Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I stop a computer from rebooting or shutting down?

Episode 1152

Matthew from Diamond Bar, CA
Computer fan

Matthew has an Asus laptop and it restarts from time to time. Leo says that it's crashing and shutting down to protect the hardware from damage. Leo suspects that it's overheating. Matthew can remove the outer case and clean it out with a vaccum cleaner or blower. A fan may also have stopped working, especially one for the CPU. If the thermal paste that attaches the fan to the CPU has dried out, that could be causing overheating issues as well. A flakey power supply is also a possible culprit. Leo suggests finding an independent computer expert that can fix it.

Do anyone even need to go to CES anymore?

Episode 1152

Chip from Cherry Hill, NJ
CES 2015

Chip wants to know if anyone really needs to attend CES anymore since everything is available online. Leo says not really. He sends people to cover it. It's a great experience to go at least once. It's out of control, and there's so much to see. But Chip could pretty much see everything virtually now and doesn't need to feel the pressure to attend every single year.

Can I use my DSLR camera as a webcam?

Episode 1152

Bob from San Jose, CA
Logitech C920

Bob wants to use his Canon Rebel T3i as a webcam. Leo says he would need HDMI passthru. He'll need a miniHDMI to HDMI cable, then he can connect it to his TV. But if his computer doesn't have HDMI, then he'll also need a video adapter. But for all of the effort required, he should probably just get a good HD Webcam. Leo likes the Logitech C920. It'll connect via USB and will work great.

CES Is Over, and Here's What We Saw

Episode 1152

UHD TV at CES 2015

The big story at CES 2015 was in drones, virtual reality headsets, and 4K TVs. The big news with the 4K TVs is that we may finally have a standard for the ultra high definition sets, as a UHD alliance has been formed and UHD Blu-ray players finally had a standard adopted. But they won't be available until the fall. The standard defines the dynamic range and color gamut, as well as the compression algorithm, which is HEVC/H.265.

Is the new Bitdefender Box legit?

Episode 1151

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom saw a new box from Bitdefender at CES that promises to be in between the internet and the computer and cleanses all traffic. The box connects to the router and it will prevent malware from getting through. They plan to ship it for $200. Leo says the premise of this is good, but may not necessarily be better than a software antivirus because if software doesn't know about a virus, neither will the physical box. We can't even be sure it will ship at all at this point either.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi range?

Episode 1150

Jonathan from San Jacinto, CA
Apple Airport Extreme

Jonathan has Verizon FIOS with 75 Mbps up and down. Leo says that's nice! He has great signal on one side of the house, but it's terrible on the other side. How can he extend the Wi-Fi? Leo says he has to use Verizon's FIOS modem and router, but he doesn't have to use it for Wi-Fi. He can get a better Wi-Fi access point like an Apple Airport Extreme. Then put that in bridge mode so it'll pass the signal along to the rest of the house. If he needs more, then he can add a few $99 Airport Express's to act as a repeater. Leo has three of them.

How can I test how long my charger takes to charge my phone?

Episode 1150

Amy from Maryland
P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

Amy has several chargers and they all charge at different speeds. Can she run a speed test to see how long it takes to charge them? Leo says she can monitor power usage with the P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. This plugs into the wall, then she can plug a charger into that. There's also this USB in-line voltage and current meter from ADAFruit.