Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz and Inside MAD

Episode 1107

Dick DeBartolo

Dickie D is back and Leo is very thrilled to be featured in the October 2014 issue of Mad Magazine along with Lisa and a bunch of TWiT Staffers! This week's gadget is the Champ Survival Sidekick is an 8-in-1 Multi-tool and flashlight. In a single device that looks like a flashlight you’ll have these eight emergency tools ready when you need them: Glass breaker and seatbelt cutter. Hand crank and a USB connector for emergency mobile device charging. A 3 LED flashlight.

What smartphone and tablet should I buy with my Mac?

Marie from Covina, CA

Episode 1107

Marie wants to know that if she should stay with Mac for buying an iPhone and tablet. Leo says it's a good idea, but you don't ever have to. Every smartphone and tablet will work just fine with the Mac. The iPhone will be a very good choice, however, and if Marie can wait, it would be a good idea to wait until Apple announces the new iPhone next month. The iPhone is a great phone, especially for someone who hasn't had a smartphone before. But if you're an advanced user, Leo likes Android because you can do more. The Motorola Moto X is a good one as is the HTC One.

Why does my blu-ray player freeze up?

Sara from Santa Monica, CA

Episode 1107

Sara's Blu-ray player freezes up about an hour in and won't go forward. Leo says that Blu-ray players are essentially computers and it could easily be that the laser is dirty or damaged. And blu-ray players are cheap, so just buy another one. But if it's part of your Sony PS3, then it would be worth getting it cleaned. But a stand alone Blu-ray player? Just replace it. The chatroom also says that a firmware update could be necessary.

What's going to be the next, big thing?

Marty from Lancaster, CA

Episode 1107

Marty wants to know what's going to be the next big thing in technology. Leo says it's difficult to predict and usually involved paradigm shifts that nobody expects. Like apps. Some things you can see coming, sure. Like the mobile revolution. But there are others that simply come from out of nowhere. And the internet is only in it's infancy. Leo says you can keep up on your skill set by learning how to learn. And that will future proof you. One thing that won't ever go away though is computer security.

Should I replace my router?

Episode 1106

Ron from North Carolina
Asus AC Router

Ron is buying his wife a new laptop for their anniversary and he's looking at a Lenovo which has AC Wi-Fi. He doesn't think his router can handle it, since it's pretty old. Leo says that routers do wear out and the AC router will give him better reception and speed. Every four or five years, it may be necessary to get a new router.

What hard drive should I buy?

Episode 1106

Mark from Ontario, Canada
Western Digital Black Drive

Mark is looking for a 2TB desktop hard drive. Leo says that hard drives are commodities these days, and no one brand is really better than another. Leo does use Western Digital though, the Caviar line. They're 7200 rpm and he can get them in various models. "Red" drives are for network attached storage and are slow, but reliable, "Black" drives are faster and "Green" drives are eco-friendly and lower power. The VelociRaptor models are 10,000 rpm and are great high performance drives. But now that we're in the world of SSDs, spinning hard drives are less important.