Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1182

Dick DeBartolo

With the release of the new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, Dickie D thought it would be fun to highlight some cool Star Wars themed gadgets for the kitchen.

Star Wars: BBQ Tongs: Vader's Lightsaber. Bring the Dark Side to your BBQ with Lord Vader’s very own BBQ tongs! Retail price around $40. Available in retailers such as: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, F.Y.E., Hastings, Hot Topic, and Thinkgeek.

Do I need antivirus software for Windows 8?

James from Fullerton, CA

Episode 1182

James has a Sony Vaio with Windows 8 and wants to know if he needs antivirus software. Leo says no. Windows 8 has its own security and antivirus, called Microsoft Defender (or Security Essentials for older Windows programs) that works really well. He can turn up the security in Internet Explorer, but Leo recommends using Google Chrome which is far more secure. Leo also recommends turning on automatic updates. James should also be using a router rather than directly connecting to the modem. But all the security in the world cannot protect the user from their own behavior.

Why does my laptop freeze up?

Jane from Redding, PA

Episode 1181

Jane's laptop consistently freezes up when she's doing things. Can that be caused by the battery? Leo says one way to test it is to remove the battery and plug it in to the AC adapter. If that resolves the issue, then it probably is the battery. But the battery is one of those that either works or doesn't work at all. It could be the power supply that is failing.

Can companies really say you don't own something you buy because of software?

Louis from Hollywood, CA

Episode 1181

Louis is concerned that John Deere has taken the attitude that farmers don't really own the tractors they buy, and as such, they refuse to provide support to repair the software that drives the tractor. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle” but do not own it.

Is there a noticeable difference between a 1080p computer monitor and a 720p monitor?

Richard from Sana Monica, CA

Episode 1180

Richard wants to know if there would be a big noticeable difference between a PC monitor that is 1920x1080 and a monitor that is 1366x768. Leo says it is, if Richard's daughter is really accustomed to a 1080p screen, but a 1366x768 monitor is still considered "HD." Leo doesn't like the lower resolution displays because he's used to higher resolutions, but as a student, Richard's daughter should be fine with it. Leo recommends just getting the PC with 1366x768.