Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1279

Dick DeBartolo

This week'd gadget comes from Underground Toys and it's the Darth Vader Cookie Jar, which includes sound effects from Star Wars. Darth Vader Breathing Sounds Cookie Jar Under $25. Open the lid and you'll hear the scary deep breathing Darth Vader sounds which right from the original movie. R2-D2 Sound Effects Cookie Jar - Under $25. Open the lid and you'll hear bleep-bleep sounds and see flashing LED lights. Not enough Star Wars Stuff? Well, there's also:

How can I prevent Microsoft from forcing Windows 10 on me?

Episode 1279

Ronnie from Los Angeles, CA
Microsoft Windows 10 update

Ronnie has several accounts for Windows 7 and is terrified about the forced migration to Windows 10. Leo says that she can use Steve Gibson's Never10 to avoid it. But if she's really wanting to upgrade and is just worried about it, she shouldn't worry. The upgrade is pretty painless when the computer is compatible with it. And Microsoft will only do the upgrade if it is. It will also save all of her accounts and settings. Leo hasn't had any trouble upgrading all his computers to Windows 10.

Does repairing permissions on a Mac really work?

Episode 1279

Tim from Melrose, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Tim has a Mac and every once in awhile he has to run Disk Utility to repair permissions when it runs a little crazy. But it happens quite often. Leo sometimes thinks it's "voodoo" to have to run it, but repairing disk permissions is usually the best thing to do when the Mac starts to act up. What it usually reflects is that the metadata can get corrupted, preventing the computer to write to it. Repairing the permissions fixes that.

Why can't I use PayPal Here with my new iPhone?

Episode 1279

Joseph from Pasadena, CA
PayPal Here

Joseph uses PayPal for his business and when he upgraded to the iPhone 6S Plus he started having issues with PayPal's magstripe reader. Leo says that those readers are actually microphones that pick up the magnetic pulses as sound for the app to translate.

The chatroom says that there is a known issue with it on the Apple Discussions board. It says that getting a new reader could solve the issue.

Should I get the iMac or Mac Mini?

Episode 1278

Andrea from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Apple iMacs

Andrea needs to replace her Mac and wants to know if she should get an iMac or if she could use a Mac Mini. Leo says that the iMac is faster and will perform better. The Mac Mini is a low cost Mac but doesn't include monitor, keyboard or mouse. It tends to be used as servers, home theaters, or even a poor man's iMac, but Andrea will be disappointed with the performance. Leo recommends the 5K iMac if she can afford it. If she's still on the fence, she should go to the Apple store and try them.

Should I buy a Lenovo for editing 4K video?

Episode 1277

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA
Lenovo ThinkPad P50

Steve is planning to buy a new laptop and is looking at the Lenovo P50 because it allows him to use dual PCI drives built in, plus a third SSD for data. Leo says that makes it a bit heavy at 6 pounds and is mostly a desktop replacement. Steve says it's worth it because he's editing 4K video. Leo says it can certainly do that because it has a Xenon processor, up to 64GB of memory and supports Thunderbolt and USB Type C. It's a nice rig. What's remarkable is that reviews say it gets 8 1/2 hours of battery life.

How can I reset my iMac?

Episode 1278

Donald from Mojave Valley, AZ
Apple iMac

Donald has an iMac and has to have his screen repaired. But he doesn't know how to wipe the drive since there's no command key. Leo says that Apple has changed it from CMD to an Apple Key and a cloverleaf/propeller symbol. It's the same. How can he reset his iMac and wipe the drive if he doesn't know the password? Leo says to reboot and while it's starting up, press the CMD Key, plus R. This will put the computer into recovery mode and he can then run the Disk Utility to format the hard drive. Then he can reinstall.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1277

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is for the hard of hearing. It's called the Turtle Beach HyperSound Clear Audio System. It provides high directional sound that will beam clear sound to a "sweet spot" for people to be able to hear it. It's not cheap at about $1700, but what's interesting is that everyone else can hear the stereo at normal volume. It's a bit pricey, but when you consider the cost of hearing aids, it suddenly looks more affordable.