Hardware

Why is my NVidia card crashing?

Episode 1336

Larry from Melbourne, AUS
NVidia video card

Larry is having trouble with his NVidia video card which keeps crashing, especially when watching HD video. The screen will go black and he'll get awful sounding audio. Leo says that's a sign of a bad or corrupted driver that will write improperly to the memory buffers. The only thing that can do that is Windows itself or a driver. Reinstalling the driver could solve the problem.

Apple Announces New MacBook Pro with OLED Touch Bar

Episode 1336

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple announced a new MacBook Pro with an interesting OLED Touch Bar that replaces the function key row. The design is really cool, but technology reporters think that Cupertino has no idea who the new computer is for. Leo also says that people are complaining that Apple is only giving lip service to the Mac platform now, and when it comes to the professional market, Apple has lost its way. Leo doesn't disagree. Pros are complaining that Apple has eliminated key ports like the standard USB, and even the Magsafe connector, all in favor of a USB-C capable Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Will USB become obsolete?

Episode 1335

Rowan from San Bernardino, CA
Transcend JetFlash 790 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Rowan wonders if USB thumb drives are becoming obsolete like so many other data drives before it. Leo says that no format will last forever, but there's still plenty of life left in USB. We need to keep an eye on how technology progresses and transfer the data over when the time comes, though. Rowan will likely be able to get an adapter for USB-C, which is the current standard. The other thing he can do is use an open source backup, like TAR, which will make the backup easily transferrable. The best way is to go into the cloud, though. He should have both.

How can I make my SSD run fast again?

Episode 1335

Paul from Del Mar, CA
Vertex 2 Solid State Drive by OCZ

Paul wants to know how to get his SSD to run as fast as it did when he first got it. Leo says that SSDs can slow down a little over time and there's a command called TRIM, which can fix it if his OS supports it. It's like garbage collection. If he runs a defrag on the SSD, it will force the drive to TRIM. Leo recommends he do this very rarely though, because it can affect the even wearing of the drive. Will it make it that much faster? Not really. It might help a little, but he'll have to decide if it's worth the trouble.

How can I bypass a Linux password on a laptop?

Freddie from Yonkers, NY

Episode 1335

Freddie's brother in law died and he's trying to get into his Linux laptop to settle his estate, but he doesn't have password. Leo says that if he can get into recovery and read the hard drive, then he's OK. He could have also encrypted the hard drive to make it impossible to get into it. Since he didn't do that, though, it may be possible to bypass it with single user mode and run with root access by pressing CTRL + S on startup. Or, Freddie can get third party software that can find the password and crack it. Google "Linux Unlock Disc." There's also an option for emergency access.

Microsoft Announces New 'Surface Studio' Desktop PC

Episode 1335

Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft announced its very first desktop computer, as well as some new apps they're calling the "Windows Creative Edition" of Windows 10. The desktop is called the Surface Pro Studio, a 28" all-in-one desktop with an articulating arm that collapses the high resolution screen down into a huge drafting table configuration for painting and drawing. There's two color standards, including True Color and standard RGB. They also announced a wireless dial which you place on the screen and then can use it to change color pallets, tool bar options, menu access, etc.