Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Are Google Chromebooks secure enough for use in schools?

Episode 1254

Janice from Tehachapi, CA
Samsung Chromebook

Janice is hearing that her school may be getting Chromebooks. But Janice is worried the school might not want to get them because of privacy concerns with all data being stored in the cloud. Leo says that the data will be in the cloud whether it's with Google or not. And it's understandable to be concerned. The EFF tells us that we should be. So it's a legitimate issue.

Will OS X El Capitan slow down my Mac?

Episode 1254

John from Los Angeles, CA
Mac OS X El Capitan

John installed the latest version of iOS on his iPhone and it runs slower. Will that happen if he updates to OS X El Capitan on his Mac? Leo says no. It's a different animal. iOS 9 probably slowed down his iPhone 4S because it's old for a mobile device. But with a desktop operating system like OS X, it should do better on older hardware. Leo also thinks that Apple isn't sure why iOS slows down the 4S. Leo also says that putting a new hard drive in his Mac may be a good idea. An SSD is even better. It'll really speed up that laptop.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1253

Dickie D joins us with the Kangaroo. It only costs $100. Now, it's not a marsupial, it's a Windows 10 machine. The smallest personal portable PC on the market. It offers a Windows Hello fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an integrated battery. It's powered by an Intel Cherrytrail (Z8500) processor and has 32GB of memory, along with a micro SD card slot to add more. It's available at Newegg.com, the Microsoft Store Online and a few other retail locations for $99.00.

Do I need to wipe my hard drive before recycling it?

Wendy from Pasadena, CA

Episode 1253

Wendy needs to give away her old Dell computers. Does she have to worry about leaving data on the hard drive? Leo says absolutely. If she doesn't take out the hard drive, then the data could be accessed by someone. E-Waste recycling events are great, but before she does that, she should run DBAN to wipe off the hard drive. Then she can give it away with no worries.

How can I watch TV with my bluetooth headset?

Mike from Chula Vista, CA

Episode 1253

Mike just bought a Sony Bluetooth over the ear headphone set. Can he use it with his television? Leo says he can get a Bluetooth transmitter, and if his TV has a headphone jack, he can just plug it in and then pair that to his headphones. He should look for A2DP because that has the best quality audio. Analog could cause a bit of delay, though. That's why keeping it digital is important. If there is delay, Mike can possibly adjust it in his TVs audio settings.

How can I get back control of my router?

Paul from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1253

Paul has a NetGear cable modem/router and he suddenly can't access it to make any changes. Leo says that routers are really cheap computers and sometimes it can get bit-rotted just like any other computer. Paul should try doing a factory reset. Then he should be able to log in and re-enter all of his settings. It's a good thing to do once in a while anyway.

Why did my laptop keyboard stop working after upgrading to Windows 10?

Mark from Brooklyn, ON

Episode 1253

Mark has a teenage daughter who has a Windows 8 laptop she bought two years ago. They upgraded to WIndows 10, and now they're having issues with the laptop's keyboard and trackpad. They tried reinstalling the OS, but that didn't work. It does work with an external keyboard. Leo says that indicates a hardware failure, not the result of upgrading to Windows. Leo says that Mark can look in the Device Manager and see if there's any red X's by the trackpad and keyboard. It could just be a bad driver, but then again, they reinstalled the OS and the problem persists. So it has to be hardware.

How can I create my own version of Jarvis for home automation?

Greg from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1252

Greg just bought a house and he's in the process of remodeling it. He wants to create a home version of Jarvis. Leo says that home automation is a geeky thing and he was hoping that Apple would make it easy with their Home Kit. That would be the best way to do it. It's the Internet of things, and his Hub would be his iPhone. He could have an iPad built into a wall, but technology changes so fast, it may be better to hang it -- not embed it. But he can have smart window shades, a Nest smart thermostat, iDevices, water sensors, and an internet enabled deadbolt lock.

Is autonomous driving inevitable?

Steve from San Marcos, CA

Episode 1252

Steve calls in to says that autonomous vehicles, and even semis, are licensed in Nevada. Leo says that Nevada wants to be on the forefront on this. Leo suspects they will be widespread in big cities, but California seems to be pushing back on the trend. Leo says it's going to happen sooner or later. People are terrified of it, even though it has a spotless record. Google has been doing it for years with no accidents. But with more than 1 1/2% of people making a living driving, there will be a lot of people looking for work. Leo says that Uber will go automated soon too.