Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I listen to stereo sound with my Bluetooth cochlear implant?

Marcus from Wisconsin

Episode 1198

Marcus has a new cochlear implant that uses Bluetooth and he wants to know if he can get a regular Bluetooth headset for the other ear and get stereo sound. Leo says it's doable, but he'll have an issue with sync. He'll want to be sure that his implant is A2DP compliant so he can get the best quality sound.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1197

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget from Dickie D is called Perfect Drink, which uses a scale to perfectly mix the best cocktails. You can even tell it what alcohol you have, and it will suggest recipes. The scale is connected to your mobile device and you use the app to mix your drinks. No need to measure anymore. It includes a scale that's accurate to 1 gram, stainless steel shaker, 3.5mm connection cable and stand for your iPad, Smartphone, etc. It retails for $49.99, but it’s only about $42.00 at the Amazon link below.

What are all of the things I should consider when getting a new laptop?

Episode 1197

Roger from Mojave, CA
Dell XPS 13

Roger has been working with developers on a social media platform through Drupal and he needs a new laptop to keep up with the workload. Roger says he needs something powerful. Leo says that processors have gotten so fast now, that pretty much any new laptop will be fast enough for just about anything he needs to do on the web. The issue is more about the storage, RAM, laptop size, battery life, quality of keyboard and trackpad, Windows or Mac, etc. If he gets a Core i5 processor, there's nothing on the web he can't run very fast.

Humanoid Robots Make Great Progress at DARPA Challenge

Episode 1196

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, held a challenge over the weekend that put humanoid robots to task. The robots were expected to drive and park a vehicle, open a door and walk through it, turn a valve handle one full rotation, use a power drill to cut a hole in a sheetrock wall big enough for a person to fit through, climb over and through rubble, climb a metal staircase, and then perform a surprise task. The robots were able to complete most of these objectives, but had some minor issues along the way.

1980s Commodore Amiga Running Heat and AC at 19 Public Schools in Michigan

Episode 1196

The heat and AC at 19 public schools in Grand Rapids, MI is run off of a 30 year old Commodore Amiga, according to a story from WOOD TV 8. The computer was purchased with money from an energy bond in the 1980's, replacing a refrigerator sized computer at the time. The computer system turns the heat and air conditioners on and off for 19 buildings and monitors the temperature. A high schooler programmed it, and whenever the district has a problem, they go back to that same former student.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

John from Merced, CA

Episode 1196

John was going to get a used computer, but thought maybe a Chromebook would be a better option. Leo says the Chromebook is a great computer. It's only a browser based system and often, that is all you need. And plus, buying someone's used computer means you're buying someone else's problems. Anything in the Chrome browser can be done, including video editing. And the price is right at $250. You can't beat that. Samsung, Acer. The Pixel is one of Leo's favorites. Windows is way more than most people need and we should start to recognize that.

How can I backup my text messages to my Mac?

Episode 1196

Dina from Manhattan Beach, CA
eCamm PhoneView

Dina wants to download her iPhone text messages with time and date. Leo says that the nice thing about the Apple environment is that they all work together. So the program that she uses for text messages, also works on the Mac if she sets it up that way. Then all the messages will appear there.

Another option is eCamm's Phoneview for $30. Dina can try before she buys and it will let her save all of her messages and data. They come in a PDF format when she saves them.

Why does my laptop display look weird?

Beth from Laguna Woods, CA

Episode 1196

Beth's laptop display is acting up. She turned it on and the display went weird with the colors being off, and the orientation being portrait. Leo says it could be a corrupted video driver. It could also be the ribbon cable in the laptop hinge. It's a cheap fix, but she'll need a technician to repair it. Beth can plug in an external monitor to see if it works. If it does, then she'll know it's a faulty connection. She should ultimately take it in to someone for repair.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1195

If you have an older car that doesn't allow you to connect your stereo to your phone, then Dickie D has a great gadget for you. It's called the Kinivo Bluetooth Car Kit with Multipoint. (Model BTC-455) and it allows you to plug in via the cigarette lighter and have a powered audio jack that plugs into your car stereo, which then connects to your phone via bluetooth. Under $50 on Amazon. (If you're positive you’ll only be using one Bluetooth device, you can buy the older model 450 which is about $10 to $15 cheaper.)