hardware

How can I recover my dead hard drive?

Episode 1182

Chris from Camarillo, CA

Chris hard drive is dead and he needs to get the data off it. Leo says that you can go to Drive Savers, they take apart the drive in a clean room and can then rebuild it so you can get the data off, but it's VERY expensive. Leo says that's why you need to backup all the time. Because hard drives can, and will crash. But a good computer geek may be able to coax that hard drive back to life long enough to get the data off if there's a soft failure. But it's a hardware issue, like a bad circuit board, DriveSavers is your only hope.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1177

Dick's Giz Wiz entry this week is an RV. The NY International Car Show is in town and he saw the Mercedes Benz Self Driving car. Interesting because it has a feature where it will drive around if you can't find a parking spot. But what really caught his eye was the American Coach American Eagle motor home. 43’ motor homes with extending sidewalls with 450 square feet. $695,000.

Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/c5pqGfw61mE

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1169

Dickie D went to the Global Pet Expo and he came across a nifty gadget called the Pet Mate Doors. The one he saw was the Cat Mate Elite microchip cat door, which uses RFID technology to give your animal access to the inside of your house. You can easily program it to register the RFID chip that is already inside the pet, or you can use an RFID chip on a dog collar. The door will lock according to a preset time you set. It will also let the owner know with an arrow if the pet is in or out. Can work with up to 9 separate cats or dogs.

How can I fix my laptop screen?

Episode 1163

Doug from Manhattan, MT

Doug has a laptop and he can't see anything on the screen. Leo says there are a few things that can cause that. First, he should shine a light on it. If he can see the faint ghosting of Windows, then the backlight in the laptop has gone bad. It could also be that the ribbon cable that connects the LCD to the laptop has broken. That's an easy fix. If his laptop has a video out connection, he should try connecting it to an external monitor. If he can see Windows then, he will know it's a bad screen. The motherboard may be bad, too.

Do anyone even need to go to CES anymore?

CES 2015

Episode 1152

Chip from Cherry Hill, NJ

Chip wants to know if anyone really needs to attend CES anymore since everything is available online. Leo says not really. He sends people to cover it. It's a great experience to go at least once. It's out of control, and there's so much to see. But Chip could pretty much see everything virtually now and doesn't need to feel the pressure to attend every single year.

What is a good video card for editing music?

XFX R7-240A-CLF2

Episode 1148

Dan from Bakersfield, CA

Dan has a 24" screen because he's into music recording. Should he buy a new video card? Leo says not for that screen. At 1920x1080, any video card is going to handle it. Leo says that the processor and RAM are more important for editing music than a video card. But it he requires a set manufacturer like Nvidia, a low end card will work just fine.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1145

This week's gadget will help you get fit and rock out at the same time. The TalkBand B1 is an exercise band that has a pop out Bluetooth headset. The integrated Bluetooth earpiece with 1.4 inch OLED display features accept and reject buttons for phone calls. Want to accept a call and talk? Push a button and pop-out the Bluetooth earpiece.

As an activity tracker, it can automatically track steps, distance, and calories burned; in sleep tracking mode it automatically tracks sleep time and quality. It’s Bluetooth 4.1 as well as NFC for easy pairing.

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1145

This week, Leo talks with Scott about streaming set top boxes. Scott Wilkinson says that while HBO Go is on most boxes, until the beginning of the year you have to have an HBO cable subscription to use it. But next year, you'll be able to subscribe to the streaming service by itself. Scott says it's a very complicated process right now because all of the devices making deals with content providers and ISPs. So it's all very fragmented. So the best you can do is decide what services you want, and then go for that.