Hardware

Why is my iMac rebooting?

Episode 1338

Elizabeth from Long Beach, CA
Apple iMac

Elizabeth is having an issue with her Apple iMac rebooting randomly. Leo says that overheating may be the culprit. Computers will shut down or reboot when it overheats. But if it happens when she's doing nothing, then overheating is unlikely. A buggy operating system may cause it if a process is running away. It could also be a power issue in her home. Power can be "dirty" and that could be causing it. Using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) could prevent low power and power surges. The electrical cord being frayed and loose could cause this too. It may also be a failing power supply.

What is a good tablet for note taking?

Episode 1337

Matthew from Wrightwood, CA
Microsoft Surface Pro

Matthew wants to take paper notes with handwriting recognition and he wants to know if the Surface Pro will suffice. Leo says that the Surface Pro is fantastic. It's a tablet with an attachable keyboard (he should get the type version). It comes with a stylus. He can use OneNote to do it as it's tightly integrated.

Acer also makes these, as does Lenovo with the Yoga. The category is called 2-in-1.

Can I still get a mechanical keyboard for my PC?

Episode 1337

Audi from London, England
Prime13 DasKeyboard

Audi wants to get a mechanical keyboard for his computer. Leo says that the early days of PCs had physical clicking keyboards. It helped with ergonomics, and some think they're more accurate to type on. Not very many people use them anymore. Cherry makes them. He can also check out KeyboardCo.com for more. Leo got his from DasKeyboard.com. Razer also makes them for gaming rigs.

Are Touch Screen Voting Machines a Bad Idea?

Episode 1337

Voting Machine

In this election season, Leo says that touch screen voting machines are simply a bad idea. Technology can be a great thing, but not everything needs to be high tech. Voting machines need to be highly secure, must be constantly calibrated, and are ripe for hacking. Just because we can do it, doesn't mean we should, and voting machines are a great example of that. By keeping paper ballots, there's also a paper trail, so it's harder for someone to falsify them.

How can I connect my VOIP Box?

Episode 1336

Jean from North Hollywood, CA
Ooma

Jean doesn't have a cell phone and she's decided to move from a landline to VOIP with Ooma. She doesn't know how to set it up, though. Leo says as long as she has internet access, it should work fine. When she connected it to her modem, everything shut down. Leo says she should keep her landline for emergencies because VOIP doesn't have 911 service. So she should keep the least expensive landline called "lifeline service." During a power outage, it will still work.

What streaming box should I buy?

Episode 1336

Diane from Long Beach, CA
Roku 4

Diane has decided to cut the cable, but she doesn't know where to go from there. Which streaming box should she get? Leo says that there isn't an all-in-one solution for everything she'll want. If she buys through iTunes, then she'll want Apple TV. If she's on Amazon, then maybe the Fire, or the Roku. But if she has to choose one over all the others, Leo says Roku is the best. It's affordable and has the broadest variety of content.

Which laptop should I buy?

Episode 1336

Justin from Oxnard, CA
HP Spectre

Justin is back and he's trying to decide which Windows computer to get. He's looking at the Dell XPS 13 and the Sony Vaio 13. Leo is a fan of Dell, has several of the XPS 13s, and they're very reliable and has a gorgeous bezel-less display. The only downside is that the camera is placed on the bottom of the screen, not the top because of that design. If Justin does a lot of video conferencing, he'll have to keep that in mind.