Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Mike wants to wipe a hybrid SSD using Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Is that a good idea? Leo says that SSDs are written to differently than spinning drives, and it also uses a technique called "wear leveling," which writes sectors randomly. This makes it difficult to fully and securely wipe a drive to prevent it from being recovered. He can do it to erase a drive, but it won't really remove the data. That's why Leo recommends encryption. Using BitLocker on Windows, or some other technique to secure data with encryption.
Don has an Asus router and he has a USB in for connecting an external drive to it. Can he put a hub on it? Leo says sure. He can take up to 255 devices on the USB chain, but it may confuse the router, so he should look at the settings to see if it will support it.
Ken wants to know why he can't hear himself when he speaks with headphones? Leo says he'd need a mixer that can mix in. It's called Side Tone. It can be very distracting with Bluetooth on a phone though because of the latency. He would just end up getting confused by the echo.
Rachel says that if you're blind and need help with your Echo, Amazon has an accessibility line that can help out. Call 888-283-1678
Leo did not go to CES this year, and he's glad he didn't because it's filling up with insignificant junky stuff that looks like people desperate to find something interesting. There was a Gameboy Nintendo remade by a Chinese company called "HyperKin." Samsung did not announce the Galaxy S9, but said it'll probably be announced in March. There were some leaks about the S9 that make it sound like it's mostly the same as the S8, but it'll have a new camera that will do dual apertures with a single lens. Samsung did announce a Bluetooth speaker that aims at your ears without headphones.
Brian's Amazon Echo has been misbehaving since the New Year. It keeps failing and restarting. Leo says that indicates a faulty device. It may be overheating or is worn out. Amazon really doesn't have a good suggestion either, so Leo recommends contacting them about an RMA return. There is a reset button, though, so he could try that first. It's a little hole at the base of the device. He'll need to use a paperclip to press it in, and he'll have to hold that button down for a few seconds to reset it.
Intel has announced that the fix for the Spectre exploit can actually cause blue screens of death (BSOD) and crash your system unless you make sure everything is updated first — especially third-party antivirus. Leo says this is why it makes more sense to use Windows Defender and not use a third party app. They really do more harm than good.
Dan wants to get his mother a home assistant and can't decide between Google Home or Amazon Echo. Leo says that both are very similar. If Dan's mom has Amazon Prime, then she'll get a free limited music service with it. Google, however, is better at facts, while Echo is good at skills. So it comes down to what she's going to use it for. Echo is also better with smart home devices (IoT stuff). Leo gave his mother the Echo, but it's important to train his mother how to talk to Echo. For most people, Echo is easier to use.
Frank is having trouble getting his PC to boot up. He's replaced the power supply, but it still doesn't work. Leo says if there's no power on self-test (three beeps), and the fans are coming on, then it's likely a dead motherboard. Can he just replace the CPU without the motherboard or vice versa? Leo says if the power supply is eliminated as a culprit, then Frank could try replacing the processor and see what happens. But before he does that, he should pull all the USB devices and see if they're the culprit. It could be a short in his USB hub. There's so many possibilities.
Dickie D just got back from CES and he pretty much saw a lot of silly ideas that didn't really have much use. Leo says they've run out of ideas and are now mashing them together to create something new. But one thing he did see came from Kodak. The Kodak Super8 camera looks like a retro model, but it was a brand new camera that will go on sale soon. And yes, it uses Super 8mm film! Film that you shoot and mail off to Kodak just the way you did 40 or 50 years ago! Unlike the old super 8 camera, this one has a large flip-out 4-inch LCD screen.