that's horrible and part of the reason why he doesn't recommend Lenovo anymore. Matthew cleaned it off, but it runs slower than he'd like. Leo says that one option is to replace the spinning drive with an SSD. But it depends on how the bus is connected to determine if the laptop can take advantage of the speed that an SSD buys you. You'll get some, but the question is, how much?

How can I stream a local baseball game over mobile phones?

Charlie from Winton, MA

Episode 1189

Charlie goes to local baseball games and they stream the announcing of the game over the internet. He'd like to be able to beam it via bluetooth for people to listen to it on their smartphones. But Leo says that you can't really do that because of it's limited range. It's only 30 feet. You could set up a small, micro power radio station. Or you can just stream it and people can listen to the stream on their smartphones. But Bluetooth is just too limited in range. And even if the range wasn't an issue, a transmitter can only handle so many pairings. It's not designed from one to many.

Is the New MacBook a Bad Apple?

Episode 1189

Apple MacBook

Users are complaining that the new Apple MacBook is way too slow, way too thin, and that the one connector is just too limiting. The keys on the keyboard make it very difficult to type since they are so shallow, you don't get much of a tactic return. But Leo thinks it's pretty nice at first blush. The fact is, nobody is making you upgrade to a new Mac every time they put one out. It's your choice.

Will a MacBook Air work well for mobile DJing?

Episode 1188

Michael from Hollywood, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Michael has an older MacBook Pro and he's looking to get a new MacBook Air for DJing. Would it be sufficient? Leo says that MacBook Air with 4GB RAM should work just fine. But doubling up on the RAM certainly wouldn't hurt. Audio isn't that big of a power draw. The 13" MacBook Pro is a great option too, as it's thin, light, and has a gorgeous screen.

Is there a USB external sound card option?

Episode 1188

Mark from Escondido, CA
Syba SD-CM-UAUD USB Stereo Audio Adapter

Mark has an old PC and his sound card broke. He knows it isn't worth fixing, so he's wondering if there is an external sound card option? Leo says yes! USB sound cards are available, and they are even better for the computer because they don't pick up the fan noise of the computer itself. Mark will want a USB DAC. They range in price from affordable to expensive. Check out the Syba USB Stereo Audio Adapter. It costs just $8!

How can I output the video from my iOS device to my car?

Episode 1188

Frank from Richboro, PA
HDMI to Composite Converter

Frank wants to output the video from his new iOS device to his car. His car video system requires a composite connection. He says there used to be an adapter that would work with the 30-pin connectors on older iOS devices, but he hasn't found anything that works with Apple's new Lightning connector. Leo says he may have to use two adapters to go from Lightning to HDMI, and then buy a $10 dongle that will convert HDMI to composite.

What computer do I need for video editing?

Episode 1188

Marilee from Highland, IN
iMac with Retina 5k display

What computer should she get for video editing? Leo says an iMac is the way to go, but some say the Mac Pro is better. Leo disagrees. She'd still have to buy a monitor and other externals if she got the Mac Pro. The iMac is faster and she'll get that huge 5k display, making it easier to edit. She's not doing advanced rendering, so the 5K iMac is ideal. And she'll want more memory, at least 16GB. As far as the processor goes, the faster clock speed is more important than the number of cores. She won't need to get an upgraded video card either.

How can I use a smartwatch as a remote for my camera?

Episode 1188

John from Pasadena, CA
LG Watch Urbane

John has a Panasonic Lumix camera that he uses for his photography hobby. He's been shooting since the 70s. But he wants to know how he can link it to his smartwatch and use it as a trigger remote. Leo says that both the Apple Watch and Android Smartwatches can do that with the phone camera. He can even see what the phone sees from the watch. This allows him to remote trigger and even do a self timer option.