Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Amy has several chargers and they all charge at different speeds. Can she run a speed test to see how long it takes to charge them? Leo says she can monitor power usage with the P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. This plugs into the wall, then she can plug a charger into that. There's also this USB in-line voltage and current meter from ADAFruit.
Stana is having issues with her old Compaq Presario freezing frequently. She tried cooling it, and it helped for awhile, but it's freezing again. She updated her drivers, and when that didn't work, she uninstalled them. Now she can't even boot into Windows because it says it failed to install an update, and it's trying to revert back.
CES starts this week in Las Vegas, NV. The confab, which is meant to bring together electronics manufacturers and retailers, also attracts media and tech geeks. All too often, Leo says that a lot of what we'll see at CES never gets released. But we'll see some pretty cutting edge stuff including smart thermostats, self driving cars, and the "internet of things."
The first gadget of 2015 was actually from Dick's "What the heck is it" game. It's called the Store-A-Cell battery caddy. It solves the problem of how to conveniently store batteries in a compact and easy to find holder. Originally designed for pilots, the Battery Caddy is also great for photography, camping, travel or home use. The price depends on the Storacell Battery Caddy you need, but they start at about $5.50. They are available for AA, AAA, and 9V batteries, and there are even versions that can take all three kinds of batteries in one caddy. And you can choose colors.
Wayne is going to hike the Pacific Trail, which is about 2,700 miles. He has an iPhone 4 but he needs a charger for it that is both lightweight, portable, and self sustaining. Leo says that he got his son a solar charger, but Wayne needs to understand that they're not terribly efficient and an all day charge may get only get him few hours of phone time.
Gary likes to play with Raspberry Pi computers and would like to get the smallest UltraHD screen he can for the sleeper in his truck. Leo says that's a great project for a trucker to play with. Leo says that the Raspberry Pi computers are great and for $35, they're dirt cheap and great for the hobbyist.
Tom is looking for Leo's suggestion about fire alarms and suppression. Leo went out to the local alarm company and had them do it. But there are some interesting choices that also offer full home automation with motion activated cameras that will tell the house to heat up and turn on the lights when he gets home. He can do it himself, but he'll lose the monitoring advantages.
Steve got a new TV and he wants to integrate it into his sound system. Leo says that the centerpiece of the modern era is the TV, and we're trying to duplicate the experience with surround sound. Leo says that the existing receiver will probably not work. Steve will need an A/V receiver. He doesn't want rear speakers, though. Leo says Steve at least needs a subwoofer and a center channel. He should get the TV at eye level and have the speakers on either side of it. He could use a "phantom" center speaker. Not nearly as good, but it will do the job.
Carl has a Motorola Moto 360 watch. Leo says it's the best smartwatch out there to date. But Carl says it won't automatically turn on when he puts his watch up to read it. Leo says to turn on "ambient display" in the settings. The Moto 360 will still have enough battery life to last throughout the day.
Dan has a 24" screen because he's into music recording. Should he buy a new video card? Leo says not for that screen. At 1920x1080, any video card is going to handle it. Leo says that the processor and RAM are more important for editing music than a video card. But it he requires a set manufacturer like Nvidia, a low end card will work just fine.