Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good computer for writing a memoir?

Episode 1065

JR from Detroit, MI
Samsung Chromebook

JR's mom wants a laptop to write her memoirs, but she's not very computer savvy. Leo says that at 76, a laptop may be more problematic because of the small screen. A large desktop screen could be more beneficial. She also wants to dictate, but Leo says that Voice dictation is only about 90% accurate and that means she'll still have to go through and fix it all. Leo says that recording it and then having it transcribed is a better option, especially for someone who has trouble typing. She also wants a printer.

What computer should I get to replace my old Windows XP machine?

Episode 1065

Maria from Los Angeles, CA
Acer Chromebook

Maria wants to get a Mac because of its security benefits, but she needs to use Microsoft Office. Leo says that Mac supports Office, and although it's more expensive, a quality PC will cost about the same anyway. Another idea is the Google Chromebook, with costs ranging from about $200 to $500. She can then use Google Docs which is just as good as Microsoft Office and she wouldn't have to buy it. A great choice, but it's a very simple computer.

What TV should I buy? (Part 1)

Episode 1065

Carlos from Southern California
HDTV

Carlos would like to buy a new TV and wants to know whether he should get plasma or LCD? Leo says that plasma has the best quality, but with it's reflective screen, it's best to use in a darkened room. Companies are getting out of plasma, though, because everyone is buying LED TVs. Backlit LCDs have gotten so good that people are choosing them because they look better on the show room floor.

Should I buy a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air?

Tom from Warren, OH

Episode 1064

Tom wants to get a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Should he get a hard drive or SSD? Leo says that if he gets the MacBook Pro, he can still get an SSD and it's worth it unless he gets the low end model. Leo doesn't recommend getting that one though. The MacBook Air is great for travel because it's so lightweight. And an SSD is so much faster. Anything else just feels too slow.

How can I get my computer online if there's no internet access in the building?

Betsy from Clairmont, CA

Episode 1063

Betsy likes to play online poker. Leo says that the best way to learn how to play poker is online, although you can't play for money anymore in the US. Betsy says she's having trouble getting online and doesn't have internet in her building. Can she use her cellphone? Leo says that Betsy can use a MiFi card from Verizon. Then she could use that to go online via 4G.

Why can't my Mac print to my wireless printer?

Ray from Tennessee

Episode 1063

Ray has a friend who just bought a MacBook Air and he's having trouble connecting to his Canon wireless printer. He can print when it's hardwired, but not wirelessly. Leo says that he's used a Canon Pixma wireless printer for years. The question is, will it print with any other computer? If so, then it isn't a network issue. Leo says to remove the printer and then add it again. It may have had a problem when it was first added. Leo also recommends using the Apple drivers as opposed to the separate drivers from Canon.

Why can't Apple find out what's wrong with my Mac?

Ron from Ventura, CA

Episode 1063

Ron bought a MacBook Pro. It's his first Mac. It was working great and then a month later, he started getting error messages and crashes. He backed it up and took it to the Apple Store to have it looked at. It came back without Bootcamp on it and they never figured out what was wrong after several trips back. Leo had a similar problem with his Mac Pro and they discovered it was bad RAM. It sounds like Ron's problem could be similar. It could also be the the hard drive.