Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Dale is having issues with his Windows Vista PC where programs will just stop running. He gets a time out message that the program is not responding. Leo has a hunch that the program is just running really, really slow and it's likely the hard drive is getting flakey. Leo advises backing up the data and replacing the drive. Leo recommends going with a solid state hard drive. They're getting less expensive now and it'll be far faster. Then he can use a spinning drive for his data.
Mike Ziemkowski joins us to talk about his annual yuletide lighting display that he's been doing since 2003. Including a rocking guitar playing snowman and an elf-like DJ known as DJ Jingles, the display is remarkable and gets better every year. 75,000 LED lights, an animatronic flying Santa Claus, singing elves coming out of Christmas presents, and projection video. Check it out at lightsondisplay.com.
Devon wants to get an iBuyPower Gaming PC. Is that a good brand? Leo says that iBuyPower makes great computers and at $495, it's a great deal. The games that Devon wants to play aren't really all that demanding, but still, it depends on what graphics processor and card he's going to get. For video games, the GPU is the workhorse. The NVidia GE Force GT610 is a good one.
The holiday brings gifts and that means gadget suggestions from the Giz Wiz! Dickie D has three great stocking stuffers, under $10, for your favorite techie:
1. Eggheads LED Wobble Nightlight - Just tap it, and it turns on, then you can carry it to the bathroom or any place you have to go. In case you forget to tap it or shake it so goes off, an auto-timer will shut it off after about six minutes. The super bright LED bulbs last for more than 100,000 hours. It’s available in colors and is $7.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Lynn is trying to decide what Mac laptop to buy. She can buy a used, tricked out MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air. Leo says that if someone is offering to install all her programs onto the laptop, that could be illegal unless he transfers ownership to Lynn. If he doesn't, then they won't work. Sounds like he's misleading her. Leo recommends going to the Apple store and looking at their refurbished laptops. They will be fully warrantied and he can still save some.
Mike has an old Core 2 Duo Intel computer that's worked fine for 5 years. Now it's starting to shut down when he does transcoding of video. Leo says that overheating is likely the problem. When he's working on processor intensive actions, the chip can heat up, and PCs are designed to shut down when overheating in order to protect the PC. So it may be that he needs to clean out the case, but it may also be that the thermal paste has dried out and it needs to be reapplied.
JoAnne's daughter needs a new Mac computer and she wants to get her one for Christmas. Would the MacBook Air be a good choice? Leo says that will make her daughter very happy. What kind of storage should she get with it? Leo says that the Solid State Drives are super fast, but they aren't cheap. Leo says it really depends on what she uses it for. Leo uses 128GB models because he keeps most of his stuff in the cloud. But for most, 256GB is a good size.
Chris needs a good external hard drive. Which one is best? Leo says it really doesn't matter. They've all been acquired. Western Digital, Seagate, it's all the same. Hard drives are a commodity. So Chris should get the one with the best price and features. Leo buys Western Digital, for what it's worth.
Debbie got an Asus Transformer notebook and she's wondering if she needs the extended warranty. Leo says that the Transformer is a great laptop, and the warranty is just an insurance plan. They are a profit generator for the company that sells them. Leo prefers to self insure.
Terry has a MacBook Pro 2013 running Yosemite and Windows 8 dual booted on external hard drives. His Windows system died and now his shared drive is all screwed up. Leo says that's because the laptop was running on the xFAT file system and it's not really all that robust. SpinRite may help recover the drive. For the Mac, he can try Alsoft DiscWarrior.