Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I extend the range of my video signal?

Steve from Chino Hills, CA

Episode 1234

Steve has a Security Camera DVR and he's used a splitter to watch it in several rooms using a balun, but he keeps losing the signal. Leo says that HDMI doesn't throw very far, and using a balun amplifies the signal and sends it over ethernet to the other side. The distance is still limited to around 200' and it could be that he's at the extreme edge of the range. Steve could go RF. The chat room says that using Cat6 Ethernet cables could make it that far, and at MonoPrice.com he could get an extender kit to around 328 feet.

How can I turn on a laptop that has a broken power button?

Episode 1234

Bob from Florida
MacBook Pro

The power button on Bob's MacBook Pro has broken and he has to "arc" a pair of contacts to start it back up. Leo says that is a problem because he'll end up shorting it out. It would be better to just leave it on all the time and let it go to sleep. But with a laptop that's as old as Bob's maybe it's time to pull out that hard drive and get a new computer.

How can I improve the Wi-Fi signal on my laptop?

Episode 1234

VJ from Tuscon, AZ
Dell XPS Laptop

VJ's Dell XPS laptop has a design flaw which prevents it from getting a good Wi-Fi signal in most areas. What is his best bet for improving his signal reception? Leo says that since the case of that XPS laptop is metal, it turns his own laptop into a mini Farraday cage. The easiest way to get around this would be to get a USB Wi-Fi dongle that plugs into the USB port. The advantage is that he will get far better signal reception than any internal antenna. And they're only about $20.

Is my laptop worth fixing?

Episode 1233

Sandra from Los Angeles, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Sandra has a MacBook Pro and some liquid spilled on it. Is it beyond repair? Leo says the first thing to do is remove power. But even then, once that liquid gets in there, the keyboard is ruined and the liquid has likely seeped into it and shorted it out. The computer itself is likely dead. But that doesn't mean she's lost her data. If she has to replace the computer, she can pull out the hard drive and get the data off it.

Is it possible to text from an iPod?

Episode 1233

John from Rosemead, CA

John's niece just got an iPod Touch and she wants to message her parents who have Android phones. What are her options? Leo says that Apple has really screwed this up by not making iMessages apps for other platforms like Android. It's a great idea to save money, but Apple has forced users to use the same platform, and it's not possible to text an Android phone with it. That means that they'll have to use a third party messaging app. Leo likes Telegram.

The Amazon Echo Is Selling Great...But Why?

Episode 1233

Sales of the Amazon Echo home automation box are brisk, and Leo says the reason why is that it seems to be instinctual in our generation to have a "Hal," in our house that we can talk to. Even though Echo doesn't do a heck of a lot, we can talk to it and it talks back, just like the psychotic spaceship computer in 2001. And Leo's convinced that's all that matters to our generation.