Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I cancel my landline and still have emergency service?

Alison from Sherman Oaks, CA

Episode 1189

Alison wants to drop her phone line because it's getting too expensive, but she's worried about emergencies. Leo says that the benefit of keeping a landline is that the phones are powered by the phone company. But as we've shifted away from the old systems, that capability is gone. She could end up with a battery backup in her home, though, so she should check that out. The problem is, those batteries aren't maintained, so they can die after a few years. Alison will end up having no backup. She can pay for California Life Line service, which is about $10.

How can I keep my laptop from connecting over Wi-Fi when it's hardwired with ethernet?

Noah from Wyoming, MI

Episode 1189

Noah is trying to connect his laptop to his router via ethernet, but his laptop keeps connecting via Wi-Fi instead. Leo says on the Mac, he could order the connections so that the laptop would try ethernet first and then go to Wi-Fi. On a Windows Machine it's a bit more complicated. It could be a driver issue. He should update his drivers.

What laptop should I get my daughter for college?

Episode 1189

Eric from Chino Hills, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Eric's daughter has a Mac Mini and she's thinking of bringing it to school, but the monitor is so huge. So she's thinking of going with a Windows laptop. Leo says that the base model MacBook Air is $899 and that's a good choice, And the educational discount saves another 10%. Eric could also go to the Apple Refurbished site to save a few hundred dollars more.

Why does my Lenovo ThinkPad run so slow?

Matthew from Austria

Episode 1189

Matthew has a Lenovo T410 Thinkpad for college. Leo says it's really good and has a great keyboard, but Matthew found Superfish on it! Leo says that's horrible and part of the reason why he doesn't recommend Lenovo anymore. Matthew cleaned it off, but it runs slower than he'd like. Leo says that one option is to replace the spinning drive with an SSD. But it depends on how the bus is connected to determine if the laptop can take advantage of the speed that an SSD buys him. He'll get some benefits, but the question is, how much?

How can I stream a local baseball game over mobile phones?

Charlie from Winton, MA

Episode 1189

Charlie goes to local baseball games and they stream the announcing of the game over the internet. He'd like to be able to beam it via Bluetooth for people to listen to it on their smartphones. Leo says that he can't really do that because of its limited range. It's only 30 feet. He could set up a small, micro power radio station. Or he can just stream it and people can listen to the stream on their smartphones. Bluetooth is just too limited in range. And even if the range wasn't an issue, a transmitter can only handle so many pairings. It's not designed to work with many devices.

Is the New MacBook a Bad Apple?

Episode 1189

Apple MacBook

Users are complaining that the new Apple MacBook is way too slow, way too thin, and that the one connector is just too limiting. The keys on the keyboard make it very difficult to type since they are so shallow, you don't get much of a tactic return. But Leo thinks it's pretty nice at first blush. The fact is, nobody is making you upgrade to a new Mac every time they put one out. It's your choice.

Will a MacBook Air work well for mobile DJing?

Episode 1188

Michael from Hollywood, CA
Apple MacBook Air

Michael has an older MacBook Pro and he's looking to get a new MacBook Air for DJing. Would it be sufficient? Leo says that MacBook Air with 4GB RAM should work just fine. But doubling up on the RAM certainly wouldn't hurt. Audio isn't that big of a power draw. The 13" MacBook Pro is a great option too, as it's thin, light, and has a gorgeous screen.

Is there a USB external sound card option?

Episode 1188

Mark from Escondido, CA
Syba SD-CM-UAUD USB Stereo Audio Adapter

Mark has an old PC and his sound card broke. He knows it isn't worth fixing, so he's wondering if there is an external sound card option? Leo says yes! USB sound cards are available, and they are even better for the computer because they don't pick up the fan noise of the computer itself. Mark will want a USB DAC. They range in price from affordable to expensive. Check out the Syba USB Stereo Audio Adapter. It costs just $8!

How can I output the video from my iOS device to my car?

Episode 1188

Frank from Richboro, PA
HDMI to Composite Converter

Frank wants to output the video from his new iOS device to his car. His car video system requires a composite connection. He says there used to be an adapter that would work with the 30-pin connectors on older iOS devices, but he hasn't found anything that works with Apple's new Lightning connector. Leo says he may have to use two adapters to go from Lightning to HDMI, and then buy a $10 dongle that will convert HDMI to composite.

What computer do I need for video editing?

Episode 1188

Marilee from Highland, IN
iMac with Retina 5k display

What computer should she get for video editing? Leo says an iMac is the way to go, but some say the Mac Pro is better. Leo disagrees. She'd still have to buy a monitor and other externals if she got the Mac Pro. The iMac is faster and she'll get that huge 5k display, making it easier to edit. She's not doing advanced rendering, so the 5K iMac is ideal. And she'll want more memory, at least 16GB. As far as the processor goes, the faster clock speed is more important than the number of cores. She won't need to get an upgraded video card either.