Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I rip my LPs?

Glen from Baltimore, MD

Episode 1097

Glen wants to record digitally, but his DAT player has died. Scott says that there are plenty of ways to record digitally via the computer. But if he needs to run from an analog source like a record player, he'll need to get an analog to digital recorder, and high resolution audio isn't going to be part of it. He can clean it up, but there will be a bit of analog signal noise he'll have to deal with. He could have a service rip his LPs. There are also turntables that come with USB connections that go directly into the computer.

How can I mirror to my TV with my Note 2?

Eric from Torrance, CA

Episode 1097

Eric mirrors his Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to his HDTV via NetGear. But if he roots it, it won't work. Are there any alternatives to the NetGear? Scott says that's a black art, but he could mirror to his laptop and then HDMI. The chatroom says that the laptop has to be running Chrome for that to happen. The chatroom also says the Google Chromecast won't mirror just yet. Eric could connect it via an MHL cable and then run it that way. Scott says that's "so 20th century." But there is a way and it also fits in his pocket, so as long as the TV has HDMI, he's good to go.

Should I buy a refurbished Mac from a third party?

MJ from Burbank, CA

Episode 1096

MJ is thinking about buying a refurbished Mac. Leo says that if he's going to go refurb, don't ever buy it from anyone other than the manufacturer. He should buy it from Apple. What about Mac Enthusiast in Santa Monica? Leo says he knows those guys and he'd consider that the exception to the rule. But remember that a warranty for a refurbished computer won't be from Apple.

Why am I getting an error message that my recovery partition is running out of space?

JR from Hewitt, TX

Episode 1096

JR has a Lenovo computer, and has been getting error messages that his recovery partition is nearly full. Leo says that installing programs on Windows is almost always done to the C drive by default. He can choose otherwise, but it works best keeping all the programs on same drive as Windows. Leo says he shouldn't be able to put anything on the recovery drive, as it shouldn't even be visible from the operating system. The recovery partition is designed to only be slightly bigger than what is needed to hold the Windows recovery software.

What industrial grade computer should I get for CAD work?

Episode 1096

Mackenzie from Grand Rapids, MI
Lenovo Thinkpad W540

Mackenzie needs to buy a computer and 3D printer for a business. He needs a touch screen on the laptop. Leo says that no matter what computer Mac gets, a Wacomb tablet/monitor will make it touch. But with Windows 8.1, getting a Lenovo Carbon X1 Touch is a great option.

The Thinkpad W540 is larger, has a ton of power, and is considered a "mobile workstation."

What streaming video box should I buy?

Fran from LaCrescenta, CA

Episode 1095

Fran is going to move to Hawaii for a short time and wants to stream all his content via a set top box like the Roku. Which should he go with? Leo says that each box has specialties that work better than others. AppleTV works great if he's in the Apple world. But Roku is better outside that, as is the FireTV.

If he buys a lot of content from Amazon, then FireTV is for Fran. They have a great games section as well. He won't be getting HBO, Showtime or ESPN with it, unless he keeps his cable subscription active. He should make sure to try it first.

Is the Mac Pro fast enough for YouTube?

Peter from Brooklyn, NY

Episode 1095

Peter just bought the new Mac Pro. Leo loves his. On his old Mac, he would be looking at videos off YouTube and would get a message that it requires a faster clock speed. Is the Mac Pro fast enough? Or will an i7 iMac be faster? Leo says the iMac isn't as fast and even if it was, he'd have to spend almost as much to get to that speed. The Mac Pro uses a Xeon Workstation processor with fast cores and data buses. So in almost all operations, it's fast enough.