Peripherals

Any device that connects to the computer, such as a printer, scanner, monitor, keyboard or mouse.

What's a good printer that's cheap on ink?

Episode 1150

Donald from Lion, IL
Printer ink

Donald would like to find a printer that's really good with ink. Leo says that companies don't really care about selling printers anymore, which is why they're so cheap. They make up the money with ink. Ink per gallon is one of the most expensive fluids around. They won't let consumers use third party cartridges, and they actually use circuitry to prevent it. It requires special formations of ink to print it out. And much of the ink doesn't get used on the page.

Where is the voice in my Bluetooth headset coming from?

Episode 1150

Chris from Charlestown, RI
Plantronics Voyager Legend

Chris has two Android phones and after getting an update, he keeps hearing an unfamiliar voice through his headset. Leo says that the headset offers voices from Cortana, Siri or Google Now. The headset uses the voices from his phone, and that's likely what Chris is hearing.

BlueAnt is a great headset because it will talk you through setup and announce the callers. That's what the Voyager Legend does as well. But it's drives Chris crazy. Leo says it's likely coming from the phone and he can turn it off in the settings.

Should I get a keyboard protector for my desktop PC?

Episode 1147

Sam from San Diego, CA
Keyboard

Sam is thinking about getting a keyboard protector. Leo says he doesn't need it, because keyboards are cheap and he could just replace it if something happened to it. Leo also suggests he clean it out, by turning it over and banging out the crumbs, then using a Clorox hand wipe. And if it's really bad, he can put it in the dishwasher. If he does that, he should wait until is completely dry before using it. But he will run the risk of it not working again if he does this.

Can I turn an old printer into an internet enabled printer?

Episode 1141

Nick from Belmar, NJ
Printer

Nick has heard about a technology that could turn any printer into an internet enabled computer. Leo says that the current state of the art is wireless, and using AirPlay, he can Air Print. But if he doesn't have that capability, then XPrintServer can take a USB printer and turn it into a internet enabled and networked printer. If it's older, then it may or may not work. HP did have a technology called JetDirect which did it.

(Disclaimer: xPrintServer is a sponsor)

Why did my USB thumb drives become read-only after I replaced my hard drive?

Episode 1139

Glen from Baltimore, MD
USB drive

Glen has several USB thumb drives with files on them. His computer hard drive died, so he replaced it. But now he can't write to the thumbdrives anymore. Leo says that's because technically, they're "owned by another." Windows sees that new account as a new user. He can take ownership of them, but it's not trivial. HowtoGeek has an explanation of how he can do this.

Can I pair multiple bluetooth devices to my smartphone?

Episode 1132

Carlos from Brooklyn, NY
Motorola S10HD

Carlos wants to know if his iPhone can pair to multiple bluetooth devices. Leo says yes! It's been a standard capability for awhile in smartphones now. Leo also recommends over the ear bluetooth headphones.

Motorola makes great wireless headphones, as does LG. The Motorola S10HD are about $40, and they go around the neck and house the batteries for longer battery life. He'll also want headphones that support the high quality stereo profile called 'A2DP.'

Can I boost a Bluetooth signal?

Episode 1130

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA
Keyboard

Sam has a Logitech Keyboard and he wants to know if the bluetooth signal can be boosted. Leo says he can't because Logitech doesn't use Bluetooth. It uses a proprietary signal. He should just get a Bluetooth keyboard, if his computer supports it. If his computer doesn't support it, he could still buy Bluetooth dongles and add devices that way. Leo suspects that Logitech limits the range of it's capability because of interference and security reasons.