Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
In addition to some interesting new products, like self driving cars and drones, CES was what Leo called "Groundhog Day." There was about 10% new stuff, another 20% crazy stuff that will never see the light of day, and the rest we've all seen before.
Jonathan has Verizon FIOS with 75 Mbps up and down. Leo says that's nice! He has great signal on one side of the house, but it's terrible on the other side. How can he extend the Wi-Fi? Leo says he has to use Verizon's FIOS modem and router, but he doesn't have to use it for Wi-Fi. He can get a better Wi-Fi access point like an Apple Airport Extreme. Then put that in bridge mode so it'll pass the signal along to the rest of the house. If he needs more, then he can add a few $99 Airport Express's to act as a repeater. Leo has three of them.
Alan just got a 15" MacBook Pro, but he considers himself a geek and is wondering if this was really a good purchase. Should he switch? Leo says that OS X is far more secure, having been based on a pure UNIX system called BSD. It's important to note that he can also run Windows on it through Boot Camp. So when he boots up, he can choose Windows or OS X.
Amy has several chargers and they all charge at different speeds. Can she run a speed test to see how long it takes to charge them? Leo says she can monitor power usage with the P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. This plugs into the wall, then she can plug a charger into that. There's also this USB in-line voltage and current meter from ADAFruit.
Stana is having issues with her old Compaq Presario freezing frequently. She tried cooling it, and it helped for awhile, but it's freezing again. She updated her drivers, and when that didn't work, she uninstalled them. Now she can't even boot into Windows because it says it failed to install an update, and it's trying to revert back.
CES starts this week in Las Vegas, NV. The confab, which is meant to bring together electronics manufacturers and retailers, also attracts media and tech geeks. All too often, Leo says that a lot of what we'll see at CES never gets released. But we'll see some pretty cutting edge stuff including smart thermostats, self driving cars, and the "internet of things."
The first gadget of 2015 was actually from Dick's "What the heck is it" game. It's called the Store-A-Cell battery caddy. It solves the problem of how to conveniently store batteries in a compact and easy to find holder. Originally designed for pilots, the Battery Caddy is also great for photography, camping, travel or home use. The price depends on the Storacell Battery Caddy you need, but they start at about $5.50. They are available for AA, AAA, and 9V batteries, and there are even versions that can take all three kinds of batteries in one caddy. And you can choose colors.
Wayne is going to hike the Pacific Trail, which is about 2,700 miles. He has an iPhone 4 but he needs a charger for it that is both lightweight, portable, and self sustaining. Leo says that he got his son a solar charger, but Wayne needs to understand that they're not terribly efficient and an all day charge may get only get him few hours of phone time.
Gary likes to play with Raspberry Pi computers and would like to get the smallest UltraHD screen he can for the sleeper in his truck. Leo says that's a great project for a trucker to play with. Leo says that the Raspberry Pi computers are great and for $35, they're dirt cheap and great for the hobbyist.
Tom is looking for Leo's suggestion about fire alarms and suppression. Leo went out to the local alarm company and had them do it. But there are some interesting choices that also offer full home automation with motion activated cameras that will tell the house to heat up and turn on the lights when he gets home. He can do it himself, but he'll lose the monitoring advantages.