Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Where can I get a good lavalier microphone?

Episode 1283

Larry from Petaluma, CA
Audio Technica AT898 lavalier mic

Larry would like to have a lavalier microphone for his Canon Vixia. He doesn't want a wireless one. Leo says it's a good idea to start with a wired lav mic because he won't run into interference. He'll also want a unidirectional mic in order to filter out all the ambient noise coming from where he is recording. The downside is that if the mic gets off axis, he'll have to adjust it. So he'll want to constantly monitor the audio to be sure that the mic is aimed properly.

How can I crack the password on an old Windows Vista computer?

Joe from Thomasville, GA

Episode 1282

Joe's wife can't remember the login on her old Windows computer. Leo says that on older Windows Vista computers, security isn't as good as it is now. There used to be a hidden administrator account. Leo recommends trying "administrator" or "admin" with blank password. If that works, she can get in and create a new account to move her stuff over too. There are also programs that she can run that can crack the password. NT Crack is one. But to use it for college?

How can I customize my Ring doorbell tone?

Episode 1282

Paul from Louisville, CA
Ditto Wearable Tech for Smartphones

Paul has a Ring Doorbell and an Arlo motion detection camera connected to his mobile phone. The problem is that the Ring notification is so brief, he misses it. Can he use a watch to get a better notification? Leo says it's very annoying that you can't customize the Ring notification, especially if more than one person in the office has it. The Ring works with the Apple Watch and it would give him haptic feedback that buzzes his wrist. He'd feel it, but it's also distracting. The Galaxy Gear S2 would also be good if he's on Android.

What are the best battery powered security cameras?

Episode 1282

Daniel from Las Vegas, NV
Netgear VueZone Wire-free Video Monitoring System

Daniel wants to know about wireless home security cameras. He's looking for a good 5GHz camera that can be battery powered. Leo says that battery powered cameras aren't always on -- they use motion detection.

NetGear's VueZone is a good brand. 5GHz, on the other hand, isn't as good as 2.4GHz, even though it's less congested. The higher you go in frequency, the more likely the signal will bounce around and get interference. The batteries do last for a year in those cameras, though.

What happened to the images and music on my hard drive?

AJ from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1281

AJ opened up a laptop he hadn't used in awhile and all of his music and pictures were corrupted. A popup actually said the disk couldn't be read, and must be formatted. He tried to recover it. Why did it become corrupt? Leo says that hard drives die, and that's why you need a 3-2-1 backup strategy. 3 copies, on two different formats, with one off site.

Will virtual reality make flight simulators better?

Dennis from Valencia, CA

Episode 1281

Dennis was into computer flight simulators, and he's wondering if virtual reality will be the next great thing in flight sims. Leo says virtual reality will be more immersive and give him a better experience of what it's like to fly. But to use a VR headset like the Oculus, he'd also have to upgrade his computer. So he's talking about $2200 to get the experience he wants. Leo says that VR is an amazing experience. Although it's in its early days, it will get better.