Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1131

This week's gadget from the GizWiz is The Spark. It's a watch that has a camera and it watches you to make sure you don't fall asleep while you're at work at school. Spark uses motion-tracking algorithms developed in conjunction with sleep researchers to analyze an individual’s motion patterns throughout the day. Using this data, the watch can detect when its user has fallen asleep at an inconvenient time. If it sees you nodding off, it vibrates to take you back up. The preorder price is $49, while retail will be $79.

How can I mount a computer monitor on the wall?

Episode 1131

Pete from Brooklyn, NY
Ergotron LX HD Wall Mount Swing Arm

Pete would like to mount a Mac monitor on the wall. Leo says a VESA mount is the best and Leo recommends Ergotron arms. That's what TWiT uses in the Brickhouse studios. He recommends bringing his monitor back to Apple and requesting a model with the VESA mount. Leo also says that Dell's 5K monitor is great for the same price. It may be worth going that way.

What laptop or tablet would allow me to work offline?

Episode 1131

Susie from West Covina, CA
MacBook Air

Susie wants to get a new laptop or tablet, but doesn't always have internet access. Leo says that a Chromebook or an iPad may be a good option. Most cloud solutions will allow her to download files locally to the laptop or tablet so she could work on it without internet access.

If Susie wants a light computer with more storage and a full operating system, she could consider the MacBook Air or Acer Aspire S7 Laptop.

How can I use TRIM with OS X Yosemite?

Episode 1130

Dave from Buena Park, CA
SSD

Dave upgraded his MacBook Pro with a Samsung SSD and it was running TRIM. But OS X Yosemite has a new security requirement called Kext Signing, and it only allows drivers that are approved by Apple. Leo says he can download TRIM Enabler, but he does have to disable kext signing to use it. And that's dangerous because it could open the door for malware. TRIM is built into Yosemite, but it only works with Apple Hardware.

Would I save money by buying a Mac Mini and a 4K monitor instead of the new Retina iMac?

Episode 1127

Tom from Bozeman, MT
Mac Mini

Leo says sure, but it won't be fast. And he won't get the high resolution he wants. The Mac Mini is a low power mac -- it's essentially a MacBook Air in a desktop package. So he will likely have issues. Leo says says he uses a 4K screen with a Mac Pro and that has even been sluggish.

How can I get my two external monitors to work with my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1128

Jerry from Phoenix AZ
Apple MacBook Pro

Jerry has a MacBook Pro and bought a pair off brand Cinema displays. But the MacBook Pro can't power them. Leo says that MiniDisplay port will do it. But Apple has replaced that with Thunderbolt 2. He'll just need the right cable. Most monitors don't have Thunderbolt. DVI ports are a possibility, but he'll need an adapter to handle it. Monoprice is a good place to look.