Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
This week's gadget is actually an oldie but a goodie ... it's 12 years old and it's a self waving american flag that uses wires embedded in the flag to wave. It's very patriotic.
Moe's computer running Windows 7 keeps shutting down on him. Leo says that with the age of Moe's computer, the hard drive is getting unreliable. It's time to backup his hard drive and then swap it out for a new one and reinstall Windows. It may be enough just to reinstall Windows, though. Leo does this every year as "spring cleaning." It keeps it more reliable. So he should try that first. He should backup his Documents and Settings folder to get his data. Then he can format that old hard drive and reinstall Windows.
Mark has been having similar issues with his computer crashing when it goes into hybrid sleep or hibernation. Leo says that hibernation has never really worked the way it's supposed to. It's just best to turn it off. Hibernation saves out the RAM and then when you turn it back on, it has to load it and often it'll crash. So just disable that option.
Cindy is interested in dashcams. Leo says that the Wirecutter says the Z-Edge Z3 is the best. It's a great deal at $100. She also wants one forward and backward to monitor the inside of the car. Leo says that there's several models that can do that. So she should head to the Wirecutter for more guidance.
Bob is having problems with his computer becoming unresponsive. It suddenly freezes up until he reboots it. Leo says that it may not be crashing for freezing at all. It may be an unresponsive mouse or keyboard. If the clock continues ticking, then it hasn't crashed. But if the clock is stuck, then the processor has halted. Even then, the processor may just be busy and he may just have to wait. He'll want to be sure it's really halted, though. If he reboots the computer in the middle of reindexing the hard drive, it could corrupt his drive.
Scott attended a meeting that indicated that virtual reality is the next great trend in cinematography, but that it's in it's infancy and that cinematographers should start experimenting with shooting in VR by using cheaper cameras like the Ricoh Theta S. Leo says that may be true, but he prefers to be told a story, told what to look at. When you're looking around, if you think about it, the story teller has failed in telling that story.
Leo does say that Virtual Reality is great for gaming though. It blows their minds.
At Google's I/O developer conference this week, Google announced a new product called Google Home. This is essentially an Amazon Echo competitor. It's a small device that kind of looks like an air freshener, and you talk to it to get information and perform tasks. It won't have the Amazon services, though. We don't know yet when that will be available or what the price will be.
Find out more at home.google.com
Greg's 08 MacBook Pro makes a strange noise. Now it even autotypes all by itself! Leo says it sounds like a stuck key. He should go through all the keys just to see if one of the keys is sticking a bit. It's common as keyboards get dirty.
Brad has an 2012 MacBook that he added a second hard drive to. He then plugged a Logitech webcam in, and the display went blank. Leo thinks that Brad may have overloaded the power supply and overheated the motherboard. Laptops are designed with a very narrow window of power usage tolerances. A tower would've have worked better.