Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why do I lose my external hard drive when my Mac Mini goes to sleep?

Episode 1490

Mars Worm from The Chatroom
Mac Mini

Mars Worm in the chatroom is having issues with his hard drive unmounting in his Mac Mini when it goes to sleep. Leo says that computers going to sleep has always been a pain, going back to the early days. Hibernation is even worse.

There is a tech note from Apple about that here, at support.apple.com. It's also talked about at blog.grapii.com.

How can I make use of the unallocated space on my file server?

Episode 1490

Tommy from Natchitoches, LA
Hard drives

Tommy has a file server, a C drive and a D drive, with shared files and folders. It has an unallocated space of 1TB. Leo says that's huge. His C drive has started to get full, and he needs to extend it, but he's limited in how he can extend that within Windows. It would have to be between the C and the D on his partition manager. Leo thinks this may just be a limitation of the Windows Partition Manager, so one thing he could do is go to EaseUS and get their partition manager to see if it can do it.

How can I securely wipe a computer hard drive?

Episode 1490

Julie from Valencia, CA
Hard drive

Julie recently lost her job after 25 years, and now she has to return the laptop she used. She needs to wipe it first, though. Leo says that laptop is company property and everything on it belongs to them, even if she has personal things saved on it. There is no way they can prevent her from doing it, but Leo advises talking to an attorney before she does.

What's a good mic for video?

Episode 1490

Leon from Glendale, CA
Plantronics USB headset

Leon is a knife and armor blacksmith and makes videos on YouTube. He wants to improve the video quality over a webcam that he uses. He also needs a better microphone. Leo says webcams have a built in microphone that work close up, but from a distance, he'd really need an off camera mic. A USB microphone would work, since Leon uses a webcam. He would just need to configure it in the webcam software while capturing.

Can I connect the Amazon Fire TV Stick to a hotel TV?

Episode 1490

Rick from Poinciana, FL
Amazon Fire Stick

Rick wants to know how he can bring his Amazon Fire Stick with him when he travels and plug it into the TV where he stays. Leo says that older TVs will require an HDMI to Composite converter, but newer TVs have HDMI ports. So he could just plug them in. Many hotel Wi-Fi hotspots require captive portal registration to use it, and the signal really isn't that good. Also some older TVs may not be HDCP compliant.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1489

Dick DeBartolo

Today's gadget is the PackLite Hero 2-in-1 Supercharger. It's a solar powered inflatable lantern & phone charger that packs flat for easy carrying and charging on the go. Designed for rugged adventures and charging beyond the grid, the PackLite Hero lantern provides over 300 lumens of bright LED light on Turbo mode and can run for up to 100 hours on Low mode. It recharges via solar power in 16 hours of sunlight or by USB input in 2-4 hours. The 5V USB output port will recharge your phone in 2-4 hours depending on your type of phone.

What laptop should I buy for college?

Episode 1489

Jeremy from Hisperia, CA
Lenovo T480

Jeremy is going to college and wants to buy a new MacBook laptop. Leo says he should wait until after June 4th, because Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is happening and they're rumored to be announcing new MacBooks. Leo adds that he would have a broader range of choices going with Windows, and it may be a good idea to contact his college and see what they support, especially if he's in a field of study that is focused. If price is an object, he should get a better computer with a smaller hard drive, but it should be at least 256GB SSD.