Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good, yet small all-in-one printer?

Episode 1271

Christine from Albany, CA
Epson WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank

Christine needs a small all-in-one printer for her tiny house. Leo says that the Epson WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank isn't too big and has the benefit of coming with 2 years of ink. That's great for regular use. They do stick out over the edge just a little bit. Worth taking a look at. Any all-in-one which does scanning and printing will be a bit larger than a standard printer. Another option is the Epson Artisan. Canon makes a very good printer as well, with the Pixma line.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Why is my Mac running so slow online?

Richard from West LA, CA

Episode 1271

Richard has a friend who's Mac is running slower. Is that because her machine is getting older? Leo says maybe, but it may also be that her hard drive is getting less reliable. As the hard drive gets older, it starts to have to work harder to process data. It begins to cache data more. So replacing the hard drive, especially with an Solid State Drive, can make a world of difference in speed. Updating your OS can also help, though if it's too old, you may not upgrade to the latest (El Capitan). Leo says there's a few easy things to do like resetting your browser and clearing the cache.

What is a VPN?

Episode 1271

Dan from Newport Beach, CA
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Dan wants to know about a VPN. Is it good for security? Leo says absolutely. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it's essentially an encrypted tunnel through the Internet where your data cannot be seen by anyone sniffing around. All anyone else would see is gobbelty-gook. It's great for security if you're at an open Wi-Fi network like a coffee shop. VPNs are really popular for work, where you're working from home but want access to your work server.

Can I upgrade to OS X El Capitan on my Mac?

Episode 1270

Ronnie from West Hollywood, CA
Mac OS X El Capitan

Ronnie has an iMac that runs OS X Lion and he's stuck with it, according to a salesman at Apple. They said it won't run El Capitan. Leo says that the retail guy is wrong! Apple offers a free upgrade for Lion. What he may be talking about is that if he erases the hard drive, he can install the OS over the air by downloading and installing. In that case, it will download the OS that came with the Mac. But then he could upgrade for free. A ten year old Mac can upgrade to El Capitan.

What printer should I buy?

Christie from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1270

Leo says that the first ransomware appeared on the Mac last week. It was through a bittorrent program called Transmission. A bad guy hacked it and added a malware program to the installer that would encrypt the user's data. It only happened for a few hours though. Apple has also yanked the certificate of the company that tried it, updated the signatures of the malware screener on the Mac, and it's extremely unlikely that anyone else will get infected by it.