Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why am I getting an error message when plugging in my external drive?

Episode 1305

David from Wichita Falls, TX
Western Digital My Passport X

David has a Dell XPS 11 and he keeps getting an error message when he plugs in his external drive. Leo says that there's a little piece of software from the external drive that is essentially an ad for Western Digital. He doesn't need it. Leo advises rebooting, then plugging the drive back in. Windows will then reinstall the driver and it should work.

Why is Windows 10 stretched on my computer?

Alan from West LA, CA

Episode 1304

Alan has an old Dell computer and he is having trouble using Windows 10 because of the video problems. Leo says that Windows should be able to automatically read the native resolution and adjust accordingly. For some reason, Windows thinks the aspect ratio is wrong and it's stretching it to widescreen. It could be a driver issue. It may also be the text file that describes the attributes of the monitor. It's called a monitor driver.

Will the Windows 10 free update expire for those using screen readers?

Ben from Fresno, CA

Episode 1304

Ben says that Windows 10 has extended the free update for accessibility users who need screen readers to use Windows because Microsoft is still having trouble adapting screen readers to it. Leo says that's great news. Eventually they'll work out the bugs and it's a great thing that Microsoft knows they have to keep offering the free update to screen readers until they do.

Why is my DSL so spotty?

Episode 1304

Frank from Pacifica, CA

Frank was sold on the notion that DSL was always on, but he's had cases where it get drops out quite often. Leo says that by comparison to dial up, DSL is always on. The drop outs are possibly due to being too far away form the central hub, as the farther away, the worse it gets. It could also be a signal that his router is starting to fail.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1303

Dick DeBartolo

The gadget for this week is called ThinOPTICS. It's a pocketable pair of glasses that you can always carry with you. There were three ways to carry them. You could buy the ThinOPTICS glasses with a universal pod to attach to the back of your phone for $20. There's a smart case to attach to larger phones for about $30 (with two pairs of glasses) and a new convenient keychain model folded inside a pod that easily hooks onto your key ring. Multiple strength options including Low Range (+1.50), Mid Range (+2.00) and High Range (+2.50).

Should I use an LCD TV as a computer monitor?

Gene from California

Episode 1303

Gene wants to know if it's a good idea to use an LCD TV as a monitor. Leo says no. The reason is that computer monitors are much higher resolution than TVs, and as such, he'll really see the pixels when sitting up close to it. If he's using a 4K monitor, he can abate that a bit. A better choice would be to just get a larger monitor. He can get them pretty big these days. Scott Wilkinson says that 4K would be a better choice because he would need super clean text to make it easier to read.

What is a good laptop to edit video?

Episode 1302

Mark from Tarzana, CA
Dell XPS 15

Now that he's bought a good Canon camera for his son, what is a good laptop to edit video? He's looking at the 15" MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS 15. Leo says both are excellent and it really comes down to what OS he'll want. Leo says that if he's been using OS X, then getting the Mac is the way to go.

Leo also says he can edit video on Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12, which is free. Final Cut Pro is $200, and iMovie is free. Mac vs. PC really makes no difference now, though.