Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why is Microsoft Word running so slow?

Episode 1448

George from Palmdale, CA
Hard Drive

George gets an error message in Microsoft Word that it's not responding as he's typing. After a while it wakes up and catches up. Leo says that the keyboard has a buffer and it will catch up as the buffer dumps out. But it won't catch everything. And George has Windows 10 with Office, so there's something going on in the background that's slowing George down. Windows could be background indexing. He should check the task manager. There may also be plugins from the browser that's slowing things down.

Why doesn't the Amazon Echo understand me?

Episode 1448

Jay from Los Angeles, CA
Amazon Echo Dot

Jay has an Amazon Echo Dot and the Logitech Harmony system, and sometimes the Echo simply doesn't do anything. Leo says it can do that if it doesn't understand the command. Leo suggests turning on the "ding" feature that will signal that it understands him. He can also use the Amazon Echo app on his phone and look at what the Echo is doing. Then he can see if and why it didn't understand him.

Should I buy a hardware firewall?

Episode 1448

Tom from Madison, WI
CUJO smart firewall

Tom wants to know if the CUJO Smart Firewall is a good idea. Leo says that he already has a firewall with his wireless router. That handles about 80% of all bad traffic. Also using OpenDNS can filter out even more. Then he could have a software firewall to handle the rest. Everything that CUJO does, he can do with other services that cost less or free. Mesh Routers also offer the exact same protections.

Is the Tap Wearable Keyboard a good idea?

Episode 1447

Josh from Austin, TX
TAP Wearable Keyboard

Josh has discovered a crazy new keyboard interface called the TAP Wearable Keyboard. Leo says that it allows you to turn any surface into a keyboard, but you have to completely relearn how to type to use it. It's just available for preorder also, so it hasn't hit the market yet. Leo says this is a category that's going to blow up in the near future. It has an accelerometer built into it to read the movement of your fingers. But this is a very inconvenient way to type for those who have been typing for years.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1447

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget from Dickie D is the Twistmas Light. Twistmas Lights allow anyone to take their favorite photos and make their own personalized holiday ornaments that are lit up. You can decorate your tree with what matters most to you; special family photos, pets, photos of family history, favorite sports teams and more...the possibilities are endless. It's also the perfect personalized gift for friends and family members. A Twistmas Light can be purchased as an individual ornament or a package of six ornaments.

What's a good tablet to connect to my drone?

Episode 1447

Greg from Riverside, CA
Mavic Pro Drone

Greg has a Mavic Pro Drone and he wants a new tablet to pair with the controller for a larger screen. Leo says that the Mavic is a very nice quadcopter with a nice camera in it. Leo says the iPad Mini is a good one, but the standard iPad would also be good, and larger. He should look to spend between $300 and $400 for it. Sadly, Samsung has stopped upgrading the software for their Galaxy Tab line, so that really won't be a good idea.

How can I get data off a dead iPod?

Episode 1447

Paul from Montecito, CA

Paul has an iPod with some unreplaceable media on it. It won't let him charge anymore and he's afraid he's lost his media. Leo says it depends on how old it is. He should look on the back and see what the model number is. Chances are, the battery just doesn't hold a charge anymore. He may be able to replace the battery. Before he does that, though, he should try and get it powered up by connecting it to his computer. If it powers up, then he can get the data off with iTunes. If not, that model iPod has a spinning hard drive in it, so he could remove it.

Should I buy a refurbished MacBook Pro?

Episode 1446

Eric from Long Beach, CA
MacBook Pro

Eric is looking to get a Best Buy refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro for $600. Is that a good deal? Leo says he usually recommends getting a refurb model from the manufacturer. He'll get a warranty that way. Best Buy probably wiped the hard drive and checked a few things, but it's not strictly refurbished. 4GB RAM is also a little light, but it will support High Sierra MacOS. Warranty wise, a good refurb should include a 1-year warranty. 3 months won't really help him. Leo would also recommend spending a little more money and getting a 2015 model.