hardware

How do I wrap my tech for a cross country move?

iMac shipping box

Episode 1518

Dr. Mom from New York, NY

Doctor Mom may be moving cross country and wants to know a safe way to pack her technology, like her computers and her NAS. Leo says that pulling the drives out and wrapping them separately in bubble map is a good idea. Then she can place them together in a box with plenty of shipping material. But the iMac is tougher because she can't take that out. And then there's the huge screen. Ideally, if she still has the box, she can encase it in that with the original packaging. Otherwise, she'll need to just wrap it judiciously in bubble wrap.

What is firmware?

Episode 1502

Joy from Santa Cruz, CA

Joy wants to know what firmware is? Leo says that firmware is the software that a computer or device uses to operate its system. It's software that is protected because you need it to run the actual device so that the software can translate instructions that the device understands.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1438

Line and Naver Corp have new Bluetooth-enabled wireless earbuds. While several companies are working on ear-to-ear real-time language translation, Mars is different. How? According to the company, other earbuds require separate mobile devices and earbuds, or two pairs of earbuds. Mars only requires a single pair that can be shared between two people. Using the Naver Papago app, the user assigns a language to each each earbud. From there, two people will be able to have real-time ear-to-ear translation of 10 different languages.

Is my old computer worth anything?

Two Dell Dimensions

Episode 1395

Sandy from San Marcos, CA

Sandy has an old Dell computer from 2002. Is it worth keeping? Leo says if it's been in storage for 15 years, it's really not going to do her much good. It could be worth about $25 if she wanted to try and sell it, but it will be a hard one to get rid of because nobody can really use them. The same goes for floppy disk laptops. She won't be able to upgrade it to today's standards, either.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1372

This week's gadget is The LectroFan Sound Machine. It's a White Noise Machines,that can help you get to sleep when you're in a noisy area.Here's how the company describes it: “Lectrofan sound is not just a recording. It has been developed through a proprietary algorithm that dynamically generates unique non-repeating sounds. This steady stream of sound eliminates the distracting looping that is common among many competing brands.” --- The model that was on sale was the LectroFan international model that features plugs for the US, UK and EU.

What's the best router to handle 1GB of bandwidth?

Asus AC5300

Episode 1372

Matthew from Grinnell, IA

Matthew's cable provider has introduced a 1GB down, 50MB up package for $139. Leo says that's a bit expensive, but it's pretty nice. What router will support that kind of speed? Leo says his stream is only going to be as fast as his slowest hardware connection. Asus's AC 5300 is a higher end router which will likely handle it no problem. It would be more expensive, but Matthew may want to consider building his own using the PFSense firewall.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1354

The Giz Wiz found a cool mini computer called the Kangaroo Notebook. It's a way to keep your personal and family computer activities separate. It's just a notebook screen and a keyboard, then you insert a separate, removable Kanagroo Mini stick. Yes, the Kangaroo’s Notebook comes as a package with two modular PC Minis that can be swapped in and out of the laptop dock. Each mini is a self-contained PC running Windows 10.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1349

This week's gadget is the Aukey Rechargeable Folding Lamp. It's a sleek, portable LED desk lamp that offers 2 brightness levels with a built-in push bottom on top. It's built of a handsome aluminum alloy that's 360° adjustable for easy positioning in any situation. It's great for reading, workshops, crafts, on the nightstand, etc. It has a rechargeable battery that runs for about 3 hours on a full charge. It's lightweight and low profile. It also folds flat for portability and only weighs 9.2oz; so it's ideal for travel too. Uses just 3 watts of power but generates 150 lumens of light.