Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why does my computer refuse to log in after it goes into sleep mode?

David from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1277

David has a problem where his computer shuts off after awhile and he has to log in twice to get it back. Leo says he's had a similar issue with a MacBook. As long as he uses it every day, it's not problem. But after a few days, this issue would pop up. Leo just logs out and shuts down and that solves the issue. David should uncheck put the hard disk to sleep. He should also disable Power Nap. Those things may prevent this from happening. Turning off the Sleep function entirely will work as well, but he'll be using power then.

How should I cool my computer?

Episode 1277

Anthony from Westminster, CA
Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Anthony is planning to build his own computer and wants to know if he should use the stock CPU fan or buy a third party fan. Leo says that doing labor intensive activities like gaming and video editing will tax processors and generate a lot of heat. Recently, Leo built a new computer for virtual reality and they require a lot of power and generate a lot of heat. Leo chose liquid cooling for it. These days you can buy a sealed unit that is leak free. Here's the one Leo bought.

Why are my games taking up so much storage?

Walter from West Viginia

Episode 1276

Walter is noticing half his hard drive is filled up with games and game storage. He doesn't play all that much, what is going on? Leo says that may be a false positive. He recommends looking into your hard drive details with a program called WinDerStat. It will give you a color coded break down of what your hard drive has on it. Then you can decide if there's anything taking up room that you can get rid of.

What Technology Will Be the Next Big Thing?

Episode 1276

Oculus Rift went on sale to the public this week. It's a virtual reality headset that has motion tracking in it along with a camera that can track your body's movements. It also has headphones with very good quality sound. For video, it means that you'll be able to look around and see things all around you. Instead of a camera man or director determining what you'll be seeing, you can look at anything you choose. Gaming is another big use case for these headsets. HTC has made a VR headset called the Vive in conjunction with Steam, a distributor of games for PC.

Why does my computer have a black screen?

Ryan from Pittsburgh, PA

Episode 1276

Ryan has an HP computer and it came up with a black screen. He tried to swap out the power supply, video card, removed all the USB peripherals, replaced the CMOS battery, and still has a black screen. He can hear the power supply running, and the fans are spinning up. Leo suspects it may be just a bad motherboard. Since Ryan has done all the easy stuff first, and then tried replacing peripherals, that only leads to the main motherboard. He should also listen for POST codes to see if the machine is letting him know something is wrong.

Should I build my own high end PC?

Mike from Fountain, CO

Episode 1276

Mike has been watching Leo's VR Computer build and he wants to build his own PC as well. He's currently running a 6 year old Intel Core 2 Duo computer, but he's upgrading the video card so that he can play 4K video to his TV. Leo points out that he could run the Oculus Rift on the GTX 970 video card that he has as well. He's planning on upgrading the computer to the Intel Skylake i7 processor. He does a lot of transcoding, which is very CPU intensive, so that's why Mike needs a high end computer. It can be GPU intensive too, but modern Intel platforms do quite a good job with video codecs.

Is there an alternative to using a mouse?

Episode 1276

John from Los Alamitos, CA
Apple 9.7" iPad Pro

John is a classical pianist and he's suffering from repetitive stroke injury. As a result, he wants to minimize his computer work. Leo says that the first thing to try is a track ball. It's a different experience in navigating the screen that uses different muscles but still does the same job as a mouse. He should research ergonomics. It's not only what equipment he uses, but also how he sits, how he places his hands on the keyboard, the keyboard itself, and more.

What's a good computer for Ham radio operators?

Episode 1276

Marty from Newton, MA
Intel NUC

Marty is a Ham who uses his computer to run his Ham radio sessions. But the other day it stopped working. So now it's time to upgrade. He wants to find something inexpensive. Leo recommends the Intel NUC. It comes with everything he'll need and it doesn't take up much room. Since Marty already has the keyboard, mouse and monitor, a NUC is an ideal way to create a dedicated Ham radio computer. He may need to add a hard drive, but it's a great solution. Another option is the Raspberry Pi 3.