Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Bob has a pair of headphones that he loves and and older receiver. He would like to convert them to bluetooth. Leo says it can be done with a bluetooth transceiver. They come out of China and aren't very expensive. Rocketfish makes one. OroTech. You can easily get one for under $100 or even $50. You'll want one that plugs into the optical audio out to keep it digital for the least signal degradation. You'll also want the A2DP standard.
David's landlady has wifi but she doesn't want to improve the signal so he can get a better connection. Leo says you can get a WiFi antenna to improve your signal,but if you can convince your landlady to put the access point in a better location, that would be the ticket. Check out RadioLabs.com for tips on which directional antenna to buy to get a better signal. You could also offer to buy her a newer 802.11 AC router. Leo likes the Asus C3200. It goes a long way.
Russ wants to know what VR system should he buy. Leo has both the RIFT and the VIBE, but he's also played with the Sony Playstation VR and he thinks that may be the winner. But it won't be out until this fall. Right now, though, Leo says that the HTC Vive has the edge because it has handheld controllers along with it. The Rift requires the XBox controller at the moment. Another advantage the Vive has is that it has two cameras that you can put in each corner with a 10 foot radius and move around. The Rift is more limited in movement.
Alan has a problem where Windows 10 doesn't see his Plantronics usb headset. Saying the driver is corrupted. Leo says that there probably isn't a dedicated Plantronics driver for it, instead relying on the standard Windows USB audio driver. But it seems unlikely that the USB audio driver is corrupted. But it is Microsoft, so it may just be a matter of reinstalling the drivers. Leo also says that booting into Linux and testing it was a brilliant troubleshooting idea. The other idea is that it could just be a Windows 10 incompatibility.
Jim's Lenovo laptop gets a notification that his lithium ion battery is 70% depleted. Leo says that there's a lot of mythology and garbage about LiOn batteries. But what we do know is that a standard battery has a cycle life of about 500 recharge cycles. They've discovered why and are working on designs to make sure batteries never wear out. But that isn't in the current state of the art. You can do things to make sure you get the most out of your battery by 1) never completely depleting your battery and when you do store them, store them half charged.
Chris is building a house and wants to get into home automation. Should he go with something wired or wireless, and what about the security of it? Leo says that we are still at the very beginning of home automation. There are a lot of systems and no standard has really been established. Most modern home automation systems are wireless, now. Everyone uses their home Wi-Fi networks to operate them. To future proof it, Leo would advise putting conduit into the walls as a kind of tunnel so he can put in fiber or some other wires should he decide to.
Chad has installed Cloud Ready Chrome on his old laptop to create his own Chromebook. Leo says he's tried to install it on a Mac and it hasn't worked. If he can do it on a PC laptop, then it's a great choice. Leo loves the idea, and for a lot of people, it's far better than Windows.
Chad wants to know how he can make his laptop more lightweight. He's already put in an SSD. Leo says that's a huge start, but a great deal of the weight is in the battery. Given the design of the laptop, there's not much he can do about that either.
Ron has the Tiny Hardware Firewall, which he likes. Once he's connected to the VPN inside of it, what does the firewall do, though? Leo says that the firewall is the first level of protection. It acts as a router and is the attack surface, not the computer. A router is a dumb device that doesn't know what the attack is and ignores it, unless there's a security flaw inside the system. Like a router at home, the Tiny Hardware Firewall gives a little extra protection, though.
This week's gadget is the Illumi Tower work light, a series of 60 bright white LEDs that put out 720 lumens on a single 2400 mAh battery. 8-10 hours to charge, battery life of 3-6 hours. Great for camping, auto work, emergency lighting in the home, closet lighting, and more. The only down side is, that it will not work with the AC.
Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/Y1BH9To-fsM
David updated his mobile phone and he's lost a lot of apps. Leo says that if he opens the Google Play store, there's a menu item for "My Apps." It'll show what's on his phone and what isn't. If he presses and holds the first app he wants, he can then select all the apps he wants and it'll reinstall them.