screens

Would using a smart plug with my exercise bike cause a problem?

Amazon Smart Plug

Episode 1555

Gary from Cheektowaga, NY

The screen on Gary's exercise bike doesn't turn off unless he unplugs it, so he got a smart Wi-Fi enabled plug that he can use through Alexa. He's wondering if that could harm it in some way. Leo says it's the same as if he were just unplugging the bike and plugging it back in, so there shouldn't be any harm in that. The only exception is if it somehow sends a power spike to it when it turns back on, but it should be OK.

How can I fix my laptop screen?

Episode 1238

Romano from New Jersey

When Romano turns on his laptop, he can't see anything. The screen is black. Leo says that if Romano can still barely see an image, that means that the backlight has burned out. Older laptops used a florescent backlight and they can die over time. The down side is that by the time it burns out, the laptop is usually so old that it's not worth spending the money to fix. But Romano's laptop is only three years old. If it's not the backlight, it could be the inverter. One place to look for fixing stuff is iFixit.com.

What do I need to build a backyard movie theater?

Episode 1000

Penny from Sacramento, CA

Penny is building a backyard home theater to watch movies drive-in style. Leo says that's great! She'll need three things - a screen, speakers and a projector.

They make inflatable screens, but they're a hassle to use and expensive. Getting a hard screen is just as good. Penny will need a powerful projector that can handle the "throw" of a 16'x9' screen. Epson makes some good ones both home and pro. It depends on how bright she wants it.