Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What equipment do I need to start vlogging?

Todd from Chandler, AZ

Episode 1121

Todd has a business and wants to start doing video blogging, or "vlogging." What equipment does he need? He'll be starting from his desk but he wants to know what camera to get. Leo says it depends on what Todd is going to be doing. Todd wants to have a set with a background screen. Leo says that in Todd's case, a camcorder with an external microphone jack is a good option. DSLRs do this. Point and shoots would help keep within his $500 price range and the video quality is really good.

Should I repair or replace my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1121

Jerry from Corona, CA
MacBook Pro

Jerry bought a MacBook Pro and the motherboard has gone bad. Is it worth taking to Apple to repair it? Leo says that Apple is the only place that can repair it. Is it worth it? Well, that depends. If it's not out of warranty, of course. But if it is, then he'll have to decide if the age of the laptop makes it worth laying down money to repair it when the cost may be as much as half or more what he paid for it. But if it's just out of warranty, then it probably is worth fixing.

What computer should I get for my mom who's upgrading from Windows XP?

Episode 1120

Justin from Bakersfield, CA
Dell laptop

Justin wants to get his mom a new computer, since she's still using a Dell with Windows XP. He uses a Mac, but she doesn't want to stick with Windows. She uses the computer for word documents and browsing the web, and uses it mostly for fun. She is a teacher's assistant though, and uses it for work. Justin says the budget is around $600.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1119

Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass 12-cup coffee maker. It features a sleek stainless steel exterior and has a lot of new features including professional-grade conical solid steel burr grinder to grind beans slowly, a new removable 7-ounce bean container to lift off to refill beans or access the grinder for cleaning, and removable upper burr, for easy cleaning. It also has a two-step grind and clean chamber that automatically cleans the grinder after every cycle. The warming plate will keep your coffee warm for 2 hours and then shut off.

How can I recover the remote wipe PIN code for my Mac?

Episode 1119

Jeff from Canoga Park, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Jeff's Mac got stolen and he used Find My Mac to get it back. Meanwhile he used the remote wipe to wipe it. How can he get his data back? Leo says that Apple did a great thing with a system lock and remote wipe. But how does he get his system lock pin code? Leo says Jeff needs to call AppleCare and he'll probably have to bring it into an Apple Store to fix.

What's the best mic for podcasting?

Episode 1120

Jim from Atlanta, GA
Heil PR40

Jim was podcasting back when Leo was still on TechTV. Jim had to walk away from it a few years ago but now he's ready to get started up again. He sees that Leo had recommended the Sennheiser SMD25 and is wondering if its still a good option. Leo says he wouldn't go with that. He uses a dynamic directional mic instead. Leo recommends Bob Heil's HeilSound PR40. It's great for studio work and it'll make Jim's voice sound really great. They're about $350.

What streaming set top box should I buy?

Episode 1120

Jerry from Fallbrook, CA
Roku

Jerry is thinking about getting an Apple TV or Roku and cutting the cable. Leo says that there are a lot of choices and all of them are designed to do one thing: connect his TV to the Internet so he can watch online programming. But none of them offer all the options available. If he has a true 6 Mbps connection, streaming will work great. But remember, if there's more than one computer or mobile device on the network pulling at that bandwidth, it's going to affect the stream.