Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1057

The Giz Wiz

This week's gadget from Dickie D is the BigRep One 3D printer. It's so huge that it can print furniture! It's a a full-scale format 3D printer with an 1147 x 1000 x 1188 mm (1.4 m³) working volume. In inches, that’s approximately 45” X 39” X 47”, or 49 cubic feet of printing volume. It'll also print several objects at once as long as they are within the area of the printing plate. It takes nine different printing filaments. BigRep One should start shipping in April 2014 and costs $39,000, not including shipping or taxes.

How can I partition my Windows 7 hard drive?

John from Waterbury, CT

Episode 1057

John had a computer that died on him, so he got a few parts and now the computer is back online. The hard drive has a partition on it and he wants to resize the it, but it won't let him. Leo says that John should try a non-destructive partitioner. Windows 7 may be able to do it if it's in a state to do it. Leo recommends defragging the partition and trying again. There may not be enough space to change the partition, though. EaseUS makes a free partitioning and backup program he can try as well.

How can I transfer my files from one PC to another?

Zach from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1056

Zach needs a new computer and wants to know how he can transfer all his music, videos, and images. He has thousands of pictures and a lot of duplicates. He also has a backup drive, but he's not sure it always backs up. Leo suggests just dragging the documents and settings folder over to the external drive. That will get everything.

Can I install a USB 3.0 card in my desktop using PCI?

Dave from Chicago, IL

Episode 1056

Dave wants to know if he can install a USB 3.0 port onto his desktop computer. Leo says sure, but it largely depends on the bus of his desktop. If he has PCIexpress, he should be just fine. USB 3.0 goes as high as 5 Gigabits, but that doesn't mean he'd necessarily get that. What about just plain PCI? He won't get the max speed, but the hard drive isn't as fast as USB 3.0 either. So it should be good enough for his use of it.

Why does the audio drop out or get out of sync on video recorded with my PC?

Episode 1055

Chuck from Manchester, NH
VLC

Chuck uses his media center computer as a TIVO. His video plays fine, but the audio drops out or is out of sync. Media player doesn't work either. What can he replace it with? Leo says that Windows Video Player can be replaced by VLC Media Player. This may not help if the video is copy protected, though.

What Mac laptop should I buy?

Episode 1055

Joe from Austin, TX
MacBook Pro

Joe is thinking of getting either the 13" MacBook Air or the 13" MacBook Pro. He also wants to get an external drive. The 13" MacBook Air has far better battery life, but the MacBook Pro has a much better retina display. So it really comes down to what he wants most. The MacBook Pro also comes with a 256 GB SSD. Leo says he should only use an external hard drive if he finds he's running out of space on the laptop. It's best to keep what he can on the internal drive, so he doesn't need to always rely on having an external drive plugged in.

Why won't my computer go to sleep?

Mike from Portland, ME

Episode 1055

Mike can't get his computer to go into power saving mode. Leo says it could be a bad install and recommends installing from scratch, rather then upgrading. It may also be that Windows Installer doesn't see that his computer supports ACPI. Sometimes the installer gets it wrong and doesn't install the feature. There's not much he can do besides reinstalling Windows. He has to be sure to install the right kernel, and that's the problem because it's automatic.

NBC Fakes Story About Phones Being Hacked at the Olympics

Episode 1055

NBC's Richard Engle did a story that mobile phones and computers were hacked the second people arrived in Russia for the Olympic Games. Leo says that the NBC story was completely false, and had been faked to get the audience looking at Russia in a particular way. Leo says that they would get hacked if the reporter deliberately went to a malicious site and downloaded the software that would infect the computer or mobile phone. Engle was a thousand miles away in Moscow when he did it.