Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I make my router more secure?

Episode 1192

Marco from Portugal
Asus Router

Marco just heard of yet another router hack called NET USB that is breaking into routers. Leo says that's because most router companies use the same code and it has bad security. The irony is that these hacks don't effect Apple routers like the Airport. So that makes the Airport a better way to go. But they are more expensive. If he can't afford to buy them, then he should get a router that is DDWRT compatible (like Asus), then he can use open source firmware to keep it locked down.

Why am I getting error messages when recording music?

Scott from Westminster, CA

Episode 1192

Scott does music recording on his MacBook Pro, but some of his recordings are getting a "disk too slow" error. Leo says that has to do with how many tracks he's recording, and an SSD would definitely fix that. Scott should check out the Blackmagic Speed Disk Tester in the Mac App Store. It'll test the speed of his hard drive and it will tell him if his hard drive is fast enough for the recording he's doing.

What mobile Wi-Fi hotspot should I buy?

Emily from Orange County, CA

Episode 1192

Emily is thinking about buying a portable Wi-Fi hotspot so that they will have the ability to connect to the Internet with her iPad. Leo says that's a good idea. Are the independent carriers any good? Leo says that there aren't any independent carriers, really. They're just reselling coverage from the big guys (called MVNO) and she'll want to be sure she checks out the coverage maps for the carrier they're reselling. Is Karma good? Leo says that Karma is a Kickstarter campaign that would let her pay as she goes.

How can I use multiple devices on a single paid internet connection access point?

Episode 1192

Mike from Diluth, MN
D-Link AC750 Travel Router

Mike is taking his family to the Baltics for the summer and has already unlocked his mobile phones. He's thinking about buying the unlimited data plans on the cruise ship. Leo says not to. It's woefully slow. They use a marine satellite and it has very little bandwidth. He'd end up getting up at 3 in the morning to use the Internet and download his email. Not worth $30 a day, especially since only one person can be signed on at a time.

Why can't my scanner work in Windows 8?

Bret from New Jersey

Episode 1192

Bret has an old scanner that he can't get to work with Windows 8. It looks like Canon doesn't have any new drivers for it, nor does Microsoft. How can he get it to work in Windows? Leo says that the Windows 8 driver isn't much different than Windows 7, and there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to install the Windows 7 driver. A TWAIN driver is generic, and if the scanner supports TWAIN, he may be able to use that.

Why am I getting a blue screen on my computer?

Dave from Chicago, IL

Episode 1191

Dave's wife got a "blue screen," and he thought the monitor was the culprit. Leo says the simple and cheapest solution is to swap out the monitor cable first. If the issue persists, he should try updating the drivers. He can create a bootable thumb drive that will allow him to get into the computer without running the hard drive. He can also do it from a CD. His recovery disc will do this as well. Then if it's a driver, booting to a separate OS would tell him a lot. If it's still blue, then he'll know it's a hardware issue.

Why can't I type with my scrabble game?

Mel from Pennsylvania

Episode 1191

Mel is having trouble with his desktop trying to play a Scrabble game. Leo says that it may be some stray "clicks" from the mouse preventing him from continuing, or the submit button may be stuck. Changing out the mouse could solve the issue, or changing the battery in the wireless mouse. Replacing the keyboard may also be a good idea. Sometimes keys can get stuck.