Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Bad month for self driving cars

Episode 1482

Google's Lexus RX 450h Self-Driving Car

April has been a bad month for self driving cars, as both a driver and pedestrian have died from accidents. Leo says that California is giving Google a permit for a self driving car called WayMo, which will have no safety driver. The irony isn't lost on Leo, and while he believes that self driving cars are better than human control, they're never going to be 100%. There's more testing that needs to be done and they should have a safety driver until the bugs are ironed out.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1481

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is a deal of the day called the Stack-On 18 Drawer Storage Cabinet for $14.99, Dick bought one. These are some of the features: Drawers stay closed with the snap-close drawer System. See-through drawers let you see your parts at a glance. Customizable drawer labels for identification of contents are included. (Both good features.) Easily mounts to wall or stands on bench or counter top. NOTE: Drawer will be harder to pull and push - A little force will be needed to bypass this stay-closed system. (Wow, is that right!

How can I transfer my old programs?

Episode 1481

Don from Southern California
Laplink PC Mover

Don has a new hard drive and wants to know how he can move his programs over to the new drive. Leo says there really isn't a way to do it other than simply reinstalling the programs. Microsoft's installation of software is all over the place and as such, it's difficult to backup a program and recover it to another hard drive. There are some application movers out there, but Leo isn't confident that work well. Funduc makes one, but his best bet is probably Laplink.

Why can't I get radio reception?

Episode 1481

Darrell from West Hollywood
Radio

Darrell is having issues getting radio stations on all three of his radios at home. All he gets is static. Leo says that is odd. He even went into another apartment and tried and the same thing. Leo says it sounds like some sort of signal jamming. What he recommends is contacting KFI's engineering department and report it. The engineer could probably help him figure out what the problem is. But if other radio stations are also a problem, then that sounds like some sort of illegal electronic activity going on.

Is my printer dead?

Episode 1481

Dennis from Connecticut
Canon Pixma

Dennis' Canon printer isn't working anymore. He's replaced the cartridges, but it still doesn't print. What can he do? Leo says that if he goes into the printer setup and looks in the maintenance manual, there will be a "clean print head" utility. There's a good chance that ink has dried into the head and the clean print head utility will clear that out. He should run it several times. If he still gets nothing, there's a good chance the print head has died. But some models replace the print head when replacing the cartridges.

Will an SSD and more RAM improve my laptop speed?

Episode 1481

Dennis from Oceanside, CA
Memory

Dennis wants to upgrade his HP laptop. He wants to double his RAM and install an SSD. Will that help? Leo says that if he has a fast enough bus for the computer, an SSD will certainly speed things up, as an SSD has zero latency. Reads are very fast. But he won't get as much as a modern laptop. It'll still be noticeable. And he'll get at least a 10-20% boost by doubling his RAM.

What computer should I buy to edit video?

Episode 1480

Kelsa from Los Angeles, CA
dell.com

Kelsa is still using Windows Vista and has finally decided it's time to get a new computer. What should she get? She's a freelance reporter and actor, so she needs a lot of space and the ability to edit video. Leo says that for video editing, she should be looking to get either an iMac or Windows machine. Since she's against Mac, she should get a better quality Dell with an SSD and then use a lower budget editing program like Adobe Premiere Elements for under $100. Leo gets Dell Inspiron workstations for editing video at TWiT. An i5 or the AMD Ryzen processor would be fine. 16GB or RAM.

Why is my iMac getting so slow?

Episode 1480

LeBaron from Mobile, AL
https://www.macsales.com/

LeBaron has a 2010 iMac computer that is getting very slow, and Leo suspects that the culprit is a failing hard drive. The upgrade is non-trivial, but it can be done. Leo recommends going with a solid state drive to make it a heck of a lot faster. Then connect an external drive for the data. What Leo recommends is going to Otherworld Computing and look up the model. You can see what parts are needed, along with tools. Then decide whether to try to DIY or to have it done by a technician.

Why can't I show overlay text on screen with my video switcher?

Episode 1480

Joshua from California
https://www.easyworship.com/software/features

Joshua has a Blackmagic switcher with his Lenovo laptop for his church. He's trying to put words on the live feed, with a background using the Easy Worship software. But they say he needs a video card with dual HDMI ports. Leo says that's called "Chyron," and Lower Thirds. The ATEM Switcher should be able to do it, though, even without the Easy Worship software. In fact, the ATEM doesn't need a separate computer at all - It's turnkey, try taking that out of the mix.