Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is the computer designed specifically for senior citizens any good?

Episode 1478

David from Arvin, CA
WOW Computer

David got an email advertising a computer ideal for seniors. Leo says that FirstStreet for Boomers and Beyond sounds like a WOW computer and Leo has played with it and kind of likes it. It runs Linux, so it's very secure. It has a browser, email program, and video chat. But Leo has a problem with the price. It's about $1,000 and it may require a subscription to their service. It's also the only one company that supports it. Leo says that using a Chromebase desktop is a better option, and it's half the price.

Why did my webcam stop working after removing malware?

Episode 1478

Melanie from Irvine, CA
HP Webcam

Melanie finally managed to get her Gmail fixed. After the computer tech removed malware from her computer, her webcam doesn't work. Leo says that there's a lot of people out there that know a lot about computers and considering how bad tech support has gotten, they can be valuable help. But sometimes they can break more than they can fix, and this is one example of that. Leo suspects that while the tech was cleaning out the malware, the malware attached itself to a file and it was then removed. Or, he wiped out Melanie's browser plugins. It's hard to tell.

Why can't I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

Episode 1477

Bob from Danville, CA
macOS High Sierra on MacBook Pro

Bob has a 2011 MacBook Pro with an SSD. Now he's trying to upgrade to macOS High Sierra and he's having issues. Leo says that it's looking for the original drive, and since Bob installed it as a secondary drive, it keeps looking to install on the first drive. The simple solution is to swap his drives and put the SSD as the main drive, and the other drive as his second hard drive.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1477

Dick DeBartolo

Coach seats on an airplane are uncomfortable enough, but having to fight over the small armrest between coach seats makes it even worse. There's a neat solution for that. Soarigami doubles the existing armrest space and provides a friendly barrier, so you and your seatmate can comfortably share fairly. However, the company strongly suggests that before using the device, you simply ask your seat-mate neighbor if they're willing to share. Dick guesses that when you show them the Soarigami, they'll be very interested in sharing it.

Why is my laptop screen blank?

Episode 1477

Sam from South Williamsport, PA
Keyboard

Sam was printing up his son's graduating announcements and his cat walked across the keyboard and now the computer is blank. What happened? Leo says that there is a button on the keyboard that can turn off the screen. It's probably one of the function keys that was triggered to make the laptop look for an external screen. From the chatroom - here's an article on the subject. He can also program those buttons, so it may be a good idea to disable it.

How can I use my Apple lightning headphones with a regular headphone jack?

Episode 1477

Steve from Birmingham, AL
Apple EarPods

Steve wants to use his lightning headphones into a regular headphone jack. Leo says he probably won't be able to do that since the Lightning connector is proprietary. Those Lightning headphones are for one thing only — for use with the iPhone. Walmart does sell a female-to-male Lightning adapter, and there's one that actually comes with the Apple Pencil as well. Leo's not sure that this would actually work, though. It may be easier to just buy a cheap pair of earbuds that would have the proper connector.

Is it safe to plug my dash cam into my car's diagnostic port?

Episode 1477

Johnny from Atlanta, GA
Owl Dashcam

Johnny bought the Owl Dashcam and needs a few tips. Leo says that the Owl ties into its own LTE connection and communicates to you through your mobile device. It's also voice controlled and can save video clips with a simple command. Johnny is concerned that connecting the Owl to his onboard diagnostic port will void his Audi's warranty. Leo says that connecting to the OBD2 port could give someone access to the car's computer system, but the Owl only draws power from it.

Can I get rid of the RAID feature in my bios?

Episode 1476

John from West Palm Beach, FL
BIOS

John bought an SSD from Intel a few years ago, and it installed a RAID program in the BIOS of his computer. Now he can't get rid of it. What can he do? Leo says he should just ignore it. Most modern BIOS / EFI support RAID, but it doesn't really take up any usable room. It's just a firmware feature, so he can ignore it. He shouldn't mess with his BIOS anyway.