Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Apple Watch Due in April

Episode 1159

Apple Watch

With the news that Apple's new Apple Watch will be coming in April, the company is putting safes in all of its stores to hold them. Some, including the Gold Edition version, will cost about $5,000. Leo says that's crazy considering that it'll be obsolete in a year.

Meanwhile there's another rumor that Apple is going to offer a streaming TV service with content licensed directly from providers. Rumors also suggest that Apple is talking to programmers about making it happen. Leo says they may have a shot this time, especially if they can offer live event programming.

What laptop should I buy for my college bound daughter?

Episode 1158

Todd from Topeka, KS
Dell XPS 13

Leo suggests contacting the school for requirements and what they prefer. The college store may have a good student discount, too. Since it's possible to run Windows on a Mac, he can't really go wrong with a Mac. It can run Windows natively from bootup. She could also run it in emulation (virtually), which slows it down a little bit, but not much. If she already has a Mac, she'll be fine. But Leo still recommends contacting the school.

How can I get data off a broken hard drive?

Episode 1158

Brandon from California
NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter

Brandon is a teacher and he has an external hard drive that had the pin bent off of it in the enclosure. He moved it over to an identical drive enclosure and it can only be seen in the device manager, but it doesn't work.

Leo says it could be that the damage done to the connector has been done to the hard drive as well. Brandon should go to NewerTech.com and pick up the USB 3.0 Universal Drive adapter. It'll help him get everything off it.

How can I use my old headset with my new computer?

Episode 1158

Darla from Oceanside, CA
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface

Darla bought a new computer and she sees that her headphone jack also works as a microphone jack. She does an outdoor sports podcast and needs to use her old headsets with it, though. Leo says it's true that new computers use the headphone jack as a mic in as well. This is by far the worst way to get audio into the computer, though. Leo advises using a USB audio interface. It will take any microphone, even professional grade XLR mics, and connect it into an interface that will convert the analog signal into digital data that will be transferred over USB. That will eliminate any RF noise.

Should I switch from PC to Mac?

Episode 1158

Matt from Santa Maria, CA
MacBook Pro

Matt is a longtime PC user with computers that he needs to do a "tech refresh" with. Would it be better to make the switch to go along with his iPhone and iPad? His wife is reluctant to switch. Leo says there's a great compromise, however -- Windows runs beautifully on a Mac. Matt can run it under Boot Camp, which allows him to choose either at boot up, or he can run it virtually. He could buy a Windows machine, but it won't be able to run OS X. So Matt can tell her that they can have the best of both worlds!

Will a Windows 7 laptop work with a Windows XP printer/scanner?

Daryl from Ashville, NC

Episode 1158

Daryl hasn't gotten a new computer in 20 years and he recently got an HP printer and scanner. Will a Windows 7 laptop run with devices that are XP compatible? Leo says sure it should. Just make sure the drivers are compatible. He should go to the HP site and look under drivers. If it says Windows 7, he's golden. But even under XP, it's probably alright.

Is My Cloud Mirror from Western Digital network attached storage?

Todd from Topeka, KS

Episode 1158

Todd wants to know about the WD My Cloud Mirror. Is it network attached storage? Leo says it is, but it's supposed to be an appliance for those who aren't very technical. It comes with WD dual drives, will work with Mac or PC, but it doesn't have as many features as a traditional NAS. It will connect to cloud solutions like DropBox for off site backup. There's also a feature he likes that will allow him to connect to the computer directly and copy the files over. At $291 for 4TB of storage, it's a great deal.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1157

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the TreVolo portable electrostatic bluetooth speaker by BenQ. It’s the world's first portable Bluetooth speaker with electrostatic technology. Many music enthusiasts feel electrostatic technology delivers superior sound quality. But electrostatic speakers have been big and power hungry. Now, thanks to BenQ, that’s no longer true.

How can I replace the network adapter in my PC?

Ron from Hollywood, CA

Episode 1157

Ron's Dell computer is having trouble connecting and he has a hunch the network adapter is dying. He's tried different software, but hasn't been able to get it to work. Leo says that the adapter is soldered to the motherboard and to fix that would require changing the motherboard. But he can buy a USB to Ethernet network connector for $12 from monoprice.com.