Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How hot should my laptop get while gaming?

Episode 1142

Ivan from Santa Nella, CA
Alienware laptop

Ivan is a hardcore gamer and he uses an Alienware laptop. But his laptop has been getting up past 200 degrees. Leo says that's not a good thing. It's normal for a laptop to heat up with a lot of hard core use, but not that much. Leo suspects that Ivan's GPU fan isn't working. It could also be that the thermal paste wasn't applied correctly. Leo advises going back to the store with it and having them fix the issue.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Episode 1142

James from The Road, Colorado
Acer C720

James is thinking about getting a Chromebook. Leo likes them, now that he understands them. The Chromebook is a laptop that uses a browser based operating system that's very simple to use. James would just have to turn it on, and he'd have a browser. Then he could use Chrome extensions that give him access to a wide variety of applications. And everything is stored in the cloud.

Why is the iPhone GPS sometimes wildly inaccurate?

Episode 1142

Kevin from Beaumont, CA
GPS

Kevin says that we talk about smartphones as being a "mature" technology by now, but when he uses GPS on his phone, it frequently can be wildly inaccurate. For instance, when he was in Scottsdale, he asked Siri for Thai restaurants, and it gave him results for Florida. Why would that be the case? Leo says that "mature" doesn't necessarily mean it's better, it's just an older technology at this point. Apple is doing everything it can with GPS, but its still an imperfect technology.

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1141

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget by Dickie D promises to help you break bad habits. It's a smart watch that sends a shock through your body if you engage in a habit you want to break. Pavlok uses an ecosystem of apps that will run on both your computer and phone. These apps can track and monitor any number of things that you choose. For example, the Pavlok Fit app will allow users to select their gym from a list of gyms in their area. Then, using the geo-location on your phone, Pavlok can tell when you go to the gym and how long you stay for. Don’t go to the gym? Shock (up to 340 volts)!

How can I print from my iPad?

Episode 1141

Eric from Cathedral City, CA
Printer

Eric has an iPad and wants to be able to print wirelessly with his printer. But AirPrint doesn't work on it. Leo says that probably means his printer doesn't support AirPrint technology. There's more than one way to add support for this, though. Before AirPrint, there were apps that could do it. They were kind of kludgy, sending the file to the app and then to the printer.

Should I be concerned about a warning message to backup?

Episode 1141

Tom from Riverside, CA
Hard drive

Tom is getting an error message on his Windows computer that his hard drive may be starting to die. Should be believe it? He just bought it. Leo says to always keep his hard drive backed up, but Leo says that over-relying on Windows can be a mistake. Most hard drives have a technology called SMART which can warn him of some errors. So yes, he should be concerned and always have a backup just in case.

How can I connect Bluetooth headphones to my iPod Classic?

Episode 1140

Steve from San Diego, CA
iPod Classic

Steve just bought high end Sony Bluetooth headphones and he wants to be able to connect his iPod classic to it. Leo says he can buy a bluetooth audio transmitter that plugs into the headphone jack. He should make sure it supports A2DP. But quality varies dramatically. He could also buy one that plugs into the iPod's 30 pin connector and that's a digital signal. He can look for them at Monoprice.com.

How can I get GPS data on my laptop?

Episode 1140

Jason from Auburn, ME
GPS

Jason uses a logging app that will automatically add GPS data when he creates an entry. It would take something from an external GPS through a com port, which is obviously something his laptop doesn't have. He found an app that allows for GPS over Bluetooth so he can use the app on his laptop. Most laptops have Bluetooth built-in, but the app is looking for that data from a com port. The chatroom recommends the GlobalSat GPS receiver for $35, and it works via USB. They also make USB to Serial port adapters.

What speaker would be best for home theater and music?

Episode 1140

Charlie from Los Angeles, CA
Sonos Play:5

Charlie would like to get a sound bar for his home theater since he lives in an apartment complex, but he also wants to use it for music. Leo says that the Sonos System is ideal for this, but it's not cheap. It can connect to his TV and he can also use it for music. It's very flexible to tie in his iPhone or iPad as well. It's equivalent to the Bose, which could cost a bit more. Leo loves them, and he has several in the house. And what's really cool is that he could connect it to his stereo and it becomes another Sonos outlet.

How can I stop my Bluetooth hearing aid from connecting to my Ford Sync?

Episode 1140

David from Durham, NC
Ford SYNC

David has a hearing aid, which is bluetooth enabled, and whenever he gets into his car, Ford SYNC connects to his hearing aid instead of his phone. Leo says that's one of the limitations of Ford SYNC is that it can only sync with one device at a time, so he'd have to disable his hearing aid in order to have it connect to his phone.