Hardware

Where can I get a good, budget laptop?

Episode 1332

Kim from San Diego, CA
Dell Inspiron 14

Kim is a trader and he's looking for a good computer for around $400. Leo says his use isn't that difficult for processing and viewing the information, so any computer will do. In fact, he doesn't even need a Windows machine. He just needs a good browser. Leo says that the dual monitor requirement may be a challenge, though. He can, however, use a USB driven monitor.

Why can't my computer see my hard drive?

Episode 1332

Daniel from Riverside, CA
BIOS

Daniel's PC says "boot device not found" when he turns it on. He checked all the cables and pulled the battery. That only worked once, though. Leo says that the battery is likely starting to fail and if that happens, it won't save the settings in the computer. Daniel should check the BIOS for the Enhanced System Configuration Data (ESCD) and reset it to default. Once that's done, reboot. After that, he may need to reinstall Windows.

What cable should I use for my TV?

Episode 1332

Laurie from Napa Valley, CA
RG6 cable

Laurie wants to move her TV across from where her cable is. Leo says she can, and she can make the cable as long as she wants, but she shouldn't use a splitter. The better the cable she uses, the better it looks too. Flat cables are for running under the carpet. She'll want low resistance RG59, RG11, or RG6 cables. RG6 is what the cable company uses and it's the best choice.

Laurie should check out BlueJeansCable.com for recommendations and descriptions.

What is a good keyboard for my Android phone?

Episode 1332

Mark from Santa Ana, CA
Targus Bluetooth Keyboard

Mark wants to get a keyboard for his Android phone. Leo says that any Bluetooth keyboard will work with either Android or iOS. If he wanted to use a wired keyboard, his phone needs to support USB to Go and he would need a special connector. It's a lot easier to go with Bluetooth. Targus makes a good fold up one.

He would also like a report to see what files have been deleted from Carbonite. Leo says that Carbonite won't delete files unless he deletes them locally, which is why they give 30 days to restore them. A backup isn't a backup if he deletes the original.

How can I recover my laptop after it crashed during the Windows 10 upgrade?

Episode 1331

Jerry from Indio, CA
Windows 10 upgrade

Jerry tried to upgrade to Windows 10 and it got stuck and now he can't turn it on. Leo says that is a common problem and the Microsoft Store can fix it. Jerry didn't complete the upgrade before the free window expired, though. Leo recommends contacting Microsoft and explain that the got upgrade stuck and he needs to clear it and get the free upgrade.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1331

Dick DeBartolo

The Lumos Lighted Helmet features 28 super bright white LEDs in the front and 22 super bright red LEDs in the rear to provide over 80 lumens of illumination. This should ensure that you will stand out on the road when riding your bike at night. Battery life is around 3 hours when the lights are on solid mode or 6 hours on blinking mode.The helmet takes approximately 2 hours to charge. It also has amber LED turn signals controlled by a remote control on your handle bars, and brake lights. It's run from your mobile device.

How smart is the Amazon Echo?

Episode 1331

Ricardo from Laguna Nigel, CA
Amazon Echo

Ricardo got an Amazon Echo for his birthday and he loves it. He's wondering how smart it can get, though. Leo says it can play music, get the weather, and hundreds of other information gathering techniques based on Echo "recipes." It's getting smarter. Artificial intelligence, thanks to machine learning, is growing by leaps and bounds, except for Siri on the Apple platform. Siri is actually getting dumber because Apple values privacy more than gathering the data needed to make it smarter.

My hard drive failed right out of the box, what do I do?

Episode 1331

Mark from San Diego, CA
Laptop hard drive

Mark just bought a Dell Inspiron laptop and the hard drive failed almost immediately. Leo says to take it back. Dell will replace it. There's always a certain percentage of hard drives that will simply fail, some right away. As time goes on, they will fail at about 4% a year. So the test isn't whether the hard drive will work out of the box, it's whether Dell will replace it right away, and they will.

What about Mark's data? If it's dead, he can't access the data, and odds are, they'll just destroy it anyway.

How can I use a monitor with the Kangaroo PC?

Episode 1330

Donna from Buena Park, CA
Kangaroo PC

Donna bought the $96 Kangaroo as a replacement for her old Windows PC that died. It's been a great PC for Donna, but she doesn't know how to use her VGA monitor with it because it doesn't have a VGA port. She said that they came out with a dock to solve this problem, but the dock isn't sold separately and only comes with the pro version. She currently has it connected to an HDTV, which isn't designed for computing.

Leo says she could get a cheap $80 monitor that would have an HDMI port. Or she could even use an iPad as a monitor with it.