Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I build a budget Linux computer?

JR from Detroit, MI

Episode 1054

JR has been a Linux guy for about 20 years exclusively. He's building a new computer with a fixed budget. Leo recommends going to PC Perspective's website and on the menu bar they have the HWLeaderboard. The Hardware Leaderboard lays out price ranges for building your own PC and what components you should get.

If he sticks with Linux, the issue will be drivers. The good news is that Steam is using Linux for their Steam Machines and as such, Linux support is growing.

How can I contact the CEO of Asus?

Episode 1054

Rob from Tarzana, CA
Asus Zenbook

Rob is frustrated because he bought an Asus Zenbook and it's a lemon. He's gotten four replacements and they've all been duds. Now he's waiting on parts, and Asus isn't telling him what's going on with it. Leo recommends contacting Jerry Shen, the CEO of Asus. He should write to him through the mail, to this address:

Jerry Shen
CEO, AsusTek
Begtwo District
Taipei, Taiwan

How can I activate Windows without the activation key?

Episode 1054

Mike from Glendale, CA
Windows XP Activation

Mike bought a Dell Latitude and had to replace the hard drive. Now he doesn't have a serial number to activate it. Leo says that Dell puts a sticker on the bottom of the laptop that has the activation code on it. Mike says it wasn't there. Leo says he should contact Dell and tell them that he can't activate the machine.

The chatroom says that Dell puts the serial number in the BIOS, so that may be a place to look. There are also programs that will provide the key from the installation.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1053

The Giz Wiz

Dickie D is back with the Anker Astro Pro (2nd Generation) backup battery. This is a 15000mAh battery pack, which holds enough power to charge smartphones 4 to 7 times and tablets 1 to 2 times before it needs to be recharged itself. The Astro Pro identifies what device you want charged and enables the best charging configuration for it thanks to a built-in chip. You can charge up to three devices at the same time.

Can I boost my SSD performance with AHCI?

Jeff from Oklahoma

Episode 1052

Jeff just installed an SSD into his Lenovo desktop, but he can't enable AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Leo says it's in the kernel, but it doesn't mean it has to be enabled. Leo suggests using native mode since Jeff only has one drive anyway. He'll get the best performance he can for SATA 2, but he'll still have a speed improvement over the old hard drive.