Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Leo says if he had a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, then the MacBook Pro would be usable with the lid closed. Using VNC works, but he'd have to keep waking up his laptop to do it.
Trisha recently bought a Samsung Radiant 360 Speaker, but it apparently has to be controlled by a Samsung app on her smartphone. The problem is that she can't play the streaming audio from a separate app she likes. Leo says that is weird. Most speakers pair directly to the phone via Bluetooth, and anything that she could play on her phone could go through the speaker. The app seems to be designed to control multiple speakers in different rooms.
This weeks' gadget are holiday lights that you leave up all year long and change the colors for each holiday via your smartphone. Called AppLights, these lights strands not only change color, but have over 140 different effects. The result is a custom light show for any holiday. LED bulb life is expected to be about 20,000 hours. They're available in traditional look C-bulbs, icicle lights, spotlights, candy cane, or kaleidoscope (projection) lights. Each version is under $60, and they're exclusive at Home Depot.
Erik is looking for a small device to copy his camera SD cards to and print out pictures while traveling. Leo says it's called a "Photo Wallet" or "Photo Safe." It's essentially a hard drive with an SD card reader attached. Digital Foci is a great one. It's $150 for 500GB. But fewer and fewer are making them now because of the cloud.
John bought an iMac in 2011 and lately it's starting to flicker, with half of the screen darker. He called Apple and they suggested clearing the PRAM. Leo says that's one of the magical 'voodoo' techniques in case something got corrupted like a driver or something. Then they had him do a factory reset. But it still is happening. John also heard that the video card may be going out. But more likely, Leo says that the backlit LED screen simply stopped working, and that can happen over time with an LCD. One way to test if it's the video card is to connect an external monitor to it.
Robert is wondering if he should buy an Apple Watch or if there's a better option out there. Leo says that the first thing is to be sure he has an iPhone to support it, which must be an iPhone 5 or newer. Once he's passed that hurdle, he'll have to realize that the Apple Watch is really not all that necessary to every day life unless he has a specific need for it, like fitness or medical applications. It's kind of cool that you can answer your phone through your watch, though, and Apple Pay works great with it. But Leo says if he's asking if he should get it, then Leo says no.
Leo says that he's seen stories about Black Friday fights breaking out around the globe, chiefly in Great Britain, as people fight over low priced deals on last year's stuff. But don't forget, Cyber Monday is coming. Did you get a great deal yesterday? Here's one ... Amazon is offering unlimited cloud storage for a year for $5.
Robert wants to buy an SSD to upgrade to Windows 10 instead of using his old hard drive, which runs Windows 8. Leo says that's a good idea. It's far faster. But if he has Windows 8 on there already, he may want to try downloading the Windows 10 ISO and then install it separately. Microsoft will then associate Windows 10 with his computer. He should check out Thurrott.com for more information on how to do a clean install of a Windows 10 upgrade.
Phil is trying to cut back on his electric bill and his friends suggest powering down his technology, including his router and network every day. But his other friends say that could do more harm than good. Leo says that he'll stress the electronics less if he doesn't turn them on and off on a regular basis. He should just leave it alone. He can reboot things once in awhile, but all modern computers and networks are designed to sip power from a low power mode. If he's not using it for a few days or weeks, then it's OK to power them down.
Louie has Windows Media Center on his computer and now that his cable company has gone digital, he can't use it. How can he fix it? Leo says that it was probably analog. He'd need a digital replacement of the capture card. The Box isn't enough. Louie will need a cable card or M card that can fit into a device that can make that video capture device a cable box. And it's likely he's going to run into roadblocks there as well.