Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why doesn't my Sonos connect in party mode?

Sonos One

Episode 1502

Ricky from San Diego, CA

Ricky has Sonos, and after a recent update, he can't get his Sonos speakers to play in party mode. Leo says that may be due to it choosing a speaker to act as the main portal. Leo has had similar issues, and he solved it with a boosted Wi-Fi device. A recent update was supposed to fix all that. The more likely issue, though, could be plain old congestion. Everything has Wi-Fi now, and as a result, it causes rush hour. Leo recommends un-pairing everything.

Do I need a disc utility program for my Mac?

DiskWarrior

Episode 1502

Alan from Spring, TX

Alan wants to know if MacKeeper is a good Mac maintenance tool. Leo's not a fan. Not only because it's not a very good utility, but simply because Alan doesn't need that kind of utility on the Mac. The OS is so mature now that those utilities that cleaned the hard disc and kept the registry in order simply aren't needed anymore. There already is a disc utility on the Mac and that's really all he needs. Alan could try Alsoft Disc Warrior, but at $100, Leo doesn't think it's worth it.

Why doesn't my MP3 player connect to my car stereo?

CarPlay in the 2018 Honda CR-V

Episode 1502

Jim from Lakewood, CO

Jim just got a new Honda and he can't get his MP3 player to pair with it via Bluetooth. Leo says that if he can connect his phone via Bluetooth, then it supports Honda's version of the A2DP standard. The question is, does that MP3 player support it? It may be that Honda doesn't properly implement A2DP. Most cars will pair with an A2DP standard, and if his MP3 player supports it, then it should. But since that car has Apple CarPlay, he can always use his phone to stream music.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1501

Here's a totally new product from Bose. No, it's not active noise reduction, which Bose is famous for, but a brand new way to mask annoying nighttime noises. Things like noisy neighbors, construction; or when traveling, vending machines, elevators, etc. Active noise reduction doesn't work for sleep, so they came up with a new technology, noise-masking. The new device is dubbed Bose sleepbuds. They don't (and can't) stream music, but they offer 10 preloaded soothing sound tracks (water, rustling leaves, crackling fire, etc.) designed to match and mask the unwanted noise.

Is buying a used computer a good idea?

Windows 10

Episode 1501

Sandy from Costa Mesa, CA

Sandy bought a used computer from a guy, and it's filled with software. Is that legit? Leo says that chances are, the computer hardware is fine, but it will be filled with pirated software that she doesn't have a right to or paid for. And chances are, it'll be a timed trial that will stop working down the road. That's a drag, especially if the timed software is Windows itself. But by then, the guy is gone. And he may also have hidden key loggers and stuff.

How can I save money with an inkjet printer?

Epson WorkForce ET-4750 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer

Episode 1501

Frank from Huntington Beach, CA

Frank wants to get an inkjet printer, but he doesn't know if they're really worth the money. Leo says that while the printers themselves are cheap, the ink is extremely expensive. And he can't refill the cartridges because 1) they're messy and 2) they often won't work in the printer because of proprietary circuitry. It also affects the print head. So Leo doesn't recommend it. Frank could buy re-manufactured cartridges, but at that point, he may as well just bite the bullet and buy a new one. Plus, some cartridges replace the print head in the process.

Can I control a phone from my computer?

Episode 1500

Adam from Ontario, CA

Adam wants to know if he can control a mobile device from his computer. Leo says that Remote PC does not work in the opposite direction, unless the phone is physically connected. You could control another laptop from a laptop, or Desktop. But not a phone. So in the case of your phone being stolen, you have to get your carrier or phone manufacturer involved to brick it or wipe is remotely.

Is there a router not made in China?

ASUS AC3200 Wireless Tri-Band (Dual 5GHz + Single 2.4GHz) Gigabit Wi-Fi Router

Episode 1499

April from Brooksville, FL

April's router keeps dropping her. Leo says that routers do wear out and after several years, they become unreliable. It may just be time to get a new one. But her husband doesn't want one made in China. Leo says good luck with that. TP-Link has good routers, but that's in China. There are some that are made in Taiwan. That would do the trick. Asus also makes great routers. They are also updatable using DD-WRT open source firmware.