Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What do I do if my laptop is a lemon?

Episode 1211

Dale from Santa Maria, CA
Dell Inspiron 5000

Dale has a six month old Dell that is a lemon. Leo says that there is a computer lemon law in California, and if he's had to have it repaired several times, it's protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty and Consumer Protection Act. Leo says to restore the laptop to the original state and tell them he's done that several times. Then demand for it to be replaced. Intermittent problems are frustrating and can effect processor, RAM, power supply, etc. Overheating due to faulty fans can also cause this.

How can I transfer files from my old Mac to my new Mac?

Episode 1211

Matthew from Encino, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Matthew wants to transfer old files from his old computer to his new computer. Leo says that Matthew can use an ethernet cable, Firewire or even Thunderbolt and put the old computer into "target disk mode." This will treat his old Mac as a hard drive that will mount on the new Mac. Then it's just a simple drag and drop of his files.

Keyless Fob Makes Volkswagens Easily Hacked

Episode 1211

SlimFold Wallet

If you have keyless entry, you're close enough to your Volkswagen, someone could break into your car by using an $18 device to amplify the signal of the key fob. If you also have a keyless ignition, they could easily steal the car as well. There is a fix for it -- a small wire mesh bag that acts as a Faraday cage. But Volkswagon has known for two years that all Volkswagen and Audi cars can easily be hacked and open the car door. And the problem is, it requires a hardware repair to fix it.

Pocket Sized Transporters Could Soon Arrive in Tokyo

Episode 1210

Reuters is reporting that pocket sized, portable transporters could soon be seen on the streets of Japan. A Japenese engineer developed a portable transporter, small enough to be carried in a backpack, that is being called a "car in a bag." It's about the size of a scale, and starts to roll when you step on it. You lean in the direction you want to go, and it can go up to 6 mph.

Read more at Reuters.com.

US Watch Sales Drop in the Last 7 Years

Episode 1210

Apple Watch

Citing the release of the Apple Watch, US Watch sales have been reportedly declining in the last seven years. Leo says it's silly to blame Apple for the sales downturn, and it's likely that saturation with customers is blamed. Even Apple admits that the high priced Apple Watch hasn't done as well as they had hoped. Most people have a smartphone and that took the place of a wrist watch for most people long before the Apple Watch came on the scene.

How can I run HDMI 50 feet or more?

Episode 1209

Glen from Rolling Heights, CA
HDMI Cable

Glen wants to split his TV signal via HDMI. It works for a minute and then it gets really dark. Leo says the challenge is that Glen is splitting the signal and then transporting it over a greater distance. So chances are it's dropping bits due to interference. That's why Leo says a Balun is a better choice. He can then send HDMI over ethernet and the signal is amplified over both ends. It's much better and not very expensive. Glen can check out HDMI Extenders or Baluns at monoprice.com.

How can I monitor my home?

Episode 1209

G. Scott from Minnesota
SmartThings Hub

G. Scott has a client who wants to monitor their cabin from their home, including temperature, humidity, and if their septic tank isn't working. Leo suggests SmartThings. They can put the hub into the cabin and the hub talks wirelessly to the sensors installed in the house. The problem with home automation, though, is that there are no standards for it. It's really new. But SmartThings is very good place to start.

What computer should I get my daughter?

Episode 1209

Jenny from California
13" MacBook Pro with Retina display

Jenny's granddaughter needs a new computer because hers is about 7 years old. Leo says before she looks to buy a new computer, she could try reinstalling the operating system. It's probably free for her and it would make her computer faster. But at the end of the day, it sounds like her granddaughter wants a new computer. Leo believes that Apple is going to announce new laptops in October, so if she can wait, it'll be worth waiting for. Apple doesn't really raise prices with new computers, they just improve performance.