Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good router to buy?

Episode 1493

Tim from San Diego, CA
Synology Router

Tim bought a new NetGear 7900 router, but he had to reboot it every few days. So he returned it and doesn't know what to buy now. Asus is a company that offers a similar router design. It's an open source based router that uses DD-WRT and Tomato. That's what Leo would buy. NetGear also has the problem of being susceptible to the Russian virus, along with TP-Link and several others. Leo suspects that's because they aren't updated as often.

Why can't I adjust the aspect ratio in my streaming app?

Episode 1492

John from Boston, MA
Sony TV

John is trying to stream movies using the FilmStruck app and they all end up 16:9. What can he do? Leo says that the Sony TV that John has uses a variety of aspect ratios. One setting is dot for dot or 1-to-1. That will give him the image it was meant to have. But the TV app is overriding that setting. It sounds like it's a shortcoming of John's smart TV. This is why Leo isn't a fan of smart TVs. Leo recommends using a Roku or cast it from his phone so that it won't override the TV aspect ratio settings.

Can I clean my EcoTank printer?

Episode 1492

Thomas from Milford, CT
Epson EcoTank ET-2550

Thomas has an Epson EcoTank ET2550 printer, but the printer is leaking. Leo says that when moving a printer with tanks, it's vital to keep it level. But Thomas says it won't stop leaking. Is it worth fixing? Leo says it probably just needs to be thoroughly cleaned. That ink should dry sooner or later, though. The key concern is if it dried onto the printer head. Leo also recommends using it to keep the ink from drying out on sensitive parts. Some rubbing alcohol will work great for wiping out all the ink.

What printer should I buy for my semi truck?

Episode 1492

John from Vista, CA
Brother laser printer

John wants to know if a Chromebook will work with a printer/scanner. Leo says they will work wirelessly through Google Cloud Print. Most new printer models support the Cloud Print standard. Chromebooks probably don't have drivers for peripherals, so the wireless Cloud Print setting is the way to go. John should look in his printer settings for how to set it up. Then he can set it up through his Google account. He'll just print and then it sends it to his printer via the internet. A laser printer is probably best for John since he's a trucker.

What budget laptop should I buy?

Episode 1492

Dan from San Francisco, CA
Acer Chromebook

Dan has to buy a new laptop. He likes Apple, and is getting an iMac. So what low budget laptop with a good screen should he buy? Leo says to look at an Acer Chromebook. It's only a few hundred dollars, and it's ideal for being on the move. 99% of what he does can be done with a Chromebook. If he does need a full OS laptop, then Dan should wait until after Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference. Apple will be announcing new laptops, including an $800 MacBook. Good Windows PCs include Acer, HP, and Lenovo.

Why is my computer so sluggish with Windows 10?

Episode 1492

Luis from Medford, MA
Windows 10

Luis wants to know if Windows 10's Spring update is worth accepting. Leo says that Windows 10 is pretty good, but the latest update, 1803, is breaking Windows 10 for a lot of users, and Microsoft is pushing it out. The best he can do is defer the update. Luis updated, but his hard drive is sluggish. Leo says that could just be a failing sector on the hard drive. Sometimes, reformatting a hard drive and starting over will fix it. Using an SSD will also solve that issue. So if he can replace the hard drive with an SSD, he'd be far better off.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1491

Dick DeBartolo

From GizWiz.Biz - Acer Chromebook Spin 15 – 1st 15-inch Chrome convertible powered by a choice of 3 Intel processors, from two dual-core Celeron chips to a quad-core Pentium CPU. There's also a choice of 4GB to 8GB of memory and 32GB to 64GB of eMMC storage. A higher than before 13 hours of battery life was also announced. There's USB-A & USB-C and a microSD card reader. The Acer Chromebook 15 series starts at $349 and the 360 degree SPIN version adds $100 ($449) in stores and online, coming this July.

Do I have to record every episode on my TiVo Bolt?

Episode 1491

Scott from Dallas, TX
TiVo Bolt

Scott has a 500GB TiVo Bolt and wants to set it up to just save the recent week's worth of recordings, not every single recording forever. Leo says it's in the settings. He can set it to just keep a week's worth and delete the rest, as well as to delete when it starts to run out of space. Can he upgrade the hard drive? Leo says yes. He will also probably have to "bless" the hard drive so that TiVo will read it. Leo recommends contacting Weaknees.com.