Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What HAM Radio should I get as my first one?

LaSalle from Logan, NM

Episode 1084

LaSalle just got licensed as a HAM radio operator. Leo says that's great news and HAM radio is a great hobby. It's very important after a disaster because often every other communication is down. The FCC eliminated the requirement for morse code, so it's easy to get a basic license. He's looking at the ICOM radio. Leo says that they're great. Handy Talky is a great way to start out, and they're more affordable and would make him more mobile.

What's the best way to get data on your phone when traveling overseas?

Diane from Orange County, CA

Episode 1084

Diane is going to be traveling to Switzerland and wants to be able to use her phone and tablets locally. Leo says since she uses AT&T's service, she can request that they unlock her phone for the trip so she can buy a local SIM. She's also going to three other countries, and that will cause issues as well.

There's ways to fix the sewing machine / Windows 8 issue

Ronny & Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1084

Ronny says that the Husquavarna Viking doesn't run on Windows 8.1, but they've issued a patch to fix it. She also says that the caller probably has an old model, the latest ones can read CDs and thumb drives. Jonathan also has a sewing machine that reads the floppy and he says that Windows 8.1 has new settings for floppy discs that cause issues like that.

Leo also thinks that Windows 8.1 uses a different file format that causes the issue. So Leo thinks that if the sewing machine was used to format the floppy, it could work.

Why am I getting a "chirp" sound on my speaker phone?

Jane from San Diego, Ca

Episode 1084

Jane has a Panasonic cordless phone, and when she switches from her headset to the speaker, she gets has a "chirping" noise that drives her nuts. Leo thinks that Jane is suffering from "slippage," when the cordless phone gets out of sync. It's not unusual. Jane needs a DECT headset, which is a digitally enhanced cordless phone. Leo also says that if it's from the speaker, it could be echo cancellation kicking in, which causes the chirp. That's why he doesn't like talking on speaker phone.

What is a good computer for a senior citizen?

Episode 1082

Terry from Whittier, CA
WOW! Computer

Terry has an 86 year old mother who feels that the world is passing her by with all this social media stuff. She heard about a new computer called the WOW! computer. The WOW! computer is expensive, but they do offer a 30 day trial, so it may be worth it to give it a try. But remember, internet access will be an additional cost too. And the down side is, she would be completely dependent on the WOW! computer company for everything.

I have an idea for a blind person using a smartphone

Kathy from Maryland

Episode 1082

Kathy is blind and she suggests to the caller who wanted to know if the iPhone was good for blind people, that maybe he try the iPod Touch. It's essentially the same as a phone. Leo says that by buying from the Apple store, they can walk him through using it.

Leo also thinks that RokForm makes great cases for those who are blind because they have very powerful magnets that can allow users to hang their phone on an appliance.