Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Malcolm broke his laptop and instead of buying a new Windows machine, he's thinking of going with a Chromebook. Leo says that more and more software companies are putting their software online and with Google Docs in the cloud, as well as saving data to Google Drive, a Chromebook is an ideal option for most people. Dell, HP and Acer are great options for Chromebooks and some are very tough and durable. If he wants, he could even put Linux on it. That would be a little less secure, but it runs fast and gives him an alternative operating system.
This week's gadget is the iTech Deals Tech Mystery Box, which for $20 gives you a box of technology accessories. Most of it is old technology, but it's fun. The downside is that the photo they use is fairly deceptive. The mystery box of tech is not always available, but if you sign up for their mailing list, you'll know what the next one takes place. Dick has bought stuff from iTechDeals in the past, and he likes them. But this Tech Mystery Box does them a disservice.
Paul's brother has created a new Virtual Reality interface called The Void. It's a physical space that allows you to experience video games and movies for real. It's like the HoloDeck. Leo says that sounds exciting.
A friend gave Jerry an old laptop that doesn't work very well until it warms up and he wonders if the power supply may be dead. Leo says it's possible. It's also possible that some of the solders on the motherboard really don't work well until the computer heats up and it seats the solder connections better. That was very common in the early years.
Dave is looking forward to Google I/O this week for the VR applications. Leo says that Google dropped the ball with Google Glass augmented reality devices, but they are planning a new version, so maybe they'll get their mojo back. Leo also says that Google I/O could announce some new Chromebooks or some new apps for the Chromebooks.
This week's gadget from the Giz Wiz is the Weems and Plath SOS Distress Light! It's the first and only LED Visual Distress Signal Device that meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements to completely replace traditional pyrotechnic flares. Unlike traditional flares, this electronic flare never expires which solves the big and annoying challenge of flare disposal. This floating electronic flare can be hand-held, tethered, or hoisted aloft. It's visible up to 10+ nautical miles and lights for up to 60 hours unlike traditional flares which last minutes or less.
Isaac is a teacher and the district is buying their school Chromebooks. How can he manage and monitor them? Leo says that Google has an education program and they likely have an extension that will handle it. There's also Go Guardian, which would let teachers monitor Chromebooks in real time.
Jeff upgraded Windows 10 but his password doesn't work when his computer goes to sleep. He wakes it up and it won't unlock. But he can put in a random password and it works! Shut down doesn't work. Leo says that Caps Lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock can be accidentally hit and it'll lock him out because he's not actually typing it correctly. Restarting will reset the state of the locked buttons. Leo says just to start over and re-upgrade. But since it's a new computer, it may be wise to just return it and get a different one. Something is flakey.