Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1517

Football season is here and this week's gadget from the Giz Wiz is The Star Sports Backpack. Created by Josie Moncada, a sports mom, for sports fans, the Star Sports backpack is incredibly durable, have extra padding and be lightweight (They weigh about 2 pounds; very light for a backpack.) Inside is a padded computer sleeve for laptop and cables, plus a separate compartment for other school needs. There are two side mesh water bottle pockets. The backpack measures 16" D x 11.5" W x 18" H. Founder Josie Moncada uses it as a carry-on personal item for air travel.

What's the best 3d printer to buy?

Episode 1517

Paul from Ventura, CA

Paul wants to get into 3D printing as a hobby, but he doesn't want to spend several thousand to get into it. Thoughts? Leo says it depends on what you want to do with it. What Leo recommends is finding a Maker's Space near you (usually at a local library or junior college) and learn how to use them before you invest all the time and money. It's a great way to get the basics down.

How can I catalog multiple hard drives?

Episode 1517

Jonathan from Pittsburgh, PA

Jonathan wants to know how he can catalog multiple hard drives on a Mac. He uses Super Duper to backup a lot of hard drives and he doesn't want to confuse them. Leo says NeoFinder is a good one, because it can read both NTFS and FAT32 on the Mac.

He also came across a crowd sourced photo editing service called Mendr, which gives you the ability to upload a photo and then Mendr will find a talented photo editor to fix your photo as you need. iOS/Android. Free app, but you pay for the service per photo. Leo says thats a great tip!

How can I recover my crashed hard drive?

Episode 1517

Skyler from Cooper City, FL

Skyler's laptop drive crashed during the saving of a large file. Now the drive can't be seen by the computer. He tried seeing it in SpinRite and it doesn't see it either. Leo says that laptop had a so-called "fusion drive" which was half hard drive, half SSD drive. The technology was designed in a time when SSD drives were too expensive, and it really wasn't that great performance wise. It could be the spinning drive died, or the SSD drive died. Try rebooting into your BIOS and see if the BIOS sees it. If it does, then it could be a software issue.

What's hot in consumer electronics right now?

man holding smartphone and typing on laptop

Episode 1516

Josh from Redding, CA

Josh would like to educate himself on consumer electronics and technology. Leo says that tablets and mobile have really moved into the game, even in the corporate arena, where Bring Your Own Devices is a thing now. Voice technologies like the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant are really hitting the mainstream, and with that, so is home automation. Drones are also big. And looking over the horizon, AI is going to be big.

Why doesn't my printer read my new ink cartridges?

Episode 1516

Diane from Banning, CA

Diane's printer ran out of black ink, and she bought a new cartridge, but the printer doesn't recognize it. She's tried three times. No joy. Leo says that it sounds like a printer issue. You want to be sure you hear the "click" when you put the cartridge in. Perhaps bringing the printer into the store and have a technician take look, perhaps clean it out.

What laptop should I get for college?

Lenovo ThinkPad

Episode 1516

Tina from Manitowoc, WI

Tina is going back to school and needs to get a Windows based computer for class. Leo says that Windows 10 is a lot better than Tina's last Windows 95 computer. Recommendations include Dell, Hewlett Packard, and the Lenovo ThinkPad (Leo's favorite). The ThinkPad would be Leo's first choice because they are built to last and the keyboards are very durable. She should get 16gb RAM.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1515

Dick's gadget this week is the Arctic Air, which cools, purifies, and humidifies the air around you. Fill it up with water and just plug this into any wall outlet or USB port and enjoy cool and clean air for 8 hours. The 'secret' is "Evaporative Air-Cooling Technology!" (And that's why they also say: 'works best in dry areas'.) To use it, you fill the non-removable tank with water. Power is USB either via an A/C plug adapter or USB port. And yes, if the room is dry and you're sitting directly in front of it, it will feel cool.