Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1483

Dickie D is back. This time with a selfie stick with it's own built in LED light. The Mpow Selfie Stick provides a wide-angle LED light with low, medium and high brightness adjustment modes. In the back there's a convenient mirror so you can see how you look before the camera goes off. Built into the handle is a 1500mAh battery. It's charged via amicro USB charger cable which may not get in the package. But any tech person has a lot of them laying around. The company says the battery provides about 72 hours of LED fill light time, 30 hours of Bluetooth connection time on a single charge.

How can I rip all my DVDs and play them on a network?

Episode 1483

James from Las Vegas, NV
Synology DiskStation

James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.

Why does my printer reject a refilled cartridge?

Episode 1483

Felicia from San Diego, CA
Counterfeit Cartridge Detected

Felicia had her HP printer ink cartridges refilled, and now her printer won't accept the cartridge. It just says it's incompatible or counterfeit. What can she do? Rich says that printers are cheap because they can make up the cost on ink. Rich also thinks, however, that the contacts on the cartridges may just be dirty. So she should clean them with some distilled water and a coffee filter. Nothing that has threads to it. She should give it a good wiping down and try again. It should be able to see it then.

Should I buy an Apple TV?

Episode 1483

Anthony from Carpenteria, CA
Apple TV

Anthony wants to know what the advantage is of getting an Apple TV if all the modern TVs are so-called "smart" TVs? Rich says that apps are always better, and updated more on a dedicated device like the Apple TV. Smart TVs, on the other hand, rarely get updated, if ever. TV makers are in the TV business, not the app development business. So Apple TV has that advantage.

How can I get data off a bad hard drive?

Episode 1483

Daryl from Silverado Canyon, CA
Hard drives

Daryl has a hard drive that has bad bearings, and he needs to get the data off it. He's tried to have the board on the drive replaced, but now it says it needs the original board or ROM. How can he get the data off this bad drive? Rich says that at this point, only a data recovery service like DriveSavers will be able to get the data off it, and it's not cheap. Rich says that it's odd that the data company would require him to get the proper materials. He recommends going to another company.

Why won't my computer turn off?

Episode 1482

Arnie from San Fernando, CA
Process Explorer

Arnie gets constant updates on Windows 10, but the last one won't let him shut down the computer. It starts to shut down, the screen goes black, but the computer won't turn off. Leo says it's a failure of Windows update, where it stops the shut down process until all programs are closed out. Many services are running in the background and they have to shut down before the computer turns off. If there's a bad process that won't stop, it causes the computer to stay on, crashing the computer. It's very common. To diagnose it, Arnie should look in Task Manager and see what's running.

Do HDMI switchers work?

Episode 1482

Brian from Indiana
Raspberry Pi

Brian builds Raspberry Pi computers for everything from running DVRs (via Kodi) to routers. Leo says that Raspberry Pis are great and for $35, they're incredibly powerful. But his HDMI switch died recently, and it won't recognize his Pi anymore. Leo says that HDMI switchers are notoriously finicky. He'd be better off with an A/V receiver with multiple HDMI ports. It's the best way to go because the audio gets switched and stays in sync as well.

How can I get access to my Apple ID?

Episode 1482

Jack from Maine
Apple ID

Jack is in the banking industry and he recently left his job. But when he did, he lost his Apple ID and they remote wiped his phone. Will he have trouble switching it over to a new Apple ID and will he lose all the apps, music, etc. that he bought? Leo says that Jack should be able to go to the Apple ID and change the email associated with it. They'll look for confirmation on the old email, though. He'll need to also log into the old Apple ID account and turn off Find My iPhone and back up to iCloud.