Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1203

Dick DeBartolo

Dick wanted to know what tech Leo saw on his cruise. Leo says he was surprised that he saw a lot of selfie sticks and a lot of people taking pictures with their tablets.

Today's gadget is the Vivajennz wine purse, which has a bladder for wine in it! It holds up to three liters and includes a spout. Vivajennz purses are great for picnics, pools, beaches, etc. ...But wait, there's more! There's a man's version too. Prices range from about $50 to $70. Jennifer tells her story to me in the video.

Why can't I change my drive letters?

Chuck from Telohoma, TN

Episode 1203

Chuck recently restored his computer to Windows 7, but he's now having trouble with assigning drive letters. Leo says that Windows always wants to be on the C drive. The partitioner won't let Chuck go beyond D. Leo says that Acronis True Image could do it, as will CloneZilla. The Chatroom suggests going into the disc manager of Windows, then right click "select change drive letter settings."

How can we make drone operators fly responsibly?

Episode 1203

Louis from Hollywood, CA
Drone

Louis says that drones delayed firefighting helicopters from getting to a brush fire, causing dozes of cars to be burned on a freeway in Southern California. Leo says that's not only terrible, but likely illegal. The FAA has been trying to work out rules to prevent these things.

Leo says that firmware updates to prevent flying in restricted airspace (an electronic leash) can only do so much. The chatroom says that there should be mandatory transponders on drones to be able to identify those who fly in restricted airspace. That could go a long way to solving the issue.

Doctor Mom Reviews the Amazon Echo

Doctor Mom from New York, NY

Episode 1202

Doctor Mom likes the Amazon Echo because they keep updating it, and it gets better and better. Leo says he agrees, but he still hasn't gotten his. Doctor Mom says that the most interesting option is that it will stream Audible and whisper sync allows you to pick up where you left off on your phone. But Doctor Mom says that for $150 (for Prime members) it's fantastic. It also integrates with If This Then That, making it a great way to control things in your home by using your voice. Currently Amazon only allows you to buy one Echo, and they're taking forever to make them.

How can I make sure my laptops are running cool?

Jerry from Queens, NY

Episode 1202

Gary is having thermal issues with his laptop. Leo says that there's a sensor that has probably come off the rails. The fans require suction to work properly. If the case isn't in contact, that could be the case. But more likely, it's just a failed sensor. He should also make sure there's no dust blocking the fans and that there's clean airflow. Leo says that he can turn off the setting that could stop it from bugging him.

Why do car companies put touch screens in cars when they want us to keep our eyes on the road?

Mike from Maine

Episode 1202

Mike says it's ironic that cars with computer touch screens make it impossible to keep our eyes off the screen when adjusting the radio. They want us to keep our eyes on the road, but they include touch screens and that's nuts. Leo agrees with Mike. Leo says that car companies, and even Apple and Google are looking for hands free solutions including voice operated directions, which work with a smartphone. But Leo doesn't know if that will make things better or worse.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1201

Dick DeBartolo

If you’re a fast typist, you may often find that your keyboard can’t keep up with you. This new Cherry MX Board 6.0 has beautiful red backlighting that illuminates every key. A few keys you use often, like the Windows key or the FN key, can be changed to blue backlighting if you like. This is a high-end keyboard with an all aluminum frame & nylon wrapped USB cable. If you like, you can rest your hands on the rubber cushioned wrist rest that’s included in the box. (Note the magnetic warning about putting media close to it.)

How can I make an old hard drive unreadable?

Gary from Pawtucket, RI

Episode 1201

Gary has several old drives with data on it and wants to know the best way of destroying them so that they won't be able to be read. Leo says if he can read the drive, he can use Derek's Boot and Nuke (DBAN), which will write over the drive seven times to make it impossible to recover the data. His other choice is to take the drive apart and literally shatter the platters, if they're glass. Patrick Norton does this with a hammer. He could also drill holes into the metal platters as well.

Could a bad USB cable cause my Mac to shut down?

Cynthia from Malibu, CA

Episode 1200

Cynthia plugged her iPhone into her laptop and when she did, it shut down her Mac. She was told that it could do that with a third party USB cable. Leo says it's not likely a compatibility issue, but it could be a short in the cable. What about a message that says "battery needs service?" Leo says that's more likely the issue as batteries do stop charging after about 500 recharge cycles. So Leo believes the shut down was coincidental. Getting a new battery should solve that problem.