Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I still use an old computers running XP and Vista?

Episode 1386

Nick from San Fernando, CA
Windows XP

Nick has a very old netbook running Windows Vista. He also has an old Windows XP machine. Will they still be working if he restarts them? Leo says that they should. He may have an issue with authenticating Windows and the software he's using. XP and Vista also pose a security issue as Microsoft has declared them both "end of life" for security fixes. So Leo recommends not connecting it to the internet after authentication. Here are some things he can do to protect himself anyway:

Why can't I buy apps in the Google Play Store with my Nvidia Shield tablet?

Episode 1385

Shane from Indianapolis, IN
Nvidia Shield Tablet

Shane has an Nvidia Shield gaming device and every time he tries to buy something from the Google Play Store, he gets an error. Leo recommends clearing the cache, restarting and then resetting his Play account. The problem is that the Nvidia Shield has Android 7 and it doesn't give him access to his Google Play settings. That may leave Shane with only one option — to reset the Shield itself.

Should I buy a Chromebase?

Episode 1385

Mark from Vienna, VA
24" Acer Chromebase

Mark is looking to buy a Chromebase. Leo says that if all he does is surf the internet and check email, the Chromebase is just as good as that Chromebook that Mark has. It's very easy to use, and secure too. He's seen a 24" Acer model on Amazon for $350. Is that a good buy? Leo says yes. It's kind of like an iMac in design, and Acer makes good stuff, but he's seen it for up to $300 more. Leo says to make sure he is comparing apples to apples with similar specs.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1384

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the new WORX SD SemiAutomatic Driver tool. Featuring a six slot revolving chamber that rotates screw-driving bits in and out as you pump the handle. Shift from slotted to Phillips or square recess without ever touching the bit, since inside the tool’s body is a rotating circular cartridge that holds six 1-inch hex-shanked bits. Slide back the magazine (cover) to advance a bit into the chamber, release, and slide the cover forward and it’s ready to drive screws. Each bit is stored in the cartridge, so no more lost or missing bits.

What's a good cordless phone?

Episode 1384

Walter from Burbank, CA
Panasonic KX-TG6843B Cordless Phones

Walter wants a good cordless phone that is secure. Leo says that DECT is the current state of the art for cordless phones and Leo likes the Panasonic phones. Just make sure it has DECT on the box. It also uses FDMA/TDMA which works to spread out the signal across 10 different channels. There is a rudimentary encryption on it, but it's generally regarded as being rather weak. But weak is better than none.

What drone should I use for taking pictures of property?

Episode 1384

John from Anaheim, CA
DJI Phantom

John is a commercial real estate agent and he's looking to buy a drone for taking pictures of properties. Leo says if he's never flown a drone, he should learn to fly with a cheap drone first, or he may find his expensive drone will vanish on him. Amazon has plenty of cheap drones that he can learn to fly with and crash with. He should practice a lot. Then, the most popular is the DJI Phantom. The Parrot Bebop is a nice one as well.

Tech Companies Report Quarterly Earnings

Episode 1384

Earnings

Quarterly earnings came out this week and Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all posted record earnings in cloud services. Leo says that sadly, hardware earnings fell short for Microsoft whose tablets and laptops fell short. Leo says that's unfortunate because they make some nice hardware these days.

Leo also says that Google made a lot of money, up 49%, on their Pixel Android phone and their Google Home devices. Google's advertising revenue was also up 29% with nearly $2 billion a month in profit.