Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Malcolm from Canada

Episode 1290

Malcolm broke his laptop and instead of buying a new Windows machine, he's thinking of going with a Chromebook. Leo says that more and more software companies are putting their software online and with Google Docs in the cloud, as well as saving data to Google Drive, a Chromebook is an ideal option for most people. Dell, HP and Acer are great options for Chromebooks and some are very tough and durable. If he wants, he could even put Linux on it. That would be a little less secure, but it runs fast and gives him an alternative operating system.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1289

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the iTech Deals Tech Mystery Box, which for $20 gives you a box of technology accessories. Most of it is old technology, but it's fun. The downside is that the photo they use is fairly deceptive. The mystery box of tech is not always available, but if you sign up for their mailing list, you'll know what the next one takes place. Dick has bought stuff from iTechDeals in the past, and he likes them. But this Tech Mystery Box does them a disservice.

Find out more at itechdeals.com

Why doesn't my computer work until it's warm?

Jerry from Alexandria, VA

Episode 1288

A friend gave Jerry an old laptop that doesn't work very well until it warms up and he wonders if the power supply may be dead. Leo says it's possible. It's also possible that some of the solders on the motherboard really don't work well until the computer heats up and it seats the solder connections better. That was very common in the early years.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1287

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget from the Giz Wiz is the Weems and Plath SOS Distress Light! It's the first and only LED Visual Distress Signal Device that meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements to completely replace traditional pyrotechnic flares. Unlike traditional flares, this electronic flare never expires which solves the big and annoying challenge of flare disposal. This floating electronic flare can be hand-held, tethered, or hoisted aloft. It's visible up to 10+ nautical miles and lights for up to 60 hours unlike traditional flares which last minutes or less.

Why can't I wake up my PC?

Jeff from Aliso Viejo, CA

Episode 1287

Jeff upgraded Windows 10 but his password doesn't work when his computer goes to sleep. He wakes it up and it won't unlock. But he can put in a random password and it works! Shut down doesn't work. Leo says that Caps Lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock can be accidentally hit and it'll lock him out because he's not actually typing it correctly. Restarting will reset the state of the locked buttons. Leo says just to start over and re-upgrade. But since it's a new computer, it may be wise to just return it and get a different one. Something is flakey.